Feeds

Mozilla tries to silence add-on developers' scream

'Major technology changes, some sacrifices'

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.” ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.