Migrating to WebExtensions? Don’t Forget Your Users

Stranded users feel sadness.

If you’re the developer of a legacy add-on with an aim to migrate to WebExtensions, here are a few tips to consider so your users aren’t left behind.

Port your user data

If your legacy add-on stores user data, we encourage you to take advantage of Embedded WebExtensions to transfer the data to a format that can be used by WebExtensions. This is critical if you want to seamlessly migrate your users—without putting any actionable burden on them—to the new WebExtensions version when it’s ready. (Embedded WebExtensions is a framework that contains your WebExtension inside of a bootstrapped or SDK extension.)

Testing beta versions

If you want to test a WebExtensions version of your add-on with a smaller group of users, you can make use of the beta versions feature on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). This lets you test pre-release beta versions that are signed and available to Firefox users who want to give them a spin. You’ll benefit from real users interacting with your new version and providing valuable feedback—without sacrificing the good reputation and rating of your listed version. We don’t recommend creating a separate listing on release because this will fragment your user base and leave a large number of them behind when Firefox 57 is released.

Don’t leave your users behind

Updating your listing on AMO when your WebExtension is ready is the only way to ensure all of your users move over without any noticeable interruption.

Need further assistance with your migration journey? You can find real-time help during office hours, or by emailing webextensions-support [@] mozilla [dot] org.

7 responses

  1. Carlos wrote on :

    It’s worth to remind that Embedded WebExtensions aren’t available to “non-restartless” add-ons, so generalizing the porting calls to all legacy add-ons can be a bit misleading. Even if the add-on manages to get a WebExtensions version, a lot of these add-ons will not do, at this stage, two full code rewriting (non-restartless –> restartless + embedded –> WE) to port data automatically. Luckily, export/import tools will can be added for some of these cases.

  2. That Random Guy wrote on :

    You should take your own advice and remember that certain extensions do things that you’re not allowing for later. If you were considerate, you’d create an avenue for functionality in regard to soon-to-be outdated add-ons.

  3. Bobby wrote on :

    “Stranded users feel sadness.”, “Don’t leave your users behind.”.

    As someone who has created a few addons (just a few thousand users) and as an user of addons which can’t be ported because the necessary APIs do not exist (and will not exist for the foreseeable future), I find this post funny and insulting at the same time!

    You are leaving *me* behind and I *have* to leave my users behind.

  4. Aris wrote on :

    “Don’t Forget Your Users”

    Mozilla has problem with “forgetting users” of legacy add-ons, have they?

    It is insulting to every author of legacy add-ons to even write such an article. There is no way and most likely will never be porting some popular legacy add-ons to WEs, because of recent stupid decisions Mozilla made independent of the fact there are no APIs to even start with and you or whoever was responsible for the idea behind this article have some nerve for pointing your fingers at add-on developers. That is just disgusting. Shame on you!

  5. Paul wrote on :

    This is ridiculous, Mozilla is forgetting their users and has been forgetting their users time and again for years. Firefox will die for good this time, and eventually it’ll become a true chrome clone, using blink rather than gecko. This is never gonna end. It’s been going on since Mozilla started with the rapid release cycle, and it will never stop.

    Firefox is dead.

  6. Sara Munroe wrote on :

    I think It’s very good. Fire fox will never for get there users.

  7. Ferryman wrote on :

    Agreed, I feel this post as an insult to current users.

    Users that, like myself, have been using FiFo for more than 20 years, being the main reason its configurability, its capability to adapt the browser to my needs. I’ve been recommending FiFo to every user asking for advice on browsers, talking them about the main reason for using it: its addons.

    Now many of the addons I need and use will stop working, and FiFo will become a Google Chrome clone (even with less functionalities, according to AdBlock developer).

    Are you asking not to forget users, when you are IGNORING them? And not only users, but addon developers, who spent many time developing and maintaining their addons, just to see them die.

    They cared about their users. You don’t.

    Shame on you , Mozilla.

    Now tell me valid reason to keep using FiFo if I wont be able to configure it to suit my needs, if there are other browsers that allow the same level, if not more, of configurability. Meh… 😛