Mozilla audited Tab Mix Plus for WebExtensions compatibility

Mozilla published information on Tab Mix Plus's WebExtensions compatibility recently after auditing the add-ons functionality.

Update: Tim Nguyen, the guy who audited Tab Mix Plus is not a Mozilla employee.

Tab Mix Plus is a popular browser add-on for the Firefox web browser that adds many customization options to the tabbed browsing behavior of Firefox.

Among many other features, it enables you to display multiple tab rows, change tab styling, and link behavior.

Tab Mix Plus is a classic add-on that will stop working in its current form when Mozilla releases Firefox 57, as the organization plans to end support for classic add-ons for the most part at this point in time.

firefox tab mix plus future

The add-on needs to be rewritten as a WebExtension for support for Firefox 57+. One issue that add-on developers face is that the development of WebExtension APIs is an ongoing process. This is especially problematic for developers who have created powerful add-ons such as Tab Mix Plus.

Mozilla audited the Firefox add-on Tab Mix Plus recently to find out which features are already implementable, and which are not yet supported.

The result is a mixed bag right now. While some features are already available through various WebExtension APIs, others are not.

Most link behavior, session management, and advanced settings are supported for instance, and as are most events.

Other features on the other hand are not supported. Some are already planned, but others would require the creation of new or improved APIs to make it happen.

WebExtensions do not support for instance options to show Tab Mix Plus' buttons on the tab bar, position changes of the tab bar, different tab bar styles, or display tabs in multiple rows in the browser window.

Read also:  Firefox 53: search in large select fields

Mozilla notes that some of the features could be implemented in the feature by re-implementing the toolbar API.

Good news for users of Tab Mix Plus is that the author of the extension seems interested in creating a WebExtension version of Tab Mix Plus. He notes however on Bugzilla that he won't be able to do it alone, and that he needs help from Mozilla and contributors.

I need to develop Tab mix from the start in order to make it Webextension.

I don't think that i can do it alone without mentoring from Mozilla and more code contributes from the community.

Mozilla announced a support program recently for add-on developers to help them port their add-ons to WebExtensions.

The WebExtension APIs are under active development right now, but if Tab Mix Plus would be ported right now, only some of its functionality would be available to Firefox users. That's probably better than none at all, but still disappointing from a user perspective.

The situation may improve over time, as Mozilla plans to extend WebExtension APIs.

Now You: What's your plan if some of your must-have add-ons won't be available when the WebExtensions exclusive version of Firefox launches?

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Mozilla audited Tab Mix Plus for WebExtensions compatibility
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Mozilla published information on Tab Mix Plus's WebExtensions compatibility recently after auditing the add-ons functionality.
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Responses to Mozilla audited Tab Mix Plus for WebExtensions compatibility

  1. Dale Poole April 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    It's a shame because Tab Mix Plus is the reason I keep hanging on to Firefox. Every other extension I use can be duplicated in other browsers but this one isn't.

    I've been using it so long, I have muscle memory that gets in the way when I use a browser that is not Firefox with Tab Mix Plus.

    If this extension doesn't make the shift, I will consider moving to Vivaldi. Most of the Tab Mix Plus features I use are duplicated in Vivaldi, without extensions. Chrome does a crap job of managing memory, but Vivaldi while not absolute, is very compatible with Chrome and it doesn't have the Chrome memory management issue I've encountered.

    • Zen April 7, 2017 at 12:54 am #

      Apparently Tab Mix Plus should be technically possible through the toolbar API, all that's needed is for it to be ported. We'll see. If it's not there in 57 it's probably going to be developed later on either way, though.

    • LazLong April 7, 2017 at 2:15 am #

      Same here. I'd have moved to Chrome a long time ago, but for Tab Mix Plus.

      I may end up moving to Chrome in any case due to it's superior security. I don't want to, but Chrome was the only browser not pwned at pwn2own 2017.

      • Dorn April 9, 2017 at 2:48 am #

        Security is going to increase pretty soon as Firefox's sandbox ramps up.

      • gensec May 24, 2017 at 8:54 am #

        Only reason I haven't switched from Firefox to Chrome is that Chrome doesn't have any extensions like Tab Mix Plus. If Firefox kills Tab Mix Plus, there's no reason to keep it.

      • Clairvaux May 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

        @ Gensec

        You're implying Chrome is superior to Firefox in every other way apart from extensions (and specifically Tab Mix Plus, which I also use). What ways ?

    • John April 17, 2017 at 3:26 am #

      I second the motion on Vivaldi. I just tried it out and it can replace most of the tab functionality of Tab Mix Plus. So, if Tab Mix Plus goes away or get neutered in FF 57, I'll be jumping ship to Vivladi after 14 years with Firefox.

      If I want the extension system used by Chrome or Safari, I'll use Chrome or Safari. Mozilla is killing what makes Mozilla great.

    • DrMP August 16, 2017 at 12:50 am #

      Tab Mix Plus is also my most-used Firefox extension. If need be, I'll stop updating Firefox until this (and some other) extensions work. Since that may be a security risk, I'll also start looking at alternative browsers, as much as I like Firefox and its independence from MS, Google etc.

    • Jan-Hendrik November 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      Yeah, definitely, having used it for so many years, even before Chrome even existed!
      Tab Mix Plus really rocks, it makes (made?) your browser so much better configurable after your preferences -
      should have been part of core Firefox (or even, any browser AFAIC).

      And indeed, like for many others, it's the main reason to use Firefox rather than Chrome (well, together with AdBlock Plus, but that's exchangeable, Tab Mix Plus is not as far as I can see. And Chrome eats lots more memory / processing power).
      I've given it 5 stars and sponsored it a few times, it's really worth it!

