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Firefox 22 repack
all add-ons built with a version of the SDK earlier than 1.14 should be repacked with SDK 1.14 in time for Firefox 22 (due to release June 25).
all add-ons built with a version of the SDK earlier than 1.14 will be marked incompatible with Firefox 22 and above.
There are three reasons for this:
the SDK, in versions 1.12 and earlier, expects the platform's old private-browsing APIs to exist and will fail to load add-ons if they don't. This applies not only to add-ons that use private-browsing, but to all add-ons. Until Firefox 22 a stub for these APIs is in place, which is convincing enough for the SDK to work, unless add-ons actually try to use private-browsing. In Firefox 22 the stub is removed.
the exposedProps change will break everything earlier than 1.9
add-ons that are built with 1.14 will automatically use the modules in Firefox if they are running on Firefox 21 or higher. So once you are on 1.14, your add-on will automatically get newer versions of the SDK code without having to repack. Of course, this doesn't mean we'll never break compatibility again: things happen sometimes, and we have to change APIs. But updates to add-ons to make them use a newer version of the SDK code should not be needed any more.
The basic plan would like the plan for repacking add-ons that used private browsing, except (1) we're repacking nearly everything and (2) we can start now and have 10 weeks until the critical Firefox version is released.
- notify all add-on authors of the plan (a modified version of this email, basically)
- fetch the complete set of add-ons on AMO that are built with SDK 1.13.2 and below
- try to repack them
- those we can repack: smoke test, notify the authors asking them to resubmit. If the author's don't respond in 2 weeks, we will resubmit them to the review queue anyway
- those we can't repack, or for which smoke tests fail: notify the authors asking them to repack and resubmit
We'll split smoke testing into 2 parts:
- for the top 200 repacked add-ons (by ADI) we will manually smoke test
- for the remainder we will run some basic automated tests. These will install the old add-on in Firefox and log any exceptions or errors raised, then do the same with the repacked version: if there's any difference, the test is a fail, if they are the same, the test is a pass.
We should probably pick an arbitrary date by which all add-on authors on AMO should be told whether they have to repack or not. This should be long enough to give us a chance to attempt the repack and do smoke testing for probably close to 1500 add-ons. I feel May 25 is the latest possible date I'd like to see this happen.