I got selected to work on a Mozilla project called “Clearer Add-on Installation” under the GSoC program.
The goal of the project is to enhance the user experience of the process of add-on installation by external programs. More specifically:
- Redesign the add-on install opt-in screen so that it shows messages from the vendor and also supports multiple add-ons in one go.
Currently, when an add-on gets installed by an external program, the next time the user opens Firefox, an opt-in screen is shown which asks the user to confirm if he wants to install the add-on or not. It however doesn’t let the user know what the add-on does. There is no support for messages from the vendor.
Also, the opt-in screen doesn’t currently allow installation of multiple add-ons. Instead multiple tabs get opened if more than add-on was installed. The goal is to support both the said features.
- Make it possible to completely remove globally installed add-ons from the Add-on Manager
When an add-on is installed globally, the add-on is installed in every profile. There are also cases when an add-on is installed to all Firefox profiles in a single system profile. Such an add-on cannot be completely removed from the Add-on Manager. Currently the user can only disable it from the Add-on Manager and can’t remove the files completely (yet it doesn’t get removed from the list of add-ons in the Add-on Manager). We must make it possible to allow complete removal of such an add-on and address issues such as permissions.
- Make it possible to request add-on install / uninstall from a separate process.
When external programs (such as Babylon) install add-ons in Firefox while an instance of Firefox is running, the user isn’t immediately notified about the new add-on. He gets notified with the opt-in screen only when he restarts Firefox. It would be better if the user is notified immediately.
I will be writing weekly updates in the Mozilla wiki and will write anything relevant in this blog.