Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Add-ons have long been the most appealing feature of Firefox. It was the first browser to allow its users to create add-ons that modify its core functionality. More browsers including Chrome, IE, and Safari have tried to follow the Mozilla add-ons model, a model which Mozilla has successfully applied to all their products, but no other browser developer has been nearly as successful, mainly because the Mozillian model relies on an open product, one without walls. All major corporate browsers sit pretty much inside their walled gardens.
However, as powerful as open add-ons are, they can break a browser as well, which is the biggest case against open add-ons. For example, the second most significant add-on browser, Chrome, lives with a policy that keeps a priority on the browser while add-ons take the backseat. There is a certain conviction that the potential dangers of add-ons outweigh the benefits of add-ons or extensions. The fact is that add-ons have the potential to be used as malware, but is this the browser’s fault? I don’t think so, but I may be in the minority in this case.