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Will Firefox add-ons continue to work in Waterfox?

Discussion of third-party/unofficial Firefox/Thunderbird/SeaMonkey builds.
madmudmob

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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 10:23 am

I've read that just about all of Firefox will work in Waterfox and be easily assimilated into it.
Could some kind person tell me if this means all my current add-ons that are soon to be doomed will continue to work on Waterfox after the time Firefox no longer allows them please?
Just trying to forward-think where I go or if I stay after the big change.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 10:55 am

madmudmob wrote:I've read that just about all of Firefox will work in Waterfox and be easily assimilated into it.
Could some kind person tell me if this means all my current add-ons that are soon to be doomed will continue to work on Waterfox after the time Firefox no longer allows them please?
Just trying to forward-think where I go or if I stay after the big change.

Your best bet is to, if you're not already, use Firefox 52 ESR and that covers you up until mid-summer next year.

So, if that's only 9 months away, why not just change to another Mozilla browser now? -
2 reasons. Firstly, with Firefox 57 (end of legacy extensions and themes) coming out in November, that gives 7 months for the dust to settle and the real way forward to become clearer.

Secondly, these 3rd Party Firefox forks tell the biggest load of BS I've ever heard. Yes, they cry, we intend to continue to support XUL and legacy extensions...and when you look into it you can see that it is just wishful thinking and not a clear plan. In other words, they are telling you what you want to hear and hope they can somehow pull it off.

This isn't just some baseless opinion, there is already precedent for the BS that goes on with these builds. I recall one build a couple of years back (which I warned people about) - 'Oh yes, we are a true fork of Firefox and will never need Mozilla ever again (apart from continually tapping them for security updates) At the time, they were using the Gecko 24 engine and that is what they should have continued to develop and use forever. Did they? - no, a while back, they were forced to use the Mozilla's Gecko 38 engine, because they couldn't manage it..

Other builds are really just Firefox with a few superficial changes.

Now, if these builds can't even maintain an existing Gecko (it does the XUL stuff) just how are they going to get along when there is no Mozilla Gecko engine around, post Firefox 57?

So, yeah, hunker down, wait for the dust to settle on this and see what the true position is next summer and sort it out then. Anything else is just a waste of time.
Last edited by Frank Lion on September 4th, 2017, 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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madmudmob

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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 11:07 am

Thanks, Frank Lion :)
I am now on Firefox 52 ESR after following advice on here so will do as you suggest and wait it out.
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DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 12:02 pm

Moving to Third Party Builds as this has nothing to do with Firefox per the OP's subject.

mapsonx
 
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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Frank Lion wrote:Your best bet is to, if you're not already, use Firefox 52 ESR and that covers you up until mid-summer next year.
That's what I intend to do, while keeping an eye on Firefox development. I deplore the Chrome style browsers, but I understand the difficulty supporting Firefox as currently constructed. Not a criticism, just the way things have always been. Hopefully somehow a happy medium will be devised where the beautiful versatility of Firefox will be preserved.

Frank Lion, how does Firefox esr maintain security?

Frank Lion

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Post Posted September 4th, 2017, 6:14 pm

mapsonx wrote:Frank Lion, how does Firefox esr maintain security?

The ESR gets the same Critical and Medium security updates that the current Releases do. So, you start with 52.0 ESR but it soon becomes 52.3 esr, 52.5 esr, etc. as it gets security updates throughout its journey to EOL (end of life - the programs', not yours)

Don't forget, this is the version intended for companies, businesses, etc. so they will only use it, and they do, if the security side is OK.

Here's the link to the ESR stuff - https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/o ... tions/all/

IMPORTANT - if you are, at the moment, using a Firefox version up to, and including, Firefox 54 then just backup your profile (Help>Troubleshooting Info>Open folder/whatever > you are now looking at the contents of your profile) and uninstall Firefox and then just install Firefox 52 ESR, it'll use your existing Firefox profile and you're good to go.

However, Firefox 55 made changes to your existing profile, to the extent that is really is not a great idea to use the same profile for an earlier Firefox version. It's a pain, but only adds another 10 -15 minutes to the process and that is a damn sight easier than the learning curve on a brand new browser would be and you'd have to transfer stuff for that as well. This is what you do -

#1. You keep your existing profile and make a new additional profile - http://kb.mozillazine.org/Creating_a_ne ... on_Windows

#2. Uninstall your 55+ version and install Firefox 52 ESR and start it up using that new profile.

#3. At your leisure, with Firefox closed, you then just transfer over the essentials from your old profile to your new one - http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_ ... ew_profile

Don't be put off by the longish list (when I write KB stuff, I have to give the full list for people) as in practice, at first, you can get away with just passwords ( key3.db and logins.json), bookmarks and history (places.sqlite)*, prefs.js and then throw in your existing extensions folder and you're done. It'll all be pretty much the same as before at that point and the other few bits can be done later.

In other words, doing that stops that Firefox 55 profile messing up your Firefox 52 ESR.

Then, you're good to go. :)


* I prefer to export just the bookmarks as HTML and use that, but that's up to you.
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Graham Paige
 
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Post Posted September 7th, 2017, 12:52 pm

I recovered a Version 53 profile folder (Mac) from my backup disk. 52.3 esr works fine with it, except for a problem when I updated the extensions. Ublock Origin showed up with a bunch of question marks.

The author has a fix for that, but for the present I trashed that 53 profile folder and copied the backup version again but didn't update the extensions. When I get some free time I'll run through the Ublock Origin procedure to fix the question-mark problem.

mapsonx
 
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Post Posted September 16th, 2017, 1:30 pm

Frank Lion wrote:The ESR gets the same Critical and Medium security updates that the current Releases do. So, you start with 52.0 ESR but it soon becomes 52.3 esr, 52.5 esr, etc. as it gets security updates throughout its journey to EOL (end of life - the programs', not yours)

ok, and thanks for all the great information

Frank Lion wrote:IMPORTANT - if you are, at the moment, using a Firefox version up to, and including, Firefox 54 then just backup your profile (Help>Troubleshooting Info>Open folder/whatever > you are now looking at the contents of your profile) and uninstall Firefox and then just install Firefox 52 ESR, it'll use your existing Firefox profile and you're good to go.

Piggybacking on your advice, thanks to the ed-meister, valuable lessons that I have been following for years are documented for teaching us how to create portable versions of Firefox and how to manage profiles.

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2821799

I use the extraction method from that thread

"2.Make your own "Zip-build" from a Firefox Setup installer package."

and the profile manager.

Frank Lion wrote:However, Firefox 55 made changes to your existing profile, to the extent that is really is not a great idea to use the same profile for an earlier Firefox version. It's a pain, but only adds another 10 -15 minutes to the process and that is a damn sight easier than the learning curve on a brand new browser would be and you'd have to transfer stuff for that as well. This is what you do

Fully agree. With the links you provided as guidance, creating a new profile is really quite simple. The only caution I would advise to those trying for the first time is to avoid the temptation of saving time and effort by importing all you addons (which can be done) at once. I'm no expert like Frank Lion, so I don't have a technical explanation, but from my experience, when you do so there is a high risk creating profile corruption (I suppose it's all that data from a multitude of sources flooding in at once trying to establish themselves).

Thanks again

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