Top Firefox Add-ons, and their WebExtensions Status
The following article looks at a list of top Firefox add-ons, and checks whether those add-ons are available as WebExtensions already, or are planned to be released as WebExtensions.
Top Firefox add-ons in this context means the following: first page of add-ons on Mozilla AMO based on user count, user rating, and featured.
Mozilla plans to drop legacy add-on support with the release of Firefox 57. While legacy add-ons will live on for a while in Firefox ESR and development builds of the browser, these exceptions will be removed eventually as well.
Considering that Firefox 57 will be released in November 2017, it is important to look at the current state of add-on migration. Note: we did not list video downloaders.
Note: The availability as a WebExtension does not necessarily mean that you will get the same functionality or layout. Also note that a status of unknown does not mean that a WebExtension is not in the works. It simply means that I was not able to find information about it online.
Firefox Add-ons with the Most Users
- Adblock Plus -- WebExtension is being worked on. See Bug
- uBlock Origin -- WebExtension is being worked on. See GitHub page.
- Easy Screenshot -- Unknown..
- NoScript Security Suite -- WebExtension is being worked on. See our article.
- Firebug -- Will be integrated into Firefox natively.
- Search and New Tab by Yahoo -- Unknown.
- Ghostery -- Already available as WebExtension.
- DownThemAll -- Not going to happen.
- Greasemonkey -- Unclear, design document exists, but APIs missing. Mozilla tracking bug.
- iMacros for Firefox -- Unknown
- Google Translator for Firefox -- Unknown
- LastPass Password Manager -- LastPass 4.0 is a WebExtension. Tracking Bug.
- Tab Mix Plus -- Unknown, tracking bugs exist.
- FlashGot Mass Downloader -- Unknown. Developed by NoScript developer.
- YouTube High Definition -- Unknown.
Top-Rated Firefox Add-ons
- Beyond Australis -- Not going to happen.
- Classic Theme Restorer -- Not going to happen.
- YouTube High Definition -- Unknown.
- OmniSidebar -- Not going to happen.
- Disable CTRL-Q Shortcut -- Unlikely, last update in 2012.
- YouTube Flash Video Player -- Unknown.
- Puzzle Bars -- Not going to happen.
- TableTools2 - Copy/Sort/Chart/Filter Table&More -- Unknown.
- Google search link fix -- Already a WebExtension.
- Theme Font & size Changer -- Unknown.
- Decentraleyes -- WebExtension is being worked on. Source.
- Add-ons Manager Context Menu -- Unlikely, last update in 2013.
- YouTube Plus -- Already a WebExtension.
- Magic Actions for YouTube -- Already a WebExtension.
- Classic Toolbar Buttons -- Not going to happen.
- Pray Times -- Unlikely, last updated in 2013.
- Pearltrees -- Unknown.
- Reader -- Unknown.
- Adblock Plus -- Being worked on.
- QuickMark -- Unknown.
Top Featured Firefox Add-ons
- History Submenus II -- Unknown.
- Gmail Notifier+ -- Unknown.
- Copy Plain Text 2 -- Unknown.
- Clear Console -- Unknown.
- Dictionary (Google Translate) Anywhere -- Unknown.
- Tile Tabs -- Tile Tabs WE is a WebExtension version.
- Tab Scope -- Unknown.
- Private Tabs -- Unknown.
- Weather Forecast Plus -- Unknown.
- Lightbeam for Firefox -- In development.
- NoScript Security Suite -- Being worked on.
- Gmail Notifier (restartless) -- Unknown.
- Messenger & Notifier for Facebook -- Unknown.
- Enhancer for Youtube -- Seems likely, as a Chrome version exists.
- Torrent Tornado -- Unknown.
- BetterPrivacy-signed -- Unknown.
- Forecastfox (fix version) -- Seems likely, as a Chrome extension exists.
- Emoji Keyboard -- Unknown.
- Clean Uninstall -- Unknown.
- Cleanest Addon Manager -- Unknown.
- Working: 6
- Being Worked On: 5
- Unknown: 33
- Won't be available: 6
We will revisit this page regularly to update the state of all listed browser add-ons for Firefox.
So, in the end, we will get 8 add ons ;o) and tone of rubbish from google. Good work mozilla, you are going to nowhere.
According to the stats paragraph, so far we are at a 65% conversion rate: 11 WebExtensions out of 17.
33 Unknowns means the rate is not very meaningful at this point in time (66% of add-ons are unknown).
Except you can assume which will not be able to be done if you look at what they do. Which is probably easy to assume for a developer
Decentraleyes has an official chrome port by the same developer made recently, so a WebExtension version shouldn’t be too far behind?
Developer here. You’re absolutely right about that. The port is meant to serve as a fully fresh foundation for future WebExtensions-releases. Here’s a direct, (through a signed commit) verified, confirmation:
Note to author: Feel free to change Decentraleyes’ status into “WebExtension is being worked on”.
Thanks, I have updated the information to reflect that.
Applauding Mozilla for the “enthusiasm” brought about by the stupid switch to WebExtensions. Basically, by November ’17 Firefox will be without extensions and we’ll all be screwed.
I’ve already stopped FF updates (updating only extensions).
Mozilla becomes more and more annoying with time and they’ve almost reached hate point for me.
If for some reason FF is updated to v57 or unacceptable bugs appear in versions prior 57 I’d just switch to different browser.
Using a non-latest versions is dangerous, you can catch malware. If you want to delay the WebExtension switch you can switch to Firefox ESR which will be at version 52 until April 2018 or sth but with security updates: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/.
Without Extensions? What’s you call those which is already WebExtensions like Ghostery, Youtube Plus… and extensions will be ported from Chrome and new one?
> What’s you call those which is already WebExtensions like
A drop in the ocean that has no significance.
I have my addons because I need them, if one will not work I won’t update FF anymore.
