So you are really killing the addon ecosystem now. Congratulations


(mario771) #10

I opened some bug reports addressing all the annoyances in the current Firefox user interface. Lets hope Mozilla finally listens to it’s community. This would actually make most of the addons I currently use unnecessary.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1364414
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1364532
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1363837


#11

Bad for Add-on developers, very bad for humble users. Until it gets better (perhaps).

The irritating thing is that add-ons which are actually very useful just stop working when Firefox updates. No warning - “if you update your useful add-on will no longer be supported”. Firefox automatically updates itself, and the first you know is that pop up telling you that one of your extensions has been disabled.


(Andrei Petcu) #12

You can enable it back.

I think the current addon system is part of the reason why Firefox has such a small market share: they slow the browser down, and extension devs build first for Chrome and then for Firefox. Most people really don’t care about crazy customizations. I am a power user and I don’t care.


(mario771) #13

Sorry, but this is not accurate.

The current addon system is part of the reason why Firefox still has such a large market share. Of course Chrome gets more and more popular, but that’s due to the much larger marketing budget and more aggressive marketing, maybe also better support for web standards, better performance and a more productive UI*. But, “I like Firefox, but I’ll switch to Chrome because it has better addons” - no one ever said. Mozilla will never be able to compete with Google in terms of marketing budget. That’s why I think it’s not Mozillas fault that they are now loosing market share. And I don’t see any reason why setting everything on fire would change anything.

But if Mozilla waned to make Firefox better, there are much better options. Mozilla could have kept the old addon system while developing WebExtentions in parallel. Like in Windows 10, where you can have new fancy metro apps but also all your Win32 programs from Win98. And has it made Windows any worse to still be compatible to old applications? I don’t think so. It’s just a little more work and requires talented developers who are able to read old code and improving on that.

*Regarding UI, there are so many options how Mozilla could have made their UI more productive withing the current codebase. Proof: Addons can do this right now. The only thing Mozilla needs to do is copy from it’s featured addon and voilà, better UI than Chrome!


#14

This fascinates me, really. “The future!” All I can envision is this happy little man hopping onto a spaceship with “The future!” emblazoned proudly upon its bulkhead, only to cut away to another scene where that selfsame person is now looking rather sad and sorry for themself as their ship has landed in an internment camp.

That’s the problem with “The future!” really. Much like “The past!” and any ideological hyperbole, it can be used as a justification for any tribally-minded silliness.

In my opinion, any future worth heading towards is one with user customisability at its heart, or it’s really not a worthwhile future at all. Rushing toward a future where everyone uses the Internet from a proverbial digital prison cell isn’t exactly my idea of fun.


(Graham Perrin) #15

A fine idea, but the limitation of ESR to 52.x is useless for some of the more valuable legacy extensions – 52.x falls below their minimum requirement.

56.x would be saner, would be more broadly supportive of the requirements of end users.

WebExtensions is not a panacea for performance issues. The more that I introduce Firefox 57+ extensions into my workflow – attempting to move away from legacy extensions, the more I have trouble with Firefox. This seems to be particularly true with 55.x, where the potential for improved performance (e.g. virtual tabs) may be offset by a significantly increased likelihood of extension conflicts.

Attempting to resolve conflicts, in the absence of a suitable extensions manager for Firefox, can be shockingly, unacceptably time-consuming.

Take the time saved by virtual tabs, multiply that by between five hundred and a thousand. That’s something like the amount of time that I have spent on troubleshooting 55.x. So whilst I’m grateful for the focused performance improvements in one area, the bigger picture is a PITA, not time-saving.

That’s harsh, but I empathise with the frustration. Firefox transitioning to WebExtensions has become a roller-coaster of joy and pain.

Just rarely, I fire up extended 57 on a Mac. It’s a shadow of its former (pre-57) self.


(Graham Perrin) #16

52.x ESR

A shortlist

Based on the extensions that I currently use.

