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XPCOM é um modelo de objeto componente de plataforma cruzada, similar a Microsoft COM. Este tem múltiplas ligações de linguagem, permitindo que os componentes XPCOM sejam utilizados e implementados no Java, JavaScript e Python, além das interfaces em C++. As interfaces no XPCOM são definidas num dialeto de IDL, nomeado de XPIDL.

WebExtensions are becoming the new standard for creating add-ons. Eventually support for XPCOM add-ons will be deprecated, so you should begin to investigate porting your add-ons to use the WebExtensions API, and report any missing functionality so we can be sure to address your concerns. Work is ongoing on WebExtension capabilities, so your input will help prioritize and plan the work. To learn more about the kinds of changes that will be needed, see Comparison with XUL/XPCOM extensions. In addition, any binaries you use will then need to be converted for use with the WebExtensions native messaging API, or compiled using WebAssembly or Emscripten.

XPCOM itself provides a set of core components and classes, e.g. file and memory management, threads, basic data structures (strings, arrays, variants), etc. The majority of XPCOM components are not part of this core set and are provided by other parts of the platform (e.g. Gecko or Necko) or by an application or even by an extension.

XPCOM guide
These articles provide tutorials and usage documentation for XPCOM, including how to use it in your own projects and how to build XPCOM components for your Firefox add-ons and the like.

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