I noticed this entry from Adam Curry’s Weblog expounding on Newsmonster in my aggregator just now. Newsmonster is a Java-based aggregator which integrates itself inside of Mozilla using XPI. I downloaded both the Java Webstart installer and the XPI installer. The installation was slick and painless, I’ll grant that. However, the Java aggregator was slow and painful, taking over half an hour to index some 100-odd feeds, which it didn’t even properly complete. When I restarted Mozilla, an empty sidebar suddenly appeared which I could not remove. Fine, Newsmonster is not ready for prime time; let me just uninstall that puppy. Oh, that’s right, I can’t. Nor can I check the mailing list archives for details on how to uninstall. Subscribing to said mailing list doesn’t seem to be working either, as I receive an error message once I try to confirm the subscription. In short, I am now stuck with an empty side bar taking up 20% of my Mozilla window.
This is not the first time this has happened when installing a XPI application. A few months ago, I installed Mozblog, which I couldn’t get working. No uninstall. Optimoz, however, works great and has an uninstall, so I at least know it is possible to uninstall XPI applications in Mozilla.
Developers, if you’re going to have an installer, at least have a corresponding uninstaller. Maybe this is Mozilla’s fault for not providing an interface to properly install and uninstall applications. As it stands, I will probably have to uninstall and reinstall Mozilla to get rid of these pesky XPI applications. At least I know that I can do that.
Update: Apparently I am not the only one having problems with NewsMonster. I agree, the app looks promising but is quite rough around the edges.