The new Unified Extensions Button in Firefox 109

Since mods, or whomever, delete negative comments on the Unified Extensions Button blog post I’ll post my rant here then.

The new unified extension button is awful. How is this something users should be excited about when it forces you to deal with all your extensions in an un-customizable button?

Before, I had a handful of extensions inside the Overflow menu, and the extension’s button I didn’t want were hidden away inside the Customize panel. Now my Overflow button is almost empty and the new Unified Extension button forces me to deal with 20 extensions, 15 of which I do not want to see.
You can pin extensions to the toolbar, yes, but they cannot be dragged back inside the Overflow menu, or even moved around the toolbar.

What’s the point of the Overflow menu now?

Who the heck come up with these stupid idea? Why not take advantage of the old Overflow Menu instead of reinventing the wheel with an Unified Extension button that’s clearly inferior?

  • It cannot be customized,
  • It cannot be hidden,
  • Extension icons cannot be dragged out back inside the Overflow menu,
  • The Pin to toolbar gives you unmovable extension buttons…

I get it that MV3 will require to have notifications pop-ups to set up the host_permissions for some Extensions, but why did it need a whole new button with all the installed Extensions in it when there was already the Overflow menu?

Was it too hard to force add extension button inside the Overflow menu with a notification bubble on it or a change of color for the “>>”? … Why the need of a permanent, un-customizable, button for a “host_permissions” that’s set once during the install of an extension. How is that supposed be a good idea?

Edit: Apparently the extension icons in this new Unified Extensions button have a life on their own and tend to move around. Depending of their usage I suppose?

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Hey @Chris34. Thanks for your feedback on the extensions button.

Because this is changing with MV3 extensions. In MV3, all host permissions are optional and not granted at install time. This allows the user to have more control over which extensions can act on which pages. It also adds more granular control by making it possible for the user to grant an extension permission to run on current visit only.

This change is also why we wanted to make sure there’s a easy way for the users to notice that an extension is requesting a host permission, to see which extensions currently have permissions and to mange those permissions.

We do not delete negative comments but we do have a manual approval process due to the amount of spammy messages. It sometimes take a moment for a comment to appear due to this manual process.

Your comment is visible in the blog here.

I don’t think you really understood my post/rant or even read it completely. I’ll just quote myself to reply to this:

I get it that MV3 will require to have notifications pop-ups to set up the host_permissions for some Extensions, but why did it need a whole new button with all the installed Extensions in it when there was already the Overflow menu?

The new MV3 require users to set host_permission, why why did it need a whole new button that’s in reality a massive regression over what was offered before?

How is cluttering the UI with a perma button that cannot be modified or removed with extension buttons that cannot be moved back in the Overflow submenu once they’re pinned on the toolbar a better way to do things?

You’re gonna have to try harder to sell it to people when it goes live to the general public when 109 beta goes stable.

edit: nvm the buttons move once they’re set on the toolbar. Yesterday they didn’t for some reason when pinned once and I opened the “Customize panel” to drag my extension icons back in the Overflow menu. They still cannot be dragged back inside the Overflow menu.

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I did, and I do understand your dislike for the new button instead of us using the overflow menu.

I was just commenting on that part where there was an incorrect assumption (or a misunderstanding on what you meant) to make sure that the reason for the button’s existence was clear.

Another point is that we needed a place for extensions without a browser action. Currently (108 and older) you can only pin extensions to the toolbar or overflow menu if they have an action. With the MV3 extensions, users need a way to grant permissions for all enabled extensions.

We also needed new UI to display the current permission state of the extensions, just moving things to overflow menu alone would not have been enough.

But of course, every user has their own opinion and preferences and the best way to help us drive Firefox forward is to provide the feedback and ideas. I appreciate you sharing your feedback on this matter.

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Maybe you delete and maybe you don’t (“moderation” can be used for deletion of comments yo disagree with), but you do turn commenting off after a short time window which severely restricts community participation in what is supposed to be a “community blog”

Quoting your words from the blog:

You are correct, I was incorrect there. As you said, extensions pinned to toolbar won’t be visible in the Unified Extensions Panel. In case of those extensions needing permissions, they will have their own identifier marker below their button.

If the pinned extensions can get their own indicator without the need for the unified extension menu, the same thing could have been done to the extensions in the overflow menu.

Agreed. Another “feature” imposed upon the users. At least give an option to disable the button. Just cluttering the clean toolbar I have.

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Ye wtf firefox, If I want random stupid “feature” with less customizability I would use Chrome, pls make the unmoveable addon go back to what it was.

I am also really unhappy with how the new layout functions. I don’t really understand how having this menu is different in function from popping a notification or something, but if you are gonna go this route, it needs its own “overflow” menu. I run about 10 extensions, so it’s not a huge thing to get used to for me, but a while ago, I used to have dozens at a time. Simplest solution seems to just allow us to move the button around, but not hide it (like the new tab button for example) and have the ability to hide some extensions if they aren’t asking for a permission at the moment (just have something like “Hidden Ext. >” like we have for hidden tabs and have them light up with the same green notification icon if there is something to check out, or have them show up under a separator or something).
For context I also used to have the extensions I need to have access to (like ublock, VPN, webRTC toggle etc) in the overflow menu for ease of access and now the menu is much more cluttered and unorganized (can’t even change the order!).

Also why do my search extensions show up on the menu is a complete mystery to me. I am not gonna give brave search a permission on a random website.

Now I need a way to hide the overflow menu (it has nothing inside now), and/or the new addons button should be movable, hideable, customizable.

EDIT: Removed zoom of overflow and is now hidden. Still not happy with the change.

This a clear error about UI.

If we like some imposition we’ll be using Chrome.

Please make it removable and bring back again the extensions to the overflow button.

Found a workaround in https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2023/01/firefox-109-released. Disable this “thing” from the config:

about:config
extensions.unifiedExtensions.enabled: false

I would not recommend using about:config as it can break your Firefox installation.

With regards to that pref, it is very likely to be removed in a future update to Firefox as the UEB is required as part of the work on MV3 add-ons.

The unified extensions button seems so impractical. I found it an inconsistent troublesome feature. I Hope Mozilla respects users, removes this bug (so-called feature) and “upgrades” Firefox to use the old good Overflow menu.