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My experience preparing for the Firefox 57 add-on apocalypse

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted October 7th, 2017, 6:59 am

Here's what I went through trying to get ready for Firefox 57. Maybe someone will get some use out of this overly verbose log. The end result is that I'm down to 10 extensions now, and I'm waiting for the Clippings port, making for a total of 11.

No replacement
Replaceable or will be updated
Discarded
  • Adblock Plus → has been ported
    I've been a huge fan for many years; I even pitched in with moderating the support forum for a while. But over time, I grew frustrated as EasyList added more and more exceptions to allow ads, often in spite of my own filters. uBlock Origin lets me handle this with the important filter option. The final straw was severe performance degradation that would cause Firefox to freeze for several seconds. I tried everything to solve it: switching to EasyList without element hiding, discarding all my custom filters, updating to an ABP version that was supposed to fix the issue — nothing worked. One ABP feature I valued was the ability to disable individual filters from EasyList, which is gone in the WebExtension version. uBlock could use a better, nicer-looking interface and ABP's easy filter creation, but overall, I doubt there will ever be a reason to go back.
  • bug489729 (Disable detach and tear off tab) → author discontinued it
    The bug addressed by this add-on was marked as fixed years ago, but it was still giving me trouble. It now finally seems safe to do without this defunct extension.
  • DOM Inspector & Element Inspectorbuilt-in developer tools
  • enter-selects 16won't be ported
    I'm trying to do without it, but I might end up missing it more than I expect.
  • Greasemonkey 3.17 → has been ported
    The webextension version lacks any way to create a new script. I initially thought something was broken on my end, but it's the same thing in a brand new profile. The interface also stinks. So I switched to Violentmonkey (Tampermonkey seems best avoided due to its tracking practices though at least the disclosure has been addressed).
  • InlineDispositionInlineDisposition (WebExtensions)
    It would be nice if bug 453455 was fixed sometime this century, but I'm not sure I run into this issue often enough to keep the add-on.
  • Link Location Bar 1.1.4.1-signed.1-signed / Status-4-Evar 2017.08.20.15missing support
    Back in the version 4 pre-release cycle, Firefox displayed the link target in the location bar. Since Mozilla must copy everything Chrome does verbatim, this feature I adore was ultimately discarded in favor of the crappy status popup we have today. I resorted to moving it over the location bar with userChrome.css.
  • mx4no more complete themes
    It's thanks to a complete theme that I started using Firefox. It's a pity to see them go.
  • Simple Popup Blocker 1.2.1
    You'd think a toggle between all/default wouldn't be too much to ask for, but I couldn't find a replacement that does this. Bug 918780 is finally fixed in Firefox 57, so I may get by with just a blank dom.popup_allowed_events and whitelisting frequently visited sites.
  • Stylish 2.0.7will be replaced with the privacy-averse Chrome version
    I considered switching to Stylus, but it injects user styles inline, which I take it means they're accessible to the sites via JavaScript. Add to that the fact that WebExtensions can't touch the user interface, and I just went back to the ol' userChrome.css & userContent.css combo. Unfortunately, userChrome.css changes still require a restart, but I was delighted to see userContent.css changes now take effect when opening a new tab or window.
  • Video DownloadHelper 6.3.1will be ported
    I don't like that they charge for conversion via free software (ffmpeg hall of shame 2009) and don't allow downloading separate YouTube 1080p+ video/audio streams if you don't pay. I'm also fed up with the repeated request for donation that pops up after a certain number of downloads. On top of that, the add-on is currently 770 KB while the two replacements are 88 KB and 74 KB. If Video Downloader Prime works out, I see no reason to go back.
  • Zoom Page 15.8Zoom Page WE
    Last I tried it, the WebExtension version was buggy. First, text would break out of container elements as if text-only zoom was enabled, though it wasn't. Then after an update, pages would first load at the default zoom level and only after a few moments would my zoom level take effect. That was so jarring that I just gave up. For standalone images, I went back to my user script. Another thing I needed was 5% zoom steps, which thankfully can be set up by changing toolkit.zoomManager.zoomValues in about:config. Lastly, it would be nice if bug 332275 was fixed and we could have a built-in default zoom level, but for now I try to make do with Firefox remembering the zoom level per-site.
Last edited by Gingerbread Man on November 11th, 2017, 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted October 7th, 2017, 7:34 am

