back to article Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Mozilla plans on November 14 to start rolling out Firefox 57, a massive update that just might send many of its users scurrying for the LTS release. First the good news. Firefox 57 is faster, quite noticeably so, thanks to improvements to what Mozilla calls Project Quantum. Quantum encompasses several smaller projects in order …

JLV
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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

Oh, come on. While I am just as annoyed as anyone else at losing my personal faves - NoScript in my case - at least temporarily, this analogy is pretty darn leaky.

If you had a leaded gasoline car, you'd be out of luck, unless you did whatever you need to do to keep them running on modern gas.

If you had bought lots of cassette tapes, you'd not have them working on any recent equipment.

If your light fixtures for some reason insists on incandescents...

And, how many times have we seen people complaining that Windows is a mess due to its support for outdated technologies? How many people have - justifiably - skewered IE for leaving all sorts of crud enabled?

FF has put in a lot of effort rewriting their core, it's time that we get some payoff.

There's always a fine point between gratuitous changes and ones that make sense going forward. Python 2 vs 3 is a case in point - the changes to 3 were important clean ups in a language that takes clarity and consistency very seriously. To the best of their ability portability was facilitated and stuff back-ported to 2.7. It's not super difficult to write code that runs on 2 and 3*. But, yeah, it broke code. I'm still on 2.7 myself, but I disagree that the whole idea was an unplanned clusterf**** and will eventually move to 3.

Uncomfortable and inconvenient? Yes. Unjustified? No. Sometimes you need to change things and I respect that, as long as you aware of the costs to your users.

Browsers are too central to current computer security to take risks from keeping huge chunks of legacy code, including extensions that may essentially be un-maintained.

I'll give the benefit of the doubt to Mozilla, one of the better software projects around IMHO, that they've done a good job, weighed the alternatives and had reasons for doing this. Then I'll wait for NoScript before upgrading. If they've really screwed the pooch I'll switch to Vivaldi.

What I won't do is compare my ($$$) car to my (free) browser ;-)

* which is not to say that what makes sense in a development framework - where the complexity of compatibility is the developer's choice and is limited to their app - is the right thing to do on a browser.

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Headmaster

"My amp still works on the mains 240V,,,"

<pedant> They changed the voltage a while back to 230V so as to be in line with the rest of the EU. </pedant>

<pedantic pedant> Not quite. They opened up the voltage tolerance so that there was "compatability" throughout the eu. I'm not aware that anything in the UK actually changed. (Yet).

More of a problem some years ago when places like Holland and Frogland moved off 110v to something more civilised. At least all the eu were humming from the same frequency hymn sheet ... if not synchronised to the UK.

>> He'll do. </pedantic pedant>

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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

They changed the voltage a while back to 230V so as to be in line with the rest of the EU

No they didn't. The allowed tolerance was changed by EU administrative fiat so that both nominally 220v (in Europe) and 240v (UK) would fall into the new allowed tolerance bands. I don't know whether recently installed LV transformers in the UK network have moved to be centred on 230v - can't be arsed to google it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

@jlv "If you had bought lots of cassette tapes, you'd not have them working on any recent equipment."

I've got loads of cassette tapes and they still work fine on my cassette player because no one from the cassette player manufacturer has come into my house, taken the back off the players and made them incompatible with the tapes. They'll continue to be compatible until one or the other wears out. Richer sounds still sells the Teac AD850 which, astonishingly, is still compatible with cassettes I bought in 1976!

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Anonymous Coward

What I won't do is compare my ($$$) car to my (free) browser ;-)

@JLV. "What I won't do is compare my ($$$) car to my (free) browser"

And that's the problem - maybe we should. When I spend money on a car I have certain expectations and the car makers fall over themselves to meet them. They live in a regulated world, they have to fit in with a whole bunch of EU regulation, but they main focus of the design and features is the end user, or "customer" as they like to call us, because we have the money and they want it.

Why don't software companies run the same model? It's an honest question. We users have got money. We seem happy to spend tons of it on hardware; if I tot up just the tech stuff I can see from where I'm sitting (Mac, phones, tablet, NAS, printer) it comes the thick end of £5k. We're not cheapskates, so why aren't the softies after some of that money. Not all of us put "free" at the top of the requirements list.

