February 2016 Featured Add-ons

Scott DeVaney

1

Pick of the Month: Proxy Switcher

by rNeomy
Access all of Firefox’s proxy settings right from the toolbar panel.

“Exactly what I need to switch on the fly from Uni/Work to home.”

Featured: cyscon Security Shield

by patugo GmbH
Cybercrime protection against botnets, malvertising, data breaches, phishing, and malware.

“The plugin hasn’t slowed down my system in any way. Was especially impressed with the Breach notification feature—pretty sure that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Featured: Decentraleyes

by Thomas Rientjes
Evade ad tracking without breaking the websites you visit. Decentraleyes works great with other content blockers.

“I’m using it in combination with uBlock Origin as a perfect complement.”

Featured: VimFx

by akhodakivkiy, lydell
Reduce mouse usage with these Vim-style keyboard shortcuts for browsing and navigation.

“It’s simple and the keybindings are working very well. Nice work!!”

Featured: Saved Password Editor

by Daniel Dawson
Adds the ability to create and edit entries in the password manager.

“Makes it very easy to login to any sight, saves the time of manually typing everything in.”

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, so there’s always an opportunity to participate. Stayed tuned to this blog for the next call for applications.

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

WebExtensions in Firefox 46

Andy McKay

5

We last updated you on our progress with WebExtensions when Firefox 45 landed in Developer Edition (Aurora), and today we have an update for Firefox 46, which landed in Developer Edition last week.

While WebExtensions will remain in an alpha state in Firefox 46, we’ve made lots of progress, with 40 bugs closed since the last update. As of this update, we are still on track for a milestone release in Firefox 48 when it hits Developer Edition. We encourage you to get involved early with WebExtensions, since this is a great time to participate in its evolution.

A focus of this release was quality. All code in WebExtensions now pass eslint, and we’ve fixed a number of issues with intermittent test failures and timeouts. We’ve also introduced new APIs in this release that include:

  • chrome.notifications.getAll
  • chrome.runtime.sendMessage
  • chrome.webRequest.onBeforeRedirect
  • chrome.tabs.move

Create customizable views

In addition to the new APIs, support was added for second-level popup views in bug 1217129, giving WebExtension add-ons the ability to create customizable views.

Check out this example from the Whimsy add-on:
browser-action-1217129

Create an iFrame within a page

The ability to create an iFrame that is connected to the content script was added in bug 1214658. This allows you to create an iFrame within a rendered page, which gives WebExtension add-ons the ability to add additional information to a page, such as an in-page toolbar:

demo-1214658

For additional information on how to use these additions to WebExtensions, (and WebExtensions in general), please check out the examples on MDN or GitHub.

Upload and sign on addons.mozilla.org (AMO)

WebExtension add-ons can now be uploaded to and signed on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). This means you can sign WebExtension add-ons for release. Listed WebExtension add-ons can be uploaded to AMO, reviewed, published and distributed to Firefox users just like any other add-on. The use of these add-ons on AMO is still in beta and there are areas we need to improve, so your feedback is appreciated in the forum or as bugs.

Get involved

Over the coming months we will work our way towards a beta in Firefox 47 and the first stable release in Firefox 48. If you’d like to jump in to help, or get your APIs added, please join us on our mailing list or at one of our public meetings, or check out this wiki page.

Firefox Accounts on AMO

Andy McKay

9

Update: Firefox Accounts is now live on AMO.

In order to provide a more consistent experience across all Mozilla products and services, addons.mozilla.org (AMO) will soon begin using Firefox Accounts.

During the first stage of the migration, which will begin in a few weeks, you can continue logging in with your current credentials and use the site as you normally would. Once you’re logged in, you will be asked to log in with a Firefox Account to complete the migration. If you don’t have a Firefox Account, you can easily create one during this process.

Once you are done with the migration, everything associated with your AMO account, such as add-ons you’ve authored or comments you’ve written, will continue to be linked to your account.

A few weeks after that, when enough people have migrated to Firefox Accounts, old AMO logins will be disabled. This means when you log in with your old AMO credentials, you won’t be able to use the site until you follow the prompt to log in with or create a Firefox Account.

For more information, please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below, or head over to the forums. We’re here to help, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Frequently asked questions

What happens to my add-ons when I convert to a new Firefox Account?

All the add-ons are accessible to the new Firefox Account.

