Archive for the ‘Mozilla’ Category.
One of the most promising and impressive new features in beta 3 is an
integrated add-on installer system that allows users to search for and
install add-ons from addons.mozilla.org directly through the Add-ons
Manager user interface.
The Add-ons Manager pulls data about Recommended addons and search results from the main addons.mozilla.org (AMO) website via the AMO API, which is my project. When you ask for a recommendation, the Add-ons manager pulls a RESTian URL like
checks for addons that you don’t yet have installed from that list, and displays details of the remaining addons.
The API will be (is) available to the community as well, and promoted once testing is complete. If you’d like to experiment with the API then draft documentation is available at
(This will move to the Mozilla Developer Center once it’s more fleshed out.) Please file any bugs you find.
I’m still working on tweaks and bug fixes: I’ve already fixed a bunch of character encoding issues in different languages, and applied some performance tweaks. (Some still to go into production.) Right now, I’m working on speeding up search. Search is slow on the whole of AMO, and later this year I plan to implement a full text search. Right now it’s just tweaking - it’s slow because when you search all the possible translations are searched (think many left joins), and the plan is to rejig the database to only search your local translation plus English (since many add-ons are only available in English, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out).
Anyway, it’s been great fun working on this project so far, and it’s incredibly rewarding to think that something I wrote is incorporated into my favorite browser.
I’m about to leave for Orlando where I will speak at CakeFest One tomorrow on the subject of building the addons.mozilla.org API using CakePHP. The whole of the addons.mozilla.org website is built with Cake, and we believe it to be the biggest installation (in terms of traffic) in the world. I’ll post slides after the presentation, and a bit more information about the numbers and so on.
Building the API has consumed my thoughts for the last few months. It’s used by the new Addons Manager in Firefox 3, which will be in beta 3. (You can read Madhava Enros’ blog entry on the subject for a preview). After beta 3 is out, I plan on blogging more about the API details. I’m still ironing out bugs and doing some peformance tuning.
In addition to my involvement with Cake these days, I have recently been associated with two new framework books. I acted as a tech reviewer for Mike Naberezny and Derek DeVries’ "Rails for PHP Developers" (Pragmatic, 2008) and wrote the foreword for Cal Evans’ "Guide to Programming with Zend Framework" (php|architect, 2008). These books are now available, so please enjoy the fruits of the authors’ labor.
I can’t help but find it amusing that something I’m (in)famous for not being a fan of has dominated my professional life for the last six or so months. I’ll have to write more about my thoughts on these three frameworks soon…but right now I’ve got too much work to do and a plane to catch, besides.