Firefox 57 gets "find a replacement" feature for unsupported extensions - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 57 gets "find a replacement" feature for unsupported extensions

Mozilla plans to add a feature to Firefox 57 which enables users to find replacements for extensions that are no longer supported by the browser.

The release of Firefox 57 will make major changes to the browser's add-on system. Legacy add-ons, those that are not WebExtensions, won't be supported anymore as Mozilla plans to focus solely on WebExtensions, a technology used by browsers such as Google Chrome as well.

One effect of the change is that part of Firefox's user base will end up with incompatible add-ons. That's a usability issue obviously as users will end up without functionality provided by these add-ons.

Note: Mozilla marks those add-ons as legacy in Firefox Nightly already. This will come to Firefox Stable as well in time as an indicator that these add-ons will stop working in Firefox 57.

Up until now it was not really clear if and how Mozilla wanted to address the issue. It appears, that the organization has found a way.

Find a replacement

addon alternatives

Mozilla plans to add a new unsupported listing to the add-ons manager. You can load the add-ons manager by entering about:addons directly, or with a click on the main Firefox menu button.

All extensions that are no longer compatible when the change hits the browser are moved to that section. This means, that they are not removed right away from Firefox either, but kept for the time being.

40% of Firefox users don't use add-ons according to a 2016 Mozilla study. Those won't notice the change at all.

Tip: Check out Top Firefox add-ons and their WebExtensions status for an overview of what is compatible already, and what is not. Also, find out which Chrome extensions will run in Firefox,

This is good for two reasons: first, because users may notice that the extensions are unsupported. This would not be the case if Mozilla would just delete the add-ons, as users would be left puzzling what happened to them.

Second, because it allows Mozilla to add the recommendation feature to the unsupported extensions listing.

The main idea of the feature is to suggest supported extensions -- read WebExtensions -- as alternatives to unsupported legacy add-ons.

All that users need to do is click on the "find a replacement" link, to get suggestions for comparable add-ons.

The feature is not live yet, but a click on the link will redirect the request to the Mozilla Add-ons website where replacements are then listed on a page.

A couple of things may happen when users click on the button:

  1. A WebExtensions alternative that replicates all, or most of the add-ons functionality is suggested.
  2. Suggestions match some functionality only.
  3. No alternatives are available because a) no one created one, or b) the APIs don't support it anymore.

You probably wonder how many extensions will remain compatible with Firefox. You can find that out here.

Closing Words

The cut that Mozilla makes in Firefox 57 impacts part of Firefox's user base. While there is no study about that, at least none that got published, I'd estimate that it will hurt veteran Firefox users more than it will hurt new users of the browser.

It is clear already that functionality that some legacy add-ons or themes provided won't be supported by WebExtensions, and that these add-ons or themes won't be available anymore, nor will any alternatives to those because of this.

The find a replacement feature will certainly help some users provided that it works correctly,  and that is a good thing. (via Sören)

Now You: What's the status of your add-ons currently?

Summary
Firefox 57 gets "find a replacement" feature for unsupported extensions
Article Name
Firefox 57 gets "find a replacement" feature for unsupported extensions
Description
Mozilla plans to add a feature to Firefox 57 which enables users to find replacements for extensions that are no longer supported by the browser.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo




  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

    Comments

    1. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 9:12 am
      Reply

      It is ever getting more embarrassing. Mozilla has truly forgotten who they are and where they come from.

      1. seventhree said on May 13, 2017 at 9:24 am
        Reply

        Congratulations for your Mozilla bashing. But your comment has really nothing to do with the article. It’s already decided what the situation will be with Firefox 57. The news here is the replacement feature. And that can’t hurt anyone. You don’t have to do your bashing on every article.

        1. T J said on May 13, 2017 at 11:27 am
          Reply

          Seconded seventhree. Let’s stick to objective comments about the article’s contents.

        2. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 11:37 am
          Reply

          It’s not “bashing”, really. I have been a Firefox user from day one and have seen the program turning into a non-functional software targeted at idiots step by step. Mozilla being stubborn about a course that will 100% lead to their demise should be criticized; as for myself I won’t accept this without commenting it. People like you, who are accepting the BS served to them, are the real problem. Mozilla is shiting on its users and some are still OK with it. Why?

        3. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm
          Reply

          @T J: Honestly, I did stay on-topic. With the release of Firefox some great add-ons won’t be possible anymore, and the users utilizing them will lose features. Furthermore they can’t be replaced because the APIs Mozilla offers are not sufficient for creating them. Finding alternatives won’t do a thing here. Hence why this move as questionable. I don’t get the reasoning behind it, plain and simple. The add-ons for which fully capable WebExtension alternatives could exist weren’t that functional to begin with and could have been ported, but were in most cases given up on. For real add-ons the feature described in the article won’t make anything better.

        4. www.com said on May 14, 2017 at 11:11 am
          Reply

          Thirds for seventhree

          Seriously @Appster, why Mozilla is making these changes has been discussed ad nauseam for the last few months already. It’s been beaten to death why many of these XPCOM and XUL extensions can’t be ported and if you can’t get it by now then you’re just complaining for the sake of complaining.

          This feature is only informational. It’s not hurting anyone except those who can’t accept the news it brings.

        5. Appster said on May 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm
          Reply

          @www.com: The real problem are users who gladly accept anything served to them, however worthless it may be. Mozilla is transforming Firefox into a carbon copy of Chrome, after all. I have already said multiple times that I believe Mozilla will go through with it. They have been treating the power users with ignorance for years – no surprise here. Yet when Mozilla is constantly shitting on me I also have the right to do the same on them. Moreover I want them to see that their plans are not wanted by a certain former target group of users. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Seriously, what’s the problem?

          And yet again, the feature described in the article is useless. Add-ons which deserve this name will be gone without suitable replacement anyway.

