Mozilla launches Jetpack; Will add-ons be Firefox's secret sauce?

Mozilla has unveiled Jetpack, a project to make Firefox add-ons easier to code and deploy. The general idea for Jetpack, which is in an early stage, is to develop browser add-ons with common technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Mozilla has unveiled Jetpack, a project to make Firefox add-ons easier to code and deploy. 

The general idea for Jetpack, which is in an early stage, is to develop browser add-ons with common technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Jetpack is Mozilla's attempt to take its 8,000 developers---and 12,000 add-ons they have produced---to another level. Mozilla said that Jetpack will enable add-ons to be created in as little as a dozen lines of code.

In a blog post, Mozilla detailed:

Specifically, Jetpack will be an exploration in using Web technologies to enhance the browser (e.g. HTML, CSS and JavaScript), with the goal of allowing anyone who can build a Web site to participate in making the Web a better place to work, communicate and play.

Most importantly, from a user perspective, Jetpack will allow new features to be added to the browser without a restart or compatibility issues, resulting in little to no disruption to the online experience.

What's notable is that Mozilla is clearly stating that its lineup of browser add-ons is a competitive edge. Add-ons could become the equivalent of applications for an operating system. But today add-ons can be a hassle. If Mozilla can make add-ons simple and lightweight Firefox may have an edge on Google's Chrome, which downplays add-ons over speed concerns, and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Labs Jetpack - Intro & Tutorial from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.