back to article Mozilla to open - gasp! - Firefox add-on store

Mozilla has said it will "probably" open a marketplace for Firefox add-ons sometime next year. Add-ons product manager Justin Scott (reluctantly) announced the news this morning at an add-on-happy conference in Mozilla's home town of Mountain View, California. "We'll probably be doing a marketplace pilot in 2010," he said. …

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A great idea

I would happily pay $2.99 for AdBlock Plus.

I would pay $0.99 for Noia Extreme Theme.

Actually, for AdBlock Plus, I would be willing to pay $9.99

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I'd pay...

I would gladly pay a few bucks for an "AdBlock Plus Plus DoublePlus".

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Linux

I have already paid for add-ons

I have happily donated using paypal, to FireFTP,

An excellent add-on, even if I only use it rarely. (although it is one of the few that I use)

The fact that the donations going to charity was just a bonus,

Open source doesn't mean that people should starve while producing software that everyone enjoys.

I have also contributed to other projects. I don't think that I could live with myself if I didn't.

Not all contributions have to be in cash, support, documentation, bug reports, and helping out on forums are all contributions to the common Weald.

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Anonymous Coward

If I have money I pay for stuff

Its nice to have that choice. sadly I have no money.

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Let the market decide

I think that Mozilla should test the waters on this. If someone devises an add-on that people are willing to pay for then in the spirit of FLOSS then they should be allowed to ask for a fee. What would not be acceptable is for Mozilla to take the Apple route and dictate who and what is in the store. Job's mob really don't need to squeeze their market for money, what really rocks their boat is control. If this was tried in a FLOSS enviromnent then, like the internet people would view this as damage and route around it. After all, free is in freedom as well as in beer.

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Happy

Script for NoScript

Been waiting to tuck a couple contributions into the flurry of Christmas charges and hope the S.O. doesn't notice. But yeah, NoScript's on my list. Of course, voluntary contributions means you can schedule 'when' , and it _is_ nice to be able to "try before you buy". But some of these add-on's are wonderful enough to pay for fershur!

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Doing it for fun OR Just in it for the money?

Doh! Is this not the beginning of free add-ons disappearing while everyone attempts to make a quick buck?

What happened to developing for the fun of it? Adding a market place just encourages every add-on to carry a price tag. A better model would be a market place where no cost is compulsory, but the add-on is listed with a suggested donation. You then choose whether to donate or not. And for those wishing to only sell there wares? Well fine, build your own site and sell it there (you're such a damn good developer).

How much does Mozilla plan to skim of the top of all sales? I'm guessing they're not doing it for free. Now they have a significant market share, are they not just cashing in on their success.

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Coat

Why not.........

.....have once a month, a click through advertised revenue system from Mozilla and share it out to the best and innovative add ons........ I doubt if there would be to many objections to 15 minutes mozilla time to further the cause.......

Mines the one with this idea in the pocket.........

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FAIL

Still..

After all this time, confusing "freedom" and "beer". Good grief.

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Beer and freedom?

It's fair to say that having one usually makes up for a lack of the other.

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Go

Sharing is Caring

Paying for an add-on I like is not a problem if the person , or entity, who developed it gets a cut. If Moziolla doesn't believe in sharing the pie I'd drop FF altogether. Use IE inside a virtual box and save no changes when shut down. Works good; lasts a long time.

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Pint

Avoiding Googles Googly

If Mozilla is to rely less on Google funding they may be forced to raise funds elsewhere.

A simple approach of £5 (or $10) per item with £2 going to Mozilla and £2 to the developer and £1 to cover tax (the remainder going to a charity of the customer's choice - chosen from a list) would work well for everyone.

It would be cool if the developer could specify that all the cost went charity (the Mozilla component as well).

Also useful would be a 1 month trial download so that you could verify the products usefulness and do whatever testing on your system you need to do. therefore when purchasing you purchase the product as is.

[Googly - see Wikipedia]

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Sounds dodgy...

After all, there are so many really crap models for selling software, especially small,cheap bits of software. Mozilla need to think very,very hard before committing to anything paid-for.

Who knows - with luck Mozilla's addons could become as vibrant & exciting as MS IE's paid for addon community that you're always hearing such good things about.

