For Mozilla users who want to control their browser,Mozilla Add-on Builder
is a free tool that lets users create their own add-ons. Using the relatively new
and Bespin code editor, Mozilla has created this Web-based SDK for the masses. As fun as it sounds, however, it is not intuitive, and some may want to stick to using premade add-ons.
Mozilla requires registration to use this tool. This process is fast; all you need is basic information like your name and e-mail. Before creating your add-on check out the tutorial provided by Mozilla. It will give you a code to paste into the canvas. Though there are other instructions after these, if you have never written code before, you may be lost. Of course you can browse other people's creations and the library of codes provided by Mozilla, but this language is not a quick one to learn. Even sorting through other people's codes in the library is difficult; there is no organized way to search through it.
Where the building takes place
Screenshot by Polina Polishchuk/CNET)
The interface is attractive; test, download, save, and revise buttons are located above the canvas for easy access. It is nice to be able to test the newly created add-on once you are done; Mozilla provides a built-in testing feature. When you try to test, Mozilla will require that you download the Add-ons Builder Helper extension; this is a small extension that integrates the add-on builder with
. There is a widget module, which "provides a consistent, unified way for extensions to expose their user-interface in a way that blends in well with the host application," located in the side panel. The side panel is also where users can add attachments and codes found in libraries.
The Mozilla Add-on builder is great for people experienced in the art of SDK; however, those who want to try to make their own add-on for the first time might have some trouble.