There have been some improvements with the new Add-ons, but overall the user interface has become much worse, particularly regards to searching. There have been no improvements in categorizations (keywords).

Addons_2007 New Format

Location: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/firefox/addons_2007.htm
Home page: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/firefox/firefox.htm
[View without Frames]

Improved (#improved)

The new Add-ons Format has made a few improvements: Individual author forums is now integrated from an add-on page as discussions -- probably good, but not tied in to an FAQ.

There is a bit less wasted space at the top, but has annoying molding appearance.

Problems (#problems)

The Advanced Search was always poorly implemented in that there never was any direct url to be accessed, and now the Advanced Search is completely missing, so there is no way to be precise in searching and there is no way to get more than 10 hits per search results page.

As of April 22, 2007 it has been at least a month that Add-ons has been crippled without an Advanced Search page.

What is the Sandbox?  Policy

Comparisons (#comparisons)

Comparisons of old and new pages ae no longer possible with directions I had here.

You can do a side by side comparison with the "Split Browser" extension.  All attempts to access old pages via https://63.245.209.31/... are now redirected to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/ page as of Monday 2007-04-23.

These examples were included in Bug: 384039 (2007-06-11) but some have been reloaded by their authors since. 

Another image, I will not include the webpage is Launchy compare add-ons site with image squeezed down to the actual image that you can see on Heinrich Gemal's site.

What we have in 2007 (#new)

The problems with Add-ons began in earnest in March 2007 with Remora (Update:remora) (found from Mozilla wiki (Updatge:Home Page)) with the introduction of the sandbox, loss of advanced search, worse documentation layout (more a failure to make promised improvements), and some extension authors jumped ship.
  1. Registration Required to get to see more add-ons, Give me a break, this is quite the opposite of why many people choose Firefox in the first place, to be secure, no cookies, no tracking. In reality to comment or add to discussions you would have to register, but certainly you should NOT have to register to see all add-ons.
  2. Search box on page that morphs it's size as you try to type.(problem)
  3. Sandbox annoying, obscures wording, public/sandbox links is ambiguous aside from the obvious annoyance, poorly thought out, difficult for people to find old extensions. Trying to hit a moving target to do a search is a big problem.
  4. No Advanced Search (problem) in the new add-ons site. (link to old page [63.245.209.31]) and click on Advanced Options to the right of the search box). On the advanced search you had been able to select.

    Category: {Any | bookmarks | Developer Tools,...,Tabbed Browsing, ...}
    Type: {Extensions | Themes}
    App: {Firefox | Mozilla | Seabird | Thunderbird}
    Platform: {Any, All, BSD, Linus, MACOSX, Solaris, Windows}
    Date: {Any | Today | This Week | This Month | This Year}
    Sort by: {Newest | Name | Rating | Popularity }
    Per page: {10 | 25 | 50}

    In order to use as a search engine I chose the above and installed it as a search engine using the "Add to Search Bar" extension. But you can't even do that with the new add-ons pages
  5. Show 50 can be found at the bottom of some search results pages, but again you have to have done a search beforehand, and everytime you turn around you see the "Log in" at the top meaning you're not logged in for this session.
  6. Keywords should be visible on page, and should be in META tags for visibility in search engines (even if most search engines don't pay attention to them).
  7. Space hogging column with a chose your language (problem), Why do I have to double the width of my screen for that.
  8. Screen shot replaced by logo on FireFTP (might be that ext only)
  9. The download size has been moved (problem) off of the install button to below that and below the developer comments.
  10. Previous comments before new add-ons have been removed, not even an archive.(problem) I can see starting over on comments, ratings etc, but the old comments had a lot of useful information.
  11. Developer Comments remains same, but the download sizes is now below them. Problem is that the FF versions, Install, and download size are not all together.
  12. Reviews (User Comments) has been changed from 1-5 to 1-10. The bad part is that the old comments are not archived, as they had good information particularly for extensions that the internal version was not upgraded While the versioning seems like a good idea, for most extensions it does not matter and creates major problems for authors and users.
  13. Discusions has been added (good) so that they are more closely tied in than some private forum. Discussions is where you look for more information and bring up issues (fortunately no ratings involved).

