One of the biggest issues that Firefox users have with the rapid release cycle introduced earlier this year is the fact that updates often disabled their add-ons in the browser due to incompatibilities. Most of the time though those incompatibilities can be attributed to the maximum compatible version number assigned to an add-on, and not to technical incompatibilities. Many Firefox users made use of Nightly Tester Tools or the Add-on Compatibility Reporter to force add-on compatibility.
This behavior is finally going to change with the release of Firefox 10. For now, the new feature has been implemented into recent Nightly versions of Firefox 11. The technology is disabled by default and needs to be activated before it can be tested.
Mozilla plans to integrate the override ability into Firefox 10 Aurora soon and then in the beta and stable channels when they hit version 10 as well.
To disable strict add-on compatibility in Firefox, users need to enter about:config into the browser and filter for the key extensions.strictCompatibility.
The default state is true which means that strict add-on compatibility is enabled. This means that Firefox will disable add-ons that are not compatible with the version of the browser.
A double-click on the entry and the selection of False turns strict compatibility off. What this means is that Firefox will assume that add-ons are also compatible with the updated version of the browser.
There are a few exceptions to the rule though that need to be listed here. While it is possible to force add-on compatibility this way, it does not ensure that add-ons are indeed compatible with the more recent version of the browser. If add-ons are technically incompatible with the new version of Firefox, then forcing them to be compatible won't change that fact; The add-ons will remain incompatible. But there are other requirements. Add-ons with binary components will be ignored by the new directive, as will add-ons with a minimal compatible version that is higher than the version of the web browser.
Add-on developers lastly can force their add-ons to be strictly compatible. (via)
Update: I noticed that the latest Aurora version is already listing the extensions.strictCompatibility parameter.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.