Back in March 2017 and April 2017 we published two articles about Firefox add-ons and the progress that was made towards WebExtensions compatibility.
This article is a follow up to those previous articles. It analyzes the situation in July three and two months after we published the initial articles.
Mozilla plans to release Firefox 57 as a WebExtensions supporting browser only in regards to add-ons. This means that any add-on that is not a WebExtension by that time will stop working. Firefox 57 will be released on November 14, 2017 according to the schedule of Firefox releases.
Legacy add-ons include all classic browser extensions but also themes and some other types of add-ons for the browser.
Note: While Firefox 57 is the target, the change may be postponed by Mozilla, for instance to hit the browser after the next major ESR release in March 2018.
Back in the end of April 2017, 2273 add-ons were listed to be compatible with Firefox 57. While the methodology may miss add-ons, it is the best indicator that we have right now.
If you load https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/tag/firefox57 right now, you get 3252 add-ons that are listed as compatible with Firefox 57, an increase of about 50% in two months.
To put this in perspective, Mozilla lists a total of 19550 add-ons on Firefox AMO at the same time. The 3252 add-ons are included in the total which means that about 16% of all add-ons are compatible with Firefox 57 at this point in time. The number is up more than 4% when compared to the situation two months ago.
There are several explanations for the rise. First, that some developers have ported their extensions. New APIs became available in the meantime, and that contributed to the rise as well.
Another reason why WebExtensions are on the rise is that new legacy add-ons are not accepted on AMO anymore. This means that the number of legacy add-ons stagnates, or drops (considering that some add-ons may be removed eventually).
I checked the status of top Firefox in the second article. I checked add-ons with the most users, the highest rating, and the top featured add-ons for that.
Note that the listing is in flux all the time. I decided to concentrate on the add-ons listed in March as it allows me to compare the progress.
The overall situation has not changed much. One extension is now available as a WebExtension, and one was pulled from AMO. This means that the status of most extensions is still unknown. Some are likely being worked on, while others will probably not make the cut.
There is a possibility that some add-ons won't be ready when Firefox 57 hits, but that they will be released at a later point in time.
About four months are left before Firefox 57 hits the release channel. A lot will happen in those four months, and it is quite difficult to estimate how well things will turn out for users of the browser in regards of ported legacy add-ons.
Now You: Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.