      Would be a shame if it was not ported!

      And if I remember well, old versions of Firefox supported multi row tabs, even without Tab Mix Plus - did they really remove that? Unbelievable!

  2. beemeup4 April 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    I NEED multiple tab rows. It's not negotiable. If a browser doesn't have multiple tab rows I cannot use it as my main browser. Period. I think Martin understands why: https://www.ghacks.net/2017/01/18/chrome-annoyance-new-tabs-not-added-to-tab-bar-anymore/

    I use Pale Moon because it allows me to browse the way I want to. If there are other Pale Moon users out there who are interested in a TMP alternative, I suggest Tab Utilities Phoenix: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-utilities-phoenix/

    It can do basically everything TMP can except session management, but for that I use the far better Session Manager.

    • Zen April 7, 2017 at 12:52 am #

      You can try Tree Style Tab too, instead of multiple tab rows. If real estate is a concern, TST is very customizable and can actually make you gain real estate by sliding in and out the tab rows (with or without delay if you customize it)

      Multiple tab rows will be technically possible if the toolbar API is implemented

      • beemeup4 April 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

        TST is simply not a replacement for multiple tab rows. To me it doesn't scale very well and becomes unwieldy past 50+ tabs. I need to have all tabs visible at all times and having all web content shifted slightly to the right or left simply breaks symmetry, not to mention I have no desire for a hierarchy in my tabs.

      • Dorn April 9, 2017 at 2:51 am #

        If you need to see all 50 tabs at all time, and if you don't want hierarchy, yeah.

        Just saying for other readers: the vertical tab bar can slide in and out over content, it does not have to be a permanently showing bar that (as a consequence) takes real estate which you call "shifting of web content"

    • Daniel Middleman May 22, 2017 at 6:55 am #

      Totally agree. Need multiple tab rows. I was reading how this can't be implemented in
      Chrome and to me that is total BS. I rely on a lot of different Firefox addons. I think
      I am going to have move to a mozilla-related browser. I've never understood this barebones
      Google/Chrome browser. I need functionality. Not a barebones do-nothing browser.

  3. Tom Hawack April 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

    I have at this time 70+ add-ons. Depending on the availability of the add-ons I consider most important, if they will neither have been recoded to the Webextensions format nor replaced by an equivalent add-on then I will either not update to Firefox 57 or quit Firefox. It's as simple as that.

    I read the Mozilla team is "working" on APIs : they shouldn't be working they should be striving to get things done, done fast, done as completely as possible before their Firefox 57 is released. In my good moods which allow optimism and positivism I imagine the best. Only then and then imagination only.

    • Poe April 7, 2017 at 1:06 am #

      Since for me privacy goes first, and all add-ons related to privacy I need are there, and there's Tor uplift which includes a shitload of anti-fingerprinting measures, first-party isolation, deterministic builds and what have you, I'm not going to move away.

      Worst case scenario I'll have a Firefox ESR portable on the side for those rare cases where I need a functionality that is not (or not yet) available as a WebExtension.

      UI and UX wise, I have no doubt that I will be able to adapt and customize close enough to what I currently have, and if not, privacy wins anyway IMO. I can get used to new UI, not to destroyed privacy.

      • Lord Lestat April 7, 2017 at 8:32 am #

        The reason why Mozilla is also no longer caring for unlimited customization, as today's Firefox user base is dominated by your kind who do not really care for customization but only for privacy.

      • Poe April 9, 2017 at 2:54 am #

        Lestat, please tune down on ranting and assuming about complete strangers. Ghacks is littered with your comments man. I have pretty heavy customisation, definitely way above average. I intend to keep it that way as I ripe all the benefits of Firefox's superior privacy and Quantum/Servo.

        You're free to use whatever browser you'll prefer based on your own criteria.

  4. beemeup4 April 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    @Anonymous

    I ran into some minor annoyances with TMP after the major Pale Moon 27 update (which are most likely resolved by now) which got me looking for alternatives. When I stumbled upon Tab Utilities Phoenix and saw that it was lighter on resources than TMP I made the switch, since as I've stated, it has all the functions that I needed from TMP but without the bloat of an integrated session manager that I didn't use.

    • A different Martin April 14, 2017 at 1:01 am #

      I downgraded from Pale Moon 27.x to 26.5 because Download Status Bar didn't work at all and because Tab Mix Plus didn't work right. (I think open tab count widget stopped working, too.) I did a portable install of 27.x to intermittently check whether problems with those extensions had been fixed. Last I checked, a few days ago, they hadn't. (For example, control-tab just switched you to tabs farther to the right instead of to the most recently visited tabs, as specified in my Tab Mix Plus options.)

      Thanks for mentioning Tab Utilities Phoenix. I'll try it out in my portable install. (I use a lot of the features in Tab Mix Plus, so it has a pretty high bar to clear.)

  5. Jeff April 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    And how/why the hell is it ok for people to accept this bullshit change from Mozilla? Older extensions should work as long as users want them to. I am glad I uninstalled Firefox and switched to Pale Moon. Although Google Chrome and Opera are faster than Gecko-based browsers.

  6. Anonymous April 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    Anyone using more than just a few basic addons should do what I did and move to Pale Moon. It doesn't support the entire library of current Firefox addons, but all the important ones either work or have working alternatives.

  7. Richard April 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    I have begun the migration to Google Chrome as my default browser. The instability of the Firefox stack is troublesome. I don't want to rely on things like Tab Mix Plus or Classic Theme Restorer and then have the Mozilla management pull the rug out from under me.

