Addon Stats

Mac OS X Dashboard Widget

About Addon Stats

The Add-on Stats Mac OS X dashboard widget is a compact and easy-to-use way to monitor the number of downloads and the average number of daily users of a Mozilla add-on. Add-ons extend the functionality of Mozilla software such as the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client.

Developers can assess the popularity of their add-ons on the statistics page provided by Mozilla for each add-on. For example, the statistics page for my Text2Link Firefox and Thunderbird add-on shows that the number of Text2Link downloads and the average number of daily Text2Link users has increased steadily since Text2Link was first published in November 2007.

Mozilla also provides an RSS feed of the statistics for each add-on, such as the RSS statistics feed for Text2Link. The Add-on Stats widget reads the RSS statistics feed for an add-on and displays the average number of daily users and the number of downloads since the add-on was first published on the Mozilla add-ons website.

Mozilla updates the statistics for each add-on every 24 hours. The Add-on Stats widget reads the RSS statistics feed for the add-on every 24 hours from the time the add-on was selected.

The following sections describe the front and back user interfaces of the Add-on Stats widget.

The Front User Interface

The front of the Add-on Stats widget is organised into three areas: the add-on name area, the add-on statistics area, and the message area:

The front user interface of the Add-on Stats widget

The Add-on Name Area

The add-on name area presents links for accessing more information about the add-on:

  • To find more information about the add-on, click the name of the add-on to open the add-on’s page at Mozilla.
  • To get more statistics for the add-on, including a graph of the add-on’s statistics over time, click the graph icon to open the add-on’s statistics page at Mozilla.

The Statistics Area

The statistics area presents the number of downloads of the add-on, the average number of daily users of the add-on, and the percentage change in the number of daily users. Percentage increases are displayed in green; percentage decreases are displayed in red.

The Message Area

The message area displays three types of information: link destinations, the add-on’s publication date, and status messages. Whenever users move the mouse over the graph icon or the add-on’s name, the message area informs users which web page will open when they click the mouse. Link destinations simulate link tool tips which are unavailable for Mac OS X dashboard widgets.

Whenever users move the mouse over the Downloads label or the number of downloads, the message area presents the month and year in which the add-on was first published on the Mozilla add-ons website. This is the date on which Mozilla began counting the number of downloads.

The message area also displays status messages from the Add-on Stats widget. Status messages are presented in rare cases, such as when the Add-on Stats widget tries to refresh the statistics for an add-on but the RSS statistics feed is unavailable.

The Back User Interface

The back of the Add-on Stats widget is also divided into three areas: the add-on number area, the message area, and the Add-on Stats website area:

The back user interface of the Add-on Stats widget

The Add-on Number Area

The add-on number area provides controls for changing the add-on for which the Add-on Stats widget presents statistics. To change the add-on, enter the number of the add-on in the Add-on Number text field and press the Enter key or click the Get Stats button. The Add-on Stats widget then attempts to download the statistics for the add-on, the progress of which is displayed in the message area.

The Message Area

The message area updates users with information on the progress of accessing and downloading the RSS statistics feed for the add-on. For example, after changing the add-on number to 123 and pressing the Enter key or clicking the Get Stats button, the message area displays the following message:

Checking add-on 123…

If the number entered in the Add-on Number text field is not the number of an add-on published on the Mozilla add-ons website, such as for non-existent add-on 685, the message area displays the following message:

Add-on 685 does not exist

Some developers choose not to make the statistics for their add-ons publicly available. If the Add-on Stats widget attempts to download add-on statistics that have not been made public, such as the statistics for add-on 145, the message area displays the following message:

The statistics for add-on 145 are private

After the Add-on Stats widget successfully downloads the public statistics for an existing add-on, the message area displays the following message that includes the name of the add-on, in this case the name of add-on 684, FireFTP:

Got the stats for FireFTP

Including the name of the add-on confirms to users that the Add-on Stats widget successfully downloaded the statistics for the add-on they intend to monitor.

Clicking the Done button returns users to the front of the Add-on Stats widget, which will now display the statistics for the new add-on. Clicking Done before successfully downloading the statistics for an add-on returns users to the front of the Add-on Stats widget, which will display the statistics for the add-on selected before the failed attempt to change the add-on.

The Add-on Stats Website Area

The URL displayed at the bottom of the back of the Add-on Stats widget is a handy link to this website.

Download

Download the Add-on Stats widget for Mac OS X.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or later is required. If you’re using Safari, click the download link. When the widget download is complete, Show Dashboard, click the Plus sign to display the Widget Bar and click the widget’s icon in the Widget Bar to open it. If you’re using a browser other than Safari, click the download link. When the widget download is complete, unarchive it and place it in /Library/Widgets/ in your home folder. Show Dashboard, click the Plus sign to display the Widget Bar and click the widget’s icon in the Widget Bar to open it.