Would people pay for a browser if it could be configured like a new car?

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JLV
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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

So whats to keep you from using an old version of FF? Or a fork? How is that different?

I get the frustration here, but, on balance, I find it better that FF de-crufts itself. If it was not such a front-facing program when it comes to security, I'd probably be less tolerant of breaking changes.

Not everything they do suits me - still peeved at cookie-management changes from a while back. But overall they're not MS or Google or Safari so I cut them a bit of slack.

p.s. I wasn't thinking of generally paying but NoScript's guy almost got some of my cash just now, except he's PayPal only.

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Childcatcher

Re: What I won't do is compare my ($$$) car to my (free) browser ;-)

Why don't software companies run the same model? Because they have trained the masses to expect change, the more rapid the better (according to them). If something just works then the muppets won't trust it if the version doesn't jump every few months. They expect to throw things away and buy new. In a few years the penny will drop and sanity will return. Stability will be a desirable as will features that are consumer friendly.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

"Instead, Mozilla simply add themselves to the long list of others who choose to dictate what users will get, will have to put up with, rather than letting users decide for themselves."

^^^^ What YOU said ^^^^

thanks for saying it. I can't POSSIBLY thumb-it-up enough.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

"You either change or die. Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms."

YOU can be a fatalistic tumbleweed if you want to. _I_ flat out REFUSE.

Saying 'yes' to everything is easy. Saying "NO" is HARD. I would rather do the difficult thing, because it is the right thing to do.

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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

I've got loads of cassette tapes and they still work fine on my cassette player because no one from the cassette player manufacturer has come into my house, taken the back off the players and made them incompatible with the tapes

And you can also read *and convert* your tapes with this or this. Trying to convert some 8-tracks for a friend, and that's proving to be a lot more trouble though (finding a player that still works).

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Trollface

Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

"If you had a leaded gasoline car, you'd be out of luck, unless you did whatever you need to do to keep them running on modern gas.

If you had bought lots of cassette tapes, you'd not have them working on any recent equipment.

If your light fixtures for some reason insists on incandescents..."

For most cars the mods to the engine to cope with unleaded are fairly easy. Making it run as well on the unleaded carcinogenic hooch that passes for petrol is another matter. You may need to adjust the timing curves (distributor mods) and carburation as well as fittting hardened seats to the exhaust ports and probably new valves. Hint : these may already have been fitted from new eg in any ally head.

Or you can add an additive to the petrol. There are at least a couple that have been tested thoroughly and are proven to work. Or, in the UK add your own lead tetra ethyl. Be careful though, organic lead is nasty stuff.

My beef though is that you pay through the nozzle for the extra cost of manufacturing the new sh&t and then have to pay again to get it to work safely / properly.

If you don't use your old classic much and drive it carefully you may be ok for 10,000 - 15,000

miles or more with lead memory - the coating of metallic lead on the valve seats can last a long time. Just watch the valve clearances carefully.

Be careful though, the bastards reduced the lead levels in 4 star to way below the levels needed to protect the engine long before we went "Unleaded". You may have less lead memory than you think, And don't do a decoke.

Cassettes? making a comeback, I'm told - just like gramophone records!

If your light fixtures for some reason insists on incandescents..

Well, the technology's slowly getting there. Compact mercury vapour fluorescents were a dead loss from he beginning, but fluorescent leds are showing promise, Apart from the lousy colour rendering and eye strain caused by peaky line spectra. Largely curable but at a serious loss in efficiency.

The only light fixtures having problems with leds at the moment seem to be 12V dichroic tungsten replacements, where it's really the "fault" of the transformers being asked to operate outside their ratings on too low a wattage, led lamps to replace 150W and 200W gls lamps and replacements for 300W 500W and 1000W linear Halogens.

It's interesting to see the marketing landgrab here. Fittings without replacable lamps. Factor in the cost of a new fitting and the sparks to change it and cost savings don't look so rosy.

Progress - Bah. We need an internet connected digital candle icon. Spherical, of course, with a B22 base. None of yer Edison Screwups.

