Introducing Add-on Collections

The ability to completely customize your browser with thousands of add-ons is one of the best features of Firefox, and highlights the talent, dedication, and innovation of our great community. With thousands of add-ons and close to 1.5 billion downloads, Mozilla has been working hard this year to provide a great experience for both add-on users and developers.

Today, we’re excited to introduce a new feature to our website that will expose the niche add-ons that can be hard to find, and gives users a more active role in helping outstanding add-ons bubble to the top. One thing we’ve learned as add-ons have grown in popularity over the years is that once a user finds an add-on they love, they become a fan for life. We see this all the time as people recommend add-ons to their friends and write great reviews. And we’re very happy to see so many bloggers writing about lists of their favorite add-ons.

We’ve created a short video demonstration to introduce this new feature:

Add-on Collections

In November, we launched Fashion Your Firefox, which was a collection of add-ons that we felt were great for a novice user just getting started with customizing their browser. Now, we’d like to take it a step further and let anyone create their own collection of add-ons that can be shared with their friends, posted on blogs, and featured on the Firefox Add-ons website.

Starting today, visitors to the add-ons website will see a brand new look with collections of add-ons front and center. We’ve integrated collections throughout the site, and created a Collection Directory that showcases all of the add-on lists created by our users. There are a number of Mozilla-created collections that are featured throughout the site, but we hope to replace these with useful community-created collections in the near future. If you find a collection you like, logged-in users can mark it as a favorite to easily get back to it later.

Creating a collection of your own is as easy as giving it a name, like “Ken’s Favorite Data Analysis Extensions” or “Halloween Themes”, and choosing what add-ons you’d like in the collection. It will then show up in the directory, and can be sent to your friends or linked in your blog. The more people add it as a favorite, the higher it will be ranked.

Collection Directory screenshot

Staying up-to-date

There are a lot of add-ons out there, so finding a collection related to a topic you’re interested in will be a huge time-saver. But what if you want to subscribe to that collection so that you find out when new add-ons are published to it? You can subscribe to a collection via RSS, or you can install the Add-on Collector extension for Firefox. The Collector turns your favorite collections into subscriptions in your browser, where you’ll be notified as soon as new add-ons are published to one of your collections. The extension has a number of other features, including the ability to share an add-on you have installed with a friend by e-mail, publish an add-on to one of your collections, and set up a collection that is automatically kept up to date with your installed add-ons.

We’ve made video demos of creating a collection and setting up an auto-publisher collection to show how easy it is dive in to collections.

We hope that collections will make add-ons more social and encourage add-on users to be involved in the community. So, head on over to the Collection Directory to get started with collections and fashion Firefox the way you want it.

Note: There are currently some issues with logging in via the Add-on Collector extension. We hope to have these fixed Wednesday morning. Update: The Collector is now fixed and login should be working properly in version 1.0.2 of the extension.

51 responses

  1. g.naveen wrote on :

    firstly, superb feel of the revamped addons.mozilla.org website…hats off….

    ”Starting today, visitors to the add-ons website will see a brand new look with collections of add-ons front and center. We’ve integrated collections throughout the site, and created a Collection Directory that showcases all of the add-on lists created by our users.”

    ……..excellent concept,

    “Today, we’re excited to introduce a new feature to our website that will expose the niche add-ons that can be hard to find, and gives users a more active role in helping outstanding add-ons bubble to the top”

    …..good thinking, though may i suggest something in this direction, for the benefit of the users?

    1. e.g. consider that i want to find an addon named xxxxyyyy, and i search by typing xxxx[space]yyyy in the current search-box in the addons site……i get no results.

    2. if i am looking for an addon for a specific purpose, i cant exactly search by guessing the name its developer has given to it.

    my suggestion:

    adding to the home-page (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox)
    a big combo-box (list-box + text-box) (with autocomplete suggestions) of the exhaustive list of all add-ons available in the whole add-ons site can help users to search for add-ons better…similar to the list-box found at

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/statistics

  2. mime cuvalo wrote on :

    stunning redesign guys – as a web and extension developer, my hat goes off to you 🙂

  3. Marjolein Hoekstra wrote on :

    Hi,

    Many congrats to the team for the positive buzz about the make-over. #AMO was top news on Twitter already right after the news was released.

    I fully agree with @g.naveen that Add-ons Search needs a more powerful index. Next logical step is to offer recommendations based on someone’s installed Collection of Add-ons.

    I’m glad to see the Add-ons site developers acknowledge the need to make Collections highly dynamic and to offer RSS feeds. As I frequently recommend Add-ons on Twitter, I’ll definitely have a go at publishing my own set soon.