Keyword search at Add-ons using Google: (#kws)

Name: add-ons: Search for extensions at addons.mozilla.org/firefox
Location: http://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=site%3Aaddons.mozilla.org+inurl%3Afirefox +install-now+-inurl%3Arecommended +-inurl%3Aversions+%S
keyword: add-ons:
Description: This is a Google search not the same as the one on the Search Bar for Add-ons

Name: add-ons2: Search two places for Firefox add-ons
Location: http://www.google.com/search?q=%28site%3Aaddons.mozilla.org+inurl%3Afirefox%29+ OR+site%3Amozdev.org+%S
keyword: addons2:
Description: (blank)
Location:

More information on Keyword Shortcuts, and installing the "OpenBook" extension will speed up entering link information when you want to include a keyword shortcut, or a description.

Image problems at addons.mozilla.org

Now that the people whose images were destroyed by Remora updates to add-ons and the authors have reloaded their images, here is what you see.

This is the preview of all of the images shown at add-ons for the extension, from this select an image for the larger view: [This is just an example, it is not the kind of extension that would use currently.
   
   Interclue For Firefox 1.2.1.4173 
   The Interclue Team 
   http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addons/previews/4999

This is the larger preview image, but the link is ambiguous
because it is the same as above, but image is distorted as it is not fullsize but slightly reduced with an annoying background of the original page grayed out, and you can't use another viewer on the image yet.
   https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addons/previews/4999
 

This link can be viewed in an image editor from Firefox,
but you first have to right-click on the above then view image
before Remora this is what you got immediately when you clicked
on the smaller image.
  https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/images/preview/4999/1


Another Example where the author had a decent image to suffice
at the small size, but Remora add-ons desroyed the image to make it landscape instead of portrait.   I think if you could look at the previous add-ons site you would find that image was clear and did not need a larger image.  As it is it is adequate so isn't likely to get redone,
but it is disappointing because the area was the same size as the image frame being forced.
   Launchy 4.2.0,   by by Henrik Gemal 
   https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/81
I think used to have the same clear distinctive image as on
his own site.  http://gemal.dk/mozilla/launchy.html

Usage Comments (#usage)

After installing a new extension, try to find the following:
  1. Does the extension have an options on the Tools, Add-ons listing, or perhaps on a context menu or a toolbar or statusbar button.
  2. Do you need to invoke the extension, if so from where: main context menu, Tools menu, Sidebar (View, sidebar), Edit or other menu
  3. Does the extension have buttons, or a toolbar that you might want to, or need to include (View, Toolbars, Customize)
  4. You should locate the author's site, if one exists, for additional documentation, if not specifically listed on the add-on page you may find one using the author's name link at the top of the add-ons page.
  5. Check the author's documentation for additons to keyboard shortcuts, and mouse usage.  If you have extensions that use the same shortcut, you can check for and adjust conflicts with the [https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1043 KeywordBar] extension.
  6. Check the discussions and reviews at the bottom of the add-ons page.  You may find some hints in the discussions if you have a problem.  Keep in mind that most authors have only one machine and probably cannot write for multiple platforms when coding is dependent on systems.

Advance Search Return Bug: 370598   (#addons2008)

Fx3 Notes   (#addons2008)

Miscellaneous (#misc)

  Tidbits of Passing Interest (#tidbits)

  Bugs related to this page (#bugs)

The following were found searching bugzilla for "search addons OR add-ons" and are related to problems noted on this page, mainly to bug 372841:

Bugs related to other items mentioned on this page, also found searching bugzilla for "search addons"


Addons Site Interface and Search, Problems with the Addons site, particularly the search interface.
 

This page was introduced on April 21, 2007.
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