Mozilla has audited Tab Mix Plus in order to figure out what part of its functionality is possible to implement using WebExtensions: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1333837#c9
The fate of Tab Mix Plus WebExtension depends on these three bugs right now:
hiding the default tab toolbar – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1332447
reimplementing tab toolbar using Toolbar API – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1215064
styling individual tabs – https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1320585
If Mozilla fixes these bugs, TMP might survive.
Also, take a look at this Tile Tabs WE review (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tile-tabs-we/reviews/842178/):
“It creates two new windows, side by side, instead of dividing tab space between two. The no-WebExtensions one works great, however”
“Tile Tabs WE works in a slightly different way to the original Tile Tabs. This is unavoidable when using the Firefox’s new WebExtensions API”
Thanks for the info. I have added the link to Bugzilla.
Well… looks like several of my 80+ Firefox add-ons have their WebExtension equivalent appear as ‘unknown’ or ‘not going to happen’.
But, to be frank, I have noticed that WebExtensions, when they work as well, run faster, definitely. For example The ‘Smart HTTPS (revived)’ is “a revised version of Smart HTTPS add-on and, written with the new WebExtensions API.”. I had used ‘Smart HTTPS’ in the past, then moved on to ‘HTTPS Everywhere’, before returning to/discovering ‘Smart HTTPS (revived)’ that is as a WebExtension, and I must say it is faster than its original version. I noticed that as well with several Webextensions I already use (6) which are really fast and sometimes no loss of functionality.
So I’m bringing a nuance to my previous comments on WebExtensions. It’s all in the APIs’ availability that Webextensions will make their way, but WebExtensions by themselves may very well correspond, IMO, to a better because liter approach of add-on architecture and build. Never say never, or at least don’t blind yourself with certitudes that may appear unfounded is what I sometimes, still, forget when I nevertheless strive for an open-mind.
Wait and see, here.
It’s easy to be “faster” when you’re not doing much.
That’s why I wrote “[…]and sometimes no loss of functionality”.
But if I compare ‘Smart HTTPS (revived)’ (WebExtension) to its original ”Smart HTTPS’ it has exactly the same functionalities and runs faster. If I compare ‘Save Page WE’ to a similar non-WebExtension add-on (‘Mozilla Archive Format’) apart from the format the functionality of saving a page performs as well with much less code.
I’m not saying this is always the case, only that, when the API is available, the Webextension architecture seems to be tighter and faster. Also that add-ons described as non-upgradable to their WebExtension equivalency (be it by their developers themselves) might very well be when APIs will become available. Lastly, I know some functionalities are not transportable to the Webextensions format. But at this time I come to realize that condemning Webextensions as such lacks arguments on the long-term since the short-term already shows that the add-on future might not be as dramatic as announced here and there.
So it seems MAFF format is dead, too ?
Does that mean I have now to open and re-save all my .maff files ? I could not find any information on MAFF’s (large) site.
Also, what about .mht ? I used to save in .mht before discovering MAFF recently. Mht save is native to Firefox, isn’t it ?
@Clairvaux, the user comment on AMO you provide a link to is most interesting and resumes perfectly the page saving with Firefox context. I mentioned the ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ add-on only when the other is indeed the as famous ‘UnMHT’.
If ‘Save Page WE’ is the only page saving solution for Firefox in perspective of the all-WebExtensions coming era, you and I and all those having saved pages in .maff or .mht formats will be facing problems, at least with .maff files on Firefox. MHT files will remain readable I guess on IE/Edge (not sure).
The only solution appears to be returning to the saved pages and save them again with ‘Save Page WE’, IF those pages still exist and if they haven’t been modified. Otherwise archive.is and the WayBack machine could come in handy to find closest pages to those saved.
I have quite many .maff and .mht saved pages (oldest, an MHT, dated 2009). This will have to be fixed before the end of support for the above non-WebExtensions Firefox page savers add-ons. Unless… ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ or ‘UnMHT’ make their way to WebExtensions. Who knows for sure?
@ Clairvaux re MAFF:
Pale Moon offers MozArchiver, a fork of Firefox’s Mozilla Archive Format, with MHT and faithful save. I’d also guess that the Firefox extension is supported (and might continue to be supported) by Waterfox. If Firefox stops supporting extensions that support MAFF and either Pale Moon or Waterfox continue to, you can change your default program associations for MAFF files to have them open in one of the latter two browsers instead of Firefox. (I temporarily did the opposite myself — changing the MAFF and MHT file associations from Pale Moon to Firefox — after Mozilla Archive Format stopped working in Pale Moon and until I discovered MozArchiver.)
I seem to recall that MHT is/was an Internet Explorer format. (I don’t know for sure whether Edge supports it; a quick Web search suggests that it doesn’t, at least not yet.)
I haven’t saved enough pages in MAFF or MHT to make definitive pronouncements about how they compare, but at one point I saved a nifty, fairly elaborate New York Times interactive-media page for home-made ice cream recipes in both MAFF and MHT to pass along to my brother (who lives in a warm climate, who has an ice cream maker, and whom I visit from time to time ;-). The MAFF file was more fully functional and looked better.
Thanks for letting me know about Save Page WE and unMHT. I wasn’t even aware they existed. I installed both on top of MAFF, and made a little experiment. I disabled all three of them ; despite this, I was able to save a Web page in .htm format (not .mht, as I wrote in error). So this is native to Firefox, as was my recollection.
Right-click / Save Page As / Save As Type = Web Page, HTML Only(.htm, .html).
This produces a single file with an .htm extension. That’s the way I’m saving most Web pages when I don’t rely on the link alone (or they are assembled on the fly). It’s very fast, the files are small, and they keep all the elements of the Web page, or at least all those I need.
In a few, rare cases, this completely breaks up the page, or even does not retain the most important elements. That’s the only case I use MAFF, which produces bigger, .maff files (but not as big as .mhtml, which MAFF can also produce : contrary to .maff, .mhtml can be read by other browsers).