I've pretty much stopped looking, the only ones that WFM are uBlock, Google Link Search Fix and Zoom Page WE (seems ok here), finding any useful web extensions is as about as likely catching trout in a goldfish bowl.
I just removed Stylus.
Equally disturbing is the 'quality' of the Newest additions at AMO :roll:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... =firefox57
#KeepFightingMichael

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Post Posted October 7th, 2017, 7:42 am

i think that "cookie controller" wont have a replacement in the near future. it changes firefox preferences and that is no longer allowed. you have to search for replacement which works on the cookie storage. eg "cookie autodelete" or "cookie manager" or similar. to disallow special cookies you need to use the firefox setting or something like umatrix to prevent in general.

clippings is on the run, if you are able to sign it ourself then you can use it (6a1 on github). import clipdat to recover templates.

styles are no longer usable for firefox with an extension, only userchrome. styl-us for websites is recommend.

ofc Violentmonkey show which script is used when you push the button (and the total amount of used scripts on that site)
VM is faster than GreaseM or TamperM.

Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted November 11th, 2017, 8:22 am

I got tired of waiting and updated to the 57 release candidate (once final is out, I'll install it to get off the beta channel). Boy, what a great decision. The UI isn't an eyesore anymore, an Outlook performance issue is gone, a local file:/// loading issue is less severe, and it just feels more responsive in general. I may miss some features that aren't possible with webextensions, but I'm pretty content overall.
mightyglydd wrote:I've pretty much stopped looking, the only ones that WFM are uBlock, Google Link Search Fix and Zoom Page WE (seems ok here), finding any useful web extensions is as about as likely catching trout in a goldfish bowl.

I'm sorry to hear that. Not only did I find replacements for most of my add-ons, but some are better than what I was using.
Brummelchen wrote:clippings is on the run, if you are able to sign it ourself then you can use it (6a1 on github).

I'll wait for the Clippings port to be released. It reached beta status yesterday, so it won't be much longer now.
Edit: Clippings 6.0 final was released today.
Last edited by Gingerbread Man on November 14th, 2017, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted November 11th, 2017, 8:34 am

#KeepFightingMichael

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 1:46 am

i run my own compliations of clippings (6a4) but it lacks translations - even the beta or final is only a triage product as long no other language than english is provided. the major case behind is that there exist no other extension like this. i tried - and failed with a chrome conversion (local storage issue)

(from here https://github.com/aecreations/clippings/releases )

"url tooltip" seems useful for users who has abandonned the url hint bar at the bottom - or misconfîgured - or too lazy to read ^^

i more suggest the google redirect cleaner or link cleaner
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... -link-fix/
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... k-cleaner/

# clippings - omg he really screwed that bad on font sizes (11px) which is ridiculous on bigger monitors.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 7:38 am

Brummelchen wrote:"url tooltip" seems useful for users who has abandonned the url hint bar at the bottom - or misconfîgured - or too lazy to read
That's where the 'url hint' always should have been, or at least an option, in front of the users eyes, ..not at the bottom just because 'chrome does it'.
Evidently Mozilla devs don't read books, without the long gone Status Bar who the heck ever looks down there?
@Google search link fix...excellent. :)
#KeepFightingMichael

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 7:49 am

link preview ever was at the bottom left in firefox/phoenix, even with or without S4E. i dont see any change in all the years. it is possible to move it anywhere you like to. this convenience is resulting in this: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3033205
Last edited by Brummelchen on November 12th, 2017, 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Vitesse
 
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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 7:50 am

Quite a few of my extensions will stop working, but I can probably live without them and/or find replacements.