        6. www.com said on May 15, 2017 at 1:44 am
          Reply

          > @www.com: The real problem are users who gladly accept anything served to them, however worthless it may be

          I would agree with that in many other scenarios but not this one. Whether this informational feature is here or not changes nothing. If they didn’t do something like this, you’d probably complain about it, anyway.

          > Yet when Mozilla is constantly shitting on me I also have the right to do the same on them.

          Like they’re really gonna change because Appster says so. You sound almost as delusional as the Pale Moon folks.

          XPCOM and XUL are dying. It’s old technology. Deal with it. Accept it. They can’t support it indefinitely, forever & ever & ever. They’re giving people time to adjust. Looks like you can’t.

          > Moreover I want them to see that their plans are not wanted by a certain former target group of users. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

          The minute I feel FF doesn’t work for me anymore, I will look for an alternative. But I haven’t reached that point yet and plan to see how all this pans out. My loyalty has limits too, ya know.

          > Seriously, what’s the problem?

          Dunno. Sounds like your problem, not mine. You won’t find another browser out there that will even approach what you want, anyway. I hear all these threats about changing browsers. Then do it already. What’s the delay? Jeez. lol…

          > And yet again, the feature described in the article is useless.

          Not for people who are out of the loop and don’t know what’s going on and suddenly wake up one day and find their extensions don’t work anymore. They’ll get some sort of a heads heads up with this.

          > Add-ons which deserve this name will be gone without suitable replacement anyway.

          Well that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Oh well. I’ll be losing a couple of extensions too, but I don’t take it as *the end of the world my life desperately needs them and I can’t live without them*, either. Maybe you should look at it that way, too.

        7. Appster said on May 15, 2017 at 9:35 am
          Reply

          @www.com:

          > I would agree with that in many other scenarios but not this one. Whether this informational feature is here or not changes nothing. If they didn’t do something like this, you’d probably complain about it, anyway.

          You assuming I’m complaining just for the sake of complaining shows that you have not understood the problems Mozilla is creating. Describing negative developments is not complaining by the way.

          > Like they’re really gonna change because Appster says so. You sound almost as delusional as the Pale Moon folks.

          Read the post you replied to again where I did clearly state: “I have already said multiple times that I believe Mozilla will go through with it.” So this is just you flaming around. Yet as always the Mozilla fanboys hate on Pale Moon. It has its flaws and is facing problems, true, but at least they care about the general demands of their users. Can’t say the same about Mozilla anymore.

          > XPCOM and XUL are dying. It’s old technology. Deal with it. Accept it.

          But you realize that Firefox is still going to use XUL for years to come, right? All they are deprecating is support for add-ons which have full access to the browser core, limiting them to certain API-restricted sets. It shows that you have no clue what you are talking about. And it’s around for a long time, yes, but so are Windows, Android, iOS, LibreOffice, VLC… It’s all shit because it has been around for a long time, right?

          > They can’t support it indefinitely, forever & ever & ever. They’re giving people time to adjust. Looks like you can’t.

          You are quite mistaken. I am adjusting by switching to browsers which care about functionality instead of removing it. Vivaldi is a primary example. It’s the browser I use the most right now. Still better than what Firefox will be like when Firefox 57 is out.

          > You won’t find another browser out there that will even approach what you want, anyway. I hear all these threats about changing browsers. Then do it already.

          Vivaldi is there though. It’s not perfect but still better than what Firefox is going to be like. And believe me, Mozilla is going to lose a whole lot of users once more. They have a talent for pissing off the entire userbase. Have a look at their shrinking market share for more info.

          > Not for people who are out of the loop and don’t know what’s going on and suddenly wake up one day and find their extensions don’t work anymore. They’ll get some sort of a heads heads up with this.

          The type of users you are talking about are the same ones who have a video downloader and an AdBlocker installed. They will just switch to proper WebExtension alternatives quickly, but will mostly not even have to, because these add-ons will get ported anyway. Still useless for about anyone else.

          > Oh well. I’ll be losing a couple of extensions too, but I don’t take it as *the end of the world my life desperately needs them and I can’t live without them*, either.

          Me neither. So what? I’m just not cheerful about it.

          > Maybe you should look at it that way, too.

          Your “way” is just accepting everything Mozilla comes up with. That is, brand loyalty just for the sake of it. At least it appears to be.

        8. NiLSPACE said on May 15, 2017 at 10:20 am
          Reply

          @Appster
          > But you realize that Firefox is still going to use XUL for years to come, right?

          By deprecating XUL add-ons they can finally start working on the internals. People say by deprecating XUL add-ons Firefox will turn into a slow Chrome clone, but they’re doing this so they can finally make Firefox perform properly in the modern world.

          Even without XUL Firefox is still one of the most customizable browsers out there. And if that doesn’t interest you Firefox is pretty much the only major browser that actually respects your privacy. Even if Firefox were a little slower I wouldn’t use Chrome as my daily driver.

        9. Kokenda said on May 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm
          Reply

          Point is, Mozilla is removing features from power users.

          This is nothing about speed or security. This is to make the users come back to Firefox who once switched to Chrome. And also to make Chrome users in general switch.

          This is in the first place a shift of concept – from a customizable browser towards a simple minimalist browser. The basic concept was introduced with Australis.

          This what is upcoming, is finishing this transformation.

          A betrayal which sucks. When simple users are deciding in which way technology is advancing, we are all doomed.

          Disgusting…. And Mozilla has become a total sellout-team !

          Anyway, even with XUL Firefox was fast enough. So, basically all customization features are removed because people only care for speed today. I miss the times when functionality, choice and features have been the primary focus – because with all the social networking and Web2.0 focused people today around who demand their software to be “cute, shiny, simple and fast” we have stupidity instead of intelligence because lazyness is always more preferred instead of having the brain a bit challenged.

          Pure idiocy… Mozilla has crossed a moral border which never should be crossed.. betraying the users who made them someone for users who are ignorant and calling everything which is beyond stock features bloat.

