Nathan Wallace wrote:

Hi all,

We're thinking about developing a new scheme / pluggable protocol for use in browsers. We are only interested in the Windows OS, but would like to support IE, Firefox and other browsers if possible. We can add a pluggable protocol to Windows / IE using Asynchronous Pluggable Protocols:

1. Is it possible to configure Mozilla to just pickup & use this existing Windows protocol handler?

There is no support for this AFAIK.

2. If not, and I have to write a new protocol handler for Mozilla, what is the current best method for doing so? Most web references seem fairly old and incomplete. Is this Javascript technique currently valid (

Yes, that is probably the most up-to-date reference for implementing a Mozilla protocol handler (nsIProtocolHandler). If you want to write your component using C++ you can do that too... I would recommend basing your code on one of these:

Beware to only use frozen Gecko interfaces. The datetime and finger protocol handlers make use of some private interfaces and private helper classes (e.g., the nsSimpleURI class).

It is important to only use frozen interfaces (the ones marked with "@status FROZEN" in their comments) because otherwise your component may not work with future versions of Mozilla (or Firefox). If you want this kind of compatibility, then you should start by downloading the Gecko SDK ( The Mozilla 1.7 SDK can be used to build XPCOM components that are compatible with Mozilla 1.7 (Firefox 1.0) and future versions of those products.

More info here: (<- very incomplete, but may still have some useful info.)

3. What is the purpose of the network.protocols.useSystemDefaults configuration option in Mozilla (I can't seem to find any doc on this)?

It's an internal preference that isn't used for anything now. In fact, it has been removed on the trunk IIRC.

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