AMO Developer Tools Revamp, Part 1: Manage Add-on Authors

As I neglected to announce 2 weeks ago, AMO 3.2 launched very smoothly (technically anyway – the cluster stayed up this time!)

For a few weeks before 3.2 launched, I’ve been working on a big project for an upcoming release of AMO: a rewrite of the Developer Tools area to make the user interface more intuitive and provide a number of new features to give developers greater control over many aspects of their add-on listings. I don’t have the work done so far on a staging server, but I’ll be blogging with screenshots as I finish various sections and asking for community feedback.

There are a number of big changes to the overall structure of how add-ons will be submitted, updated, and modified. The first few posts will focus on the new editing tools. Managing add-ons will be really simple and easy to figure out in the new design because the tools have been separated out into 6 different sections rather than one long, confusing page.

Screenshot of new separated edit areas

The first section I’d like to introduce and get feedback on is the Manage Add-on Authors page. It currently looks like this at the top of the Edit Add-on page:
Screenshot of old Edit Authors section

The new page:
Screenshot of new Edit Authors page

New features:

  • Authors can now have 3 different roles: Owner, Developer, and Viewer
  • Someone can be an author but not show up as one on the public page. For example, if a company has multiple people working on an add-on but only wants one to show up as the company name, the others can be hidden.
  • The display order of authors can now be specified, so a developer who does 90% of the work can be listed first rather than by name or user id. (bug 291629)

If you’re an add-on developer, please take a look at the screenshot and comment with any feedback.


Next, Part 2: Edit Add-on Descriptions

  • Wladimir Palant

    Looks very good, thanks! I wonder how uploading an extension update will fit into the new world. Right now you are asked to update various add-on details, and it is pretty messy.

  • Justin Scott (fligtar)

    @Wladimir: Not to spoil too much, but the new submit/update process is only one step: upload a file. The rest is taken care of by editing the add-on with the above pages. I wanted to blog about the edit pages first so when I talk about the submission/update process it will make more sense. Stay tuned!

  • atte

    Like Wladimir said, looks good.

    But I would reeeally hope that AMO would fix things that are broken now rather than introducing new functionality or layout design. Sure, the current one is messy, but it gets the job done most of the time so is this really a priority. From the above, the only thing that I’m looking forward is a *working* preview management.

    To comment on specifics: Why is there “Add New Author”. I mean, aren’t they already listed in install.rdf. Ordering could be also taken from there. Is that a bug worth fixing. How many people does that affect. Users don’t care. Authors maybe, but how many multi-author addons are there. Sounds more like a vanity bug.

  • Justin Scott (fligtar)

    @atte: There are 175 add-ons with more than one author, and I expect that will increase with the increased visibility and level of control this will provide for additional authors. The authors listed in install.rdf are not related at all to the authors of an add-on on AMO. Authors on AMO are AMO accounts that can control the add-on’s listing, such as upload new versions, edit the add-on, etc.

  • atte

    Ah, yes. Didn’t think it through :)

    Still, I would hope see to more incremental development for AMO. Fix what is broken now, introduce new things later.

    What’s the purpose of “Viewer”? Isn’t all the relevant info already in public page. Except maybe stats which IMHO should be opt-out visibility-wise instead of opt-in as I think it is now.

    Have you considered translator role?

  • sethb

    I used AMO for the first time to upload my recent add-on that I developed. I blogged about how much I liked the experience, but thought I would give another shout-out here.

    IMO, the user experience was terrific. I liked the various ways I was asked to describe the add-on and all the different levels of questions that I was asked to help categorize my add-on. Well done.

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