The one I'm really sorry to see go is Reminderfox and had almost resigned myself to using Google Calendar, which for my purposes is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. However, I have found a suitable freeware alternative with almost identical functionality to Reminderfox - although it's not a Firefox extension.

UK's Kalendar: http://www.ukrebs-software.de/

The only downside for me is that you can't import calendars from other programs ... but luckily I don't have all that much to copy over that isn't a recurring reminder!

I'll miss that cute little fox in my toolbar though. *sniff* :cry:

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mightyglydd

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 7:59 am

Brummelchen wrote:link preview ever was at the bottom left in firefox/phoenix, even with or without S4E.

Tim Tate figured that out in 2009..and a certain Theme Developer (who also figured out the optimal placing of the Stop/Reload button) smartly included the extension.
Having to look down a foot on a large screen is just plain idiotic, that's Task Bar territory.
Next to the cursor makes too much sense?
Brummelchen wrote:. this convenience is resulting in this: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3033205

Meh..For me the SPEED trumps all, and 57 is pretty slick, just as with the Beta ('be prepared)' I'll update, improvise, adapt and move on....all set up.
@ Oddly, all this tiresome fannying about with browsers has made something clean and uncluttered rather appealing.
#KeepFightingMichael

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 12:20 pm

Having to look down a foot on a large screen is just plain idiotic,

running firefox on 2560 width (16:9 monitor) in full screen is same "idiotic" - there exist no website which is that wide.
sorry, but that comparison seems to composed.

current width of firefox (and other browsers is around 1340 pixel). most serious sites are designed for max 1280.
there is nothing to discuss, you like it - you use it. its your personal comfort.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted November 12th, 2017, 12:37 pm

#KeepFightingMichael

Frank Lion

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Post Posted November 13th, 2017, 5:29 am

mightyglydd wrote:Having to look down a foot on a large screen is just plain idiotic, that's Task Bar territory.
Next to the cursor makes too much sense?

Yep, although people are fond of quoting Fitt's Law, few understand it and they assume it relates only to mouse movements. Er, no, this law goes back to 1954 when 'mice' didn't exist and it applies equally to visual acquisition.

Put simply, Fitts's Law states "...the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target".

So, in this case of an url tooltip next to the url versus the bottom of the screen, there is no 'you say tomato, I say tomato, let's agree to disagree' stuff. The bottom of the screen is wrong, because it breaks Fitt's Law.

Fitt's Law also gets broken by those silly tab scroll arrows on either side of the screen that you are expected to swing from one to another with when you have many tabs open. That's why I made (back in 2006) the Tab Overflow Scrollbar, as that is the most efficient method of navigating those tabs.
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Omega X

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Post Posted November 14th, 2017, 4:10 am

Frank Lion wrote:So, in this case of an url tooltip next to the url versus the bottom of the screen, there is no 'you say tomato, I say tomato, let's agree to disagree' stuff. The bottom of the screen is wrong, because it breaks Fitt's Law.



That brings back memories to when I tried to convince Brendan Eich about the same thing. He rebutted with "we can train the monkeys to do lots of things". Monkeys as in users. But that was back when front end developers actually communicated.
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Gingerbread Man

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Post Posted November 14th, 2017, 10:09 am

mightyglydd wrote:Found one!....URL Tooltips.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... e/?src=api

I'm happy for you :) Link target in a tooltip is how Opera 12 handled it when the status bar was hidden.

I've grown accustomed to having the target link in the location bar. I already look over there for the current address and to select a new destination, so that's what makes sense to me. It's how pre-release Firefox 4 used to do it, before they decided to toss out a unique innovation in favor of copying Chrome. Status-4-Evar provided this feature, but it can't be ported to a webextension due to missing API support. Thankfully, I managed to recreate the effect in userChrome.css; it works fine as long as I don't add or remove any nav bar buttons.

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