Firefox loses yet another high profile add-on author: Quicksaver quits
The respected Firefox add-on developer Quicksaver announced yesterday that he won't update any of his extensions anymore because of Mozilla's decision to move to WebExtensions exclusively.
Quicksaver, responsible for add-ons such as Tab Groups, OmniSidebar, FindBar Tweak, Beyond Australis and Puzzle Bars, had four of his five add-ons for Firefox featured by Mozilla in the past.
If you open any of the author's add-on pages on the Mozilla Add-ons repository, you will notice an important announcement on the page.
It reads: IMPORTANT: The add-on will not receive any more updates and will stop working by next November with Firefox 57.
The add-ons won't work anymore when Firefox 57 comes along (the first version of the browser said to be WebExtensions exlusive).
Firefox add-on author Quicksaver quits because of WebExtensions
The author's add-ons are:
- Beyond Australis -- The add-on added tweaks and new features to Firefox's then new browser UI theme Australis. Has more than 40,000 users, 330 user reviews, and a five star rating.
- FindBar Tweak -- Improves Firefox's on-page find functionality, for instance by making it search on all open tabs, or moving the results to a different location. Has more than 31,000 users, 302 user reviews, and a five star rating. Our FindBar Tweak review.
- OmniSidebar -- Makes the sidebar of Firefox more accessible and powerful. More than 109,000 users, 111 user reviews, a five star rating. Our Omnibar review.
- Puzzle Bars -- Enables you to place add-on buttons and other icons in the browser window exactly like you want them to. More than 4000 users, 66 user reviews, a five star rating. Our Puzzle Bars Review
- Tab Groups -- This brought back the Firefox Panorama / Tab Groups functionality that Mozilla removed from the browser some time ago. Has more than 111,000 users, 548 user reviews and a five star rating. Our Tab Groups review.
Quicksaver posted an explanation on his website that reveals why he made the decision to stop add-on development.
There are several reasons, but the core reason given is that at least four of his five add-ons rely heavily on functionality that will either not be provided by WebExtensions, or would require him to rewrite the extension almost completely.
However, manipulation of the browser window's interface and functionality will be extremely limited by definition, and even if it wasn't, the implementation of such abilities is nearly impossible to achieve in WebExtensions.
According to the explanation, Quicksaver was in contact with Mozilla to find a way to keep his extensions alive, but failed ultimately.
I have fought for keeping the current system working together with WebExtensions, not only to keep all of my add-ons alive, but also because I believe a can-do-whatever-you-want extension system like exists today is the best quality Firefox has over other browsers. Unfortunately I've failed to convince them of this, as have they failed to convince me of the benefits they expect to achieve with a WebExtensions-only system.
Another point that the author makes is that he went through the ordeal of rewritting his extensions not too long ago. When Mozilla announced multi-process Firefox, he rewrote the extensions to make them compatible with it.
To sum it up:
- WebExtensions won't support the functionality required for porting at least three of the five extensions over.
- The other extensions would require huge effort on the author's part as code needs to be rewritten to a large extent.
- Mozilla is dead on track to throw Firefox's old add-on system out of the window, and seems inclined to accept any fallout this may cause.
It was clear from the beginning that the move to WebExtensions will leave add-ons and authors behind. While Mozilla plans to make WebExtensions in Firefox more powerful than in Chrome, they will never be as powerful as Firefox's current add-on system.
Quicksaver is not the only author who announced that he will stop working on add-ons for Firefox. Add-ons like New Tab Tools, Classic Theme Restorer, Tree Style Tabs, Open With, DownThem All, KeeFox and many others are likely also not going to make the cut.
Firefox will lose good functionality because of this, something that probably won't ever come back once the move to WebExtensions is finalized.
Mozilla Firefox will gain support for the bulk of Chrome extensions, and while that is a good thing, they cannot fill the gap that the move to WebExtensions will cause.
Mozilla's timing on this one is off in my opinion. The organization could keep the old add-on system alive, at least for a bit longer, until WebExtensions are more capable. The whole ordeal feels rushed to me.
Now You: What's your take on the development?
Why is Mozilla doing this? Are they changing just for the sake of change or is it newer/better or the current technology they use has serious problems/limitations?
Mozilla spoke of how Firefox reached its peak performance years ago. And that they need to scratch the gecko engine and its components for something new to reach further in the race of web browser performance.
I’m all for new technology and better optimization. But this move makes me sad.
I hope 3’rd party developers who works on Cyberfox and Waterfox will port the old add-on functionality back to firefox.
That’s why Mozilla is stupid. Chasing performance by crippling productivity is, I guess, just one of the reasons that Firefox is dying (Mozilla along with it).
It’s going to be okay. Lots of FUD going on. [Fear, uncertainty and doubt]
If you want more info you can check Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/5qjzie/i_cannot_continue_working_on_my_addons_anymore_im/
I developed some points there with the same name, but unfortunately that takes time and I’m not sure I’ll be able to make argued posts on Ghacks too.
If you want to see a very honest and humble walkthrough of Firefox’s status from a long time Mozilla developer assigned to Performance, read this:
zbraniecki is the dev to look for, he posts a bunch of times.
I’d say this is like globalization – only in micro-scale; as corporation they destroyed in really short period the “culture” that Firefox has developed across years, by trying to convince users and every other interested person with marketing language that changes are for their own good, that these are amazing and will provide the browser bright future. They don’t care about any kind of feedback and pretending to listen to such because if they would that would show their weakness and would look like they don’t know what they’re doing.
Google monopolized the browser market with Chrome by shady tactics of dropping it into various installers – people all over the world didn’t pick it because it was good but because it suddenly landed on their machines and set itself as default browser (we all know that ordinary user won’t look at wizard screens – it will mindlessly press “Next” button all the time) and Mozilla could either try to be unique or give up and start to be similar to the new main competitor – that’s why Australis and other ideas like add-on bar in main toolbar are similar to what Chrome has and that’s why new add-ons platform will allow converting already available Chrome extensions.
Good point. The way Mozilla is destroying Firefox looks exactly like the way Microsoft is destroying Windows, and it’s happening at the same time. Users of both Firefox and Windows 7 are looking for ways to not being forcefully “upgraded” for “free” to a “better” product. Both Mozilla and Microsoft are losing immense amounts of trust in the process.
You’re very right in your analyze.
Capitalism is one of the main cause even if Mozilla is a “non-profit” organization when you look at the salary of his the CEO and other non productive persons it say a lot….
“Mozilla in 2013 paid CEO $801k, Director $779k, and Treasurer $613k !”
Actually they ARE listening.
FF has become slower and slower over the years. That’s one half why they needed to limit extension mechanism power: If you allow everything, you have to optimize for everything, which is plain impossible.
The other thing is that extensions that can do anything also make the FF behaviour pretty unpredictable. If something fails, you never know whether it’s FF itself, or an extension that interferes with FF’s behaviour. It’s a real issue – everybody sees different kinds of funny behaviour because no two persons have the same set of extensions installed, and because every extension carries a substantial risk of damaging stuff.
They are listening – but less to extension developers and more to their user base.
Whether the overall change is good enough to make users happy despite losing some extensions – well, that remains to be seen.
Mozilla is literally destroying the only aspect of Firefox that was unique. The power of customization from the current and soon to be “previous” add on system is precisely the reason why Firefox thrived in the past. What incentive is left to use this browser after this change is enforced? It’s basically just going to be an open sourced version of Chrome with a few privacy enhancing benefits. That’s about it…nothing more.
Customisation will remain inferior to all non-Firefox browsers though.
*2 days later* Wait, I meant superior :O
Customization is not unique to Firefox.
I’ve read the Mozzila blog post regarding this change to WebExtensions. It sounds reasonable. But Mozzila extensions was the thing that distinguishes this browser from others. As Chrome user I remember some neat Firefox extensions that aren’t available (and not possibile to implement) on Chrome.
Mozilla is changing a lot of things lately. Maybe too many at once.
There will still be such extensions. It may also be easier for third party browsers to support future Firefox-only extensions by mimicking Firefox WE APIs, leading to an era of convenience for developers and freedom for users, who may be less tied to a browser because of extensions. (Assuming third party browsers do implement their own version of Firefox WE APIs to enable those extensions)
From that perspective, Mozilla is actually holding to its aspiration to be promoters of “openness, innovation & opportunity”, as their manifesto says.
We know what Google did of its “Don’t be evil” aspiration, they changed it.
This is now reality. It is not OK, and there are not replacements for the extensions I was using right up until a couple of hours ago.