The added advantage of MAFF is that it retains the Web page itself, plus the link and the date it was saved. MAFF has a real little website all of its own, with a lot of help available : http://maf.mozdev.org/index.html
@A different Martin, @Clairvaux,
The MHT format had been brought up for Outlook Express as far as I remember, to allow a user to send via email a saved web page all in one file. This is why .mht files are in principle readable by Internet Explorer, yet no idea if Edge handles them as well (IE is disabled here on my Win7). I say “in principle” because I know .mht files created by either ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ or ‘UnMHT’ (cannot remember which) which wouuldn’t be read correctly on a friend’s IE I had sent it to …
@A different Martin, the idea of calling ‘Pale Moon’ as a rescue (put aside its value as a full-time browser) to read MAFF and MHT files provided the add-ons is pertinent.
@Clairvaux, a browser’s built-in Web page saving doesn’t save all the elements of a page into one unique .htm or .html file but into a folder which includes all related files to recompose the original page. If you saved a page with ‘Save page as’ into 1 file it is because the ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ or ‘UnMHT’ add-on was working in the background and is called when a user uses the browser’s ‘Save Page as’ and not only when called from its toolbar button (it integrates in the browser’s ‘Save page” routine).
Whatever, I keep for the time being the ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ add-on in order to handle my saved MAFF and MHT files but new pages are from now on saved with ‘Save Page WE’. Temporary redundancy with two add-ons performing a similar task, a “transition” period so to say …
@ A Different Martin
Thank you. I now know that if the worst comes to the worst, my files won’t be lost.
@ Tom Hawack
You excited my curiosity. So just to be sure, I completely uninstalled my three saving add-ons : MAFF, Save Page WE and UnMHT (not only deactivated them, as before). And I can confirm that Firefox natively offers the following options to save a Web page :
1. The whole complete shebang, as you described.
This is done through Right-click / Save Page As / Save As Type = Web Page, Complete. It produces one .htm file, plus one associated folder full of different files. For instance, this Ghacks webpage (a rather lean one) saves into a 534 KB blob. I don’t know who might use that. Web developers, perhaps ? It’s certainly of no use if you just want to store a webpage in order to look up the info later.
2. Just the text.
This is done through Right-click / Save Page As / Save As Type = Text files. It produces one .txt file. The present page translates into a 76 KB text file. Again, I’m not sure what the purpose might be, but it’s good to know you can do it.
3. The only sensible and useful way to do it : a single .htm, compact file, with most (if not all) elements of the original website.
This is done through Right-click / Save Page As / Save As Type = Web Page, HTML Only. The present page translates into a 198 KB .htm file.
That’s the format I have been mostly using for knowledge management. It keeps most useful elements, especially links (video is another matter).
More elaborate archive formats (.maff, .mht /.mhtml) are needed when .htm completely breaks the page or does not save its main elements, when you need to keep the link alongside the page contents, or when you’d like to add several Web pages in the same archive.
Mht / mhtml was first introduced in Internet Explorer. It worked very well at the time. It was my format of choice when IE was my browser. Now many browsers have their own version of mht / mhtml (both extensions are equivalent, and describe the same format). Firefox MAFF add-on can save either in its own .maff format, or in mhtml format. Mht / mhtml produces the larger files of all archive formats, larger than .maff. Save Page WE produces mht / mhtml files (with adjustable options : with or without scripts, for instance), so it’s arguably not as good as the MAFF add-on (also, the interface is more complex).
“3. […] This is done through Right-click / Save Page As / Save As Type = Web Page, HTML Only. The present page translates into a 198 KB .htm file.”
Yes, OK, I had forgotten that one. But unless the page is ridiculously free of anything but text the layout of the saved 1 fie HTML only will be catastrophic. But you’re right, the option does exist for saving a page within a unique page… even if 99% of pages saved this way are unreadable… but it exists… but (etc)!
It depends on the type of sites you visit, and the reason why you would like to save pages.
I mainly save for academic research. I usually need to keep text, links and pictures. If advertisements are lost, that’s a plus to me. If video is lost but the link to it is kept, it’s good enough. Similarly, I don’t need all the social media baggage, the Facebook buttons, etc.
In actual usage, my proportions are actually reversed : .htm is good enough for me in (say) 95 % of cases. Actually, it’s better, because the file is much smaller and the save operation is immediate. In 95 % of those 95 % (say), I can’t see anything missing relative to the original website. Maybe there is, but I don’t see it, so it’s good enough for me.
When I visit my bank however, I need to take snapshots of some transactions. I know that those pages are entirely lost in .mht, so I MAFF them. As I said : it depends on your needs.
The MAFF tool seems very well designed, there’s good support for it, I’ve yet to explore and use it to the fullest of its capacities ; I would be sorry to see it gone.
I had opportunity to test X-Notifier addon : https://addons.mozilla.org/fr/firefox/addon/xnotifier/
It has been converted to WebExtension with version 4 few months ago. It’s a real shame you have half less possibility for settings, this addon is a no go and according to developper it can’t be fixed so far because of WebAPI limitation. All you can do is to import your E-Mail data from previous version.
Switched back to the latest XUL version and update block was the only real solution.
I converted Firefox addons I use so far on Seamonkey, they work flawlessly. With Seafox addon Seamonkey looks like Firefox 3. I read whole letter of DownThemAll developer and I agree 100% with him. Mozilla is digging a grave for Firefox.
I hope those developers who won’t be able to keep on with WebExtensions will switch to Seamonkey or Palemoon or Waterfox, because hopefully XUL should not die with Firefox.
I will keep on with Firefox as long legacy is present.
Firefox exists because of its ability to full customisation and enthusiastic addon developers who do great job. They used to be pioneers of open source secure and customisable browser. That becomes less and less truth. Once they destroy it Firefox would be no more than empty shell which lifetime is counted before vanishing.
I praise developers to not let down their addons and to make them to Seamonkey, Palemoon or another XUL lookalike browser, because many users should abandon Firefox when XUL will be dropped.
