Mozilla introduces ‘Add-on Guidelines’ to help improve user experience with Firefox add-ons

Feel Firefox add-ons are going down the tube? Mozilla, apparently, agrees with you because they have put together ‘Add-on Guidelines’ that are intended to “foster an open and diverse add-on developer community while ensuring an excellent user experience”.

The guidelines, which are available on MozillaWiki (link below), specifically issue four broad-scoped mandates:

  • Be Transparent
  • Be Respectful to Users
  • Be Safe
  • Be Stable

Under each mandate there are specific rules such as “add-ons should make it clear how private user data is being used”, “add-ons must not cause harm to users’ data, system, or online identities”, and “add-ons must not cause hangs or crashes”. In total there are over twenty guidelines at the time of this writing.

The guidelines, which appear to still be in ‘draft’ edition as opposed to finalized, must be followed by *all* Firefox add-ons, regardless of if the add-ons are hosted on Mozilla’s official Firefox repository or elsewhere. However, Mozilla does provide a list of exceptions, such as proof-of-concept apps, which allow developers to not meet the guidelines if they fall within the scope of an exception.

You can check out the full guidelines at the link below. Be sure to also share with us what you think about Mozilla’s move to improve add-on quality.

MozillaWiki Add-on Guidelines page

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  • Ashraf

    @Mags: FF15 is a huge improvement from the FF fails of the past, am I right? Glad you took the dive!
    Oh and I’m with you — I don’t have too many add-ons installed, but the ones I do have installed I cannot live without.

  • Mags

    About time Mozilla did this. However, some FF users seem to be Add-on addicts and have far to many which is what slows down FF.

    As for me, I have 6 add-ons which I installed myself and 3 which were installed as part of other program installations. I only have add-ons which are useful to me.

    BTW, as a side note to Ashraf, I finally updated to FF 15 and so far I’m liking it.