Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Anything to do with the Pale Moon add-ons website.

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Lootyhoof
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Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Postby Lootyhoof » Fri, 22 Dec 2017, 00:54

As I'm sure many of you are aware, currently we have somewhat of a reliance on Mozilla's add-ons site, addons.mozilla.org, in addition to its update service, for add-ons hosted on that site. Searches performed in the Add-ons Manager (about:addons) are also searched using this system.

With Mozilla's push to another extension architecture, named WebExtensions, in Firefox 57, the last currently-supported release of Firefox that supports the extensions also in use on Pale Moon is Firefox 52 ESR. Once support for this is removed by Mozilla, they have already confirmed that they will be removing these add-ons. At this point, addons.mozilla.org ("AMO") will no longer be of use to us, and will only serve to cause confusion if this service is still used.

As a result, I can confirm that on May 8th, 2018 (2018-05-08) we will be removing support for AMO, in all its forms. In addition, due to its age we will also remove support for Pale Moon 26 and below at this time. This includes the following:

  • Automatic Update Services (AUS)
  • Searches performed using about:addons
  • Any and all other AMO integration within the Add-ons Manager
  • External add-on listings on addons.palemoon.org pointing to AMO
Instead, we will rely exclusively on the AUS within our own add-ons site, addons.palemoon.org. This of course does not include self-hosted add-ons, which will continue to update as usual on their own update infrastructure, unaffected by these changes. Add-ons Manager integration, including search, will use our site instead. External add-ons currently directing to AMO can either host with us or self-host. If you are a developer of such add-ons please contact us regarding how you would like to proceed.

I'm a user whose add-on still resides on AMO, what effect will this have on me?
Ultimately the removal of these add-ons is up to Mozilla, however as we know support for the next Firefox ESR release is Firefox 60, on May 8th, we have a general idea for when services may start to deteriorate. As such, to prevent the service becoming unreliable, we will be removing support at a time when we know it will still be active, if only just. Any add-ons you require that still reside on this service and have not already been installed on your browser would be removed from AMO unless you personally back them up, or a developer decides to "fork" (start development anew) the add-on.

But what if the service stays live on Mozilla's end after that! Will you reconsider?
Short answer: No. While it may work for a time beyond this, we would not be able to know exactly when this service would stop working, and to ensure a smooth transition we would make the switch before this. We have gained a wide variety of interesting and original add-ons on our site over the past few years of its service, and we would hope that these can provide a suitable experience for users, or if this is not sufficient, that developers could come forward and submit add-ons to our site. We are continually making improvements to our add-ons site to make this process simpler and easier, also. Note also that if the service remains live on Mozilla's side and add-ons are not removed for a time, it is still possible to install (or otherwise download) add-ons, by visiting addons.mozilla.org, however it would not be possible to receive further updates.

While I understand that this may not be great news for some, please understand that this is both (a) to migrate services away from a service which will no longer be relevant to us anymore, and (b) to promote Pale Moon-specific add-ons, which in the case of the search in about:addons it does not currently. This is especially useful for developers, who may (for example) produce a Pale Moon-specific version of an add-on also distributed on AMO. In this instance, users could have installed the AMO version, either via visiting AMO or using the search feature in about:addons, and thus have issues with this version that are fixed in the Pale Moon-specific version. This is also true of forked add-ons, where another developer has continued development, possibly under a different name.

Please bear with us during this transitionary period, and we will attempt to make the move as smooth as possible.

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