        10. www.com said on May 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm
          Reply

          @Appster:

          > You assuming I’m complaining just for the sake of complaining shows that you have not understood the problems Mozilla is creating. Describing negative developments is not complaining by the way.

          Yes, I am assuming that. You are complaining for the sake of complaining and nothing you have said so far has changed my view on that.

          > Read the post you replied to again where I did clearly state: “I have already said multiple times that I believe Mozilla will go through with it.” So this is just you flaming around.

          Then what’s your point besides whining about things you can’t change?

          The best thing is to move on to Chrome or Edge and let them spy on you all the time, because that’s what those other browsers do. Or put all your marbles in Vivaldi and see if it turns into the superstar that you predict. Otherwise you’ll just have to compromise and accept Mozilla’s changes or else…

          > Yet as always the Mozilla fanboys hate on Pale Moon. It has its flaws and is facing problems, true, but at least they care about the general demands of their users.

          Probably because their acolytes come on here and are arrogant about it, that’s why. They think the web should bend towards them and not the other way around. A lost cause that will never happen.

          > But you realize that Firefox is still going to use XUL for years to come, right? All they are deprecating is support for add-ons which have full access to the browser core, limiting them to certain API-restricted sets.

          Well you just said it yourself. Look up the word “deprecating” if you want to know what you’re talking about.

          It’s old tech and they’re phasing it out, and were talking about add-ons here, which is what you’re so concerned with.

          > It’s all shit because it has been around for a long time, right?

          Yeah well I don’t like *all change* either. And?

          > You are quite mistaken. I am adjusting by switching to browsers which care about functionality instead of removing it. Vivaldi is a primary example. It’s the browser I use the most right now. Still better than what Firefox will be like when Firefox 57 is out.

          I don’t think you’re going to get the customization you had in Firefox with Vivaldi. And you haven’t even used FF 57 since it hasn’t come out yet, so you don’t know what you’re talking about 6 months ahead of time. The final product isn’t even here and it’s already doom & gloom.

          > Vivaldi is there though. It’s not perfect but still better than what Firefox is going to be like.

          You must keep that crystal ball shined pretty well

          > And believe me, Mozilla is going to lose a whole lot of users once more. They have a talent for pissing off the entire userbase. Have a look at their shrinking market share for more info.

          Well then let the chips fall where they may. They’re dammed if they do. Dammed if they don’t

          > The type of users you are talking about are the same ones who have a video downloader and an AdBlocker installed. They will just switch to proper WebExtension alternatives quickly, but will mostly not even have to, because these add-ons will get ported anyway. Still useless for about anyone else.

          Well that’s “anyone else’s” problem, now isn’t it. Most FF users out there don’t give a sh!t about extensions, anyway.

          > Me neither. So what? I’m just not cheerful about it.

          And? Want a tissue?

          > Your “way” is just accepting everything Mozilla comes up with. That is, brand loyalty just for the sake of it. At least it appears to be.

          Well, they don’t seem to be listening to you, now do they? I’m not thrilled about some of the changes either and I will complain about it as they come up and something gets in my way. Users will certainly get better feedback than they would with Chrome once they run into current issues instead of waxing nostalgically about the past all the time.

        11. a said on December 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm
          Reply

          “find a replacement” find nothing !

      2. HK-Rapper said on May 13, 2017 at 9:46 am
        Reply

        Yeah Mozilla does not comprehend that you cannot replace an addon if the custom functions cannot access the previously working components anymore. Just like how a prosthesis will never restore all the functions of a real hand.

        At least we don’t have to care about the death of XPCOM and XUL until Firefox ESR gets a major update. I’m sure I will continue using Firefox, but 80% of my addons will cease to exist.

        Hope they will at least always stay true to their privacy ideals, that is _literally_ the only thing that makes Firefox special now with the current course headed.

        1. S said on May 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm
          Reply

          It sounds more like a wooden hand instead of a real prosthesis, with the soon to be removed extensions you can do almost everything it may be hard it may broke from time to time but with hard work you can make things work.

          How about webextenisons… well Yes, it’s easier to write web-extensions but from time to time you will find something you wanted to do but the current api doesn’t expose, that’s a motivation killer for me, I’ve currently one modest add-on on AMO that uses the sdk and a little bit of xul, it can be ported losing just a little bit of its current essence but still i don’t feel like crippling it, and it’s also making impossible some features that i wanted to add to the extension.

          When this web-extensions debacle started i tried to port my extension but as soon as i realized that some of the features will not be possible anymore i stopped and waited some time for web-extensions to mature, some apis are already suggested but their status is uncertain so probably are not gonna be ready for 57.x or even be resolved as wontfix, so now instead of working on the addon i have to just wait for mozilla to decide if they want to add those apis to firefox, no fun on making addons anymore :(

          PS. sorry for my broken english

        2. S said on May 19, 2017 at 6:33 pm
          Reply

          It sounds more like a wooden hand instead of a real prosthesis, with the soon to be removed extensions you can do almost everything it may be hard it may broke from time to time but with hard work you can make things work.

          How about webextenisons… well Yes, it’s easier to write web-extensions but from time to time you will find something you wanted to do but the current api doesn’t expose, that’s a motivation killer for me, I’ve currently one modest add-on on AMO that uses the sdk and a little bit of xul, it can be ported losing just a little bit of its current essence but still i don’t feel like crippling it, and it’s also making impossible some features that i wanted to add to the extension.

          When this web-extensions debacle started i tried to port my extension but as soon as i realized that some of the features will not be possible anymore i stopped and waited some time for web-extensions to mature, some apis are already suggested but their status is uncertain so probably are not gonna be ready for 57.x or even be resolved as wontfix, so now instead of working on the addon i have to just wait for mozilla to decide if they want to add those apis to firefox, no fun on making addons anymore :(

          P.S. Sorry for my English

        3. George said on May 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm
          Reply

          @S, don’t worry, the Mozilla experts here will soon convince you that yes, your extension is now useless but it will definitely be modern and forward-looking.

