Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 55

Firefox 55 will be released on August 8th. Here’s the list of changes that went into this version that can affect add-on compatibility. There is more information available in Firefox 55 for Developers, so you should also give it a look. Also, if you haven’t yet, please read our roadmap to Firefox 57.

General

Recently, we turned on a restriction on Nightly that only allows multiprocess add-ons to be enabled. You can use a preference to toggle it. Also, Firefox 55 is the first version to move directly from Nightly to Beta after the removal of the Aurora channel.

XPCOM and Modules

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything missing or incorrect on these lists. We’d like to know if your add-on breaks on Firefox 55.

The automatic compatibility validation and upgrade for add-ons on AMO will happen in a few weeks, so keep an eye on your email if you have an add-on listed on our site with its compatibility set to Firefox 54.

Add-ons Update – 2017/05

Here’s the state of the add-ons world this month.

The Road to Firefox 57 explains what developers should look forward to in regards to add-on compatibility for the rest of the year. So please give it a read if you haven’t already.

The Review Queues

In the past month, our team reviewed 1,132 listed add-on submissions:

  • 944 in fewer than 5 days (83%).
  • 21 between 5 and 10 days (2%).
  • 167 after more than 10 days (15%).

969 listed add-ons are awaiting review.

For two weeks we’ve been automatically approving add-ons that meet certain criteria. It’s a small initial effort (~60 auto-approvals) which will be expanded in the future. We’re also starting an initiative this week to clear most of the review queues by the end of the quarter. The change should be noticeable in the next couple of weeks.

However, this doesn’t mean we won’t need volunteer reviewers in the future. If you’re an add-on developer and are looking for contribution opportunities, please consider joining us. Visit our wiki page for more information.

Compatibility

We published the blog post for 54 and ran the bulk validation script. Additionally, we’ll publish the add-on compatibility post for Firefox 55 later this week.

Make sure you’ve tested your add-ons and either use WebExtensions or set the multiprocess compatible flag in your manifest to ensure they continue working in Firefox. And as always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta.

You may also want  to review the post about upcoming changes to the Developer Edition channel. Firefox 55 is the first version that will move directly from Nightly to Beta.

If you’re an add-ons user, you can install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter to identify and report any add-ons that aren’t working anymore.

Recognition

We would like to thank the following people for their recent contributions to the add-ons world:

  • psionikangel
  • lavish205
  • Tushar Arora
  • raajitr
  • ccarruitero
  • Christophe Villeneuve
  • Aayush Sanghavi
  • Martin Giger
  • Joseph Frazier
  • erosman
  • zombie
  • Markus Stange
  • Raajit Raj
  • Swapnesh Kumar Sahoo

You can read more about their work in our recognition page.

Incompatible change to sessions.restore API in Firefox 54

The add-on compatibility update for Firefox 54 was published a while back, but a backward-incompatible change to the sessions.restore WebExtensions API was uplifted to 54, currently in Beta and set to be released on June 13th.

sessions.restore now returns an object instead of an array. With this change, the API now matches the spec and its behavior in Google Chrome. If you use this API in your WebExtension, this bug report has all the details.

Thank You to Our Featured Add-ons Advisory Board

Every six months we assemble a new group of add-on experts from the community—be they developers themselves or simply super fans—to help curate each month’s new featured add-ons. The project involves scrutinizing a sizable batch of content every few weeks. Our most recent Feature Board recently wrapped up a six-month tour and I’d like to call them out for special commendation…

Thank you very much to Sarah Avilov, Karthic Keyan, Ashli Rose Mathew M, Bhuvana Meenakshi, Viswaprasath, Prasanth P, Santosh Viswanatham, Roopak Suresh, and our longtime community editorial leaders Michael Balasz and Swarnava Sengupta. Your discerning eye for content has helped us highlight some truly awesome add-ons these past six months.

As the entire addons.mozilla.org (AMO) ecosystem fully transitions to WebExtensions, the work of identifying feature-worthy content has become even more critical. We recently updated our featuring criteria to note that we are now only accepting add-ons built with WebExtensions API for future editorial consideration.

May’s Featured Add-ons

Firefox Logo on blue background

Pick of the Month: Fast Reverse Image Search

by Jeremy Schomery
Say you find a great image on the Web, but there’s no context around it or credit to its source. How can you learn more about this remarkable vision? Fast Reverse Image Search addresses this puzzlement.

