New urlbar API for experimental add-ons

Drew Willcoxon dwillcoxon at
Fri Dec 23 02:17:37 UTC 2016

I'm working on a new API to let add-ons modify the urlbar popup, primarily for add-ons developed by internal Mozilla teams and Mozilla partners. Over the past year different teams have been interested in shipping experimental urlbar UXes as part of things like Test Pilot and Shield studies. They've faced a few problems. One is XUL, XBL, XPCOM, etc., because often these teams aren't as familiar with Firefox development as the front-end team is. The second is that it's just not easy enough to modify the urlbar popup even if you do know front-end tech. The third problem is that there are only a couple of people on the front-end team who work on the urlbar, Marco and me, and we're a bottleneck.

The new API is supposed to address those problems. It's based on Web tech: HTML, not XUL/XBL, no XPCOM, etc., basically letting you replace the popup contents with a Web page.

I'd like to gather feedback, if you have any, especially from people at Mozilla who could potentially use such an API. There's a design document here: <>

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