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The Netscape Plugin API

by martin on September 9th, 2010

The NPAPI is a cross-platform plain-C plugin interface used by several web browsers to allow custom native-code to handle certain content types. It is used by Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and Opera, among others. When a browser encounters a content type that a plugin wants to handle, it loads that plugin, allocates a region of the web page for the plugin to control and then streams data to it so that the plugin can render the data as it sees fit.

Adobe’s Acrobat, Shockwave, Flash renderers are examples of plugins built against this plugin API.

The following web page provides various resources for using the NPAPI:

From → Extending

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An Application Programming Interface (API) provides a logical interface to a piece of software and hides its internal details. This website is dedicated to a book on designing APIs for C++ and includes articles and links on API development.


The book is accompanied by a source code package that contains many of the examples in the text. Download it for free.


Dr. Reddy has also published a computer graphics book called Level of Detail for 3D Graphics. Check it out too!.
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