Add-ons Update – Week of 2015/07/01

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.

Add-ons Forum

As we announced before, there’s a new add-ons community forum for all topics related to AMO or add-ons in general. The Add-ons category is already the most active one on the community forum, so thank you all for your contributions! The old forum is still available in read-only mode.

The Review Queues

  • Most nominations for full review are taking less than 10 weeks to review.
  • 272 nominations in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most updates are being reviewed within 8 weeks.
  • 159 updates in the queue awaiting review.
  • Most preliminary reviews are being reviewed within 10 weeks.
  • 295 preliminary review submissions in the queue awaiting review.

A number of factors have lead to the current state of the queues: increased submissions, decreased volunteer reviewer participation, and a Mozilla-wide event that took most of our attention last week. We’re back and our main focus are the review queues. We have a new reviewer on our team, who will hopefully make a difference in the state of the queues.

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 40 Compatibility

The Firefox 40 compatibility blog post is up. The automatic compatibility validation will be run in a few weeks.

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

There’s a small change to the timeline: Firefox 40 will only warn about unsigned extensions (for all channels), Firefox 41 will disable unsigned extensions  by default unless a preference is toggled (on Beta and Release), and Firefox 42 will not have the preference. This means that we’ll have an extra release cycle before signatures are enforced by default.

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.

2 responses

  1. Scourge wrote on :

    Hi Firefox,

    Our organization revolves around a small game, CyberNations.net. We have played this game for nearly 10 years, and our organization has a history in other online RP games, such as NationStates, dating back years before that.

    For nearly a decade, we have developed our own third party software to help our members play CyberNations in the most efficient way possible. We have developed an extensive server-side program for use on our site.

    We have been working for the past several years on an add-on that would work within the Terms of Service for CyberNations.net, as well as communicate with our servers, to provide our members a competitive edge in the game. The new Firefox criteria forcing us to have this add-on signed and approved by your company will force our users to switch to Chrome. This will likely cause us to scrap several years worth of work.

    We cannot provide the test account necessary for the review process. Providing this account, as we do not own one of the sites involved, CyberNations.net, would violate the Terms of Service of that site and result in severe repercussions for our group.

    We do not see any way that your structure will allow for us to continue the hard work that we have put in. We do not see any way that your structure will allow for us to have this add-on.

    I have an Android phone. I have Gmail. I use Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Music. This is why I use Firefox. I have no real choice but to put the majority of my data in the hands of Google. I have always trusted Firefox to be that true alternative, that bastion of freedom on my machine, where I know for a fact none of my data is being maliciously harvested. I do not want to have to use Chrome. However, I will not have a choice in a few months. Despite our good intentions, we will be forced to switch.

    Even if we could do the things you are asking for, we would not make it in by the deadline for release given your queue times. And as we are in development, we cannot wait 8 weeks at a time to have our updates approved. I don’t really see how anyone, aside from the largest developers for the largest add-ons, can wait 8 weeks at a time for update approval.

    Please tell me there will be an alternative. Please tell me that I, like so many other users, will not be forced to stop updating Firefox, or switch to a developmental version, or switch to *gasp* Chrome.

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      You can submit the add-on for preliminary review, which doesn’t require an account to pass review. Or you can also submit it as unlisted and distribute it yourself. The unlisted queues are very quick at the moment.