… and thanks for the Firefox 6, but, please make this happen. (Addons)

August 17, 2011
By Bogomil Shopov
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Several months ago I started a mini-discussion (read the comments also) on Addons troubles and communication breakdown.

The situation is more critical after every new update (because they are on every 3-4 months). Right now after my update one of most important tools for my work – Selenium (because I am into QA tasks now) is not working and my Firebug is disabled, because there is no version suitable for this new release.

If you give yourself time to read this discussion, maybe you will like my idea for shared privileges GIT or something else so everyone can EDIT and BUILD on EVERY Addon.

Right now is a holiday season in Europe, no body doesn’t care about editing Addons or changing something. Event is someone has time and knowledge to “fix” an addon it’s mission impossible to do that if you are not the author of that piece of code.

This is an idea how we can partially solve the problem (on the technical side) with Addons and new Firefox versions. Other is just marketing and engagement.

Love to read your comments!

Bogomil Shopov

I care about privacy, ethical design, and freedom in many aspects. I spend 20+ years working as a web developer and architect, analyst, manager, and product owner/manager in different environments, several countries, and multiple software industries like Healthcare and Hospitality. I wore many hats, and I use the knowledge gathered to optimize the flow of value across complex systems.


  • Henrik Gemal

    August 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

    there are Firebug releases available for all versions of Firefox.
    Check http://getfirebug.com/downloads

    • Bogo

      August 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Henrik, My Firefox tells me – no version for your Firefox 6

      • Axel Hecht

        August 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

        Whether firebug updates or not is slightly black magic, as the version you get from the download on getfirebug.com updates differently than the one on AMO.

        I suggest you uninstall firebug and get a new one from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firebug/.

        I heard talk about the firebug team being on the hook to make those stories compatible, but I haven’t seen that materialize in my profiles.

        I don’t have an answer for selenium, but it’s compat story is pretty sad, given that we have at least one prominent contributor of that on payroll, and I’d picture selenium being crucial in automating internal verification process in enterprises. Sad faces.

        • Bogo

          August 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

          The smaller problem is with current addons, the bigger is to create a shared space for working on addons.

  • Ed

    August 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Users around the globe are extremely frustrated and are already complaining. This and the dropping version naming scheme got fused together. ( Because people need to know which version they have in order to find Add on )

    I am not against dropping Version numbers. The problem is Add on that are programmed for a specific version of Firefox. And since Add on is the soul of Firefox, having majority of Add on not working when a new version comes out just destroy the core value of Firefox.

    We need a way for Addon to be compatible most of time.

  • Insano

    August 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I find it very worrying that Firefox is getting so many negative comments on basically every major website announcing the new release. With major websites I mean sites like Enadget, Ars Technica, the register etc.

    • Bogo

      August 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      In our Twittersphere also.

    • zuh

      August 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Unfortunately Firefox has become the easy target for this.
      You know, like when MS gets some product out, and everyone bashes it “cause its MS”

      Well Google taught people to do this with Firefox.

      Mozilla PR has to fix this, and Mozilla devs have to fix it too.

      Addons should become FLAWLESS for updates, and there should be little intervention or UI warnings which annoy everyone for example. Firefox isn’t allowed to do away with small inconveniences anymore

      • Bogo

        August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

        So you are talking about a new update mechanism, right?

  • Alina Mierlus

    August 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I have Firefox 6 (Mac version) and all my add-ons works perfectly (including Firebug).

    • Bogo

      August 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Maybe it’s an OS problem, but Selenium is disabled also, but this is
      not the question :)

      • Simon

        August 18, 2011 at 1:49 am

        Yeah, but you can’t entirely blame Firefox for some of those. The better plugins tend to ensure compatibility with new Firefox versions *before* those versions are released, so their users get the plugin update first. And that’s good, because anyone doing plugin development should be testing on pre-releases – it’s just good practice.

        Unfortunately, others seem to wait for the Firefox releases before they even start looking at compatibility, so their users have to suffer the breaks. Selenium is a great project, but unfortunately they do seem to lag when it comes to plugin compatibility…

  • Stephen

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    While it isn’t an optimal solution – using the following addon, you can make Firefox not check version numbers for addons.


  • Chrsitian

    August 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    We made sure Firebug was compatible everywhere (AMO and getfirebug.com) before the Firefox 6 release. If you are seeing it incompatible, please file a bug.

  • Jeff

    August 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I thought I saw an article similar to this on RWW, but found something even more descriptive of problems with developing extensions or addons for things like Chrome, etc.


  • scofield

    August 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Agree with you. The Chrome add-on API is much more limited and as such doesn’t need to change as frequently or as drastically. How Firefox thinks they’re going to succeed by becoming a crappier version of Chrome is beyond me. Seems it’s time to change a browser. Which one should I use? I would like to choose one from chrome,Avant browser and Opera.

  • Brian King

    August 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    There is a plan in the works to make compatibility on upgrade smoother. See:



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