      3. Kie said on August 28, 2017 at 6:10 pm
        Reply

        Totally right, Mozilla are giving their biggest proponents the finger, they are throwing away the very thing that made Firefox unique and worth using. I certainly won’t be using 57, it’s the final straw, 57 will completely break my browser and my willingness to support Firefox. This is going to be a massive pain in the neck, I’ll either have to revert to the long term version or more likely find a fork that stays XUL. No way am I installing 57, I already checked to make sure it won’t update automatically.

      4. davina said on September 6, 2017 at 8:44 pm
        Reply

        Long time user. Firefox now unusable/dead.
        Any body seen any, open source user orientated alternatives?

        1. George said on September 7, 2017 at 10:39 am
          Reply

          Yes, Pale Moon (they even do polls for users to decide about certain features). Others here also use Waterfox.

      5. Kenji Kurokawa said on November 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm
        Reply

        Most of my addons wont work nor can I find a replacement at this time so I am done with FireFox. I supported FireFox since its creation but now its just a Chrome clone. If I preferred Chrome I would be using Chrome. It seems like the Mozilla people are saying “Since everyone likes Chrome we are making FireFox just like it. I don’t want to use Firefox anymore.

      6. dpw said on November 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm
        Reply

        absolutely … Firefox was useful, even preferable ONLY because of the flexibility it gave users to improve its look/usability, and to cure bad decisions made at Mozilla with better tools and interfaces. Mozilla have jettisoned the one reasonanyone had to be loyal to the browser.

    2. Ben said on May 13, 2017 at 10:47 am
      Reply

      > 40% of Firefox users don’t use add-ons according to a 2016 Mozilla study. Those won’t notice the change at all.
      And how was this measured?
      For example if they use telemetry data the number would certainly be wrong as “power users” (or not total beginners) that use addons would also have telemetry – and other stuff – disabled.

      1. zero said on May 13, 2017 at 11:32 am
        Reply

        Yeah well, maybe if you had telemetry enabled, Mozilla would know that there are a lot of users who still use XUL addons and want to continue to use them :)

      2. dmacleo said on May 13, 2017 at 6:20 pm
        Reply

        just an opinion but I have FF with no extensions deployed on 6 servers. it is used for the very few times a web based admin console/etc is needed. wonder if that inflates that 40% figure?

    3. Nebulus said on May 13, 2017 at 11:09 am
      Reply

      This is called “adding insult to injury”.

    4. Nebulus said on May 13, 2017 at 11:10 am
      Reply

      This is called “adding insult to injury”.

      1. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 11:55 am
        Reply

        +1 Exactly!

      2. www.com said on May 14, 2017 at 11:13 am
        Reply

        Yeah well don’t take it so personal. They don’t know you from Adam.

        They could have left this feature out and let others (who are oblivious to this discussion) fumble around for themselves.

    5. Tom Hawack said on May 13, 2017 at 11:33 am
      Reply

      I consider this Firefox 57 “find a replacement” feature as a mark of respect for the “veterans” because, basically, it is only them who are concerned and that this feature appears more as a helping hand than as an insulting finger.

      I am of those Firefox “veterans”, as many of us here. When you get the feeling you’re being pushed and then turn around to see who’s pushing you, well, if you meet a smile it certainly makes you feel that push differently. Psychology as always has a lot to do with the way we perceive changes in life. It won’t make non-upgradable add-ons come back but Mozilla’s initiative will, IMO, put some oil in the mechanics.

      1. MarkE said on May 13, 2017 at 4:46 pm
        Reply

        Honestly for me this is more like “…insulting finger than helping hand. We (Mozilla devs) are blocking all addons used by you, and here you have other. And now you can f yourself, suport us and be happy thoughtless mozillan.”

        They are takeing care about 40% of user which are not using addons. What about those 60% wich are using! For them mozilla devs have only one answer: Wont fix, not going to happen.

      2. Jean said on May 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm
        Reply

        I agree that it’s about respect. For a software company to be respectable they have to, as they introduce a breaking change, make several moves that alleviate pain points.

        Breaking changes occur in all software by the way, even commercial ones that make customers pay thousands a year.

    6. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 11:41 am
      Reply

      Tom, it’s certainly not a sign of respect. It’s more a sign of derision and arrogance. It basically represents the following mindset: Look, we are going through with it. Here you have the castrated alternatives. Accept it or go away. HOW CAN PEOPLE SEE SOMETHING POSITIVE IN THIS MOVE? They are mocking the power users, with some people not even noticing it.

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm
        Reply

        @Appster, maybe you remember that I once wrote that I almost always agreed with your analysis?
        Almost!

        What I see as positive is that Mozilla doesn’t have to initiate this “find a replacement” feature if we believe their strategy is arrogant and pitiless, and if we dare imagine their strategy is not arrogant and pitiless then this move confirms it.

        Generally speaking I appreciate when a position of domination doesn’t include arrogance. It may then very well be either basic communication philosophy, Roman/Anglo-Saxon behavior towards the dominated (both relevant of intelligence, IMO) or … or the expression of a brotherhood feeling :)

        Listen : I’m not aware of all the parameters which orient a company. I just don’t know. What I do know is what bothers me but I hesitate to bring up and/or participate to a bashing based on the simple fact that the user is bothered with the company’s new orientations.

        I’ve certainly took my part in moaning (even in yelling!) against the impact of Firefox modifications on my use of the browser, then I started anticipating on what would be the browser (think FF57), and I ended with a sermon on Mozilla, that goood guy becoming a bad one. As I see it now, the only reality I’m entitled to proclaim is my bother here and now if/when modifications hit Firefox in a way I don’t like. After that, IMO, pure speculation, as far as i’m concerned.