    I find the differences between Firefox and Chrome to be minor and am coping quite nicely with my migration. It's too bad that Mozilla became enamored of becoming a Chrome clone. I liked Mozilla better when they went there own way.

    • pHROZEN gHOST April 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

      Firefox is becoming your browser THEIR way.

  8. Anonymous April 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    Why would you use something other than TMP in Pale Moon? TMP suppoorts and specifically targets Pale Moon.

  9. Appster April 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    @Tom Hawack: The probability of a significant share of your 70+ add-ons not being ported over is extremely high. It really depends on the complexity of the add-ons.

    Things like AdBlock, Video Downloader, NoScript, FlashStopper, ScreenShot tools etc. are LIKELY to work.

    Things like Classic Theme Restorer, Tab Mix Plus, Tree Style Tabs, All-in-One Sidebar, Tab Groups are HIGHLY UNLIKELY to work. Basically everything that changes the UI in a major way is on its way out.

    You may be interested in what the Waterfox developer is up to (announcement): https://www.waterfoxproject.org/blog/waterfox-52.0-release-download

    Might be a good solution for you going forward. Waterfox' add-on compatibility with Firefox add-ons is 100%.

    • Poe April 7, 2017 at 1:18 am #

      Tab Mix Plus and Tree Style Tab and Tab Groups will be technically possible using the Toolbar API, which is currently unassigned but set to priority P2 by Andy McKay, the lead person on WebExtensions and the representative of the most strict view on API power. If Andy McKay is not against this API, it's not unfair to expect that it will be implemented. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1215064

      Since I don't know Classic Theme Restorer and All-in-One Sidebar, I can't say. From the name only, the latter should be possible with the API I mentioned, and the former is a bunch of different features grouped into a single add-on, so I can't say what's possible and what's not. Apparently, UI icons will be modifiable and with Toolbar API you can just replace and reimplement entire bars, so, that's pretty flexible.

      But we'll have to see when time comes.

      • Lord Lestat April 7, 2017 at 8:31 am #

        CTR offers the same amount of UI customization which was possible until Firefox 22-28 - Much of that will not be possible with Web-extensions, no matter how many API Mozilla wants to create.

        CTR offers a total UI modification where you can change almost everything. So no, Web-extensions are not pretty flexible. UI customization will no longer be a part of Mozilla's policy as they have a clear CD (corporate design) these days. The UI should be a trademark and therefore only be changeable in a limited way as Mozilla sees this as part of their Corporate Identity/Branding - distinctive and recognizable on every platform.

        All in all Firefox with Web-extensions will only be shallow customization wise as what is possible so far. Even a garbage browser like Vivaldi - which is Chromium based - will have more UI customization than Firefox after version 57 as that UI is fully CSS based so it is a kind of Classic-Theme-Restorer variant for Chromium. And Mozilla thinks also about removing userchrome.css - which limits customization abilities even more.

        And that is also part of the reason why Mozilla removes all complex features, because today's user base of Firefox consists of people like you: No need for customization, only need for privacy. No attack btw, just reality.

      • Appster April 8, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

        @Lord Lestat: I agree with your statements about WebExtensions. Most likely they won't offer a substantial amount of customization.

        However, you should really stop calling Vivaldi "garbage". It's a perfectly usable browser with broad standard support and an amount of customization Firefox 57 can only dream of. You sometimes refer to it as a "frankensteinish" browser, and here I couldn't disagree more. Vivaldi's virtual UI which keeps the the Chromium UI underneath has its reasons, most prominently near 100% compatibility with Chrome extensions. Due to the API-based system the extensions are coded with Chrome/Chromium application code in mind, and that's why Vivaldi keeps it. It's not a sign of incompetence at all. Jon von Tetzchner (Vivaldi founder, formerly Opera) can do nothing about this API-based architecture, and has decided that add-on compatibility is more important than stubbornly doing his own thing.

        And please, don't bring up Otter once again. Otter is an obscure browser with an even more obscure rendering engine that no website admin/maintainer has in mind. The number of sites breaking with this browser is staggering. Vivaldi and Pale Moon are at least based on engines that a significant amount of people use and are therefore better supported.

        Just my 2 cents. I think we both agree when it comes to the dumbing-down of Firefox at Mozilla's hands and this being most unfortunate. I'm just saying that Otter cannot (and will never be) the solution.

      • Lord Lestat April 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

        @Appster

        Otter has Webkit. Webkit is a perfectly fine engine and no obscure one. With Otter i have no problems with any webpage i have visited so far, i would use Otter Browser over Pale Moon every day. Webkit/Webkit 2 is also supporting a lot of the right now demanded or expected web standards - And all this is brought piece to piece over to Otter's QTWebkit too. So you are totally wrong. Again.

        The thing is Chromium is garbage. And every browser which uses Chromium is therefor garbage too. Google has no mercy for users of less powerful hardware, they have destroyed their font rendering without the will to make rendering now at least equally as good with the GDI font rendering method in the past. At least Mozilla is seen from that quality aspect more better than Google, as they try at least to keep the general quality in good shape - quality does not equal amount of unique special features here in that case. The features topic is of course a different one. And such a praise from me towards Mozilla is almost a miracle - of course they are still leftist assholes even with that one little small glance of brain activity they show at least in that case.

        Also Google is a competition discriminating company, they are anti-freedom and anti-choice. And people who are using Chrome/Chromium/Chromium based browsers have been either tricked into using it thanks to bundling the installer with other programs or they just do not care for freedom, choice, Open Source and instead supporting Google's despicable monopolist discrimination dictatorship free willingly!

