The Review Mechanism of Firefox Extension

Now, after 5 months of development for Firefox extension of Simple Gmail Notes, most features are stabilized and the features could be shared between Chrome and Firefox easily. In the last few revisions, the cross-browser migration (Firefox -> Chrome or Chrome -> Firefox) all took less than 1 hour. Basically, the initial pain on the development of extension development gradually passed away.

However, I would like to further discuss the review process of Firefox. As mentioned before, Firefox uses a manual review process, it is much more strict than Google Chrome extensions (which is, basically, nil).

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About Open Source

I have been using open source software since I started my first job around 10 years ago. By then the world was very different, Microsoft still dominated most of the software world (Windows, Visual Studio, .NET Framework, MS Office, SQL Server), and open source was still a small part of the whole ecosystem. Yet open source spread up like a virus over the last 10 years, and now even Microsoft is forced to embrace open source (well, it's also CEO related I guess).

To me, there are two major advantages using open sourced software:

  1. free of charge

  2. able to inspect, modify and recompile the sources.

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Review of Projects and Crystal Clear Methodology

It has been 5 years since I started to set up the new branch of NB office, and I think it is probably a good time for the review of works now.

In the last 5 years, the size of NB office expanded from 1 single staff (me) to a total of 18 now, with 13 engineers, 3 testers and 1 PM. And the project size changes from internal and toy projects to the big ones of theme parks, banks, and government.

In total we have worked on 43 projects, among of which 8 projects did not get a happy ending at the end. Most of them still get released. Yet they were not released in the best shape, and the customer was not most happy about that. Sometimes it is due to the budget problem, and sometimes it's because the immature execution or wrong choice of technology.

Like many other things in the world, the success of a project need coexist of a lot of different factors, yet it only needs one single factor to fail the entire project.

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Simple Gmail Notes – Firefox Addon

One week after the Chrome extension of simple gmail notes was released, I started to plan on porting of extension to Firefox.

There are 2 major incentives for this porting:

  1. I spent quite a lot of effort to work out the google API for the extension. Most of them are just RESTful HTTP API, which are supposed to work with Firefox extension right alway.
  2. During the implementation of Google extension, I tried to get way from most Chrome specific API (e.g. chrome sync). So theoretically most code should work with Firefox extension.

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