I am tired of this. Seriously. Ever since the late 1990s I have had Opera and Firefox (or Netscape then) running side by side on my computers. Mozilla’s demands tough love from its fans and users, and I feel that I am no longer willing to endure this constant haranguing, even if it means joining the Blink monopoly.
The XUL is a very powerful ad-dons language but is very old and often cause of memory leak, slow down and crash in Firefox.
The new WE API are less powerful (at moment?) but are more robust and efficient, for that I think this is the right direction.
Almost all of my favorites extensions are already in WE or in Chrome Store with an alternative:
Classic Theme Restorer = DEAD (wait for the UI WE API for understand what is possible customize)
CookieFast = Vanilla Cookie Manager (Chrome Store)
Popup Blocker Strict = WE
Dictionary (Googleâ„¢ Translate) Anywhere = many alternatives on (Chrome Store)
Fire Drag = WE
Googleâ„¢ Weather = Weather (Chrome Store)
Lightshot (screenshot tool) = WE
Mouse Gestures Suite = CLEAN crxMouse Gestures (Chrome Store)
Print Edit WE = WE
uBlock Origin = WE
Viewhance = WE
Hoxx VPN Proxy = WE
Tile Tabs WE = WE
User-Agent Switcher = WE
Thank you Martin for this useful article on Firefox WE status.
> The new WE API are less powerful (at moment?)
No forever. Because developers already stated that you will no longer be able to modify the UI like you want it.
> but are more robust and efficient, for that I think this is the right direction.
Who cares about that? I need customization. Direction towards death, sure. But this is where all life ends supposedly.
“you will no longer be able to modify the UI like you want it.”
I will. Why do you talk for people ? My UI is a lot more customized than average, yet I’ll have what I want. Some folks customize a lot further than even me, and that’s who you’re talking for. That said, customization will remain superior to other browsers, since I can’t get what I want on other browsers.
in my opinion this article does not make a lot of sense because today’s “webextension status” of current add-ons doesn’t matter. There are still eight months (at least) for us add-on developersâ€¦ :(
I, for example, will publish my webextension version of New Tab Override not before the release of Firefox 54. It’s already in progress, but it was my decision to wait.
> Lightbeam for Firefox — Unknown.
It’s in planning. There is a ticket on Bugzilla.
WebExtensions will be the final nail in the coffin for Firefox as we knew it anyway. No reason to use this browser after Firefox 57 lands at all. Everyone should just recognize the situation and move on. The add-ons which really matter (and for which people actually care) won’t get ported anyway. Firefox is dead man walking.
@Appster – “WebExtensions will be the final nail in the coffin for Firefox as we knew it anyway. No reason to use this browser after Firefox 57 lands at all.” – No, there is no reason for YOU to use this browser anymore, not the hundreds of millions of other Firefox users, something you can’t say about your browsers of choice, Pale Moon, Vivaldi or whatever, well, unless you’re a Google puppet….. which Opera also falls under the Google puppet strings.
“Everyone should just recognize the situation and move on.” – People don’t care what YOU want them to recognize. Get over yourself.
“Firefox is dead man walking.” – Says the Google puppet, or user of a browser with a very small user base, which Opera falls under both of those 2.
You’re the one not moving on.
SÃ¶ren, thanks for your comment. I think it makes sense in the light of me updating the article regularly. I think users and devs need to be aware of the change, the earlier the better. Your readers and mine may know about it, but I’m not so sure about the general Firefox population.
So, the updated article will reflect the state at that time, and so on. If things change drastically, I might even publish a new article, or wait until Firefox 57 comes along to retest all extensions.
Thanks for the Lightbeam tip, I have made the change.
Thank you for your explanation, Martin. Unfortunately this articles does – in my opinion – only one thing: cause panic. :( Developers know that WebExtensions will be the future (it’s not really possible not to know that if you are a developer). And for users it can’t really matter if an add-on is no WebExtension today, it has to be a WebExtension in eight months (or later, let’s see). I don’t see the value if we say today: “add-on XY is no WebExtension, it won’t work in Firefox 57+” if there will be an update in five months and it will work in Firefox 57. Yes, there will be incompatible add-on with the release of Firefox 57. But nobody knows _today_ which add-ons will be compatible and which will be incompatible. I am sure even a lot of add-on developers don’t know yet if their add-on will work in eight months or not. On the other side, it’s sure that there will be updates for a lot of add-ons in the next months. I agree that an article like this makes sense – but in November 2017, not in March 2017. ;)
I’ll ignore the comment of Appster because it has nothing to do with my comment and it’s his usual kind of comments.
I think users have a right to panic if neither they, nor the add-on developers (nor maybe Mozilla itself), know what is really going to happen in that eight months until November.
The question “will my add-ons run when Firefox 57 comes along” is a legitimate one in my opinion. The answer may very well be that most will be ported. As we have seen already however, some won’t be ported, and it is unclear if others are ported (for instance if the API is not there yet, or if it is unclear if such an API will be created at all, or if the developer wants to migrate).
I understand Mozilla’s decision to set a hard limit for switching to WebExtensions. If they would not have done that, most developers would probably have waited as there would have been no need to migrate right away.
The main issue that I have with the decision is that it seems premature in my eyes. APIs are not there yet, some decisions have not been made, but there is already a deadline.
I understand that too much panic is not what Firefox needs, but panic in this case highlights as well that users have a connection to Firefox which they don’t want severed.
One of the two add-ons that I require, Classic Theme Restorer, won’t make it when the switch is made. The other, NoScript will work. I have used Firefox for a very long time, and I’m seriously considering moving to another browser (not Chrome), and use Firefox as a secondary browser just for writing articles for this blog.
