Firefox 57: Decentraleyes add-on is compatible now
The core idea behind the browser extension is to improve the page loading time of websites, and to improve user privacy by loading resources from the local system and not from remote locations.
We reviewed Decentraleyes for Firefox back in 2015 and found it to be an excellent add-on for this tasks as it improved the loading speed of sites that use included resources and the privacy as well.
The extension offers no 100% surefire way though as it limits resources that it can replace with local copies, and sites that it may replace these local copies on.
Basically, what it does is block requests to content delivery networks -- about ten or so are supported -- by redirecting the requests to the local resources. Resources that are supported by Decentraleyes include jquery, webfont, scriptaculous, modernizr, and angularjs.
Decentralyes was offered as a legacy add-on for the Firefox web browser up until now. While that version works fine currently, it will stop working in Firefox 57 and newer versions of the web browser. Mozilla plans to drop legacy add-on support in Firefox 57, and since Decentraleyes is offered as a legacy add-on currently, it will stop working.
Firefox 57 or newer will disable the add-on automatically after the upgrade, and there is no option in release versions of the web browser to re-enable these extensions.
The developers of the Decentraleyes extension have released a first version of Decentraleyes 2.0 Beta. This version is compatible with Firefox 57 and newer. While it is available as a beta version currently, the developers plan to make it available as a stable version before Firefox 57 is released.
This means that users of the browser extension will be able to use it when their Firefox browser gets updated to version 57.
The browser extension comes with two options currently: You can whitelist any domain to exclude it from inspection. The domain will load the resources from the content distribution networks as Decentraleyes will ignore it.
The second option is to block requests if local resources are missing.
Important add-ons like NoScript or uBlock get ported so that they are compatible with WebExtensions. Other important add-ons like Classic Theme Restorer or Down Them All won't be ported on the other hand.
The situation is uncertain for quite a few add-ons right now.
Now You: Do you use Firefox? How many of your add-ons are compatible with Firefox 57?
Right now is a big problem with uBlock and new Firefox 55.0.3. Here is some information about this: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases/tag/1.13.10
Yeah, and the solution is just to reinstall the new uBlock. Wow, so hard, much difficult.
What’s wrong with you ? Marek only posted some useful information. Does something like that make you feel good ?
Yeah, to avoid this known bug this add-on version should have been released only to Firefox 56+ builds, where it is fixed. I guess Gorhill wanted more time on Release channel and accepted the risk or something.
It’s a disruptive but small issue: Disabling and reenabling the add-on should work, there should be no need to reinstall.
As Karim says. Not a big deal. I updated but then lost my uBo toolbar button (it was nowhere!). Had to remove uBo, restart, reinstall from AMO, all done – lost no settings, lists, rules, or custom filters (I did backup first). No issues.
Martin, Thanks for your work on this. Had you asked the question about how many of my add-ons are compatible with FF 57 yesterday, I would have been able to answer. However, after playing around with SeaMonkey and Waterfox, and given I am actually starting to lose add-ons before FF 57, I migrated over to FF ESR last night. This will buy me time and the extensions that had stopped working, like self-destruct cookies, started working again. I will say that the vast majority of my extensions were marked as Legacy, before I went ESR, and these were both extensions that are largely cosmetic in value but also some that I rely upon constantly from a function point of view.
You will be able replace Self-Destructive Cookies with Cookies AutoDelete by Firefox 57.
For other add-ons there’s often a way to adapt. When there is not, an API is often in the works for post-57. So don’t hesitate to list your must-have features and in which add-ons they can be found.
Django, the list is long and now that I am on ESR I can’t be certain which once are definitely Legacy. But, besides those by Aris, and everything that is related to getting me to the classic Noia look (which probably number between five and ten for me), three, non-cosmetic extensions, that I absolutely use constantly, are autocopy2, Brief (RSS feeds and I have a lot set up so to lose this would mean a lot of work to migrate over to some other RSS extension) and track package. But more to the point, even if there are substitutes, the time to configure a batch of new extensions would be daunting.
It’s sort of like what jblck writes below: both the users, and the creators, of these extensions have devoted a considerable amount of time on what was one of THE major selling-points of FF. Now, Mozilla is just pulling the rug out from beneath a lot of people’s feet. To feel let down, even betrayed, is not unreasonable. It’s kind of like if Burger King, one day, decided to change over from “Have It Your Way” to “Have It Our Way”. BK created that marketing strategy as an answer to McDonald’s. This is what is now happening with FF, with FF being BK and McDonald’s being Google or MS.