Conex

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/conex/versions/?page=1#version-0.0.65 – requires 57.0a1 or later, I use it with 56.0.1 partly to plug the gap left by incompatibility of 55 with Showcase, expect the more common use case to be plugging the gap left by incompatibility of 57 with Tab Groups and this will involve using Firefox containers (a privacy-focused feature) in a way that requires a careless approach to privacy

Context Plus

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/context-plus/versions/?page=1#version-0.3.3 – requires 53.x

MultiSelect Tabs

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/multiselect-tabs/versions/?page=1#version-0.5.0 – requires 54.x

Save To The Wayback Machine

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/save-to-the-wayback-machine/versions/?page=1#version-1.1.1 – requires 53.x

Sea Containers

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/sea-containers/versions/?page=1#version-0.8 – requires 54.x

Tab Center Redux

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/tab-center-redux/versions/?page=1#version-0.4.2 – requires 55.x

Tree Tabs

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/tree-tabs/versions/?page=1#version-0.0.16 – requires 54.x

Vertical Tabs Reloaded

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/vertical-tabs-reloaded/versions/?page=1#version-0.8.4.1
– requires 55.x


Some of those are compatible with Firefox 57 but for me, that’s irrelevant; 57 will not support some of the extensions that are essential to my workflow.


(Graham Perrin) #17

Raised today:


(Andrei Petcu) #18

I don’t see the point in having between 2 and 3 ESR versions at the same time. Why not use the old one? v52…

If you want speed, you get the latest. If you want stability, you get ESR. Why would Mozilla invest in having several ESR versions when they want to ship Rust components and Web features?


(Graham Perrin) #19

Emphatically:

… extended support releases 52.5–52.8 of Firefox will fall below minimum requirements; …

I did not suggest several. Just one.

The step from 54.x to 55 was widely understood to be a great milestone in speed for use cases that involve numerous tabs. The New Firefox and Ridiculous Numbers of Tabs – Dietrich Ayala, and so on. I did find some post-startup performance degradations, which might have been side-effects of the startup-focused improvements, but no degradation was serious enough to shout about. Ultimately, 55 startup times … certainly were better than 54 :+1: .

I have more than a thousand tabs, which an onlooker might view as ridiculous, but thanks to legacy extensions such as Tab Groups, it’s a sane number. Various legacy extensions make things more manageable and help me to be highly productive.

The step from 55 to 56 brought more performance improvements.

I’m interested in, but do not need, the performance improvements that will be associated with next month’s release of 57.

I would hate the serious performance degradations (startup times etc.) and losses of functionality that are inherent in a drop from 56.x to 52.x.

From the Mozilla bug:

I expect to use 56.x until the August 2018 release of 62.


(hell woodice) #20

I 100% agree. This is ridiculous. Please sign my petition:


#21
  1. Session Manager not working in 57* and developer claims it will never work. Really, FF guys, really…
  2. The built-in session “restore” feature of 57* just lost my session and there was no way to bring it back…
  3. Downgraded to 56.0.2 (last version before 57*, right?) off ftp.mozilla.org and also fell back to the last compatible version of Tree Style Tab…
  4. Session Manager with 56.0.2 still had my previously saved backup sessions - yay! All my “legacy” add-ons working again - yay!!! :slight_smile:
  5. Disabled automatic FF updates altogether.
  6. Staying with 56.0.2 until sanity is restored within the open source and independent browser market segment…

(Makyen) #22

As has been mentioned in multiple places, from a security standpoint, you are better off going with FF 52ESR, which will continue to receive security updates through June 2018.


#23

Thanks for the recommendation, mate. But, I am in grahamperrin’s club here. I will consider any fork based on the 56.* FF.


(Honeyko) #24

A short list of absolutely indispensable (as opposed to merely nifty) extensions:

  1. TabMixPlus – Quite simply, you are a not a “power browser” without multi-row tabs and the ability to customize their size (to fit more of them in each row), and this is the only browser extension of any type that I know of for any browser enabling that function. Essentially, I have no reason whatsoever to continue using Firefox over another browser without multi-row tabs.

  2. Lazarus Form Recovery – Losing all the text you’ve just written because something went haywire is one of the most aggravating and infuriating wastes of time and creativity possible on the internet, and this was not only the best tool thwarting that, it was the only one. Seriously: why the hell would anyone in their right mind use any browser without this feature provided that an alternative with it existed? I would jump ship instantly to anything with working multi-row tabs and form-recovery.

  3. FlashStopper – There are dozens of add-ons (such as the well-known FlashBlock) that claim to prevent auto-playing videos, but this is the only one that actually isn’t broke in one way or another when it comes to YouTube. (And I don’t to hear any crap about HTML5, which seems to exist solely in order to enable auto-play advertisements…I know that’s not true, but it’s the perceptive effect.)

