The new add-ons manager is here

Finally, after far too much time, the new add-ons manager is about to land in trunk nightlies. I am putting together the final patches to land now. The bit most people will see is the new UI so I guess I’ll steal Boriss’ image for you to look at here with the same caveats. What you see on trunk over the next few days is just the initial steps to switching to a redesigned UI and (more importantly from my point of view) a totally new extension manager backend that will make it easier for us to improve and build upon in the future. The changes are so large that it is important to get more people testing it now while it still looks fairly unpolished so we can pick up problems that we’ve missed.

New Add-ons Manager UI

Tomorrow (Friday) the QA team are holding a test day on the new add-ons manager, if you want to help test for issues you can join us in #testday on

We are filing bugs with [rewrite] in the status whiteboard and blocking either the backend tracking bug or the UI tracking bug. So you can check the dependency tree to see what issues we already know about and plan to take care of. Please file bugs for anything else you see, especially when it is something that is wrong compared to Firefox 3.6.

There will be some add-ons broken in the new builds. This is fairly normal for any API update. As a general rule if some add-ons work but others don’t then contacting the authors of those broken add-ons is the best idea.

Developers of other applications may find things broken, ultimately this is unavoidable when changing APIs on this scale, please contact me if you need some help getting things working again.

35 thoughts on “The new add-ons manager is here”

  1. Yes, you will certainly break things. But it is more than worth it – the new API is a huge step forward, I know that particularly developers of other applications will appreciate it. I for my part made sure that Adblock Plus 1.2 (which will be released today) is compatible with both the old and the new API (ok, the versions before it don’t even use the extension manager API :). I also started work towards allowing Adblock Plus to install/uninstall without restarts.

    Thank you for all your hard work!

  2. Looks great so far.
    It would be great if it showed theme preview images somehow (perhaps, after clicking ‘Show more’) and wouldn’t hide extension website url under ‘Show more’.

  3. I would move “languages” right down to the bottom – people are likely to need to change their language once, it shouldn’t have priority over things like extensions.

    I think “search engines” should probably move further down too, either just above or just below “plugins”. People aren’t as likely to install search engines on as regular a basis as addons or themes.

  4. Oh I’ve just spotted the “% of RAM/CPU” – does that mean we’re getting something like Chrome’s task manager?

    RAM / CPU absolutely need to be separated out into two categories – most people really do understand the distinction here (as opposed to many other hardware metrics) and being able to find which addon is using all your memory (lots of people still complain about memory usage) or which addon is making Firefox use all your CPU are two very distinct things.

    1. The new add-ons manager will appear in XULRunner too. Applications can either open it in a tab if that makes sense for them or it should still open in a new window if necessary

  5. With the newest Minefield nightly is there a way to disable extension compatibility checking? The usual way of adding/changing the key “extensions.checkCompatibility” no longer works. There are some extensions that may not be compatible but I’d like to test anyway.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I guess the problem is that some of my extensions are broken and no longer work with the newest nightly.

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  7. Well its not working for me here. 3.7a5 on win 7. about:addons produces “The url is invalid and cannot be loaded”. And Minefield is fully updated. Oh well.

    1. We new addon mananger was backed out from mozilla-central. (Due tu some failure on Mac I think.)

  8. Hey,
    Thanks for the info. I hope it is back soon, it is a massive improvement.

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