Moar xpcom docs!

While many of you were out blowing things up over the weekend I spent a few days varying between getting quite a bit done and banging my head against my desk in frustration.

First I updated the XPCOM interface lists that I have been working on with the final release version of Gecko 1.9.0. A few people had asked me for it but I had hit upon the problem that I had lost some of the arcane scripts that I was using to gather the data and so I had to rebuild them first. I have dropped information about the beta versions of 1.9.1 now, just because it was less work that way, if people desperately want them back then I can probably do it.

Secondly I finally sat down and put some hard graft into my rewrite of the project. Some time ago I decided on what extra information I could easily find out automatically and wrote the new code to shove it all into a database. It took till this weekend for me to actually write the web front-end to it. Despite appearances it is actually a complete rewrite. Previously I was using hand-rolled database access code in php. The new version is based on Django which is apparently what all the cool kids are using these days. I was for the most part pleasantly surprised by Django, it makes quite a lot of things significantly easier, but it does suffer from the problem that most object mappers do, it never quite does exactly what you want (or expect). Still I’ve no doubt despite the teething problems I found I have got further like this than I would have by hand. Pro-tip to those thinking of using it, don’t trust it to be right when it tells you what line of a template is causing an error.

Not everything is implemented yet, and I’m sure there are a few bugs laying around to find, but you can take a sneak peek at it. This is what is new:

  • Lists components as well as interfaces
  • Shows what operating systems interfaces are available on (watch out, this can and does vary with the version of Firefox)
  • Shows what components implement a particular interface (again, can and does change with the Firefox version)
  • Shows what interfaces a component implements and for which platform (ditto, our platform is complicated ok?)

There is actually a lot more potential information that could go into the database, including listing for multiple applications, but I think the UI will probably not develop that much further, the additional information would just make things far to complicated to understand.

4 thoughts on “Moar xpcom docs!

  1. This reference is far and away the most useful documentation I’ve seen for Mozilla.

    This reference should form the basis for the perfect mozilla documentation by adding code examples to each component and interface.

    Is this doco available at MDC? It really should be.

  2. You think that you could make a cached version available as parsable XML files or a web service?
    This would great for an extension…

    Or maybe just describe the layout and organization of the pages?

  3. This documentation was a lifesaver for me the other day working on extending the about:me extension with some information from the extension manager.

    MDC’s docs didn’t really have anything about various interfaces/attributes/methods.

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