posts categorized as “mozilla”

Firefox on Facebook Walls

Last week, Facebook launched a new tool called Lexicon that measures the number of times a term is mentioned on user, event, and group walls. This is what the results look like for Firefox:

Lexicon results for Firefox

That huge spike at the beginning of April is when Firefox 3 Beta 5 was released. The gaps in the graph are when the term wasn’t mentioned enough to be recorded. Comparing the results of other browsers isn’t too helpful as Safari and Opera are common nouns, and most people would abbreviate Internet Explorer as IE.

Although no actual numbers are given, it’s still cool to be able to visualize a part of the biggest way Firefox is adopted around the world: telling your friends about it.

In last week’s part 2 preview of the upcoming changes to AMO’s Developer Tools area, I posted some screenshots of the new Edit Descriptions page. Before getting to the preview of the next page, I wanted to give some more information on AMO milestone 3.5’s schedule. After all of the sections of the new Edit Add-on area are finished, they’ll be pushed live to AMO where developers will have the option to try out the new edit pages rather than use the current one. This will give the new pages enough testing to make sure they’re ready to take over, while providing an alternative in case any major bugs are found. The current edit page will remain the default until 3.5 is officially launched after various other revamp pages and finished, localized, and tested.

Last week I blogged Part 1 of the previews of upcoming changes to the Developer Tools area of This week we’ll look at another new page in the revamp, now known as AMO milestone 3.5.

One UI element present on a number of pages in the Developer Tools area is the Translation Box. Anytime there’s a field that can be localized, this box appears to allow developers to switch text fields between locales. This is what the Translation Box currently looks like on the Edit Add-on page:

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.

Yesterday, Mike announced the public preview of the upcoming changes to (AMO). One of the new features that has been long-requested is the ability for developers to see how many update pings, or Active Daily Users, their add-ons have. Just like Firefox, extensions check for updates once a day, and we count how many times this happens for each extension. While the total number of downloads tells add-on authors about how many people have tried out their extension, the active daily user count tells them about how many people used it on a given day, although it’s not perfect.

There’s a bit of fine print regarding active daily usage, but some of the more important points are:

  • Only add-ons that do not have an updateURL specified are counted. All add-ons are required to have an empty updateURL when submitted to AMO. If an add-on is distributed from another website with an updateURL, those pings are not counted by us.
  • Active Daily Users is not the same as saying “this many people use my extension”. Not all extension users use Firefox every day of the week, users can manually check for updates which will count false active users, etc.
  • Many people keep extensions installed but disabled. The stats dashboard allows you to see the various statuses, such as enabled, disabled, incompatible, etc.

Now that some background information is out of the way, on to the features!