AMO 3.0 Alpha – Public Preview

We are excited to announce the release of a public preview of the next Our goal is to help Firefox improve the way people use the web. We recognize the important of add-ons and how they contribute to one of Firefox’s strong points — customizability.

Why a Rewrite?

This August we set out to rewrite the existing site in order to replace some outdated code and functionality. Some major features like localization required a rewrite, while other issues such as database structure and extensibility needed to be addressed as well.

For more about our design process and the inner workings of the site, please see our project wiki page where we discuss a lot of the challenges we faced.

New Features


  • Site content l10n using gettext
  • Database-driven dynamic l10n for user-submitted content
  • Better review system
  • Threaded discussion forums to help developers and users support their extensions
  • Unified login — one login for both developer and public tools
  • Better search with proper weighting
  • Site-wide unit and web tests to ensure site quality

A Look Ahead

We are most proud to say that we are going to offer the new site in a variety of languages. In the coming weeks we will be working with contributors from around the world to help us translate the new site. We would like to see translated into every locale Firefox currently ships in.

Justin Scott (fligtar) has been cooking up some awesome developer tools to make developing and submitting add-ons a much better experience. One of the cool tools he has created allows users to actually open an add-on and explore its code directly from a webpage. Check back later for an update on the developer tools.

As a part of the developer tools rewrite, we are revamping the review process. The way add-ons get submitted and reviewed will be more streamlined and will ensure that only cool (and safe!) add-ons get the spotlight. The new process discussed briefly on Justin’s blog will also lighten the load on our reviewer volunteers and prevent delays for submissions.

Tell Us What You Think

As we are in alpha, we would like to hear what you think so we can make improvements. If you find a bug or just want to make a general comment, please post it here or on the consolidated wiki page, and we will follow-up on them. Please note that all of the information in the alpha is reset every 8 minutes.

We look forward to hearing what you think!

Categories: AMO

10 responses

  1. Pingback from Mozilla Webdev » Blog Archive » Localizing AMO3 (part 1: overview and static) on :

    […] Mozilla Webdev Mozilla Web Development Blog « AMO 3.0 Alpha – Public Preview […]

  2. markpeak wrote on :

    Some extensions that have both Mozilla and Firefox version can’t be distinguished from each other. See example:

  3. Max wrote on :

    No RSS 1.0 feeds…

  4. Tristan wrote on :

    Woooohooooo! 🙂

  5. Jon G wrote on :

    Looks good, although I’d put the search box above the fold and add a way to just browse through all the extensions without having to pick a category. The new search looks pretty good too!

    I’m looking forward to the final release! Speaking of which, any ETA, or a date when you think you’ll have an ETA?

  6. Myk Melez wrote on :

    It’s great to see this preview release! I haven’t used it much yet, but here are a couple nits:

    1. As with the current site, the search field is below the fold. I almost always want to search when I visit AMO, so it would be useful for me if the field was somewhere above the fold so I don’t have to scroll down to it (and be puzzled for a second after loading the home page before remembering where it’s located).

    2. The Register and Login links are separated by vertical bars, but the Home, Browse, Search, and Discussions links are separated by dots, so at first I thought the latter were breadcrumbs, and I was confused about why Search was underneath Browse. Since they’re not breadcrumbs, it’s probably better to separate them by bars. (Also, “Login” should probably be the verb “Log In”, since “Register” is a verb.)

    Otherwise it’s very exciting, and I’m looking forward to using it more!

  7. Justin Dolske wrote on :

    Looking good!

    Myk had some good nits, and I’ll add two more…

    * The home page is a bit disorienting. Lots of text, and the most visually prominent stuff tends to be around the “featured extension,” which almost certainly isn’t what I’m looking for and is constantly changing. Something strong and static that lets me know “this is AMO” would be helpful.

    * How is browsing an extension category going to work? There seems to only be a limited subset of extensions on the preview site, so it’s hard to tell. It looks like a category page has 1 major featured extension, 2 minor featured extensions, and then just a list of other extension titles. It’s a bit hard to browser the current AMO, but a big block of title links seems too condensed.

    * Speaking of categories, I don’t see anything that identifies what category (section) I’m looking at.

    This is all minor stuff, though, and there’s probably already a pile of front-end nits to work on before the final release.

    Exploring an extension online would be a *great* feature for developers. I also wonder about how this might help reviews, by enabling a more in-depth check of an extension. For example, scan extensions for noteworthy things (compiled code, XMLHttpRequests, evals, etc.) and linkify for human review.

  8. jMax wrote on :

    IMHO add-ons licenses should be more exposed. The preview layout (as well as the previous add-ons portal) let people install software without knowing their license.

    I suppose I’m not the only one who made the choice of Mozilla because it’s trusty. I’d like to be able to make a similar choice about its add-ons. Where is the advantage of an open source software if add-ons are closed source ?

  9. Pingback from Mozilla Webdev » Blog Archive » AMO Preview Updates on :

    […] Since we launched the AMO 3.0 preview last week, we’ve been busy reading feedback and implementing fixes. […]

  10. LCaution wrote on :

    I’d like to have an option to display items with a one-line description.

    Right now, one has to scroll through page after page after page to see all the options under, for exmpale, tabbed browsing – with only, what, 4 or 5 items per page.

    Why not display a simple, hyperlinked list, in alphabetical order, with the name of the extension/theme/whatever and a one-sentence description of what it does. Click on the one-liner and a new tab opens to a page with a full description, comments, download, etc.