Developing Viral Applications using Firefox


Firefox: What’s all the noise about!

firefox1Firefox is one of the most useful browsers with tons of extensions and according to w3schools is already used by 47.9% of computer users. Firefox is already a standard (default web browser) on most if not all Linux O.S and will become increasingly popular with the advent of Windows 7.Why you may ask?

Well consumers will actually do the cherry picking for the first  time as Windows 7 O.S will allow users select from an array of Web browsers according to Microsoft .You can imagine the implication, usage of Internet Explorer will continue to slid until it loses its dominant position. that’s why you should seize the opportunity of being a relevant developer while making some cool cash.

 Easy Developer Migration

As a beginner or average Web Designer/Developer you can leverage your skills further by becoming a Firefox Extension Developer. What do I mean?

Extensions add new functionality to Firefox and other Mozilla applications such as SeaMonkey and Thunderbird. An extension can be a toolbar, chat client or any application you can conceive. So If you know JavaScript, CSS, HTML and XML then you are already on your way to becoming a Firefox Extension developer. These same skills  easily become reusable in the development of extensions for a lot of other Mozilla Applications such as Thunderbird(an email client), SeaMonkey etc.

You can make more money developing browser toolbars for your Clients as well as enhancing the interactivity of your Web Applications. Apart from earning extra money you also gain expertise of the Netbeans IDE, in-depth knowledge of JavaScript and all kind of tricks with manipulation of the HTML DOM.

Firefox is not just a Web browser, I like to think of it as an application container or an O.S like Windows, so apart from extensions you can easily develop applications of your choice and have it run on any computer in the world via Firefox. Developing applications for Firefox allows you to harness the most widely deployed SQL database know as SQLite  and write applications that can interact with other Programming Platforms like Java, C/C++ e.t.c

Below are the primary skills you need for developing extensions in Firefox

  • JavaScript-defines the logic and functionality of the application
  • CSS-used for theming and styling of the UI
  • XUL (XML User Interface Language) – a language that smells and feels like XML. Its used for  creating the user interface of your application


Tools you need to get started




NETBEANSNetbeans IDE with foxbeans plugin

Ever since I started chewing on this product for Java Programming I have had no regrets. This is arguably the best IDE for Programming. The Netbeans foxbeans Plugin makes developing Firefox applications as easy as a-b-c. With integrated support for CSS, XUL and JavaScript there is no better choice than this combination.


serves a similar purpose as Netbeans




what’s programming without a good debugger? It’s like driving with your eyes closed.

This debugger will make your JavaScript coding faster and error free. It is available freely as a Firefox extension.


  • mdcMDC(Mozilla Developer Centre)

This is the ultimate resource site for Mozilla application development, if you want to get started rapidly developing. Here you will find tutorials, code snippets e.t.c


This lovely tool allows you to drag n drop XUL components, edit and test XUL code without compiling or using an IDE.U get to see your changes almost in real time.


Provides free project hosting for Mozilla applications and extensions.


With over a billion downloads if you are thinking of developing a viral application Firefox is a true platform for your investment.

Femi Malomo
Femi Malomo is a Computer Scientist and Software Developer with over 10 years experience spanning Java, .NET, Embedded as well as Web Technologies. An avid reader, researcher and astute investor, he is the CEO of TekXtreme Solutions a Lagos based Technology Solutions company. His hobbies include meeting new people, Reading, Video games and Traveling. email:femi.malomo@tekxtremeonline.net

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