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Boffin

Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

UK is 240 +/- 10%, since the lower end covers 220v, there was no need to change the UK voltage; obviously though, if we get a 10% over volt, it may cause issues with some Euro spec devices, but the only ones I can think of that it would damage would be filament light bulbs - which are in the process of being banned anyway.

(Sparky - retired).

(part time pendant)

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

I don't think the removal of old extension interfaces has a lot to do directly with the performance enhancements. Removing codepaths always makes things simpler, of course, but I don't think that's the *main* reason. The main reasons the old extension interfaces are going away, AIUI, are the burden of maintaining them, and their security and reliability consequences - some of the things they allow addons to do are fundamentally not safe, and can result in instability and/or security problems.

An old blog post - https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/08/21/the-future-of-developing-firefox-add-ons/ - has some details on why the deprecation happened.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

Looking at the count in the Add-Ons page isn't really accurate. Many addons are already ported but aren't being updated in the official store until release day or just before it. If you look up each addon that's shown as 'legacy' you may well find there's actually a ported version, or a better alternative.

The only addon I actually lost entirely without replacement in the transition was Calomel.

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Re: 12V led replacements

@ PNGuinn

"The only light fixtures having problems with leds at the moment seem to be 12V dichroic tungsten replacements, where it's really the "fault" of the transformers being asked to operate outside their ratings on too low a wattage"

Thanks for this. My electrician son-in-law told me not to use 12V led MR16 in track light fixtures that have the transformer in the individual units that attach to the track. I thought it was because of the starting load. Good to hear the actual reason.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

There are lots of ways this could have been better handled. If they have the telemetary to show addons that crash or slow down Firefox, why not implement some sort of blacklisting for them (with an override that warns of the issues). Or why not allow classic addons with a warning?

Fixing/extending the API for the new addons would also help as a number of popular classic addons are impossible to port due to the limitations of WebExtensions.

However you look at it, a powerful addons ecosystem has been replaced with a watered down and far weaker one. That's a risky move that will alienate some people.

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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

They changed the voltage a while back to 230V

No they didn't - they just changed the nominal value and the allowed tolerance, from 240V +/- 6% to (IIRC) 230V +/- 10%. This meant that nobody had to go about changing taps on distribution transformers (though new ones probably are installed to nominal 230V rather than 240V or the continental 220V) and manufacturers had to make sure their equipment could cope with the wide range of voltages encountered.

This had several effects; older equipment continued to work exactly as it used to, newer equipment with switch-mode power supplies couldn't care less (note that this change has also more-or-less coincided with the change away from incandescent bulbs), and people transporting electric kettles around the continent probably didn't notice that they took slightly longer to boil in Barcelona than they did in Basingstoke.

</pedant>

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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

Trying to convert some 8-tracks for a friend, and that's proving to be a lot more trouble though (finding a player that still works).

I have a load of NAB cart players which use the same format cartridge, but run at 7½ips and with three tracks (stereo plus control) rather than eight. If you fancy fiddling about swapping heads or something, let me know. They are going spare at the moment, propping up a shelf in my soon-to-be-demolished garage.

I dare say there are companies "out there" who would provide the service. Here's one that does NAB cartridges (no mention of 8-track) that I found when looking for an image of the cart machines I have. Never used them, though I have used a different company to transfer some old 8mm film. I chose Cinenostalgia because they were near enough for me to drive down, and they did an excellent job at a good price. Don't think they do audio formats though.

M.

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Happy

You could try using a meter :-)

"I don't know whether recently installed LV transformers in the UK network have moved to be centred on 230v - can't be arsed to google it."

The first I heard of the 230V harmonisation was about a decade ago. The newly installed bank of meters in the building all said 220V (I'm in Europe), so I was sceptical about when it would arrive.

I measured the mains using a meter, and hey presto, it was already on 230V.

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Re: They changed the voltage a while back to 230V

No, an illusion.

Most of UK is still 240V

Most of Ireland is still 230V

Most of Mainland Europe is 220V. Old Mainland European transformer based electronics with no voltage settings will slightly cook in UK. Set UK gear to 240,

Under UK pressure, the EU allowed the UK to set + and - limits different to mainland. The + limit in UK is now just under 220V to up to 245V instead of 250V.

