One of the best features of Firefox 4 is the entirely re-designed Add-ons Manager that displays more details than ever before about the add-ons you have installed. Screenshots, ratings, reviews, detailed descriptions, and even support for Contributions are all included. In order to power this feature, Firefox checks the AMO API once a day to ask for any updated information about your add-ons, including add-ons that may not be hosted there.
We love add-ons and want everyone to discover how customizable Firefox is, but we also know there are some add-ons that cause extreme slowdowns in Firefox because of poor coding practices, in extreme cases adding 30 seconds to start-up time. Unfortunately, we usually don’t learn about these problems until it’s too late and already affecting a large number of users. That’s why we recently modified the daily add-on metadata ping in Firefox 4 to also include how long it last took Firefox to start up. With this new information, we can identify add-ons that are causing significant performance problems in Firefox before they become widespread problems, and work with the developer to correct the issues.
We hope you enjoy these new features of the Add-ons Manager and look forward to improving the Firefox experience for users with slow add-ons installed.