Guide to Updating Extensions for Firefox PR/Thunderbird 0.8 Available

Wednesday August 18th, 2004

Ben Goodger writes: "Very soon now the update service for Extensions hosted by will be turned on, and we will increase the compatibility number for Extensions to 0.10 (the Firefox 1.0 Preview Release). When we do this, all installed Extensions installed with maxVersion set for Firefox to 0.9 and maxVersion set for Thunderbird to 0.7 will be disabled to prevent compatibility issues. If your extension or theme still works and has no compatibility problems with the nightly builds, please look at the guide for updating to 1.0PR (this also applies to Thunderbird 0.8) for information about how to get to contain the newer compatibility information. If your extension or theme is incompatible, the guide also has information on how to provide a newer XPI or JAR file. Finally, people not hosted by but who use the custom RDF update system should also check out the guide as it provides links that explain changes to the RDF format since 0.9."

#1 The dawn of a new era?

by DP3_001

Wednesday August 18th, 2004 3:36 PM

So I guess this means that the days of manually updating extensions will soon be over with? I'll be glad when that day comes. Doing it the manual way is a pain in the ass. I'll take automation over manual labor any day.

#2 get userfriendly as well...

by andkon

Wednesday August 18th, 2004 7:28 PM is wholly UNuserfriendly with its myriad categories that do little to distinguish between enduser and developer extensions.

Also, why is the "Featured Firefox Extension" Firesomething?? That's plenty of proof that whoever is doing the update site doesn't take anybody but die-hard Mozillians seriously.

A list of the top 25 or so most enduser oriented extensions need to be highlighted while the rest need to be swept under the rug using links at the bottom of the page marked "Extensions for Advanced Users" (as I recommended in my latest essay).

#3 Re: get userfriendly as well...

by Waldo_2

Wednesday August 18th, 2004 9:19 PM

Yup, the unfriendliness seems to be known:

#4 Re: get userfriendly as well...

by mlefevre

Thursday August 19th, 2004 4:49 AM

Yes, it could be better, but the people doing the work are unpaid contributors doing it in their spare time. The most important problem at the moment is that all the updates to the extensions are being made manually, which means not all the extensions that could be available are available, and not all the latest versions are up there.

The Mozilla folks don't seem to be too concerned, as the vast majority of "end users" won't use extensions anyway. Even with the current user-base of early adopters, upwards of 90% of them aren't using extensions. It's all a matter of priorities - making things actually work at all is more important than recategorising extensions.

I'm sure it'd be impossible to agree on which the 25 most end-user oriented extensions were anyway. The top 5 most popular ones are shown - if "end users" are actually getting extensions, then the ones that get most use will be easily available.

#6 Re: Re: get userfriendly as well...

by andkon

Thursday August 19th, 2004 6:18 AM

Are endusers (meaning most IE users) not downloading extensions because they don't need them or because they can't find them? From the top 5 extensions, 2 are developer only.

There's a problem with coordination. You say that it's done by volunteers. If they're having problems, why don't they ask for help?

#5 Search

by gflores

Thursday August 19th, 2004 5:43 AM

Would be nice if they had a seach function...

#7 End users are the key...

by engmark

Thursday August 19th, 2004 7:10 AM

to Mozilla's future success or failure. End users don't know the first thing about computers, many of them use the Net only when absolutely necessary, too many of them don't care one bit about security, and they certainly don't want to have to learn something new. How, then, can they be "educated"? It seems that some administrators have got it "their way" based on the later security issues, but there are millions of home users who are their own administrators...

#8 Re: End users are the key...

by andkon

Thursday August 19th, 2004 3:11 PM

Clap clap clap:

Security is a non-issue and most users are clueless.

Mozilla needs to have a 12-month strategy to lure new users. The 1% month increase is NOTHING because it would take four years at that rate to become the majority browser.

As I've said before an enduser strategy is very easy: few forums (which are obviously well alive here though they need to be simplfied: aka absolutely NO developer forums), semi-interactive Flash tutorials discussing the main Firefox (and TB) features, demos linked from the frontpage to give a visual sample of features such as tabs.

From the silence in these areas I presume that the Mozilla Foundation is neither willing or is unable to produce a few simple enduser "services".

A publicized 1.0 launch is a terrible thing to waste...