    I’m secretly hoping you’ll also pay some attention to the format:RSS feeds of the #versions page of the add-ons. The feeds still don’t always validate, causing feed readers to choke on them.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Photo sharing wrote on :

    That Web Developer’s Toolbox collection looks really handy.
    Here’s what I use at the moment

    Firebug
    Web Developer Toolbar
    ColorZilla
    MeasureIt
    ServerSpy
    YSlow

  5. Sankar wrote on :

    Glad to hear that you guys are going to give great user experience while moving further to users. Looking forward for firefox 3.5 public version 🙂

  6. Mokyoo wrote on :

    You MUST bring back the thumbnail preview image next to each add-on!
    It’s really hard to distinguish between each add-on, 1 picture worth a thousand words, right?

    Beside that, I like the new AMO, it looks great. congratulations!

    Mokyoo

  7. Sébastien Luquet wrote on :

    Is there a way to install all extensions of an collection in one click ? Is it possible to combine Collections with “Fashion your Firefox” ?

  8. Kroc Camen wrote on :

    Dear Mozilla,
    Please commit to using HTML5 video in all of your websites / blogs. I can’t see your announcements in your own browser. I don’t have Flash, I don’t want it and I have two browsers on my computer that are perfectly capable of playing video.

    If you want to start pushing HTML5 adoption, then start by using it yourself.

    I have created an HTML snippet called “Video for Everybody” http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody that embeds HTML5 video, with fallbacks for Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media Player, all without using JavaScript.

  9. Ustice wrote on :

    I’m getting errors with publishing add-ons. My auto-publisher doesn’t work right either. Where should we submit bugs, or get support? I love the concept. It would be GREAT to be able to publish you settings for the extensions as well. Things like Tab Mix Plus, and Greasemonkey, have a LOT of settings, and it would be fantastic to be able to package those as well.

  10. Ron Boyd wrote on :

    This is an excellent tool!
    I think my favourite part will be that I can create a collection of my favourite add-ons and when I go to another computer or set up a new one I just have to get my collection! No more trying to remember what add-ons I had before!

    Woohoo! kudos to the mozilla team, thank you!

  11. Google Consultant wrote on :

    Great addition to the Firefox Broswer – another great way to find recommended plugins…would love to see a data visulization collection. In the meantime I have created an SEO Toolbox collection (use these tools daily)

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collection/seo-tools

    One click install would be great – on the roadmap?

  12. Jay R. wrote on :

    It’s just too bad that the Collections extension is so broken. If your password has a % in it, it fails completely. After changing password and email, it just says “bandwagon(1): Could not update collections list: Error 1401: unauthorized” (but only if you check the error console – it fails silently at the login screen otherwise).

    Ridiculous to release something so broken.

  13. Nikolai wrote on :

    Hello,

    is https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ still based on CakePhp-Framework? Or not anymore?

    Thanks!

  14. Justin Scott (fligtar) wrote on :

    @Marjolein Hoekstra – We actually have a search redesign and add-on recommendations on the roadmap for the near future.

    @Mokyoo – We’ll likely continue moving away from preview thumbnails in most listing pages because they take up too much space and aren’t very valuable in most cases. A screenshot reduced to 250 pixels is very hard to make out, and we’ve seen most add-ons switch to using product logos or other images rather than previews. Previews will of course remain on the add-on display page, but we don’t think they’re useful in browse, search, and listing views.

    @Sébastien Luquet – There may be a way in the future, but right now it’s not currently possible for a number of reasons. (It’s harder than it seems.)

    @Ustice – we just fixed the bug with the Collector that was causing a number of issues. Please try again with the latest version (1.0.2) and if you still have problems, bugs can be filed at bugzilla.mozilla.org, product: addons.mozilla.org

    @Nikolai Yes, we still use CakePHP

  15. Basil Hashem wrote on :

    Congratulations to the AMO team for a great release – Collections, the Add-On Collector and the new AMO website redesign are looking fantastic. This team really rocked it.

  16. Test Pilot wrote on :

    >we don’t think they’re useful in browse, search, and listing views.

    I think preview thumbnails extremely valuable and useful. And removing them is a huge reduction of usability and convenience of AMO web site.

  17. Ken Saunders wrote on :

    Congrats and thanks to all who contributed. Awesome job! I found myself spending a lot more time than I usually do on AMO last night creating and exploring collections.

    I’m an add-on junkie and supporter and advocate of add-on developers who feed AMO and power the greater amount of Firefox’s success all in their own time and for free.

    The site looks fantastic and functions well but it could use a little bit of tweaking.

    Provide a better location for the link to Collections for quicker access.

    There should be a direct link to My Collections.

    A member should be able to manage their collections or at least have a link accessible to do so from their My Collections page. Currently the only way that I see is to click on a collection, then click on Manage Collection (if I’m missing something, please let me know).

