Mozilla discontinues support for Firefox extension beta versions - gHacks Tech News

Mozilla discontinues support for Firefox extension beta versions

Jorge Villalobos announced on the official Mozilla Add-ons blog today that Mozilla will stop supporting beta versions of extensions.

Firefox add-on developers could upload beta or development versions of their extensions to the same channel the release add-on was offered on. This gave users of the add-on options to test upcoming features and changes, and assist the developer by reporting issues.

Beta versions of extensions were listed under Version History on an add-ons page on Mozilla AMO. Firefox users interested in installing beta versions could click on the link to list available beta versions and install one of them in the browser.

firefox addon beta versions

Villalobos notes that the system suffered from problems that affected the user experience and the complexity of the AMO code.

From a user perspective, the main issue was that there was no option to migrate from the beta channel to the release channel through updates. This may not have been a huge problem for regularly maintained beta channels, but it could pose issues for users if a developer abandoned the beta channel.

The developer had to communicate to users that the beta was no longer maintained and that users had to install the stable version of the extension so that they would receive continued updates.

The beta versions feature added complexity to the AMO code, and general use was fairly low according to Villalobos.

Mozilla made the decision based on these reasons to discontinue support for beta versions attached to release versions of extensions. Support ends in March 2018, and developers are asked to self-host beta extensions instead.

While that may mean additional work for developers to get things set up, it enables them to take advantage of features that self-hosted extensions support but Mozilla AMO does not.

One major feature enables them to move users between channels so that it becomes less likely that users get stuck on the beta or development channel of an extension.

While it is too early to judge the impact of Mozilla's decision, add-on developers might consider creating a new add-on on AMO to host the beta version instead. The developer of uBlock Origin did that when the news broke but pulled the add-on again in the meantime and hosts it now on the official GitHub page of the project.

This solution, to separate stable and beta add-ons on AMO, is not advised as it may lead to confusion when users search for extensions and because it makes it impossible to switch users between channels.

Closing Words

The move looks on first glance like another bad decision on Mozilla's part, another feature that gets removed. I think the change is reasonable, however, but that it could have been communicated better. Developers will have to spend time setting the new system up but it gives them more control over the channels.

Mozilla could have communicated the change better, something that the organization still needs to work on in my opinion.

Now You: Do you use beta versions of add-ons?

Summary
Mozilla discontinues support for Firefox extension beta versions
Article Name
Mozilla discontinues support for Firefox extension beta versions
Description
Jorge Villalobos announced on the official Mozilla Add-ons blog today that Mozilla will stop supporting beta versions of extensions.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 8:38 am
    Reply

    You know, add-on beta versions pose grave danger for the simple users who need to be protected from themselves. And developers? Which developer needs a beta version in the first place? Should have written proper code to begin with. Go hunt for all the bugs yourself!

    The writing was already on the wall, Mozilla is googlier than Google at this point.

    1. Paul's Dad. said on March 1, 2018 at 5:10 pm
      Reply

      Next up, they will be adding confirmation popups when the browser updates if “powerful” “extensions” are installed.

  2. Cinikal said on March 1, 2018 at 10:53 am
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    This could be a long one better make 2 bags of popcorn.

  3. Gavin said on March 1, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    Brace yourselves, the complaints are coming.

    1. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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      Well, What do you expect. People should just accept and be happy that Mozilla is a corporate wh*re and follower instead of a leader – which was different with Mozilla in the past, who has been the most awesome and brilliant browser developer in past’s market!

      Your present Mozilla consists of Google slaves and lame trend hoppers, who sold their soul and their user base without even caring for them a short second.

  4. Rick A. said on March 1, 2018 at 11:32 am
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    No Firefox bashers yet? Asking why we don’t use Chrome instead? i don’t get it ?

    1. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 11:35 am
      Reply

      @Rick A: But then, you know… There is hardly a difference between Firefox and Chrome anymore. So why bother switching?

      1. Kubrick said on March 1, 2018 at 11:45 am
        Reply

        @appster.
        Which browser do you use and strongly recommend.?.You are an author of many critiques of browsers so i would like to know which one you use then we can weigh up the pros and cons.
        Much appreciated.

      2. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm
        Reply

        @Kubrick:

        The browser market in general is in a sorry state. Chrome, the browser that does not care about privacy or customization, has 60%+ market share. IE is outdated, Edge doesn’t take off (important in so far that website admins do not really support it that much). Opera is basically Chrome with social bloatware added on top it.

        Firefox used to be my go-to browser for many reasons. For the three reasons in particular: superior bookmark management, powerful extensions, about:config. Powerful extensions are gone now. Customization has become rather cumbersome via CSS modifications. It’s hard to grasp that people are accepting how Mozilla removes built-in customization options, making them use the cumbersome userChrome.css. Customization has become hard to do to a certain degree. The bookmark management and about:config still remain as advantages. Out of the mainstream browsers, Firefox is still No. 1, as the competition is even weaker.