FF now looks uglier, and the FindBar has lost all the functions I was using.
> I’ve read the Mozzila blog post regarding this change to WebExtensions. It sounds reasonable.
WebExtensions are reasonable. They’re probably a vastly-improved way of writing extensions.
However, dropping XUL extensions, within 12-18 months, when WebExtensions haven’t even properly landed yet, and at the same time refusing to duplicate their capabilities within the new system, is IMO not reasonable.
I’ll be looking forward to information in November on how to freeze my Firefox version. At the moment I get beta updates.
I won’t be going with the ‘Chromified Firefox’. Brave is (and will be) my primary browser.
I will post guides in time for that and other things that may make sense.
RossN, there are settings (in about:config) that can deactivate Firefox updates, but I would not recommend doing that. If you want to keep using Firefox for a while longer, your best bet is version 52 ESR (extended support release), which will not get any new features or improvements past March 2017 but is going to be maintained with security patches until at least Q1 of 2018 (maybe Q2).
This should give everyone a few more months to look for an alternative or wait for something else to be ready, but it’s not a long-term alternative. In such a case Pale Moon is probably the only option, since the developer has started doing his own thing for a while now. This creates its own challenges, but is going to be the most future-proof option open to us. Waterfox has not ruled out continued legacy extension support, however nothing is set in stone yet. Even so the owner of the project doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about it ( https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/5klz13/once_firefox_prevents_us_from_installing_legacy/dc50t61/ ).
>Brave is (and will be) my primary browser.
You know that brave is based on chromium, right?
On the topic – it’s most definitely sad that xul going they way of dodo, but it’s really old and not that secure, sadly.
> it’s really old and not that secure, sadly.
This…tells me that you don’t actually understand the technologies involved.
The addons and cusomizability they bring were the main reason to continue using firefox. Once they set off down this path, I figured I might as well get it over with and switched to Vivaldi.
That’s a shame.
I use Puzzle Bars and FindBar Tweak the most. (I do have Tab Groups installed, but I barely use it.)
I think I’ll also have to consider making Firefox 57 my main browser when November comes around until the whole WebExtensions thing is stable and most of the addons I use are supported.
I meant Firefox 56!
At present, the documentated UI available for WebExtensions represents a massive cut back to the Firefox UI available for extensions. For example, a sidebar API is under development, but presently unavailable. That means even Mozilla’s own Synced tabs UI is not yet accommodated!
The UI available for WebExtension authors is limited to just three sections of the browser:
– Browser toolbar buttons (browser action)
– URL bar buttons (page action)
– Context menu entries (context menu)
I think it’s fair to say this is an *extreme* cutback to the UI available to extension developers and ensures Firefox’s WebExtension effort is a complete mirror of the few UI elements exposed by Chrome.
Many users may not want extensions that allow browser toolbars, for example. Many may want toolbars though. In the past, sections of the status bar could be used by extension developers but that was taken away years ago. The Stylish extension uses the Add-On Manager UI as a logical place to list rules and make them available to edit. But the Add-On Manager doesn’t seem to be available for WebExtension UI either.
Tab groups are not only handy if you want to organise your browser into groups of task-specific tabs (perhaps because your boss keeps changing their mind about your priorities at the drop of a hat) but they’re also very handy for memory management as Firefox can de-allocate RAM assigned to tabs that aren’t in the foreground group. It’s bad enough Mozilla killed off the native tab groups implementation. Quicksaver then took over and not only made the equivalent of the native version available, but made Tab Groups even better than it was. It could be argued tab groups are for “power users” but since when did Mozilla see fit to kick power users to the curb?
If we think about what extensions have been, it could be argued they can loosely fall into two distinct categories: new or expanded browser functionality; website tweaking. Arguably the majority of website tweaking extensions can be squeezed into that tiny space at the end of the URL bar or after the URL bar, as a button, like Chrome does. Those buttons can be boolean in that they just toggle functionality on or off. They can also use those temporary drop-down ‘panels’ … the ones that are shaped like a comic book speech bubble. But those are limiting.
When it comes to extensions that want to modify, add to, or create new UI for the browser, which is often required for new functionality introduced by extensions, WebExtensions do not provide *any* user-inteface space for that sort of extension.
Mozilla seems to be using cross-browser extension compatibility (or “sacrificing their competitive advantage” as I would put it), and multi-process incompatibility of existing extension APIs, as an excuse to minimize the elements of Firefox that are available to extensions.
Extensions were a key feature Mozilla has always used to generate the support Firefox has been given since day one. Developers were drawn to the ability to tweak and add to almost *any* aspect of the browser. Along comes Chrome in 2009 and many users jumped ship. But why? Was it Firefox’s buggy update system; bad memory management; lack of a true multi-process architecture or the way Mozilla has seemed like a rudderless ship for most of this decade? Or did users jump ship because of Chrome’s extension ecosystem? Did those who stuck with Firefox tolerate all the shenanigans because of all the extensions they loved that were enabled by the wider scope of the Firefox extension ecosystem?
If it’s the latter, is Mozilla butchering it’s primary remaining competitive advantage by minifying Firefox’s extension support?
> Along comes Chrome in 2009 and many users jumped ship.
It was not the power users, I guarantee you that. The performance, politics, etc are almost completely irrelevant compared to the _usability_ of the browser. XUL addons enhance this aspect 10-fold over what any Chrome-based browser can accomplish. Moreover, power users tend to work with many (sometimes hundreds) of tabs. This is literally only possible on a modest machine with Gecko browsers at the moment.
Those who did jump ship are 1) people who don’t use addons (or knew what they were) and 2) those who use simple addons that were also available in Chrome.
You are exactly right by describing Mozilla’s behavior as “sacrificing their competitive advantage”. This is not a new trend but simply the last nail in the coffin. For example, what addons have Mozilla created and promoted themselves that really push the boundary of web browser usability (and which are possible only with XUL/XPCOM)? NONE. The only comparable effort was Tab Groups. Have you ever seen Mozilla promote a third-party extension that really improved the experience of it’s users (outside of the AMO site)? NO. In other words, Mozilla has been actively downplaying their competitive advantage for years. The two types of people I listed above in all likelihood have not been exposed to the true power of addons, and this is the fault of Mozilla.
Mozilla does not understand what they have with XUL addons and, likewise, come November they won’t know what they’ve thrown away.
“It was not the power users, I guarantee you that. The performance, politics, etc are almost completely irrelevant compared to the _usability_ of the browser. XUL addons enhance this aspect 10-fold over what any Chrome-based browser can accomplish.”
Actually that’s not so clear cut: For example back in Firefox 4 or 5, so during the time frame we are talking about, many developers and power users complained about Firefox being slow, and moved to Chrome, and advised non-developer people to use Chrome because of this. It turned out that the great add-on Firebug, used by most developers and many power users, was the culprit and was slowing down the browsers of all those guys, even those who disabled the add-on. It was not Firefox’s fault, and non-developer users had been advised to leave Firefox for no reason since they didn’t have Firebug installed.
I don’t claim that this example has a conclusion or a moral, it’s just insight that stains the clear cut idea that power users stayed on Firefox because of add-on power in spite of performance in 2009.
> Actually that’s not so clear cut
There are those who consider themselves to be “power users” are, in fact, not. Web developers tend to be prominent in this group.
The situation you are describing does not exist because, at minimum, power users need a way to deal with large numbers of tabs. In the days of Firefox 4/5, Chrome had no answers for this and barely does today. There were no “power users” moving to Chrome at that time.
That’s not true. Many power users don’t need a thousand tabs. Regular commenters here, like Tom Hawak and I think Pants (not sure), can serve as an example.
@Selenium : no one is ever sure about the Pants :)
Each to their own, but I really fail to see how having 100s of tabs “open” is any good (resources, management etc). It just sounds nuts to me. Work, concentration, productivity, sanity, and other factors would suggest that focusing on a few items at a time is best – such as checking email 3 times a day, so no distractions. I remember reading back in the day (and experienced it myself), that when you are deep in code, been at it for a while with lots of things running around in your head, and then someone in the office asks you a tech question, breaks your train of thought, or the phone rings … when you get back to your work say 5 minutes later, you lose 15 minutes on average of productivity (that’s what the study found).
Lets say, even if you break your 500 tabs down into 10 groups of 50 eg 50 tech news sites, 50 hairy midget goat porn forums .. etc 50 essential social crap like your facebook, twitter etc .. Do you really need all 10 groups open at the same time. I really just don’t get it.
