Mozilla upgrades Jetpack browser booster

Mozilla enhances SlideBars, other capabilities for Firefox add-in technology

Jetpack, Mozilla Labs' open source technology for building functional add-ins to personalize the Firefox browser, has been fitted with more capabilities in an upgrade detailed over the weekend, including enhancements to the SlideBar information access capability.

Jetpack 0.1 was introduced in May. Mozilla touted the Jetpack 0.3 upgrade on Saturday.

"There are now over 60,000 people who are using the Jetpack platform to extend their browsing experience, and many of these Jetpacks have been written by first-time extension developers," said Atul Varma and Aza Raskin on behalf of the Jetpack development team, in a blog post.

Improvements include a revised API for SlideBars, which enable access to information at the side of a browser window. Mozilla also added the ability for a SlideBar to notify the user of an update in a non-obtrusive way. The SlideBar API in version 0.3, however, is incompatible with the previous API. All SlideBar-based Jetpacks must be updated, Mozilla said.

Also featured in version 0.3 is synchronous, persistent storage and a new storage API.  Jetpacks look better by default as well, Mozilla said. In addition, the upgrade simplifies text selection and enables users to get and set text from the system clipboard.

Jetpack 0.3 can be downloaded from the Mozilla site, and it requires the 3.5 version of the Firefox browser. Mozilla said in May to look for a 1.0 release of Jetpack in a few months.

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