Yes I get the freedom/beer thing - but they'll be easy to pirate, even if they're closed source & compiled or obfuscated enough to prevent source code copying.

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problem is plenty of selfish users

read the comments on, say, NoScript. There's some nasty, demanding feedback from petty sods who feel Giorgio Maone owes them for the indulgence of putting his free and Most Excellent addon into their browser. *Dammit* he owes them! If I were him I'd have issued a two word press release and walked. They don't recognise something for nothing, conceiving of something for real money is beyond them.

If this payments scheme works, we'll just have to live with a lot of parasites, but I feel it'll collapse under their combined leeching.

@Notas Badoff: fershur fershur!

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Flame

Sadly true

I've seen a lot of this. Mainly because Software isn't a physical substance people believes it doesn't take any time or effort to create. On top of this the internet is a place where the developer is just a name on a page, rather than a human being.

I think there should be extra line the GPL and similar licenses that states any "non posative critisms will revoke ye license".

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So long as it's optional

I LOVE my Greasemonkey, I wouldn't like to pay for it; but I would if I found something that did was Greasemonkey did, and better I may pay.

The costing apps would simply be a higher quality.

I guess what I'm saying is that I would like it to be half, the worse apps, sorry Greasemonkey, would be free. And the better apps would be a little money, not a lot, just a dollar or something. Make it a mix, between Apple, and well, what you are now.

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Huh?

You really like GreaseMonkey, but you wouldn't want to pay for it? How the hell do you square that circle?

I am sure some add-ons would remain "free", either because it is a hobby/learning exercise for the dev, it's a loss-leader for something else or they get enough voluntary donations. But some will cost, and quite right too.

Developing takes time and money. Depending on how much of both are used up, the dev may have no choice but to charge, even if it is a trifling amount just to help cover costs.

If you like something, you should support it. That's how FOSS works. If you can't afford time to help (test, find bugs, offer fixes, write documentation...) then reach into your pocket had help the cause. Because if YOU don't help and the person beside doesn't help and the one beside them doesn't...that thing you love may not be round for much longer.

Free Software does not always equal "zero cost" software.

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Jobs Horns

well...

Unfortunately, Mozilla got where it is for two reasons...cost, and functionality.

If they start charging for addons the market will move away from mozilla..plain and simple.

Being free is the backbone of the open source mindset...whether they understand what open source means or not; pay or not. Does anyone understand the different GPLs? Ok, ok...yes..ewe linux fanboiz dew. Ur teh l33tz. But you all are Abbynormal.

This is also where warez, torrents, etc. come from...people not wanting to pay...and I'm sure those people are using FireFox...(don't ask for stats...I ain't got none).

Some other company will come along and fill the void, to be sure....do I hear Microsoft chirping delight? Yes, it is coming from the direction of Redmond.

Apple iTunes has a product..music, and because of that success, and the iPhone popularity, Apple has had income because of the App Store.

I don't think Mozilla will enjoy that success, as a browser is a browser is a browser..there's no sleek, stylish hardware we are compelled to feed.

Don't get me wrong, I love some of the addons to firefox..and I do believe the author should get some compensation. When faced with a choice of free vs. pay...I'll go free, thank you, as would most people.

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Open Source?

Hmmm, is this anything like selling open source applets? Where will that lead?

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@Doing it for fun OR Just in it for the money?

"How much does Mozilla plan to skim of the top of all sales? I'm guessing they're not doing it for free. Now they have a significant market share, are they not just cashing in on their success."

No, they're preparing for Life After Google.

Noticed that Google.com now pushes Chrome if you're using Firefox? Before it only did that if you visted using IE.

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Anonymous Coward

Freetard Free Zone

"The Druid: What happened to developing for the fun of it? "

The proposal does not compel developers to sell. If they are already in work that pays them, houses them, feeds them and they want to twiddle around making an add-on for fun and don't want to charge for their efforts, then they can continue to do so.

Other developers who need the cash or want to develop a business, well let them be paid for their efforts.

If you can't afford to pay him for the software then propose to cut his lawn, clean his windows, at least do something in exchange, at least reciprocate on someone's effort.

How I hate freetards who have the ability to pay / contribute but choose not to. Scum, lowlife, parasites, blood suckers, trotskies, fascists. Oops, I'd better finally pay for that Avast antivirus!

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Mozilla add-on store

Hmmm.

