My name is Jorge Villalobos, and I’m the new (first, really) Add-ons Developer Relations Lead at Mozilla. I’ll be working on bringing the add-on developer community and Mozilla closer together. I have been an add-on developer for over 2 years, working on around a dozen add-ons during that time. I’ve worked on a few independent projects as well, Fire.fm being the most successful one, and the one I’m most proud of.
My initial focus in this role at Mozilla is to reduce the add-on review waiting times to a point where authors can have some certainty that their add-ons will be reviewed within a reasonable time frame. The current state of the queues is far from ideal, with the recent release of Firefox 3.5 being a big contributor to the rising tide of submissions. The queues are long, and add-on authors are not happy. I actually have a somewhat important update for Fire.fm waiting in the update queue, and I can’t help but feel a bit impatient about it.
To solve the queue situation, we are working on several solutions. We’re constantly looking for and introducing new editors to our team. We are working more closely with them to understand how they work and what their concerns are, and also to focus their efforts in the areas that have the greatest needs. We are attacking the queue problem from several different angles, some which will help us in the short term, and some which are more forward-looking, such as the one I’m introducing here.
We want to change how we handle add-on reviews, specially for updates. Our current system doesn’t handle well the fact that there are add-on authors that no longer need to have the constant scrutiny of the editor team, and don’t need to have their updates reviewed every single time. We think we need to introduce a trust factor into the process, that allows us to give more freedom of publication to authors that have proven themselves trustworthy. There are plenty of those, and I bet they are the most active authors on AMO. Reducing the amount of update reviews we give to trusted authors will give more time to our editors to focus on new add-on nominations and other updates, significantly reducing waiting times and making everybody happy.
I also cover some ideas for reviewing add-ons that are not extensions, which usually have longer waiting times when in reality they should be the easiest to check.
If you’re interested in the details, please read the proposal on Google Docs: Review Process Redesign Proposal. It’s very short, so it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to read. You can take part in the discussion of the proposal in the mozilla.dev.amo newsgroup, or post a comment here. I’ll try to respond to all as time permits.