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Author Topic: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?  (Read 5515 times)

suleika

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Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« on: April 12, 2008, 10:15:34 AM »
I'm giving Firefox 3 Beta 5 a try, and yet again I find myself frustrated with the layout and interface of the Firefox Add-on site.  There seems no way to search for extension by compatibility except by guessing at search strings, and there is not much consistency in how the Firefox versions are mentioned in the descriptions.  This used to frustrate me already with Firefox2 every time there was a major update.

When browsing the site with Firefox 3.0b5 any compatible extensions show up with a green download button rather than grey, which enabled me to scan the pages 100 extensions at at time and find the compatible ones reasonably fast.  But having done that once, I'd love to be notified when any extensions are updated.  I can't find any rss feeds though.  Would this be something a website watcher could help me with?

But surely the actual interface to the database could be improved in the first place.  It's maddening.  Firefox itself can obviously distinguish between compatible and non-compatible just through the browser window (as oppose to via a tool) which makes me wonder if the relevant info can be found in the metadata of the rendered html somewhere.  I wonder if that's the kind of thing a greasemonkey script could ferret out, like the scripts people have written for Flickr.  (Mind you, greasemonkey is not yet 3.0b5 compatible.)

Lashiec

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Re: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2008, 06:11:48 PM »
Well, Firefox automatically does that for you. By default, it checks for updates to your themes and extensions. And once Firefox 3 reaches to the release state, there are no more changes to the API until Firefox 4, and so your extensions should work with every minor update. Of course, there are lazy coders out there that check for specific builds of Firefox, because they seem to ignore what a wildcard is ;D

Also, Firefox 3 allows you to install extensions from the addons window, but I ignore if such installation actually checks for version compatibility before installing, that is, filtering the results by the returned version.

And yes, in the case you want to track updates, WebSite-Watcher or a similar app with monitoring capabilities like Newzie would help.

suleika

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Re: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008, 06:25:17 PM »
Well, Firefox automatically does that for you. By default, it checks for updates to your themes and extensions.

Yes, indeed, as did Firefox2, but how do I check for updates to extensions that I haven't installed?  As my configuration stands, I unfortunately can't install an incompatible extension, disable it and then have Firefox check for updates.  I seem to remember that my Firefox2 did allow this, so perhaps this is something I can tweak in Firefox3 - I shall try to find out.

And yes, in the case you want to track updates, WebSite-Watcher or a similar app with monitoring capabilities like Newzie would help.

Yes, it probably does need something like that - thanks for the suggestions.

beermatt

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Re: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 05:00:55 AM »
There is an RSS feed for updated extensions here..

It's also possible to disable compatibility checking - if you go to about:config, and set Preference extensions.checkCompatibility to false (it may need to be created if it doesn't exist) you can then install 'incompatible' extensions and manually disable if they really don't work (many work fine for me)..

suleika

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Re: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 02:37:47 PM »
Thank you, beermatt.  I haven't tried the compatibility tweak yet, but from the address of that rss feed you gave me I found the address of a browse function on the add-ons page which I never knew existed.  The "sort by" panel doesn't appear on the page I've always been using.

Curt

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Re: Tracking firefox extension (add-on) updates - how?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 06:06:03 PM »