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There are three major components to WordPress:
If there's one cardinal rule in WordPress development, it's this: Don't touch WordPress core. This means that you don't edit core WordPress files to add functionality to your site. This is because, when WordPress updates to a new version, it overwrites all the core files. Any functionality you want to add should therefore be added through plugins using approved WordPress APIs.
WordPress plugins can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be, depending on what you want to do. The simplest plugin is a single PHP file. The Hello Dolly plugin is an example of such a plugin. The plugin PHP file just needs a Plugin Header, a couple of PHP functions, and some hooks to attach your functions to. Plugins allow you to greatly extend the functionality of WordPress without touching WordPress core itself.
Once you decide what you want your plug-in to do, creating it is a simple process. A basic overview of the plug-in development process is given in the following steps.
Gecko identifies a plug-in by the MIME type it supports. When it needs to display data of a particular MIME type, the browser finds and invokes the plug-in object that supports that type. The data can come from either an object element in an HTML file (where the object or embed element either specifies the MIME type directly or references a file of that type), from a separate non-HTML file of that MIME type, or from the server.
The server looks for the MIME type registered by a plug-in, based on the file extension, and starts sending the file to the browser. The browser looks up the media type, and if it finds a plug-in registered to that type, loads the plug-in software.
When it starts up, the browser checks for plug-in modules for the platform and registers them. It determines which plug-ins are installed and which types they support through a combination of user preferences that are private to the browser, the contents of the plug-ins directory, or the registry on Windows.
A MIME type is made up of a major type (such as application or image) and a minor type, for example, image/jpeg. If you define a new MIME type for a plug-in, you must register it with IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Until your new MIME type is registered, preface its name with "x-", for example, image/x-nwim. For more information about MIME types, see these MIME RFCs:
Before drawing itself on the page, the plug-in must provide information about itself, set the window or other target in which it draws, arrange for redrawing, and handle events.
A windowless plug-in can call the following Netscape methods to draw itself:
The browser calls these Plug-in methods:
Plug-in developers can take advantage of the memory features provided in the Plug-in API to allocate and free memory.
Streams are objects that represent URLs and the data they contain. A stream is associated with a specific instance of a plug-in, but a plug-in can have more than one stream per instance. Streams can be produced by the browser and consumed by a plug-in instance, or produced by an instance and consumed by the browser. Each stream has an associated MIME type identifying the format of the data in the stream.
Streams produced by the browser can be automatically sent to the plug-in instance or requested by the plug-in. The plug-in can select one of these transmission modes:
Streams produced by the plug-in to send to the browser are like normal-mode streams produced by the browser, but in reverse. In the browser's normal-mode streams, the browser calls the plug-in to inform it that the stream was created and to push more data. In streams produced by the plug-in, by contrast, the plug-in calls Netscape functions to create a stream, push data into it, and delete it.
The Plug-in API provides methods that plug-ins can use to retrieve data from or post data to a URL anywhere on the network, provide hyperlinks to other documents, post form data to CGI scripts using HTTP, or upload files to a remote server using FTP.
The Netscape group of Plug-in API methods provides some basic services to the plug-in. You can use these Netscape methods:
Functionally, your plug-in is seamlessly integrated into the browser and operates as an addition to current browser capabilities. To make the user feel that the plug-in is part of the the browser user interface, your plug-in can emulate the browser behavior by providing status line messages. Use the NPN_Status method to display a message on the status line.
Once you have added the special code and additional files to make your plug-in scriptable as described in the previous section, the build process is quite straightforward. In addition to the DLL that goes in the plugins folder, you must also place a type library and an extra header file in the appropriate places in your application directory. This section describes those extra scriptability steps in more detail.
Building NativeScript plugins is a great way to learn more about how NativeScript works, to create functionality that you can share across applications, and to leverage some really powerful functionality - such as the ability to use native iOS and Android frameworks.
Plug-ins should not be installed into the Firefox directory. The plug-in installer should either package the plug-in into an extension and install it using normal extension installation practices, or install the plug-in to the system standard install locations.