4. Installation and Deployment

In this chapter, we turn to the topic of software installation and runtime environment. Although much of this book is oriented toward the writing of code, installation is such an important part of a cross-platform project that I felt obliged to devote considerable space to the topic. First, I describe XPInstall, the technology that was developed by Netscape and Mozilla to support cross-platform installation of the browser, plug-ins, and extensions. XPInstall uses a recurring theme in this book—abstraction—to achieve its goals.

Unfortunately, XPInstall is tightly coupled to Mozilla, so much so that it is not appropriate for use by non-Mozilla projects. Therefore, I go on to describe three platform-specific install ...

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