Someone said they have 400-500 .. now people are talking a 1000. There are other ways to manage workload, reminders, todo lists, followups, notifications, social media followings and what not. And for handling “bookmarks” there are some great multi-tab speed dials around – I use Speed Dial [FVD] with a zoomed out setting with tiny tiles and 12 tabs (eg news, privacy, tech, shopping, sport etc) with each tab capable of 60 tiles before scrollbars show – and I can add more tabs etc. Jumping to any site is two clicks. And you can open all in one action eg the news sites. Personally, I never exceed 20 tabs, usually I have about 2-5 open. I guess my methodology differs. I like to focus on one thing/job at a time, but that doesn’t stop my discovery processes and their followups, and it doesn’t stop my regular checks eg rss feed. Even when I’m say researching something and going off on wild tangents, its too easy to get “lost” or sidetracked. I find scrapbooking some stuff and bookmarking others in a dump folder on my toolbar are ways to deal with things to follow up on. I find using a RSS client and only checking news twice a day helps – same with email. I find not mixing work and non-work also helps.
Again, this is just my perspective, and I have no idea exactly what others are doing to warrant so many tabs. Not saying all these people are working (if they were, I think their boss would have a fit), but seriously .. 500 tabs .. if you spent 1 minute on each, that’s your entire work day gone. Also, think of the extra CPU/GPU and power consumption .. u evil climate deniers :)
Having 100’s or 1000s of tabs open is a band-aid to a bigger underlying problem. The user needs to be more organized. That’s how I see it.
I agree with Pants.
Basically you have two cognitive attitudes, one which I call the Scanner, the other the Drill.
The scanning attitude, like a radar, is interested by topology and comparisons. The drilling attitude will prefer to dig, focus on the in-depths.
In astrology Gemini is particularly the symbol of the scanner : intelligence is fast but, as air, moves quickly from one area to another, when Scorpios is quite representative of the drill : intelligence is deep and talented for in-depths, investigation.
I wonder if there are more tab-eaters among Geminis and tab-savers among Scorpios. Needs a study, something like ‘Astrology and data management’ Â°_Â°
I use Tab Groups the way Pants seem (Pants is plural.) to use Scrapbook X or speed dial: Tabs are not loaded, they’re just stored and sorted. All topics are things that should be done within a week. If that’s not possible, then I need to clean up, make bookmarks (a more permanent storage for me), ditch tabs that after all are not worth my time even though I thought they could be.
I keep bookmarks under 500 and well sorted, and total (unloaded) tabs under 50, again well sorted.
During a search streak, I tend to open a lot of allegedly short lived tabs which I then have to clean up due to issues in the way data can be accessed in a browser. (What Servo’s Trails feature aims to solve.) I’d rather not open as much, frankly, but that’s the best workflow I have right now given the way browsers shape UX.
I’d be happy to store Trails instead of unloaded tabs, that would be very interesting, a lot better organized than bookmarks or speed dials or even Scrapbook X (especially with the annotation feature), IMHO.
Either way, if you don’t count unloaded tabs, I have between 1 and 20 tabs opened. Anything above 10 I consider is creeping up on me. I clearly wouldn’t use Chrome though. I agree it’s not friendly with multiple tab browsing, what I was saying was that I don’t believe there is a correlation between amount of tabs loaded and technical knowledge of the user.
i agree with Pants and Tom Hawack on Tabs. i’ll just leave it at that.
KeeFox won’t make the cut? This makes Firefox unusable for me.
This extension would need to be re-written from scratch. As is to be expected, some things would look differently, but from my experience with WebExtensions, it should be possible to recreate most if not all of its functionality. I haven’t heard anything definitive from the developer, but there is always hope.
It’s definitely not a given that KeeFox will be discontinued. Not sure why it’s mentioned here as “likely not going to make the cut”.
Hope only exists when the developer/author is happy and not tired of change.
From KeeFox’s author:
“I have already started experimenting with a conversion to WebExtensions but it’s early days and I won’t have anything tangible to show for at least a few months. Perhaps when I have completed the essential parts of it, I can put it onto GitHub on a development branch and welcome PR contributions to speed along the process.”
This is Mozilla on their self destructing course… I don’t think that anything can be said anymore… Except maybe that I’m curious how many years will pass after the switch to WebExtensions until they will give up their engine and become a full Chrome clone.
Mozilla destroys Firefox and WebExtensions System is shit – who could have seen that coming.
I don’t think that WebExtensions is bad, actually. I think it’s probably good.
Dropping XUL – that is bad.
Add-on authors’ quitting was expected since Mozilla planned to move towards the “web extension”. A couple of weeks ago, I said I was start switching from the lovely Firefox but a fxxking guy just keep shxtting on me.. Now you see??
A shift from haute couture to prÃªt-Ã -porter (ready-to-wear), from breakfast at Tiffany’s to a ready-to-eat snack at BigM cannot be good news and will stiff more than one user in a stunned position.
So, Firefox 57 it will be and in November 2017 it will occur. A counter-progress. I still don’t understand why such a u-turn.
I’ve read QuickSaver’s common page to his Firefox add-ons explaining why he will quit developing his add-ons, why, after a tough labor to bring those add-ons to be e10 compatible he would have to face a rebuilt of those add-ons to transform them to WebExtensions and even so, given the limits of Webextensions, would have to substantially reduce the add-ons’ capabilities.
I use QuckSaver’s OmniSidebar add-on; I read in this article that other add-ons such as ‘Classic Theme Restorer’ could very well never be able to shift to a WebExtensions version : it’s not a developer’s will, it’s a technical impossibility for some add-ons to be operational as a WebExtension!
For my case, I’ll be loosing several add-ons, those which won’t make the e10 jump. I’ll be loosing several add-ons, those which won’t be able to make it as a Webextension. I calculated that something like half of my 70+ add-ons will disappear.
Remains Firefox’s security and privacy. The last reason for keeping Firefox as my default browser. Even if some privacy settings are opt-in, they *are* available. Should Mozilla, one day or another, decide to limit those about:config flags that it would be the final straw as far as I’m concerned.
” I calculated that something like half of my 70+ add-ons will disappear. ”
I expect that more add-ons will appear in 2018, and in the mean time there will be an influx of Chromium-based add-ons. I hope you’ll be able to replace a decent amount of those 35 companions!
How were you able to figure out the destiny of all 70 braves though ? That’s a lot, and technical information is spread all over the place and doesn’t necessarily speaks in terms of add-on names, but feature names.
I’ve seen a couple add-on developers give up or start depressing under the FUD when actually, their necessary features were already available or under development. Quicksaver however, knows what he is talking about. Some of the more complex add-ons will require a complete rewrite, sometimes doing things a little differently.
It’s like turning rocks upside down in a river, it takes a bit before the water clears up again :)
Tom Hawack is an add-on-whore junkie and he knows it xD … I have whittled myself down to 51 (used to be around 65-70 a year ago) by ditching some (and finding replacements, or using extra features in say uMatrix). I am at 29 e10s compatible, 1 that is supposedly shimmed, and 21 left to go. Of those 21, I could do without 6 – so on e10s alone I am looking at a loss of 15, and some are going to be heartbreaking (my Scrapbook X has 400+ saved+edited web snippets full of tech stuff, all nicely categorized and filed away). We’ll see what happens.
When 57 arrives .. I will probably hold off by moving to ESR
1- Figuring out the destiny of all 70 braves :
– the user’s Firefox profile \extensions.ini / [MultiprocessIncompatibleExtensions] section is relevant of the present;
– reading the future of some add-ons such as announced by developer QuickSaver mentioned in this article highlights part of the future.
– I have a few add-ons which are not installed from AMO, which will not be available as WebExtensions (IMO), neither e10-compatible, not to mention they already do not respect the signed add-on requirement, bypassed here by “How to override the Firefox Add-on Signing requirement” ( https://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/14/override-firefox-add-on-signing-requirement/ ), i.e. those built from:
Codefisher – Custom Toolbar Button Maker ( https://codefisher.org/toolbar_button/toolbar_button_maker/ )
Codefisher – Custom Link Button Maker ( https://codefisher.org/toolbar_button/link-button-maker/ )
2- As Pants did I could certainly go on an add-on diet, focusing at least on “lost to be in the announced storm”. Depending on my acceptance of “necessary”, “helpful”, “pleasant” applied to add-ons and for myself without considering my choices as universal, I’d still lose many add-ons when the WebExtension add-on built will become unavoidable.
