Aug 042011

A few minutes ago, I saved off the last document for the new static preference API introduced in Firefox 6. That completes my work on Firefox 6 documentation; in a few minutes, I’ll begin working in earnest on the documentation for Firefox 7. It’s been a challenge to keep up with the impressive pace of development the coding folks are pulling off in our new world order, but so far we’re managing!

There are a couple of little things that are technically still left to be done that are listed as Firefox 6 documentation issues, but in reality, they’re either not really Firefox 6 specific or they’re so obscure that spending time writing about them doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, for all intents and purposes, the Firefox 6 documentation is done.

For me, there are a few particular highlights of working on the documentation for Firefox 6 I’d like to share.


This was a lot of fun to write about, which is ironic, since I dreaded writing about it for months for some reason. I wrote a fun demo and the documentation came together quickly after that. My demo is a more or less fully functional multi-user chat system. Once we have the infrastructure in place for hosting WebSocket demos, I’ll be sure to post it.

Amusingly, my demo is only compatible with Firefox 6 right now (at least as far as Firefox is concerned) because it relies on the specific version of the WebSocket protocol supported by Firefox 6. The joys of life on the bleeding edge of technology!

Touch events

Another one I had fun with was documenting touch events for Firefox mobile. I wrote a simple but effective demo, which would have been more interesting if our touch event support were a little more complete (although, to be fair, the problem may be the hardware I’m testing on, not our implementation!). Being able to detect things like pressure, the size and shape of the contact with the touch surface, and so on is going to have a lot of possible uses. I can see doing some fun finger-painting web apps for kids, for example.

Server-sent events

Server-sent events was the second-to-last thing I documented. It landed relatively late in the development process., so it took a while to get to it from a writing standpoint. It turned out to be a very simple API, and I wrote a simple example that pulled the documentation together pretty quickly. It’s always nice when a quick example makes everything very clear. Once you have the example, producing documentation is easy.

And much, much more!

Of course there’s a ton of stuff in Firefox 6! Lots of new CSS features, support for the HTML5 progress element, and a lot of improvements to standards adherence are just a few of the things that are great about Firefox 6. Hopefully you find developing for Firefox 6 — whether on the web or as an add-on developer — just as exciting as I have.

Now, onward to Firefox 7!

 Posted by at 10:01 AM

  4 Responses to “Firefox 6 docs: done (for a flexible definition of “done”)”

  1. Yay! Thanks for the summary.

  2. You forgot to remove the “Note: Items listed here are tentatively slated…” now that it’s practically guaranteed that there will be no backouts which affect these features.

  3. mozUser: That’s part of a template; it will go away automatically when we update the page at release of Firefox 6.

  4. […] of Firefox continues with the release of the developer documentation for Firefox 6. Eric Shepherd shares a couple of his particular highlights from FF6 including his work with WebSockets and Touch events for Firefox […]