Why do I want a Firefox Account?

Firefox Accounts is the identity system that is used to synchronize Firefox across multiple devices. Many Firefox products and services will soon begin migrating over, simplifying your sign-in process and making it easier for you to manage all your accounts.

Where do I change my password?

Once you have a Firefox Account, you can go to accounts.firefox.com, sign in, and click on Password.

If you have forgotten your current password:

  1. Go to the AMO login page
  2. Click on I forgot my password
  3. Proceed to reset the password

Add-ons Update – Week of 2016/01/27

Jorge Villalobos

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.

The Review Queues

In the past 3 weeks, 1446 add-ons were reviewed:

  • 1068 (74%) were reviewed in less than 5 days.
  • 74 (5%) were reviewed between 5 and 10 days.
  • 304 (21%) were reviewed after more than 10 days.

There are 212 listed add-ons and 2 unlisted add-ons awaiting review.

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 44 Compatibility

This compatibility blog post is up. The bulk compatibility validation was run last week. Some of you may have received more than one email because the first validation run had many false positives due to a bug and many add-ons failed validation incorrectly.

If you’re using the Add-ons SDK to build your add-on, make sure you’re using the latest version of jpm, since some of the JavaScript syntax changes in 44 affect add-ons built with cfx and older versions of jpm.

As always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta and Firefox Developer Edition 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

The wiki page on Extension Signing has information about the timeline, as well as responses to some frequently asked questions. The current plan is to remove the signing override preference in Firefox 46 (updated from the previous deadline of Firefox 44).

Electrolysis

Electrolysis, also known as e10s, is the next major compatibility change coming to Firefox. Firefox will run on multiple processes now, running content code in a different process than browser code.

This is the time to test your add-ons and make sure they continue working in Firefox. We’re holding regular office hours to help you work on your add-ons, so please drop in on Tuesdays and chat with us!

WebExtensions

If you read the post on the future of add-on development, you should know there are big changes coming. We’re working on the new WebExtensions API, and we recommend that you start looking into it for your add-ons. You can track progress of its development in http://www.arewewebextensionsyet.com/.

We will be talking about development with WebExtensions in the upcoming FOSDEM. Come hack with us if you’re around!

Add-on Signing Update

Kev Needham

119

In Firefox 43, we made it a default requirement for add-ons to be signed. This requirement can be disabled by toggling a preference that was originally scheduled to be removed in Firefox 44 for release and beta versions (this preference will continue to be available in the Nightly, Developer, and ESR Editions of Firefox for the foreseeable future).

We are delaying the removal of this preference to Firefox 46 for a couple of reasons: We’re adding a feature in Firefox 45 that allows temporarily loading unsigned restartless add-ons in release, which will allow developers of those add-ons to use Firefox for testing, and we’d like this option to be available when we remove the preference. We also want to ensure that developers have adequate time to finish the transition to signed add-ons.

The updated timeline is available on the signing wiki, and you can look up release dates for Firefox versions on the releases wiki. Signing will be mandatory in the beta and release versions of Firefox from 46 onwards, at which point unbranded builds based on beta and release will be provided for testing.

Archiving AMO Stats

Andy McKay

One of the advantages of listing an add-on or theme on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) is that you’ll get statistics on your add-on’s usage. These stats, which are covered by the Mozilla privacy policy, provide add-on developers with information such as the number of downloads and daily users, among other insights.

Currently, the data that generates these statistics can go back as far as 2007, as we haven’t had an archiving policy. As a result, statistics take up the vast majority of disk space in our database and require a significant amount of processing and operations time. Statistics over a year old are very rarely accessed, and the value of their generation is very low, while the costs are increasing.

To reduce our operating and development costs, and increase the site’s reliability for developers, we are introducing an archiving policy.

In the coming weeks, statistics data over one year old will no longer be stored in the AMO database, and reports generated from them will no longer be accessible through AMO’s add-on statistics pages. Instead, the data will be archived and maintained as plain text files, which developers can download. We will write a follow-up post when these archives become available.

If you’ve chosen to keep your add-on’s statistics private, they will remain private when stats are archived. You can check your privacy settings by going to your add-on in the Developer Hub, clicking on Edit Listing, and then Technical Details.

editlisting

The total number of users and other cumulative counts on add-ons and themes will not be affected and these will continue to function.

