Mozilla Overhauls Its Process for Testing Firefox Extensions

by Sam Dean - Apr. 21, 2011Comments (0)

As we've recently covered, and as our readers have confirmed, not everyone is thrilled with the performance of Mozilla's newly release Firefox 4 browser. Even as Mozilla has announced that its new rapid release cycle for Firefox will proceed, with a version 5 and a version 4.01 of Firefox coming, the company is also making adjustments to the way Firefox extensions are tested, in an effort to avoid the kinds of performance problems with Firefox 4 that users are experiencing. Here are the details.

Mozilla has already conceded that extensions--among the most popular reasons why many users favor Firefox over other browsers--have caused many of the problems with Firefox 4. In fact, Mozilla has even gone so far as to post a running list of the most problematic extensions, available here.  This list is worth checking if you're not getting good performance from the new browser.

Now, Mozilla is adjusting the way it tests extensions to ensure that things go more smoothly with future releases of Firefox.  To be specific, extensions will be tested on a newly automated basis, and the Mozilla Add-On Blog adds:

 "Any add-ons flagged as potentially incompatible or that use binary components will not have their compatibility bumped and the authors will receive an email with the identified problems. After testing and fixing any problems, the author can then manually set compatibility and rejoin the automatic process for future releases."

The new process still holds extension developers responsible for testing their extensions, but it also ensures that Mozilla will have a more formal feedback loop with developers. Let's hope these changes help Mozilla follow its new rapid release cycle for Firefox without disruptive performance problems creeping up.


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