AutoAuth, Comment Snob, Feed Sidebar, Links Like This, Mozilla, Mozilla Add-ons, Mozilla Firefox, OPML Support, RSS Ticker, YouTube Comment Snob

My Future of Developing Firefox Add-ons

Note: AutoAuth is now being developed by Steffan Schlein. If you would like to leave feedback, pleaseĀ create an issue on GitHub.

Mozilla announced today that add-ons that depend on XUL, XPCOM, or XBL will be deprecated and subsequently incompatible with future versions of Firefox:

Consequently, we have decided to deprecate add-ons that depend on XUL, XPCOM, and XBL. We don’t have a specific timeline for deprecation, but most likely it will take place within 12 to 18 months from now. We are announcing the change now so that developers can prepare and offer feedback.

In response to this announcement, I’ve taken the step of discontinuing all of my Firefox add-ons. They all depend on XUL or XPCOM, so there’s no sense in developing them for the next year only to see them become non-functional. AutoAuth, Comment Snob, Feed Sidebar, Links Like This, OPML Support, RSS Ticker, and Tab History Redux should be considered unsupported as of now. (If for any reason, you’d like to take over development of any of them, e-mail me.)

While I don’t like Mozilla’s decision (and I don’t think it’s the best thing for the future of Firefox), I understand it; there’s a lot of innovation that could happen in Web browser technology that is stifled because of a decade-old add-on model. I only hope that the strides a lighter-weight Firefox can make will outweigh the loss of the thousands of add-ons that made it as popular as it is today.

Browser Add-ons, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, OPML Support, Programming

OPML Support updated for Firefox 20

I’ve just published an update to my OPML Support Firefox extension for the first time in three years. The extension previously added an OPML button to the toolbar in the Bookmarks Manager, but as of Firefox 20, the button disappears because of a change to the way that the Bookmarks Manager’s toolbar is assembled. Version 3 of OPML Support moves the Import OPML and Export OPML options into the existing Backup/Import button’s menu.


Thanks to the OPML Support users who alerted me to the problem via email and in the comments here, since I don’t often have occasion to check whether my buttons are disappearing.

Browser Add-ons, Mozilla Firefox, OPML, OPML Support

OPML Support for Firefox updated

I’ve updated the OPML Support for Firefox extension to be compatible with the latest Firefox 3 (Minefield) alphas.

The compatibility changes were more than just bumping the maxVersion, since Firefox 3’s bookmark and history architecture has been completely reworked as Places, but the awesome new FUEL project (Firefox User Extension Library) is an incredible asset, especially when working with bookmark data.

Digg, Home Improvement, Life, Netscape Navigator, OPML Support, Programming, ScribeFire, Slashdotter, Twits Like Me

Own a piece of history

For the low, low price of $189,900, you could own this piece of Web software history:

This is the very building where I worked on such projects as Slashdotter, Netscape Navigator 9, OPML Support for Firefox, ScribeFire, the Digg Top Users list, and most recently, Twits Like Me. If you act now, I’ll even throw in the very desk that I sit at while I work my programming magic. Deals like this don’t come along every day, especially when you consider that I was named as Time Magazine’s 2006 Man of the Year!

This introductory pricing won’t last long, so you’d better hurry up and make an offer.

Browser Add-ons, Mozilla Firefox, OPML Support

OPML Support Updated (1.3)

I’ve released version 1.3 of OPML Support for Firefox.

What is OPML Support for Firefox?

OPML Support is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox Web browser that adds OPML import/export functionality to the Firefox Bookmarks manager. OPML is a file type that is widely used to distribute lists of RSS/newsfeeds.

This version includes full support for multibyte and other non-ASCII characters, so importing and exporting files with Japanese, Chinese, or any accented characters should work now. Thanks to Hisateru Tanaka for his contribution to this fix.

Also included in version 1.3 are a Japanese translation (thanks again Hisateru) as well as Korean and German translations. You can download the update at the OPML Support homepage or just press the “Find Updates” button in the Firefox addons dialog.

Browser Add-ons, Mozilla Firefox, OPML Support, RSS Ticker, ScribeFire, Tech News, URL Fixer

New Mozilla Addons site is was live

Update: URL Fixer was acquired and is now hosted at

After a series of delays, the new Mozilla Addons site (codenamed Remora) went live late last night. Changes to the site include redesigned visual aspects, localization, and an overhauled discussion/comment system, but probably the biggest change you’ll notice is that new extensions do not undergo a mandatory approval process before being available for download.

As extensions are uploaded, they are relegated to the “Sandbox.” This means that while they won’t appear in search results or under their respective categories, the author can still take advantage of Mozilla’s free add-on hosting by pointing users directly to their add-on’s download page. Sandboxed addons can be nominated for general availability by requesting an editor review, but according to Mozilla, this should be reserved for addons that are of use to the general population and enhance the Web browsing experience, and I fully agree. We don’t need the site cluttered with hundreds of “ Forum Toolbar” extensions that are only used by their author.

As far as my extensions go, ScribeFire and URL Fixer have been deemed public-worthy, and I’ve nominated OPML Support. I’ll probably leave the others (Slashdotter, GoogleTabs) in the sandbox, as they’re not really what I consider “general use.”

Update: It looks like the site has been rolled back to its previous state; I can’t determine why, but the Mozilla Webdev blog will probably post an update. You can still check out Remora at the Mozilla Addons Preview site.