opt-out-study: Install a Study Add-on Without Prompting¶
A note on terminology: This action refers to the unit of work as a “study”. This isn’t exactly correct, and doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the usage in Normandy.
A more correct definition is that a study is a line of inquiry that asks a question, gathers some data, and draws a conclusion. An individual study may have zero or more experiments. This action represents a single experiment.
On this page the name “study” is still used for compatibility reasons. Please be aware that today this would be called an experiment, not a study. In the future this incongruence will be fixed.
On the meaning of “opt-out”: This action was developed at a time where there were already existing studies involving add-ons happening. These older studies worked by prompting users via Heartbeat to install an extension.
These older studies were called “opt-in add-on studies” or often just “opt-in studies”. At the time the major difference between that existing pattern and this new action was that this was opt-out. Users could opt-out of individual studies or the whole program, but were opted-in by default.
The important detail at the time was that the studies were opt-out. Today that style of opt-in study has died off, and now this action has a confusing name. It is difficult to change the names of actions however. Please be aware that better name for this action would be “opt-out-addon-experiment”, or just “addon-experiment”
opt-out-study action installs an add-on, typically one that
implements a feature experiment by changing Firefox and measuring how it
affects the user.
Each recipe corresponds to a single _study_; you could run multiple studies ( using multiple recipes) that use the same add-on.
User-facing name of the study, shown in
User-facing description of the study, shown in
The add-on to install. The list of available add-ons pulls from the add-ons that have been uploaded via the Extensions listing.
- Prevent New Enrollment
When checked, new participants will not be enrolled in the study, although existing participants will continue to run the study add-on. When unchecked, new participants will continue to be enrolled based on the recipe filters. This is useful to prevent a study’s population from growing while still collecting additional data from the users already enrolled.
Add-ons to be used in studies can be uploaded to Normandy via the extensions page of Delivery Console, accessible from the home page.
Add-ons used in studies must be signed using a special key. Please contact the Normandy development team for more details.
After the user matches the filter expression and executes the recipe:
If the user is eligible for the study, they are enrolled. A user is ineligible if:
Their opt-out preference is set to
They have participated in this study/recipe previously.
They have an add-on installed with the same ID as the study add-on.
The add-on is downloaded and installed on their system, and study info is saved on the client.
Once it’s done running the experiment, the study add-on should uninstall itself, which marks the study as complete.
If testing against a local copy of Normandy with a self-signed certificate,
add-on installation will fail unless you set the
extensions.install.requireBuiltInCerts preference to