Creating XPCOM components

This is an archived page. It's not actively maintained.

This guide is about Gecko, and about creating XPCOM components for Gecko-based applications. Though the emphasis is on the practical steps you take to make your C++ code into a component that can be used in Gecko, we hope that these steps will also give us an occasion to discuss all of the tools, techniques, and technologies that make up XPCOM. Accordingly, the book is arranged so that you can follow along and create your own components or learn about different XPCOM topics individually, as in a reference work. For example, the introduction includes a discussion of components and what they are, and the first chapter - in which you compile the basic code and register it with Mozilla - prompts a discussion of the relationship between components and modules, of XPCOM interfaces, and of the registration process in general.

Note: In general, you should try to avoid having to create XPCOM components. Add-ons should try to use the new Add-on SDK as much as possible; however, there may be cases when it's unavoidable.

Note:This article describes a method that uses xpidl but you should use webidl instead.


An Overview of XPCOM

Using XPCOM Components

Component Internals

Creating the Component Code

Using XPCOM Utilities to Make Things Easier

Starting WebLock

Finishing the Component

Building the WebLock UI

Packaging WebLock

Appendix A - Setting up the Gecko SDK

Appendix B - Resources

WebLock Resources
Gecko Resources
XPCOM Resources
General Development Resources

Copyright (c) 2003 by Doug Turner and Ian Oeschger. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.02 or later. Distribution of substantively modified versions of this document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Distribution of the work or derivative of the work in any standard (paper) book form is prohibited unless prior permission is obtained from the copyright holder.