Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Sep 2011 19:45 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mozilla & Gecko clones Mozilla has released Firefox 7. Unlike releases of Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 which were relatively minor upgrades to the browser, Firefox 7 includes a number of significant improvements, most important of which is probably the drastically reduced memory usage.
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smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

I was actually replying to Alfman and not you - unless you are the same person?

I think we actually agree on most things, as I was getting my info from that same link you posted earlier.

What I was specifically referring to was this:

And it was quite eye-opening when I learned that only 25% of the 600 million add-ons in use every day in Firefox 4 and later are active on AMO. That means at least 75% of add-ons aren’t getting the benefits of the automatic compatibility system we created, as well as the security and quality reviews that hosted add-ons receive. When we created the compatibility plan for the new development cycles, we weren’t aware that so many add-ons wouldn’t even be affected by it.


So while the CURRENT system of auto-updating all Mozilla hosted addons may be hitting a 97% success rate, lots of Google Toolbar extensions are not included in that. It's true that they generally just have to bump the version number to fix it - but that is something these 3rd parties are not doing in a timely fashion. Therefore, in the future the system will change to always assume the addon will work which should fix this problem.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I think we actually agree on most things, as I was getting my info from that same link you posted earlier. What I was specifically referring to was this: "And it was quite eye-opening when I learned that only 25% of the 600 million add-ons in use every day in Firefox 4 and later are active on AMO. That means at least 75% of add-ons aren’t getting the benefits of the automatic compatibility system we created, as well as the security and quality reviews that hosted add-ons receive. When we created the compatibility plan for the new development cycles, we weren’t aware that so many add-ons wouldn’t even be affected by it.

So while the CURRENT system of auto-updating all Mozilla hosted addons may be hitting a 97% success rate, lots of Google Toolbar extensions are not included in that. It's true that they generally just have to bump the version number to fix it - but that is something these 3rd parties are not doing in a timely fashion. Therefore, in the future the system will change to always assume the addon will work which should fix this problem.
"

Exactly so.

The only thing I would add to your erudite summary is that, since 99% of the 25% of extentions which are active on AMO are compatible between Firefox versions, this is easily a large enough sample to infer that roughly 99% of the remaining 75% of extensions which are NOT hosted on AMO should likewise be compatible.

I wholeheartedly agree that essentially "they generally just have to bump the version number to fix it".

Where we perhaps may differ is that I would contend that this is not an issue for Firefox or Mozilla, it is rather an issue for users and providers of extensions for Firefox outside of Mozilla. Users should in the first instance get the addon compatibility reporter and mark their recalcitrant non-AMO extension as compatible. In 99% of cases that alone will do the trick.

Providers of extensions who want to make a good impression with their users should take that teeny, tiny bit of effort required and mark their extension as compatible prior to a new version of Firefox becoming available. I would be surprised if most reputable providers of extensions did not in fact do this.

Finally, perhpas what would be the most help of all, would be for users to understand that if they get an extension outside of AMO then it won't update by itself. The user will have to get a new copy of the extension from wherever they got it in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

smitty,

"So while the CURRENT system of auto-updating all Mozilla hosted addons may be hitting a 97% success rate, lots of Google Toolbar extensions are not included in that."

I think that success rate is only true of release versions. With the alpha version of FF, I know firsthand that disabled plugins have been much worse. However as you indicate, this is because addon developers aren't keeping the version numbers in synch with mozilla's alpha builds, not because a genuine incompatibility exists.


"Therefore, in the future the system will change to always assume the addon will work which should fix this problem."

I hope so, plugins should have never been tethered to FF version numbers in the first place. As long as the API is compatible, the plugin should load.

Reply Parent Score: 2

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I think that success rate is only true of release versions. With the alpha version of FF, I know firsthand that disabled plugins have been much worse. However as you indicate, this is because addon developers aren't keeping the version numbers in synch with mozilla's alpha builds, not because a genuine incompatibility exists.

Addon developers who host with Mozilla no longer even need to update the version numbers. Mozilla is doing that automatically, then testing, and reverting back on the couple of percent that are broken.

I'm sure they don't do that for the Alphas, though, so you aren't seeing the benefit.

Reply Parent Score: 2