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[Solved] Three Firefox sync related questions

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ineuw

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Post Posted July 25th, 2017, 11:54 pm

Is there an indicator which signals if sync is active?

Does sync continues working after the user exits Firefox?

Is there any way to view contents of an Firefox sync folder in the cloud, as one can see on Google drive?
Last edited by ineuw on July 26th, 2017, 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit, FF 45.9.0 ESR and Linux Mint 18.2, 32bit and 64bit, and FF 52.5.3 ESR.

the-edmeister

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 3:46 am

1. When you hit the 3-bar button your Sync account / Firefox Account email address will show. To the right of that email address there is a circular double arrow - hober the cursor over that and you'll see Last sync along with the Day & time.

2. No, Sync is only active when Firefox is running.

3. No. User data is encrypted while off the devices, no way to view the data that is sitting on the Sync server via the internet. Your data is encrypted as it is leaving your devices and is decrypted when that data arrives at your devices; the data is encrypted while it is off your connected devices.


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madmudmob

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 5:58 am

That's me learnt something new today ..... didn't know about number 1.
Thanks :)
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ineuw

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 11:15 am

the-edmeister, thanks for the clarifications. By the 3-bar button I assume you are referring to what is aka the "hamburger". Unfortunately, it does not exist on any of the bars on top. It's possible that it existed, but I removed it when customizing my work environment. Is there a way to restore it?
Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit, FF 45.9.0 ESR and Linux Mint 18.2, 32bit and 64bit, and FF 52.5.3 ESR.

dickvl

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 2:14 pm

You can only remove this three bar menu button with an extension like Classic Theme Restorer.
You can check the settings of such an extension or check if you can find this button in the Customize palette.

ineuw

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 2:37 pm

dickvl, I don't have such an extension and never had one, unless it's because until version 50 I used beta versions. I checked the Customize palette as well. The lack of the three bars also applies to my two Firefox installations in Linux (32 and 64bit) where the latest version is 54.0.

Please see this combined screenshot on picfront. In the top image, I reset everything to default. The bottom image is my custom layout. (FF Windows version is 54.0.1, and not 54.1 as indicated by the image name.

Image
Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit, FF 45.9.0 ESR and Linux Mint 18.2, 32bit and 64bit, and FF 52.5.3 ESR.

the-edmeister

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 7:16 pm

ineuw wrote:dickvl, I don't have such an extension and never had one, ...


Are you doing anything with userChrome.css code or with Stylish?
In the (menu) Panel UI the Sync item can be hidden in userChrome.css like this:
#PanelUI-fxa-status { display: none !important }


Make sure that you didn't hide that Sync status item.
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mightyglydd

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 7:48 pm

Ed, I just want to thank you, avidly reading your Sync posts convinced me to never touch the bloody thing with a ten foot barge pole.
#KeepFightingMichael

ineuw

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Post Posted July 26th, 2017, 8:43 pm

the-edmeister, thank you. you are correct! My userChrome.css does contain the following:

Code: Select all
#PanelUI-menu-button { display: none !important;}


I know it's not an excuse. I asked someone for some of the contents, some 15 months ago and never looked into it since. Everything was as I wanted until now. Many thanks for your sharp memory, and sharing your knowledge.

P.S: Now, I am definitely examining the contents.
Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit, FF 45.9.0 ESR and Linux Mint 18.2, 32bit and 64bit, and FF 52.5.3 ESR.

the-edmeister

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Post Posted July 27th, 2017, 5:42 am

It may have been me who recommended that code to hide the Sync Panel-UI item! I routinely hide that menu item (along with another menu item I don't want to see - the 'Remove All' button in the Password Manager = #removeAllSignons { display: none; } - after once accidentally using that "feature" and wiping all my passwords years ago. I have carried a userChrome.css file thru to new Profiles for almost 14 years now; commenting out code I don't want to use with each particular Profile, and adding new or changed code as needed.

I haven't had an actual a need for Sync since it was built into Firefox back in Fx 4.0 (I tested the Weave extension in Fx 3.5 and 3.6 as it was being developed for inclusion in Fx 4.0 as Sync), but I did continue to "test" Sync to keep up with the changes over time - with a few "test" Profiles, like with Release, Beta, DE, and Nightly installs - and with the hope that Mozilla would fix what I felt were the crappy parts of Sync. As of a little over two years ago when I attempted to use multiple Sync accounts to populate multiple Profiles on a new PC that I built in May 2015, I came to the realization that Sync was a complete POS and had gotten far worse than it was with Fx 4.0. Broken stuff that I never noticed with the manner that I was "testing" Sync prior to that time.

The major "fault" I experienced in May - June 2015 was with the very incomplete manner that Sync "synchronized" extensions and data for those extensions. After a couple of weeks of continuing to discover shit that was missing I 'threw in the towel' and just copied those Profiles over from the replaced PC to the new one. I probably pissed away 20 hours finding and correcting the problems I kept finding; where the most time consuming part of copying those Profiles over was the time to boot the old PC and to walk to the other side of the basement to my workshop & back.

IMO, having anything more than the most rudimentary Firefox installation and using Sync will set the user up for a severe disappointment with Sync. Keep the sync'd items to Bookmarks,maybe Passwords, and maybe Tabs and the user might be alright; unless the user expects more than 6 or 8 Tabs to be sync'd - then they will be disappointed. Mozilla did add many new features to Sync since Weave & Fx 3.6, but as Mozilla is wont to do over the last 5 years or so - those new features are at best 75% finished when they are released, and Mozilla seems to have a hard time or lacks the inclination to really finish what they start to do. Too many new features introduced in the last few years that weren't complete when they made it into Firefox, and IMO Mozilla never finished what they originally set out to provide.

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ineuw

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Post Posted July 28th, 2017, 11:36 am

the_edmeister, as you said, sync can cause numerous problems and it does for me on occasion. Last night, I synced a new Linux workstation installation to set up Firefox as I have it elsewhere, and sync made a mess. It garbled my carefully organized, alphabetized bookmarks, and added old bookmarks which I deleted weeks ago. Luckily the mixup was per folder and not between folders. This problem can go both ways, meaning that one can loose synced data as well and to me, it seems that the algorithm is faulty. However, I also use Google drive and occasionally it has the identical problem, so one must check and compare creation/modification dates and times. In addition to sync, I save a .json & html copy of the bookmarks, and place an encrypted copy of the passwords in keepass, which is in itself encrypted and then backed up safely offline.

The sync indicator which is only accessible through the "hamburger" button, should be an independent control, to be dragged and placed according to a user's preference. Now that you pointed out its location, I use it regularly to monitor when sync kicks in, to be sure that important additions to the bookmarks, passwords, etc. are synced BEFORE I exit Firefox.

Thanks for the help.
Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit, FF 45.9.0 ESR and Linux Mint 18.2, 32bit and 64bit, and FF 52.5.3 ESR.

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