Using tagging for Add-on support

Two things have led to this topic:

  1. It was pretty cool to see our traffic explode the other week when @gorhill’s post on webextensions was linked to on HN and Reddit, but it was pretty crazy to see so many posts in that single topic.

  2. @jkingston has asked me where we could put support threads for the new Lightbeam extension, which is about to launch.

So far we’ve been putting all support requests in a single topic, and that’s how I remember it worked on the old Add-ons forum, but we can do better in Discourse:

By using tags, we could have a single topic for each request. All topics would stay in #add-ons:add-on-support, but they’d also be tagged with a particular add-on.

Tags are subscribable, like categories and individual topics - so add-on authors can subscribe to their tag to receive notifications. It also makes moving misplaced posts easier for moderators, and cleaner - the appropriate tag just needs to be added.

It’s probably easier to see this in action than imagine it, so I’ve set it up with a few topics on our staging Discourse instance:

New topics with the appropriate category and tag set can be created by hitting + New Topic on that page, or directly with a url (which could be placed on an add-on’s amo page, for instance):

I can think of a few potential drawbacks to consider:

  • There’s currently no email interface for tags
    • This is a blocker for most categories on this instance, as we aim to provide a mailing list replacement for their users
    • However the add-ons category was migrated form a forum, not a mailing list
    • And this won’t be any worse than it is currently for email-in users, with there being no email-in address for a particular support topic, only the support category generally
  • This would be the first time we’d be using tags on this instance, and we could confuse users - who knows what they might end up doing
    • We can lock down who can create new tags to try and reduce this problem
    • And restrict what tags can be used in each category (which I plan to do here)

@jorgev this is your category, so I’d like to get your feedback/approval on this.

@jkingston provided none of these drawbacks are prohibitive, I’d like to set up Lightbeam support on Discourse like this. If they are, let me know why, and I’m happy to create a category for the time being until we’ve fixed them - we can always migrate posts and update links later.

@gorhill you’ve got a huge support thread, and have asked for functionality like this before (apologies for not seeing it sooner) - would this satisfy your requirements?

Nope these are fine for me, especially as for Mozilla addons we can ensure that all developers are tagged to subscribe to the issue.

Maybe @jgruen might have feedback here, it seems we could just migrate tags from test pilot to here once they graduate which is what we would like to do for containers too as part of this change.

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All fine with me. Though note that since then I have found that most activity for support was occurring at /r/uBlockOrigin on reddit, consequently I have now made it the official place to go for support.

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Sounds reasonable to me. We considered creating categories for support of high-profile add-ons and ended up not taking that direction. I didn’t know tagging was an option.

Is there a URL developers can provide to users to create a new topic that is properly tagged and categorized, so admins and moderators don’t have to spend time triaging requests?



It’s not working properly at the moment as it gets lost if the user has to authenticate, but I’m chasing that bug down at the moment. You can also see it in use here, on prod: (just without any tags)

@jkingston all the bugs I found around the /new-topic route have been fixed, so I’ve (finally) enabled tagging.

I’ve created a description topic to create the tag itself (#lightbeam) and included the link to the route which automatically opens the composer with the correct fields filled in:

I’ve made you owner, so feel free to edit the post to include whatever information and direction you want to provide to users about Lightbeam.

If you’ve got any additional questions let me know!

@jorgev @gorhill let me know if/when you want to do the same for uBlock and any other add-ons.

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Thanks @leo! I will let you know if I have any questions.

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So, in order to use a tag you need to ask an admin to create it first? How do you want add-on developers to get in touch with you to do this?

Any TL4 user (or higher, so moderator or admin) can create a new tag, but only tags from the “Add-on Support” tag group can be used in #add-ons:add-on-support.

Moderators and higher can add new tags to that tab group here:

You’re a moderator, so you can handle this yourself if you want. Or if you want to share responsibilities we could ask add-on developers to message the moderator group inbox:

Would we be able to get a multi-account-containers tag for: ?

This would move all the topics from test pilot there perhaps.

Containers is a Firefox feature rather than an add-on, now, isn’t it?

We’ll probably want to do the same as what we do with #test-pilot:page-shot - we were going to leave that in Test Pilot, but I wanted to hear @ianbicking’s input before moving forward (and then I forgot about it).

I think the best place for migrating these would be within a top-level Firefox support/feedback category, but I’d need to find someone willing to own that.