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What to do about Junk Firefox Ad-Ons??

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
DonGato

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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 4:11 am

Can a mod spare us the senseless discussion here and move it to another thread?
It's just polluting a good discussion.

zmanzero, I prefer to keep this thread open without any direct insults to AMO admins or members.
You're playing into them if you act like this. Closing the thread is what they would like.

Thanks!

old zmanzero
 
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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 4:34 am

keep the thread. i'll edit.

edit - i have edited DonGato. keep this thread. i am angry, i will not post here for a while. mods, don't touch this thread. thank you.

foobartastic
 
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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 7:17 am

While I agree that these addons are garbage, making random, faulty accusations and blaming AMO staff and volunteers is not the way to go about this. From what I've read of AMO's policies (could barely find them - they most certainly need to work on that), as long as these toolbars declare up front what they're doing then they're not in violation. I've even ripped a few apart and looked at the code and they don't appear to be doing anything beyond what they state (though they are god awful mess of ~14,000 lines of ugly, ill-planned, near-obfuscated JS).

So I say take a different approach: rather than direct complaints at AMO, who really has no recourse to remove all of these addons as they're complying with AMO's policies - go directly to MoFo's board of directors (through a <a href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=mozilla.org&component=Governance&op_sys=All&rep_platform=All&bug_file_loc=http://addons.mozilla.org">mozilla.org:Governance</a> bug[1]) appealing from the community side and giving a clear case detailing why these toolbars and others should not be promoted on a Mozilla community site (it is, after all, hosted under the mozilla.org domain!).

These are just a few rough, rambling points in need of refinement but the overtones should be clear: <b>These toolbars exist only to serve those behind them, not those using them and they are not worthy of being hosted (and indirectly promoted) for free on a mozilla.org entity</b> (especially not one that's touted as <em>the</em> place to get addons and that's XPInstall whitelisted).
<ul>
<li>These toolbars offer nothing new or beneficial to users and simply duplicate many features already available in the browser.</li>
<li>They serve as nothing more than advertisement vehicles for their creators and conduit.</li>
<li>The 'creator' of a toolbar is not involved in the development and is typically unsympathetic towards or unable to assist end-users with any technical issues that may arise.</li>
<li>From what I've heard, these toolbars tie up the approval queue because of the extremely limited number of reviewers willing to approve them.</li>
<li>There is plenty of evidence to show that the Mozilla community does not stand behind the decision to continue hosting these and Mozilla risks losing a fair chunk of community respect/credibility by continuing to host them.</li>
<li>The toolbar authors care not one bit about AMO's policies or reviewers and simply view them as being in the way of free advertisement. This can be seen countless times on Conduit's forum where those seeking advice after a denial are simply told to submit again.</li>
</ul>
Of course these toolbars are not the only addons made without the user in mind - don't get me started on the several dozen do-nothing-but-right-click-to-search-and-unsuspectingly-use-my-affiliate-code addons (which along with others should be removed in the same fell swoop that kills Conduit) but Conduit pushers are certainly the most prolific and blatant about their true reasons behind wanting to be hosted on AMO.

This is not an issue to be held off on until Remora launches (which may not even be the answer to these problems), this is about upholding the respect of the community that has done so much for Mozilla and those users who've come to expect a certain level of quality from Mozilla sites and products (no matter how many disclaimers there are distancing Mozilla from what's being served up).

History has <a href="http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1/friendsdontletfriendsuspr5.jpg">shown us</a> that which we do not want to become, one can only hope we aren't <a href="http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/1879/fullscreenpi3.jpg">doomed to repeat it</a>.

Cheers,
foobartastic

[1]The Governance component is defined as:
Issues that relate to the values that are shared between many participants in the Mozilla Project, such as accountability, cooperation, creativity, effort, fairness, fun, humour, integrity, learning, etc.

VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 8:44 am

Foobar,
Good idea about the governance bug, I think. Careful with those arguments. I think you have to shoot straighter.

"...worthy of being hosted (and indirectly promoted) for free on a mozilla.org entity</b> (especially not one that's touted as <em>the</em> place to get addons and that's XPInstall whitelisted)."

Good point. This site has a special trust. Is everything well reviewed and trustworthy? If not, there needs to be a disclaimer.

Here are some specific arguments you will face. (It's not what I think, by the way. It's what you have to prove that matters.)

<ul>
<li>"These toolbars offer nothing new or beneficial to users and simply duplicate many features already available in the browser."</li>
Oh yeah? Some people claim to like them and even claim they are useful. Do you have a really strong argument otherwise? Can you prevail against a Mozilla driver who claims otherwise? Either deliver the goods or modify the claim.


<li>"They serve as nothing more than advertisement vehicles for their creators and conduit."</li>
See previous point.


<li>"The 'creator' of a toolbar is not involved in the development and is typically unsympathetic towards or unable to assist end-users with any technical issues that may arise."</li>
Oh yeah? The creator had no role in the development? Are you sure? And even if it is, so what? Why should development be a criterion? I thought usefulness and safety were the relevant points.


