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Short Description

Necko is a platform-independent API for several layers of networking (transport to presentation) that is built on XPCOM. It is currently in use in Mozilla and all of its clients.

Longer Description

  • Built on XPCOM and NSPR - Not a stand-alone library
  • Implemented mainly in C++
  • Continually evolving (quite drastically!)
  • Originally located at mozilla/network. This version is now completely deprecated.
  • Now located at mozilla/netwerk.

Important Interfaces

Necko has several important pieces:

  • nsIOService
  • nsIURI
  • nsIChannel
  • nsIProtocolHandler
  • nsITransport


  • Provides network utility functions.
  • Manages nsIProtocolHandler implementations.
  • Creates nsIURI objects from URI strings.


  • Represents a URI (scheme://host/path).
  • Parent class of nsIURL, which is implemeted by nsStandardURL, which handles standard URL operations.


  • Manages a single protocol based on a scheme (e.g. http).
  • Uses nsIURI instance to create nsIChannel.


  • Uses nsIURI information to create logical connection to resource.


  • Listener for connection start, arrival of data, and stop request.


  • Represents physical connection (e.g. file descriptor, socket).