Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager

The Firefox Add-ons Manager will soon display the release notes of updated extensions directly in the web browser.

Mozilla plans to release the new feature in Firefox 68 which is scheduled for a July 9, 2019 release.

Firefox supports browser extensions; users may install add-ons in the browser to extend functionality of the browser or sites visited in the browser.

Add-ons are updated automatically by default whenever a new version is released by the developer or publisher. Firefox users who want more control over the update process may change the default behavior to turn automatic updates off.

Current versions of Firefox, those prior to version 68, don't reveal update information when you select Extensions. Updates are highlighted under Available Updates in the Add-ons Manager but only until the update is installed.

The only option after installation was to visit the extension's profile page on the Mozilla Add-ons repository, or to look the information up on the developer's site if they were provided there.

The profile page on Mozilla AMO lists the release notes of the latest version of an add-on. It is possible to click on "see all versions" on the page to display release notes for previous releases.

Starting with Firefox 68, release notes are also a part of the Extensions listing of the Firefox web browser. Apart from that change, the latest release notes are listed there so that it is possible to go through them after the fact.

firefox add-ons manager release notes

All you need to do is open about:addons in the Firefox web browser, click on one of the installed browser extensions, and switch to the Release Notes tab.

Note that you can also click on the menu icon (the three dots) next to any extension and select "more options" to open the details page of the installed extension.

Release Notes are pulled from Mozilla's AMO website when they are opened in the browser; it may take a moment to display them because of that. Implementing an option to integrate release notes with releases so that they don't need to be fetched separately would be a welcome improvement.

The release notes depend on the content that the developer of the extension or its publisher add to the release notes snipped on Mozilla AMO. Some developers provide extensive information, others barely any information at all.

Closing Words

The option to display release notes directly in the Firefox Add-ons Manager is a welcome step in the right direction. I'd like to see an option get these displayed during add-on updates as well to get even more control over the updating process.

Mozilla could implement these optionally and keep the automatic process the default in coming versions of Firefox.

Now You: What is your take on the change? Anything you'd like to see added to it?

Summary
Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager
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Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager
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The Firefox Add-ons Manager will soon display the release notes of updated extensions directly in the web browser.
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Comments

  1. Deo et Patriae said on June 11, 2019 at 11:36 am
    Reply

    Meanwhile Martin, look at this screenshot. There’s a notice in Addons Page that I find it extremely annoying.

    Please, do you know any parameter in about:config to get rid of?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm
      Reply

      The private browsing notice? Probably going away in the near future. I’m not aware of an about:config option to hide it.

      1. Deo et Patriae said on June 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm
        Reply

        O.K. Thank you anyway. I was talking about the notice that says “Firefox is changing how extensions work” blah blah in version 67.1

    2. Marco said on June 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm
      Reply

      Deo et Patriae

      Go to about:profiles so you can see where is your profile is located (in case you don’t know)
      Open your folder profile
      inside your profile, create a folder named chrome if you haven’t already
      create a file, userContent.css
      Open it
      Paste this:

      @-moz-document url(about:addons){
      .message-bar, .message-bar-description {
      display:none!important
      }
      }

      Done.

      1. Tsami said on June 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm
        Reply

        Marco,

        Thanks for this contribution – much appreciated! I prefer not seeing things such as this lengthy repetitive notice that reduce viewable vertical space.

      2. Marco said on June 11, 2019 at 11:21 pm
        Reply

        I agree with you. Glad to help.

  2. WhateverBOy said on June 11, 2019 at 11:36 am
    Reply

    Firefox is dead for me so… whatever.

    1. Gary D said on June 11, 2019 at 12:25 pm
      Reply

      So go and play with chrome, edge or even IE11.
      Don’t comment about something you don’t use ….. WHATEVER !!!

    2. Tamris said on June 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm
      Reply

      Then why did you comment here in the first place.

    3. Bobby Phoenix said on June 12, 2019 at 1:38 am
      Reply

      Gary D and Tamris please don’t feed the trolls. The only come out of their caves to poke the bears, and then run. They probably won’t even come back to read replies.

  3. Anonymous said on June 11, 2019 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    It’s a good idea, but if I understood correctly the release notes for the next available version are not displayed *before* the extension is updated, and that would be really useful for those who disable extension auto-updates.

  4. Marcin said on June 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm
    Reply

    Is it really a new feature ?!?

    As far as I can tell, I already have access to release notes in my current Firefox (v.66).

    @Anonymous : You can see the release notes and then decide to update or not.

    https://i.imgur.com/6Eiog4x.png

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm
      Reply

      I don’t have it in Firefox 67.0.1.

      1. Sören Hentzschel said on June 11, 2019 at 3:07 pm
        Reply

        This feature is not new at all. Release Notes are shown in the add-on since many years. Of course release notes have to be provided by the add-on author.

      2. Anonymous said on June 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm
        Reply

        New in a sense that the data is permanently added so you can review anytime.

    2. Anonymous said on June 11, 2019 at 1:02 pm
      Reply

      You’re right, I forgot, thanks for the correction !

  5. pintassilgo said on June 11, 2019 at 3:17 pm
    Reply

    Firefox has always displayed release notes when there is available update, I use this feature a lot (all my addons are set to manual update).

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm
      Reply

      Right, but only as “available updates”. That worked okay for users who set updates to manual, but the information is removed once updated unless I’m mistaken. I have updated the article to make that clearer.

  6. Mozinet said on June 11, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    I have it neither in 68 beta nor 69 Nightly.

    1. owl said on June 11, 2019 at 11:37 pm
      Reply

      It is the same!
      My Beta and Developer Edition 68.0b9 also have the same display style as before, and “Release Notes” do not exist.
      Operating environment: Firefox-US version / Locale: USsurely! My Beta and Developer Edition also have the same display style as before, and Release Notes do not exist.
      Operating environment: Firefox-US version / Locale: US

      1. owl said on June 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm
        Reply

        Postscript:
        In the “Tools for all add-ons (⚙)” at the top right of the Add-ons Manager, I can view the release notes by checking “View Recent Updates”.

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