A summary of its points:
1. Unapproved add-ons will not be shown in the add-ons gallery.
Users can be sure that every add-on they come across browsing around the website has been tested and approved by Mozilla’s editors. This would mainly affect browsing through categories, search results, and collections.
2. Users who are linked directly to an unapproved add-on by its developer can install the add-on.
After submission, developers can send the link to their unapproved add-on to anyone they’d like to try it out. This can be on their blog, website, email, instant message, etc. However, these direct links will be disjointed from the normal add-ons gallery and make it clear that this add-on has not been reviewed, as well as offer the user the option to leave and go to the gallery with only reviewed add-ons.
3. There will be a maximum amount of time an unapproved add-on can be hosted on the site.
There are 7,500 add-ons currently in the sandbox that have never been reviewed by a human because the developers have never nominated them to show up in the “public” site. Some of these add-ons have been there for years, and are usually the source of the problems we do have.
To address this, we think a critical part of fixing the review process is setting the expectation that all add-ons submitted to the site must undergo review and using a time limit to enforce that.
Under this proposal, an add-on’s submission to addons.mozilla.org will begin its 30-day incubation period. As noted above, the add-on will not appear in the gallery but can be accessed through a direct link from the developer during this period.
The add-on must apply to the gallery sometime during this incubation period, whether on day 1 or day 30. Reminder emails will be sent at certain intervals to remind the developer of this timeframe, but if the add-on has not applied to the gallery during the 30-day window, its listing will expire and no longer be available on the website, even with a direct link.
If the developer has allowed an add-on to expire, he or she may still submit a gallery application after the 30-day window, but the add-on will not be re-activated for download until it has been approved.
I'd love to hear feedback from add-on users and developers on these ideas.