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The JSLib Uninstall Wizard

Neil Deakin

The following documents the new Uninstall Wizard feature of JSLib.

The uninstaller works in both Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird, or other Mozilla-based applications. It can be used to uninstall packages and extensions.

The uninstaller has been tested with a number of existing Mozilla utilities, and generally works. There are a few bits of things that are not uninstalled in some cases. It has been tested with Preferential, Tab Browser Extensions, ThingsTheyLeftOut, GoogleBar and the Amazon Browser.

It works for components installed in the profile, the application, or elsewhere.

To add an uninstaller to your package, you will need to provide some UI for doing so as JSLib does not provide this. You will need to include jslib.js, using the script tag, as in:

<script src="chrome://jslib/content/jslib.js"/>

This script contains a function called 'jslibUninstall' which can be called to invoke an Uninstall Wizard. The function takes one argument, the package name to uninstall. For example:


The call above will uninstall Chatzilla. The package name is the one specified in contents.rdf file for your package, meaning the first word in the chrome URL. Currently, only packages can be uninstalled, themes and locales are not supported. However, the skin and locale part of a package will be uninstalled along with the package. For example, Chatzilla includes the content, skin and locale parts with its installation. All will be removed. However, a separate theme such as Orbit that skins multiple packages cannot currently be uninstalled.

The wizard has two screens. The first displays some introductory text and a Show Files button. When the button is pressed, a list of the files that will be deleted is displayed. When the Next button is pressed, the second screen is shown. This displays a progress bar as the files are deleted and the package is uninstalled. The user can then click Finish to close the wizard. For most packages, uninstallation will take less than a second so the progress bar will fill up quickly.

Note that all Mozilla windows will be closed during the uninstallation so that it is less likely that files that need to deleted will still be open.

The uninstaller will do the following:

The package is not removed from the version registry since there isn't a scriptable interface to it.

It is assumed that you have used the conventional resource URIs when creating the contents.rdf file. For example, 'urn:mozilla:package:xxx'.

Sometimes applications will have additional files to uninstall. These can be specified in the contents.rdf file used by the package. List the files to uninstall in a Seq using the predicate:

For example, using typical usage:

<RDF:Description about="urn:mozilla:package:camilla" chrome:name="camilla" chrome:displayName="Camilla News Reader" ... > <chrome:uninstallInfo> <RDF:Seq> <RDF:li>special/dictionary.txt</RDF:li> <RDF:li>special</RDF:li> <RDF:li></RDF:li> <RDF:li>ComsD:camilla.xpt</RDF:li> </RDF:Seq> </chrome:uninstallInfo> </RDF:Description>

The above will delete the file 'special/dictionary.txt'. This file is a relative path that is relative to the Mozilla directory. Directories such as 'special' can also be deleted. They will not be deleted if they are not empty. You must specify the files in the directory separately before the directory itself.

The last two files use the form key:file. The key is any of a number of values used by the Mozilla directory service component to locate directories. The keys are listed in:

and also in:

In the example above, the files use the key 'ComsD' which refers to the Mozilla components directory.

You do not need to specify the JAR files to be deleted. They will automatically be uninstalled. This means that most extensions should not need to adjust the contents.rdf file at all.

Sometimes, you will want to do additional custom cleanup. You can supply a callback function which will be called during uninstallation:

jslibUninstall('chatzilla', callbackFunction);

NOTE: The function will be called twice during uninstallation!

The function will be called with two arguments:

function callbackFunction(filesList, stage) { ... }

The first argument is the list of files to be uninstalled. The list is an array of nsIFile objects. You have an opportunity to add or remove items from the list. The second argument indicates which stage of uninstallation is occuring. The first stage runs when the wizard first appears. This stage is responsible for gathering the list of files to delete to display in the window. In this case, the stage argument will be false. The second stage occurs when the progress bar appears, and the package is being uninstalled. If this case, the stage argument will be true.

So, if stage is false, you should add or remove any items to the files list. If stage is true, you should perform any additional uninstall steps such as removing preferences. Note that once you have added files in the first stage, you shouldn't add them again in the second stage.

The multiple stage thing may seem weird but it seems better than using multiple callback functions.

If any issues are found, please file bugs:

Some known issues:

Last Modified: December 15, 2003

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