        And that is VERY shameful and disgusting too. Once again... i adore Vivaldi's feature set and the makers visions are really good. But if they side with a company which is one of the mortal enemies of freedom and choice - well, what choice do i have personally than to call them the way they are... Garbage!

        I also would use Pale Moon every day over Chrome/Chromium/Chromium based browsers. Also Edge or IE.... Even Safari!

        Because i do care for the product i am using and i do value freedom and - as i am siding with Otter Browser - Open Source!

        And towards the virtual UI - They still do not have the knowledge to remove the existing Chromium UI underneath. They are unwilling to make bigger changes to Chromium and try to keep their workload as low as possible.

      • Lord Lestat April 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

        And as time was running out while typing...

        Brave is still better than Vivaldi - as they have built their browser on a bare bone Blink engine - They even had ZERO extension support out of the box. Also they have been able to fix that. Even more - they will add Mozilla's expanded Webextension system in the future to Brave.

        Also, Brave team has managed to build an UI over a rendering engine without the help of tons of already existing API of which Vivaldi team had the benefit who just used that API and bundled and enforced their UI on top of Chromium!
        Additionally... Brave team has already plans to add customization to the browser - additional bars, different skins for example. And their tab system out of the box is a visual and functional refreshment to the old outdated tab system as we know it today. What has Vivaldi done lately unique? Adding some statistics to history? Very impressive... not!

        Also, Brave is fully Open Source. Every single part of it! People are allowed to make changes, create pull requests which Brave team could also add to the browser if they think the change is fitting and helping. Also, they seem to plan to add TOR support also to the browser in future versions.

        Anyway... because of the Chromium/Blink heritage both browsers are shitty despicable garbage. Granted, Brave a bit less than Vivaldi, but the difference is so small that it is almost not recognizable anyway!

      • Poe April 9, 2017 at 3:26 am #

        @Lestat Not reality, just your usual characterization of things and people.

      • Lord Lestat April 9, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

        @Poe really?

        Let's make a comparison of people's opinion earlier and today. In earlier years people wanted more customization and features, less minimalism and simplicity - People looked forward for more features, bars, buttons and options to modify a program!

        Today we have people like you! And also the one's like many postings in the reddit Firefox section which shows that people do not want or need customization today. Only privacy or security features and everyone wants minimalism and simplicity.

        Everyone who wants more gets blacklisted and seen as a bloat lover for example.

        So no, it IS the truth, because that is the actual opinion.

      • Poe April 10, 2017 at 3:23 am #

        How tone deaf can you get ?

        I effing told you 4 times that I have customized Firefox way more heavily than average joe. Stop dumping people randomly in your preconceived boxes based on trigger words like "privacy". Thank you. Bye.

  10. Franco April 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    :( My must have extension is also to stop working with 57 :( Toolbar Position Changer is quite the only option if you want to put your whole UI on the bottom. Sadly enogh, the Tab Groups extension (born from the ashes of the Panorama function when removed from Firefox) won't stay with us neither. The release of 57 will be a sad day for Firefox.

  11. Tom Hawack April 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    @Appster, even in the best moods I'd never ever imagine *all* my 70+ add-ons being ported, that's why I mentioned "the most important" (implicitly, to me).

    You write, "Basically everything that changes the UI in a major way is on its way out.". If the gui is never the most important matter personally (as many others) it is true that I have deeply modified Firefox's interface and that returning to what is proposed natively will make me feel younger hence far more stupid given the childish native Firefox GUI.

    I did try in the past Waterfox as well as Cyberfox, because at the time Firefox had no 64-BIT build and also because both those browsers were stated as faster, snappier than Firefox itself. I never noticed anything faster or snappier and when Firefox released its 64-BIT I definitely abandoned the idea of trying again those.

    If I don't move on to FF57 then, as I said, it'll be either latest FF ESR or Pale Moon I guess. It all depends really of the situation in coming November/FF57 and as things go, so quickly and in an unpredictable way, it's almost day to day here. Wait 'n' see : economy, business, traders call for predictability, so do computer users.

    Thanks for your concern.

  12. pHROZEN gHOST April 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    TMP is one of the best addons for Firefox and Pale Moon. I would not use either browser without it.

    The big questions is ...

    If TMP is ported to Webextensions, will this mean the end of support for TMP for Pale Moon?
    (likewise for other valued addons)

    Lets face it, the amount of work required to keep an addon working with constant changes to the browsers, authors may not want to double their efforts.

    This is certainly something for Pale Moon users to think about.

    • Yuliya April 6, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

      This is what I'm concerned as well. Though different browser fork and extension: SeaMonkey and DownThemAll. While I don't have new feature requests, I'd like it to be in the current usable condition for as long as possible after Mozilla drops XUL support in FireFox.. I know the author announced there won't be a DTA web-extension, but I hope he continues to support the XUL version in case patching is needed at some point to run on SeaMonkey (or PM, why not).

  13. RPWheeler April 6, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    My plan is:

    1) Pale Moon
    2) Not upgrade Firefox after Firefox 56.
    3) Continue to read Ghacks to find out about other Firefox competitors which may support more what I want, not what Mozilla wants to leave to me.

    I need ability to place buttons and tabs where I want them much-much more than WebExtensions.

  14. GiddyUpGo April 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    I think that Mozilla believes that if they were holding all the feathers that they could hold, they could add one more.
    FF57 might be the last one they could not add and Firefox will be no more.

  15. Ben April 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    > but others would require the creation of new or improved APIs to make it happen.
    Ah don't worry I'm sure Mozilla will do what they can to give everyone the API they need.

