I work on the Canvas3D project, a Firefox extension. Actually I work on JavaScript that uses it, not the extension itself. So every now and then I need to download the thing, from addons.mozilla.org

And it’s bloody annoying. The addon is classified as ‘experimental’, which I assumed means that it’s not really ready for general use. For some reason addons on a.m.o. classified like this cannot be downloaded without logging in first.

I made an account once, and downloaded it with no trouble. That was quite a few months ago and I have long forgotten my credentials. Since then I’ve been using accounts from bugmenot, a great website for dealing with ‘register to download’ nonsense.

Last week none of the accounts from bugmenot worked on a.m.o. any more.

I even opened a bug, to try and get an explanation. That bug will end up (not unexpectedly) joining the thousands of other ignored bugs on bugzilla.

There are now two theories about why registration is required for experimental addons, one mine and one Gijs’s:

  1. Mozilla hired some marketing person who used to work for Microsoft, or some other nasty corporation, and that person feels that getting some more identity associated with users of the website can only be a good thing, and never mind that the users are getting pissed.
  2. Mozilla feels that the agreement users accept when registering somehow saves them from liability if the addon that gets downloaded screws the user up.

I don’t really know which one is more likely, each time I think of one of the possibilities it seems to be even more ridiculous than the other.

Mozilla has little use for that kind of marketing data, since selling it would destroy half its reputation, and as for the ‘agreement’ saving them from trouble, that’s pointless for so many reasons I won’t bother talking about it.

This is lame, and I am pissed. I’m gonna try and find some way to deal with the problem (probably just write down my credentials), but it’s a damned shame Mozilla is giving me this kind of bureaucratic, pointless trouble.