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Why is Firefox abandoning its strength in customizability?!

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
Sugoi
 
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Post Posted August 16th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Aris wrote:Ah OK, didn't get the joke as I'm from Europe ;-)

Oh, come on. Don't you follow the news?
Does "alternative facts" ring a bell? :wink:

(I'm a fellow European, by the way.)

DanRaisch
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Post Posted August 17th, 2017, 5:31 am

Can we get back to the original topic (whatever that was) of this thread?

tomatoshadow2

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Post Posted August 17th, 2017, 9:55 am

I was so happy to see Ublock Origin finally become a WE! Again, IMO from what I've gathered over this whole journey to 57, it's all about making extensions easier for the developers to make. Would you guys agree?

billyswong
 
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Post Posted August 18th, 2017, 10:01 am

tomatoshadow2 wrote:I was so happy to see Ublock Origin finally become a WE! Again, IMO from what I've gathered over this whole journey to 57, it's all about making extensions easier for the developers to make. Would you guys agree?

It's a mystery how come you can say things get "easier" when we see WebExtension is barred off of native app power and firefox internal for political/ideology reasons.

Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 18th, 2017, 4:05 pm

tomatoshadow2 wrote:Again, IMO from what I've gathered over this whole journey to 57, it's all about making extensions easier for the developers to make. Would you guys agree?

Sure would. It's certainly makes my life easier with Firefox as now I don't have to make any proper extensions or themes for it.
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

flaneurb
 
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Post Posted August 18th, 2017, 7:06 pm

tomatoshadow2 wrote:I was so happy to see Ublock Origin finally become a WE! ...

Just checked. The stable version is still not compatible although the dev version is and I've gone with the dev version.

Stylish has gone in a "different" direction and so there's a fork called Stylus. That is available as a WE but carries a beta tag. Seems to be working as expected.

Mark12547
 
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Post Posted August 19th, 2017, 8:42 am

tomatoshadow2 wrote:... Again, IMO from what I've gathered over this whole journey to 57, it's all about making extensions easier for the developers to make. Would you guys agree?


I wouldn't.

It's about making Firefox able to use more of modern processors.

It's about raw speed (initially to handle multiple tabs more effectively, but also to speed up what is happening within a given tab). It was the lack of being able to gracefully handle multiple tabs opening simultaneously that drove me to Chrome about a year ago, and the improvements in Firefox brought me back a few short months ago.

It's about reliability: sandboxing, removing the crashes at every upgrade caused by the innards of Firefox changing and the extensions that directly access the Firefox innards not being updated to reflect those changes (sometimes this causes Firefox to break, sometimes it causes the extension to break, and earlier today the most recent one I read was where an extension caused context menu of Right-Clicking on a bookmark folder and clicking on "Open All in Tabs" caused the tabs to open in reverse bookmark order). Now Firefox can have growth spurts without breaking extensions, and extension authors won't have to tweak their code with every Firefox change. (There might be changes down the road that require a rewrite, but it should be far less often than now.)

It's about security: extensions will be able to work only within the permissions granted them, and they won't be able to manipulate the UI to such an extent that Firefox suddenly becomes unusable.

I have yet to see a post by a WebExtensions extension developer stating that extensions have become easier to write. Hopefully, extensions won't have the maintenance load going forward.

Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted August 19th, 2017, 11:34 am

based on RUST which is intended to perform better with multiple process you need extension which match such requirements. older types are not able, the dev-kit do, but is also legacy. thats why firefox 57 break so many, code has been changed or removed.

Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 19th, 2017, 12:00 pm

Mark12547 wrote: Now Firefox can have growth spurts without breaking extensions, and extension authors won't have to tweak their code with every Firefox change. (There might be changes down the road that require a rewrite, but it should be far less often than now.)

I take your general points, but although some extensions can and do break with some Release versions, I think it would be incorrect to overstate that side.

I say that, because if they really were all breaking all over the place, then why did AMO start doing the automatic version compatibility a few years back and devs getting stuff like this, every 6 weeks -

Dear add-on author,

Good news! Our automated tests did not detect any compatibility issues with your add-ons and Firefox 52.*. We've updated your add-ons' compatibility to work with Firefox 52.* so that our beta and release users can begin using your add-ons.

We encourage you to view the results of the compatibility test, as some compatibility issues may have been detected but without enough certainty to declare the add-on incompatible:


The point I'm making is, like with the spin put on Australis, that Mozilla may well now be putting out a 'We are trying to spare legacy extension devs the tiresome chore of having to constantly fix, yadda, yadda' line, as we approach WE implementation. But, the fact is, it wasn't like that. The vast majority were not breaking and so required no maintenance.

Complete Themes were a different story and the traditionally coded type really did break every Release version. Which is probably why AMO never introduced automatic version compatibility for them.


Mark12547 wrote:It's about security: extensions will be able to work only within the permissions granted them, and they won't be able to manipulate the UI to such an extent that Firefox suddenly becomes unusable.

That security through permissions routine might have sounded plausible a good few years back, but not since people have seen the true extent of permissions that need to be given to Google Chrome extensions or Android apps, i.e. do you feel more secure if the snake tells you in advance it can bite you?

I don't actually recall existing extensions that did ever 'manipulate the UI to such an extent that Firefox suddenly becomes unusable'. It was possible and indeed still would be, post 57, but what would be the point?
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Mo_D

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Post Posted August 20th, 2017, 3:04 am

It's about security: extensions will be able to work only within the permissions granted them...


Just like Chrome?

Once installed, the Interface Online extension, uploaded at least twice in the past 17 days, surreptitiously monitors all connections made with the Chrome browser. When users visit specific pages programmed into the code, the extension activates a JavaScript routine that logs the user name and password entered into the form. The extension then uploads them to a server controlled by the attackers. source

Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2017, 3:52 am

23 users? stupids? no picture, no text - what else needed that this is crap or malicious? i never would install.

btw "same like chrome" but i am not sure if firefox permissions are better presented as in chrome, i think they are.
but be sure, such persons will try it also on AMO.

Mo_D

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Post Posted August 20th, 2017, 1:17 pm

Brummelchen wrote:23 users?

I think if you read the article you will find this extension was a tool for a direct attack. 23 users could have been enough to create a huge payoff. History has proven plenty of fairly intelligent people fall for stupid social engineering attacks.

Interface Online is being used in highly targeted attacks that single out employees who are in charge of their companies' finances. The employees receive a phone call from someone who warns that they will lose access to their online bank account unless they install a security module. When the employees click through a link provided by the caller, they are redirected to the extension hosted by Google. The caller then walks them through a test access to the account by logging in. With that, the attackers have the credentials required to log in.


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