Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Foxmarks leaves the nest

As of a couple hours ago, Foxmarks is now available for download from the Mozilla Addons site, the officially-sanctioned repository of Firefox extensions. What does this mean?

First of all, it means that we're now sufficiently confident in Foxmarks' reliability and stability to unleash it on users who don't consider themselves to be risk-takers when it comes to using new software. Many thanks to those of you who were willing to take a risk with us to help us get to this point. Your use of Foxmarks in real-world situations and your reports of problems encountered have been invaluable to us as we've focused on building an extension that does what you want, is easy to use and is reliable.

In addition to providing better visibility to interested users, being on the Mozilla Addons site confers some technical benefits in terms of downloading the extension (Firefox is configured to download extensions from the Mozilla site out of the box, as opposed to downloading from our site, which requires some user gymnastics) and keeping it updated. The Getting Started process should be easier now.

Opening up to a larger community will, of course, have its challenges. Even in our semi-private beta program, the influx of new users that came every time someone posted something about us on an influential blog often revealed new problems, some operational and some in the software design implementation. Each time through one of these cycles, we learned something new and tried to improve. We think we're well prepared for the new users that will come our way through the Mozilla site, but only time will tell.

What's next? That largely depends on what happens in the next couple of weeks. We're hoping for smooth sailing, which would free us up to implement the backlog of new features that have been building up over the past couple of months. We'll post here as we know more.

In the meantime, feedback from users is always appreciated.