“This is absolutely superb.”

Featured: Pick & Save Images

by Merci Chao
With one click this add-on arranges all images from any Web page and lets you select those you want to save.

“I’ve used several ‘image-saving’ type extensions for Firefox over the years, but for me, this one beats all the others.”

Nominate your favorite add-ons

Featured add-ons are selected by a community board made up of add-on developers, users, and fans. Board members change every six months. Here’s further information on AMO’s featured content policies.

If you’d like to nominate an add-on for featuring, please send it to amo-featured [at] mozilla [dot] org for the board’s consideration. We welcome you to submit your own add-on!

Add-ons Update – 2017/04

Here’s the state of the add-ons world this month.

The Road to Firefox 57 (recently updated) explains what developers should look forward to in regards to add-on compatibility for the rest of the year. Please give it a read if you haven’t already.

The Review Queues

In the past month, 1,209 listed add-on submissions were reviewed:

  • 984 (81%) were reviewed in fewer than 5 days.
  • 31 (3%) were reviewed between 5 and 10 days.
  • 194 (16%) were reviewed after more than 10 days.

There are 821 listed add-ons awaiting review.

If you’re an add-on developer and are looking for contribution opportunities, please consider joining us. Add-on reviewers are critical for our success, and can earn cool gear for their work. Visit our wiki page for more information.

Compatibility

The blog post for 53 is up and the bulk validation was run. Here’s the post for Firefox 54 and the bulk validation is pending.

Multiprocess Firefox is enabled for some users, and will be deployed for most users very soon. Make sure you’ve tested your add-on and either use WebExtensions or set the multiprocess compatible flag in your add-on manifest.

As always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta to make sure that they continue to work correctly. You may also want  to review the post about upcoming changes to the Developer Edition channel.

End users can install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter to identify and report any add-ons that aren’t working anymore.

Recognition

We would like to thank the following people for their recent contributions to the add-ons world:

  • bkzhang
  • Aayush Sanghavi
  • saintsebastian
  • Thomas Wisniewski
  • Michael Kohler
  • Martin Giger
  • Andre Garzia
  • jxpx777
  • wildsky

You can read more about their work in our recognition page.

Apply to Join the AMO Feature Board

Help people discover add-ons that make this browser do glorious things.

Do you have an eye for awesome add-ons? Can you distinguish a decent ad blocker from a stellar one? Interested in making a huge impact for millions of Firefox users? If so, please consider applying to join AMO’s Feature Board.

The board is comprised of a small group of community contributors who help select each month’s new featured add-ons. Every board serves for six months, then a new group of community curators take over. Now the time has come to assemble a new group of talented contributors.

Anyone from the add-ons community is welcome to apply: power users, theme designers, developers, and evangelists. Priority will be given to applicants who have not served on the board before, followed by those from previous boards, and finally from the outgoing board.

This page provides more information on the duties of a board member. To be considered, please email us at amo-featured [at] mozilla [dot] org and tell us how you’re involved with AMO and why you think you’d make a strong content curator. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 23:59 PDT. The new board will be announced shortly thereafter.

We look forward to hearing from you!

AMO Has a New Look on Android

The mobile version of addons.mozilla.org (AMO) recently debuted a new appearance. It’s not a complete redesign, but rather the start of an iterative process that will take months to fully transform AMO for mobile. The new look is also a preview of what’s to come for desktop AMO. Once the mobile design elements mature, we’ll apply the same concepts to desktop, likely sometime later this year.

“Parity between the two platforms is a high priority,” says Sr. Visual Designer Philip Walmsley. “We’re using mobile to test and learn what works, and uplifting that into the desktop designs. And anything new we discover along the way on desktop will be designed back into mobile, as well.”

Our main goal was to make browsing add-ons more intuitive and effortless. To that end, the new design presents content in a cleaner, more streamlined manner. There are fewer buttons to tap, but the ones that remain are bold and clear.

Illustrated in the images above, the homepage displays a subset of categories represented primarily though iconography… The density of information on an add-on detail page is more balanced now, with only essential information in clear view… and theme previews are bigger and screenshots more prominent.

There’s a bit more color, too. In general much of the aesthetic was in need of a modernizing overhaul. These recent changes are just the start. Plenty more to come. If you’re exploring the new AMO on your Android device and spot a bug, please feel free to let us know about it.

Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 54

If you haven’t yet, please read our roadmap to Firefox 57.

Firefox 54 will be released on June 13th. Here’s the list of changes that went into this version that can affect add-on compatibility. There is more information available in Firefox 54 for Developers, so you should also give it a look.

General

  • Remove -moz-appearance. This doesn’t apply to CSS sheets loaded using a chrome:// URL, but it does affect inline CSS styles in XUL and JavaScript code.

XPCOM and Modules

WebExtensions

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything missing or incorrect on these lists. If your add-on breaks on Firefox 54, I’d like to know.

The automatic compatibility validation and upgrade for add-ons on AMO will happen in a few weeks, so keep an eye on your email if you have an add-on listed on our site with its compatibility set to Firefox 53.

“Build Your Own WebExtension Add-on” Campaigns Around the World

We recently partnered with the Mozilla Open Innovation team to launch an activity that would introduce developers to WebExtensions and guide them through the experience of creating new add-ons with the APIs. The “Build Your Own WebExtension Add-on For Firefox” activity launched in February as part of Mozilla’s Activate campaign to mobilize Mozillians around the world to have impact in key areas of the organization’s mission. This activity will run until the end of 2017.

Mozilla communities in Tamilnadu, Switzerland, and Brazil answered the call-to-action and recently hosted events using the Activate curriculum. To date, 54 people have attended these events, and participants have submitted seven new add-ons to addons.mozilla.org. (If you are curious to see what they have built, take a look at this this collection on AMO.)

If you’re interested in hosting an event, read on to find out how our communities have organized their events, and what they would recommend for best practices!

Tamilnadu

Viswaprasanth Ks has been a passionate member of the add-ons community since he started contributing to Mozilla in 2012. He recently led an add-ons track at the Tamilnadu community’s 24 Hour Hackathon, where 25 participants brainstormed and created their own extensions to solve real-world problems.

What we learned

Encourage participants to learn JavaScript and have them start learning extension development from the mdn-web extension repo, recommends Viswaprasanth. Those with less familiarity with HTML and JavaScript might need additional support to complete the activity. Plus, the examples listed in the mdn-web extension repo have been carefully evaluated as being good starting places for beginning developers.

Picture of participants at 24 Hour Hackathon

Photo by Viswaprasanth Ks

Switzerland

Michael Kohler slated this activity for one of Mozilla Switzerland’s monthly meet-ups and tapped long-time add-ons contributor Martin Giger to mentor a group of 10 participants. Attendees found the workshop to be a relaxing introduction to extension development and left the event feeling empowered and confident in their abilities to create add-ons using WebExtensions APIs.

What we learned

Anticipate that it will take 90 minutes to complete Part I of the curriculum. “We used around 90 minutes to get to a working first example, including the intro,” Michael reports. If you are only able to complete Part I during an event, consider scheduling a follow-up event where participants can continue creating extensions in a fun, supportive atmosphere.

Martin Giger speaks at Mozilla Switzerland meet up

Photo by Michael Kohler

Brazil

What can 22 Brazilians and 30 liters of beer accomplish in one day? Quite a bit, according to Andre Garzia’s blog post about his recent event. After a discussion about extension development and a group brainstorming session, participants organized themselves into small groups and worked on ten add-ons.

What we learned

Provide some starter ideas to those who want to go beyond the initial tutorial and build their own original add-on. Andre writes in his post, “We knew from the start that telling people to come out with add-on ideas out of the blue would not be an effective way to engage everybody. People have different ways to come up with ideas and some don’t enjoy coming up with an idea on the spot like this. To help people out, we made a clothesline where we hung add-on ideas up. Each idea had a description, suggested APIs to use and a difficulty/complexity rate. Attendees were encouraged to browse our hanging ideas and take one to implement if they felt like it.”

Note: if you need help developing a list of starter ideas, take a look at this list of requests from users on Discourse.

Printed ideas for add-ons on a clothesline

Photo by Andre Garzia

Have you conducted an add-ons development workshop for your community or are you interested in hosting one? Tell us about it on Discourse!

The add-ons team would like to extend a hearty thank you to Viswaprasanth Ks and Daniele Scasciafratte for providing input and tutorials for the “Build Your Own WebExtension Add-on” activity, and to Michael Kohler, Viswaprasanth Ks, and Andrew Garzia for coordinating these events.