Toolbar API in WebExtensions?

Igor Leturia Azkarate i.leturia at elhuyar.com
Tue Oct 18 07:30:33 UTC 2016


Hi all,

We have a Firefox addon, Euskalbar (
https://addons.mozilla.org/eu/firefox/addon/euskalbar/), which is a toolbar
that allows querying various Basque dictionaries at once. It is quite
popular among Basque translators, linguists, and users in general, with
about seven thousand users. It may not sound much, but proportionally, in
our rather small community, I would say it is, and it is essential for many
professionals and all sort of people.

Now, acoording to
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Comparison_with_the_Add-on_SDK#UI_elements,
it looks like the new WebExtensions API is not going to have an API for
toolbars. On the other hand, there is a request in Bugzilla for
implementing one (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1215064),
which seems to still be undecided...

So, before starting to reimplement our addon somehow else, my question is:
will there finally be a toolbar API in WebExtensions? I would be in favour
of it. I think that otherwise many existing addons are likely to
disappear... Adding APIs that Chrome does not have would not make Chrome
addons incompatible for Firefox. It would make the addons that use those
APIs incompatible with Chrome, but when there is no other way...

If there is no intention to implement a toolbar API, what alternative ways
are there to implement toolbar-like addons? In the bugzilla link above, a
user mentions in-page toolbars, which I find quite intrusive... Do you know
if there are other nicer or easier ways? If there are not, then I reaffirm
the need for a toolbar API.

Thanks all in advance,

    Igor Leturia
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