Extension Developers – Update or Fade Away

Firefox 3RC1 is just around the corner. Surprisingly, more than a few of the current Top 100 add-ons on AMO are not updated to work in Firefox 3. I say “current” because when Firefox 3 ships, those old add-ons will no longer be in the Top 100. Alex Polvi has a chart (updated daily) showing the status of Top 95% of AMO add-ons (by usage). You can see that many of the Top 100 have been updated to at least Firefox 3.0b3 or greater.

Many of the non-updated add-ons are themes. Themes are hard to create in the first place and with significant changes to the Firefox 3 UI, updating themes from Firefox 2 could be a daunting task. Worse yet, getting a them to somehow support Firefox 2 and 3 in the same bundle is not trivial.

AMO was recently updated and is constantly improving to make things easier for add-on developers. Being able to host separate bundles for different versions of Firefox would be a big help.

The remaining non-updated add-ons will likely fade away after Firefox 3 is released unless the authors or someone else (with the author’s permission) decide to do the work needed to update to Firefox 3. Keep in mind, add-ons in the Top 100 have hundreds of thousands of daily users. Add-ons in the Top 10 have millions of daily users.

Just as in nature, “survival of the fittest” applies to add-ons too. Let’s hope we can avoid one of those mass extinctions.

Note: To those add-on developers who went through the effort to update your add-ons to Firefox 3 alpha or beta (1 or 2), please take the small amount of time needed to push your add-on to Firefox 3.0pre. Don’t let your users miss out on your add-on when it’s soooo close to completely updated.

As always, #extdev on Mozilla IRC or the extensions newsgroup for help.

4 Comments

  1. David Naylor said,

    April 2, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    Yes, updating themes can be a bit tiresome… to say the least. Constantly having to think up new icons and whatnot.

  2. matp75 said,

    April 2, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

    Stats are biaised because some extension are updated to Firefox 3 but the developer doesn’t update AMO until Firefox 3 is almost out.
    Example is Tab Mix Plus which has to be adapted for almost every Firefox beta…(you have to get it from the main site…)
    In my understanding, it’s not yet possible to have the same extension propose different versions depending on the user firefox version (that’s the reason behind, modifying the extension for Firefox 3 may break it for Firefox 2 users….)

  3. Mark Finkle’s Weblog » Soylent Green Is People! said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    [...] checking. If you can’t wait for your favorite add-on to be updated, maybe it’s time to look for a new add-on. Firefox 3 is the leanest, fastest, most feature packed version we have ever released. Don’t [...]

  4. Jose said,

    April 18, 2008 @ 8:48 am

    Take a look at this post in reply to yours.

    http://overstimulate.com/articles/2008/04/14/pains-of-addons-mozilla-org

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