We’ll manage. I get sometimes short-sighted with initial reactions to announced software policies and, as several/many users I may forget that the future is not predictable and certainly isn’t with a plain pseudo-logic which would take the present as an hypothesis to present tomorrow as a conclusion : in between there is all what mankind (developers and users for our concern) is able to imagine, invent, create, move on to or move off from. I guess it’s all in the optimistic or skeptical schemes.
I just don’t know. But I remain optimistic.
Geez, that’s lots of work. And here I hoped you had found a centralized source. Nope, you were just the 71st brave.
@Pants Scrapbook X’s death will be an issue in your case yeah. All features that I can think of right now should be reproducible by a WebExtension, but who is going to port it ?
I’m not sure that a WE can read and parse data from a Scrapbook X saved file though.
I have one long tail add-on that I don’t want to lose either, I think I’ll end up poking people at Mozilla and the developer itself to see how feasible a conversion would be, but COMPLEX, LONG TAIL and BARELY MAINTAINED is a pretty bad omen.
@Handsome & Tom
So we have two stages: e10s and WE. As I navigate the waters of e10s I am keeping an eye on WE possibilites/future-proofing (but it’s early days). Crossing one bridge at a time. I have kept an eye on e10s and the state of my add-ons for well over six months. The extension.ini is not that helpful, it only lists 30 of my 51 (which is weird because arewee10syet has 44 of them covered in its list of > 2000 users) – instead, I have been keeping check via the arewee10syet site (using FindBar Tweak, heh).
Like I said .. 29 are fine + 1 shimmed, 2 incompatible, 12 unknown and 7 unlisted
I am breaking these down logically.
1 – Those that deal with privacy/security/anti-fingerprinting (will not compromise)
2 – workflow (will change if I f***king have to)
3 – convenience
I am willing to forgo some convenience (maybe it will come back at a later stage), and I can modify my workflow (scrapbook x would be the biggest one: it has an always-expanded root dump folder which is my ToDoList – stuff to follow up on, read, edit and file away, whatever) – I’ll just have to find something else, change my methodology etc. But I will not compromise on point 1.
Examples of non e10s point 1 items: NoRedirect ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/noredirect/ ). And while I may give up on UA spoofing to the latest ESR (and privacy.resistFingerprinting may interfere with that), meanwhile UAControl ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/uacontrol/ ) which I use because I can whitelist mozilla amo and some ssl test sites, and User-Agent JS Fixer ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-js-fixer/ ) are both e10s ready. If privacy.resistFingerprinting enforces the UA override, I will need to find another solution for navigator.
I really want to wrap this up. I want to use multiple processes damnit.
I agree, Pants. If both e10 and WE are bothering when it comes to add-ons (especially those we cherish) personally I have no anger against e10 which is legitimate, a true progress when WebExtension doesn’t appear to me as such.
I’m looking forwards to adequate my add-ons (or others fulfilling the same requirements) with the multi-processes technology. And that ain’t gonna be a cup of tea xD …
About NoRedirect, I’m not sure if it’s 1:1 parity but I’ve used NoScript and its forbid META redirects option coupled with Firefox’s option to prompt on redirects in about:preferences#advanced for years, and I haven’t noticed any redirects that I can remember. (If that can save you one non E10S add-on…)
Think of it another way maybe: Thanks to the switch to WebExtensions, way more “legitimate, truly progressive” things can happen without dragging Pants and you through the mud of uncertainty and forced changes in habits over an entire year. Well, not AGAIN xD
@_Handsome_Jack, no prejudice against WebExtensions, no conservative mentality and long live the new, the different, imagination and innovation. Worth throughout all topics of life, IMO.
I just happen to read what’s going on with WebExtensions as I do with Eleectrolysis and what I read concerning the former isn’t really exciting, hence a relative suspicion.
– I read that most add-ons can and do get updated to e10-compatibility, that it’s sometimes tough for the developer but that it is basically feasible.
– I read concerning WebExtensions that because of the so-called “limited APIs and APIs limited possibilities” (you get the idea) some add-ons, given they address deep concerns within Firefox, will simply not be updatable to WebExtensions.
– I read Quicksaver’s comment about being unable to bring 4 of his 5 add-ons to their WebExtension equivalent and that as a consequence he’ll have to put an end to their development once FF57 released … and no, the comment was free of the crying violin effect because it was free of that aim, but rather the comment of a desperate developer, and he’s not the only one abandoning or bound to abandon the Firefox ship …
I’d truly prefer this mud of anxiety to be the basis of a sculpted Venus, believe me xD+ but at this time I see no artist at the horizon.
@Handsome .. “useragent string is incoherent with certain browser characteristics” yup, it’s called feature detection – see my comment here: https://github.com/pyllyukko/user.js/issues/193#issuecomment-259157324
privacy.resistFingerprinting is looking enforcing a lot of spoofing: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1333651 , https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1333933 – which is fine if you are trying to hide in a subset of firefox users
typo above in my last comment – I meant those two UA add-ons were NOT e10s ready. I hope the tor uplift will cover navigator.userAgent. Of course, not allowing JS by default, and blocking all XSS by default etc is the first strep, this is for the worst case scenarios.
Just joining the chorus: yes, Mozilla is slowly but surely killing itself. It’s yet another example of software managers striving for higher goals, while neglecting the one thing that matters most: the actual interests of their loyal user base. Or, to put this in a car industry metaphor, this is like when the Subaru managers observe that Ford has higher sales figures, these managers succumb to the fallacy “see, we need to make Subarus more like Fords” (instead of trying to make more of Subaru’s unique and discerning qualities).
Pale Moon, now my secondary browser, will probably in due course become my primary browser again. I hope that some Firefox extension developers will also begin to focus more on Pale Moon. For one of the most irritating flaws of Pale Moon right now is that only about 80% of recent Firefox extensions will work correctly with PM’s classic (pre-Australis) setup. If extension developers would be willing to address this fairly simple compatibility problem, then many present Firefox users might be really happy to make the switch to Pale Moon.
The fact that “only about 80% of recent Firefox extensions will work correctly with PM’s classic (pre-Australis) setup” is the main, perhaps the only reason keeping me from returning to Pale Moon (which has been at one time and for some time my default browser).
As I see it, if the add-ons that don’t run on Pale Moon happen to no longer be available on Firefox itself once the WebExtension unavoidable, then I might very well return to Pale Moon. Also, it would be extraordinary if those developers, giving up the development of their add-ons because of WebExtension’s cheap philosophy and limited technology, would join the Pale Moon community and link their efforts from there on. I already imagine a slogan, something like,
“Developers : join the Pale Moon community where your talents are welcomed, where you will innovate and not follow a company’s restrictions, where more and more users are waiting for you in the same way they’ve waited for DuckDuckGo.”
November 28th, 2017 and its Firefox 57, that’s tomorrow. I guess we all have this in mind. Personally I’ll start reconsidering Firefox on the short-medium term.
For goodness sake, take a bit of time to learn what Australis is now. It’s not what it was during the awful beta period, when customisation was forbidden. Today Australis is highly customisable. There’s no menu button, but you can turn on the old menu bar (I considered writing a decent Menu Button extension because there were no well-written ones last time I checked, but it would take me a few days and this is unlikely to ever be high priority). The toolbar buttons are crap, but there are extensions to remove them and restore sensible buttons. The tabs are curved, but if that actually bothers you you can use a userstyle to change them back. Switch to Australis and then take a few minutes to set it up.
People have worked their asses of to create extensions that you can use, and here you are complaining about the depreciation of a great API, while telling everyone how you’re too bone-idle to use anything that makes use of that API.
@ Voice in your head:
If I might rephrase some of what you wrote, “People have worked their asses off to create extensions that you can use, and a lot of those extensions are going to stop working in around ten months.“
The writing on the wall came with the arrival of the abomination that is Australis. Web Extensions are the final nail in the coffin. Palemoon works fine for me at present but, if I had to change, I wouldn’t go back to Firefox.
Loved firefox in the early days,Now seems absolutely no thought in what
they are trying to accomplish whatever that is!
I gave up on firefox long ago
They are making it easier and easier to Abandon…
Press F to Pay Respects
i’ll press S to spit on their graves instead
Why doesn’t Firefox simply build an extension to verify if installed extensions are secure?
I rely heavily in tab groups. Managing 100+ open tabs in one group (the main one) seems impossible to me. Can you help me with this? Do you know of any other addon to manage a lot of open tabs in groups or sections? If there is no such addon, the only way I can see right now is using bookmarks, which is a big inconvenience.
