jogging down the malware road Rated 1 out of 5 stars

The developers have added a "feature" that verily will offend one of the spirits of mozilla: "search refinements"

@ developers

Automatically enabling this (malware) "feature" is NOT acceptable.

You MUST obviously provide an explanation to the user -- an offhanded mention in a update splash is inappropriate.

You MUST give users the option to use the feature or NOT -- such malware-y "feature" MUST be disabled by default.

pref("extensions.skipscreen.searchrefinementsactive", FALSE);

It is currently set to true in the XPI: NOT acceptable.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.1.09102009). 

Thanks for sharing your comments

Hi Brownian Motion,

I appreciate that you feel strongly about this, but the search refinements are not malware. Even from the most cynical point of view it's an advertisement, clearly marked "Skipscreen", with as good or better privacy protection than the Google advertisement we already offer. Like these other advertisements (a simple ad on the page after your download starts, and on the "whatsnew" page for each release) you are totally free to turn it off, and we go out of our way to make that easy to do.

But I don't even see it in such harsh terms. Skipscreen is a tool for downloading stuff fast, and then finding more stuff to download. Giving people more ways to find stuff to download makes Skipscreen a better tool. The search refinements are a bit janky right now, but we're working on ways to make them better.

Making enough money to support development of a Firefox extension is still an unsolved problem. Anybody with a webpage has a clear way to make money: ads. But those of us in the business of making those webpages better and less annoying have a tough road indeed.

And part of the reason we decided to make Skipscreen was that lots of volunteer-driven efforts before us (a plethora of different greasemonkey scripts) didn't go as far as they could or ran out of steam. It's tricky, and I hope you'll understand.