Communication breakdown (AddOn)

Categories Mozilla

As an Addon User for me is very important to have all add-on I am using to be up to date on AMO website.
As a community manager I have the habit to explore some problems into the communication channels (and to try to fix them)

Pencil
Pencil is one of my favorite addons, because I do some UI mockups for some of my web apps and it’s really annoying instead of AMO website to go to the project site in Google and to download a patch.

Usually I have to read the comments to find the “secret location” of the patch / or new version instead of clicking download or update.

Where is the problem? I have to ask first.

BlueGriffon
I’ve noticed a call for all developers on AMO that are maintaining dictionary addons to add a line into the their XPI in order to make them compatible with BlueGriffon.

Here is a perfect example of lack of communication between an external community and AMO community. Maybe the author can ask all of them one by one to do that or to think more about more appropriate mechanism for collaboration.

8 Comments

  • Lozzy
    May 11, 2011

    I completely agree, it’s a shame that these communication breakdowns occur. I’ve witnessed a similar situation with an incredibly powerful and useful addon called MozGest.

    The developer appeared to become frustrated with AMO and stopped updating it there. The thread is here; http://www.mousegestures.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=220 but since the forums are due to go down soon I’ve uploaded a screenshot; http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/7678/mousegesturesredoxforum.png

    As a user, this is really disappointing because it means I lose all the benefits afforded by AMO: assurance of automatic updates, ensuring that the extension is stable through testing and providing some security in the knowledge that the addon author won’t sneak anything nasty in an update.

    Unfortunately that situation has spiralled downward and the author is discontinuing the project. Which is a real shame; the addons is incredibly useful and powerful. It’s one of those addons which is hard to browse without.

    • Bogo
      May 11, 2011

      @Lozzy: Yes indeed.

      What do you think if is possible for anyone to update the plugin. leaving the original author credits of course. Somehow to convert the codebase into global co-working space.

      This can solve some troubles, but anyway there is a problem and I think we can solve it somehow.

  • Lozzy
    May 11, 2011

    @Bogo – I think I know what you’re getting at, but I’m not entirely sure. Do you mean that there could be a feature on AMO where an addon could be transferred to someone else so they can continue development? Or something more complex/involved?

    In the case of MozGest, continuing development is not all that simple; the author used binary components and is only willing to provide them to someone who will completely agree to carry the project forward.

    And yes, I also think there’s a problem at some stage with addon developers and Mozilla officials who associate with addon developers. I have seen various disputes arising from that association.

    From an outsiders perspective, I get the impression that addon developers are treated as second rate citizens by Mozilla’s addons team. Or it may be that developers are simply fed up with the processes they have to go through to participate. Either way, I feel some things have to change to be more accommodating to developers.

  • Bogo
    May 11, 2011

    @Lozzy: This was just an idea and it can solve some problems with outdated addons or even with abandoned addons. I have idea how this can happen on the platform level, but this is only a thought.

    I am sure that nobody at Mozilla can think that addon devleopers are second hand people, because there is a symbiosis between Firefox and addon community, if you can understand what I mean.

    Firefox is lost without addons and otherwise :)

  • Mike
    May 11, 2011

    Actually is a good idea, maybe a git with shared privileges, but this can be the long story. the question is how to prevent this gap.

  • Lozzy
    May 11, 2011

    Certainly, whatever you’re suggesting, it seems like a really worthwhile idea to explore; giving people more options to contribute to Addon development and even making it possible to continue an Addon’s development even if the original author has stopped contributing.

    Seems like something that could really help pull the Addon ecosystem forwards.

    • Bogo
      May 13, 2011

      Yeah, but it can be a really hard task to work on.

  • … and thank for the Firefox 6, but, please make this happen. (Addons) | TalkWeb
    August 17, 2011

    […] months ago I started a mini-discussion (read the comments also) on Addons troubles and communication […]

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