I know there is still time untill FF57 but I absolutely need this functionality for my workflow and since the addon won’t be updating anymore, only the possibility of losing it without an alternative make me a little anxious. Sometimes sh**t happens and some new version of FF could break the addon for whatever reason before FF57
Thank you in advance guys
I have no words to express my gratitude towards Quicksaver and the rest of developers. You invest your time to make our lifes better for the sake of it. Thank you very much.
Keep reading Ghacks, we’ll tell you what to pick to replace Tab Groups when it’s time :)
I’m a heavy user too. WebExtensions will be able to provide the required functionality, it’s already either implemented or being worked on. Even the special UI screen should be doable and almost identical, though that doesn’t mean an extension will choose to replicate that exact UI, it’s up to add-on developers and their own choices.
Conserning bookmarks, I wonder if the inconvenience you talk about can be lowered with my workarounds or if you already figured that out.
I found a Firefox native workaround for Tab Groups and Tab Groups Menu functionality. I’m using bookmarks, bookmark toolbar and -(sub)folders for it.
It’s not perfect, but it can also serve as a basic model to make it perfect again. You see, I believe that by using these native techniques (or simulation) one can make a super simple and lightweight webextension with it!
More detailed and illustrated info on it in this article:
Using FindBar Tweak, thanks to the author.
…”Oh, by the way, I already did that. It takes a year and a half of extensive rewriting to make my add-on e10s / multiprocess compatible, something that is being rolled out only now, all with the prospect of a long-lasting life for them. And the WebExtensions announcement was made two months after. “Demotivating” does not quite cover it …”
As Firefox’s user since the beginning, about “demotivating” if you ask me, the first word in replacement that comes to my mind is “disrespect”, but from Mozilla since several years it has become recurrent, so not new.
I won’t miss him; |I don’t use any of his extensions. Go Mozilla!
lol, coprporate fanboyism. So pathetic, yet more and more common these days.
I would be curious how many Firefox users this actually impacts. Not to minimize the impact of this developer or his user base, I am guessing that the majority of Firefox users only want add-ons/extensions that block ads, manage passwords, etc. Firefox is likely betting on this idea. Whether it turns out to be a smart bet or not, well that remains to be seen.
Speaking for myself, I couldn’t do without many bookmark-related extensions. Bookmarks in Firefox are just crap out of the box, and I mean ridiculously so. Slapping a bunch of extensions over them makes them barely usable. Imagine not having those.
What makes Firefox’s Bookmarks “crap out of the box”? How is any other browsers bookmarks or favorites better ?
@ Rick A.
Why do you want to know ? Are you the representative of Mozilla’s interests ? What makes you think you’re entitled to request a dissertation from me comparing Firefox’s bookmarks and others ?
You seem to be a Firefox user, and very satisfied of its bookmarks (crappy) capabilities. That’s all right with me. I have no beef with that. I’m stating my needs, my dissatisfaction and my experience. Do you mind ? It’s not because you’re writing on the Internet that you’re allowed to behave like a KGB political komissar.
LMFAO. i am a Firefox user, why do you think i’m on a Firefox article? i just asked a simple question and i just re-read that simple question and i couldn’t find any disrespect towards you in that comment, so i don’t know why you’re acting like a sucker behind a keyboard on the internet. You should’ve just ignored that question or just unchecked that little box “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” before you clicked submit comment.
@Rick A. maybe Clairvaux thought your question was ironical. I don’t feel nor believe it was.
I happen to find Firefox’s bookmark management rather well carried out. With you I’d love to know what makes Clairvaux qualify them in such terms.
I don’t know what took Clairvaux, usually he’s aggressive only towards the establishments 8D
@Tom Hawack – Yeah, i love the way i can manage my bookmarks in Firefox. What i love the most is that i can just drag the tab to any folder i choose that’s located anywhere and done. You can’t do that in Chrome or Opera as it’ll just place that tab in a new window.
@ Rick A.
You have just confirmed how rude a person you are.
So “you” have re-read your question, and “you” haven’t found any disrespect in it. This just shows you have no clue about basic civility. Then, just to confirm how “respectful” you are, you call me a “sucker”. You, Sir, are the sucker.
Go get an education. And next time, if you want strangers to take on their time to answer your questions, learn to ask them in a polite way. There’s no human right to get answers to one’s questions. Even for Firefox users. Even on the Internet.
So true, Rick A. , not to mention the tag feature which maybe isn’t honored by most users as it could be. Bookmarking with Firefox is really a true pleasure, of course provided one doesn’t handle bookmarks as junk in a closet 8D+ ( LOL without glasses but with a goatee )
@Clairvaux, you’re being rude, or paranoid. Where the hell is there a problem in asking someone why he dislikes a browser’s bookmark management? Come on!
“So “you” have re-read your question, and “you” haven’t found any disrespect in it.” – No.
“This just shows you have no clue about basic civility.” – if you say so.
“Then, just to confirm how “respectful” you are, you call me a “sucker”.” – Yes.
“You, Sir, are the sucker.” – You can have that. i’m a big boy, i can take it.
“Go get an education.” – i have one.
“And next time, if you want strangers to take on their time to answer your questions, learn to ask them in a polite way. There’s no human right to get answers to one’s questions.” – Or next time just uncheck that little box “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” before you click submit comment. Most people with an “education” can figure that out.
“Even for Firefox users. Even on the Internet.” – But, but, but, what about Chrome users? Opera, Vivaldi and Safari users ?
I guess a lot. People use FF because of addons and because they can modify the browser.
If I don’t have that I could use chrome or Edge or whatever.
I wonder what will happen with SeaMonkey? Will they also drop these addons support? I really like DownThemAll and there’s no alternative to it on any other browsers.
The problem is Firefox has the best addons out there. These addons are truly working exceptionally well because they have better rights on the browser itself, but this might be security concern, I get it. The 3 addons I’m currently using on all of my browsers, Firefox’s ones are working better, more reliably. This is what I don’t like about the upcoming change to WebExtensions. But I’m pretty sure we will gain in performance what we’re gonna lose in reliability. Not sure how exactly I feel, we shall see…
P.S. By the way, guys, in about:config is there a parameter that I can manage the non-focused tabs? I mean, like Tab Suspender/Unloader. Or Firefox does that already up to point?
Here’s a Walt Mossberg story on Firefox’s plans for the future:
It appears they aim to replace search with predicting navigation. Good luck with that. Customizability appears to be nowhere in their game plan.
That’s an experiment. Whether it succeeds or not, it won’t replace search obviously.
Customizability is totally in their game plan even with WebExtensions, they know it’s a Firefox trademark. Have you seen the work that’s going on first hand instead of relying on reports of reports of reports ? Some of the things those guys say in the podcast that your article comes from, they actually got it from Ghacks. They don’t really know better than Martin, even less so than Quicksaver (Tab Groups) or Tim Nguyen (VivaldiFox) or even Handsome Jack* for that matter. They seem rather positive about Firefox though, if you listen to them.
Since I’m not going to spend the effort to try and shake your certitude, we’ll just have to see how things turn out. Checkout Reddit’s post on Quicksaver’s letter, it contains some first hand links and insight.
* You gain one holographic cookie if you get the reference without help from Context Gr–I mean Search.
Users of these kind of extensions are vocal, but I’ve never met someone, even amongst technical people, who know this kind of extension is even possible, but they do notice performance differences between browsers. I’ve talked people into trying Firefox again in the last few years since they’ve made improvements in memory usage and so on.
It’s too bad many extensions will need to be re-written and that for some this will mean that the extensions are abandoned, but I’d rather Firefox keep going forward with improvements that all users will notice.
Firefox the Users browser-
Why continue using a chrome ripoff? If mozilla believes chrome is a better browser I’ll just switch to chrome inself.
Have fun with Google’s unblock-able tracking cookies. You’ll find those same unblock-able tracking cookies in Google Opera.
Just wondering, where in Opera can you see these unblockable tracking cookies?
Chrome 49 on Windows XP on startup the cookies google .com Channel id , google-analytics .com Channel id and sometimes doubleclick .net Channel id will be there. Even though those 3 cookies are blocked in the exceptions.
And when i browse certain websites like twitch.tv the cookies googleadservices .com Channel id , googletagservices .com Channel id , imasdk.googleapis .com Channel id , gstatic .com Channel id and sometimes doubleclick .net Channel id will all magically be there even though i have those 5 cookies blocked in the exceptions and i even have third party cookies blocked. it doesn’t happen on ghacks .net.
