why update add-ons now?

With Firefox 3 still a couple of months away, it would seem reasonable to wonder why we’re encouraging add-on developers to get their add-ons updated for Firefox 3 already. For most add-on developers, it will indeed be a pretty quick process to update to the new chrome layout, a new API or two, and test it out, but we want people to start on that process now nonetheless. There are two reasons for this, in my mind:

  • The kinds of people who test our betas and give us great feedback are the kinds of people who have a bunch of extensions installed, and not having their favourite extensions work makes it much less pleasant for them to do in-depth testing.
  • If there is a hard problem found when updating an add-on, we want to know about things we can do on the Firefox side to make it easier, in time for those changes to safely get into the release stream. Waiting until the Firefox RCs are out would mean that we have a lot, lot less room to maneuver when it comes to resolving any problems found.

So please, take a moment to start updating your add-on this weekend, and let us know if you need help. Operators, in the Special Forces sense, are standing by.

6 comments to “why update add-ons now?”

  1. Matthew Wilson
    entered 24 January 2008 @ 10:23 am

    What is the current status with amo reviewers? I submitted a FF3 version a few weeks ago and haven’t heard anything.

  2. Omega X
    entered 24 January 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    Last time I checked, they were looking for more volunteer Reviewers at AMO. That could be the reason for the delay.

  3. Aaron
    entered 24 January 2008 @ 3:18 pm

    There needs to be another Firefox extension contest — winners would be those new/updated extensions that best show off the new features of Firefox 3.

  4. entered 7 February 2008 @ 5:44 am

    I’m pesonally waiting until we can actually set “3.0.*” as the maxVersion on AMO before I submit anything. I don’t want to have to submit multiple versions.

  5. entered 7 February 2008 @ 9:19 am

    Ben: you won’t be able to set 3.0.* as the maxVersion until the RC is released, because until then we just can’t be sure we’re not going to make changes that might require an extension to make a change. But you don’t have to re-upload just to update compatibility information: you can do that from the developer control panel on AMO, as Justin outlines in his blog post on AMO.

  6. entered 7 February 2008 @ 1:43 pm

    Re: Waiting until the RC, that’s fine, I doubt I’d seriously look at doing anything before then anyway.

    Re: Compatibility info on AMO, sure, I do use that feature, but it doesn’t work 100% reliably. I get fairly regular emails (minimum of a couple per week) asking me to update an extension for a point releases of Firefox 2, despite the compatibility being set at 2.0.0.* in AMO.

    My working theory is that Firefox is failing to get the compatibility info for some reason and is falling back to install.rdf, which would indicate incompatibility. The only fix I know of is to resubmit a new XPI to AMO (which I choose not to do) or redirect people to install from my homepage (which has identical XPIs with the exception of install.rdf).

    If we could update the XPI on AMO for the same version (which is currently prevented), or if AMO rebuilt the installer with compatibility info, this would probably go away. As it stands, I’ve decided to just wait until the “3.0.*” flag is available and then update everything with a new version.