@SÃ¶ren: I will make this sound as nice as possible given our history, but I just have to express my thoughts. There was not one, I repeat: Not a single one of the decisions made by Mozilla you have argued against. I am not the only one in this forums who recognizes that. Given your former position as a Mozilla Representative I understand that to some degree, but as it seems nobody here agrees with you for a reason. Cutting out the only part that makes this browser unique will lead nowhere. Firefox’ continued downfall won’t be stopped by this move at all. You choosing to ignore me, because – as it seems – not being able to provide a reason use Firefox over Chrome beginning with v. 57 only shows how right everyone who had doubts about this move was. Have a nice day, SÃ¶ren.
Appster, you sent me an email, I replied, but the email bounced.
> Unfortunately this articles does – in my opinion – only one thing: cause panic.
Well I think the developers, stating that you for example won’t be able to build the UI like you want, are doing quite a fine job themselves in that regard. Sadly they are really in control.
> One of the two add-ons that I require, Classic Theme Restorer, won’t make it when the switch is made.
There won’t be a Classic Theme Restorer, but maybe another add-on? ;) Five days ago Aris (the developer of CTR) said in the German Firefox forum: “Es ist nicht auszuschlieÃŸen, dass ich oder auch andere dann auf den WE Zug aufspringen und etwas neues kreieren werden”. My point is: we don’t know a lot about the future. A lot of things will change, a lot of add-ons won’t be updated, a lot of add-ons will be updated and there will be a lot of new add-ons. We shouldn’t speculate too much about the future.
> There was not one, I repeat: Not a single one of the decisions made by Mozilla you have argued against.
There is more than one decision from Mozilla which I don’t like but it has nothing to do with WebExtensions and this article, so you won’t find anything in my comments for this article.
> Given your former position as a Mozilla Representative
Even if you write this as answer to every of my comments, it still has nothing to do with that. 1) You still don’t understand what a Moz Rep does 2) I am not a Moz Rep, so it doesn’t matter what the role of a Moz Rep is. It was MY decision to be no longer a Moz Rep long time ago. So PLEASE respect that.
> Cutting out the only part that makes this browser unique
It can’t be the only part. More than 40 percent of the Firefox users have 0 (!) add-ons enabled. And “cutting out” is wrong. WebExtensions are a great add-on architecture so there will be still great add-ons in the future. I know that because I am developer of Firefox add-ons and I already developed more than one WebExtension.
> You choosing to ignore me, because – as it seems – not being able to provide a reason use Firefox over Chrome beginning with v. 57 only shows how right everyone who had doubts about this move was.
What a nonsense. I don’t have to give you reasons. If Chrome is better *for you* then *you* should use Chrome. It does not make sense to give you reasons why *I* use Firefox because I have other requirements than you. Firefox is the best browser for *my* personal requirements. It doesn’t mean that Firefox is the best browser for other users. In fact I know a lot of people using different browsers for different tasks.
> More than 40 percent of the Firefox users have 0 (!) add-ons enabled.
How exactly is this calculated? Does FF have a fixed ID per installation that will be sent along with the addon-update request FF does?
If there is no ID then how is it measured? Only telemetry data?
Because this number is, if only dependant on telemetry, would be wrong. Most advanced users, who you suspect to have addons, will also have telemetry disabled. Same might be true for other methods.
Hentzschel, do Mozilla pays you extra/gives free money for coming here and doing damage control every time ghacks folks or commenting users dare to criticize Firefox? Or you’re so blind in this corporate side of Mozilla by yourself?
Martin has every right to raise concerns about what Mozilla does to Firefox, its development and future. Nobody says that every single person on the world, running around IT topics has to praise every software that exist. Negative opinions are also important.
I don’t understand this 40 % argument. Let’s admit the figure is correct, and 40 % of Firefox users don’t have any add-ons. This means that 60 % of Firefox users have add-ons. So this is supposed to support the argument that, hey, very few people use add-ons anyway, so why all the fuss ?
Besides, even if only 10 % of Firefox users took advantage of add-ons, Mozilla should cater to them very carefully, because those are the power users of your product, the evangelists, the people who will swarm forums and blogs and tell everyone that Firefox is a swell product and help them use it and do Mozilla’s work for free.
Since when does despising your fanatics has been a sound strategy for a worldwide brand ? Does Ferrarri go around race tracks telling pilots : we don’t care about you guys, you’re just the 30 %, or the 5 %, or whatever, most of our clients show off in Main Street at 60 km per hour anyway ?
Doing some mind reading, hey, Martin ? Thanks for that most useful list. I also took advantage of it to add a few more extensions to my setup…
FF57 on my PC – Not going to happen.
a lot of the addons (important to me) i use are on “not gonna happen”.
will i use a firefox >v57? maybe it’s also a “not gonna happen”.
Firebug will be no integrated in Firefox because there are already dev tools in firefox and many of the features of Firebug are already included :-)
How about Tree Style Tabs ?
Should work, at least the developer is active and interested. Wait&See. At any rate, the vertical tabs feature will be there for sure and the tree organization one, I think so.
Also, don’t let yourself be swayed by the echo chamber of this website. Some time ago it was a lot more positive, then when the main contributors were done discussing the great long term and stopped repeating themselves on each news, they shut up, and the void was filled with negative evangelists who are now repeating themselves over and over.
It’s going to be okay.
– A Tree Style Tab user with customized UI.
Magic Actions for YouTube is already a WebExtension.
You are right about this one, thanks!
I can’t streess enough how much I hate Firefox developers, Mozilla.
The best and most useful addons are these:
(This addon fixes one of the most annoying bugs in Firefox. I don’t understand why nobody talk about the bug that if you open a site from the history, it will scroll to the top in the history list and you will lose where you have been previously, which makes the Firefox history totally unusable.)
– Classic Theme Restorer
– Classic Toolbar Buttons
– Findbar Tweak
– Ublock Origin
– Puzzle Bars
And much more. These are the ones I can remember at the moment. But Firefox on my home PC has much more addons. Most of them will break with the mandatory WebExtensions.
API based extension system is inferior anyway. Even the concept is much worse. They argue that the extensions won’t break because they’re API based, and Firefox developers will maintain the APIs. This argument is totally nonsense.
