Firefox 40, which is available for Nightly users only as of now, comes with an updated add-ons manager with a refreshed UI and add-on signature checking. Let's explore what this feature does.
When you open the Add-ons Manager (for example, with the about:addons command) or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A, you will notice a completely new interface of the add-ons list in Firefox. It looks like this:
In the picture above, you can see the old UI on the left side, and the updated one on the right. The updated one matches the appearance of the new Settings tab I recently covered. It looks more intuitive and friendly for touch screen devices due to a refreshed color scheme.
Besides the new appearance, Firefox 40 is the first Firefox version which includes digital signature verification. In my screenshot above, you can see that the addons I have installed are "not verified".
Mozilla began requiring all extensions to be signed in order for them to be installable in stable and beta versions of Firefox. Signing will be mandatory for all extensions, regardless of where they are hosted. Extensions which developers submit for hosting on Mozilla's add-on repository will get signed after the review process.
So, if you are a developer of some add-on for Firefox, in the near future, you will need to use Nightly build to test install and run your addon BEFORE it is pushed into the add-ons repository and is verified by Mozilla.
This change is intended to improve the security of the browser. With digital signing and verification, malicious extensions have no chance of being installed in Firefox. However, this change also gives Mozilla exclusive control over the set of add-ons available for the browser. You will be restricted to the add-ons which are explicitly approved and signed to run in Firefox. Some users might consider this as a limitation of their freedom.
What is your opinion on these changes? Do you support signing of add-ons in Firefox?
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