        1. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm
          Reply

          @Tom Hawack: Honestly, I don’t think that Firefox has a right to exist anymore with the release of Firefox 57. Customization in all its expressions was always the main selling point of Firefox. With the release of Firefox 57 they throw a good deal of what made the successful in the first place out of the window. Mozilla’s goal today is making the browser as simple as possible in order to appeal to the crowd of casual users out there, as well as to preserve corporate identity by not letting the users change Firefox’s appearance too much. Other people are meant to recognize Firefox immediately when they see it, as it always was the case with Internet Explorer and Chrome before. Customization is running contrary to this goal.

          For the really advanced Firefox add-ons (such as CTR, Tab Mix Plus, Tree Style Tab, Tab Groups, DownThemAll! etc.) there will be no comparable alternatives, which is why I don’t understand the reasoning behind this move at all. Things like uBlock Origin or YouTube downloaders – both of which could exist as WebExtensions without losing features – will be updated anyway. The only case in which a search for alternatives would make sense is simple extensions which were given up long ago, yet could be easily replaced. But for the actual, advanced extensions which deserve the name there will be no replacement.

          The casual users will most likely only notice the theme change that comes with Firefox 57, but will otherwise be content with it. Most people really only need an Adblocker. I don’t know if Photon will receive much love though, since people don’t like constant changes to their workflow just for the sake of it. The secret behind Chrome’s and IE’s success (besides having some major corporations behind them) is stability when it comes to the user interface. IE’s last major overhaul was IE9, Chrome has never seen much change to the user interface. Mozilla keeps changing every few years for no apparent reason, losing users everytime. Now the add-ons also jump the shark. This won’t end well for them. How could it?

        2. Clairvaux said on May 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm
          Reply

          “Mozilla’s goal today is making the browser as simple as possible in order to appeal to the crowd of casual users out there, as well as to preserve corporate identity by not letting the users change Firefox’s appearance too much.”

          I don’t believe in this. Allowing many add-ons does not make the browser more complex for those who don’t want them. And corporate identity cannot be a motive : even admitting Mozilla would be distraught by the idea of its browser being disfigured by over-enthusiastic add-on collectors (an extraordinary and unsupported claim to begin with), who, apart from the collector himself, sees such a modified piece of software ?

          After all, the aim of maintaing a corporate identity through looks is to have customers adopt the product. This hypothetical add-on guzzler uses and loves the product, so that’s mission accomplished, isn’t it ? And he does not wear it on his head when strolling the streets, so how could Mozilla care ?

        3. foolishgrunt said on May 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm
          Reply

          ” I don’t think that Firefox has a right to exist anymore with the release of Firefox 57″

          I have a feeling we might get along in person, bu hysterical statements like this make it really hard for me to take you seriously over the internet.

        4. Appster said on May 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm
          Reply

          @Clairvaux: There are multiple occasions at which people could see the interface. Reviews, public presentations, in the working space, at the PCs of family members, students during lectures etc. And Mozilla wants to preserve corporate identity in these scenarios. They hope that the fresh look combined with their stance towards customization will make them successful. They believe the simple users to be of key importance. I don’t think so. There are already some browsers for these users (Chrome, IE, Edge, Safari, Opera…) and on top of it power users are the ones spreading the word. Firefox currently loses its main selling point.

          @foolishgrunt: OK, this might be exaggerated. It could continue to exist. But why? It is slower than Chrome, it is not more customizable starting with Firefox 57… The one thing that remains is privacy. However, many people obviously don’t care about privacy, so it’s not a strong selling point (Firefox market share keeps going down…). By the way, there are browsers which are more private than Firefox, e.g. Pale Moon and certain privacy-oriented Chromium variants. The point I wanted to make is Firefox losing its main selling point, which is barely deniable.

        5. www.com said on May 14, 2017 at 11:18 am
          Reply

          > @foolishgrunt: OK, this might be exaggerated.

          @Appster, well who are you to say something ridiculous like that? Even as a big critic of Pale Moon, I have never said anything about them like that before.

          Talk about arrogance…

        6. Appster said on May 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm
          Reply

          @www.com: Why all the ad hominem stuff? It wasn’t me who destroyed Firefox. If you believe Firefox 57 still has a right to exist based on actual features, feel free to post some of them! I’m looking forward to you presenting facts instead of performing fanboy-like ad hominem stuff. Stating most obvious facts does not equal arrogance by the way.

        7. www.com said on May 15, 2017 at 2:55 am
          Reply

          > It wasn’t me who destroyed Firefox.

          Who says it’s destroyed? More silly hyperbole again?

          > If you believe Firefox 57 still has a right to exist based on actual features, feel free to post some of them!

          I think Martin has done plenty of that in the past already.

          > Stating most obvious facts does not equal arrogance by the way.

          Stating they don’t have any right to exist because you don’t like them anymore, is.

        8. Appster said on May 15, 2017 at 9:44 am
          Reply

          @www.com:

          > Who says it’s destroyed? More silly hyperbole again?

          Firefox was all about promoting the open web, extensibility, and privacy. By gutting extensions, including DRM, and hijacking privacy by allowing Google supercookies and spyware like Pocket in it is indeed by all means destroyed. By the way, destruction can be either a one time event or a slow-moving process. It’s the latter in Mozilla’s case. I wish it was hyperbole, but sadly it isn’t.

          > I think Martin has done plenty of that in the past already.

          Don’t hide behind Martin. I’ve asked you to present me some reasons why you believe Firefox should still exist starting with ver. 57. As for myself I can barely see any feature which would still distinguish them from Chrome.

          > Stating they don’t have any right to exist because you don’t like them anymore, is.

          Seriously, I don’t have feelings for some random lines of code. So it’s not about “like” or “dislike”! Firefox losing what once made it unique is objectively true. The conclusion is close to zero emancipation from the competitors, which leads to the question whether or not its existence is worth it anymore. Logic.

        9. www.com said on May 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm
          Reply

          @Appster

          > Firefox was all about promoting the open web, extensibility, and privacy. By gutting extensions, including DRM, and hijacking privacy by allowing Google supercookies and spyware like Pocket in it is indeed by all means destroyed.