Most EU countries have 220V in centre of range.

Ireland took advantage of this, so Irish range is just under 220V to about 235V.

So the typical voltage in UK and Ireland is unchanged. Only the extremes. SMPSUs don't care. Filament / halogen lamps do care. You'll have over 50% less life using a 220V high efficiency filament at 240V, Life vs voltage for tungsten filament is worse than inverse square law,

Cookers and toasters for UK market may be 240V, so perform rather slower in mainland Europe and a bit slower in Ireland. Irish retail is dominated by UK retailers, such that a gas cooker or phone has the wrong connector.

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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

?If you had a leaded gasoline car, you'd be out of luck, unless you did whatever you need to do to keep them running on modern gas.

Which was.. Ahmm. Erm.. Dammit it's on the tip of my tongue.. Nothing comes to mind though..

Oh wait, that's it.. NOTHING While there were issues at the start of the change over, the gas was altered to deal with the issue. My car and my bikes, and the cars and bikes of others I know who still have older stuff, haven't changed. Still the original fuel lines in most cases (except where other things have caused a need for replacement).

If you had bought lots of cassette tapes, you'd not have them working on any recent equipment.

Yeah. Try finding a record player as well these days. Very hard to buy new cassette players.. oh wait1

If your light fixtures for some reason insists on incandescents...

Not hard to find. Just go to your local store (in NZ still at least). But unless you're using something like a lava lamp, you can replace them with CFL, Halogen or LED - many plug-in replacements exist. Many.

And, how many times have we seen people complaining that Windows is a mess due to its support for outdated technologies?

I don't think that's the reason Windows is a mess.. </troll>

1 https://www.newegg.com/Cassette-Players/SubCategory/ID-780

Browsers are too central to current computer security to take risks from keeping huge chunks of legacy code, including extensions that may essentially be un-maintained.

There's a point where it sends people away though. Take a look at Ubuntu with the change to UI a few years back - from leading Linux distro to also-ran overnight. MS with Win8, 8.1 and 10 (still collectively trying to reach the same user numbers as 7, and 8+8.1 IIRC still lags behind XP for current users (not looked at the stats in a while so ICBW).

It is one thing to clean up code - fine and happy with that. Also no real problems for me with them breaking un-maintained extensions. But breaking things so that extensions users actually want to use (some en mass, such as CTR) and removing functionality so that those addons can never be updated?

I left FF when some of the stuff I want to use was no longer available. I might look at it again around v250 or maybe wait till v500. If it's still around then. Hopefully by then the people who want it to be exactly like Chrome (except the name) will have died off/moved on and FF can get back to being a decent, leading browser instead of the fat kid lagging behind the rest hoping desperately to be noticed.

(I can speak coz I was the fat kid...)

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

An old blog post - https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/08/21/the-future-of-developing-firefox-add-ons/ - has some details on why the deprecation happened.

They originally said that Jetpack extensions would mostly remain but it turns out that that's not true, they later decided to throw all old extension types out. I think Mozilla's guilty of drinking its own kool aid and they'll end up losing their core users, those that wouldn't ordinarily desert Firefox for any reason because of add-ons.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

"some of the things they allow addons to do are fundamentally not safe, and can result in instability and/or security problems."

No doubt. Life is full of all sorts of things that can have negative consequences, but we deal with them or embrace them anyway. It's part of being free, and part of living rather than just existing until death. Life itself is not safe, and I wouldn't want to live in a rubberized, bubble-wrapped world where everything that could possibly be not safe was forbidden and impossible. Sure, we'd be safer, but would we even want to live in such a controlled, stifling world?

Risks can be mitigated; security or stability bugs can be fixed, whether in an addon or in the browser itself. Functionality that relies upon the full-power addons and that will not be made a part of the core browser component cannot be fixed or mitigated. It's just GONE.

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Re: I always wanted to be an organ grinder's monkey

That may be proof that you're wrong,

https://patch.com/california/malibu/cretaceous-era-frilled-shark-found-swimming-coast-portugal

But I doubt you'll understand it.

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MJI
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Re: Such is life. Have a look around - it's a constant race of arms.