        I had high hopes on Vivaldi, as it has a neat interface and can also be customized via CSS code. It’s closed source, though, and I don’t trust closed source browsers. Otherwise I find it comparable to current Firefox, minus the bookmark management and about:config.

        Pale Moon has all the advantages I would theoretically look for, but its development team bites far more than it can chew, meaning they can’t keep up with the speed the web is moving forward, but think they can. Their web standard support is too bad IMHO, hence I don’t use it.

        Waterfox is my current browser, as it’s based on fairly recent Firefox code. I am going to use it for the coming months at least, until Mozilla steps up their game with WebExtensions. Its privacy is better than Firefox, and it allows me to use Chrome Store Foxified without having to sign the Chrome add-ons at AMO first. This is a nasty thing to do all the time, for every update, even if you have just one Chrome extension installed. It has all the advantages of Firefox. Hence Waterfox for me.

        Iridium is the strongest Blink-based browser for privacy, much stronger than ungoogled Chromium. If you want Chrome without phoning home to Google, this would be your way to go.

        If speed was my most important criterion, I would either use FF Quantum or better yet Safari (if you happen to have a Mac).

        It would go down like this for me:

        1) Waterfox (powerful add-ons, recent code base, no signing requirement, otherwise see all Firefox advantages)
        2) Firefox (about:config, bookmarks management)
        3) Iridium (privacy, open source)
        4) Vivaldi (customization, yet closed source, rather bad privacy)
        5) Pale Moon (same as Waterfox, but too outdated for my liking, no WebExtension compatibility)

        So, that’s it for me.

      3. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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        @Appster: “The browser market in general is in a sorry state”

        That’s a serious understatement!

      4. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 5:05 pm
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        @Appster Using here Pale Moon and Vivaldi from time to time if i encounter a page which can’t be watched.

        While Pale Moon has indeed a scary low support of webstandards, and even with the new fork point they will soon be falling way behind again, it is still the only choice of browsers if you care most for native, built inside customization.

        So, i see myself staying there until the bitter end and beyond.

        Pale Moon is exactly feature wise and philosophy wise what Firefox once was before Mozilla was hijacked by shameless gr*vedigger r*pists which did nothing than destroy both their dignity and their foss philosophy and have been shitting on everything which deceased Mozilla-classic represented.

      5. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 6:04 pm
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        “While Pale Moon has indeed a scary low support of webstandards”

        In all honesty, I have serious problems with several things that are part of HTML5 — so a browser not fully supporting the standard strikes me as a good thing, not a bad one.

      6. Paul's Dad. said on March 1, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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        Appster, Vivaldi is open source. They just don’t have a free license, but they publish the source of the browser, you can see it and compile it yourself i you wanto.

      7. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 6:58 pm
        Reply

        @Paul‘s Dad, I stand corrected. It wasn‘t obvious at first glance, but now I have managed to find the site where they publish the source code. This would move Vivaldi one rank up as far as I‘m concerned. Firefox and Waterfox are still superior, because of about:config.

      8. Sebas said on March 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm
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        Thanks for the tip about Iridium. I installed the portable version and it is very fast, on my machine faster then Opera it seems. Waterfox is the best privacy wise, Iridium seems to be a promising alternative for Opera, if only because it is easier to use search engines like searx.me.
        However, there is the problem of slower rate of updates and it eludes me why Iridium proposes to connect to Google cloud print.

      9. Anonymous said on March 1, 2018 at 1:08 pm
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        @Kubrick

        If your main concern is privacy, Firefox.

        If your main concern is UI customization, Firefox or a fork of Firefox.

        There’s no reason to use Google unless your particular computer has trouble with other browsers, IMO. (Some computers have trouble with some browsers but not others)

      10. Kubrick said on March 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm
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        @Anonymous
        Thanks.
        Im using palemoon browser as my default but as of late unexplained crashes have been occuring for odd reasons.I use linux and i have installed 2-3 kernel updates recently so not sure if these could be related.
        I have firefox 57 installed but im rather saddened by the fact that mozilla will not allow complete themes anymore so the fox is kind of sitting here as a rearguard browser.

        I also have waterfox portable on hand too so thats basically my lot.I like chromes speed and smoothness of rendering but the customisation is not there in the google browser so certain sacrifices have to be made and chrome has a certain dark mode extension which works perfectly as i have sensitive eyes especially at night.Chrome is certainly the easiest to use but the bad press involving google is a kind of caveat for me.

      11. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm
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        @Kubrick

        For what it’s worth, I use Linux for my home machines, and Windows at work. I use Waterfox on both, and it has given me no trouble.

