New search UI coming in Firefox 34

Jorge Villalobos

0

Update: it looks like this change will only be visible to a fraction of users initially, so please plan any changes to be backward-compatible.

The search UI was retooled and it will launch with Firefox 34 (at least in the US region). This landed late in the Firefox 34 beta cycle since it is related to our switch of default search provider in certain regions, which was announced very recently.

Unfortunately, this is bound to break some add-ons and themes. If your add-on overlays any content in the search UI or modifies its behavior, we strongly recommend that you test it on the latest beta (only the US English version seems to have this change for now). If you have any compatibility updates related to this issue in the review queues, please let us know on our IRC channel (#amo-editors) or the amo-editors mailing list.

Let us know in the comments if any of your add-ons break because of this.

Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 34

Jorge Villalobos

4

Firefox 34 will be released on November 25th. Here’s the list of changes that went into this version that can affect add-on compatibility. There is more information available in Firefox 34 for Developers, so you should also give it a look.

General

XPCOM

New!

  • Import and use public domain JNI.jsm implementation. This is a useful module for Android add-on developers that need low-level access. It has been renewed with a more complete implementation. You can get the module with Components.utils.import("resource://gre/modules/JNI.jsm");

Please let me know in the comments if there’s anything missing or incorrect on these lists. If your add-on breaks on Firefox 34, I’d like to know.

The automatic compatibility validation and upgrade for add-ons on AMO will happen soon, so keep an eye on your email if you have an add-on listed on our site with its compatibility set to Firefox 33.

Add-ons Update – Week of 2014/11/12

Jorge Villalobos

7

I post these updates every 3 weeks to inform add-on developers about the status of the review queues, add-on compatibility, and other happenings in the add-ons world.

The Review Queues

  • Most nominations for full review are taking less than 9 weeks to review.
  • 201 nominations in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most updates are being reviewed within 4 weeks.
  • 55 updates in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most preliminary reviews are being reviewed within 5 weeks.
  • 135 preliminary review submissions in the queue awaiting review.

Queue numbers this week are pretty bad, but they were much worse last week. Is this good news? Well, yes, we have a new (part time) admin reviewer on board who should help us with the trickier reviews that most volunteers can’t or won’t touch. Hopefully this will cut down waiting times significantly. We also have some policy changes planned that will cut down review times in the near future.

If you’re an add-on developer and would like to see add-ons reviewed faster, please consider joining us. Add-on reviewers get invited to Mozilla events and earn cool gear with their work. Visit our wiki page for more information.

Firefox 33 Compatibility

The Firefox 33 compatibility blog post has been up for some weeks.

33.1

The surprise release of version 33.1 included a couple of not-so-great surprises for add-on developers, specifically for complete themes and add-ons using binary XPCOM. Fortunately they were fairly minor issues and we have received good and timely responses from developers.

Firefox 34 Compatibility

The Firefox 34 compatibility blog post will be up very soon. The automatic AMO validation will be run probably next week.

As always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta and Firefox Developer Edition (formerly known as Aurora) to make sure that they continue to work correctly. End users can install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter to identify and report any add-ons that aren’t working anymore.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis, also known as e10s, is the next major compatibility change coming to Firefox. In a nutshell, Firefox will run on multiple processes now, running each content tab in a different one. This should improve responsiveness and overall stability, but it also means many add-ons will need to be updated to support this.

We will be talking more about these changes in this blog in the near future. We will also begin contacting developers about add-ons malfunctioning with e10s very soon. For now we recommend you start looking at the available documentation.

Firefox 33.1 compatibility

Jorge Villalobos

32

As part of yesterday’s Firefox 10th anniversary celebrations, we released a new special version of Firefox, version 33.1. Since it was meant to be a surprise release, it didn’t ride the trains in the same way as other features and it ended up unexpectedly breaking things for some add-ons.

The new Forget button

There’s a new button in the toolbar palette. It doesn’t appear in the toolbar by default, but you can see it if you enter customization mode. Unexpected buttons can break complete themes and this case is no exception. The solution is to update the theme to support this new button.

Binary XPCOM and version numbers

Binary XPCOM is a legacy technology that we hope to phase out of add-ons soon, in favor of JS ctypes and other pure JS solutions. Current support for binary XPCOM in add-ons is clunky at best, and developers need to rebuild their components for every new major version of Firefox.

After the 33.1 release, we discovered some add-ons doing this in their chrome.manifest files:

interfaces components/component33.xpt appversion=33.0 appversion=33.0.1 appversion=33.0.2 appversion=33.0.3 ...

This allows developers to have components built for various Firefox versions in the same add-on package, and declare which components need to be loaded for which Firefox version. However, since this doesn’t contemplate 33.1, no components are being loaded for that version. The easier solution in this case is just to add 33.1 to that list (33.1 is binary-compatible with the regular 33 branch). I’m fairly sure we won’t have any more surprise releases before we discontinue binary XPCOM, so I don’t think a more robust solution is needed. Update: however, please note there’s already a 31.1.1 and there could be other 31.1.* updates.

Sorry!

I’m sorry for the last-minute inconvenience, but hopefully the fixes are easy enough that you can issue quick updates for your add-ons and most of your users aren’t affected. If your add-on is on AMO, feel free to contact us to the amo-editors list or me directly so we can prioritize your compatibility updates.

October Contributor of the Month: rctgamer3

Amy Tsay

1

Congratulations to rctgamer3, October’s Contributor of the Month! Rctgamer3 is an AMO Reviewer and complete theme developer, and maintains the Firefox 2 theme.

In October, rctgamer3 helped the add-ons team file many blocklist bugs and provide all the required information to deal with them quickly. This is difficult and painstaking, but essential for keeping Firefox users safe.

