Releases/3.6.20/Google toolbar options

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Meeting Details

  • Thursday July 21st, 4:00pm Pacific
  • 650-903-0800 x92 Conf# 8605 (US/INTL)
  • 1-800-707-2533 (pin 369) Conf# 8605 (US)
  • join #planning for back channel
  • Warp Core conf room in MV


  • Google announced the Google Toolbar for Firefox is EOL
    • The EOL doesn't seem to have been messaged too widely, looks to have only been announced on the Google Toolbar support blog
    • There are still places where Google is offering the toolbar for download
  • The current toolbar doesn't support Firefox 5+
    • The current toolbar isn't hosted on AMO so it isn't getting automatically bumped
  • Google Toolbar incompatibility is a top support issue
    • One major issue is that people saved bookmarks with the toolbar. They should be available on, but people may not be aware of this?!
  • We know that a large amount of users are not taking update offers to 5+ due to Google Toolbar incompatibility
  • Many users likely expect a new version of Google toolbar to be released and marked compatible

Firefox 3.6.20 (code freeze is 2011-08-01) would be the earliest vehicle we can use to change the product and will allow us to push product changes before users get update offers to 5+.

This meeting is to discuss possible in-product options for messaging that Google Toolbar is EOL and/or removing it from the critical update path.


  • See two problems:
    • Need to support getting data out of the toolbar
    • Need to tell them the toolbar is unsupported and future Firefox support is not coming
  • We have options:
  1. Get Google to issue one last update that uninstalls the toolbar, migrates data, and messages that they have stopped support
    • What about 3.6 people? They are using a supported browser with a supported toolbar
      • Seems strange / wrong to take it away from them
    • What about functionality that can't be migrated without installing add-ons?
      • We'd focus on bookmarks and message the rest
    • What if Google doesn't want to do it?
      • We could also develop it ourselves and give it to Google
  2. Change Firefox 3.6.20 so that it ignores incompatibility of Google Toolbar on update
    • This would help the update rejection concern
      • Not for Firefox 4 though, as we don't intend to do a 4.0.2 (and can't even as we are shutting down automation for it)
    • The toolbar would be incompatible after upgrade
      • We could put something in product (the updated product, Firefox 6+) to message / migrate at that point
    • Rob Strong suggested a better method would be to just have Firefox 3.6.20 check AMO for add-on compatibility data for the toolbar's id
  3. Get Google to redirect their updateURL / update service to AMO
    • This would give us the greatest control over marking it as compatible / incompatible for certain versions
    • The compatibility override would also apply to Firefox 4, so those users would see the benefits
    • Not sure if Google is willing to do this, we'll ask
    • Not sure if they do anything different w.r.t signing, update format, etc
    • We could put something in product (the updated product, Firefox 6+) to message / migrate at that point
    • chofmann said if there are multiple add-ons that do the same thing we should pick one for the user to reduce confusion / choice paralysis
      • Rob Strong suggested a multi-XPI for one-click installation of "blessed" add-ons to restore functionality
        • Unclear if this functionality still exists in Firefox 5+

We decided that bookmarks are the most important part of the data migration and we will focus only on those for automatic migration. We need to talk to Google to see if we have access to that service for the migration.