Mozilla Add-ons: Redesigned Review Process, Add-on Developer Hub
Article by George Norman
On 06 Oct 2009
The Mozilla developer Firefox browser is already a properly good piece of software and as such it provides pretty much all the functionality you will ever need. I say pretty much because Firefox cannot possibly address the needs of each and every user out there – and this is where add-ons come in. Add-ons can be used to change the way the browser looks as well as enhance its functionality.

Mozilla has recently announced that it wants to redesig the review process it uses for Firefox add-ons. The problem is that developers come up with new and interesting add-ons, then submit them to Mozilla and then they play the waiting game. It goes without saying that waiting around for Mozilla to review the add-on is not making these developers happy. By redesigned the review process the goal that Mozilla tries to achieve is to reduce the review waiting times.


“We are working on several solutions. We’re constantly looking for and introducing new editors to our team. We are working more closely with them to understand how they work and what their concerns are, and also to focus their efforts in the areas that have the greatest needs. We are attacking the queue problem from several different angles, some which will help us in the short term, and some which are more forward-looking,” commented Add-ons Developer Relations Lead with Mozilla, Jorge Villalobos.

One of the “forward-looking” solutions that Villalobos was talking about is changing the way in which add-on reviews, especially for updates, are handled. Some add-on developers do not need to have and editor breathing down their necks every time thy push an update. By introducing the trust factor in the add-on review process, developers that have proven they are trustworthy will be given more “freedom of publication.” “Reducing the amount of update reviews we give to trusted authors will give more time to our editors to focus on new add-on nominations and other updates, significantly reducing waiting times and making everybody happy,” added Villalobos.

Moving on, Mozilla made another interesting announcement a few days back: the release of the Add-on Developer Hub (Beta). This is a centralized location where add-on developers can find out pretty much all they need to know on how to make an add-on, find out why they would want to make and add-on, and find out how to manage add-on listings.

As presented by the Mozilla Add-ons team, the main categories the Add-on Developer Hub provides are:
Getting Started – an introduction to add-on development with links to important resources
How-to Library – tutorials, articles, videos, and walk-throughs on add-on development topics
API & Language Reference – official API and language references
Case Studies – stories of successful Firefox add-ons
Add-on Policies – all of our add-on policies in one up-to-date location
Search – search the best add-on development resources in one place: documentation, forums, newsgroups, reputable blog posts, and more

Tags: Mozilla, Add-on, Review, Add-on Developer Hub
About the author: George Norman
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