<li>"There is plenty of evidence to show that the Mozilla community does not stand behind the decision to continue hosting these and Mozilla risks losing a fair chunk of community respect/credibility by continuing to host them."</li>
What evidence? A few people in this thread?


<li>"The toolbar authors care not one bit about AMO's policies or reviewers and simply view them as being in the way of free advertisement. This can be seen countless times on Conduit's forum where those seeking advice after a denial are simply told to submit again."</li>
Who says they have to agree with review policies? And why shouldn't they be told to submit again after correcting a problem?
</ul>
Last edited by VanillaMozilla on December 11th, 2006, 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

vettbass

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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 10:47 am

To get back on topic specifically, I'm sorry to report that the "Download Statusbar" extension crashed my Firefox 3 times within a half an hour with the "Firefox has encountered a problem and must close..." error during a download.

When I uninstalled it, the problem went away. For now, I'll stick with the default DL manager in FF.

Don't know what others have experienced with it but for my part, LOOK OUT for this "Download Statusbar".
Vettbass - The Old Cynic

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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 10:54 am

Vettbass, if you can duplicate the problem with a new profile and the current version of both Fx and the extension, file a bug report. If it's listed, it's supposed to do the job.

Daifne
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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 11:02 am

All of zman's edited posts and that part of the discussion split. Sorry that happened.

ViperAFK
 
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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 6:24 pm

vettbass wrote:To get back on topic specifically, I'm sorry to report that the "Download Statusbar" extension crashed my Firefox 3 times within a half an hour with the "Firefox has encountered a problem and must close..." error during a download.

When I uninstalled it, the problem went away. For now, I'll stick with the default DL manager in FF.

Don't know what others have experienced with it but for my part, LOOK OUT for this "Download Statusbar".

well, you are using a pre-release version of firefox, can't replicate that in firefox 2.0 or 1.5, it's always worked great for me.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted December 11th, 2006, 6:51 pm

Could a Moderator (Daifne?) please move vettbasses Download Statusbar post (and responses) to another thread? I do not believe that is what is being discussed here and is off topic. By the way ViperAFK; vettbass did not say he had Firefox 3.0! Download Statusbar to the best of my knowledge is not a Conduit Toolbar. Happy holidays all.
#KeepFightingMichael and Alex.

kevin1979
 
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Post Posted December 12th, 2006, 4:23 pm

Seems like our "pals", specifically "Arvi" this time, are getting cute again. The now-former Wikipedia Toolbar has had a name change to "MyWiki Toolbar" which has bumped the extension back up the Latest listing. You can tell it's the old Wikipedia bar by the old comments and the fact that it's officially listed as last updated on November 1st.

Looks like they found a way around the bug fix. Can't wait until The BBC Toolbar is renamed MyBBC and is re-bumped.

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3436/

VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted December 12th, 2006, 5:13 pm

Thericochet,
So register and file a bug report. It's not that hard. Just describe the pertinent facts, much as you have done here, but without the personal comments. The bug is that there is a loophole. Make sure you select the right product, which is addons.mozilla.org, or whatever. And the component you want is probably Policy.

They tried to fix the bug, so there's no debate about the loophole should be closed. You don't have to argue policy or anything. Just report it. If you don't, probably no one else is going to and it won't get fixed.

Frank Lion

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Post Posted December 12th, 2006, 5:27 pm

VanillaMozilla wrote:They tried to fix the bug, so there's no debate about the loophole should be closed. You don't have to argue policy or anything. Just report it. If you don't, probably no one else is going to and it won't get fixed.

Strange. AMO* know very well that the only way to effect any extension change is via it's GUID and not via it's name - the name being irrelevant to the AMO system.

* as in, it was them that told me that, a while back.
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

DonGato

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Post Posted December 12th, 2006, 6:41 pm

It should be reported and the user punished for such behavior. Did anyone fill the bug already?

VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted December 12th, 2006, 9:52 pm

thericochet,
Just be sure to take a careful look at it and double-check the facts, though, before you file, or you could blow your credibility. You don't have to be too picky or understand the inner workings of AMO, but just use reasonable care, as I'm sure you will. You don't have to write much, but try to make sure everything is a true statement. You're writing for computer guys.

AlfonsoML
 
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Post Posted December 13th, 2006, 1:01 am

Listen: if AMO and MoCo really wanted to keep the place clean they don't need us to watch the new tricks used by those pricks.
Each extension must be approved, so they could just remove any extension as soon as the author starts trying to bend the rules, I didn't see any place where it's stated that all and every extension will be offered in AMO, so if you can't put your extension there, it's your problem, and the most important element in AMO should be the trust of the users so they know that everything in AMO has been tested so they can install it safely without fears of any kind of misbehavior (memory leak, inestability, breakage of other extensions, etc..)
If the author of an extension is always trying to bypass the rules to get higher exposure for their extensions, How can you trust him that he won't try to do anything shady in their extensions?

They don't need to develop a new system from scratch, the only ones that are damaged while the current system is active are the users and the credibility of MoCo, while those fake developers just spend their time trying to find new ways to keep with their game. Ban them, if they want to provide the toolbar for their users then they can put it in their page and ask users to accept it, they don't need AMO for that.

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