At about 6.6 percent market share, Mozilla’s Firefox browser isn’t exactly ubiquitous, but it is known for being at the fore of Web trends.
It’s worth noting that these changes won’t apply to developers who use the newer Jetpack SDK to write their extensions (as long as they stay within the confines of Jetpack and don’t try to touch any low-level APIs).
The modifications are also being done by the company due to a faster version of Firefox in the range, called Electrolysis, which separates the browser into multiple processes and reduces the risk of users’ exposure to malware. It has its own advantages and disadvantages; the API changeover would result in large number of existing add-ons not working with the future versions of Firefox, if not they’re amended for WebExtensions. That remains to be seen, but clearly Mozilla is trying to make a big shift toward being more flexible in terms of add-ons and giving users much more choice in what kind of extensions they can run. After that Mozilla expects to roll in the new API with Firefox 43, which is scheduled to release on December 15.
As Mozilla overhauls its add-on system, it remains unclear as to how the company will compete with other popular browsers like Chrome.
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser has undergone some major changes in recent years.
Mozilla is also hoping that with the use of the WebExtensions API that it will allow them to cut down the amount of time needed to review extensions before approving them, with the aim to bring it down to five days.
The changes are huge and might involve a significant amount of pain for developers, but are great news for users.
The new Firefox will also be implementing research done with Servo.
Overall, this marks a major change in how Firefox will treat add-ons. In the most extreme cases, changes to the formatting of a method in Firefox can trigger problems caused by add-ons that modify our code via regular expressions.
The add-ons have been improved over the Firefox’s latest technologies that includes Electrolysis and Servo, which provide defence against spyware and adware.
Firefox said that they will begin to phase out XPCOM and XUL enxtensions between 12 and 18 months from now. However, developers were able to do things within Firefox that was not possible with other browsers, and with these changes, this unique feature will be compromised. “How many do you think are still going to hang on after you deprecate the whole API and restrict access to the features of the browser?”