TL;DR - I created
Better GitHub for Chrome initially and made a post about it here few days ago. It got a really good response from the other developers out here and many of them wanted this extension to support Firefox as well. One even mentioned that publishing on Firefox is free unlike Chrome web store. So I made changes to support Firefox and even published it!
As mentioned in the earlier post, this extension was purely just to solve my niche problem. The response on that post was very unexpected. Everyone was so motivating and supportive. The fact that some of them even asked for it to be available for Firefox was unbelievable. This meant that someone out there, wanted to get their hands on Better GitHub, something that I created. That feeling is just something else. I am sure a lot of open source developers can relate to this.
So I decided that I had to get this extension to support Firefox. That was my initial goal, just support Firefox. So I went to my friend and asked for his help on how I can port my Chrome extension to Firefox.
The answer was not something I was expecting. I was expecting that I will have to refactor most of the logic to
core and then have specific implementation for Chrome API and Firefox API. But instead, I learned that Firefox Addons(extension) support almost most of the API provided by
chrome API. That meant, I didn't have to change almost anything to the logic implementation of the extension(better-github.js). Except a very minor issue which was just a one line change.
The major thing needed to be done to "port" the extension from Chrome to Firefox was the change to be done to
manifest.json. For Firefox, an addition property was needed: "applications" to provide little extra details for the addon like the addon ID.
As mentioned above, Firefox manifest requires an extra property. That means, I have to keep two separate
manifest.json but with the same name. Hmmm, weird. Also, to publish the addon to Firefox or even test it locally, I had to package the extension as a
.zip and then load it, with off course the right
manifest.json. Doing it manually was very painful. Edit the
manifest.json, select all the required files( including assets ) and package it to
zip every time I made a small change to the code.
So as a developer, I wanted to automate this shit, and I did. I wrote script.js to automate the process to generate the correct
manifest.json for Chrome / Firefox and package the extension files to
better-github.zip with the correct manifest.
Now all I have to do is run
yarn firefox:package and it generate the manifest for it, package everything to zip, delete the manifest as it's not required anymore. The stuff that took me 30s to do now takes less than 0.5s. Although it took me just over 3 hours to write the script. But hey, it's always worth it to automate shit, right? wink wink