Regarding BrowserStack's Firefox Extension

Rob Wu rob at robwu.nl
Wed Sep 27 15:43:25 UTC 2017


Hi Dhimil and Neil,

Even if your requested APIs are unavailable, you can still achieve similar
results with the nativeMessaging extension API. This allows your extension
to communicate with a separately installed native application (in any
language, can be compiled or non-compiled such as Python). This external
application can then provide the socket functionality that you need.

I've looked at your BrowserStack Local app for Chrome
<https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/browserstack-local/mfiddfehmfdojjfdpfngagldgaaafcfo?hl=EN>,
and it uses the fileSystem and socket APIs (note: these APIs are only
available to "apps", not "extensions"). *Your "BrowserStack Local" app for
Chrome will cease to work in 2018* because Google is dropping support for
Chrome Apps for all platforms (except ChromeOS). If you missed this, the
announcement can be read at
https://blog.chromium.org/2016/08/from-chrome-apps-to-web.html

The good news is that native messaging is supported by both Firefox and
Chrome, so if you start developing a native messaging component for
Firefox, the result can be re-used when Chrome drops support for "Chrome
Apps".

Here is documentation for nativeMessaging in Firefox:
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Native_messaging

Here is documentation for nativeMessing in Chrome (the underlying protocol
is identical, the only difference is the way of registering the native
messaging application):
https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/nativeMessaging

Kind regards,
 Rob
 https://robwu.nl

2017-09-27 15:01 GMT+02:00 Dhimil Gosalia <dhimil at browserstack.com>:

> Adding Neil (VP product, BrowserStack)
>
> Hey Andrew,
> Thanks for the prompt response but as I have mentioned earlier this
> extension is really critical for seamless BrowserStack experience on
> Firefox. Due to the lack of support (or alternatives) for the above
> mentioned APIs we will be forced to drop complete support for Firefox.
>
> Thanks.
>
> On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 2:15 AM, Andrew McKay <amckay at mozilla.com> wrote:
>
>> Sadly, at this time I don't believe that there are alternatives to
>> those APIs. There are come bugs for some of those things you've
>> mentioned like:
>>
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1247628 TCP and UDP
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1373640 DNS support
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1323414 streaming support
>>
>> But as you can see those have not been implemented in Firefox 57.
>>
>>
>> On 22 September 2017 at 05:40, Dhimil Gosalia <dhimil at browserstack.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > We are the developers of the BrowserStack's Firefox extension. Our goal
>> at
>> > BrowserStack is to help developers to test websites/apps seamlessly on
>> all
>> > the major platforms. That is made possible by our extension which acts
>> as a
>> > reverse proxy and let user test local servers by tunneling the
>> connections.
>> > For your reference: https://www.browserstack.com/local-testing.
>> >
>> > With the changes to the Firefox API leading up to version 57.0, our
>> plugin
>> > was marked as legacy because it's based on XPCOM-javascript API. Now,
>> we are
>> > all excited about new WebExtensions API and the future it holds but
>> > currently, it's missing one of our most used API, chrome.socket.*
>> >
>> > Currently, we use the following services on Firefox in our extension:
>> >
>> > nsISocketTransportService
>> > dnsService
>> > nsIScriptableInputStream
>> > nsIInputStreamPump
>> > nsIBufferedInputStream
>> > nsIAsyncInputStream
>> >
>> >
>> > Checking online, we found that we might not be the only group using the
>> > above APIs. Mozilla and BrowserStack announced a partnership recently
>> and we
>> > don't want our customers on Firefox to miss out on seamless local
>> > integrations! We want to understand if there are any alternatives to the
>> > above APIs.
>> >
>> > I have cc'd my fellow team mates and Adam, who helped us with the right
>> > contact (Thanks Adam!).
>> >
>> > Thank you for helping us out!
>> >
>> > --
>> > Dhimil Gosalia,
>> > BrowserStack.
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Webextensions-support mailing list
>> > Webextensions-support at mozilla.org
>> > https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/webextensions-support
>> >
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Dhimil Gosalia,
> BrowserStack.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Webextensions-support mailing list
> Webextensions-support at mozilla.org
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/webextensions-support
>
>
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