    All of the above requires a lot of scrolling, clicking, and page loading and AMO isn’t the quickest around. Perhaps providing a drop down menu from My Account with a link to My Collections, Manage Collections, and other account options wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    Will the Thunderbird sections have its own Editor’s Picks that contains Thunderbird collections? And wouldn’t it be appropriate for MoMe to compile those?

    How about Fennec? I know that’s it’s early for Fennec but add-ons for Fennec are being hosted on AMO and I can’t create a collection of them.

    I’m psyched about the Add-on Collector but after I first installed it and explored the options for it, I thought that the Log In button didn’t work because the log in screen is loaded behind the options window and it can’t be focused unless the options window is closed first. Then after logging in, I have click on Extensions > Add-on Collector > Options to set my options, close the options window, then click on Subscriptions all to begin using the extension.
    A status bar button providing access to the Options, Subscriptions, and Log In windows wouldn’t be a bad idea. The icon could also display whether a user is logged in or not.

    All in all though, this is Christmas come early.

    Thanks again for all of your hard work.
    The site rocks!

  18. Ken Saunders wrote on :

    One more thing.
    Please provide an option to view more than 7 add-ons in a collection at a time as is possible when viewing add-ons elsewhere on the site.
    Again, it’s a lot of page loading. I view new and updated add-ons 50 per page and just keep loading them up in tabs.

    Thanks.

  19. Derek O’Harrow wrote on :

    Hi,

    Firstly – wow! Add-on Collections are fantastic and a really good idea – well done!

    I have a suggestion. I have several computers both at home and work and I use firefox on all of them (especially now that Prism works again with 3.5). However, using the Collections add-on, it installs all of the add-ons from all of the subscriptions on all of the computers.

    Would it be possible to either create different profiles (e.g. Work, Home, etc) and be able to select which collections apply to which profiles, or, would it be possible to have different PC’s subscribe or rather opt-out from different collections, without having to unsubscribe your whole account from that collection?

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  20. Yvo Schaap wrote on :

    @Justin: Really nice design! Can I suggest my addon for your Traveler’s Pack: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/12241/ ?

  21. Ted wrote on :

    gg bros

  22. Wes wrote on :

    What would be nice would be if you could bundle a set of userscripts to go with Greasemonkey, should it be added to a collection. That way, GM could come preinstalled with whatever scripts the collection’s publisher wanted to include. (Say, for example, the collection is all about modifying the appearance/functionality of a single specific website. You can add whatever addons you want to the collection, then add Greasemonkey, and pick whatever scripts you want along with it.)

    Same thing, maybe, for Stylish and userstyles?

  23. city_zen wrote on :

    I agree 100% with Test Pilot regarding thumbnails. Please bring them back, at least as an option (“Show/Hide thumbnails”).
    I believe that they *are* useful in browse, search, and listing views.
    Thanks.

  24. Roman Kolda wrote on :

    Is there any way I can see the add-ons thumbnails on the listing view?
    90% of the time that I open the add-on page is beacuse of the thumbnail.
    I find my self open tons of tabs because of the change now, and it makes the add-on discovery unfriendly.

  25. maqu wrote on :

    It’s waste of time to browse add-ons page without thumbnails preview.

  26. mauletty wrote on :

    Cool. Thanks (:

  27. Adrian Bold | Impact Media wrote on :

    The Add-on Collections is a great idea and another powerful reason to make Firefox your default browser.

  28. Sébastien Luquet wrote on :

    @Justin Scott : I tried a quick hack. I duplicated https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/fashionyourfirefox html/css/js code to http://fashionmyfirefox.heroku.com and changed ajax request. Right now, it returns extensions from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collection/da0ecd99-2289-7ab0-7d57-e7c489c845c3 but it’s quite easy to parametrize collection_id or replace “categories” by “collection”

  29. TnS wrote on :

    Please make an option under the advanced search settings or at least make a Greasemonkey script for displaying thumbnails.

  30. KOS wrote on :

    “We’ll likely continue moving away from preview thumbnails in most listing pages because they take up too much space and aren’t very valuable in most cases.”

    …you guys are MORONS!

  31. seig wrote on :

    add on is one of things that make me like firefox

  32. AnAddOnDeveloper wrote on :

    I love the idea of collections, especially since my add on is included in a few. However, only three collections are listed at one time, with the line “and X more collections” telling me that there are some other ones but I can’t view those. Please change that line to become a link which would list the other collections that the extension appears in. Additionally, in the Developer Tools section you could add a section for Collections that shows all the collections that the add-on is in.

  33. Justin Scott (fligtar) wrote on :

    @Sébastien Luquet The reason we don’t support installing multiple add-ons at once isn’t because of technical limitations of the website. Please see my post on this issue here: http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.amo/browse_thread/thread/d798c7e62a6f6343

    @AnAddOnDeveloper We’re planning both of those things. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=491407 should be fixed by the end of this month, and stats dashboards related to collections will be in phase 2 of collections.

