Here are the notes I used to give a short (and unplanned) talk at BarCampBrussels on “Firefox extensions – Mashing up the web”. Most of the audience were Firefox power-users but none had written their own extensions.
Getting started writing your own extension
Things you must read
My experience of writing ViewMyCurrency
- 3 days to prototype the currency conversion function (without a GUI)
- 3 months to produce user-friendly robust version. My extension is used by a lot of non-geeks. It took a lot of effort to get the extension to the state where things just work. By this point the extension was large and complex. JSUnit tests are used to prevent regressions.
- Release your extension on https://addons.mozilla.org I got almost 2000 downloads in the 2 days I was on the “Recently Updated”
- Help users give meaningful bug reports. In the beginning I lost a lot of time emailing back and forth to collect basic data on a bug. Now there’s a “Give Feedback” option in ViewMyCurrency which collects it all in one go.
- A simple video demo is worth a thousand pictures.
Although unplanned the talk seemed to be well received. Next time I’d prepare a demo of XUL (using the real-time XUL editor) and make some graphs showing usage of ViewMyCurrency.
Anybody up for organising a BarCampLeuven?