I review Firefox add-ons regularly and i like the thrill of diving into the depths of the Firefox add-on gallery to find new add-ons that I have not reviewed yet. Especially so if the add-on description sounds promising and if the add-on is relatively new.
Recently I have discovered an add-on called Dubser which is listed on the Mozilla website.
Dubser sounds like an interesting add-on:
Dubser makes your daily browsing easier. With our unified interface, you have instant access to popular web services like dictionaries, search engines, social network services and more. It offers you a completely new way of accessing these web services in your browser without disturbing pop-up windows and unwanted browser tabs, just as if you had a browser in browser. It helps you to
improve your browsing efficiency
speed up your searching process
perform many tasks more easily in your browser
collect your frequently used web-based services in one place
The download of the add-on however links to the developer site that hosts the add-on exclusively.
What does it mean? Mozilla explains it on their website when you click on the button leading to the external website: "This add-on is hosted on the developer's own website and has not been reviewed by Mozilla. Be careful when installing third-party software that might harm your computer".
Add-ons that are not hosted on Mozilla.com are not reviewed by Mozilla. Heck, not even all add-ons that are hosted on the Mozilla site are reviewed, but that is only temporary for new add-ons. Hosting it on the Mozilla website means that developers are willingly submitting their add-ons for review.
With externally hosted add-ons it is different and I shy away from downloading and installing those add-ons because of the risks involved. While it is not likely that Dubser or any other externally hosted add-on is indeed malicious, it is not an easy thing to check, at least not for me and other users who are not Firefox developers or experts.
So, instead of installing Dubser I have made the decision to ignore it for now. I will revisit the page at Mozilla from time to time to see if the add-on is hosted and reviewed on the official website. If it is I will install it and write a review about my experience with it.
Hosting add-ons on the official website adds a seal of security and trust to those add-ons and developers should consider to at least co-host their add-ons on the official Mozilla website.
Update: The Add-on has been removed from Mozilla.
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