New AMO Launched

Back in February I took a look at the preview for the soon-to-be released Addons.Mozilla.Org (AMO). Some of the things that were pointed out in this review included:

  • New visual refresh/redesign is a nice new clean look, but at the same time the site seems cluttered with so much information.
  • The site automatically defaults to add-ons for English-US Firefox. Other applications can be selected from the top-right.
  • The search box is very prominently displayed on top, but still sucks. As pointed out in the review, you can not filter for add-on type (extension, theme, plug-in, etc.)
  • The actual add-on page is broken into five sections:
    1. Brief Description
    2. More Images
    3. Long Description
    4. Reviews
    5. Advanced Options (which is still collapsed by default).
  • Sandbox/experimental add-ons in the search and category results

There was one of other thing that I had (or in this case hadn’t) noticed was information about add-on computability (works with Firefox: 1.5 – 2.0.0.* or Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*). As it turns out this is part of ‘new and improved’ design. AMO now detects which version of Firefox/Thunderbird you are using (via the general.useragent.extra.firefox setting in about:config) and will NOT allow you to even download add-ons that are not compatible with your version of Firefox/Thunderbird. Below are two buttons you could be presented with depending on the compatibility of the add-on:

While it is a nice feature for every-day Firefox users preventing them from downloading an incompatible add-on, it is a pain for us testers. There is no way to over-ride this feature other than to modify the general.useragent.extra.firefox setting in about:config to trick AMO that you are using a compatible version of Firefox. I suspect Mozilla is going to be hearing a lot about this from testers as we move closer to the final Firefox 3 release in the next couple months. The complaints could start rolling in next week when Beta 5 is released and developers haven’t bumped the add-ons ‘max version’ to Beta 5 yet. This is going to have a major impact on how I handle my migration to Firefox 3 Beta 5 when it comes out. I was thinking about creating a fresh profile and then going thru and re-installing my add-ons (currently 25) and ‘forcing’ them to work with the Nightly Tester Tools. Now I may end up having to either use the same profile (which I rather not as once I load it into Firefox 3, I may not be able to use it again in Firefox 2) or go in and tweak the general.useragent.extra.firefox setting back to BonEcho/ (or whatever the latest version of BonEcho is at that time).

So prior, I had two design/feature gripes (‘other applications should be a drop-down’ and no add-on type filtering in search) with the newly redesigned AMO. With this new release I will add the ‘incompatible add-on download blocker’ as another gripe.

News Source: CyberNet News

1 Comment on New AMO Launched

  1. Basil Hashem | March 27, 2008 at 8:45 PM |

    Extension Guru,

    Try visiting the “Advanced Details” section and take a look at the Complete Version History link – it includes all available versions and doesn’t do the smart detection so that testers, developers and others can download any version of an add-on (for whatever OS platform and edition of Firefox) you want without the hassle.

    Here is an example:

    Hope this helps.

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