      12. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 2:11 pm
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        @Anonymous: Iridium is at the very least on equal footing with Firefox when it comes to privacy. Firefox does have telemetry on by default.

      13. Rick A. said on March 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm
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        @Appster – “There is hardly a difference between Firefox and Chrome anymore. So why bother switching?” – Well there’s obviously a pretty big difference if Chrome doesn’t make your top 5. –

        “It would go down like this for me:

        1) Waterfox (powerful add-ons, recent code base, no signing requirement, otherwise see all Firefox advantages)
        2) Firefox (about:config, bookmarks management)
        3) Iridium (privacy, open source)
        4) Vivaldi (customization, yet closed source, rather bad privacy)
        5) Pale Moon (same as Waterfox, but too outdated for my liking, no WebExtension compatibility)

        So, that’s it for me.” – So i guess there’s a pretty big difference after all, that made you switch from Chrome, since your top 2 browsers are Firefox and a Firefox clone that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t,….. for Firefox.

      14. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 5:41 pm
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        @Rick A:

        You are right. For me it still makes a difference, at least as long as about:config is around, hence my list. It could be argued that Iridium > Firefox when it comes to privacy, as long as you don’t change anything in about:config. With certain changes there Firefox is the better choice (for me).

        But that’s just me, Rick. It’s not like this is a valid argument for most of the people out there. The rise of Chrome over the years indicates nothing of that sort. Let’s pretend you don’t know what about:config is and how to use it, there would be no notable difference between Firefox and Chrome for you. Firefox lets website spy on you heavily in the default configuration. How many people out there do you think know anything about “about:config”? I should have been more clear about that in my topmost comment, as this is what I meant precisely.

      15. Rick A. said on March 2, 2018 at 1:25 am
        Reply

        @Appster – “Let’s pretend you don’t know what about:config is and how to use it, there would be no notable difference between Firefox and Chrome for you.” – There would be a noticable difference for me. There’s still more customization. More privacy-(whether you’ll admit it or not), No Google, and what i really love is the bookmark management. i love that i can drag and drop tabs right into folders to create my bookmarks.

        “Firefox lets website spy on you heavily in the default configuration.” – Nah, it might not be the way it should in the default configuration, but i’ll take Firefox’s default configuration over ANY Chrome configuration any day.

        “How many people out there do you think know anything about “about:config”?” – Not enough.

        Also, i don’t remember hearing about iridium before. i will look into it more in the next day or 2. Don’t know if i’ll try it yet, but i might, i also haven’t tried Brave yet either. What’s your opinion on both? Which one would you use ?

      16. Appster said on March 2, 2018 at 11:11 am
        Reply

        @Rick A:

        > There would be a noticable difference for me. There’s still more customization.

        Putting an icon somewhere else is not “customization”. I am talking about full themes, additional toolbars, alternative download interfaces, multi-row tabs etc. here. We used to have all that, remember? ;-)

        > More privacy-(whether you’ll admit it or not),

        There is nothing to “admit” on my part. Let’s see what Firefox allows by default:

        beacons.enabled – Website owners can request information from the browser after you have left the site itself. Only good for tracking.

        dom.serviceworkers.enabled – Service workers are scripts that run in the background and that a website can insert right into the browser, so that the website can offer you its “features” even when you are not on the site itself. Needless to say, this is an even more aggressive way of tracking. Mozilla seems to be okay with that.

        The referrer header policy that Firefox comes with by default lets website owners know exactly from which site you came. Check out all the referrer settings (too much to list here).

        dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled – Lets website owners know when you copied something from their page. The only useful usage would be things like Google Docs, which need this information in order to work. Cell operations wouldn’t work otherwise. However, it’s just unnecessary tracking in almost all other cases.

        Mozilla allows hardware-based tracking via settings like dom.battery.enabled, media.video_stats.enabled, dom.webaudio.enabled, etc. Great for tracking you.

        Mozilla should also re-consider allowing third party cookies by default. This is just bad practice, and would set random cookies that aren’t needed for the site to operate.

        Mozilla uses Google for its location service.

        Telemetry is still around. Among other things, it also sends a complete list of your installed add-ons to Mozilla, see this setting: extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled.

        The Pocket Activity Stream is analyzing the content you have consumed and proposes sites based on that. That is, they are also analyzing the content and its possible relation to your interests.

        etc. etc. etc.

        And you think Chrome is way worse? What could it possibly do that Mozilla doesn’t do already?

        > No Google

        Mozilla is mostly financed by Google. Why else do you think are the settings this bad? If they got into Google’s way, they wouldn’t receive a single dime.

        > and what i really love is the bookmark management.

        Me too.

        > Nah, it might not be the way it should in the default configuration

        The very definition of “understatement”.

        > but i’ll take Firefox’s default configuration over ANY Chrome configuration any day.

        Considering the things I have just mentioned above, I sadly need to disagree here. They are on equal footing.

        > Also, i don’t remember hearing about iridium before. i will look into it more in the next day or 2.

        It’s the true UNGOOGLED Chromium. Ungoogled Chromium itself still phones home. Iridium doesn’t.

        > Don’t know if i’ll try it yet, but i might, i also haven’t tried Brave yet either. What’s your opinion on both? Which one would you use ?

        I find Brave’s financial background sketchy. Apparently, they are replacing “intrusive” ads with “non-intrusive” ads. That is, they replace the ads of one ad network with those of another. Not sure why. The spirit of fair competition sure isn’t too happy about it. Technically it seems to do fine.

        As far as Iridium is concerned, I have yet to find something sketchy. The developers seem to be people whose only goal is to remove all spyware from Chrome, which is fair enough. See the list of changes compared to Chromium here: https://github.com/iridium-browser/tracker/wiki/Differences-between-Iridium-and-Chromium Its code is open source, as well. Seems okay to me. The only thing that’s still running – according to them – is Google SafeBrowsing (Firefox also has that), but you can disable it as well. They let it run because it is indeed a malware protection.

      17. Rick A. said on March 5, 2018 at 2:38 am
        Reply

        @Appster – Yeah, i was reading on Brave’s website the other day and it’s different from the last time i read on it, and i wasn’t liking what i read.

        i was reading on iridium and it’s definitely more appealing and i just read that link you posted and i like it even more. The only thing i don’t like with Chromium based browsers is i don’t think we can adjust a setting that’s similar to Firefox’s browser.sessionstore.interval in about:config . i have an SSD so i set it to 999999999 in Firefox. Helps it write less data to my SSD.

    2. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm
      Reply

      @Rick A

      Personally, I see no reason why anyone should use or recommend Chrome, regardless of their opinion of Quantum. There are too many better options than that.

      1. Rick A. said on March 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm
        Reply

        @John Fenderson – i couldn’t agree more John.

  5. jupe said on March 1, 2018 at 11:51 am
    Reply

    I always made use of it when available, so slightly disappointed.

  6. Kubrick said on March 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm
    Reply

    @appster.
    Thank you very much indeed for your extensive reply.Much appreciated.

  7. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 1:08 pm
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    Mozilla announced as discontinuing support for Firefox extension beta versions doesn’t bother me personally considering I’ve never installed an extension’s beta version.

    Generally speaking I think this is a good move despite the number of users(important or insignificant) who may be affected (because I’ve never considered that as a true argument.)

    Also, a breach in the era of alpha, beta versions built at a raging frequency, delivered accordingly in order, in my belief, to have a large audience of beta testers, is a contribution to a healthier tempo and an invitation addressed to developers (those of Firefox extensions anyway) to bring a finished product (remaining improvable) rather than the last innovations one after the other exposed to all in those beta versions.

    All good IMHO.

    1. Jessica said on March 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm
      Reply

      You can still go to the developer’s site or project page (and many use GitHub these days, meaning the extension source code is available to everyone) if you want to use development builds.

      Many comments here are just bashing Firefox for the sake of it, even those that seem to have more substance to them.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm
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        @Jessica

        Do you really think people who criticize the direction FF has taken are doing so for no reason? I agree that some commenters engage in very harsh and often hyperbolic rhetoric, but that comes from the passion and affection that they feel about Firefox, and a reaction to feeling abandoned by it.

      2. leanon said on March 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm
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        @John Fenderson at first I thought the same…then I read their comments again. What I have seen here is just borderline spam.

      3. leanon said on March 1, 2018 at 4:27 pm
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        BTW when doing some research on linux here I have run across comments from Appster dating back to 2015 pluging waterfox! Seriously, has no one ever noticed this?

      4. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm
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        @leanon: Yes, I have recommended a product that corrects some of Mozilla’s mistakes since even longer than 2015. Your point being? Why am I not allowed to say which product I prefer?

        By the way, I feel that I treated Firefox pretty fairly in my comment above. No unreasonable criticism, just facts. I do not go ad hominem at the developers, I do not imagine things that are not there. I am just citing facts, and the conclusions I alone draw from them (that Mozilla has changed course massively). If you disagree, that’s fine with me. Calling it spam is not.

      5. leanon said on March 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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        My point is obvious, your bias. Do not know what your connection is to waterfox exactly but it is obvious you have one. Good luck with that.

      6. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm
        Reply

        > My point is obvious, your bias.

        Which bias? Let’s say Microsoft decides to cut down Office 2019 to the level of text editor, and people do complain about it, calling it “bad”, “useless”, “junk” etc. This is exactly what Firefox did to Firefox. Legacy extensions (Office) got thrown out in favor of WebExtensions (text editor). No Firefox has become a bit faster, just like a text editor is fast when compared to an Office suite. You get the analogy? The benefit does not outweigh the inherent disadvantage.

        > Do not know what your connection is to waterfox exactly but it is obvious you have one. Good luck with that.

        Are you some kind of wannabe conspiracy theorist? Waterfox is having the better, more privacy-respecting defaults. That’s one reason why I use it. The other is the removed signing requirement, as I see no point in going to AMO every time I need to update a Chrome extension I installed in FF via Chrome Store Foxified. Too much trouble, born out of an artificial restriction. Those two reasons are my “connection” to Waterfox.

      7. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm
        Reply

        *Mozilla did to Firefox

      8. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 5:10 pm
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        @leanon: ” I have run across comments from Appster dating back to 2015 pluging waterfox”

        I’m not sure what the importance of that is. I can’t (and won’t) speak for Appster — he and I are different people with different opinions, but as for me… that’s roughly the time when I started to question whether or not FF was still the best choice for me, and first seriously considered switching to a fork. Between then and Quantum, though, it was still possible, without herculean effort, to make FF acceptable, so I stayed.

        In light of that, it doesn’t seem odd or incriminating that someone else would have jumped to a fork.

      9. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm
        Reply

        @Jessica: The kind of person you represent, those who stand up in favor of corporate interest that is without a doubt involved in Mozilla’s decisions, those who applaud when freedom in the world wide web is cut down and diminished, those of you who call the people who happen to oppose this development “bashers”, “haters”, “trolls” etc… Those are the most disgusting kind.

        Of course the people who argue in favor of user control are the most disgusting scum there is. How dare they, right?

        Give me a break. People like you should lose even the most minimal control over the programs they use, the programs should be closed source and full of spyware. Then – maybe – you will come to the same conclusion as we do, that there is no major player anymore that would stand up for you and your very interests, which you fail to see out of convenience.

        Jessica, I look at your attitude with disgust. It’s both shortsighted and disgraceful.

      10. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm
        Reply

        @Jessica You and all the other users like you are the reason why advanced features are getting removed because people like you only accept one reality: Your features inside the procuct – no one else’s.

        You simple users are most of the time unwilling to learn, to grow… and you demand that we more advanced users should without protest just lower our own abilities and needs to the one’s of you and all the other simple users.

        @Appster is right.

        And…

        You normies are beside lefticism SJW in the tech industry the most grave danger to everything feature related!

    2. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm
      Reply

      @Jessica, Appster ain’t a bad guy, he’s only a passionate. I’m sure he already considers his words were expressed quicker than they were thought :=)

      1. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack: Sorry to say, but I have to (after having carefully chosen that rather strong word) repeat: Her attitude is DISGRACEFUL. This kind of person is responsible for all forms of diminishing freedom on the web. Mozilla used to champion user choice and open standards. Is anything of that left? Not really, right? That’s because the simple users do not care at all and call those who care “haters” and what not… I am just tired of this clueless crowd and would prefer not having to read their nonsense.

  8. 420 said on March 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    Reply

    I still use firefox, but I find it annoying that i have to run config fox and check like 12 boxes to make firefox the way it should be, then I have to run ccleaner and disable like 10 hidden extensions I did not ask for and do not want. Then mozillas desire for funding gets in the way as they ad some new shit I did not ask for and do not want that somehow enhances them and not me and I have to track that shit down and disable it, that gets annoying.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 2:56 pm
      Reply

      That’s how it is nowadays, especially with browsers where one has to go through checklists as pilots before takeoff, in flight and even after landing.

      I don’t think stating a new option, system extension as “shit” on the ground it doesn’t meet our requirements is a valid argument (and vice-versa). But I do agree that there is a lack of information regarding new and modified settings even if specialized sites do process and announce them but in geeks language and addressed accordingly to geeks. From there on sites such as here, Ghacks, but also several pages on GitHub not to mention many blogs have the merit of translating geek stuff to understandable English.

      Whatever let’s keep in mind that there’s something worse than a multitude of settings : no settings made available for the user. Some “starters” may prefer a browser ready to use and no settings to handle, in the same way we may prefer less information in order to avoid fake news, or less diversity in supermarkets to avoid brain stress. It’s a respectable attitude but it’s not mine even though I am not at all a geek : liberty requires efforts and refusal of efforts may be comfortable be it at the cost of one’s freedom.

      Lastly, complexity and complication can be two different matters. When you start digging things often appear far less complicated and often far more complex than we first thought they’d be.

      So, long live settings and tweaking. What I really fear is that they disappear because what’s the point in using an application, a browser if you can’t modify what bothers you, should it be privacy matters and, to a far lesser degree, navigation comfort and cabin aesthetics.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:25 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack: “what’s the point in using an application, a browser if you can’t modify what bothers you”

        This is precisely what makes Quantum problematic for me — I can no longer fix the things that bother me, and it doesn’t offer any benefits to me that outweigh that drawback.

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm
        Reply

        @John Fenderson, I agree that some “fixes” (wide word, which ones exactly?) are not as easily accessible as they used to be prior to FF57. But there are “under the hood” ways of modifying those settings.

        For CSS you have for instance,

        ‘Custom CSS for Firefox’ [https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx] which has been detailed here on Ghacks, brought by the developer of the famous ‘Classic Theme Restorer” extension, obsolete since Quantum…

        ‘simpleMenuWizard’ to “replace” the ‘Menu Wizard Add-on” of pre-FF57 at [https://github.com/stonecrusher/simpleMenuWizard]

        You also have this gem of coding to circumvent Quantum limitations, all in a concept called userchrome.js [https://gist.github.com/Sporif/db6b3440fba0b1bcf5477afacf93f875] with which you can perform things inaccessible to CSS

        There are work-arounds but I have to agree that if they exist it is because they fit a lack brrought by Quantum…

        You know (or not) that when Quantum arrived I was of those who were really annoyed, by several innovations, by mainly be it said the loss of my comfort in tweaking Firefox. But that’s ow it goes, and focusing on the improvements contributes to objectivity. From there on, is Quantum worth the change? I guess it’s up to everyone to have an answer, but I wouldn’t wish to be exaggeratedly subjective on focusing only on the worst. Much remains to be brought to Quantum, I’d say it’s a work in progress, given the complexity but also notorious mistakes, be they in coding or, worse, in the general architecture concept. No religion on my part : if I find better (IMO) than Firefox I’ll switch immediately.

      3. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack:

        Except that those “workarounds” are pretty cumbersome/annoying compared to the convenience of installing a fitting add-on that we had before. Mozilla took this option away, which is just bad, from whichever viewpoint you might look at it. They don’t bother to create an equivalent, calling this idea a “non-starter” on Bugzilla.

        Had you read Bugzilla, Tom, you’d know that Quantum is no “work in progress” but Mozilla’s finished product that still is far too powerful in their eyes (unironically).

        By the way, userChrome.css is also on its way out, Mozilla is already collecting telemetry on the number of people still using it, so that they can remove it later on, citing “low usage” as their reason, as if those who use userChrome.css would still send telemetry data to them…

        When they remove about:config, we two will virtually meet again and see if there is still a “workaround”. And yeah, I definitely think that the removal of about:config would be their next logical step. I am fully anticipating it.

      4. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm
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        @Appster, you write,
        “When they remove about:config, we two will virtually meet again and see if there is still a “workaround”. And yeah, I definitely think that the removal of about:config would be their next logical step. I am fully anticipating it.”

        If, then, yes, reconciliation of some of our divergent opinions regarding Firefox would be factual.

        Until then I’ll continue to try to get the best of Firefox. We spoke of this already, blacking so many lines. I’m not competing on the ground of qualifications which are, regarding the computing space, far lower than yours, only trying to set (and occasionally defend) my approach which, here as in life, tries to conciliate “de-dramatization” and efficiency, absence of worship, pragmatism leading to “it’s Firefox because I know no better browser at this time, at least no other browser able to answer to my requirements as Firefox (still) does at this time, even if we are far from the pre-Quantum era. I’m open-minded which is also why I appreciate different opinions, yours included of course.

        Wait and see. The attack is not always the best defense :=)

      5. Appster said on March 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm
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        @Tom Hawack: I take no issue with your more leaned back attitude, I am just pointing out where the journey most likely goes. The simple users do not need about:config, so you don’t need it either. Wait and see.

        Quantum did not backfire, as most Firefox users are probably simple users who simply do not care. Mozilla probably views that as a sign of approval for their new direction.

        Furthermore, I did write this comment in order to let you know that CSS code is not going to be there in the long term, either. Again, just a comment in order to let you where the journey goes. They are not done yet with killing off Firefox.

      6. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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        Yeah, i know what you mean, Appster, I think I understand your approach, that’s why I don’t get annoyed. I know your intentions are good and you have and share valid information. But regarding the future I’ll keep my hopes for the time being. No idea what browser I’d switch to if applicable, at this time I’d consider as I had in the past Waterfox or Basilisk (Pale Moon’s dive into the modern era) … or Pale Moon itself, bathed by nostalgia as when listening to an old Jazz record :=)

      7. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm
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        @Tom Hawack: ” But there are “under the hood” ways of modifying those settings.”

        Not all of them. For example, it’s impossible to fix the UI, even with the CSS settings. You can do a lot there, certainly, but there’s a lot you can’t. And, in my opinion anyway, having to use CSS to fix the UI issues is more trouble than it’s worth, when I have other browsers available that are more amenable to customization.

        There are bigger issues centered around the change to the extensions mechanism. There’s quite a lot there that will never be coming back.

        “From there on, is Quantum worth the change?”

        Yes, that’s the underlying question. For me, it’s currently not, as the benefits Quantum brings pale in comparison to what’s been lost. But there’s another question here — what is to be done?

        Apparently, the people who love Quantum thing that what should be done is for critics to shut up. But that seems wrong to me.

        “No religion on my part : if I find better (IMO) than Firefox I’ll switch immediately”

        Same with me — the moment that I don’t have a better alternative to Quantum, I’ll switch to using it. But it’s interesting — I used to be pretty religious about my browser. Using Firefox was not only better for browsing, but better for the web generally. I no longer thing that’s true. I’ve lost that religion, and perhaps that’s part of my current angst.

      8. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm
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        @John Fenderson,

        “For example, it’s impossible to fix the UI, even with the CSS settings.[…]”

        Well, considering my lack of computing knowledge I’m rather proud of having managed to build that UI accordingly to what I was used to previously to Quantum. Hey! look at this (reminds me myself showing up with my pals!) : [https://i.lensdump.com/i/8jH2SM.jpg] : I changed a lot of the UI, even added buttons (‘C’ for cookies behavior, ‘F’ for Documents Fonts, another for direct access to about:config … with the help of userchrome.js. Fascinating what can be accomplished even if, yes I agree, sort of ironical to have to go through all this labor to achieve what was easily done before Quantum…

        “Apparently, the people who love Quantum thing that what should be done is for critics to shut up. But that seems wrong to me.[…]”

        You find this state of mind everywhere. I don’t know the cause, maybe a mix of ego and (paradox) the will to be among the “winners” or considered as such. Sectarian attitude.

  9. Bobby Phoenix said on March 1, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    Reply

    The only time I used a beta version is when Firefox was updated to a new version, and LastPass didn’t work right with the current release, but the beta did. I think the splitting of them is better than having them in the version section. At least this way you can label them, and explain it better. Like say “LastPass Now” and “LastPass Future” (instead of using the word beta). And on the Future version have it as the first thing they read. Something like “This version is the “Future”. You cannot go back in time to the current version. If you want to use the current Now version please uninstall Future version, and then install Now.”

  10. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 3:50 pm
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    “I think the change is reasonable, however, but that it could have been communicated better. ”

    It’s become pretty clear to me that Mozilla is suffering from an enormous communications problem. I suspect that half of the criticisms of Quantum would evaporate if they just fixed that issue alone.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm
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      Yes, that is a big issue but Mozilla is not the only organization or company that suffers from it. Microsoft, too, is really bad when it comes to communicating things to consumers.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm
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        @Martin

        That’s certainly true. But I care about Mozilla, and don’t care about Microsoft. :)

  11. vosie said on March 1, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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    Mozilla is ridiculous. Literally everything they do is wrong. They can’t do anything right (the only exception is E10S). I wonder what will be their next dumb move.

    There are several important addons that don’t even have stable version. They only have beta / experimental version, but are working perfectly.

  12. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm
    Reply

    Here we have it again:

    Mozilla tries to be more Google as compared to actual Google.

    Even Google store offers beta versions of extensions, the decision of Mozilla is just another clear visible sign that only simple users are in Mozilla’s focus.

    Try to deny that as much as you want, but the signs are to be seen everywhere on the wall.

    Mozilla= Spineless wankstain Google fanboys with a brain capacity of less then an ameba. When Google is Donald Trump, Mozilla is the girl – and you know what Trump said what he can do with them! And how retarded and braindead someone can be to willingly allow their offender to grab them again and again and again! And even worse.. the victim loves it!

    So much about the non-existing self-respect of Mozilla – who has become the first stop for all cyber-sugar-daddy-companies existing inside the virtual red-light-district!

  13. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 6:02 pm
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    “Do you use beta versions of add-ons?”

    I never have, to my memory.

    This change seems innocuous to me, really.

    1. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 6:20 pm
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      @John Fenderson It is the “philosophy” behind this removal which is scary.

      As said, even Google does not get so far.

      And as Mozilla is trying to take over Google’s userbase and place in the browser market share ranking, they will go that far to even lower their standards as Google Chrome already has low standards.

      Right now even Google themes (personas) offer more power than Firefox personas.

      Look here:

      As usual that guy really hits the nail with the sledge-hammer :D

      http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=14791276&sid=c46c411ef3f76ce3fea5dbcf2ae17e85#p14791276

      If Mozilla is actually trying to reach this goal with being dumber/simplistic than Google Chrome, you know, that it is just plain wrong.

      And as already said, old Mozilla – it’s vision, dignity and foss philosophy has sadly died and it was replaced against a concept based on money, greed and jealousy.

      The change itself may not be that drastic like many other ones have been more radical for example, but look at the overall picture. And that is neither beautiful or honest.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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        @Kossan Nyx: “It is the “philosophy” behind this removal which is scary.”

        Well, since I can see good technical reasons for this change, I’m more inclined to accept it as a rational and largely harmless (to the community at large) decision.

        While it does appear to me that Mozilla has decided to abandon many of the values that it has traditionally held, and that is a problem for me, it’s also useful to be able to judge changes to the software based on their technical merits apart from their “philosophy”. In a sense, those are two different, albeit related, types of debates.

      2. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm
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        @John Fenderson

        Then let’s reduce it to the most logical variable – Mozilla’s new focus on simple users only is to a major degree a big issue for customization and features loving users who dislike conformity like Google Chrome is offering and what Mozilla is striving to offer because of their Google Chrome user focus.

        I guess in that we can both agree if you are not a rabid feature and customization hater too like so many other … subjects … here ;)

      3. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm
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        @Kossan Nyx

        Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that the push in Quantum to remove as many features as possible is a bad thing, and is harming the browser.

        I’m not making excuses for it at all, but I would like to point out that this is a wider problem in the software industry in general these days, and the damage is far wider than even just in the browser space. Also, while removing features just to have fewer features is bad, that doesn’t mean that it’s always bad to remove a specific feature — there can be good reasons for it. Removing the support for beta extensions in AMO is not, in my opinion, a bad thing, for example.

        I don’t think that Mozilla is doing this out of maliciousness, I think they’re doing it because it’s the current fad industry-wide, and is tied into a couple of other industry fads that are resulting in the ongoing drop in software quality overall.

        In the end, it’s pretty much as we both agreed before — Mozilla has decided to pursue a target market that specifically excludes most of the people (including us) that used to be fans of Firefox.

  14. Sebas said on March 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm
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    As said before when they forced Brendan Eich to resign they lost all integrity. Don’t like this alt left intolerance at all. Removed Firefox.

    The dumbing down is a extra reason.

    1. quadchindotorg said on March 1, 2018 at 9:10 pm
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      I just uninstalled Firefox and anything from those liberal terrorists.

    2. Kossan Nyx said on March 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm
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      Exactly. That is what no one wants to see. That once real diverse Mozilla joined the ranks of radical leftist N*zi movement!

      Showing no respect towards Conservative users is a real crime. Everyone is abandoning true and honest real diversity with discrimination of Conservatives – that term excludes of course real right wing F*scists, which – it can not be denied – do exist.

      But discriminating a whole user group because of a bunch of numbnuts… That is unacceptable. Mozilla – and their whole liberal f*scist ideology can go to hell!

      Conservatives do support Israel – what you can not say from most liberals!

      1. Jody Thornton said on March 2, 2018 at 12:46 am
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        @Kossan Nyx:

        What you’re saying is becoming dangerous and toxic. I consider myself left of centre, and in no way do I subscribe to what you say that liberals believe. And calling us numbnuts. You better stop with your drivel. It’s becoming harmful.

      2. John Fenderson said on March 2, 2018 at 1:39 am
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        @Kossan Nyx

        Ah, so you are so vehement in your objections to Quantum more because of politics than the browser itself. That’s good to know.

      3. Kossan Nyx said on March 2, 2018 at 7:47 am
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        @John Fenderson and @Jody Thornton:

        Both ways to argument are important. There is always a second coin. And if there is on the first side the the “mainstreamization” – there is on the second one the political ideology.

        It would be not at all true to say that a company – no matter if Mozilla, Google, Microsoft or Vivaldi and the Brave project would not take certain sides.

        Also, EVERY kind of discrimination has to be brought to the open, like the most radical right wingers (which are disgusting) discriminate people of color. But again, that has nothing to do with real Conservatives.

        Anyway, that was just a reaction to that certain post here. I will try to reduce my way of expression about politics from now on to a bare minimum.

        Sorry :)

  15. Anonymous said on March 2, 2018 at 2:18 am
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    Why the hell did this cause so much nerdrage? lol, devs will just upload the beta versions on github or their own site instead and that’ll be it.

  16. 11r20 said on March 2, 2018 at 5:34 pm
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    I have to ask, what is the point of upgrading
    when you’re using an older Firefox with your own about:config settings that work and a number of legacy extensions like noscript and ublock’O and others that are still supported?

    Is it just a “keeping up with the jone’s”
    status quo thing?

    1. John Fenderson said on March 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm
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      @11r20

      Well, there have been changes in Quantum that some people prefer over pre-Quantum FF. If you’re one of those people, then upgrading is a no-brainer.

      While personally, the benefits that Quantum provides are minor to me and don’t currently outweigh the drawbacks, different people value different things so it’s not at all surprising that others find Quantum to be better on the whole.

  17. Robert said on April 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm
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    Mozilla seems to be moving in the wrong direction with Firefox.

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