When I wrote my previous post about making add-on packaging simpler, I hoped but didn’t expect much to come out of it. It was more like taking a peek into the community and see how much interest there was for these kinds of proposal. I have a real desire to see things like this come to fruition, but not enough time or resources to do it myself. And it’s very difficult for a volunteer to handle a project of such magnitude.
But then the Google Summer of Code came to the rescue. I believe Gerv mentioned it in one of our weekly all hands meetings, and I thought “it’s a long short, but what the hell”. I just threw the idea into the candidates list. In a matter of a couple of weeks, the idea went from candidate to proposal, to approved proposal, to approved proposal with an assigned student. So, this summer, Hebert Duarte from Brazil will be working on the add-on packaging idea, and hopefully we will have a working implementation within a couple of months. That’s awesome!
Now it’s my responsibility to guide Hebert in the right direction, and to give him all he needs to get this project going. For that I will be posting a more detailed specification of the new add-on packaging system, to try to cover the quirks and special cases that need to be addressed. Expect it to appear on this blog very soon. Coding begins on May 24th, so I want to have everything figured out by then. Your feedback as usual is welcome.
Note that having a working implementation doesn’t guarantee it will become part of Firefox or other applications any time soon. At the moment there are no plans or expectations of when and if we will be including this into the Mozilla code base. That’s a whole other project 😉