With the recent release of the new AMO (AddOns.Mozilla.org) 3.2 a couple weeks ago came countless complaints. Many users (including the Guru) would like to see the AMO team to “Add an advanced search that lets me search by app max/min version range, platform, add-on type, etc…”. Besides that, here are three big ones as put together by Basil Hashem on the AMO Team:
- “You removed valuable information that we had previously“- application compatibility information, add-on modication (sic) dates, download counts (in selected views).
- “The new Smart Install button is dumb!” – advanced users were frustrated by the limitation that AMO placed and its inability to allow downloads of any version for testing purposes, etc.
- “You removed two important add-on lists” – Bring back the New Add-ons and Recently Updated add-ons views
New the AMO version 3.2.1 is a minor update and does not address issue #3 and may be partially #1. In regards to #2, The Guru addressed this in the post Update: New AMO Launched, in that by expanding the ‘Advanced Details’ section users would be able to access older versions (add-on modification dates). In this new version the Advanced Details section is still collapsed by default. However, the Complete Version History link has been changed to See All Versions and has been moved (into the open) between Long Description and Reviews.
For a moment, I am going to jump back to issue #1 before addressing #3. In regards to the ‘application compatibility information’, I suppose the justification why this information is no longer needed is because the Smart Install button feature. However, simply telling the user ‘This add-on is for an older version of Firefox’ doesn’t really help them. It really should say what older version of Firefox it is for. The logic behind this would be so the user could determine if the add-on simply hasn’t been bumped up to the newest version or (in the case for a much older version) the developer has abandoned the add-on. The new AMO 3.2.1 applies sort of a ‘band aid’ fix by adding a new link Install Any Version under the ‘older version’ message (sample).
I found complaint #3 somewhat odd. Not necessarily in that they are complaining the lists are gone, but about the Recently Updated add-ons views. Given that add-ons should automatically get checked for updates when Firefox starts I don’t understand why users would need a list of ‘Recently Updated’. I would though like to see the return of the ‘New Add-ons’ list as it was a great way for new add-ons to get some much needed exposure.
Lastly, Basil brought up an intriguing mis-perception that “the AMO site now requires users to login to be able to install and download add-ons.” I’ve addressed in my prior posts that the only time a user needs to be login to install/download add-ons would be for those that are experimental and are currently housed in the sandbox. Any add-on that has already gone through the appropriate approval process (not in the sandbox) can be download without having to register or login.
The new AMO version 3.2.1 is expected to go live sometime next week. You can however take a look at the preview site (note the preview site seems to be running on the slow side at times) until then.
News Source: Basil’s Bodacious Blog