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Firefox Unveils Overhaul of Add-ons Manager

Gordon Kelly


Firefox Unveils Overhaul of Add-ons Manager

I don't know about you, but one of the switching points for me and many others who recently left Firefox for Google Chrome was the latter's adoption of third party extensions. Furthermore, Chrome's approach allows for extension installs and uninstalls without any need for browser restarts while they also tend to consume less system resources and their sandboxed nature means they don't crash so browser. Thankfully Mozilla is fighting back...

The open source developer has ripped the veil of its next generation add-on manager which, while not providing the radical overhaul promised by the ongoing Jetpack project, does make some much needed changes. The most fundamental of these is centralisation.

At long, long last Firefox users can see add-ons, custom search engines, themes, languages and plugins all located in the same place and neatly integrated into the sidebar with Javascript. Finding new add-ons will also be available directly from the sidebar and Jetpack extensions - which are expected to be run alongside existing add-ons when they do eventually arrive in a final format - will be housed in there as well.

"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," explained Mozilla's Dave Townsend. He also warns "there will be some add-ons broken in the new builds", but this is to be expected.

The new Add-on manager will be made available only in Firefox's nightly builds at this stage and, if you don't know where to find those, it really does suggest you should steer clear of it for now in this raw form. Then again, I'm all about choice - so here's a link... it could be the start of a whole new Firefox era.


Via Oxymoronical (Dave Townsend's blog}

Image courtesy of Boriss' Blog

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