  4. Session Manager – Absolutely necessary with TabMixPlus’ multi-row tabs.

  5. Hierarchical Menus – (R.I.P.) Remember Firefox 2? You could open the Bookmarks window, and it would remember its shape and placement. This extension permitted a “nested” vertical view list in which bookmarks organized in folders would be visible. Each folder had a toggleable arrow in front, and the Bookmarks window would remember which arrows were toggled. I still have this extension, hacked and creaky, working successfully in Pale Moon. I’d kill to have it working in Firefox.


(Graham Perrin) #25

On (Tier-3) FreeBSD-CURRENT, my plan to use Firefox 56.0.2 until maybe August 2018 has changed. A package for Waterfox became available a couple of weeks ago. Related:


Managing (enabling, disabling) user-defined sets of add-ons/extensions
#27

I’m using Textarea Cache for a very long time now. There are alternatives, check it out :slight_smile:

https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/textarea-cache/


(Dean Beedell) #28

Excuse my presumptuous post assuming anyone would want to hear what I have to say but here it is anyway…

I have been running Firefox for years now and it has been my preferred browser due to its customisation capabilities, abilties to run extensions that provide invaluable functionality, a useful user-interface and all by a team committed to open source. However, that has all changed with the recent release of the new Quantum version of Firefox. Customisation has gone, it seems to be slow on my admittedly older hardware, I hate the new interface and none of my extensions work. In effect it is a new browser and I don’t want it.

So I went to the Mozillazine forum and posted a new topic saying goodbye to Firefox but the forum moderators decided not to publish it. There seems to be a battle between loyal FF users and defectors to Palemoon that I was caught up in. I was simply saying a fond goodbye to Firefox as I have been a loyal user since the beginning. I told them I’m off to the PaleMoon browser instead which has really impressed me. I think PaleMoon is what Firefox used to be with regard to respecting its total user base and not just satisfying a few…

“Thanks Firefox, I am loathe to stop using you but the relationship is over as you have changed in personality too much and you are now something completely different from the software I loved. I found some software just like you and I like her more. Even though she is just as old as you she reminds me of you and I when we were young and in love, however, unlike you she still looks good! Thanks anyway for the good times. What a pity they are over.”

-oOo-

PaleMoon is a fork of Firefox, forked at version 27 but essentially it IS firefox before they put that awful Australis user interface on it. The following image showing palemoon on Windows 7 looking just like Firefox in all respects:

So, I had a migration to do. All migration s are fraught but some are easier than others, migration to PaleMoon is less worrisome than some as it is the same process as a migration of Firefox to another computer. We’ve probably all had to do the same already at least once.

Let’s summarise the process:

I am running Palemoon 32bit on Windows 7 64bit, that is the version I chose to install but I do have plans to try the 64bit version very soon.

My reason for trying Palemoon is due to Firefox ESR being so unstable with my chosen extensions, those instabilities comprise regular audio stuttering issues, very high CPU usage during flash/html video play, regular hangs or freezes, generally running far more slowly than older versions of Firefox. In addition I have to face the fact that Firefox ESR has a limited life span and that I am going to have to migrate to FF quantum at some point in the future. If I have to migrate to another browser that has none of my familiar extensions, reduced functionality and an unproductive UI then I might as well move entirely to another browser, Chrome, or another that has all the facilities I require. So, onto Palemoon.

I have migrated all my favourite extensions from Firefox to Palemoon, Element Properties, Password Exporter, pwgen - Password Generator, Save Button for Pinterest, Saved Password Editor, StartupMaster. All installed with ease and run faultlessly. Previously I also used the Classic Theme Restorer on FF to allow square tabs, having all the tabs below the search bar and a bookmark bar in between, allowing the close tab button to appear in the original location (after the rightmost tab) to restore the original look and feel prior to Australis - which I feel was efficient and optimised for the desktop. The Classic Theme Restorer extension is of course no longer required on Palemoon as it has the original classic look already.

I only had one extension that failed to co-operate and that was an old favourite of mine, Secure Password Generator 1.0.8. It caused PM to hang when the option button was clicked upon. I am testing an earlier version and we’ll see how that goes.

Another of my favourite extensions Adblock Pro has been discarded in favour of Adblock latitude as Adblock Pro is not supported on PaleMoon, at least not yet… We need to wake such developers onto the idea of alternative browsers based upon forks of Firefox.

