The short version: we finally got approved by Mozilla, so ActiveInbox for Firefox is working again. You can install it from our Install page, or from Mozilla Addons directly.

And sorry. Truly sorry. It was really frustrating at this end precisely because we knew how much it was annoying all of you on Firefox.

The long version… This was a *really* painful journey (but the Firefox moderators were as helpful as they could be, so this isn’t to be harsh to them).

At the tail end of 2015, we began in earnest to try to get approved to be featured in the Mozilla Addons store. This was necessary, because Firefox was going to disable all extensions that weren’t. It took us the best part of 2 months to finally get there.

Personally, this feels like a rushed decision on their part. Chrome doesn’t need to do this, because it’s more secure by design (it sandboxes extensions). Thus the Firefox moderators are forced to scan, as humans, all our source code to look for potential risks. This means approval takes, at best, several days. For us, this is particularly painful, as a Gmail change can happen instantly, and we like to be able to fix it up within 24 hours – something that simply won’t be possible.

Why did it take us 2 months? ActiveInbox is a big, complex pile of code; and some of the security guidelines that Mozilla goes by are quite generic. Without geeking you out too much, in places we were breaking their broad rules, but not in a way that was actually dangerous (the nuance being unique to Gmail). In the end, we tried our best to acquiesce to their rules, and bent ourselves into all manner of shapes to make it work with the additional limitations.

I’m hoping that in the future, they might reverse this policy, because they’re planning to adopt a model more like Chrome’s. In the meantime, I’m hoping that now we’ve been approved once, future approvals will at least be less painful and fast enough to be workable.


This was written by Andy Mitchell