Feeds

Mozilla tries to silence add-on developers' scream

'Major technology changes, some sacrifices'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Mozilla has been forced to justify its decision to herd third party coders, whose add-ons sometimes break the Firefox user interface, away form the browser's components directory.

In a meaty blog post on Saturday, the open source browser maker’s development boss, Mike Connor, explained the rationale behind Mozilla’s move to debut a "lockdown" feature in Firefox 3.6.

The switcheroo will compel third party application developers to toe the line by preventing them from adding their own code into the browser's components directory, thereby making the Firefox interface more stable.

“We have a lot of great extensions and themes, but developing these requires a lot of ramp-up time and technical ability, and ongoing commitment to maintaining these across versions,” said Connor.

He pointed out that some users declined to upgrade their Firefox browser because of incompatible extensions, which - for Mozilla at least - was bad for business.

Connor confirmed that the Personas and Jetpack projects Mozilla has been experimenting with would eventually replace the outfit’s “truly limitless customisations” in Firefox, to make the UI an easier platform for it to tame.

“To compete and lead in the browser market now, we want and need to be able to move faster, and not have our hands as severely tied by add-on compatibility,” Connor said.

“We also want it to be safer to run with add-ons, and less disruptive to increasingly longer-lived and more complex browsing sessions. All of these requirements meant major technology changes, and some sacrifices.”

Prehaps acknowledging there could be trouble ahead, Connor admitted that Mozilla Tower’s “strategic product decision” to remain “competitive and flexible in the long term” discriminated against the old extension model that many developers have clasped lovingly to their bosoms.

“I am personally at peace with that,” he said.

“It isn’t an easy decision, but we firmly believe it is the right one, and we will continue to work towards improving the capabilities of Personas and Jetpacks until they are powerful enough to provide the user experiences we need them to provide.” ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.