I exported my FF passwords and imported them using password exporter, I added a master password and tested the password editor. I exported and imported all my bookmarks. All well so far. Finally, only my tabs to restore.

I failed to export and import all my hundreds of tabs. I tried several extensions and each in turn failed to export tabs from the FF default session, or managed only to export a text list in a very clunky and unusable format. Eventually, I resorted to manually dragging all of my tabs one by one to a new bookmark folder, exporting that bookmark list and re-importing into PaleMoon. Then I had to manually open each bleedin’ bookmark in order, opening to a new tab. Closing and restarting PM and restoring the browser history was enough to give me my tabs and the end result of making PM look and feel just like my friendly old FF prior to Australis.

The migration of tabs is one area where the PaleMoon devs could really give a user like me a helping hand. I know that this facility is what the FF devs should really be providing but they are unlikely to facilitate a migration from Firefox to Palemoon or any other browser. When Pale Moon initially starts fopr the very first time it asks if it should import bookmarks &c from IE but I would suggest that the most likely route for a migration to PM is a user coming from Firefox.

EDIT: I later found out there was an option on Firefox to export all tabs to bookmarks. I wish I’d known that earlier as it would have really helped! The PaleMoon forum helped me with the useful bit of information.

My impression of Palemoon 32 bit? Well, on Windows 7 - 64bit on a Dell Latitude e5400 laptop with a mere 2.5ghz core2duo and integrated GPU, Palemoon 32bit is running significantly faster than Firefox ESR 52.5.0 64 bit, Palemoon is noticeably more responsive, feels faster to such an extent that it feels like an injected version of Firefox, not quite a turbo version but certainly injected in comparison to Firefox’s carbs.

I can run all the old extensions I am used to, the interface is identical to that which I have already grown accustomed and in fact I prefer it to FF’s Australis. I can theme PaleMoon thoroughly and I can configure it to run the way I like it.

This is my Pale Moon title, menu, search bar and tabs featuring the Centurion Light font, compact and attractive for my Steampunk desktop.

I am impressed by Palemoon from the outset. I love the stable and desktop optimised GUI. I love the familiarity of the interface and the compatibility with Firefox. I cannot comment on the overall stability as I have not used it long enough but I will comment here later when I have more experience to contribute.

So far, PM feels like my new default browser.


(Janosik19886) #29

I’ve been using TabMix Plus for as long as I can remember and was really ticked off then it was no longer compatible with Quantum. Sure, I found a session manager replacement and another that does some of the same things TM+ did but they’re still not as good. The thing I miss the most is the ability to open links in new tabs by default and I don’t know why that capability wasn’t built in to Firefox as an option. Other add-ons that have started using WebExtensions have to do so in a way that actually makes them less user friendly, ForecastFox and Roboform are two examples.


(terileighspringer) #30

I could not agree with you more! Firefox is now all but completely useless to me and I am desperately (and very unwillingly) searching for an alternative. Firefox ESR is, in my estimation, no alternative at all, as many of the add ons that I use were unavailable THERE as well. To make matters worse, there are extensions I have PAID for that I can no longer use (ie: I upgraded Fireshot to premium as I relied so heavily on this extension - it is now a legacy extension). What a shame for all the wonderful developers that worked so hard to bring us all so many incredible ad ons!
I LOVED Firefox BECAUSE of its customize-ability, and have been fiercely loyal, even with all the changes…up until now. This is too much for me! Even the 2nd and 3rd closest running browsers will not be any less functional than Firefox now is, without the option of SO MANY add ons. For those that have been effected, I am sure you have noticed, as have I, that the amount of extensions left versus those that are now “legacy” is pathetic. And if you have attempted to rely on Firefox to bring you to a place where they suggest a viable alternative, you will realize in very short order that no matter what add you select “find an alternative” for, you are taken back to the same list of add ons, which is a cheap deception at best. I find it hard to believe that when I ask for an alternative to Color Tabs, I am taken to the very same list as the one I get for an alternative to Fireshot! How about this - just don’t offer! The “suggestions” are useless anyway. Firefox may have time to play games, but I do not.
I’ll leave simply with “There is virtually no way I can express how truly disappointed by the loss of what was such a valuable tool to me, largely because I drank the kool-aid! I believed Mozillia when they said they were about people, not profit…”