    Ok just joking, they will fuck it up big time.

  16. John April 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    I have been using Firefox since 1.0. I will continue using the version that supports classic extensions as long as possible. When that is no longer possible, I will switch to a different browser. I will not continue supporting a company that intentionally kills the best features of a browser I have used faithfully for years.

    I have no doubt doubt the move to WebExtensions is going to essentially destroy Mozilla as we know it right now.

    This just opens up the opportunity for another company to create the functionality and take the market share that wants it.

  17. beemeup4 April 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    @pHROZEN gHOST

    The situation Firefox addon devs are in now where they have to practically refactor their addons every few months is due to Mozilla constantly making unnecessary modifications to the Firefox browser at their whim and treating the addon development community (which made Firefox as successful as it was) like they didn't matter. People spent untold hours making fantastic addons without making a dime all because they were fans and wanted to make the browser better for them and their fellow users, and then Mozilla just decides to make changes which undoes all that work without even asking for developer input, again and again, and again. Even in 2012 things were going so downhill that one really great addon developer, Andy Halford, just quit and his farewell message can be read here: http://tiny.cc/andyhalford

    Sound familiar? In the recent months many prominent addon devs are also quitting for much the same reasons that were apparent over 5 years ago. Mozilla has not learned. The e10s rollout (multiprocess Firefox) required many addon developers to basically rewrite entire addons, but all that work is rendered meaningless AGAIN thanks to WebExtensions. Who wouldn't be furious at Mozilla?

    Pale Moon seeks to preserve the true essence of what Firefox started all those years ago, and the user always comes first. Pale Moon as a platform respects the work of addon devs and would never make breaking changes unless absolutely necessary. Pale Moon 27 is basically the last major update that has the potential to break addon support, so if an addon works for Pale Moon 27, it will continue to work for all future versions of Pale Moon. Some of Andy Halford's addons like SortPlaces still work with Pale Moon today!

    • pHROZEN gHOST April 7, 2017 at 1:56 am #

      @beemeup4

      You are preaching to the choir.

      Firefox is losing its user base (that includes yours truly). At some point they will have to pack it in. Probably later rather than sooner, becasue they are too damned ignorant to see the 100 foot letters on the wall in front of them.

      Pale Moon, as great as it is, hasn't got the user base to keep it going. I still use Pale Moon as a backup to Chrome and Vivaldi is now getting some use by me now ... THANKS MARTIN ... 8-D

      I switched over tp Chrome some time ago. I am fed up with the Mozillian temper tantrums.

      • beemeup4 April 7, 2017 at 3:36 am #

        @pHROZEN gHOST

        Regarding the sustainability of Pale Moon, I do not think it is a problem at all. No one truly knows how large the Pale Moon user base actually is including the Pale Moon developers themselves because, out of principle, the Pale Moon browser does not have the telemetry to obtain such statistics, or any telemetry for that matter and this is one of the many reasons why I use Pale Moon.

        The Pale Moon founder and lead developer, Moonchild, maintains Pale Moon as his full-time job, so it's not solely a volunteer effort, nor is it a one-man affair, but of course, more contributors coming onboard is always welcome. The main reason I am not worried about Pale Moon's future is because the browser is thriving within the community it has NOW, and with events over at Mozilla being what they are, it is all but impossible for the Pale Moon user base to not expand a little (or a lot) over the coming years, and with Pale Moon's development philosophy being as stable as it is, there is no chance for huge swaths of disgruntled former fans like we have with the direction of Mozilla.

        Pale Moon also has a large presence in the FOSS community, with nearly 1/3 of Pale Moon users running Linux as shown in the 2017 Pale Moon survey: http://www.palemoon.org/survey2017/
        I actually see Pale Moon thriving for much the same reason I see Linux thriving. No matter how small the user base may seem relative to the larger incumbents, there will ALWAYS be a small pocket of users who strongly desire freedom. Freedom to do things their way without being at the mercy of deaf corporations.

  18. Junior Silva April 6, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

    I hope it works very well! Well, it's one of my favorite extensions! Incredible it!

  19. Vítor I April 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    Slightly off-topic: what's the new System Add-on "Disable Prefetch"? Does prefetch poses security risks? Mozilla, please don't make Firefox even slower!

  20. Tony April 7, 2017 at 1:36 am #

    Mozilla should have done much more work on the WebExtensions API before demanding the switch. Their cart is before their horse.

  21. Anonymous April 7, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    Shit!
    If we can get webextension version of Tab Mix Plus out there, that would be fantastic
    I'd either contribute time or money to it

  22. ShintoPlasm April 7, 2017 at 11:20 am #

    As much as I like Firefox's open-source nature and general speediness, Opera (and other Chromiums) appear to give users a much-needed stability - Chrome extensions which were created ages ago still work in much the same way as ever, and very little breaks after version updates. These repeated upheavals with Firefox are nudging me in the direction of Opera, where at least I know things will keep on being predictable for a long while.

  23. Clairvaux April 7, 2017 at 11:56 pm #

    I don't understand the logic of dropping Firefox because a bunch of extensions would stop working. Allegedly, those extensions are what makes Firefox better than the others. If they are gone, all browsers are the same (again, trying to sniff the general logic behind the argument). So why move ? Why not stay put instead ?

    I understand the Schadenfreude of trying to stick it to Mozilla, at least verbally. But apart from venting, what good is it for you ?

