Add-on Collections for Mozilla Firefox
Article by George Norman
On 11 Jun 2009
Exciting news from the Mozilla Foundation this week, at least when it comes to Firefox add-ons. The first piece of news is that the official Add-ons web page has received a makeover and personally I believe it looks better than ever. The second piece of news refers to what you will see once you visit the redesigned Add-ons web page – Add-on Collections.

For companies it is relatively simple to come up with a customized version of Firefox that would be deployed at an enterprise level, because the Mozilla Foundation recently the upcoming availability of a program called “Build Your Own Browser.” The regular user on the other hand has to turn to Firefox add-ons when he wants to pimp out his browser. To make the whole customization experience a more pleasurable one, Mozilla has announced Add-on Collections, groups of related add-ons assembled for easy sharing.

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“In November, we launched Fashion Your Firefox, which was a collection of add-ons that we felt were great for a novice user just getting started with customizing their browser. Now, we’d like to take it a step further and let anyone create their own collection of add-ons that can be shared with their friends, posted on blogs, and featured on the Firefox Add-ons website,” explained Mozilla’s Justin Scott.

The Mozilla Team has integrated collections throughout the entire Add-ons site and on top of that it has even set up a Collection Directory where you can see all the add-on collections out there – which for the time being is not much, just a few Mozilla-created collections, but in the future these will hopefully be replaced with useful community-created collections. But if you do not like what is out there, you can always come up with a collection of your own and share with the rest of the community.

Justin Scott again: “Creating a collection of your own is as easy as giving it a name, like “Ken’s Favorite Data Analysis Extensions” or “Halloween Themes”, and choosing what add-ons you’d like in the collection. It will then show up in the directory, and can be sent to your friends or linked in your blog. The more people add it as a favorite, the higher it will be ranked.”

There is one more reason why you would like to set up your own add-on collection: backup. You will have a backup of your favorite Firefox add-ons that you can easily access. And to top it off, Mozilla has even come up with Add-on Collector, a tool that will automatically gather all your current extensions together.

When you do find a collection that suits your needs, you can mark it as a favorite and get back to it later (you will have to be logged in to perform this task). If you decide to subscribe to a collection just to see when new add-ons are added, you can do so by subscribing via RSS or via the aforementioned Add-on Collector.

“The Collector turns your favorite collections into subscriptions in your browser, where you’ll be notified as soon as new add-ons are published to one of your collections,” explained Justin Scott. The extension has a number of other features, including the ability to share an add-on you have installed with a friend by e-mail, publish an add-on to one of your collections, and set up a collection that is automatically kept up to date with your installed add-ons.”

If you would like to visit the new Firefox Add-ons web page, you can do so here.
If you would like to get started with Add-on Collections, just click here.



Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Add-on, Add-on Collections
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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