Playing with the Firefox Add-on SDK

25 June, 2011 § 2 Comments

Tonight I got my first opportunity to play with the new Add-on SDK for Firefox. I used the Add-on Builder, Mozilla’s browser-based editor, to build the add-on as well as test it.

I’ve been thinking of different ways to improve the viewing experience of HTML5 <video> users. One of the ideas that myself and :dolske were thinking of was to add a full-tab playback of video to the browser. This is sort of a middle-ground between author-determined viewing sizes and full-screen.

Some of the benefits of full-tab playback are: (1) user-customizable sizing of the content, (2) easier for users to move playback from one screen to another, and (3) putting the browser into full-screen mode simulates full-screen playback very closely.

Some of the drawbacks of full-tab playback are: (1) not all of the screen space is used for playback of content, (2) a true full-screen mode will probably switch to use more hardware for the scaling, (3) the controls that are designed for normal playback don’t provide the best user experience at large resolutions.

I spent a couple hours making the add-on, and listed it on addons.mozilla.org (all for free, compared to a one-time $5 fee in the Chrome Web Store).

The add-on is open source and released under the Mozilla Public License. Try it out today and let me know what you think :)

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