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Add-ons at Mozilla All Hands San Francisco

Firefox add-on staff and contributors gathered at Mozilla’s recent All Hands meeting in San Francisco to spend time as a group focusing on our biggest priority this year: the Firefox 57 release in November.

During the course of the week, Mozillians could be found huddled together in various conference spaces discussing blocker issues, making plans, and hacking on code. Here’s a  recap of the week and a glance at what we have in store for the second half of 2017.

Add-on Engineering

Add-on engineers Luca Greco and Kumar McMillan take a break to model new add-on jackets.

For most of the engineering team, the week was a chance to catch up on the backlog of bugs. (The full list of bugs closed during the week can be found here.)

We also had good conversations about altering HTTP Response in the webRequest API, performance problems with the blocklist on Firefox startup, and sketching out a roadmap for web-ext, the command line tool for extension development. We also had a chance to make progress on the browser.proxy API.

Improving (AMO)

Having recently completed the redesign of AMO for Android, we’ve now turned our attention to refreshing the desktop version. Goals for the next few months include modernizing the homepage and making it easier to find great add-ons. Here’s a preview of the new look:


Another area of focus was migrating to Django 1.11. Most of the work on the Django upgrade involved replacing and removing incompatible libraries and customizations, and a lot of progress was made during the week.

Add-on Reviews

Former intern Elvina Valieva helped make improvements to the web-ext command line tool, in addition to doing some impressive marine-themed photoshopping.

Review queue wait times have dramatically improved in the past few weeks, and we’re on track to deliver even more improvements in the next few months. During our week together, we also discussed ideas for improving the volunteer reviewer program and evolving it to stay relevant to the new WebExtensions model. We’ll be reaching out to the review team for feedback in the coming weeks.

Get Involved

Interested in contributing to the add-ons community? Check out our wiki to see a list of current opportunities.


5 comments on “Add-ons at Mozilla All Hands San Francisco”

  1. NikonMike wrote on

    I don’t see much “innovation” in the new AMO mock-up, same content in a dumbed-down, garish look…

    At this stage, as a user facing a painful transition I’d like to see:

    – clear “LEGACY” label on all affected add-ons, like the one in Add-ons Manager in Fx 55 betas. I noticed a “Compatible with Firefox 57+” label which is helpful, and everything without it is obviously(?) Legacy, but it’s good to warn the users as the transitions looms.

    – search/filtering options to only find 57+ or legacy add-ons

    – suggestions for possible 57+ compatible replacement for legacy add-ons

    I’m sure many will be looking for hints and options, among 10 most popular add-ons there’s one (!) Fx57 compatible item… FWIW, I installed Fx 52 ESR as my main browser – 55 betas silently introduce “breaking profile changes” so don’t wait until you can’t downgrade anymore!

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on

      Thanks, NikonMike! It seems like we’re thinking along the same lines. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been working on to help users during the transition:

      – Add-ons that are Incompatible with 57+ have been labeled “Legacy” in about:addons

      – AMO’s search/filters will be updated to only show compatible add-ons. More infomation can be found here:

      – We’re developing a tool to recommend alternative add-ons. More information can be found here:

      – Want to suggest an alternative add-on for the recommendation tool? Let us know on Discourse:

      1. NikonMike wrote on

        Thanks for this info, especially looking forward to search filtering!

  2. Redge wrote on

    I find the mockup a bit uninspired compared to the Chrome Web Store:

    In the Chrome Web Store, big images draw you attention towards extensions and this makes the user want to know more. You click on an image and you get a “popup” with description and images of the extensions. This design is great for discover-ability. On the other hand, in the AMO mockup you see a bunch of rows of icons and that’s it. Pretty bland, in my opinion.

    I would add bigger images and some “carousel” at the top where you see a rotation of popular add-ons. Search field should be more obvious for the user, too.

    1. bouncy wrote on

      I vote against any design that mimics the current chrome store design.