1. Yes, Mozilla will maintain the APIs, but therefore they will implement only a few APIs, so they don’t have to maintain a lot. So it’s only a disadvantage.
2. The XUL/XPCOM addons that were broken at Firefox updates were the addons that can’t even exist in WebExtensions. The XUL/XPCOM addons that can be made in WebExtensions didn’t (or rarely) break with Firefox updates anyway. So in other words, Mozilla made it impossible to make those useful addons that require XUL/XPCOM. They deceive people into thinking that WebExtensions is what needed to keep addons compatible. It’s false advertising.
3. API based system is much more restricted anyway.
4. The other nonsense argument is the “safety”. The idiots say that Mozilla will switch to WebExtensions because it is safer, because APIs restrict what the addon developers can do. Then I ask: what’s the purpose of addon signing? Why the fck do they enforce addon signing?
Another fail from WebExtension fanboys.
i am handicapped and spend very little time i am very old and visualy impaired i do not want to subscribe THANK YOU
Whilst webextensions may be powerful it is premature and lacks the adequate API’s to sufficiently fill in the void that the former system leaves behind at its current state and what is worse than that is that Mozilla have openly admitted that it will never be as powerful and some addons will no longer be possible to be made or call upon powerful functions it once could.
People want a smooth transition, they want to be able to adopt a browser that is equally as flexible, more powerful and efficient and certainly not some sort of undercooked browser that fails to capture an audience from neither the chrome crowd or the former firefox users and I say ‘former’ because its clear many of them will be.
How can Mozilla remedy this?
Well for starters they can wait until they further develop webextensions and look at ways to bring in valuable API’s which will be adequate or equally a powerful in order for developers to build upon and make this browser great again.
Just because an addon can be ported to webextensions it does not mean that it will be as powerful or have the headroom to improve upon so one has to really understand where we are heading not just now but in the future.
Right now I cannot really tell you what the best alternative browser is because they are all with their faults and what is worse is that it seems that Mozilla is looking to capture those faults and make them their own also.
I am not against innovation but when you impose so many limitations you are bound to run into brickwalls which is where I can relate to Appster as in his own way he is illustrating his opinion that moving forward it is unlikely that mozilla will capture an audience and will continue to lose marketshare but he is discounting one thing… people are dumb… incredibly so it seems and they will adopt inferior technology based on social and idiotic ideas, we only have to look as far as chrome itself to see that.
The lustre of Chrome actually worn off and so too has the novelty, it just exists just as IE did for a long time on the top as it was more or less the only choice before Phoenix/firefox came along and many others that real innovation began to occur but history shows us where IE ended up.
It was not the best browser its not the right browser it was simply the default browser and THIS is NOT the position I want Firefox to be in. Mozilla can create the most undisputed browser but given the current direction I fail to see how it could even reach capture a tangible audience to sustain the position of default browser let alone the most undisputed browser.
I am not expert and I do not intend to offend people but the resounding fear and panic is already there and has been from the very moment Mozilla failed to stay true to its course rather than attempting to capture the chrome crowd by simple means… no this is not the way it is done, we innovate by creative thinking not by leaping onto the next big thing and attempting to replicate it or its success.
Mozilla would do better to work with its cast expanse of valuable minds across its community than to focus on fringe trends and awkward directions.
Do not forget the complements for the management of cookies like Cookie Controller or Cookie Monster, Policeman, uMatrix or RefControl for security and other useful ones like Nuke Anything Enhanced that has no equivalent in Chrome. Agree 100% with DownThemAll developer. Really sad all this move to “ChromeFox”.
All of them should have features allowing them to work. Never heard of Nuke Anything Enhanced so I can’t tell.
KeeFox might not be the most widely used add-on, but it’s definitely top quality. The good news is, that the developer is already working on a WebExtensions successor. Though limited in features at first, the most important thing is his use of the KeePassRPC plugin in KeePass, which is by far superior to any other method of browser integration I know.
Great news! Keefox is a must-have for me.
Any word on my most essential extension, Session Manager? Or is there an equivalent that will work under WebExtension (and hopefully use or import the existing Sessions directory maintained by Session Manager)? Without that I will have lost a very mature organization of web content I access and maintain regularly as individually named subset session pages that can be loaded and unloaded and that just isn’t tolerable.
My hope is for a more modern pre-57 fork that is well maintained. I’m quite happy with the dev version of 54.0a2 and the extensions I use with it. If somebody does a Pale Moon kind of thing with some pre-apocalypse version that’s better than 50.0a2 and still compatible I’ll be a happy camper.
In the case of such a fork, a big question is who will maintain a complete set of installable XUL extensions. Mozilla is sure to remove those from its “store.”
Hi, Don —
I’m using Pale Moon x64 26.5.0 (a slightly older version) as my primary browser; portable Pale Moon x64 27.1.2 (the current version) to test it as a future primary browser; and Firefox x86 52.0 (the current version) as a fallback browser.
I use Session Manager 0.8.1.7 (a slightly older version) in both Pale Moons, and Session Manager 0.8.1.9 (the current version) in Firefox.
I use a shared Session Manager sessions folder (Session Manager > Options > Advanced > Saved Sessions Location) for all three browsers, and it seems to work fine.
In short, if something happens to Session Manger in future versions of Firefox, you may still be able to access your sessions from Pale Moon (and maybe from Waterfox, too).
By the way, if you try to sync Session Manager session folders across different computers, conflicts arise with “default” saved and numbered backup sessions but not necessarily with manually saved sessions. You can’t currently add a custom prefix for default sessions, but you can for manually saved sessions (Session Manager > Options > Display > Session Names).
Thanks Martin, I’ve been using Waterfox on an experimental basis all afternoon and evening and love it so far. I see no differences between it and the FF 54.0a2 I had been using other than it seem much more responsive and less prone to hangs.