          Those can be modified and disabled. And when they can’t, then I will join you in complaining about them.

          > By the way, destruction can be either a one time event or a slow-moving process. It’s the latter in Mozilla’s case. I wish it was hyperbole, but sadly it isn’t.

          Well ya know, I don’t believe in crystal balls. I’m believing in seeing how the final version turns out and letting the chips fall where they may.

          And if they fall where I don’t want them to, then I’ll move on to something else. But not before then.

          > Don’t hide behind Martin.

          Don’t have to. The change is inevitable. Deal with it. Accept it. You are always free to go somewhere else.

          I’m not here to change your mind. I’m here only to point out how hysterically ridiculous some of you all sound. Especially over something that hasn’t even been released yet.

          > Seriously, I don’t have feelings for some random lines of code. So it’s not about “like” or “dislike”! Firefox losing what once made it unique is objectively true. The conclusion is close to zero emancipation from the competitors, which leads to the question whether or not its existence is worth it anymore. Logic.

          You stated that they don’t have any “right to exist” and there’s nothing logical about that.

          Sugar coat that all you want to, that was my main purpose as to why I’m responding to you in the first place.

    7. mike said on May 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm
      Reply

      Find a replacement browser?

      Don’t mind if I do…

      1. mike said on May 13, 2017 at 7:08 pm
        Reply

        Are there two mike’s on here Martin?
        The above isn’t me, can anyone use the same name as someone else?

        1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 14, 2017 at 7:18 am
          Reply

          Mike, since there is no registration, yes, anyone can pick any user name.

        2. Tom Hawack said on May 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm
          Reply

          My name is Hawack, Tom Hawack. But you can call me Mike :)

    8. Robert G. said on May 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
      Reply

      For me, the Add-ons are the beauty of Firefox, without them, Firefox is an ordinary browser like Internet Explorer and Edge.

    9. Jeff-FL said on May 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm
      Reply

      I found a replacement … for Firefox.

    10. Norm said on May 13, 2017 at 5:13 pm
      Reply

      I agree with Tom, I take this as a (small) sign of good will.

    11. P said on May 13, 2017 at 5:52 pm
      Reply

      Its the ms, apple approach. Insult a significant portion of your base by giving them everything they don’t need/want.

    12. Clairvaux said on May 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm
      Reply

      That’s a welcome feature.

      Re : the 40 % of users who don’t have add-ons. Such figures are often used by Mozilla-ists to support the argument that add-on whiners are not representative. Well, 60 % of users having add-ons… that seems like a YUGE proportion to me…

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 13, 2017 at 6:14 pm
        Reply

        True, but among those 60% of users who do use add-ons I’d be curious to discover the pie’s percentages according to the number of add-ons. I mean the counter-add-on tsunami is more likely to hit an elephant than an ant, and if you have 1 add-on or 70 as myself (my collection is YUGE!) the impact is likely to be different…. except if that very one and only add-on is the love of your life (in terms of browsing tools!) : poor fellow then, only one add-on and it happens that this very one will vanish with FF57 : tough :) (In French : “dur, dur!”)

      2. vuxx777 said on May 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm
        Reply

        @Clairvaux
        when migrating to Webkit/Blink Opera staff were saying that 90% of Opera users never used bookmarks ๏̯͡๏
        so they killed the feature (cripple it and pushed into speed dial)

        but eventually they brought it back
        …go figure

        1. Clairvaux said on May 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm
          Reply

          Now I understand why I was so flabbergasted when installing the (then) new generation of Opera, after years of faithful use of the “classic” version. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that they had… completely omitted the bookmarks. A bit like coming across a pretty girl who would have forgotten to put on her pants and knickers — only less nice.

          When they restored bookmarks, they put back a severely crippled version, with very basic features completely lacking. That’s when I quit Opera for good. Pretty and fast, sure, but useless.

          I suppose this is a trend. People behave more and more like sheep. Rely on Google to get where you want, instead of building up a slowly curated list of bookmarks over the years, tailored to your needs. Embrace whatever the latest cloud “service” tells you to do, instead of crafting your own set of software tools on your desktop. Novelty. Change. Hope and change.

    13. dmacleo said on May 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm
      Reply

      find a replacement
      *************************
      already did.
      waterfox been flawless for me.
      not saying its for everyone but for me it works.
      multiple win 10, win7 and linux mint installs

    14. OHS said on May 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm
      Reply

      Mozilla is between a rock and a hard place. The current XUL system is far too powerful, and is a major security hazard. So from a security perspective, what they are doing is the right way to go. Unfortunately, the XUL stuff is also what makes Firefox such an unique browser. Once that is gone, Firefox will be just another run of the mill browser, with perhaps a few UI tweaks to distinguish it from the others. It’s a lose-lose situation for them. Damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

      1. George said on May 14, 2017 at 9:50 am
        Reply

        “Major security hazard”? A bit exaggerated perhaps – actual proof for this? Sounds a lot like when Microsoft wanted to replace Gadgets with Apps, so they just played the same “security” card – on their own product, which obviously was super-safe up until that moment.

        1. OHS said on May 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm
          Reply

          There is no exaggeration. There’s only a fact.

          “Firefox add-ons aren’t restricted to a limited API for manipulating Web content and parts of the browser. Add-ons can use, manipulate, or even replace just about any aspect of Firefox internals.”

          https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/04/15/the-case-for-extension-signing/

      2. George said on May 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm
        Reply

        @OHS, are you actually using a Mozilla article as a serious argument to prove that what… Mozilla claims about “dangerous XUL” is correct? This must be a joke.

        1. OHS said on May 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm
          Reply

          I don’t need to prove anything. It’s common knowledge among developers. But of course, if you need to see it with your own eyes to believe it, the Firefox sourcecode is right there, and so is all the documentation for writing addons. There are test cases, etc. You can disagree with it all you want, the facts won’t change.

