View Source links removed from listing pages

Up until a few weeks ago, AMO had “View Source” links that allowed users to inspect the contents of listed add-ons. Due to performance issues, the viewer didn’t work reliably, so we disabled it to investigate the issue. Unfortunately, the standard error message that was shown when people tried to click the links led to some confusion, and we decided to remove them altogether.

What’s Next for Source Viewing

The open issue has most of the background and some ideas on where to go from here. It’s likely we won’t support this feature again. Instead, we can make it easier for developers to point users to their code repositories. I think this is an improvement, since sites like GitHub can provide a much better source-viewing experience. If you still want to inspect the actual package hosted on AMO, you can download it, decompress it, and use your tool of preference to give it a look.

6 responses

  1. kats wrote on :

    IMO this is a major step backwards. Links to source repositories can be faked, and the source repository may not reflect the same version of code that is in published add-on. uses this model with rust crates and I have found it to produce incorrect results a number of times when looking for crate sources. I much prefer having a reliable source viewer the way AMO does (or did) – and I have used that many times also.

    1. Enver wrote on :

      Now, when everybody writes in ES7, CoffeScript, Typescript with transforming it to ES5 and minifying output – not sure if it is useful as it was.

    2. zenopz wrote on :

      Yes, this is the downgrade and a security problem.
      And, I think, the “performance issues” are curved hands of a programmer, which develops the viewer.

    3. heubergen wrote on :

      As they mentioned, it’s mainly a technical issue and not a political issue.
      The source-code viewer was mainly build for the addon reviewer and not for the public.

      But I agree there should be an option to mark the correct source code for the version that is uploaded to AMO.

  2. Wesley wrote on :

    I see nothing wrong with losing the source viewer. It wasn’t really a feature for average users anyway, so I think that the people who were smart enough to know what’s going on when they read the source code should be more than smart enough to decompress the addon and view it that way.

  3. Charles wrote on :

    The mere fact of having a source viewer available directly in the site (still being bugged), for all add-on package, was one of many little things that said a lot about how Mozilla treated and protected to add-ons users, in comparison with the competition. Losing it, even more now that AMO is changing to a sort of automatic-aproval post-reviewing model, feels as another loss for those users who value the things that made Firefox differed from other browsers…