Add-ons Update – Week of 2015/06/10

I post these updates every 3 weeks to inform add-on developers about the status of the review queues, add-on compatibility, and other happenings in the add-ons world.

The Review Queues

  • Most nominations for full review are taking less than 10 weeks to review.
  • 233 nominations in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most updates are being reviewed within 7 weeks.
  • 101 updates in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most preliminary reviews are being reviewed within 10 weeks.
  • 268 preliminary review submissions in the queue awaiting review.

If you’re an add-on developer and would like to see add-ons reviewed faster, please consider joining us. Add-on reviewers get invited to Mozilla events and earn cool gear with their work. Visit our wiki page for more information.

Firefox 39 Compatibility

The Firefox 39 compatibility blog post is up. The automatic compatibility validation will be run probably later this week.

Firefox 40 Compatibility

The Firefox 40 compatibility blog post is also coming up.

As always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta and Firefox Developer Edition (formerly known as Aurora) to make sure that they continue to work correctly. End users can install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter to identify and report any add-ons that aren’t working anymore.

Extension Signing

We announced that we will require extensions to be signed in order for them to continue to work in release and beta versions of Firefox.

Yesterday I posted this update of where we are with signing on AMO. In a nutshell, all AMO extensions for Firefox that passed review have been signed, and all new versions will be signed once they pass review. We have enabled Unlisted extension submission, but it’s currently under testing, so expect some bugs. The major issues will be resolved in the coming week and we’ll make an announcement on this blog to indicate we’re ready for your submissions.

The wiki page on Extension Signing has information about its timeline, as well as responses to some frequently asked questions.

Electrolysis

Electrolysis, also known as e10s, is the next major compatibility change coming to Firefox. In a nutshell, Firefox will run on multiple processes now, running content code in a different process than browser code. This should improve responsiveness and overall stability, but it also means many add-ons will need to be updated to support this.

We will be talking more about these changes in this blog in the future. For now we recommend you start looking at the available documentation.

14 responses

  1. Fighting4Freedom wrote on :

    Mozilla threatens to take down the previously featured addon “Classic Theme Restorer” in a move of fascism and censorship:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/versions/?page=1#version-1.3.3

    STOP THIS AGGRESSION AGAINST THE WILL OF THE USERS!

    Respect the Mozilla Manifesto!

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      Wow. Well, it was just a misunderstanding between the developer and us. They don’t need to change anything about their add-on in order to pass review on AMO. The is a problem with beta versions that the developer ran into and made him believe that we had changed our policies, but we haven’t.

      1. Jokester wrote on :

        But but Mozilla is now literally Hitler and….

        1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

          😛

  2. toady wrote on :

    Hi Jorge Villalobos

    Any news when the faster review system is coming because the current system is far to slow for how fast Firefox is updated/changed.

    Waiting 2 months for an addon update to be reviewed there could have been 4-8 browser updates in this time making the addon update invalid before its even approved and rolled out.

    I hope somethings coming to fix this soon

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      We have a new member joining our full time team next week. That should definitely be enough to have very quick Unlisted add-on reviews, and we hope it will significantly improve regular add-on review times as well. We’re working on other ideas to improve volunteer contribution, but that’s always difficult to reliably improve.

  3. Max wrote on :

    Why is Mozilla threatening to kill addons like CTR and TMP?
    Do you want to lose the remaining 10% marketshare to Google, too?

    1. erenwashere wrote on :

      Wow, that’s really a constructive criticism, bro.

  4. Carl wrote on :

    How can this system continue to inspire more developers to contribute or continue publishing to the add-on market when right from the first publishing step, the preliminary review option – which trades some features for faster reviewing – is as slow as the full review process? And the update times are taking almost 2 months, which is so slow that the browser itself updates 3-4 times before the developer has a chance of getting the updated version of his software to his users for a version that is already outdated?

    Can’t you guys really see that these silly review steps are seriously damaging the Firefox audience in favor of another quicker and more practical browser?

    The current system is making developers quit supporting Firefox, for example: https://www.omniref.com/blog/blog/2014/09/08/writing-extensions-for-firefox-is-barely-worth-the-trouble/

    which is one of the worst signs showing that something is really wrong with the reviewing process, at its core.

    All of this is really making me consider not to support Firefox as well, especially since my add-on hasn’t even been preliminary reviewed yet after 1 month waiting with more than 15 new add-on versions updated, none of which reaches the add-on users because it won’t auto-update if it is not reviewed, the users have to visit the add-on page to check for new versions. Until then I have to keep receiving bug reports of very old versions and reply back the same thing over and over again “There is a new version out with that issue fixed, please update to the newest one manually because due to the AMO service it won’t auto update if the add-on hasn’t been reviewed yet”.

    I mean, seriously, a person looks at those numbers, sees that an update approval is taking practically 2 months and both reviewing processes are taking almost 3, and doesn’t even think that something is really wrong here? That this system is so broken that it is actually affecting negatively the Firefox experience?

    It makes me really sad because I love Firefox, but if nothing changes I’m sad to say that I don’t want to continue working on a platform that gives more priority to trivial aspects (which can easily be controlled by the users, just like how Chrome does) instead of usability. Or I might even try the alternative, only provide support for the nightly versions and publish the add-on on my own because otherwise I cannot provide a decent support without obsolete preconceptions/ideals holding me back.

    How awful would it be if in the near future AMO was filled of outdated add-ons and the stable Firefox versions with almost no users because the majority that didn’t leave Firefox migrated their support to Nightly…

  5. nilesh wrote on :

    Is there already a thunderbird add-on to automatically repair INBOX.msf at a regular time-interval?

    If not available, is it theoritically possible to write one?

    Any inputs will be highly appreciated.

  6. Ruby wrote on :

    Hi ,

    I just got a signed extension which is non-AMO.
    But, i got some question want to realize.
    The signed extension have a new folder “META-INF” which is different from what i upload.
    And we install the firefox extension by adding a registry key.
    Did I need to change the installed method since there are something different files from before?
    Because when I finished installed the extension, there is no wording like “signed” from the add-on manager.
    The last question, how could I check if my installed extension get signed or not?

    thank you!!

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      The META-INF directory has the signature information and should be the indication that your XPI was correctly signed. You can also try installing it on Nightly or Developer Edition and make sure there aren’t any warnings. Those are the two Firefox channels that currently have the signature detection code enabled.

      If you need to sideload your add-on (install from an application rather than the web), then you need to choose that option when submitting it. It sounds like you didn’t check that option, which is why you got your extension signed without a manual review (I assume). Extensions that are sideloaded need a code review, which can take a little longer.

      1. Ruby wrote on :

        thanks for the information.

        I could not find any options to modify this sideloaded feature.
        If i want to delete my extension, it would show a warning that i cannot upload the same GUID extension ever.
        Then, how could I re-upload the extension with sideloaded options enable?

        1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

          I think the option should show up if you upload a new version. Alternatively, you can contact us at amo-admins AT mozilla DOT org with the add-on ID and we’ll help you out.