I use what is now Session Manager 0.8.1.13 and it works swimingly. I simply can’t afford to lose Session Manager. Over the years I’ve constructed most of my web presence with it and there is simply no going back. The number of special purpose autosave windows I now have is rather ridiculous but the thought that I still have those that I no longer use much troubles me not.
I based my Waterfox choice based on today’s article about it and its future plans.
I just downgraded to Firefox v45.8.0 ESR and it works better than the newer versions. Regarding ESR, it looks like Waterfox will do what Mozilla should do, so I’ll probably have to switch in the future.
While “Beyond Australis” (30k+ users) might head the way in its category,
FTDeepDark in the “complete themes” section has well over 150k+ users.
Sure, November 2017 might seem far away, but if i look at Mozilla’s past record, will they really have any of those top extensions ready on time or, are they going to do like Microsoft with Windows 10 and ride it out, confident that users will be happy because they know newer is better?
Apparently Random Agent Spoofer will die.
– Bluhel Firewall
– Cookie Monster
– HTTPS Everywhere
– Privacy Badger
– Privacy Settings
– Self Destructing Cookies
– Tile Tabs
I kind of wonder what Mozilla is doing; maybe it’s like Microsoft: “We have too many different systems, and we want everyone on Windows 10.” Mozilla says, “We have too many add-ons and want speed and efficiency; if that limits our browser to 100 add-ons, so-be-it.” I rather doubt the Team cares about Market Share. “Don’t like it, go some place else.” However, that type of “hubris” has unforeseeable repercussions.
Palemoon doesn’t work for me because too many add-ons don’t work; Cyberfox, well, it’s gone. IceDragon by Comodo–imported my profile today as a test. Only one, WebClipper, was incompatible. Runs smoothly [better than my current FF or Cyberfox].
The change is huge for so many users–a bit disconcerting.
DO NOT compare Windows 10 with Firefox please. Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 and 8 in every way (I still don’t understand why people refuse to upgrade) while Firefox is getting worse and worse.
IMPORTANT: The add-on will not receive any more updates and will stop working by next November with Firefox 57.
TabMIXplus author looking for help but none of the devs seem to be interested.
Plus e10 is no where ready for prime time & webext are just v1 and have less power than chrome extensions,
unless Mozilla plans o add stuff in the next few months.. the one thing which kept Firefox going is going to be it’s death.
“We are Mozilla. We listen to our users. We work together with everyone to create an open, extensible web browser. We believe firmly in the democratic principles of open-source development.”
— Not said by anyone at Mozilla in the last few years.
This may be the biggest mistake Mozilla has ever made. Possibly one that is fatal. They led the way with extensions which everyone followed. Their extensions currently outclass all other browsers. Removing essential extension functionality is insanity. Why should I continue using Firefox if Chrome or Opera performs better? Why should I use Firefox if it has the exact same extension as everyone else?
Why bother keeping Gecko? Why not switch to WebKit as well?
I have been a dedicated Firefox user since v1. Looks like I will be re-evaluating that choice in the near future.
The move is not a mistake. The timeline, maybe, unless we’re lacking confidential market information.
With discussions such as these, you’d think that Mozilla would have, on its add-ons site, a “compatible with Web Extensions” link. You know, in order to familiarise its users with the new system, educate them about the transition, encourage them to try compatible add-ons, and gently prod developers to switch to the new environment. But no. That would have been too obvious, too helpful.
It obfuscates the issue because speaking about the transition would cause “panic”. Only very knowledgeable users are even aware that the problem exists. Meanwhile, just suppose someone has tons of valuable files saved in a format that will (probably) stop working next November, because it was generated by the MAFF add-on which might not become a Web Extension. Just suppose he must now re-save all those files in a non-obsolete format, preferably not on the eve of the day they will stop working. And just keep completely mum about it, because, we know better, it’s for your own good, and please let the grown-ups deal with all those problems which are way above your head.
Don’t you love it when Mozilla behaves itself exactly like the big governments of today ?
Even Microsoft has done “better” by drumming the Windows 10 beat, and trying to “convince” its users to make the switch.
Just imagine Microsoft not saying anything about the upcoming Windows 10, and doing its semi-forced GWX “upgrade” rigmarole on top of that. Now you have an idea of what Mozilla is up to.
Hi, dear. Yes, believe it or not, “arewewebextensionsyet.com” is a thing. It is listed at mozilla wiki https://wiki.mozilla.org/Areweyet along with arewee10syet and a couple dozen others.
This supports my argument. The page you’re linking to is hidden deep in something I did not even know existed, a “Mozilla wiki” which is likely known only to hardcore Mozilla developers. I have spent hours and hours on Mozilla support sites, and nobody ever pointed me to that site.
This link should be right in front of Firefox help. Right in front of the Firefox add-ons store.
Besides, this “Are we WebExtensions yet?” page is extremely user-hostile. It’s a developer’s-only page. It’s only about APIs (what’s an API, by the way ?), and it only has a very small number of add-ons at the bottom of the page.
Browsers are mass-market products. Geeks, please realise that everybody out there is not a geek, and should not be one to use computers. That’s the whole point of computers. Otherwise, we’d still be using mainframes instead of smartphones.
Excellent points. When it comes to Firefox’s various transitions, Mozilla has been the least helpful organisation imaginable. Had they been a business on the free market, they would have been sunk ages ago due to their awful PR and customer service approach.
I can only picture the average user (like my parents!) who will wake up one morning and notice how their browser has suddenly started going nuts, with extensions either no longer functional or requiring reinstallations and re-configurations…
Mozilla’s path to self-destruction started a few years back, Australis was the beginning of the end imo. I have been planning my “exit strategy” for a couple of years now, it’s hard to end an 11 year run with FF. Believe me, Martin’s article isn’t causing panic, and even if it did upset the casual users who are not “in-the-loop”, Mozilla obviously doesn’t give a shit, so why should he worry? Their current situation is deliberate, plotted, meticulous, a superior “we know best” (aka “fuck you”) to the very users that made them.
