My Addons (2)

My last post on this topic aroused some interest. Here’s the current status of my addons, according to my research.

Name

u

Legacy?

No-e10s?

Solution

Adblock Plus

Y

N

They seem to be working on it. Install from here but you need to disable addon signing.

Bookmarklets Context Menu

N

N

Works

Cleanest Addon
Manager

Y

N

Emailed author, but port very unlikely to be possible due to lack of API to alter chrome

HTTPS
Everywhere

Y

N

They seem to be working on it

JSONView

Y

N

Enable Firefox’s built-in JSON viewer

Mailman-admin-helper

N

N

Works


Qotter Copy & Show

N

N

Works

Send to
Kodi

Y

N

Bug filed, author says he’s planning to do it, but no progress; port should be possible


Vidyo Replay Download

N

N

Works

Wayback Machine

N

N

Works

1-Click YouTube Video
Downloader

Y

Y

Switch to YouTube Video and Audio Downloader

About
Startup

Y

Y

Emailed author: not possible to port to WebExtensions

Activity
Stream

N

N

Works

Advertising Cookie Opt-Out

Y

Y

Replaced by this addon, but that one is still legacy. Asked my Google contact to file a bug.

AutoAuth

Y

Y

Addon has ceased development due to the changes :-(; Chrome option “has a plan for Firefox”.

AutoHiDPI

Y

Y

Bug filed, author will look into it but no progress; port may not be possible due to lack of arbitrary pref API

Expiry
Canary

Y

Y

My addon; I believe it’s not possible to update due to lack of SSL APIs in WebExtensions

geckoprofiler

Y

N

New version available from here

Google
Translator for Firefox

Y

Y

Switch to Google Translator (webextension)

HTTP
Logout

Y

Y

Perhaps some interest; emailed author, who says he has little time

Jidesha

Y

Y

Enables screensharing; not needed since Firefox 52

LinkChecker

Y

Y

Original website gone away; can’t find non-legacy alternative

Live HTTP
Headers

Y

Y

Use Firefox’s dev tools

Mass Password Reset

Y

Y

Abandoned by authors; doesn’t seem like there are password APIs

Min
Vid

N

N

Works

MoCo
Authorizer

Y

Y

Emailed author; seems like some function may be portable but not all

MoCo SSO Tweaks

Y

N

Mozilla is moving away from Okta

No Flash

Y

Y

Bug filed; it may be that the extension is no longer needed

RESTClient

Y

Y

Switch to RESTED

Tab Center

N

N

Works

Test Pilot

N

N

Works

TiddlyWiki for Firefox

Y

Y

Bug filed on e10s work but no progress; porting would be a very big job

UAControl

Y

Y

Switch to User Agent Switcher (revived) and Custom UserAgent String

Ubuntu Modifications

Y

Y

Ignore; doesn’t do anything useful

User Agent Switcher

Y

Y

Switch to User Agent Switcher (revived) and Custom UserAgent String

User Agent JS Fixer

Y

Y

Switch to User Agent Switcher (revived) and Custom UserAgent String

YouTube Downloader – 4K Download

Y

Y

Switch to YouTube Video and Audio Downloader

So the situation is not terrible, but it’s not awesome either. Several useful extensions, particularly those that modify the chrome or the browser behaviour, or which tweak prefs, are simply not replaceable in the new world.

7 thoughts on “My Addons (2)

  1. I think it would be even more illustrative to have different shades of green for “will work/will be working” and “there’s an alternative.” In fact, for many of these add-ons, it’s the same add-on replacing it, which is notable (and in my view a bit concerning) in and of itself.

  2. I thought I’d quickly check what mine look like. I have 14 add-ons installed, but only use 5 actively (adblock plus, greasemonkey, stylish, link visitor and tile tabs). The others are old, or I only enable occasionally.

    Of the 14 installed, 1 is OK, 13 are legacy, and 7 are not e10s compatible. All of my *active* add-ons are marked as legacy, and 1 is marked as not e10s compatible. Perhaps some of these will work? If not, I’ve essentially lost all my add-ons.

    I’m not sure I consider the lack of any of my add-ons a deal breaker (although, AdBlock or something similar is almost essential on a slow system). But I’m not very typical. I’ve followed Mozilla for a long time and am willing to persist with way more than the average user.

  3. I checked my list, and found out of 11 regularly used add-ons
    2 – are OK,
    2 – are working on it, but are blocked by bugs that may become features. NoScript is one of these and I find it crucial.
    1 – made the transition, but the resulting GUI is terrible. It’s an EPUB reader, and the original was excellent UI. The problems are with the availble support in the WebExtensions. I’ve abandoned it for an external EPUB reader.
    1 – abandoned their Firefox native for a “connector” and now uses an external application (Zotero)
    2 – will not transition, but alternatives exist that will work.
    3 – not OK, future unknown. The three unknowns are Brief (an RSS reader), Sage (an RSS reader), and ScrapBook X (web page capture and edit).

    I see this as moving to end useful but complex functionality in plugins, with plugins becoming trivial connectors to external programs or websites. I think this is a serious strategic error because it removes one of the primary differentiators between Firefox and the alternatives. I understand that it’s hard to maintain adequate security features and also provide a platform. Perhaps that’s beyond the abilities of the Mozilla foundation.

  4. FWIW, we would take patches for exposing the SSL stuff, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1322748#c24 . We don’t have bandwidth to do it on the frontend/webextension teams for 57 – it might follow later if nobody helps out. Passwords webextensions APIs are in the works ( https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1324919 ) so I would expect that to be available for 57 and make it possible to continue something like mass password reset (which isn’t /that/ complicated an add-on to implement otherwise).

    I’m a little confused by the ad opt-out add-on. The link in the first column goes to Google (rather than all ads – I assumed this was similar to the IAB site that lets you set all these cookies? Hard to know without seeing the add-on…). The “seems to be replaced” add-on link goes to the about:startup add-on… I guess that’s a copy/paste issue? :-)

    Anyway, just setting a cookie is trivial from a webextension ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions/API/cookies ) so this really shouldn’t be an issue. Google definitely offer an opt-out add-on for GA, also for Chrome (which should work on Firefox), and you can opt out of personalized advertising via your Google profile – not sure either of those is what you want. Given the above, hard to tell if that alone is sufficient or if you’d need to write something yourself (but webextensions are really easy (easier than xpi ones!) so consider giving it a shot). :-)

    • The passwords bug hasn’t seen activity for 2 months, which is somewhat concerning.

      The ad opt-out addon was indeed Google-specific, despite the name. And yes, the URL was a cut and paste error, now fixed.

  5. Of course the other problem with switching to Web Extensions is that the addons that are currently in use are mature and generally polished, having been fixing their bugs and UI issues for years, whereas the new Web Extensions are very much not that. The replacements that I’ve found for my addons tend to be buggy and very rough around the edges.

    So even beyond the mere replacement issue, and the fact that the replacements will tend to be less functional, there’s the issue that the replacements will tend to be buggier, less polished, and slower than what they’re replacing. (A couple very obvious examples are Stylus and Tampermonkey, replacing Stylish and Greasemonkey. Just try to edit some javascript in Tampermonkey for 5 minutes without wanting to put a fist through your screen. And the issues that Adblock Plus has been going through have already been mentioned.)

    Mozilla doesn’t seem to be doing much in the way of making sure that that’s not the experience that users are going to get.

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