Opera 36 on Windows XP on startup “sometimes” the cookies google .com Channel id , google-analytics .com Channel id and sometimes doubleclick .net Channel id will all be there even though i have those 3 cookies blocked in the exceptions.
And when i browse certain websites like twitch.tv the same cookies googleadservices .com Channel id , googletagservices .com Channel id , imasdk.googleapis .com Channel id , gstatic .com Channel id and sometimes doubleclick .net Channel id will magically be there as well even though i have those 5 cookies blocked in the exceptions and i even have third party cookies blocked. it doesn’t happen on ghacks .net.
i wonder why this happens in Google Chrome? Because Google doesn’t respect OUR privacy. Do you remember that Google cookie in Apple Safari web browser thing, where Google got a slap on the wrist? if not, search it.
i wonder why this happens in Google Opera? Because Opera doesn’t respect OUR privacy, and because Google padded in Operas pockets obviously. Do this search on Google and see what you come up with ” Opera 12.15 Default Search ” or here for convenience – https://www.google.com/#q=Opera+12.15+Default+Search and even https://www.google.com/#q=Opera+12.16+Default+Search and look at what you see. i can tell you, Opera was abandoning Opera Presto and Google cut a check to Opera to reset the default search to Google every time you close and relaunch the browser, because Opera doesn’t respect OUR privacy and because Google cuts those checks.
Now, Firefox and non-Firefox web browsers get installed on my Windows XP, my 7 and 10 ONLY get Firefox get installed, but there is another Windows 7 in my house and it has Google Chrome installed so they can use Flash to play their Facebook games. i just tested this, deleted all the cookies, blocked them in exceptions, closed and relaunched the browser and what do you know, the cookie google .com Channel id was there, not blocked in all it’s unblockable glory, went to twitch.tv and the cookies googleadservices .com Channel id , googletagservices .com Channel id , imasdk.googleapis .com Channel id and gstatic .com Channel id was all there in their unblockable glory, even though they are blocked in the exceptions and third party cookies are blocked. Who would’ve thunk it ?
Now someone might say something like, “the cookies are blocked but they just show up anyway”, well who in their right mind would trust Google?
Moral of the story, when Firefox is closed with the cookies cleared and i relaunch the browser, the cookies are still cleared….. And when i go to twitch.tv, the only cookie i see is twitch.tv. Now who would’ve thunk that…..?
Why? Because Mozilla Respects OUR Privacy and Honors Our Blocked Cookie Exceptions.
They say everything has a price and everyone can be bought, but apparently Mozilla are the exceptions……….
Feel free copy and paste this anywhere you’d like. Help spread the word.
Mozilla hates its users, esp. the long-time ones (as I used to be) who would recommend Firefox to anyone and everyone. We who helped Mozilla increase its user base, who created and used every kind of add-on to Firefox… we are the ones being tossed aside in the name of some nebulous goal having nothing to do with satisfying the people who most relied on Firefox above all other “tools” available to them. The only users left will be the ones for whom which browser they use is irrelevant–they’ll use what’s there, they won’t go out of their way to download and use Firefox. I already don’t use it much anymore. More specifically, I don’t “play” with it anymore.
“Mozilla hates its users, esp. the long-time ones (as I used to be) who would recommend Firefox to anyone and everyone.”
This mimics exactly what you can read on Microsoft-oriented forums about the forced march to Windows 10. You come across scores of IT experts saying they have spent their whole professional lives singing the praise of Microsoft — and that they are done with it.
I still “play” with Firefox, as you say. Tweaking, digging into its about:config settings, finding a pertinent match with a user style or script, shaping, tailoring the browser to what I wish in terms of functionality and design, aesthetics is still my pleasure.
As I understand it this play is bound to vanish by next November, starring Firefox number 57. The game will be over then, we’ll recall the good old time when we were free to invent and apply tweaks for Firefox. Finito. It’ll be a cold product, hardly configurable with so called WebExtensions which dress Firefox no better than a trash bag fits a top-model.
I believe Mozilla’s move is in the line of a global trend, that of removing more and more users’ ability to modify settings, be it of an OS, be it of a browser. We are destined to behave as robots, or at least as nice little children.
Still, freedom will trigger imaginations. I believe there will be counter-strikes. Even if by and for minorities since it appears that a vast majority, be it in computing as elsewhere, takes what is proposed, eats and drinks trash, reads trash, buys trash … and hardly asks itself : how about having a look beyond? Some of us do, and we’ll find a way to put a cover on garbage. That is also freedom, a freedom not limited to a choice but including criticism, imagination, search, doubt, questioning.
I’m a very very long time user too and I disagree, and say that you don’t represent us any more than I do. I also “play” with it more now than ever.
I bet my left shoe that I’ll keep doing that in 2018 and beyond, and my educated guess is certainly not worth any less than yours.
I may actually even build some extensions of my own, since there should be a void to fill right around Firefox 57. That means more chances to have my work be useful to someone, which is always a motivation. On the other hand the influx of Chromium-based add-ons could very well fill the void right away, in which case I’ll be too busy to pick the ones I want as a user to care about building my own shit.
The more I read from people who I used to side with about addons, the more I realize that it’s not that Mozilla is “killing” Firefox, it’s that it has been dead for a long time, and we’re only really interested in our customizations when it comes down to it. Mozilla and Firefox are acceptable sacrifices to us, as long as have our advanced addons and themes. And some of us aren’t even able to see that we’re that way.
At this point I’m done with the whole debate. I realize why they’re doing this and why some addon authors don’t want to do the hard work anymore. I’ll continue using both as long as it’s viable and stop acting like everything is Mozilla’s fault and that they’re ruining everything, because they “hate their users” or whatever of the other dozens of excuses we want to justify our vitriol with. I no longer think we deserve the Firefox we wish we had.
And with this you show as much value as a person as Quicksaver in his own post :)
Fortunately discussions were much better argued between Mozilla developers and extension devs and users in mailing lists and bug tickets. Frankly, it has been a very interesting illustration of what a democratic process can be – with one side deciding, but taking ALL opposing points into account and contributing with reporters in figuring out solutions to account for those points into the grand scheme of things.
It would go a lot smoother if the deadline wasn’t that tight, and I don’t know why it is. The fact that this info seems hard to obtain means it’s probably a market strategy issue, and Mozilla perhaps can’t afford to wait much longer than Firefox 57, if at all.
I wish I’d know and people knew too, that would help swallow the pill. If anyone has insight, please share :)
These anti Firefox commenters are out in full force. They give me a laugh. Truth is Firefox has hundreds of millions of users and this will affect less than 1% as obviously less than 1% of those users use these add-ons. They mainly use a good ad blocker and that is it. So keep doing Google’s work and try and drive people away from Firefox as it will never happen. So get over it or use Chrome or Opera and help Goolge’s cause and deal with their tracking and forced and unblock-able tracking cookies.
Do you have any knowledge on how this affects Ice Weasel? Are they on the same path? May be worth looking into.
Don’t know out of my head, sorry.
Lolzilla Firefaux is suiciding itself.
Yupe that’s it for me. I me really feed-up with Mozilla crap and ready to jump mozillas’ sinking ship to any non-chrome browser.
I feel like that history is repeating itself >>(Netscape), or maybe it’s a good thing?!
Pale Moon to Quicksaver: Yoo hoo! Hey, Quicksaver! Plenty of room over here! Look familiar? That’s because it is! Just hop on board, get comfortable, and do your thing! And feel free to invite your friends!
Also, for some reason, I’m remembering an article about a small Finnish outfit (Eve) that crowdsourced ideas for an alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. They were all set to follow the herd and go for thinner and lighter when the crowd told them, no, they wanted more and better ports and longer battery life. Eve listened to the crowd, raised nearly 1900% of their crowdsourced funding target, and is coming out with a hybrid that’s considerably cheaper (and stronger on many specs) than the Surface Pro 4. Good things can happen when you listen to your customers instead of following the herd.
Finally, I thought Firefox’s ethos was supposed to be “the Web, your way,” not “the Web, Google’s way.” WTF, Mozilla?
Well at least Mozilla will appeal to 40% of its current base. That’s about 4% of the global browser usage. And that is where Opera is now.
The only reason I don’t use Chrome is for Tab Groups…
Well good for you because Tab Groups features are accessible to WebExtensions :)
If you have some time, would you mind sharing how you use it on a daily basis ? I’d like to get into Tab Groups more but I find myself not using groups that much for some reason, probably a bad “workflow”.