I think they changed the specification of mains so that all EU voltages were covered including 240v

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MJI
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Re: What I won't do is compare my ($$$) car to my (free) browser ;-)

Cars

Well my oldest ever and my newest ever are both compatible with roads.

My oldest would have got hardened valve seats if it was not so difficult to get spares so was off the road a little too much (dead manufacturer - Rootes) and I could not afford 2 cars.

But they all had similar user interfaces.

Wheel in front, indicator & lights on left stalk, wipers on right stalk. right pedal go, left if there clutch, middle or left if two brake. Gear levers in middle, near hand brake.

Yet under all this all were different, one chassis, rest monocoque, all gearbox behind engine, all to back, one to front. 2 live axle rear, 1 live axle front, rest all independent. 1 tractor juice, rest petrol, 1 turboed, 2 hot cammed, rest as is. One carbed, one unit injectored, rest MPFI. 4, 5 and 6 cylinders. Inline and Vee.

Point is all are different, (apart from the similar to each other GM V cars), but are similar to drive with similar controls.

We used to have this with computers, with the WIMP environments, you could go between completely different OSes and not be surprised. But now MS wants cars to have foot operated steering and nose operated brakes. The "equivalent to" icon is the equivalnent of hiding the steering wheel in the glove box and having to fit it every corner, for the car to then automatically put it away again.

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src

Fast

The Quantum beta has been my goto browser for a little while now. I haven't run any benchmarks but it feels plenty fast on Linux (work) and Windows 10 (home). Only missing one extension - a nice autofill for annoying web sites that won't allow password saving. A nice effort and the compact UI is nice on my widescreen laptop.

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Re: Fast

Mozilla put SOME of the new code in the current release - and it made a pretty huge difference in speed for me.

The lack of too many of my vital addons such as NoScripts (may be updated in time), FlagFox (no news), and FoxClocks (no news); meansing I have just switched off auto update, and will be waiting for these programs to get updated, or (in a month or so), start looking for good replacements.

For those who dont understand why FlagFox is important.

A few years ago, my mother got redirected to a perfect fake clone of her business bank log in page; the only reason she didnt enter her business password and key code was because I had installed FlagFox, and she realised the site was in Romania, and not the UK.

A call to the bank followed a system scan by me finding nothing, and it turned out the redirect was at the banks end (way to go Barclays), but never publicly acknowledged. I dont know how many business customers got scammed.

BTW, if you have NoScript, you dont really need AdBlock; I switched off ADP+ as it was slowing FF down so much, and NS blocks all the ads anyway.

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Flame

Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

The actual problem is that the new WebExtensions API can only do a fraction of the things the old API did. Simply put, some old extensions cannot be rewritten, because the new API simply won't let you modify the browser to the same extent. Mozilla did put in some effort to include additional APIs, but at the end of the day, most of these issues were met with a simple shrug.

Considering its addons were pretty much the only edge Firefox had left compared to Chrome, that's the real tragedy right there.

For me, after years of putting up with one idiotic design decision after another, this was the last straw. I am now using Pale Moon, where 90% of my addons work, and will continue to work for the foreseeable future. They might even add WebExtensions in later on. Goodbye and good riddance, Firefox.

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Re: Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

pip25 - have to agree with you. I've stuck with Firefox for ages because of a couple of add-ons that aren't available anywhere else. Once they're gone I'll dump Firefox and look for something else. I'm off to play with Pale Moon (HT) and spend the rest of the afternoon seeing what else is out there.

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Re: Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

"pip25 - have to agree with you. I've stuck with Firefox for ages because of a couple of add-ons that aren't available anywhere else. Once they're gone I'll dump Firefox and look for something else. I'm off to play with Pale Moon (HT) and spend the rest of the afternoon seeing what else is out there."

From my point of view, I browse the internet with NoScript; and the browser is merely something that it plugs into. Whether that browser is Firefox, Waterfox, Pale Moon or whatever is no big deal to me.

I've been testing several supposed alternatives to NoScript in the Chrome Catalog and so far have rejected them all; so for now I'm using both Waterfox and Pale Moon.

