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Developing Firefox Extension Without Restarting Firefox Everytime?

Posted on 2007-10-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
I'm reading up on XUL, XBL, etc and am about to start writing a FF extension. It seems that in order to do this, you need to restart firefox everytime. Is there a way to not have to do this? Also, can I load the XUL/XBL files manually in the browser without having to package it in a xpi file?
Question by:dignified
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 20038129

Scroll down to Setting up your environment section.

Author Comment

ID: 20038185
What is the short answer without having to read all this?
LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 20038199
If you really are serious about development of extensions, you need to read it all especially the link "Getting started with extension development". The shorter version is http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Setting_up_extension_development_environment
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Author Comment

ID: 20038254
yes, I am going to read all of it, and I am reading it right now.

nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache = true I see this will stop you from refreshing by setting this in the about:config, however, I don't see this option available....
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 20038350
you can add new values, in about config just right click and select "New" then "Boolean" and then call it nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache and set it to true

Author Comment

ID: 20045608
Alright, so I'm having a little bit of trouble getting started. I have followed this example http://kb.mozillazine.org/Getting_started_with_extension_development and created the same directory structure inside ~/.mozilla/firefox/z8mp9yr3.default/extensions/helloworld/

I have restarted firefox and I don't see the example anywhere. I don't see it in any of the menus.

Author Comment

ID: 20098849
So I have read a lot on xul and stuff. I found that the extension wizard extension is quite useful in that it allows me to create a xpi file that can be installed. But I am still a little confused as to how I can make a minor change to my code and then easily load it into the browser.

I am guessing:

1) make changes to code
2) create new xpi using extension wizard
3) using TOOLS -> ADD ONS ..... Find Updates (hopefully not uninstall then reinstall)
4) Restart firefox, but hopefully I shouldn't have to as long as I have nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache = true, however, it seems that setting this variable has no effect.

I'm having trouble figuring out how to create a new profile so that I can restart just the instance of mozilla using my development profile.
LVL 58

Accepted Solution

amit_g earned 375 total points
ID: 20098907
1) Yes
2) No need while development and testing
3) No need while development and testing
4) Yes

Read the "Test" section of http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Building_an_Extension for exact steps. Also make sure to setup an environment given in section " Setting up the Development Environment". In fact if you follow the steps given one by one, you will end up with a very basic working extension.

Once you are comfortable, you can also use wizard to create a skeleton http://ted.mielczarek.org/code/mozilla/extensionwiz/

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