In the course of debugging a bug raised by several users of Add-on Updater (proof of concept), it was found that there are add-ons out there shipping with badly formatted manifest data. Specifically, a badly formatted add-on summary data can cause Add-on Updater settings panel to fail.
Steps to reproduce:
Expected: no errors, and add-ons excluded from update checks will be shown.
Actual: error in check list box.
Cause: add-on summary text for add-ons like Vocalizer Expressive Compact contains one or more commas, which causes manifest parser to treat it as a list instead of text.
Solutions: several, including short-term and long-term, good and bad. These include converting between strings and lists, checking for names of add-ons that causes this bug and what not.
In the meantime, I’ll prevent Vocalizer family of add-ons from appearing in “do not update” list in Add-on Updater settings panel. But this masks the fundamental problem: manifest data format problem, which should be fixed by add-on authors.
There is an interesting discussion regarding this bug and related ideas happening on add-ons list at: