Mozilla makes Firefox 60 next ESR target - gHacks Tech News

Mozilla makes Firefox 60 next ESR target

Mozilla plans to make Firefox 60 the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version of the Firefox web browser, and not Firefox 59.

New major Firefox versions are released every six to eight weeks. Mozilla introduced a fixed six week rapid release cycle back in 2011, but switched to a flexible 6-8 week release cycle in 2016.

The organization introduced Firefox ESR specifically for organizations to increase the time between major releases. Firefox ESR is available for organizations and home users. While ESR versions of Firefox do get security and bug fix updates whenever a new major version of Firefox is released, feature updates are only introduced after several release cycles.

The next major Firefox ESR update was scheduled to be Firefox 59, but it appears that Mozilla will postpone the move to Firefox 60.

Note: Plans may change. We will update the article if changes to the schedule are announced.

Firefox 60 ESR

firefox esr

The main source that indicates that Mozilla plans to make Firefox 60 the next ESR candidate is the EnterprisePolicies page on the Mozilla Wiki website.

We want to make customization of Firefox deployments simpler for system administrators and we want our next ESR version, Firefox 60, to include a policy engine that increases customization possibilities and integration into existing management systems.

Mozilla reveals the reason why Firefox 60 is the next ESR target on the same page.

Our key objective is to meet the demand for enterprise customization post-57 in time for the next ESR.

System administrators could use CCK2 Wizard in Firefox 52 ESR and earlier versions to configure Firefox before distribution. The switch to WebExtensions exclusivity in Firefox 57 makes the add-on incompatible with the next Firefox ESR version, regardless of whether it is Firefox 59 or Firefox 60.

Mozilla has to create new options for the large scale deployment of Firefox, and the organization's answer is Enterprise Policies. The new policy engine won't be limited to Firefox ESR.

The Policy Engine will be a component in Firefox that reads some admin-specified configuration during Firefox's startup and properly configures features to respect those configurations.

The new engine uses .json files initially, but Mozilla plans to support operating system level administration features such as Windows' Group Policy later on. The plan is to implement support in the json configuration file first before implementing the "most important ones" through GPO.

Mozilla is still working on the list of policies. Discussed right now are policies to disable Telemetry, disable features such as Pocket, Printing, or Firefox Screenshots, whitelist and block domains, pre-populate permissions, add bookmarks, or disable internal configuration features such as about:config or about:addons. (via Sören Hentzschel)

Summary
Mozilla makes Firefox 60 next ESR target
Article Name
Mozilla makes Firefox 60 next ESR target
Description
Mozilla plans to make Firefox 60 the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version of the Firefox web browser, and not Firefox 59.
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. Luca said on December 19, 2017 at 8:04 am
    Reply

    Sorry, after years of Mozilla ESR on our organization, simply Firefox has failed. Too complex to configure it, there’s no official MSI and even any configuration via Group Policy.

    Chrome is much better in this aspect.

    1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      Reply

      Why sorry ? This article explains specifically that this is going to change. Group Policy was mentioned as a target.

    2. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm
      Reply

      CCK2 was a great tool for configuring FF for deployment. Have used it for years here. What’s even more nifty is that the guy who created CCK2 now works for Mozilla, no doubt helping craft the new in-house enterprise customization tools :)

  2. Robert Ab said on December 19, 2017 at 8:35 am
    Reply

    Here some inside about decisions made by Mozilla managers about extensions, APIs and ESR (advanced users are not important):
    https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/7gqv65/apis_needed_for_session_manager_to_become/dqlacan/

  3. Looking Glass add-on debacle said on December 19, 2017 at 8:54 am
    Reply

    Another reason for this decision is probably the fact that they wanted to have the webrender as mature as possible for their ESR release. For those who use the Nightly FF know that webrender is still very buggy and there was not enough time to release it in a stable state on Firefox 59.

    1. WebRender said on December 19, 2017 at 10:15 am
      Reply

      But I don’t think that WebRender will be mature enough at version 60, either. Maybe 61 or 62? Current status of it is TBD[1].

      [1] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/mozilla.dev.tech.gfx/sfj09LZN6AA/bqYqDMSxAwAJ

      1. Richard Allen said on December 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm
        Reply

        I have my doubts also but they have made some significant gains recently and there is still 5 months until the release of FFv60. So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. J.P said on December 19, 2017 at 9:37 am
    Reply

    Waterfox is the ESR for me. No thanks Mozilla. You’ve done goof.

  5. leanon said on December 19, 2017 at 10:33 am
    Reply

    Would give legacy add-on users a bit more time.

    That last paragraph could be a bit worrying to some. To quote Sören Hentzschel through google translate

    “Examples of possible enterprise policy configuration options include disabling configuration features such as about: config or about: addons, predefining bookmarks, displaying the menu bar by default, disabling the telemetry feature, or features such as Pocket and Firefox screenshots, lists of Domains that may or may not be called, or predefined permissions for cookies or pop-ups, for example. More information is available on the Mozilla Wiki.”

    1. Jody Thornton said on December 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm
      Reply

      But doesn’t that mean that system admin staff at a company could disable about:config themselves using the policy editor, rather than Mozilla disabling it?

  6. wybo said on December 19, 2017 at 11:06 am
    Reply

    It also might have to do with the fact that ESR is Mozilla’s last outpost for users who liked the pre Quantum FF better.

    Anyway I have decided to move to WaterFox. All my legacy add-ons working again and I like No Script much better than their new version in Quantum.

    1. Robert Ab said on December 19, 2017 at 9:44 pm
      Reply

      Nice move with Waterfox. Welcome to the club :)

      I do not think that that Mozilla’s decision described in ESR has something with keeping pre Quantum FF alive. See the link:
      https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/7gqv65/apis_needed_for_session_manager_to_become/dqlacan/
      I would wish for them to get FF56 ESR in time schedule for FF60 ESR, but they do not care about us much (advanced users).

  7. crambie said on December 19, 2017 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    I’ve decided to give up with it. The latest cock up was the last straw.

    1. Richard Allen said on December 19, 2017 at 4:51 pm
      Reply

      Looks like the foreseeable future will include comments on Every article about Firefox, complaining about FF and using the Looking Glass extension as one example. Personally, I don’t care because I chose “beforehand” to not have to deal with it (FF add-ons).

      Instead of hiding the add-on like what is done with Screenshots and Pocket they made it visible on the add-ons page, with the ability to uninstall it. Also, in the add-ons page, it clearly states: “Participating in this shared world experience requires explicit user opt-in. If you are not actively participating in the ARG (Augmented Reality Game) no modifications will be made to Firefox.” Not only could it be uninstalled but there was also a link that provided additional information.

      How many people actually got the add-on and were surprised when it “mysteriously” showed up? These will be the same people whose reading comprehension is suspect because it is clearly indicated in the Options that you will “Allow Firefox to install and run studies.” Duh! This is in the “Privacy & Security” section of the Options. Easily The Most Important group of settings included in the Options. It’s not like it was buried deep in a ten thousand word TOS/EULA. Actions and non-actions have consequences. You’re either capable of dealing with it or not (browser configuration) just don’t expect a trophy for participating when you get it wrong.

      The “cock up” is not a reason to move to a different browser and I can’t help but wonder if all the drama queens are actually even using FF or saw the extension. Heck, I even did a clean install when the Looking Glass extension was first reported and couldn’t entice it into installing on my desktop. Anyway, we all know that Google Chrome is just one big “Safe Space” and the hell with FF. Am I right? ;)

      This venting opportunity was created by yours truly for your entertainment pleasure, no thanks necessary. Which reminds me, for all the haters…

      “You are physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, you’re morally reprehensible, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, you have no taste, a lousy sense of humor and you smell. You’re not even interesting enough to make me sick.” – Cher (The Witches Of Eastwick) That was a joke! LoL

      1. Frank said on December 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm
        Reply

        Well, the past always included your pro Firefox comments complaining about people not perceiving or doing things exactly as you do.

      2. Richard Allen said on December 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm
        Reply

        @Frank
        You must have missed my many pro comments about Chrome, Vivaldi, Pale Moon and Waterfox. I have eight browsers installed and consider myself an equal opportunity browser user, I use them all to some degree. That said, I see no need to apologize because FF is my primary browser.
        Chrome Dev
        Chrome
        Vivaldi
        Pale Moon
        FFv56.0.2
        FFv57
        Nightly
        Waterfox

      3. crambie said on December 19, 2017 at 7:18 pm
        Reply

        If it was just Looking Glass you could perhaps overlook it, but it isn’t. People like you need to face facts, they’re the not the Mozilla people used to know and love. They’ve turned in to a do as I say not as I do company.

        Also people like you need to learn there’s more choice than just ff and chrome.

        Oh and btw it was enabled by default, so not reading comprehension failure neither was it by any stretch of the imagination a study.

      4. Richard Allen said on December 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm
        Reply

        I had to cut short my previous comment because I had to take care of some business and wanted to clarify that I honestly don’t care what browser anyone uses. I have in fact setup Chrome for many different people over the years and I never try to talk anyone into using a specific browser. I will be the first to admit that years ago, I learned the hard way, that talking people into using FF was just an invitation for repeated call-backs. UI changes, extensions not working and many other problems seemed to be never ending and I’ve been using FF for almost 10 years, some of those using ESR. It’s only with the release of FFv57 that I would feel comfortable setting it up for someone used to Chrome and not familiar with FF. It is my personal opinion that every browser has its own positives and negatives. Which is why I recommend for people to have both a Chromium and FF based browser installed. I could literally bore everyone to death with my list of positive and negative observations of all eight browsers on my system, 9 including IE11. Is FF perfect? Hell no! But it does have a lot more potential than any other browser that I have installed. JMHO

      5. Richard Allen said on December 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm
        Reply

        @crambie
        “for people like you”? How dare you?!? For someone whose DNA is .25 Native American and .75 Spanish that’s just a little offensive. I feel so violated! LoL

      6. scorpio_green said on December 24, 2017 at 2:04 am
        Reply

        Also people like you need to learn there’s more choice than just ff and chrome.

        @crambie, website developers build their websites around those browsers (along with Edge) so they are the ones who are setting the standards in a mutual relationship with them.

        The alternate choices you speak about need to keep up. That’s something Pale Moon can’t seem to grasp.

  8. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    Reply

    “Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) is intended for system administrators who deploy and maintain the desktop environment in organizations such as universities and other schools, county or city governments and businesses.”

    Unfortunately I think with the new Firefox, “ESR” will lose its meaning. Do you really think that “universities and other schools, or worse county or city governments” will install a browser “as a service”?

    1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm
      Reply

      The new ESR is not as a service.

      1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm
        Reply

        People thinking they will still have full control on that browser are naive in my opinion. Except maybe experienced computer scientists, which is not my case.

      2. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm
        Reply

        Even Mozilla itself has no longer control on its own site, AMO. And they talk about “system administrators”, no thanks.

      3. Jody Thornton said on December 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm
        Reply

        There’s still enough control. You can still customize quite a bit underneath the hood. Rendering and paint delay, cache settings and the like are still customizable.

      4. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 11:57 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        This change is especially geared at making total control of a large fleet of Firefox installs easier for administrators.

        Normal users can use it if they like but they can also stick to the normal way. I have total control over my Firefox install.

         

        As for “browsers as a service”, I have no idea where you got that from reading that article.

      5. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 9:20 am
        Reply

        That has nothing to do with this article though. Shield studies can be disabled in 3 clicks by a normal user, and for the kind of administrators this article is talking about, it’s one line in a mass deployed configuration file.

      6. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm
        Reply

        “The new engine uses .json files initially, but Mozilla plans to support operating system level administration features such as Windows’ Group Policy later on. The plan is to implement support in the json configuration file first before implementing the “most important ones” through GPO.

        Mozilla is still working on the list of policies. Discussed right now are policies to disable Telemetry, disable features such as Pocket, Printing, or Firefox Screenshots, whitelist and block domains, pre-populate permissions, add bookmarks, or disable internal configuration features such as about:config or about:addons. (via Sören Hentzschel)”

        Mozilla is still working very hard to persuade people this has nothing to do with this article though.

  9. wvo said on December 19, 2017 at 12:59 pm
    Reply

    Lost their integrity with Eich forced to leave and now this ‘Mr Robot stunt’. Thanks but no thanks.

    1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm
      Reply

      Eich would have killed legacy add-ons even more brutally.

      1. crambie said on December 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm
        Reply

        I would have said he would have waited until the webextension api’s were more stable. But who knows. I agree that he was treated badly though.

  10. asdf said on December 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    Reply

    It’s a shame that there is no Fennec ESR. :(

    WaterFox for Android is a promising alternative but it’s not quite there yet.

    For the Linux fans…

    https://launchpad.net/~jonathonf/+archive/ubuntu/firefox-esr

  11. Ben said on December 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    Reply

    > We want to make customization of Firefox deployments simpler for system administrators and we want our next ESR version, Firefox 60, to include a policy engine that increases customization possibilities and integration into existing management systems.

    Oh did they finally found out why no sane person deploys their browser in a corporate environment? Well took them long enough.

  12. TelV said on December 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    I’ve switched to Basilisk full time now although their support forum on the Pale Moon site is a bit too hostile for my liking.

    1. Jody Thornton said on December 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm
      Reply

      Yup @TelV! I’ve check and there does seem to be a tad more of a discontented mood since I was booted from there. However, if I had to choose now from two forks, I’d choose Waterfox over Basilisk. Pale Moon works well for now, but it’s only a short term solution.

      1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 11:58 pm
        Reply

        Make sure you spoof Firefox properly if you care about tracking

      2. TelV said on December 23, 2017 at 2:39 pm
        Reply

        Hi Jody,

        What I don’t like about Waterfox is that it’s based on FF56 which doesn’t support separators between buttons anymore. This means that even though CTR is supported, spaces and the like can’t be added giving buttons a cluttered appearance since they’re all squashed up together.

        Basilisk on the other hand is based on FF55 and therefore separators can be added. But Basilisk doesn’t support language packs while Waterfox has them built in as can be seen here: https://imgbox.com/vjbEs2xb
        Lack of language packs means Basilisk will never catch on in countries like Thailand where menus written in the local language are essential.

        Swings and roundabouts I guess, but if Basilisk turns out to be a one-way street, then I’ll switch to Waterfox and look for a workaround for the separators problem. Using the Status-4-Ever addon might offer a solution since buttons can be added to the toolbar at the foot of the browser in additon to the top toolbar.

      3. scorpio_green said on December 24, 2017 at 2:10 am
        Reply

        Make sure you spoof Firefox properly if you care about tracking

        What’s the best way to do that, nowadays?

  13. Mark Hazard said on December 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    Reply

    I’m staying with Firefox ESR, but keeping WaterFox as a backup.

  14. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm
    Reply

    Just a note to those implying they actually are using FF ESR and are all butt-hurt about that Mr. Robot add-on debacle, that’s an issue affecting the standard release version, not the ESR version. Troll much?

  15. K Huber said on December 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    I no longer use Firefox. It is practically unusable. They have messed up a good thing. Happens a lot, improvements that render things useless, lol.

    1. Jody Thornton said on December 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm
      Reply

      Actually at work, most are finding it VERY MUCH improved over the old Australis Firefox. The others use chrome.

    2. Jody Thornton said on December 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm
      Reply

      @K Huber:

      What is it that you find unstable about it?

  16. 11r20 said on December 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm
    Reply

    Am still using and enjoying FF51 with
    ghacks/pants privacy
    settings;partitioned off, frozen in time,
    you cant break it, i do update the Ublock0 once a week(cloud setting off) thanks MR Martin it’s sweet.

    1. Anonymous said on December 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm
      Reply

      51 ? What in 52 did you not want ?

  17. Old Wise Man said on December 19, 2017 at 8:42 pm
    Reply

    Last good version was:

    Firefox 3.6.24

    1. gh said on December 20, 2017 at 7:14 am
      Reply

      okay. Thanks for the tip.

      1. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 9:23 am
        Reply

        That’s a way to deal with old farts

  18. Wise Woman said on December 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm
    Reply

    ITT Millenials who feel important for an adware webextension regarding MR. ROBOT in their latest Fireofx Botnet edition.

    Keep growing

  19. 11r20 said on December 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm
    Reply

    in response to #16 mr anon; i like it, it’s secure against the ET’ag nonsense, and Pant’s settings
    were on target as well as those in the comment section, and if anyone tries to hack me they’re just hitting a mirror. Havent had to mess with it for a long time and dont plan
    on updating, it’s everything i need.
    Not to mention I took all the google
    scripts out of about:config before freezing.

  20. Larson said on December 21, 2017 at 11:24 am
    Reply

    Firefox 56 is fast in terms of loading 150+ tabs and it supports legacy addons. Of course, use uBlock+Noscript at least, for basic safety. Will stay on it until most websites works with Firefox 56, this is gonna be at least few years, unless something revolutionary in web development really come up ;-)

    1. Appster said on December 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm
      Reply

      @Larson: I‘d recommend to switch to Waterfox in this case. It is basically Firefox 56 + future security patches (currently at Firefox 57 security level). This would certainly be better than to use an unpatched Firefox 56.

  21. KeZa said on December 21, 2017 at 4:36 pm
    Reply

    What’s all the fuss about FireFox and why do we need to update everytime? I’m here on Xp with FF 48 on Avant Browser and the FF 52ESR and all this with the ghacks prefs is all you need to surf fast and secure. You do not need to update every time. It’s all fear mongering in my mind…

  22. KeZa said on December 21, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    What’s all the fuss about FireFox and why do we need to update every time? I’m here on Xp with FF 48 on Avant Browser and the FF 52ESR and all this with the ghacks prefs is all you need to surf fast and secure. You do not need to update every time. It’s all fear mongering in my mind…

  23. Flick said on December 26, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    Reply

    I have had it with Firefox. I tried their Quantum only to find out they have destroyed some fine add ons, i.e. Noscript, Privacy Settings, etc. For me the browser is not useful anymore, for now I am going to put up with the ESR version.

    There is more to complain about it, but why ? It won’t change anything since all the big Corporations are starting to push their rules onto the customer. Not only in IT. I am planing to go back to Vivaldi despite some of its disadvantages and slowliness. I guess we will see more and more loss of control of privacy and self-determination because the lemmings ignorance is deeper than the deepest hole. We are being sold and they are applauding. Imagine they would be allowed to vote. Oh dear, ………..they are and they did !

Leave a Reply