If you have feedback or concerns, please head to our forum post on this topic.

Add-ons Update – Week of 2016/01/06

Jorge Villalobos

8

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.

The Review Queues

In the past 3 weeks, 1801 add-ons were reviewed:

  • 1679 (93%) were reviewed in less than 5 days.
  • 25 (1%) were reviewed between 5 and 10 days.
  • 97 (5%) were reviewed after more than 10 days.

There are 471 listed add-ons awaiting review, and 6 unlisted add-ons awaiting review.

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 44 Compatibility

This compatibility blog post is live. The bulk compatibility validation should be run in the coming weeks.

As always, we recommend that you test your add-ons on Beta and Firefox Developer Edition 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

The wiki page on Extension Signing has information about the timeline, as well as responses to some frequently asked questions. The current plan is to remove the signing override preference in Firefox 44.

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 is the time to test your add-ons and make sure they continue working in Firefox. We’re holding regular office hours to help you work on your add-ons, so please drop in on Tuesdays and chat with us!

WebExtensions

If you read the post on the future of add-on development, you should know there are big changes coming. We’re investing heavily on the new WebExtensions API, so we strongly recommend that you start looking into it for your add-ons. You can track progress of its development in http://www.arewewebextensionsyet.com/.

We will be talking about development with WebExtensions in the upcoming FOSDEM. Come hack with us if you’re around!

January 2016 Featured Add-ons

Amy Tsay

4

Pick of the Month: uMatrix

by Raymond Hill
uMatrix is a point-and-click matrix-based firewall, putting you in full control of where your browser is allowed to connect, what type of data it is allowed to download, and what it is allowed to execute.

“It may be the perfect advanced users control extension.”

Featured: HTTPS Everywhere

by EFF Technologists
HTTPS Everywhere protects your communications by enabling HTTPS encryption automatically on sites that are known to support it, even when you type URLs or follow links that omit the “https:” prefix.

Featured: Add to Search Bar

by Dr. Evil
Make any pages’ search functionality available in the Search Bar (or “search box”).

Featured: Duplicate Tabs Closer

by Peuj
Detects and automatically closes duplicated tabs.

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, so there’s always an opportunity to participate. Stayed tuned to this blog for the next call for applications.

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

Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 44

Jorge Villalobos

26

Firefox 44 will be released on January 26th. Here’s the list of changes that went into this version that can affect add-on compatibility. There is more information available in Firefox 44 for Developers, so you should also give it a look.

General

JavaScript

Theme

Signing

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything missing or incorrect on these lists. If your add-on breaks on Firefox 44, I’d like to know.

The automatic compatibility validation and upgrade for add-ons on AMO will happen in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on your email if you have an add-on listed on our site with its compatibility set to Firefox 43.

Loading temporary add-ons

Andy McKay

17

With Firefox 43 we’ve enabled add-on signing, which requires add-ons installed in Firefox to be signed. If you are running the Nightly or Dev Edition of Firefox, you can disable this globally by accessing about:config and changing the xpinstall.signatures.required value to false. In Firefox 43 and 44 you can do this on the Release and Beta versions, respectively.

In the future, however, disabling signing enforcement won’t be an option for the Beta and Release versions as Firefox will remove this option. We’ve released a signing API and the jpm sign command which will allow developers to get a signed add-on to test on stable releases of Firefox, but there is another solution in Firefox 45 aimed at add-on developers, which gives you the ability to run an unsigned, restartless add-on temporarily.

To enable this, visit a new page in Firefox, about:debugging:

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 8.07.12 AM

In my case I’ve got a new version of an add-on I’m developing; a new WebExtension called “Sort Tabs by URL”. To load this unsigned version temporarily, click on the “Load Temporary Add-on” and select the .xpi file for the add-on. This will load an unsigned add-on temporarily, for the duration of the current browser session. You can see this in about:debugging and also by the green button in the toolbar that the add-on creates:

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 8.07.42 AM

The add-on is only loaded temporarily; once you restart your browser, the add-on will no longer be loaded, and you’ll have to re-load it from the add-ons manager.

If you don’t want to go to the effort of making an .xpi of your add-on while developing – you can just select a file from within the add-on, and it will be loaded temporarily without having to make a zip file.

One last note, if you have an add-on installed and then install the an add-on temporarily with the same id then the older add-on is disabled and the new temporary add-on is used.