I understand the analogy is not one-to-one as there still will be lots of “ingredients” from which to choose. But I am pretty sure Mozilla is not very connected to the psychology, on the individual level, of what they have decided to do and how this is upsetting people’s feelings of ownership (my browser, my extension). This is where Mozilla is likely making its biggest mistake here.
I will stay on ESR as long as I can and then assess at that time.
Yes, I do use Firefox (for now…).
As far as I can see, if ‘Legacy’ means ‘not compatible with FF 57+’, I use only add-on which is compatible with FF 57 : TamperMonkey.
In fact, the answer could be 0, as I just replace GreaseMonkey with TamperMonkey after updating to v.55, which does break GreaseMonkey.
I’m not sure how will be my future browsing.
Chromium based browser isn’t an alternative, neither could be edge.
This Firefox 57 transition will likely be the biggest cataclysm I’ve ever face sindce I use a computer.
Really not happy with this situation, but what could I do ? Nothing, I’m afraid.
There is Violentmonkey whch is a Web-extension addon. And it’s open-source, not like TamperMonkey
Thank you for the info Harushi !
I will look at it.
Adopted, thanks !!
Yeah, I use Firefox and I will have some problems with these 3 essential addons:
^ Essential addons are not WebExtensions, and I don’t know if they will be.
Greasemonkey -> TamperMonkey, ViolentMonkey
Suspend Tab -> Tab Suspender (Tab Unloader)
Well, I browse with completely disabled cookies in my FF browser.
With this setup Violentmonkey simply doesn’t work.
Tampermonkey too , and Tampermonkey is suspicious telemetry closed-source extension.
Thanks for the tips and thanks for Suspender, I will test it.
Self-destruct cookies -> Cookies AutoDelete
ViolentMonkey may work with cookies disabled by Firefox 57, sounds like a bug that should be fixed.
Whether this bug is waiting on a Firefox ticket or not, you could report the issue here https://github.com/violentmonkey/violentmonkey/issues
Greasemonkey is already in the process to be converted to Webext so you will be fine.
Load from Cache should be replicable. Try asking about it on Reddit’s /r/firefox sub, there are add-on developers keeping an eye out for ideas.
It seems kinda like Decentral Eyes, except broader and the local files are cleared when you clear cache.
Incredible as the Nightly version is very good, fast and fluid!
Yep, I was rather suspicious about Firefox 57 due to all the legacy addons crap I could read (mostly here). But now I’m looking forward to the release of the final version. Almost all of my essential addons are WebExtensions or in beta version, and it’s just so fast and fluid I can’t almost believe I’m using good old Firefox.
Honestly, if forks like Palemoon or Waterfox don’t follow the same path they will end up in oblivion.
I hope they don’t and the rest of the Gecko family stands firm as Servo grows :)
While I am glad to see Decentraleyes surviving, I really don’t get how everybody can be so excited about the WebExtension. Guys, the add-on was ported… no more, no less. Mozilla is still gutting a full range of add-ons, specifically those targeted at interface customization. So, thanks again for the port, but overall the situation is still dire, realistically spoken.
Most people don’t give a damn about UI customization. We can move the buttons and organize the interface just like we want, that’s all we need. If you want more, learn how to use userchrome.css. Or go to some crappy fork that will disappear in a year, when the legacy addons will be gone for good.
I think Appster means the ability to do things with Toolbar API, Sidebar API and so on. Lost functionality which can arise from UI changes – not “looks”
Come on, let’s get over this debate, there’s nothing wrong with forks or ESR :)
For UI customization fans, I’ll eventually post a bunch of screenshots to show how much userChrome.css and WebExtensions can customize by 57, and what to expect beyond 57. (e.g. toolbar API)
As for me, I’m running Pale Moon alongside Nightly 57. I’m OK with Photon, so that’s fine for me. Performance is outstanding. I only ever wanted the tab bar below the address bar, so I’m good. Square tabs, hamburger buttons – that’s just all part of what 2017 “looks like”. That’s just modern-day convention.
@Appster, I still await your reaction to this linked post, if you find time :)
The Firefox team clearly have their reasons for this shift from addons to web extensions, but they’re essentially killing dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of routinely used addons into the bargain, into which developers have put mountains of time and effort over the course of many years, usually for little or no reward aside from kudos and a lot of silent gratitude from end users whose web experience has been vastly improved.
Yes, addons have always had their issues as regards security and all the rest of it, but then so does a whole out-of-the-box browser created by what is â€” lest we forget â€” an online advertising and marketing company that happens to provide a lot of ‘free’ apps to the world and pledges to ‘do no evil’.
The impact of this shift to web extensions is going to irrevocably change Firefox users’ web experience and not necessarily for the better when you think about the loss of tools like DownThemAll, Scrapbook, CoLT, Extended Copy Menu and a raft of privacy-enhancing extensions like Self Destructing Cookies and Better Privacy to name just a few.
