Mozilla Labs Announces the Release of Jetpack 0.3
Article by George Norman
On 13 Jul 2009
The development team at Mozilla Labs introduced Jetpack to the world back in May as a means to extend and personalize the web. A major upgrade, Jetpack 0.2 followed a few weeks after and now yet another update comes forth: Jetpack 0.3. The Mozilla Labs team has been working on the project for the past few months, taking into consideration all the available user feedback in an effort to improve Jetpack.

“For the past month, we’ve been busy working on an update to Jetpack, taking into account all of the feedback we’ve received. There are now over 60,000 people who have the Jetpack platform extending their browsing experience. And many of these Jetpacks have been written by first-time extension developers. Jetpack 0.3 focuses on adding some new abilities, as well as continuing to refine existing APIs,” explained on behalf of the Jetpack development team, Atul Varma and Aza Raskin.


Since Jetpack is a relatively new project, and with just 3 versions having been rolled out, let’s take a quick look at what updates and new features they brought to the table (in reverse order)

Jetpack 0.3 new features and updates
Selection: it is easier to perform an action on or upon a selection (like for example selecting a word on Wikipedia).
Clipboard: get and set text from the system clipboard.
Slide bars: updated the API, added new functionality.
Persistent storage: has a new API and is now synchronous.
Improved UI: Jetpack’s looks have been improved.

Jetpack 0.2 highlights
Slide bars: a new take on the old sidebars that let the use seamlessly access all sorts of temporary and permanent info. You can use Slidebars to watch a video while surfing the web for example; or you could use Slidebars to access streams of info, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Jetpack.future: according to Atul Vama and Aza Raskin from the Jetpack development team, jetpack.future is actually two things rolled into one. “It is a platform for experimentation and it is also a solid set of APIs that anyone to easily build new Firefox features. To enable Jetpack to be both stable and — at the same time — to experiment with not-quite-yet-ready features we’ve added the ability to import new features from the “future”. Slidebars, for example, are still highly experimental. To use them, you need to import them from the future first,” the two explained.
Persistent storage and clipboard support: the feature adds simple storage support to the future module, just as requested by numerous Jetpack testers.

Jetpack 0.1 highlights
- APIs with status bar, tabs, content-script, animations support.
- External API libraries support.
- jQuery support.
- Bespin integrated development environment.
- Firebug inline debugging.

In related news, the Mozilla Labs team recently announced a few other releases:
- Firefox Personas with enhancements for search and favorites (details here).
- Ubiquity 0.5, a major upgrade to the project that will not be automatically pushed to the user (details here).
- Open Web Tools Directory, a repository for f all the open web development sources you can find online (details here).

If you would like to visit the Jetpack official web page, please click here.
If you would like to get the Jetpack add-on, a download location is available here.

Tags: Mozilla, Mozilla Labs, Jetpack
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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