    15. George said on May 13, 2017 at 11:52 pm
      Reply

      This is most probably going to backfire, when users begin finding out the “replacements” are not quite what they expected…

    16. ChromeFox said on May 14, 2017 at 1:52 am
      Reply

      Just a few more weeks to go, everyone’s gonna openly embrace the new ChromeFox. Google welcomes it’s new clone while they celebrate their joyous victory of chromified domination.

    17. IPnonymous said on May 15, 2017 at 8:51 pm
      Reply

      Browsers are designed for the user, by those who know better than the users themselves how said users will approach the experience of web browsing.
      The only way to express yourself is to support the change by using the browser or to not support the change by not using the browser since that is the only voice they hear.
      Same with windows, apple, democrats and republicans, empower third parties to be re-allowed to partake in open debates. I digress….

    18. kubrick said on May 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm
      Reply

      Personally i feel this discussion is premature at this moment in time as this is all hearsay and ill founded predictions.
      Lets just wait until the transition actually occurs and then we will see what effects these changes will have first hand.

      1. Kie said on August 28, 2017 at 6:18 pm
        Reply

        It’s little over a month until 57 and 90% of my extensions are ‘legacy’, most important to me is classic theme restorer which fixed Mozilla’s previous mistake, but now they’ve made it so the mistake can’t be fixed (australis). So I’ll be leaving, this is one f-you too many.

    19. guessi said on August 1, 2017 at 7:52 am
      Reply

      Mozilla devs are out of touch. I was searching some info about my addon and a life with ff 57+, here some things they wrote:

      * the changing of the UI in Firefox without a user action (something we’ve avoided as much as possible)
      Sure, because a user doesn’t know how vertical tabs and toolbar will change his UI. And so you will see a windows header for an addon.

      * the jank and resizing that occurs each time the sidebar is opened
      And thats why they made it so you will HAVE TO resize it manually every single start.

      * given that only one sidebar can be open at a time, the ability of add-ons to “fight” over the sidebar is a concern
      Sure, users are so dense they won’t know what hit them. At no point in time user that would have want to switch extension would … you know… disable a similar one.

    20. guessi said on August 1, 2017 at 8:01 am
      Reply

      FF was good because of customazibility, freedom if you like, and it didn’t consume as much ram as Chrome. Speedwise it was behind Chrome. Nowadays it will be around Chrome level of eating ram and just as customizable and is still slower than it. So it lost any appeal to it. Unfortunately there is no real replacement, addon creaters won’t switch to some forked FF and most users won’t even know about it.

      So this is the end, the war is over, everybody lost.

      1. Kie said on August 28, 2017 at 6:16 pm
        Reply

        Firefox isn’t fast enough? I’ve never had any problems with Firefox speed, Chrome is no better – I use Chrome and Firefox and Slimjet. Chrome crashes regularly, Slimjet appears to be quicker. f**k57

    21. guessi said on August 1, 2017 at 8:13 am
      Reply

      Correction:
      I was searching some info about addons i use.

    22. jag said on August 29, 2017 at 4:18 pm
      Reply

      Where can I find the article titled “Find a replacement for unsupportive browser”? Thank you.

    23. 1n1r2 said on September 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm
      Reply

      Long time firefox user; uninstalling immediately because of unsupported plugins and performance. Willing to accept a one-time effort to migrate my firefox settings to chrome.

      – gmail performance is awful on firefox … I’ve tried to discover the reason with Windows 10 performance tools.
      Chrome gmail support remains stable.

      – Acrobat plugin used to work until I had to reinstall Acrobat.
      Now it fails; no hope for a replacement; without it, firefox is no longer usable for me.
      Adobe install of Acrobat XI includes the extension for Chrome.

      – This is a terrible way to notify users that extensions no longer work.
      I am not interested in following firefox internal squabbles
      and I don’t want to introduce problems in my workflow by using experimental developer builds.

      I attempted to find an old version of firefox to install, and turn off automatic updates.
      The Adobe extension for firefox is required to render some sites correctly in a PDF.

      Anyone know where I can find an older firefox version that supports legacy acrobat extension?

      Anyone writing a legacy-to-WebExtensions shim to keep these commercial extensions working?

      1. George said on September 7, 2017 at 10:34 am
        Reply

        About Gmail on Firefox and Chrome, Google is making it easier on Chrome because you know, they own both. This is not something to applaud Google for, it’s pure discrimination. All websites should be equally compatible and working in all browsers.

        I would forget and uninstall Acrobat, try PDF-XChange Editor: https://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor

        1. 1N1R2 said on September 8, 2017 at 2:39 am
          Reply

          @George: Thanks for that link. I tried XChange a few years ago and am retesting latest release.

          PDF-XChange has improved but does not produce results equivalent to Acrobat.
          I’ll provide a complete report after I complete my discussion with tech support.

          So far:
          XChange Lite printer: will work with any application. Adobe printer will too.
          – XChange produces real PDF links to url references; Adobe printer does not
          – You can navigate those captured web links from the PDF,
          but can’t “append to current PDF” with that link

          244,687 bytes: Acrobat browser extension PDF
          1,455,745 bytes: XChange Lite printer pdf size for same URL

          Acrobat is capturing text and links; XChange is capturing images.
          The XChange PDF is not text searchable by Acrobat.
          Using Acrobat to “recognize text” thru OCR increases the size of the XChange PDF,
          and decreases the readability of the captured text.

          Links are clickable in the XChange pdf when viewed with XChange Editor.
          They are not active when viewed with Acrobat XI or Acrobat DC Reader
          In Acrobat, you can view links in a browser … or append the linked page
          to the current PDF.

          … continuing to investigate. In spite of Acrobat’s many deficiencies in web
          capture, the Acrobat PDF is smaller and more useful for research.