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Re: Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

RE: "Considering its addons were pretty much the only edge Firefox had left compared to Chrome, that's the real tragedy right there"

For me, at least, Firefox still has one edge over Chrome - It doesn't have Google lurking in its belly.

I'm a little trepidant about this change but it will have to be a cold day in heck before I migrate to Google. Hopefully NoScript will be ported, and it does appear its in the works, and hopefully there will be alternatives to the handful of other addons I use. Luckily I'm happy with Firefox' appearance so have never used any appearance altering addons. Video downloaders is the other thing I need to find if my current ones stop working. I'm quietly confident.

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Mushroom

Re: Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

"the new API simply won't let you modify the browser to the same extent"

"but at the end of the day, most of these issues were met with a simple shrug."

They probably have this attitude because Mozilla "developers" are a HUGE part of the "RELIGIOUS CULT of the 2D FLATSO INTERFACE", and they are COMPELLED by their religious beliefs to CRAM! IT! UP! ALL! OF! OUR! ARSES! whether we want it or not [and then INSIST that we ENJOY it, too].

Bend Over - Here Comes FF 57!

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JLV
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Re: Supporting legacy addons is not the real problem here

> because the new API simply won't let you modify the browser to the same extent.

see, the funny thing is that I am thinking "reduced attack surface" when I read that.

YMMV, but I'll add that I haven't seen fit to downvote a single poster critical of FF's decision here. I understand that removing legacy support is something that people have strong, justified, viewpoints about. I just happen to disagree with keeping the old come what may in this case, because a I want a simpler, leaner, browser more than compatibility. And if Pale Moon gains as a project from this... nothing wrong with diversity in browser codebases either.

Downvote away, if you must.

p.s. yeah, my position would be different if NoScript was really dead, but that's not true - it's coming soon and the author seemed happy with simpler FF baseline code.

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This was announced a year ago, developers have had plenty of time to port over their extensions. If they haven't done it by now, turning off legacy support is really the only thing that will make them do it.

I know I'm not going to bother porting a fully working product to a new API unless I absolutely have to and I'm sure most other developers would agree with me. Although I would have at least tried to sync up the availability of my new extension with Firefox dropping legacy extension support, but you can't always make those deadlines.

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developers have had plenty of time to port over their extensions.

Did you miss the statements by others that not all APIs are available yet? Mozilla announced a year ago that this was going to happen, but they didn't release all of the APIs at that time. It's pretty hard to port to, to write the code that uses something that doesn't exist yet.

NoScript requires specific APIs that as of a few weeks ago still didn't exist in the dev/alpha/beta versions of firefox. Maybe they are available now - maybe not - but it means that devs have not had a year to port their extensions.

And considering most of the extensions are done by devs as a hobby - learning new code, implementing some feature that they find useful and releasing that in case others find it useful too - it's not like they need to port it. Maybe they've personally moved on to another browser, so don't feel the need to port an extension they now find unnecessary. Or they've passed that point in their life where they are interested in learning more development - at least web-development - skills.

Maybe they are happy to find a spare 2-3 hours a week on this hobby to port something that will take 100 hours (best part of a year at 2-3 hours a week) to do - but the APIs they need still aren't available. Therefore users might still get the ported extension, 6 months after the necessary API becomes available. Which might be 6 months after those users (and the dev themselves) have moved onto other browsers because they are missing their extensions and couldn't (or wouldn't) wait around to get back something that they already had but was taken away from them.

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox 57 will be one of the largest pieces of software to tiptoe the edge of that conflict and I, for one, wish it the best of luck

Well, I don't - at this point, all browsers (with the possible exception of the venerable IE) are fast enough. I do not need faster. What I need is usable - and Firefox has been moving backwards in this respect for several years now.

Pointless changes to the UI, with every new version moving buttons and tabs around just enough to make my motor memory useless? Check.

Removing or crippling key features - like the ability to easily control the size of the text (I am mildly visually impaired, and frequently need to have larger fonts with more contrast than the teenager website designers prefer)? Check - especially in the mobile version, which now completely ignores user's font-size preferences if the site declares itself "mobile-friendly".

Adding opt-out telemetry, turned on by default, WX-style? Check.

