Are Firefox Add-on Collections dead?
Mozilla introduced Collections to its Firefox Add-ons website (AMO) back in 2009 to provide users of the web browser with options to keep track of add-ons, and to showcase add-ons, for instance by creating themed collections.
It allowed anyone with an account to create and maintain collections by adding add-ons (which included themes) to them.
Creators could add and remove add-ons from collections, and others could follow them to receive notifications about changes made to these collections.
Firefox users benefit from Collections in two ways: collections may help users of the browser discover new add-ons, and they make it easier to install a bunch of add-ons especially if they used an add-on like Massive Extender which allows them to install multiple add-ons of a collection in one operation.
Add-on Collections Today
Collections are highlighted in the main menu on the Add-ons starting page on the Mozilla website. A click on the link opens the collections hub and there four collections managed by Mozilla that have been featured there for ages.
You can change the listing to "most followers" which appears to be the best option to explore Collections for the first time as "newest" or "recently updated" seem to list collections that can be best described as theme collections.
A quick of the 10 newest and recently updated collections revealed that nine out of then listed themes exclusively.
Collections work for the most part as you would expect as a Firefox user. You can install add-ons individually from the collections page or click on any add-on listed to open its main page on Mozilla AMO to find out more about it first before you do so.
Collections are still open, but the recent redesign of the add-ons website has made it a lot harder for creators to add add-ons to their collections.
All that needed to be done previously to add an add-on to a collection was to click on the "add to collection" button on an add-ons page on the Mozilla website.
Mozilla hides the button (and the favorite button) now which means that Collection curators need to edit the collection to add add-ons there.
So, instead of clicking on "add to favorites" or "add to collection", it is now necessary to open the collection or favorites first, click on the edit button, type the add-on name to run a search for it, browse the results to find it, click on add, and then on save.
Mozilla's reasons for removing the option are to streamline the add-on pagesÂ (not to confuse users who may be overwhelmed by the options presented on the page), and that the feature was not used all that much.
We did remove the "add to" buttons from the add-ons details page to focus this page on it's core function of informing the user about the add-on it shows.
This is intentional to focus the details page more and simplify.
For collections users still can add add-ons in the collections section of AMO.
I am not sure if those feature are used enough to justify the prominent placement.
If you check the source code on an add-on's profile page on the Mozilla website you may notice that the two "add options" that were removed are just hidden, and that the functionality is still there.
Firefox users who maintain collections can install the AMO EZ on the Eyes userstyle which makes the buttons visible again on Mozilla AMO.
Not dead yet
Collections don't appear to be high on Mozilla's priority list. In fact, things have not changed all that much ever since they were introduced. They are linked from the main add-ons website but I would not be surprised if that link would be removed from the site in the future as well.
The removal of the add buttons make it harder for active maintainers of collections to add new add-ons to their collections or favorites, and it seems likely that some will stop updating their collections because of this.
Now You: What's your take on the collections feature?
“We think users are morons” is the standard reason given for dropping features now. That and “99% of users don’t use the feature”
Exactly Mozarella want to be first browser in the race to the dumbest browser for dumb users and at this game they win big time even over Edge (Edge is adding addons not removing at least) and Chromium (with Vivaldi with HTML5 UI bring more customization).
Mozilla’s new policy is apparently “we do what we think is best and ignore our best supporters”.
Here are three (3) threads on Mozilla’s own forum discussing the issue:
They have even removed the ability to easily add an add-on to one’s own Favorites list.
So far, Mozilla has refused to respond to almost all complaints. “Mozilla knows best” seems to be their mantra.
It’s like Mozilla is in full self-destruct mode.
It makes one wonder: Are they trying to fail?
It sure looks like they don’t care what their customers think. Sad.
I never used the Collection feature. I wouldn’t as a follower nor as a guide. Not fond of the idea. I don’t see why, on the basis of what authority I’d take into consideration the fact an add-on has been honored to join a collection, to consider it’s value differently when I already don’t give the slightest importance to an add-on’s number of users. I do appreciate and consider users’ comments when elaborated on different add-ons but be they good or bad has strictly no incidence, no incentive on triggering a curiosity and from there on a choice. Moreover I have a natural aversion with anything to do with clubs, collectivism-oriented associations as well as gurus and whatever “truth” speakers. Facts, arguments, nothing but that, the rest is dust. IMneverhumbleO :)
Tomorrow’s “Paris Matin” Headline
Tom Hawack joins the Philosophers Hall of Fame ! :D
@ Gary D
I donâ€™t know if Tom Hawack is a candidate for the Philosophers Hall of Fame.
Tom seems to be deficient in understanding the deep intellectual nuances of The Three Stooges and Bugs Bunny, not to mention the recent insightful revelations of Sponge Bob Squarepants. :<)
People, listen to me : don’t listen to anyone!
@Valborex, I’m deficient, period! Neither have I ever understood the intrinsic differential between Abbott & Costello aligned with Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin! If I did no idea if I would have laughed so much :)
Three Stooges were fun. I jumped 50 years back with a dedicated YouTube video last month. Unfortunately without a Malted Milk Shake… nostalgia is the word. So far from Mozilla Add-ons’ Collections.
“I have a natural aversion with anything to do with clubs, collectivism-oriented associations as well as gurus and whatever “truth” speakers.”
Tom, I feel your angst and submit this (paraphrasing Groucho):
“I donâ€™t care to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member”.
@Mike S. … the only Marx which ever made me laugh (and still does!) was Groucho! He had a straightforward humor which got him several enemies in the business, He was in a way very European at a time when America wasn’t awake as it is now, in this that non conventional arrogance wasn’t yet recognized as a sign of social emancipation. America has enormously changed since the sixties, as all other countries of course, and an interesting matter is to try to spot what remains and what changes within time.
“I told you I was sick” is his grave’s epitaph. That tells us as well how funny he not only was but aimed to be, all the way till the end.
If I knew a club where all members shared an aversion for clubs I could maybe reconsider my opinion :)
Then why are you reading the article by Martin or using the Internet, which is basically a “collectivism-oriented association” (sic)? Don’t bother with the Harvard Classics, trash list of antiquated thought. Don’t listen to a song or go any place else in the world. Isolate oneself from the subjective realm. Humbleness isn’t a fact or an argument, so you can’t be humble or never humble. Sound rather lost, mate.
Frankly, never used that feature.
The problem with any set of objects (set of themes, set of add-ons, set of plugins) is that you need set when you need all of them or almost all of them. For several years I have my own add-on collection, set of add-ons I like, earlier also a few themes I liked to use, and I can clone that set to new browser installations without Mozilla collections, using only FEBE and CLEO Firefox add-ons.
I have found dozens of extension collections on AMO useful. Not that it would be a bad thing, but never have I found a single one that requires the user to install the entire collection.
FEBE Is An Awesome Extension.
I Just Wish There Was A Sister For CHROME Clones, To Save All Already Installed Extensions In .CRX Or .NEX File Formats, Too.
I’ve created an extra stylesheet that doesn’t change the whole colors, etc. like AMO EZ on the eyes: https://userstyles.org/styles/127380/amo-bring-back-favorites-and-collections