We’d also like to give special thanks to Jaipradeesh Janarthanan, who single-handedly cleared the Tarako app review queue of 80+ apps, and on-boarded two new Tarako app reviewers, Kailas Patil and Trishul Goel—welcome aboard!

There is a new wiki to kick off November, with some new featured projects and a few carried over from last month. There is a new guided project for contributing to Firetext, so please check it out, and don’t forget to report any accomplishments in the Get Recognized section.

We look forward to collaborating with you!

Add-on Reviewer Meetup at Mozfest

Amy Tsay

0

Volunteer add-on reviewers are incredibly important to our ability to keep Firefox the most extensible browser available, by ensuring every add-on submitted to AMO meets safety requirements.

Last week, we met with some of the top volunteers in London at MozFest, to talk about what’s working and not working, and plans for next year. Here are some of the photos and blog posts that came out of the meetup:

Blog Posts

Photos

And of course, an obligatory blurry group photo, taken at the London MozSpace:

reviewers in london

November Featured Add-ons

Amy Tsay

0

Pick of the Month: Google™ Translator

by Andy Portmen

Google™ Translator is a handy multi-language translator built on top of Google Translate. It gives you the Google Translate UI feel right on your Firefox toolbar.

“I really love this tool. I’ve been taking online foreign language classes and it has been essential for helping me to proofread and check my work.”

Also Featured

Nimbus Screen Capture – editable screenshots by Nimbus Web Inc
Screen capture Web Page, selected region or whole browser window, edit screenshots and save the images to Local File or Google Drive. Edit screenshots in a very user-friendly interface with the different tools.

YouTube Video and Audio Downloader by InBasic, Alopepeo
Downloads YouTube videos in all available formats (FLV, MP4, WebM, and 3GP) with the video quality of your choice. It also contains a pure JavaScript library to extract the original audio file embedded in video files.

Nominate your favorite add-ons

Featured add-ons are selected by a community board made up of add-on developers, users, and fans. Board members change every six months, so there’s always an opportunity to participate. We’re accepting applications now for the next featured add-ons board, so if you’re interested, learn how to apply here!

If you’d like to nominate an add-on for featuring, please send it to amo-featured@mozilla.org for the board’s consideration. We welcome you to submit your own add-on.

Want to help select featured add-ons?

Amy Tsay

2

Six months have gone by quickly, and it’s time again to choose new members for the featured add-ons board. Board members are responsible for deciding which add-ons are featured on AMO in the next six months. Featured add-ons help users discover what’s new and useful, and downloads spike in the months they are featured, so your participation really makes an impact!

Anyone from the add-ons community is welcome to apply: power users, theme designers, developers, and evangelists. Priority will be given to applicants who have not served on the board before, followed by those from previous boards, and finally from the outgoing board. This page provides more information on the duties of a board member.

To be considered, please email us at amo-featured@mozilla.org with your name, and tell us how you’re involved with AMO. The deadline is Sunday, Nov 9, 2014 at 23:59 PDT. The new board will be announced about a week after.

We look forward to hearing from you!

October Featured Add-ons

Amy Tsay

2

Pick of the Month: Fastest Weather Forecast

by Sarah

Fastest Weather Forecast is the easiest way to check the weather while you browse internet.

“This is the greatest weather app I’ve found so far. It’s simple to set up and use. It’s a keeper.”

Featured Complete Theme

Metal Lion Australis Tiger by Frank Lion
Metal Lion Australis Tiger is a dark theme with ‘Tabs on Top’ tabs that restores some pre-Australis features and improves on the new design.

Also Featured

Menu Wizard by Oleksandr
Customize menus: Helps removing, moving and renaming menus and menu items.

BugMeNot by retailmenot
Bypass compulsory web registration with the context menu via www.bugmenot.com.

DoNotTrackMe: Online Privacy Protection by Abine, Inc.
Protect your privacy. Stop companies and advertisers from tracking your browsing and sending you spam email.

Fastest Notifier for Gmail™ (restartless) by Alexis Jaksone
Notifier for Gmail™ alerts the users of new email messages. Users can also read or reply to emails, delete or mark them as read, all without having to open a new window.

Nominate your favorite add-ons!

Featured add-ons are selected by a community board made up of add-on developers, users, and fans. Board members change every six months, so there’s always an opportunity to participate. If you’d like to join, keep an eye on this blog for the next application cycle.

If you’d like to nominate an add-on for featuring, please send it to amo-featured@mozilla.org for the board’s consideration. We welcome you to submit your own add-on!

Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 33

Jorge Villalobos

16

Firefox 33 will be released on October 14th. Here’s the list of changes that went into this version that can affect add-on compatibility. There is more information available in Firefox 33 for Developers, so you should also give it a look.

General

XPCOM

New!

  • Add a field to install.rdf for add-ons that are compatible with electrolysis. The multiprocessCompatible flag was added to install.rdf so that you can declare that your add-on works with the new Electrolysis (e10s) multiprocess mode without any compatibility shims. So, even if you activate e10s on Nightly builds, you can’t be sure that your add-on works well with e10s until you run it with that flag set to true. The compatibility shims are temporary and bad for performance, so please make sure to test your add-on and set that flag as soon as possible! You can read more about e10s compatibility here. Note that, while the flag was introduced in Firefox 33, e10s is still being worked on and disabled by default, and we’re not sure yet when it will make it to release. We will keep you up to date on this blog.

Please let me know in the comments if there’s anything missing or incorrect on these lists. If your add-on breaks on Firefox 33, I’d like to know.

The automatic compatibility validation and upgrade for add-ons on AMO will happen soon, so keep an eye on your email if you have an add-on listed on our site with its compatibility set to Firefox 32.