Stop Making Everything A Firefox Extension!

I’m all about Firefox. It is beats the pants off of Internet Explorer in pretty much every regard. No other single program gets as much of my overall attention throughout the course of a day.

Now check out this yet-to-be-released extension called AllPeers. (The link goes to the mirror of their site, since it’s Digdotted right now.) It sounds pretty cool, I guess - friend-based peer-to-peer file sharing over BitTorrent - but can somebody please explain to me why it’s a Firefox extension?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about extensions. I have more than a few installed myself. But Firefox is a web browser. It is supposed to browse the web. Why would I ever want to run it as a file sharing client? Sure, maybe you could integrate browsing others’ files into the browser, but the browser shouldn’t be responsible for actually doing the sharing.

What about the security risks? I might be a bit leery of typing my password and banking online if another tab in the background is actively accepting connections from other IPs on the Internet.

I understand that Firefox and XUL together make a great platform on which to develop web applications, and even non-web applications. Perhaps Javascript and XPCOM will finally be able to fulfill the “write once, run anywhere” promise of Java. If that’s the case, then perhaps some Mozilla people should get together and create a Gecko-platform distrubutable that is independent of their communication products, which would let applications like AllPeers at least run in another process.

So for Pete’s Sake, just let my browser just be a browser, and stop making everything into a Firefox extension!