Idea Town Coming Soon to Firefox

Earlier this month I talked about Dave Camp’s email:

“Individual features rolling out to small audiences for focused and multi-variate testing”. Haven’t a clue on what exactly they mean by this, much less how it is going to be implemented…To me it sounds like they want to make select end user guinea pigs. I suspect there will be more about this in the future or it will be scrapped.

I was correct in that there would be more in the future and the users would be guinea pigs as well. So Mozilla is introducing in Firefox 40 (ETA: August 11th) and opportunity for users on the release channel to volunteer to be part of Idea Town (via an add-on) to tell developers whether a new feature is worthy.

Dubbed “Idea Town” for now, the opt-in program is to kick off Aug. 11 with a teaser in the browser’s new tab page inviting users to register, with additional elements added over the following three months until the testing infrastructure is complete and operational.

Idea Town’s goal is to solicit feedback from users of its most-stable build channel — labeled “Release” by Mozilla — to help it decide whether to pull the trigger on new features and UI modifications before adding them to the usual 18-week development cycle.

Sounds good in concept, but Mozilla hasn’t exactly been too keen on listening to their users (at least those of us who use/test the nightly, aurora and beta builds).

Among some candidates for an Idea Town experiment, Mozilla said in the planning document, are vertical tabs, tab badging — where a browser tab offers additional information, like the number of new tweets when the tab represents — and tab snoozing.

Tab Snoozing sounds like it has potential, but like the other ‘candidates’ mentioned above they should be left as add-ons, not added into the browser causing unwanted bloat (like Pocket).

via Computer World