Ten years ago, Ben Smedberg and Wolf landed the first version of the code that would make up AMO. At the end of 2004 it was still called update.mozilla.org, written in PHP, and was just over 200k, compressed.
This moved through, I think, 1 major revision “update-beta” which added a database tabled called main that held all the add-on info. This came with some additional fancy styles:
I started around 16 months after this foundation was laid. AMO was essentially flat HTML files sprinkled with PHP code and database queries, just like everyone says not to do now. I think the code was running on a single server named Chameleon at the time and as we released versions of Firefox it would get overwhelmed and become unresponsive. Most of the work at this time was adding in layers of caching like Smarty and keeping everything in memcached.
We had a major rewrite in planning (one with more dynamic possibilities) and I chose CakePHP as the foundation. That release happened and brought another redesign with it:
Finally, at the end of 2006 the infamous chopper design appeared and took over the top third of our site:
Both chopper designs were relatively short lived and, I want to say around early 2008 we moved to another infamous design – the green candy bar.
I don’t remember the actual date on this one, but let’s say 2009 since we seem to redesign this every year. This was a complete departure from our previous work and the design was done from scratch.
Finally, our current design:
I’ve had the draft for this post written for years and I think it’s time just to hit publish on it – feel free to comment about all the things I forgot. There should probably also be some disclaimer about me writing this on a Friday afternoon and I take no responsibility for misinformation or wrong dates.
Thanks to fligtar for having screenshots of all the old versions!