MDC, the missing manual
This page contains some hard-won but still incomplete information that the boys at mozilla conveniently forget to tell you and that may be useful for developing mozilla plugins (such as our vlc plugin).
Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) conforming plugins have a number of entry points that vary across platforms a bit in number and precise function per entry point. Those entry points together must mainly do two things: One) tell the browser what MIME-type(s) this plugin supports, and two) setup two function pointer tables.
The first table contains pointers to functions inside the browser that the plugin may call. This table apparently must be copied to local storage, but I haven't found why. The table necessairily will end up as a global for the plugin so it may as well be a statically allocated global, though there is a shutdown entry point to clean up any dynamic allocations after the last instance is destroyed.
The second table contains pointers to functions the plugin exports to the browser to call. The browser will create a new instance by calling the new function pointer for each place in a webpage that the plugin is needed, and all the other functions will be called with a reference to such an instance.
Enabling script interaction with the plugin should be done using the "NPAPI scripting extensions". This can be done by exporting the desired scripting interfaces through implementing NPObject derivates.
"And we've completely removed support for XPCOM plugins from Mozilla 1.9.2 (Firefox 3.6).
—Benjamin Smedberg posting in mozilla.dev.tech.plugins on news.mozilla.org
"XPCOM plugins" may or may not be different from "xulrunner extensions". Clarification needed.
Apparently only a few files are really needed for developing plugins. According to this guy only 12 files:
So far only two actual includes seem sufficient:
#include <npapi.h> #include <npupp.h>
The NS_GetValue entry point and the getvalue function table pointer apparently may point to the same function as long as it can deal with NULL instance references.
Compiling a plugin is a bit sparsely documented but the gist seems to be to use
pkg-config mozilla-plugin and to add a few choice flags. Thus on linux I have (which may or may not be correct):
PKGCONFIG=pkg-config MOZILLA_PLUGIN_CFLAGS=`$(PKGCONFIG) --cflags mozilla-plugin` MOZILLA_PLUGIN_LIBS=`$(PKGCONFIG) --libs mozilla-plugin` CXXFLAGS+=-fno-rtti -fno-exceptions -Wl,-z,defs -shared \ -O2 -g -DXP_UNIX -DMOZILLA_STRICT_API \ $(MOZILLA_PLUGIN_CFLAGS) LDFLAGS+= -shared -Wl,-Bsymbolic \ $(MOZILLA_PLUGIN_LIBS) npplugin.so: npplugin.o $(CXX) $(LDFLAGS) $< -o $@ npplugin.o: npplugin.cpp
One way to get more useful output out of nspr-based browsers (firefox, epiphany at least) is to set two environment variables:
export NSPR_LOG_FILE NSPR_LOG_MODULES NSPR_LOG_FILE=path/to/log/file NSPR_LOG_MODULES=modulename:level,modulename:level
However, I have failed to find a comprehensive list of modules to choose from.
all:5 works but is perhaps a bit too verbose. The default for NSPR_LOG_FILE appears to be stderr. On windows the special WinDebug which redirects to OutputDebugString().
|all||enable all log modules|
|sync||enable unbuffered logging|
|timestamp||prefix log messages with an UTC timestamp (NSPR 4.8 or later)|
|bufsize:size||set the log buffer size|
|nsNativeModuleLoader||xulrunner/XPCOM component loading|
|nsHttp||What the http layer is up to|
|mime||MailNews applications (SeaMonkey/Thunderbird)|
In debug builds also: imapoffline, bayesianfilter, msgcompose, mapi, nsaboutlookcardlog, nsabwinhelperlog, ldapautocomplete, nswabaddressbook, nsaboutlookdirectorylog, movemail, msgbiff, msgpurge, appleimportlog, import
|nsXULTemplateBuilder||template rule network construction and subsequent use|
|InMemoryDataSource||Assert(), Unassert(), HasAssertion(), etc. for most datasources.|
|nsComponentManager||XPCOM, clarification needed|
|HelperAppService||save as related?|
|negotiateauth||Found in modauthkerb documentation|
|Plugin||plugin related. Apparently verbosity goes up to 9?|