    Past November, it's possible that browser X or Y might be more accomodating, extension-wise, for Dick or Harry. But that would be heavily dependant on Dick or Harry's specific use of extensions right now, and on other browsers staying compatible (for Firefox forks) or offering alternatives (for others) for that very specific selection of extensions. Neither of which can be predicted accurately at the moment. And what browser provides the best offer is likely to be completely different for each of us. Also, that browser could still be Firefox.

    I would suggest that being cross at Mozilla and making rational choices are two different things. I don't especially crave Microsoft and I hate Microsoft Word, however I have been running a PC under Windows for a very, very long time, and my word processor of choice is still Microsoft Word. Unfortunately.

    • Classy Joe April 9, 2017 at 3:19 am #

      Thanks for your pacifist attempt at bringing back subjectivity and reason in there. You can also consider Appster and Lestat as political activists, that clears things up pretty fine :)

      As for Dick I think he likes his browser tight and smooth.

      • Lord Lestat April 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

        Now that is humiliating!

        I am not even going to vote for politics. As that would mean to be part of a corrupted and nauseating system full of greed, amorality and plain dishonesty which leads to suffering of beings of no matter the form race or color they have!

        I see myself more as a dedicated, merciless and uncompromising honorable crusader for justice, honesty, and the only true values without falling into the cliché of the nauseating prevailing political classes!

        And if that means to be somewhat rude and insulting, i have no problem with that as the receivers of my harsh critics are earning it! That includes sometimes harsh words and sometimes also a plain kick into the butt in real-life affairs, depending how disgusting the other end is!

      • Tom Hawack April 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

        If a bum is attacked, I'm a bum; if a lord is attacked I'm a lord; if a woman is attacked... gosh, don't work with gals (I guess I'll remain a plain male then)!

        I've read Lord Lestat's comments and exchanged a few words here with him. I haven't encountered a whatever activism in his rhetoric. Should be mentioned that nowadays those who aren't in the melt are often considered as betrayers to the human condition which in fact is more of a western world stereo-type than of a universal mankind archetype.

        As for myself, I just love what some in English would call 'originals" (with a touch of condescension). Always nice to meet people who seem to appear as a sheep who would have decided to play it solo. Nice and often interesting.

        Liberty of speech. As long as no one is rude, no problem.

      • Poe April 10, 2017 at 3:41 am #

        @Tom About activism, just read his reply right above yours.

        @Lestat There's nothing wrong with having an opinion, but you are suffocating Ghacks comments. I barely ever read them any more, and I'm starting to come to Ghacks less and less as a result. There used to be very constructive, non-repetitive, varying opinions represented here. I hope they'll be back once you get tired of this all and calm down on comment frequency. But I guess that will happen without me, whoever I am. Farewell.

      • lord lestat April 10, 2017 at 11:55 am #

        @Poe and what is with the big amount of people here who show to everyone hostility who is not supporting the minimalist simplicty trend today (especially when it is about the topic Firefox)?

        If you are going to blame me, then you should also blame that rabid Firefox fanboys of today which have no respect for other opinions either.

    • Anonymoose April 12, 2017 at 9:16 am #

      Personally, I don't think I'd outright switch, but I'd have to install yet another browser (whether it's a fork or the ESR) for when I actually _need_ my addons. They're nothing mission-critical, and I tend to adapt to interface changes relatively quickly, but some of the things I use Firefox for will be explicitly impossible without certain addons, which means I'd either have to stop Firefox from updating or keep a backup Firefox-like browser anyways.

      [At least one of these probably won't be updated, since I believe it's been abandoned. The only thing it does is allow viewing certain pages on a site without being signed in, and it isn't actually compatible with that site anymore, but it's the only thing keeping a few pages from being lost forever (they were deleted from the main site, but Internet Archive has them archived from back when they used the old system; since you can't sign in to the archived site, the addon's the only way to see those pages). I'm not sure about my other ones, although I don't believe Tab Groups' creator is planning to update it.]

      I need to do more research on which addons will be ready when WebExtensions launches, so I know beforehand if I'll need to have a backup Firefox, or if GimpFox (Firefox 57) will be enough.

  24. TelV April 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    I've no objections to Mozilla switching to WebExtensions provided they provide the APIs to enable web developers to switch their projects to that format. But Mozilla seems to have adopted a non-cooperative stance by refusing to create APIs for some of the most popular extensions like Classic Theme Restorer which is marked as WontFix now.

    I absolutely refuse point-blank to use a browser which doesn't allow tabs below the location bar and if they persist with the tabs on top concept then I regret to say Mozilla and I will part company pretty quickly. The choice from there looks to be either Pale Moon or Sea Monkey. Since I class No Squint Plus as one of my indispensable extensions, it's likely to be Sea Monkey rather than Pale Moon since the latter doesn't support NSP: https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?t=13643

  25. albresc April 9, 2017 at 1:33 am #

    Well, if Firefox will not work with the extensions I use, changed to WebExtensions or whatever then I'll swith to Pale Moon or CyberFox - even if these ones also don't support my extensions. Just a little revenge...
    And because there's no software I can't live without...

  26. Clairvaux April 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    Although I don't approve of sectarianism, whether in politics or technology, and I find it strange that an obscure developing issue is turning into political mud-slinging, I must say that it's quite odd to be greeted, when launching Firefox, by a political, partisan statement such as : “Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society.” — Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Nonconformist Hall of Fame", which is staring me in the face right now.

    Especially knowing who is Sonia Sottomayor, and what she represents in America.

    It's especially odd for Mozilla to pretend to be all things to all people, to bask in that "we're in this all together, all over the world" type of mentality, and to stick under its users' nose the name of a political activist who's completely unknown to 99 % of people outside of the United States.

