Mozilla has announced that they will be relaunching the Firefox Add-ons site on Monday with only a handful of the extensions that are currently available. In fact, they are said to be trimming down the list of available add-ons to just several hundred, which means they could be cutting 80% to 90% of the ones listed on the site. To see just how many there were I did a quick search for the letter “a” which pulled up 2359 results. That number seems to be accurate since searching for “e” comes up with the same answer.
I am really glad to see Mozilla stepping up and trying to make the Add-ons site even better. When doing my Firefox 200 Extension Test I installed many of the top extensions that can be found on Mozilla’s site. To my surprise a lot of the ones I came across were junk and the download numbers are probably being faked by spammers. This could definitely hinder the experience that new Firefox users receive so I see a change as being a great thing.
Mozilla also said that they wanted to remove extensions that were not being updated anymore, which is completely understandable. They want users to have a great experience and that is often found with well-updated extensions. Using the advanced search feature I was able to find out how often the extensions have been getting updated:
- 26 extensions have been updated today
- 90 extensions have been updated this week
- 306 extensions have been updated this month
- 1938 extensions have been updated this year
Now all of the numbers I have mentioned here are for all of the Mozilla add-ons and not for just Firefox, which does have more than 92% of the 2359 listed. I thought more of the extensions would actually be outdated, but a huge majority have been updated at least once this year.
The extensions that get pulled will be put in a “sandbox” for users to vote on. That means the add-ons will have to earn their way to the public site in what appears to be a Digg-like fashion. I’m not sure how that whole process will work but I have fears that it may not be much better off than their current system…if spammers want their extension to make the public site they will surely find a way.
This will definitely be a way for Mozilla to analyze the quality of submitted extensions and sounds like it is a scalable solution (meaning as their products grow the system will still be able to manage itself). Just to be on the safe side though, you might want to save some of your favorite extensions to your hard drive especially if they haven’t been updated in awhile. I would assume that they will make it easy to download the extensions which have been removed from the site, but you know what happens when you assume something. ;)
Source: ComputerWorld [via CyberNet Forum]