Like, how many groups do you have and what average size ? How often do you switch ? Do you have a miscellaneous group mostly empty whose purpose is unrelated to any group, and that you use by default when starting Firefox ? Do you move tabs from one group to another often ? Etc.
“Well good for you because Tab Groups features are accessible to WebExtensions :)”
Really? Yeeeee! But it needs someone doing it, right?
My use: I’ve a bad desease called delay ahahah so when I have a page to read but i don’t want to read it in that moment I put it in a tab group based on his category. I can’t put those things in bookmarks because they are not permanent-use things (I’m sorry for my poor english). I have 9 Groups: works, tv-series, photoshop, after effects, Main, For watching, Music and a last one For reading that I’m going to delete ’cause I now use Instapaper. Example: in the Tv-series group I have some tabs open on the streaming pages of ongoing tv series I’m following. In the bookmarks I’ just have the main page of the streaming sites.
@tiamotiodio, postponing is more than a disease, it’s epidemic :)
No per-established data structure is worth ours, not because ours is better but because it’s brought up accordingly to our brain structure. Tougher when you intend to use that personal structure as a frame for others, hence the professional approach, still arguable sometimes…
Concerning your links, you do know that you can quick bookmark (with the ‘Star’ button in the Address bar) a page you intend to read later and bookmark it with tags (which would be those of your 9 groups, for instance).
Otherwise, a Firefox add-on which could interest you (I don’t run it, no idea of its deployment) :
Save-To-Read : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/save-to-read/
I know the methods you spoke about (and I use Pocket app sometimes) and maybe they’re better, but I prefer the visual style of tab group. :-)
The most important add-on I have been using so far is KeeFox. I just hope it will keep going :)
What makes Firefox great – and stand well above the competition – has always been the ability to completely customize the user interface.
If Mozilla goes forth with the plan to destroy what’s great – and unique – about Firefox, it will be a loss for everyone.
I predict the managers and department heads responsible for the decision will eventually be fired, but not after they cause irreparable damage to Firefox and Mozilla’s good name.
This is akin to how politicians often cause so much damage with their bad ideas, but are no longer in office to deal with the damage they cause.
This sucks for a lot of people but it’s all about security. Firefox is not a secure browser. It’s difficult for them to make changes with all the old code supporting all these old addons.
So what are you going to move to? Chrome? Why, if it’s just going to be the same as Firefox as many of you claim, why change at all? I’m not going to change unless there’s a compelling reason to, and that day may come. I’m not a fanboy. But I don’t like the other options and am willing to give the people at Mozilla a chance. Seems like anything they do, they have people shitting on them.
I gave a long look at Vivaldi today. It says it’s so customizable and all that, but it’s really not. More than Chrome for sure but remember Firefox is re-doing theming, as well. I have a feeling it will remain more customizable than Vivaldi and since Firefox is providing more extension APIs I don’t see the point in moving in that direction. Especially when it’s not even open source.
“Firefox is providing more extension APIs”
Not true, Firefox provide LESS extension API’s than Chromium and moreover FF is slower than Chrome so for me it will be enough reasons to change if nothing happen from Mozilla.
Also Chromium is OPEN-SOURCE.
I already use Firefox with Chrome side by side, I use Chrome for pages that take lot of resources and where I don’t need my Firefox addons,
The announcement hit me pretty hard when I read it today.
I guess I always clung to the hope, with Mozilla vowing to create new APIs to support XUL like addons and Quicksaver’s willingness to support further API changes, that we would still see addons like OmniSidebar and TabMixPlus after Firefox 56.
But that hope pretty much died with him today, because he’s clearly not doing it out of spite and with a lot of f*** yous to Mozilla, but because he really sees no possibility to continue his work with WebExtensions.
Now there only remains to be seen which Firefox update finally breaks OmniSidebar. While I understand Mozilla’s reasons for abandoning hard to maintain and very outdated APIs like XUL, it feels like the end of an era. I hope Firefox can pull through – right now it’s still by far my favourite browser.
i remember the moment i first saw chrome -late 2008 – because it lacked extensions was starting very fast compared to firefox ( abp, no script, delicious, + 3-4 more addons) and i tried it … been annoyed by ads and returned to the old buddy – firefox
but in 2009 …abp came to chrome – which was still starting faster, but it lacked one of critical extension in my work – delicious … ( this needs to be explained, in firefox – my bookmarks bar was always hidden, and delicious bookmarks was present – add that time it was a full lane under the address bar. best think about it was that you could add multiple tags to each bookmarked page and also … in bookmarks bar select a tag to be displayed, or just latest … i used “bar1” or “bar2” or “bar3” as 2nd tags for the links which i wanted in the bookmarks to be easily pressed … ) but something very annoying happened :( yahoo bought delicious and fucked up the extension, from a perfect one it became useless, with a button to bookmark, and other to go to their site and search for a bookmark (in chrome), …and in firefox with each install i had to edit files to make it compatible with it … such annoying.. so this was a big problem for me which made my day to day work with browser far harder …
so i choose to set as default browser – chrome because it opened so fast ..and my computer was pretty lazy, and in 2-3 years i created my bookmarks in chrome …with folders over folders …and so on, far inferior even at this moment compared to the original delicious …but a decent option, i`ve tried several other multi sync options and all had issues :(
and i was using chrome – firefox and rarely IE … a funny move by firefox to change layout to a useless one ( australis) made me to even uninstall it, and forever move to chrome, with backup browser as Pale Moon :)
the only extension that chrome really lacks is “NoScript”, in chrome there is something some kind similar but far inferior …called “script block ” which can be pretty messy and unstable if something happens with it`s files ( has a file where you can must a password to encrypt it`s files … and this is synced with google account, if somehow is broke, all the synced locations are f**ed..and you need to uninstall it …and each time you visit a site you want scripts to run – you must accept it again, if you read / visit many sites is a PITA)
so the last thing that gave firefox a small advantage is gone – RIP Firefox
ps. the move is said to be done for …performance, i use a I7 -4790k, 32 Gb RAM, SSD – do you think the difference is big ?i hardly think this. in an era where computers are so powerful saying you need to optimize performance a lot more and brake your power points is a critical mistake
“the last thing that gave firefox a small advantage is gone” .. what about privacy, what about a user’s right to enable or disable plug-ins (when Chrome 57 no longer authorizes the user to decide)?
I mean, you do realize the conflict of interest between a browser’s aim to serve the user and the fact the browser’s developer is an advertiser, don’t you?
@Tom Hawack – Wow, Chrome 57 will no longer let a user disable plug-ins? Unbelievable. They have to let users disable the flash plug-in in chrome://flags
I quote myself here:
“Some people here don’t even read the the report directly from Google for the removing PDF and flash in the chrome://.
The removing in ONLY for plugin-that are now developed and maintained by Google, they are now considered as a part of Chrome.
You CAN enable and disable all other add-ons via chrome://extensions as usual.
You can even choose another PDF reader than Chrome.
N.B.: My main browser is Firefox but I use more and more Chrome those days since I prepare myself for November… :( “
You quote yourself and cross-post this, which means you’re pretty much acquired to Chrome with some level of enthusiasm. That’s your choice, but please don’t try to show humble sadness and reluctance for leaving Firefox.
Btw I haven’t tested this but Google Widevine is a plugin, so does that mean DRM can’t be disabled any more in Chrome…? :( <– See ? xD
“so the last thing that gave firefox a small advantage is gone – RIP Firefox ”
You stated yourself that you uninstalled Firefox 3 years ago and forever moved to Chrome. You’re not competent in discussing Firefox’s worth today.
I’ll never understand the need for a Windows user to go and convert a Mac or Linux user. Want more monopoly ? As a satisfied Windows 7 user that would never cross my mind.
I am sad. In an era where web standards are once again converging around one product – Chrome/Chromium in this case – it is of vital importance to have a more open, transparent competitor to drive innovations and keep Google on their toes. And yet, Mozilla seems to be doing its damndest best to make accepting the changes as difficult and as painful as possible. We all want a more secure browser, we all want a quicker browser, but Mozilla is doing it wrong from a ‘people’ perspective.
Show us some goodwill, dammit, make it *look* like you are conceding some ground to your vocal and fanatic supporters. Yes, we understand you want to go down the WebExtensions route, and a lot of it makes sense for the long term. But why not be gentle about it? Why not let the two systems co-exist until everyone finds their bearings? Why not be a beacon of cooperation and user responsiveness? Why do you have to twist the knife again and again, knowing that most of us will still stick by you because we have no credible alternative to defect to? We really do want to be on you side, Mozilla, but you make it so bloody hard for us to swallow the bitter pills.