  34. r4vx wrote on :

    New AMO page is cool! I like this new desgin.

    But I’ have a few suggestions regarding brwosing add-ons list:
    – as colleagues above I would reather to have thumbnails on the list page – it is much more easier to find something what we are looking for when we see this (e.g. images of themes) Without it I worry that I can miss something interesting. Such thumbnails (even very small) identify a lot of addons better than their names.
    – second issue regards “install buttons”. For me old versions of them were great.

    Thanks.

  35. Nanners wrote on :

    I really do love the collector but as of upgrading to 3.5 it seems to have broken. After logging in it shows the getting started screen, even though I have several add-on packs added. This happens with both my computer at home and at work.

  36. Andrei Neculau wrote on :

    Broken. Version 1.0.3. Firefox 3.5.1

    1. If you are logged in on AMO, the Login loader keeps spinning, nothing happens, although if you open the extension’s options, you can see that you are logged in.

    2. If you log out manually from AMO, and then try to log in from the extension, it seems to works, yet no subscriptions are downloaded.
    Debugging shows
    bandwagon(1): Could not update collections list: Error 1401: unauthorized

    It is my personal opinion that developing an extension that fails so miserably… raises questions regarding the whole of Mozilla’s coding practices..

    PS: no. I do not want to register yet another account on a website (bugzilla), just to tell other people that they failed. Heard of OpenID? FacebookConnect?…

  37. James wrote on :

    Amazing and usefull addon for firefox. That’s the reason I use firefox than the other web browser beside the secure and compablity.

  38. Layla wrote on :

    Have loved Firefox from day 1, but when I downloaded the latest version I found it is not compatible with my Norton Identity Safe which is very important to me, as I am sure to everyone using Norton. This is a shame as your earlier versions were compatible. I hate internet explorer but looks like I will have to go back to using it if you don’t make a fix for this.

  39. Troy Millington (FractalMode) wrote on :

    Add-On Collections are a wonderful addition to Firefox. I hope you will reconsider adding the Fashion Your Firefox functionality to Addon Collections. FEBE has the ability to rollup all of your extensions into one super extension. Perhaps a solution to your dilemma referenced http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.amo/browse_thread/thread/d798c7e62a6f6343 would be to flag/tag those addons which are willing and able to installed in an all-at-once manner a la FYF.

  40. tom.etc wrote on :

    using AOC 1.0.3 on FF 3.5.1, it never sees any of the collections i’ve designated as favorites. I cannot add an autopublisher either. I am getting frustrated b/c i feel like i am missing out and cannot find information regarding anyone else’s experience with issues likes mine.

  41. SergejsU wrote on :

    I really liked Add-On collector’s auto-publisher function! Thanks.

    However installing back 22 add-ons was a bit of pain…

    Hope there will be found turnaround about installing multiple add-ons in one go!

    In respect of catalog of add-ons, for almost 6,000 of them there are should be probably much more detailed categories in catalog, with an aim that one lower level folder would contain not so many add-ons to get an easy preview, say not more than 2-3 pages?

  42. Hildy wrote on :

    I’m having the same problems a couple other people mentioned. Using AOC 1.0.3 on FF 3.5.2, it sometimes takes multiple attempts to log in. Once logged in, I never see any of the collections I’ve marked as favorites. Has anyone figured out what the problem is and how to fix it?

  43. g.toms wrote on :

    I am using Addon-Collector version 1.0.4, When I want to see the addons under my favorite collection, “Firefox for Teachers!” , I get the error message “This collection cannot be displayed because it contains error.”,
    However I can see the addons under my other favourite collections.

  44. Richard Davies wrote on :

    I also recently started getting the “This collection cannot be displayed because it contains errors.” message when attempting to view my collection in the Addon-Collector. (I can view it on the web just fine…) Does anyone know how to fix this?

  45. Richard Davies wrote on :

    I started manually removing extensions from my collection (via the web) and was able to isolate an extension that was causing this error message. It was an extension called “shareaholic”. When I would add this to my collection, I would receive an “Error 1500” and then my addon collector would give the aforementioned “This collection cannot be displayed” message. As soon as I would remove this extension from the collection, it would work again.

  46. LL25255252 wrote on :

    The last commentator is right. After removing Shareaholic addon from the collection the “This collection cannot be displayed because it contains error” problem is solved.

  47. Jay wrote on :

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for the heads up. We’re looking into it. I believe it is an AMO bug.

    Jay

  48. Jay wrote on :

    Hi Richard, we fixed the issue! It was AMO related.

  49. trolley wrote on :

    I’m getting the same “This collection cannot be displayed because it contains error” message but I’m not using the Shareaholic addon. Any other suggestions?

  50. Till wrote on :

    Same here!

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