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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

PART TWO: No More Restarts to Thunderbird Ext...

This post deals with some features of the new Reloadchromezilla extension and how to set up your development environment for Reloadchromezilla to work. Part One deals with how Reloadchromezilla actually works.

You'll have to configure a lot of stuff in Thunderbird:

(1) go to the Mozillazine Knowledgebase entry, "Setting Up the Extension Development Environment" Everything here is pretty straightforward--basically, there are just a few handy options which I don't actually use.

(2) Disable The "XUL Cache" This is another Knowledgebase entry. Disabling the XUL cache is a must for the "Reload Chrome" feature to work. Basically, you need to find your extension in your profile directory, unpack the .jar file, and remove references to the jar file in the chrome.rdf and install.rdf files--read the article.

As the article states, you will also have to set a preference in your user.js, which Thunderbird does not automatically create. So you might need to:

(3) Create a user.js file: First, get to your profile -- for example, c:\documents and settings\{user}\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\{your profile--if there's more than one, explore around to find the one that's yours}
Next, create a file called user.js with something like Notepad, and add,
user_pref("nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache", true);
You've just created a user.js file and disabled the XUL cache!

However, as Disable The "XUL Cache" further states, you'll also need to edit install.rdf and chrome.rdf. The article also goes on to state something about injecting Javascript, but I'm not sure how this would work if you have a large and complicated extension--I ignored it.

And you should be done! The files that you edit from now on should be the files in your profile's extensions folder--find your GUID, open that folder, open some files and extend away! Unfortunately, the Reloadchromezilla extension (which follows the procedure outlined in previous posts) will not update changes you make to your install.rdf file. I'm guessing that the reason for this is that because the install.rdf file is not in what would normally be your .jar, it is outside the chrome. If you want to change the install.rdf file, you'll need to reinstall your extenesion the normal way, with the "Extension Builder" option of the Extension Builder's Extension

Note: as the knowledgebase articles state, you'll need to unpack your .jar file in your extension directory (which is located in your profile directory)


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