[Redacted] Your Firefox


RockYourFirefox.com recently reviewed TwitterFox er… TwitterNotifier er… Echofon!

It’s a Firefox extension to interface with Twitter, with a very unobtrusive and intuitive UI. That, with a bunch of other nice features made it a pretty slick addon.

Until about five weeks ago.

In mid-August, Naan Studio released an update——that basically breaks any non-Mac, non-Win32, unofficial build. The supposed reason was support of forced-Twitter’s OAuth rollout, but since had OAuth debug statements scrolling across my screen1, there seems to be… a less obvious reason for breaking this.

In any event, I posted a comment to the review a couple of days ago saying:

I echo these comments; Twitterfox/Echofon was a great addon… until Firefox 3.6 came out, and introduced a number of really annoying focus bugs that Naan Studio decided to totally ignore.

Then there was the recent OAuth debacle, which removed all support for not-just-Linux, but any non-Mozilla Corporation build of Firefox, it was the final WTF-straw. (I would really be interested in hearing from Naan why they purposefully broke OAuth for other platforms, since it had been working just fine before version

Maybe it’s better that they broke their own extension; I never noticed until I started poking around the 43 kb (yes, kilo) licensing PDF in their extension that has some pretty… “interesting,” shall we say, terms…

If you thought it was an open source/community driven extension, well… go read the licensing terms, and think again.

Unfortunately, user comments on RockYourFirefox.com are moderated2, and even though a comment posted a few hours earlier than mine can be seen on the post, mine seems to have gotten lost in the ether.

I’m hoping this was a mere oversight3, and that it’s not the case that only certain viewpoints are now allowed on AMO or RockYourFirefox reviews.

My hope is brightened by the fact that a number of other comments on both the review itself and Echofon’s comments on AMO from [Linux] users who had up to this point enjoyed Echofon.

The only difference I can see between those comments and mine was I did point out Echofon’s licensing restrictions might not be what most Firefox are used to4.

I really wish Naan Studios would unbreak OAuth for non-Mozilla Corporation-official builds; I’ve been wracking my brain trying to find a decent Linux Twitter client7, and I still haven’t found anything as unobtrusive or functional as Echofon used to be.

As for Rockin’ Out with my Firefox Out, may I suggest to the reviewers that they pre-screen the comments on extensions that Mozilla is willing to put their brand behind promoting.

It’s just feels wrong to see an extension with so many obviously disgruntled and angry users in recent AMO comment history, who have up to this point been totally ignored, get a nod and recommendation from Mozilla.

1 And it continues to work fine in my copy of Firefox 3.5
2 They must get a ton of spam!
3 Maybe author Elise Allen is on vacation?
4 Including gems like “You may not: (1) reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or create derivative works of the Software5, “Use of the Software may involve the transmission of data over the Internet to naan studio, to Twitter, and, as discussed in Section 8 above, to other third-party Services, and you may not be notified in each instance of the transmission of information from your computer,” etc.
5 So if you were planning on fixing OAuth6 in releases > and releasing that yourself, you can screw off…
6 Which is, in part, a binary XPCOM component. Nice.
7 I’ve tried microblog-purple, gwibber8, Yoono, and I tried to get AIR working to use TweetDeck, but that was an even worse joke than disabling OAuth
8 Which looked really cool, but it so beta it’s not even funny, and looks more like an experiment in using interesting APIs than writing something functional