I agree that Mozilla is not doing it right from a ‘people’ perspective. Yet, goodwill there is, like really. It just doesn’t transpire because all that ‘people’ hear or read, are reports of reports of reports. Occasionally, they’ll hear a report from a person directly involved, but mostly when they have bad news or need to vent. Almost never do people see the discussions ongoing: Mozilla developers have done an outstanding job at reaching out and requesting comments, trying to figure out opposing points, shortcomings and issues, and then collaborating to figure out solutions that address them in the design. It has been a very democratic process, they even paid some add-on developers, although not enough of them IMO, Mozilla should start doing it more right now. I haven’t seen them being pressured on this topic yet, so it’s worth trying.
If I recall correctly, Quicksaver acknowledged all of this in his open letter, behind his oh so justified frustration. (Quicksaver is one of those guys who should be paid to make the transition btw)
The one thing we lack information on is the reason for such a crazy timeline. It could work if a lot of add-on devs were being paid, but only a few are. That, magnified with what I said above, is going to taint the good PR that would otherwise rain all over Firefox due to all those neat planned changes coming in the next 2 years.
Mozilla also needs someone skilled who reports and sums up all that has been done in a clear way, to show how “democratic” the whole process has been: Nowhere have I seen it done so respectably on such a scale. I could only dream that my so called democratic country would be led that way – even down a path I would be skeptical about. Yet they’ll get bad PR because nobody knows about anything but the results and issues.
Not sure good will and a democratic process have anything to do with a successful carrying out. Democracy is not a panacea ( “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill) and good will not a sufficient condition.
Besides ethics there is competence. Which explains why immoral projects carried out with talent can be successful while the best good will can result to a fiasco (we know something about it here in France, elsewhere than in the computing area).
I never doubted of Mozilla’s commitment to users, a tight reference to ethics, but I admit, with others, a doubt here and there concerning the pertinence of their decisions, choices, relevant if true of an occasional lack of talent.
My take is that the timing has been forced on them by executives who decided it was necessary for Mozilla to grab an opportunity or simply to not lose it. (There are time windows for innovation in a competitive world)
That decision was the non-democratic part, although I’m not in a position to judge it knowing nothing about the details and reasons.
Then the “normal” Mozilla tried to make the best out of this. A bit like having a terribly incompetent President can be offset by people surrounding him and trying to make the best out of its incredibly stupid decisions.
As for the competence of the people involved in what has been going on, I don’t think anyone can question it. Quicksilver certainly seems to praise them, and himself, a part of it, is pretty competent. (I keep bringing him back because he’s first hand in there and an opponent to WE-only, which means he is on the unsatisfied people side, so his words have value to them)
Often times what sucks in a supposedly democratic country is precisely the non-democratic parts of it. Like secret services, the power of representatives of representatives of representatives who have no ties to the people, the fact that all press is owned by only a few billionaires, lobbies, corruption, etc.
I hope at least tab mix plus will stay functional?
I use Findbar Tweak a LOT. Its one of the most used add-ons I have on Firefox… Sigh, it means once the new version that no longer supports it is there I will be left with a LOT of annoyances. The real power of Firefox for me was that it was so customizable to my needs and use. That made it so far above chrome and IE. Can’t call Edge a browser tbh.
The customizability was my main reason to stay on Firefox. Once it loses that, I’ll have to look into all the other browsers and find one that allow me to change functionality regarding opening tabs (every external link/search/url typed in vs current tab must be a new tab for me), have a bookmark bar with links in multi-row (yes, opening in new tab), and a dark theme.
I still have NO idea why my current tab must be overwritten when I click something. Like the current tab is invalid, NOT. I open often a link for I need either another site for more information or to pass the current information on etc.
No idea what idiot is calling the shots on this, but no idea how a “customizability” is a prio for Mozilla when they do stuff like this. Especially when a lot of things are simply no longer possible. I get it, they need to entertain the idiot users with big buttons to account for their butter fingers. But that is no excuse for simply removing all the possibilities.
Never used or even heard of his addons. He won’t be missed.
At least not by you. I hope this breaking-news won’t lead him to a nervous breakdown.
And to counter his argument, a “a can-do-whatever-you-want extension system” is also formula for disaster.
I see it like this, if this is the direction that moz://a thinks is best for Firefox and it’s users then so be it
nothing ever stays constant, everything is always emergent, when changes come our way then lets just deal with them as they come and soldier on
some add-ons will be dropped, others will be adapted and new add-ons will emerge (it is not as though this process has not taken place before), as the saying goes “god never closes a door without opening a window”
I have been using the internet for years now, I have seen website, services, features come and go, if we are reaching the end of an era then so be it, it is not the end of the world
even if all Firefox exclusive add-ons are dropped, the only way that I will switch browsers is if Firefox becomes severely unusable compared to other browsers, otherwise I might as well stick with Firefox
That’s a wise philosophy, yet IMO worthy once everything has been done to criticize in a constructive way : help yourself and the heavens will help you, heavens or providence or a wise philosophy. Because peace doesn’t mean accepting deliberately what we believe is wrong, but at the same time an opponent is not an enemy and a company is not de facto an opponent as long as we remain free of demagogy. Class warfare is a concept of the past and that should definitely include social warfare, in this that there can be disagreements with an establishment, with a company but not worth — as you write it XenoSilvano in such a peaceful way — not worth a clash. Indeed we may tend (me included) to sometimes over-react, but if the antidote were to be a “dolce vitae” vision of contradictions then I believe it wouldn’t be any better. A medium line, civilized ans open-minded, but aware. Entities are made of people and only an individual is good or bad, not the entity. And it’s not up to me to decide who’s good, or bad.
If i have had opportunity, I want to ask Mozilla Team if they want so badly liken Firefox to google chrome why they can’t use chromium as a base for next version of firefox, like opera team did? So much effort to make clone of google chrome. I can’t understand it.
A question about Tree Style Tab: I can’t find a confirm that it will be no longer developed anywhere.
Is there a post where the developer said he would stop developing his add-on?
I can understand this decision.
Been using this tool probably since nearly 3 years, and I really found it to be one of the most important extensions besided ABP and maybe another two with other features.
22.214.171.124 was the last one that really worked good for my work, I never upgraded that because they wouldnt work as superb as that old version.
But when Firefox decided to bring out version 47 which I btw wasnt using anymore, I used Palemoon/Cyberfox since the australis theme(version 29) also this version didnt work anymore, so Im stuck with the last v46 version of the Fox because its the last version supporting Findbar tweak. Im so sorry the developer had to give up.
But atleast he got a bit credit!
@BHB I use Findbar tweak on Firefox too and now on Pale Moon there’s a forked version called FinderBar Tweak (http://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/finderbar-tweak/). It works on v27 too.
Sorry Firefox, Ive used you faithfully since you rose from the ashes of Netscape’s collapse way back when. I have endorsed you faithfully to my friends, and you have always been the most customizable browser EVER.
NO MORE. With your announcement of discontinuing support for XUL/XPCOM it seems that a lot of the add-ons I have come to rely on will no longer be supported. I just don’t like the direction that this browser is moving and it is time to go our separate ways. I have tried Pale Moon, but eventually settled on WATERFOX. All of my add-ons, bookmarks etc. migrated perfectly to my new default browser.
Thank you Firefox, good luck with your new Chrome Cloning strategy., I hope it works out for you, but I’m afraid the one thing that made you great is gone, and you will soon meet the same fate as Netscape.
Hello. Here’s Lord Galaxy.
The removal of essential features such as this one is a joke, nearly as bad as automatically deleted ArchivedHistory from Chrome 37.
Dumb ideas. Everybody can have them.
Tab Groups could be replaced by an add-on. But legacy add-ons?
That’s similar to Opera’s ditching of the superior PRESTO.
The author forgets that FF 57 has been out for weeks now, we are already at FF 58 stable.
This article features many inconsistencies and looks as if it was written pre-FF57 release and only posted now
That said, many tweaking features will be sorely missed, one of such, was the ability to change the scrollbars in the browser and for all pages from the ugly OS ones to something not eye watering.
The article was written in January 2017.
YEY, I have 62.0.3 and Tab Groups is compatible! :) it may not be news for others, but for me it’s a very nice surprise! :)