I used to blog about the Add-ons Manager and the new add-on-getting facilities it provides well nigh constantly. Since those heady post-filled days, though, the manager has settled comfortably into its final form for Firefox 3. Read on for a quick walkthrough of how to use the new "Get Add-ons" tab to explore the world of Firefox Add-ons.
Let Firefox recommend an add-on
When you bring up the Add-ons Manager (Tools > Add-ons), Firefox will offer you a selection of recommended add-ons. This list will change over time, and will only ever include add-ons that will work in your browser and that you don't already have.
Search through the catalog
If you'd rather look for something specific, you can search from right here. In this case, I'm looking for add-ons that will let me interact with Firefox through gestures:
Again, we'll only show you ones that will work and that you don't have. If you want to see more, you can click on the link at the bottom left to see the full list of search results at addons.mozilla.org.
If you find one you want, just click on the "Add to Firefox" ("Minefield," in these screenshots) button; one confirmation box later:
the add-on is installed, and Firefox mentions that you'll have to restart (but, at least, gives you a button to do so):
Of course, you don't have to restart at this very moment. You can go on and install other add-ons, or just go on with your life as before, and pick the restart time of your choosing. Whenever you do restart, Firefox 3 will remember your tabs for later.
Post-restart, the Add-ons Manager reappears to confirm for you that your add-ons have been installed. Everything new is highlighted to help you find it:
All in all, the Add-ons Manager changes are intended to streamline the process of finding and installing add-ons, especially for people new to the world of add-ons. If you have suggestions for more we can do here, Dave Townsend's started a discussion over at his blog, and we'd love to hear from you.