My First Firefox Add-on

Jacob Allred

Update (7/16/2010): The add-on got reviewed and approved! Yay!

I’ve been wanting to make a Firefox add-on FOREVER, but have never found something worth making that hasn’t already been made (or isn’t way beyond my abilities to make). So I decided I’d start simple and make a search provider add-on for ABA Number Lookup.

I found a page in the Mozilla developer wiki that explains how to make an OpenSearch plugin. It is super easy. Basically it is just a snippet of XML that tells the browser where to send queries to, and how to get search suggestions. It also contains basic information like the name of the search engine and who wrote it. Easy stuff.

It took about 30 minutes to modify ABA Number Lookup to be able to return search suggestions and to send the proper MIME header for the OpenSearch XML file. After that was done, I went to the “submit an addon” page, followed the instructions, and wham! My search engine add-on is available to the world!

Mozilla puts all new add-ons in a sandbox to make it a little harder to push malicious code. This is just a search add-on so I think it should pretty quickly get approved and the download page will look a little less scary.

Anyways, it was fun! I might write one for Rhyta Arcade just for fun, though I doubt anyone would actually use that one.