I’ve been testing every browser I can get my hands on for the last 2 years. Seamonkey is a fine alternative to FF, and my current go-to, but for how long? What direction will it go? Same for Thunderbird, although now it has a chance to survive, having broken away from Mozilla.
I still have Opera 12.18 on my computer (for the email client) and Vivaldi sings a siren song to us old-Opera fans. Vivaldi has pushed a steady stream of innovative design choices since it went to v1.0, and the last year has almost convinced me that it will be THE replacement to FF. I really want to see their email client, Coming Soon.Â® If only I didn’t hate everything Google with a passion that goes beyond tin-foil. I think I can live with a chromium-based browser, but old-school FF fans know how repugnant that seems.
One thing I’m sure of… I’ve already left FF, and I won’t be going back. Just the way (somebody at) Moz wants it.
Martin: Was there a problem with the list of webextension-compatible addons I sent?
When did you sent it? I must have missed it.
Here’s a couple more WEs you can add to the list Martin.
Privacy Badger: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/privacy-badger17/?src=ss
Webmail Ad Blocker: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/webmail-ad-blocker/?src=ss
Fortunately I only have five extensions, of which only two are critical: AdBlock and NoScript. I also have Element Hiding Helper For AdBlock Plus (which I don’t really use because I only used it on one site I no longer visit), and Last Tab Close Button (which is not critical anymore since I leave one tab open at all times), and NewScrollBars which allows me to use wider scrollbars (I’d miss that, but I’d survive.)
I’m sorry for those people who use a lot of extensions who are no doubt going to be screwed by Mozilla. But this is what Mozilla does for a living: screw people with changes to its bad-memory-management piece of crap.
Mozilla is an example of everything which is wrong with open source software.
And disgruntled users like yourself are an example of what is wrong with open source software.This transition in the long run will be beneficial to extension developers and will save them time and energy creating extensions for 2 different formats.
The author of “Beyond Australis” has twice confirmed to me that he is definitely not going to work on this addon anymore, not for Waterfox and not for Palemoon either.
Wish someone at Mozilla could tell us beforehand what alternatives they will have in line when all these major league addons fall “out of order”.
Thanks for this summary Martin, and to everyone participating in this open discussion.
Until I found this page, I thought I and the downthemall dev were the only ones royally p—ed off by the hamfisted push towards FF57. I have two addons with about 80K users total which have been complaining that my extensions need an update to support multiprocess. But knowing that these both have no future and will be impossible to redesign as WebExtensions given the lack of API support, I feel absolutely no incentive spending a single minute maintaining these any more.
The Mozilla handling of this forced migration has been awful. How they could put a deadline and still have the majority of required APIs in a “won’t be supported / we have no idea if these will be supported” state is beyond me. It has left me and others in an impossible situation. We couldn’t even begin to plan a migration. You don’t invest time and money in construction until you’ve done a viability assessment. With just 5 months to go until “doomsday” I still can not make an assessment and consequently can’t lay out a plan, a design, so naturally can’t start coding either. Given it’s not much time left and writing extensions isn’t what puts food on my table, there’s no way I’d be able to port these two even if Mozilla were to announce support for the missing APIs *today*.
The ship has sailed, precisely as I feared when I initially got notified by Moz about the aggressive change in the browser’s addons direction a few months ago. I’m glad I didn’t waste any time other than research, though am very sad for my users. I may migrate to one of the FF forks and will be able to continue using my own addons. They were originally created for myself, for my own needs, not for other people. Most others who had the same problems/needs and started using the addons over the years are non-technical, and they’ll be the ones whose suffering will be compounded by Mozilla come November 14.
Finally, I for one would appreciate a page update or two to shed some light on how the addon story progresses. Quarterly? (it’s been 3 months soon)
I could then link here for a good explanation of why I’m ceasing development, and to show that it isn’t just me being lazy, that other devs obviously are affected as well, and why. Addon developers are not magicians but can only operate within the constraints of the platform. If the platform isn’t giving us _some way_ to do what needs to be done (APIs), then our hands are tied.
It’s nice to have some explanations straight from the horse’s mouth (one of the horses, at least), although the news are sad, of course.
What about LeechBlock ?
I didn’t have to wait until V57 for Acrobat Extension to fail ( Legacy/disabled). If fails in V55.0.3
No idea how to modify about:config to re-enable it. I did read the articles.
firefox/chrome SaveAs html-full is a poor substitute.
I looked at:
Built with their developer kit, but the PDF it produces is an order of magnitude larger than Acrobat pdf.
The developer kit is much too expensive for my needs.
If Firefox WE accepts chrome plugins, perhaps I can use the Adobe Chrome version. The installation mechanism was hidden … I’d have to reverse engineer that.
I also looked at migrating from Acrobat XI to Acrobat DC.
– Complete reject
– browser extensions are broken for both firefox and chrome
– In fact, the extensions would not even capture their own announcement page:
The description of the DC converter is so inaccurate it borders on deceptive advertising.
I have these three reasons to use Firefox:
1. KeySnail add-on (makes keyboard use tolerable in Firefox).
2. Ability to override page’s fonts with my own (particularly important for me, since I don’t use antialiased fonts).
3. Ability to use F7 (and select text with keyboard).
KeySnail isn’t going to be ported to WebExtensions, there’s simply no way to make it work under new rules. F7 is going away with the new rendering engine…
So, for me, it’s firefox-ser until next year, and then… I don’t know. I think I’ll just disable updates.
I’m really surprised that TooManyTabs (aka: TMT) was not on any of your lists… If you are not familiar, it is a visual BookMarking extension that creates rows of tabs that can be scrolled through. Very handy if you create a new row for each Topic you are saving bookmarks for. It does not seem to have any limits to the number of Rows, or the number of Tabs in each Row.
It would be great if this was migrated (unlikely, according to the Author), or if there are recommendations for similar solutions…