Letting add-ons perform work during install and uninstall

One of the biggest requested items I see in the add-ons newsgroups and IRC channel is from developers asking how to perform some work when their add-on is installed or uninstalled. Previously it has been vaguely possible to do this, but there is a lot of hassle involved and it wouldn’t always work right.

As part of my roadmap for improving the extension manager we are talking about adding real support for these sorts of activities. The draft specification covers the proposal in more details but in draft it allows the following:

  • Add-ons will be able to provide code to run when their add-on is installed, uninstalled, disabled, enabled or upgraded.
  • Add-ons will be able to provide a list of files in the profile folder and preferences to be removed when the add-on is uninstalled.

There are a few restrictions so if you are interested check out the full specification and let me know what you think. There’s still room for change, but I think the proposal provides real benefits for add-on developers as it stands.