Dumbing-down or hiding key configuration options? Check.

Adding built-in advertizing on the newtab page? Check.

Pre-stuffing browsing history with sites FF developers think I should be using? Check.

Breaking popular extensions - e.g. ublock zero was borked on the mobile firefox for several months this year? Check.

As far as I am concerned, Firefox is welcome to its newfound speed. After being a user for more than 10 years, I am finally off to Chrome+ublock on the desktop, and Brave on mobile.

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Happy

Good luck with your Googley BFF

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Anonymous Coward

Good luck with your Googley BFF

I am not sure how to break this to you, Geoffrey - but browser is not a religion. Hell, browser is not even a spouse or boy-/girl-friend, or in fact any kind of friend. There is no "till death us parts". You do not need to love or respect your browser. You have no duty of care to it.

Browser is a tool. It either does that you need and want - or it does not. When it does not, you either repair it, or you dump it, and get a new one.

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Trollface

Re: Good luck with your Googley BFF

The Book of Mozilla would disagree with you.

See also: about:mozilla

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Joke

Re: Good luck with your Googley BFF

Hell, browser is not even a spouse or boy-/girl-friend,

Speak for yourself, some of us have to take what we can get!

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Re: Good luck with your Googley BFF

Also, users of vIM and Emacs would also tend to disagree...

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Whoopee

Does that mean the screwed up "about:blank" button will start working again?

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FF54 already broke my addons...

... and xmarks is still broken despite them moving to webextensions.

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LastPass updated

It's worth noting that LastPass released an update in the last 24 hours that shows it's now compatible. NoScript and Web Developer Toolbar are the deal-breakers for me.

Hopefully, as has been noted elsewhere, once the APIs have been fully released, NoScript won't be far behind.

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Holmes

If you don't have a GPU...

Most of my browsing is done on an old crappy laptop that sits next to my sofa and only has integrated graphics rather than a GPU.

For years I ran Opera on it until they threw themselves over a cliff by moving to webkit and dropping most of the customisation stuff that I loved. That's when I moved to Firefox as I discovered textensions that allowed me to set it up just the way I wanted.

It seems plenty fast enough for me (especially with Adblock dropping all the crap that really slows most pages down). So no I won't be upgrading this machine any time soon.

I might give it a go on my gaming / work machine, which does have a nice fast GPU. But then again, Firefox already zips along on that machine anyway, so I'm not sure there's a point.

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Required extensions

If AdBlockPlus, NoScript and Password Exporter are not all available then I will NOT be changing to Firefox 57. (I have just downloaded PaleMoon to give it a test.) I was already upset when a previous "upgrade" broke EPUBreader (the current version is far worse than the old version).

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With some of the whinging on this page, one might think some of you have actually paid for this software, as you do with Chrome ("if you're not paying, you're the product.." {yes, I know FF is essentialyl free if you don't donate to Mozilla, but it is funded, so a bit of a different beast).

After a month or so on Chrome (and its playmobil interface) not long after its initial release I came back to Firefox and have stuck with it ever since, because it does the job and isn't Google or Microsoft with whatever telemetry known or unknown they've secreted within.

That latter point's really important to me.

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Freetards

detritus - you're right - whingeing about stuff that's free to the user is a bit much - but where's the alternative? I'd be happy to pay for a browser that did what I want if I knew it wouldn't change significantly every couple of years. Problem is that I haven't got such an option, so I'll feel free to whinge about it.

The 2nd problem is that even stuff I pay for changes and I have no option but to lump it. Tablets I spent a fortune on on 3 years ago are now not supported. Every OS or app update makes my PC/Tablet/Phone run slower, hotter or crapper. Features I used a lot disappear, while bugs are never fixed. IoT things I paid good money for only 18 months ago are now effectively bricked because the dev has binned the app. If Ford started taking the radios out of cars when they were servicing them then there would be an outcry, but the equivalent happens almost every day on my PC/tablet/phone - and often with stuff I've paid for.

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Arrrgh!

I use Social Fixer to get Facebook to make sense, they have a constant battle with FB and FF tweaking code.

Mozilla constantly screw with bits of code and just wait for others to sort out the fall-out.

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