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Revision 30640 of Gecko SDK

  • Revision slug: Gecko_SDK
  • Revision title: Gecko SDK
  • Revision id: 30640
  • Created:
  • Creator: Andreas Wuest
  • Is current revision? No
  • Comment /* Downloading */

Revision Content

Overview

The Gecko SDK is a set of XPIDL files, headers and tools to develop XPCOM components which can then in turn e.g. be accessed from XUL using JavaScript.

Note that in order to develop such components, you do not need the full sources of e.g. Firefox, since you do not access parts of the front end from within a component. Furthermore, since a component contains basic functionality, it is intended to run with every product of the Mozilla platform. Therefore it makes no sense to use a particular product to build general functionality. That's the reason why the Gecko SDK was devised.

Do not confuse the Gecko SDK with XULRunner. The Gecko SDK is a collection of header files and tools used to develop general XPCOM components which add functionality to the existing platform, whereas XULRunner is a runtime to bootstrap stand-alone applications based on the Mozilla framework.

Get the SDK

Downloading

When downloading the Gecko SDK, it is important to choose the version that corresponds to the earliest version of Mozilla that you wish to target. In other words, you shouldn't download the 1.7 Gecko SDK if you want to use your component with Mozilla 1.6. This is important because binary compatibility is ensured only with future versions of the Gecko runtime. For this tutorial, we'll be using the 1.7 version of the Gecko SDK so that our component is binary compatible with Mozilla 1.7 (and any derived products such as Firefox 1.0 or Netscape 7.2).

NOTE: The Gecko SDK changed significantly between Mozilla 1.6 and 1.7, including string API changes that result in smaller components since there is no longer any need to link to the embedstring static library.

Download the 1.7 Gecko SDK from here.

The Gecko SDK is not officially supported for other platforms, though for some other platforms it may be available under the contrib subdirectory.

Unpack the SDK tarball to some suitable location.

Building from Source

The Gecko SDK is output by a normal Mozilla build under dist/sdk. See Build Documentation for information on how to build from source.

NOTE: There's no need to download or rebuild the Gecko SDK corresponding to security updates of Mozilla (i.e., Mozilla 1.7.3) since the Gecko SDK is not changed as a result of security updates.

For the remainder of this guide, we'll assume you are developing components under Linux. (Ports of this guide are welcome.)

Contents of the SDK

The SDK contains the following:

  • IDL files for frozen interfaces (under idl/)
  • Header files for frozen interfaces, XPCOM functions, and NSPR functions (under include/)
  • Import libraries or shared libraries (under lib/)
  • Static utility libraries (under lib/)
  • Various tools (under bin/)

Revision Source

<p>
</p>
<h2 name="Overview">Overview</h2>
<p>The Gecko SDK is a set of <a href="en/XPIDL">XPIDL</a> files, headers and tools to develop <a href="en/XPCOM">XPCOM</a> components which can then in turn e.g. be accessed from <a href="en/XUL">XUL</a> using <a href="en/JavaScript">JavaScript</a>.
</p><p>Note that in order to develop such components, you do not need the full sources of e.g. Firefox, since you do not access parts of the front end from within a component. Furthermore, since a component contains basic functionality, it is intended to run with every product of the Mozilla platform. Therefore it makes no sense to use a particular product to build general functionality. That's the reason why the Gecko SDK was devised.
</p><p>Do not confuse the Gecko SDK with <a href="en/XULRunner">XULRunner</a>. The Gecko SDK is a collection of header files and tools used to develop general XPCOM components which add functionality to the existing platform, whereas XULRunner is a  runtime to bootstrap stand-alone applications based on the Mozilla framework.
</p>
<h2 name="Get_the_SDK">Get the SDK</h2>
<h3 name="Downloading">Downloading</h3>
<p>When downloading the Gecko SDK, it is important to choose the version that
corresponds to the earliest version of Mozilla that you wish to
target.  In other words, you shouldn't download the 1.7 Gecko SDK if you want
to use your component with Mozilla 1.6.  This is important because binary
compatibility is ensured only with future versions of the Gecko runtime.  For
this tutorial, we'll be using the 1.7 version of the Gecko SDK so that our
component is binary compatible with Mozilla 1.7 (and any derived products
such as Firefox 1.0 or Netscape 7.2).
</p><p><b>NOTE:</b> The Gecko SDK changed significantly between Mozilla 1.6 and 1.7,
including string API changes that result in smaller components since there is
no longer any need to link to the <code>embedstring</code> static library.
</p><p>Download the 1.7 Gecko SDK from
<a class="external" href="http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/nightly/latest-1.7/">here</a>.
</p>
<ul><li> <a class="external" href="http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/nightly/latest-1.7/gecko-sdk-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz">gecko-sdk-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.gz</a> for development under Linux (x86 architecture)
</li><li> <a class="external" href="http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/nightly/latest-1.7/gecko-sdk-i586-pc-msvc.zip">gecko-sdk-i586-pc-msvc.zip</a> for development under Windows
</li></ul>
<p>The Gecko SDK is not officially supported for other platforms, though for some other
platforms it may be available under the
<a class="external" href="http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/releases/mozilla1.7/contrib/">contrib</a>
subdirectory. 
</p><p>Unpack the SDK tarball to some suitable location.
</p>
<h3 name="Building_from_Source">Building from Source</h3>
<p>The Gecko SDK is output by a normal Mozilla build under <code>dist/sdk</code>. See <a href="en/Build_Documentation">Build Documentation</a> for information on how to build from source.
</p><p><b>NOTE:</b> There's no need to download or rebuild the Gecko SDK corresponding
to security updates of Mozilla (i.e., Mozilla 1.7.3) since the Gecko SDK
is not changed as a result of security updates.
</p><p>For the remainder of this guide, we'll assume you are developing components under
Linux.  (Ports of this guide are welcome.)
</p>
<h2 name="Contents_of_the_SDK">Contents of the SDK</h2>
<p>The SDK contains the following:
</p>
<ul><li> IDL files for frozen interfaces (under <code>idl/</code>)
</li><li> Header files for frozen interfaces, XPCOM functions, and NSPR functions (under <code>include/</code>)
</li><li> Import libraries or shared libraries (under <code>lib/</code>)
</li><li> Static utility libraries (under <code>lib/</code>)
</li><li> Various tools (under <code>bin/</code>)
</li></ul>
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