Oh, and the tactic of advising users that there’s no downgrade path from Firefox 55 **after** installation there-of, well that’s just something else.
– DownThemAll: FlashGot is going to become a WebExtension, and there is Download Star (already available but still buggy, consider beta). That should cover several aspects but not all. Here’s a comment from Download Star’s developer that shows more features: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/6wjjyk/downthemall_webextention/dm8vuvg/
– Self Destructing Cookies: Cookie AutoDelete. Wait until 57 to switch. You can use Cookie Controller if Self Destructing Cookies is broken before then. That will give you cookie control but not auto-deletion. That’s an add-on I’ve been using for years.
– Better Privacy: Not useful any more (can uninstall if you are on Firefox 55+ or if you have Flash set to Click to Play)
– Scrapbook: Can be replicated, and there is a basic note-taking experiment running right now that’s called Notes. There is Webscrapbook too: https://github.com/danny0838/webscrapbook not (yet) available on AMO but can be downloaded from Github. All currently available alternatives are limited but feature wise, Firefox 57 can support Scrapbook as far as I can tell.
– CoLT: Copy Link Text (WebExtension). It doesn’t do “copy link text and url as… (BBCode, WikiCode, HTML, Plain Text)” but that should be replicable. Ask the add-on author to support it.
– Extended Copy Meny: Fairly simple to do, ask on Reddit’s /r/firefox, there are add-on developers keeping an eye out for ideas. Might interest someone. If an alternative already exists they should know, too.
Thank you very much for this! I haven’t yet had time to review alternatives to the addons that bring features to Firefox that I rely on, so this is very useful indeed.
In the interim, it’s Firefox ESR for me which, interestingly, is performing much better than anything beyond the initial release of FF55.
Do check out PageDash, a hosted alternative to Scrapbook. (https://www.pagedash.com) Disclaimer: I am the developer of PageDash.
Don’t forget that it was clear for ages that the legacy Add-On API would go away at some point. Extension developers had more than enough time (and I’m talking about years, not months) to adapt.
Maybe some believed Mozilla would carry around the cruft forever? Maybe it was too much work for some to learn a new API? Maybe some stopped maintenance of their extension? Maybe some functionality isn’t supported by the new API or in a different way? I don’t know apart from you cannot resist change forever.
Sorry about the missing name. The labeling of the input fields was misplaced on my phone, so I entered my name into the wrong one.
Perhaps the new APIs aren’t providing functionality that developers of popular addons need? DTA developer Nils Maier wrote angrily about this a while back: https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/dev-addons/2016-December/002367.html
downthemall.net now seems to have expired/disappeared offline.
Yes, software changes happen; now more regularly than ever before and oftentimes without any witting participation of end users (not everyone knows how or where or why they might want to dig around in options and ‘hidden’ settings) so the software usage game has changed in ways that could barely have been imagined a decade ago when time spans between minor bug-fix iterations and major upgrades were fewer and further between.
There has been a gradual but ever creeping perceptible shift in the software creator/end-user relationship and a dramatic shortening in change and release cycles. Whether or not this is a positive thing is open to debate.
However, as an example, Firefox now supports WebVR which is perhaps fantastic for those with cutting edge technologies at their disposal, but perhaps not so great for users who can’t or don’t upgrade hardware regularly and find that Firefox slows to a virtually useless crawl ten minutes after firing up something like Twitter’s Tweetdeck service or any other ‘endless scroll’ social media site. Conversely, Chromium/Chrome/Iron browsers seem to handle such things with relative ease. A different thread in itself but what’s the scoop here? And for the record, I’ve been using Firefox since its inception and after moving on from the original Netscape Navigator.
@jblck I agree 110% ;)
When I started nightly I couldn’t load my addons and there is no way (maybe is but not obvious) to sort addons by tag compatible with 57+, I’ve used ublock, adblock and bluhell – no compatible versions… Using browser without somekind of adblock is scary :)
For people using Firefox 57 Nightly, uBlock Origin as a WebExtension is here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ublock-origin/versions/beta
Well there you go, I’m now full WebExtensions. I only needed one anyway.
uBlock Origin works, faster too. You might have to hit the ‘Development Channel’ link at the bottom of the addon page and install the latest development version.
Anyway, AdBlock has a bunch of other issues aside from Firefox 55 compatibility: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/19/business/media/adblock-plus-created-to-protect-users-from-ads-opens-the-door.html
uaargghhh someone did something I don’t agree with ….
Every browser/software change in a nutshell ^^