Here's the thing... I wouldn't pay for an app or add-on if it meant anything less than 100% of the cost went to the developer(s) of the add-on, and it would have to be very reasonably priced ($5 or less). Of course if enough developers start charging, and the rates were too high, I would probably stop using most of the add-ons.

So long as the authors of AdBlock Plus are getting 100% of the funds, I could be convinced to buy it.

If Mozilla wants money from me, they can start releasing a browser that doesn't crash on me.

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WTF?

@Tristan Young

Why should it never crash? Every other piece of software you've ever bought probably crashes sometimes.

I've found Firefox to be considerably more stable than IE - and when Firefox dies, it doesn't take the Windows Explorer Shell with it, and it even usually comes back with all my tabs.

IE doesn't do either of those - when that dies, you're essentially forced to reboot the computer because Microsoft have determined that IE must be part of the OS shell, so everything must die together. Yes, that is completely stupid - but that's what their marketing and lawyers decided.

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actually

I have had Firefox crash on me many times; significantly more than any other browser. Part of that is probably the add-ons. I can't even remember IE crashing on me. Then again I hardly ever use it. I will naturally see the program I use all day every day crash more often than one I never use.

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Troll

IE takes the shell with it?

You really ought to upgrade from Windows ME you know.

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No Multipay

As long as if I buy an add-on for my home computer, I don't have to pay again to get it on my work computer.

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No problem with paying...

... but I would prefer, rather than a shop front, that the culture of donating be advertised and emphasised even more than it is now. I think every downloader of an add-on donating whatever they can spare would be in better keeping with the ethos of the open source movement (of which Mozilla is a big part of) than paying a flat price at a shop.

Pay - yes, but by donation rather than to a shopkeeper ;)

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FAIL

Very bad idea...

... now that the latest Google Chrome beta supports addons, and already has a choice of 3 different (and free) ad blocking ones available. And Chrome is so much faster than Bloatfox.

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Linux

..and they suck

The adblock plugins for chrome are terrible. They download the ads, then try to hide them (badly). Given that the main reason I block ads is because various banner sites have served up malware from surprisingly reputable host sites, I would far rather see it done properly, the ads killed before they're fetched and have a chance to take a pop at my browser.

To claim that AdThwart is even the beginning of a shadow of a patch on AdBlock Plus is sadly untrue. I like Chrome, it's fast and shiny- but without a good adblock, without noscript, and without "delete private data on exit" option, it's not really a viable option for some of us.

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Not Many Then?

Looking at the list of add-ons that folks would cough up for - it's not very long.

Just like apps for the iPhone there are loads out there, many are duplicating others and most are just pure shite.

If M$ did this (in conjunction with Murdoch?) there would be plenty of takers/suckers.

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Megaphone

Suckered FF End Users...

All those Firefox users who naively proclaim Firefox is free have always made me laugh, the truth is Mozilla have been raking in millions from Google and a few other sources - just goes to show how many Firefox users are gullible imbeciles eh?!?

There's only one benefit which may emerge. Extensions will have to be made secure and functional, in full - not just for some versions of the browser - because if people are forced to pay for them it follows the Mozilla have a responsibility to ensure compliance and quality are heavily up to scratch.

Opera is the way to go...

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

As has been hinted at, if I buy an addon from the store it would have to be a universal licence that allowed me to install the addon on all the PCs I run. I've only got a small setup at home, but there's no way I would purchase the same addon four or five times just so I can use it on my different PCs or user accounts.

Also, the licence would have to be "for all time" as there's also no way I would pay to upgrade it everytime it stopped working due to a new FF release.

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Anonymous Coward

If you look at the history

Netscape was a pay for browser, it was MS coming late and deciding to drop the price to zero, that started Netscape giving away their browser also.

Netscape did sell a web server though, quite a good one.

One of the Netscape founders is not happy with what MS did, obviously it can kill a business as it did. Incidentally he is the author of Xscreensaver, and his disdain for MS is quite succinctly put:

http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/download.html

Yeah charge for software that is 'user' based, you won't annoy developers, they will just create their own plugins, more of a reason to do so. Charge for the browser if you like. I have made a browser in a few minutes from libraries it is not hard, but it is something a non contributing user cannot do, and who cares about them unless they are paying in some way.

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