Tag Archives: procrastination

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Setting up a Firefox extension development environment

Procrastato, a Firefox productivity extension I have a Firefox extension called Procrastato.  It reminds you to get back to work when you’re mindlessly surfing the web.  Procrastato is a very simple add-on but I’ve found that getting started in developing Firefox add-ons isn’t so simple.

Although I’ve just dipped my feet into the world of XUL and Firefox Extension development I thought I would share what I’ve been using to get up and running.

First things first – take a look at the Building an Extension page at Mozilla.org.  Make sure you at least read through that page before getting started.  It can be a little disappointing to see how much you need to have in place in order to do a simple “hello world” test extension, but it’s worth getting an overall picture before jumping in.

Also, before getting to “hello world,” there are a couple of extensions that are useful for developing extensions:

If you’ve used Eclipse for Java or PHP development you’ll probably want to use it for extension development with the XulBooster plugin.  XulBooster is useful for two reasons:

  1. It helps with housekeeping chores like setting up your install.rdf and chrome.manifest and exporting a .xpi package.
  2. It give you some code coloring and syntax highlighting for those .xul files.

Now you should be ready to go.

A couple of notes:XulBooster will automatically include an empty <em:updateURL/> element in your install.rdf.  If you don’t have a secure URL for updates (starting with https://), you might get this warning from addons.mozilla.org when you try to upload your new version:

Add-ons cannot use an external updateURL. Please remove this from install.rdf and try again.

Just open the install.rdf file and deleted that line to solve the problem.

Minor update to Procrastato, download version 0.6.1

Ben FranklinI’ve made a very small update to Procrastato, the only Firefox extension that will get you back on track when you are procrastinating. Really I just cleaned up some extra files that didn’t need to be included in the install.

Please head to the main project page to download and install the latest version.

As always, any comments or questions you have are welcome.

Procrastato Update 0.6

I have updated my Firefox Extension, Procrastato.  In addition to some small fixes, there’s a new ‘helpful’ mode.  While in helpful mode, you’ll get sage advice from Benjamin Franklin rather than the cold, hard stare of Big Brother.

Go the the main page and check it out.  I’ve also added it to addons.mozilla.org, but it is still in the sandbox so you’ll need an account to download it.

Here’s a screenshot of Ben in action:

Ben Franklin says get back to work