London Add-ons Workshop

Firefox has a ton of users, and a growing proportion of them are in Europe.  Since we have so many excited add-ons developers there, we held the Mozilla Add-ons Workshop in London this year.  It was, all in all, a fantastic time.  I gave a talk about Firefox Add-ons, and how our commitment to new ideas and browser customization allows us to provide a deeply personal experience for the myriad needs of hundreds of millions of internet users worldwide.  Five browsers make up over 98% of worldwide usage, and it seems like a foregone conclusion that there are more than 5 different kinds of users out there.

Of course, I have a point to make- which is that Firefox is much more than a single browser with a single experience.  Our commitment to add-ons and personalization is a reflection of our commitment to choice and innovation on the web.  We spend an enormous amount of effort on our platform because we believe that great ideas for the web come from everyone, and not just from our core development team. Since we know that there are great ideas out there, we’ll continue to make the most powerful platform for browser customization on the planet.  With Jetpack, it will also be the easiest and most fun- because innovation isn’t about struggling to make an idea a reality.

I also talked about about our plans to launch an Add-ons Marketplace this year- one that really focuses on building good relationships between developers and their users.  We know from our Contributions Pilot that add-on developers are interested in earning money from their add-ons, and we also know that this isn’t an idea that users take offense with.  Ultimately, we’d like to create opportunities for our developers to succeed with an add-on marketplace that is built on trustworthy relationships, and DRM will never be a part of that.

The best way to fight piracy is with good products for fair prices, and we want to create a Farmer’s Market, not a supermarket, one that is optimized to create opportunities for individual developers to succeed by creating unique experiences that users are willing to pay for.  There are few things which are truly free on the internet, and a small financial transaction between a user and a developer is an honest one without any invisible strings.  We are also committed to our free ecosystem of add-ons, and we expect that paid add-ons must be able to succeed while also competing with free alternatives.  This is what we believe- and we plan to show people that a store for add-ons can be built on the principles of the open web, where good ideas can be supported by the people who enjoy and benefit from them.

All in all, the response from the community was fantastic and positive , and plenty of food for my thought as we progress through this year much more quickly than I anticipated.  Huge thanks to everyone involved, from William, Julie, and Irina who handled logistics, Justin, Myk, Tristan, and Paul who graciously spent time putting together great talks, and to all the attendees and lightning talk presenters as well.

2 comments

  1. London is a roost for every bird.

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