    Incidentally, almost each word of the above statement is arguably false. So much for pretending to unite people.

    • ShintoPlasm April 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

      Mozilla = bunch of California liberals living in their happy bubble of "equality" for minorities only.

  27. FFdead-LongLivePM July 14, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

    Pale Moon, Pale Moon, Pale Moon. I am already using it ahead of FF 57. Pale Moon is what FF used to be. I had been using CTR with FF but with PM I don't need CTR because PM is classic quality.

  28. Wilf August 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    Like many other contributors here, I stay with Firefox chiefly because of tab mix plus functionality. but in particular, I use two simple aspects of TMP. I find essential the ability to always open, in a new tab, bookmarks clicked with the normal left mouse button and addresses typed into the search bar and then Enter pressed. Chrome does not allow either of these as options and no Chrome extension gives that functionality. actually the Chromium based Centbrowser does allow this behaviour so maybe I should give that a try out it TMP is not rewritten to work from 57.0 onward or, alternatively, if Firefox does not allow such behaviour as native options.

  29. Adam September 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

    If you need to see all 50 tabs at all time, and if you don't want hierarchy, yeah.

    Just saying for other readers: the vertical tab bar can slide in and out over content, it does not have to be a permanently showing bar that (as a consequence) takes real estate which you call "shifting of web content". However the firefox has come up with another feature http://blayget.com/webvr-comes-real-firefox-browser
    But this is not the end VR will go further !

  30. Goliath October 4, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi

    Does anyone know what my options would be if i want to keep using tabmix plus, noscript and reminderfox which are all marked as legacy add ons so i assume won't be working in Firefox 57?

    is there another browser (Palemoon?) that will allow all these add ons but also will it be easy, or even possible, to transfer all my reminders, tab settings etc?

    Thanks for any help.

    • A different Martin October 5, 2017 at 6:01 am #

      NoScript and Tab Mix Plus work fine in Pale Moon 27.5.0 (the current release). You can install them from the Pale Moon Extensions page:

      https://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/

      I'm not familiar with ReminderFox. It's not mentioned on Pale Moon's Known Incompatible Extensions page:

      https://addons.palemoon.org/incompatible/

      but from posts elsewhere, it looks like people have had trouble with it in Pale Moon for at least a year. A recent review on the Mozilla Add-Ons site urges the developer to develop ReminderFox for Pale Moon (since it will no longer be supported in Firefox in the near future).

      • Goliath October 5, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

        Thank you Martin.

        Do you know how i could transfer all my tabs in tab mix plus in Firefox to tab mix plus in Pale Moon? i've installed tab mix plus in pale moon but i've no idea how to transfer my huge number of tabs from Firefox, assuming it's even possible that is.

      • Martin Brinkmann October 6, 2017 at 5:13 am #

        I don't unfortunately

      • A different Martin October 6, 2017 at 6:46 am #

        @ Goliath:

        I use the Session Manager extension in mainstream Firefox x64 v. 56.0 (Session Manager 0.8.1.13), in Firefox ESR x86 v. 54.4.0 (also Session Manager 0.8.1.13), and in Pale Moon 27.5.0 (Session Manager 0.8.1.7, an older version).

        You can open Session Manager sessions that you save in one "Firefox-family" browser in another Firefox-family browser that has Session Manager installed. In fact, I use a common/shared session folder for all three browsers. (You can set a custom session folder in Session Manager Options' "Advanced" tab.) That way, if my primary browser (Pale Moon) starts messing up temporarily or if I decide to switch to Firefox (unlikely), I can continue working with the same tabs in a different browser.

        I don't know whether Tab Mix Plus's built-in sessions manager feature supports anything close to the above because I've never used it. Maybe if you had Tab Mix Plus installed in both browsers and simply copied the session.rdf file from your Firefox profile to your Pale Moon profile, it would work. I just don't know.

        Maybe someone else has a better idea, but I would say that you should install Session Manager in Firefox, take a look in Advanced options to see where its session folder is located (and change it to something different, if you want), and save your current session of open tabs. Then install Session Manager in Pale Moon (make sure to use the older version number given above) and either set the session folder to the same location you use for Firefox or manually copy the Firefox session you saved to your Pale Moon session folder. Then load the "Firefox" session in Pale Moon.

        It's been a long time since I installed Session Manager from scratch, so keep your eyes peeled for options like integrating existing Tab Mix Plus sessions into Session Manager. I wouldn't want you to somehow lose your open tabs, if you have a lot of them.

        Maybe a good backup strategy would be to first install a pretty old extension called Bookmark All. I'm pretty sure it still works in both Firefox and Pale Moon. What it does is bookmark all open tabs with one click, under a single bookmarks subfolder. Then you could export your Firefox bookmarks as html and import them into Pale Moon. (I haven't imported bookmarks for a long time, so I can't speak to how well this works.) Unlike Session Manager, the bookmarks won't remember which tabs were pinned and which were unpinned. I'm pretty sure it will get them all in the right order, however, and that you can open all of them with one click.

        Yet another approach might be to install Xmarks in both browsers and use the Open Tab Sync feature. Sorry, but I've never used it. Come to think of it, you could use Xmarks to sync your bookmarks (including the ones generated by "Bookmark All"), as well.

        Session Manager isn't that hard to use, especially if you set it up right. I have mine set up to automatically prompt for a session (pre-selecting the previous one) when I start my browsers and automatically prompt me to save the current session when I exit. It works pretty reliably, at least if you're not using Tab Groups. I gather it will no longer be supported in mainstream Firefox sometime in November and in Firefox ESR sometime next June. In Pale Moon, the most I can say is that it will continue working until it no longer does!

