AMO welcomes self-hosted add-ons and HTML

Justin Scott

17

One of the staples of the Mozilla add-ons platform is the choice developers have to host and distribute their add-ons on any website they’d like — not just addons.mozilla.org. Yet, as the largest gallery of add-ons, Mozilla Add-ons is where users come to search for and discover new add-ons, which leaves add-ons hosted on a personal or business website out of sight and usually out of mind.

With tonight’s release, we’ve launched a pilot program to allow self-hosted add-ons to be listed on AMO alongside our thousands of Mozilla-hosted add-ons. We want users to be able to find any add-on they’re looking for on AMO, whether it’s hosted there or not.

These self-hosted add-ons won’t have all of the site features that other add-ons do, but will appear in search and browse listings, collections, and can be reviewed and rated. However, unlike our thousands of publicly-listed add-ons, these add-ons are not reviewed by Mozilla. Because of this very important distinction, instead of a green install button, self-hosted add-ons see a cautionary notice and link to the add-on’s homepage for additional information and to install the add-on.

Screenshot of the warning

Developers interested in submitting their self-hosted add-on or changing the hosting of their existing add-on should first read through additional details of the program.

Additionally with tonight’s release, we’ve added support for a much-requested feature over the last few years: HTML in add-on descriptions!

Several HTML tags, including links and lists, can now be used in four fields across the site: add-on descriptions, developer comments, version release notes, and user profiles. These fields and several others will also automatically link plain text URLs.

Stay tuned for information on additional features included with this release tomorrow!

17 responses

  1. Alfred Kayser wrote on :

    Does this mean that hosted extensions & themes are more quickly reviewed? Currently it takes more than 3 weeks to review minor updates of addons, even if it is an update of a theme that exists for more than 5 years (longer than Firefox itself)…

  2. Jay Meattle wrote on ::

    The AMO team is on fire!!

  3. Alfred Kayser wrote on :

    Thanks, my FF themes were approved within 24 hours!

    The backlog is closing fast!
    (only Nautipolis for SM and Walnut for TB are currently in review).

    Thanks!

  4. Dave Dash wrote on ::

    Alfred,

    Our developer relations lead, Jorge, has an awesome army of editors :)

    Hopefully we can keep up this pace.

  5. Vin wrote on ::

    Great to hear. What about including videos on the addon description page. Videos can be a great way to show the true potential of an addon compared to just a screenshot/image. Also, if the user has FF 3.5+ installed, the video could use the open video format to further push the usage of that. If their FF version is less than 3.5, maybe it falls gracefully back to Vimeo, or YouTube or whoever Mozilla chooses.

    Another suggestion: OS specific screenshots. For many addons that introduce new UI features, they sometimes have OS specific styling. It’s a little misleading when a Vista user is viewing screenshots taken on OSX, installs the addon, and then realizes that its not what they expected.

    Keep up the great work,
    -=Vin

  6. rich! wrote on ::

    This is excellent news! Just listed an ‘off-site’ add-on – only problem I encountered was parsing the .xpi file – an error stated it was invalid since I use my own updateURL.

    Thanks again.

  7. RandomEngy wrote on :

    A very welcome update! It will be so nice to be able to add in useful, clickable links to my descriptions.

  8. John Locke wrote on ::

    Thanks, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time :D

  9. Pete wrote on :

    Lists doesn’t work:

    first
    second

  10. Ken Saunders wrote on ::

    Awesome news!
    Thanks for HTML descriptions support.

    I like the idea about adding support for introductory type videos, but AMO already loads deathly slow.
    Aside from deviantART.com, it’s the slowest site that I visit but that surely doesn’t stop me.

  11. Vin wrote on ::

    Ken, if videos are hosted elsewhere (youtube, vimeo, etc) it shouldn’t really impact the load times of the AMO pages.

    DailyMotion supports Open Video…perhaps they might be a good partner for this?

  12. Gomita wrote on ::

    Nice feature.
    However, I wonder why I cannot find my self-hosted addon named “FoxAge2ch” from the AMO’s search bar.
    I can find it only if I set the advanced search options as Version=Any and Platform=Any.

  13. Dave Dash wrote on ::

    Gomita,

    I made a few changes to search which made search heavily reliant on Platform and versions – and it exposed some holes in our indexing strategy.

    I’m working on a fix for this – and will try to put a push for this as soon as possible.

    I’m also creating some more automated tests for search to keep this from happening.

    -d

  14. Axel Grude wrote on ::

    Ken,

    don’t forget the AMO stuff goes over a secure connection, that means all video data needs to be encrypted which slows down bandwidth – as it is its already difficult to use on mobile broadband (there are still countries that have no fixed line broadband available everywhere, Ireland is one of them).

    HTML in the Dev descriptions was badly needed, a link to allowed tags would be very welcome! Also, can we use CSS?

  15. Patrick Murphy wrote on ::

    Hey Dave – just wanted to see how the fix is coming along so people can actually find these on AMO with a basic search..

    thanks!

  16. Dave Dash wrote on ::

    Patrick –

    These are on preview, they will be pushed on schedule on 12/8.

    Cheers,
    -d

  17. Dennis wrote on :

    Good job, Now i have another choice to distrubte my addons.