Firefox 7 is one week away!

Jorge Villalobos

14

The rapid release calendar says it all: unless there’s an alien invasion in the next few days, Firefox 7 will be out on September 27th. And I’m fairly sure Christian would defeat the invasion himself just to make sure we release on time :). But I digress…

We are doing pretty well on the compatibility front, but there are still many add-ons that are incompatible with 7, some of them very popular. If any of your add-ons are among this group, I encourage you to read the compatibility documentation available and update your add-on as soon as possible.

Rapid Releases – Get on the Train!

I know many of you are feeling the pain of the rapid release cycle. This is why we introduced the automatic compatibility bumps, that are being run roughly a week after a new version is released. However, one thing that you may not know is that the compatibility bumps are run to keep add-ons up to date with the Aurora channel.

So, if you want your add-on to be automatically upgraded when possible, you need to submit a version compatible with the Firefox 8 builds (or test and upgrade your current version on AMO) as soon as possible. A new version doesn’t need to be approved by the editor team in order to qualify for these automatic checks. It just needs to be on the site. We will run the Firefox 9 compatibility tests in a couple of weeks, and then you’ll be emailed with information about whether your add-on passed them or not. If it passes, you won’t have anything more to do for another 6 weeks. Ideally, this should happen for most add-ons and most releases, which hasn’t been far from the truth so far.

For those of you who like waiting until the final version is available in order to test and upgrade their add-ons (which we don’t recommend), you can treat the current Firefox 7 beta 6 as the final build. Unless something urgent comes up, that is Firefox 7.

Happy coding!

14 responses

  1. Cristian wrote on ::

    Thanks guys!

  2. jo wrote on :

    Or use JetPack and stop worrying with updates:)

  3. rsterenb wrote on :

    This just sucks. If you already know people are going to feel the pain of this absurd release cycle then you shouldn’t be doing is. There is really no need for a new full release every 6 weeks.

  4. Mark Smith wrote on ::

    Is the validation tool that is used to scan for compatibility issues available somewhere so developers can run it against our add-ons that are not hosted on AMO?

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on ::

      The source code is available here: https://github.com/mozilla/amo-validator/. You can also run it as a command line tool.

      And, you can also run only the compatibility checks on this page: https://addons.mozilla.org/developers/addon/check-compatibility

      1. Mark Smith wrote on ::

        Just what I was looking for — thanks!

  5. Cerem Beyazit wrote on ::

    Please Fix the RAM problem.

    1. Ranjan SenGupta wrote on :

      I agree completely with Cerem Beyazit. The RAM overhead with version was and is absolutely appalling.

  6. Ken Clawson wrote on :

    I rely on Firefox solely but am really disgruntled that I can not use my Symantec/Norton Cards and Log Ins. I want to be able to use the auto fill for my log ins and lost that ability two upgrades ago. Surely if it was an option and worked on earlier versions of Firefox somebody there in the brain bank can make that happen. Thank you.

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on ::

      That really depends on Symantec/Norton, since they maintain their add-ons. They are probably binary add-ons, which make them specially prone to stop working on every release. If that’s the case, it’s hard (though not impossible) for them to keep up with rapid releases.

  7. Kine wrote on :

    I think it would be really cool if AMO users could vote for extensions to become a part of the official Firefox on AMO. Making extensions like Undo Bookmarks Menu, Download Statusbar, All-in-One-Sidebar, Show File Size2, etc. standard components of Firefox would really add to the functionality and sleekness of Firefox while getting the large userbase of AMO involved in the actual production of Firefox. Please let me know if this is a good idea? It has been a fond daydream of mine for a while now to improve Firefox’s core functionality (I currently have hundreds of addons that I would like to use with Firefox, but they slow Firefox down to a crawl when together.)

    I think this goes well with the spirit of open-source software too! Thanks for reading!

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on ::

      Add-ons that become really necessary for the majority of our users are already considered for integration into the product. That is how many features have made it into Firefox along the years. However, I don’t think it would be good to let people vote on it. Good design requires consistency and a more global and forward-looking view, which is something that is normally lost when deciding things in a large group.

      You can create your own Firefox bundles that include a number of extensions, if you’re interested in doing something like that (don’t have a link handy, sorry).

  8. Frode Hegland wrote on ::

    Hi Jorge, I really, really hope that reviews will be quicker soon.

    Hyperwords (to be renamed Liquid Information when the current queued version is approved) has a million downloads, 5/5 stars but the review cycle has been so long that we don’t have a current version on Mozilla, we have to redirect people to our site http://www.liquid.info

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hyperwords/

    Why do we have to wait two weeks for comments every time there is an issue? The checks are getting more and more stringent and it takes more and more time to get feedback from the reviewers.

    Our Extension for Google Chrome is passed with instant checks.

    We have been loosing users on Firefox since we have not been able to have current versions and we are gaining users on Chrome.

    Is Firefox aiming to remain an attractive platform for add-on developers or should we just let our add-on languish here?

    If there is an issue and we fix it or have a follow up question, why do we need to go to the back of the queue every time?

    This is a seriously frustrating situation for us.

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on ::

      Hello Frode,

      Unfortunately we have been lagging behind on reviews since the rapid releases were put in place. We’re working on scaling up, but at the moment we’re spending most of our energy catching up. Hopefully review waiting times will be back down to acceptable levels, but for now all add-on developers have to go through the same delays as you.

      In a few weeks we’ll have a better idea if we need more to change in order to keep up, but it’s difficult to balance the needs of users who want safe add-ons and the need of developers who need quicker reviews. We can’t discard reviews altogether like Google because our APIs are much more powerful and potentially dangerous, and it would be irresponsible to let add-ons through unchecked.