        I hope at least some of this was helpful...

  31. genesis October 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    I realy need mouse over tab activating card functionality, also known as hover, any one know some alternatives, couse I can't find even one extension providing same function to firefox 57 ( ͡° ʖ̯ ͡°)

    • A different Martin October 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

      I've been happy with my Tab Mix Plus settings for so long, I'd forgotten that "hover on tab to select" was even an option, but there it is, under Mouse > Mouse Gestures > Select tab pointed for x msec. Cool, but (to me) it would be even cooler if it were an option for full-page tab-previewing rather than tab-switching. Anyway, I'm sorry you're going to be losing it in Firefox, at least until a WebExtensions extension supports it. (I just tested it in Pale Moon and it works fine there.)

  32. Clairvaux October 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    I can't find any vertical tabs option in Tab Mix Plus. I'll like to try it before it disappears. Any hints ?

    • A different Martin October 5, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

      I've never used vertical tabs, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a native vertical-tabs option in Tab Mix Plus. The Vertical Tabs Reloaded Firefox extension is supposedly compatible with Tab Mix Plus. The developer says he's working on a WebExtensions version.

      Pale Moon's Extensions page hosts Tree Style Tabs for Pale Moon, but I don't know whether and how well it works with Tab Mix Plus.

      • Clairvaux October 5, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

        Aha, so that's the secret. I've read some people lamenting about Tab Mix Plus demise and the expected loss of vertical tabs, so something was missing there. Thank you, A different Martin.

  33. Nils Davis October 24, 2017 at 6:26 am #

    Tab Mix Plus *is* Firefox to me (primarily due to multiple rows of tabs and opening links in new tabs on click). So I'm not sure what I'll do when FF 57 arrives. Pale Moon sounds great, but I'm on a Mac. Maybe Waterfox. I'd move to Chrome in a minute if it had a TMP equivalent - so far it's the main reason I haven't moved.

    • Tom Hawack October 24, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

      I'm running 'Tab Mix Plus 0.5.0.4' here on Waterfox 55.2.2 flawlessly. Of course the issue with Firefox will be with next version 57 but as you know one of the specifics of Waterfox is that it will continue handling legacy add-ons together with Webextensions, even if the developer announced a "pause" (ESR-like) once Waterfox 56 made available (within the coming days). It's really worth giving Waterfox a try, believe me.

  34. John Whitling November 15, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

    I have to say that it's been Tab Mix Plus (TMP) that has also kept me in the Firefox corner, though day in and day out I have Chrome open for my Google business account stuff (considerable) and FF open with 200 plus tabs on an ongoing basis.

    Before I upgraded to 57 (and it is a great upgrade) I used a FF add on that checks my extensions. They all came up green. Sadly it turns out that they had nothing to do with running in the new 57 build. After I updated I found very few plugins and nothing anywhere near any functionality of TMP. That is extremely frustrating but the speed and smoothness of 57 cannot be denied .. it's amazing and far faster than when I use Chrome. It sure looks to be a helll of a great foundation.

    The weirdest part though is that FF now manages memory so well that a browser window with 1 tab is no faster (IMO) than one with 200 tabs, though I am sure a full startup load is slower. So the new FF gives users plenty of horsepower to use tabs to their maximum but a UI that seriously hampers working with all those tabs. It makes no sense to the target market. FF simply has to get the minimums of tab management back in the product. Multi rows is a basic. Also what's with the tabs being black? Really stupid on that count but a theme fixes that problem. The lack of any real tab options in the base build may indicate to me that it might be a while for the FF developers to even get the hooks in place for FF to accept these options like I love in TMP.

    I am waiting for TMP on 57 and above and staying with 57 for now. The performance is just too great to resist for the time being. I am using All Tabs Helper right now and using the dropdown list to manage tab switching and I'm expanding my browser to full screen sometimes too. I am using Foxy Tabs too. While these will never replace TMP I am getting by and enjoying amazing performance otherwise.

    • Anonymous November 16, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

      I'm considering buying a 4k monitor so that i have more space for my tabs. ;)

      Just kidding.

      @Mozilla: we need TMP back. Or, at least, let me have more rows of tabs without any extension, just natively.

  35. Ouroborus November 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    My response if I can't use Tab Mix Plus? Switch to Chrome. Multi-row tabs is literally the only thing keeping me on Firefox. As it stands, I'm staying with v56 until Mozilla enables this or it becomes clear they won't.

    • A different Martin November 16, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

      I'm almost afraid to say this, but Tab Mix Plus 0.5.0.4 with multi-row tabs works just fine in the latest version of -- I'm running into a sandbag-lined bunker right now -- Pale Moon (which got a minor update yesterday after the major one a few days earlier). Plus, with the Compact Moon Theme and the right tweaking in the Compact Moon Options extension, you can get a pretty decent number of pinned and unpinned tabs on a single row and have them remain quite legible. TMP 0.5.0.4 with multi-row tabs is also still working in Firefox ESR and will presumably continue to until Firefox ESR 52.x's end of life on 3 July 2018. I don't use Waterfox, but I'm guessing it probably still works just fine there, as well. (I'm sure a Waterfox user will let you know.)

      Before anyone jumps on me for mentioning Pale Moon, I just want to say that Firefox "Quantum" 57's speed and responsiveness seem very impressive.

  36. BH November 17, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    TMP is the only reason making me stay on FF. I am now going to try Vivaldi mentioned above, hope it working well.

    Never forget FF never ever works without add-ons. I can't understand why moving to 57 while less than 20% add-ons incompatible.

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