Archive of obsolete content

Contributor's Guide

Add-ons using the techniques described in this document are considered a legacy technology in Firefox. Don't use these techniques to develop new add-ons. Use WebExtensions instead. If you maintain an add-on which uses the techniques described here, consider migrating it to use WebExtensions.

Starting from Firefox 53, no new legacy add-ons will be accepted on (AMO) for desktop Firefox and Firefox for Android.

Starting from Firefox 57, only extensions developed using WebExtensions APIs will be supported on Desktop Firefox and Firefox for Android.

Even before Firefox 57, changes coming up in the Firefox platform will break many legacy extensions. These changes include multiprocess Firefox (e10s), sandboxing, and multiple content processes. Legacy extensions that are affected by these changes should migrate to use WebExtensions APIs if they can. See the "Compatibility Milestones" document for more information.

A wiki page containing resources, migration paths, office hours, and more, is available to help developers transition to the new technologies.

Classes and Inheritance
Content Processes
A content process was supposed to run all the code associated with a single tab. Conversely, an add-on process was supposed to run all the code associated with a single add-on. Neither content or add-on proceses were ever actually implemented, but by the time they were cancelled, the SDK was already designed with them in mind. To understand this article, it's probably best to read it as if content and add-on processes actually exist.
Getting Started
Learn how to contribute to the Add-on SDK.
Private Properties
People have come up with several ways to emulate private properties using existing language features. This article discusses two common techniques: one using prefixes, the other closures.

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 Contributors to this page: wbamberg
 Last updated by: wbamberg,