From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
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Revision as of 21:57, 25 April 2005
This describes some changes you can do to your system to make extension development easier. See also Getting started with extension development.
Set development prefs
Before you start doing any development, you should set some preferences to make life easier:
- nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache = true. Disables the XUL cache so that changes do not require a restart (more).
- browser.dom.window.dump.enabled = true. Enables the use of the dump() statement to print to the standard console. (The application must be started using the -console flag; read more)
Install development extensions
It is also a good idea to install a few developer extensions:
- The DOM Inspector is useful when you are trying to find the id of XUL elements which you wish to modify.
- Extension developer's extension for Firefox/Thunderbird/Mozilla (discussion). Includes these tools:
- JS Shell—execute statements from main application window. Features tab completion!
- JS Environment—run code snippets
- XUL Editor—XUL editor with real-time preview
- HTML Editor—same for HTML
- Extension Builder—a tool for editing install.rdf, packaging and installing your extension; still under development
- As a bonus, it can toggle the debugging prefs listed above with a single menu click.
Having the above prefs set is very helpful when developing extensions, but they will slow down Firefox a bit, particularly at startup and when opening new browser windows, especially if you have many extensions installed. For these reasons you may choose to use a separate profile for development.
You can run two instances of Firefox using separate profiles if you set MOZ_NO_REMOTE environment variable to 1. For example, on Windows you can use the following bat file to run Firefox with development profile, whether "normal" Firefox is already running or not. (Assuming your development profile is called "dev"):
firefox -p dev
To run Firefox with default profile just run "firefox" or "firefox -p default", as usual.