Intent to Implement: Add-on Distribution Control

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Stuart Colville

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Oct 13, 2021, 2:08:27 PM10/13/21
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In Q4 2021, the Add-ons Engineering team will start implementing new functionality to further restrict how websites may distribute and offer add-ons for installation. This will require add-on authors who wish to distribute their add-ons on a website to declare the website origin in the add-on manifest. More than one origin may be listed, but we may limit the total number allowed. The add-on will only be installable from the origins listed and addons.mozilla.org.  

At a future date TBC, the manifest entry will be required for all new add-ons and all updates to existing add-ons. Pre-existing add-ons will continue to work with the current 3rd party install flow. This functionality will also be required for all add-ons using the future Manifest Version 3 in Firefox.

Functionality for Enterprise Policy and 3rd party Firefox distributions will continue to exist, allowing those use cases to continue installing add-ons as they do today.

Technical Details

This example is accurate at the time of this writing, but may evolve as we progress through the project.

All add-ons have a manifest.json file that defines a set of information about the add-on, as well as defining various features used.  Developers will be required to add the following to the manifest.

Example manifest snippet:

 "browser_specific_settings": {

   "gecko": {

     "install_origins": [

"https://example.com"

"https://foo.example.com"

]

   }

 },


The install origins must be explicit.  The "install_origins” array may be empty, which would limit installation to addons.mozilla.org, or through local installation such as Enterprise Policy.

More details will be made available as we progress, alongside documentation of the requirements.


Kind regards,


Stuart Colville (on behalf of the Add-ons Engineering team)


--
Stuart Colville / Engineering Manager Add-ons
Slack / Matrix / Github / Bugzilla: muffinresearch

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