    24. MartinC said on October 11, 2017 at 11:42 am
      Reply

      This is sad for a long term user like me, who started using Mosaic as my first browser, which after some time became Netscape which in turn and based on its open sourced version became Firefox. I even remained faithful to the product during the dreadful years of Netscape 6 and 7. 23 Years of loyalty!

      All what made Netscape/Firefox unique is now finally gone.

      And if I’m going to use web extensions I see no reason not to use other browser, which at the moment turns out to be Chromium, may be Vivaldi.

      Farewell Mozilla, it was nice as it lasted. Now it’s over.

      Martin

    25. pjcamp said on November 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm
      Reply

      Would be nice if I could run this BEFORE upgrading to 57.

      1. MrL0g1c said on November 14, 2017 at 9:45 pm
        Reply

        Ditching XUL extensions was too early, they should have given all legacy extensions a field which contained the details of the Web Extension upgrade and upgraded it automatically or pointed to WIP details. Also they should have either waited or they should have made FF v56 the ESR.

        And they should have a clear road-map to making Firefox as powerfully versatile with WEB extensions as it was with XUL extensions, this would give Firefox a customisable edge over other web extension browsers, after all people like Firefox because it is/was so customisable.

    26. dale said on November 16, 2017 at 12:56 am
      Reply

      where are the damn favorites? How do you manuver in this? I hate tiles. FF has been my favorite for 20 years. wtf happened to it?

    27. Kenji Kurokawa said on November 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm
      Reply

      Enough of my addons wont work an so far I haven’t found an update. That was the main reason I used FireFox. FIreFox is so much like a Chrome clone now I see no reason to have FireFox installed. It was fun while it lasted but its time to say goodby to FireFox and jump on the Chrome bandwagon.

      bye bye FireFox

    28. KRL said on November 20, 2017 at 8:53 pm
      Reply

      Here’s How To Run FIrefox 56 alongside Firefox 57

      With so many long time Firefox users not happy having to see so many of their legacy addons no longer compatible with the new Firefox 57 Quantum upgrade, here’s a simple solution so you can have the best of both the old and the new Firefox.

      • First be sure to make a backup copy of your existing FF 56 installation folder located in Windows 10 at:

      C: \Users\ [username]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla

      • Next create a new top level local folder on your C:\ drive and call it Firefox 57 Portable (or any name so you remember this is the PORTABLE location.) DON’T put this new folder in or near the existing Firefox folder.

      • Next download Firefox 57 Quantum Portable from PortableApps.com and save it to your new Firefox Portable folder >>

      HERE IS THE DOWNLOAD LINK FOR FF 57 PORTABLE: https://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable

      • CLOSE YOUR FIREFOX 56 BROWSER NOW

      • Next click and run the FF 57 PORTABLE .exe file and it will install in your newly created portable version folder in a sub-folder labeled \FirefoxPortable

      • Open your Windows File Explorer and click into the new sub-folder to this file location:
      \FirefoxPortable\Other\Source\ and with your mouse RIGHT CLICK ON the file FirefoxPortable.ini and select COPY from the menu.

      • Next go back up to the directory \FirefoxPortable\ and RIGHT CLICK and select PASTE from the menu.

      • Next click on that file you just pasted FirefoxPortable.ini and it will open in Windows Notepad and you should see this:

      [FirefoxPortable]
      FirefoxDirectory=App\firefox
      ProfileDirectory=Data\profile
      SettingsDirectory=Data\settings
      PluginsDirectory=Data\plugins
      FirefoxExecutable=firefox.exe
      AdditionalParameters=
      LocalHomepage=
      DisableSplashScreen=false
      AllowMultipleInstances=false
      DisableIntelligentStart=false
      SkipCompregFix=false
      RunLocally=false

      # The above options are explained in the included readme.txt
      # This INI file is an example only and is not used unless it is placed as described in the included readme.txt

      • Go to line 10 that says AllowMultipleInstances=false and type and replace the word “false” and change it to “true”

      • Next click File in the top menu bar of Notepad and click SAVE

      • Now you should be seeing in your File Explorer view this:

      (folder icon) App
      (folder icon) Data
      (folder icon) Other
      FIrefoxPortable.exe
      FirefoxPortable.ini
      help.html

      • Now place your mouse over the file FirefoxPortable.exe and from the Right Click Menu select “Create shortcut” and a shorcut file will appear. You should rename the shortcut to Firefox Portable so you know that is the Firefox 57 Portable.

      • Now Cut and Paste that shortcut and move it to your Windows Desktop.

      • Finally open and close your old Firefox 56 to check to be sure everything looks the same there.

      • Now open the new Firefox 57 Quantum and check that out.

      • You can now safely run either FF 56 with all your addons or FF 57 Portable AND ALSO YOU CAN RUN BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!

      ENJOY!!

      FOR BOOKMARKS TRANSFER

      • You can make a backup of your FF 56 Bookmarks and then in FF 57 do a Bookmarks Restore and use that 56 backup for the restore.

      In your FF 56 Menu Bar select Bookmarks then select SHOW ALL BOOKMARKS and then from Import and Backup select Backup and name and save the backup so you can find it again. In your FF 57 Portable do the same thing and select RESTORE and use that saved FF 56 backup .json file and that will transfer all your bookmarks to FF 57 Portable.

      1. Clairvaux said on November 20, 2017 at 9:45 pm
        Reply

        Just nitpicking here, but so as to avoid misunderstandings :

        “First be sure to make a backup copy of your existing FF 56 installation folder located in Windows 10 at:
        C: \Users\ [username]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla”

        What Mozilla puts in the AppData folder is not the installation folder ; it’s the profiles folder. The user data, so to speak. The installation folder is where the Firefox executable is, together with all the other files that make up the program.

        This would be, by default, in C:\ProgramFiles or C:\ProgramFiles (x86), depending on your bitness.

        1. Anonymous said on November 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm
          Reply

          Hi Clairvaux,

          Yes you are correct. I was referrencing the Installation folder location for the default profile.

    Leave a Reply