By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

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By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by mseliger » 2016-11-24, 11:49

Hello,

by end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions and no more xul add-ons.
See here
https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2016/11/23/add-ons-in-2017/
and here
http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/24/firefox-will-only-support-web-extensions-by-the-end-of-2017/
I hope, some extension developer will move to pale moon.
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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by JustOff » 2016-11-24, 13:02

It's very sad, I have no other words apart RIP ...
Here are the add-ons I made in a spare time. That was fun!

If you have any questions or problems regarding the migration of my extensions to GitHub, feel free to contact me through a PM.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Moonchild » 2016-11-24, 13:20

So, to sum up support for add-ons:

Pale Moon 26: XPCOM, XUL, bootstrap, SDK (limited), NPAPI plugins, complete themes
Firefox, currently: XUL (deprecated), bootstrap (deprecated), SDK, WebExtensions, NPAPI plugins, complete themes
Pale Moon, currently: XPCOM, XUL, bootstrap, NPAPI pligins, complete themes
Firefox, 2017: WebExtensions, NO plugins, "maybe" some different theming API
Pale Moon, 2017: XPCOM, XUL, bootstrap, NPAPI plugins, complete themes

Firefox will also cut SDK extensions, as well as the majority of the existing extension ecosysem, from being used in their browser.
WebExtensions won't have the level of control over the way the browser works, by design, unless special APIs are created by Mozilla to cater to it on a case by case basis. That's only going to be done for a few vetted large/popular extensions like ABP.
On top, Mozilla has been pushing existing extension developers to make existing (deprecated) extensions e10s compatible, only to tell them to throw that work away when they have to move to WebExtensions anyway...
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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-24, 13:21

Sad that Mozilla thinks that Chromium's extension model will fix their problems.

But it never has been the best idea to actually believe they are more successful with trying to become someone else and abandon their own user base, their own concepts and their own technology in favor of an utterly minimalist chance to make a big part of the user base of a different browser competitor consider using Firefox now all of a sudden.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Moonchild » 2016-11-24, 13:23

I think the only thing that will happen if they clone chrome even more is what they can already see: more people will bleed off to Chrome.
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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by GreenGeek » 2016-11-24, 14:58

I was biased against Web Extensions until I tried writing them. I went through a couple of the tutorials and found them really simple. And there's no requirement to specify target app/version. Even though they are more limited, adding support for them (in addition to not as the only option) should be worthwhile. I will not be surprised if we have web extensions running in Pale Moon by the time Firefox pulls support for old style extensions. We could create our own ad-free web extensions instead of getting the mostly ad-supported ones from the usual source.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-24, 15:04

I hope that Google technology will not be implemented. f i would want to use some kind of Google invented technology i already would use Chrome. Webextensions never will be able to do what XUL extensions are capable of. The only kind of Google technology which was quite capable of doing stuff was the Chrome app technology - for example - Vivaldi used that to create a whole unique UI on top of Chromium which can be customized.

This one would perhaps be worthwile, but not the normal Webextensions. Also, no matter what Mozilla said, they will never be that powerful like XUL ones, no matter how many additional API Mozilla is creating.

You should expect that in the age in which we are living, people should be ready for extensive customization, personalization and tons of options. But the only direction in which we are going is back to a simple, boring stock design and stock functionality which is only a mere shadow compared with what we had in Firefox before Australis or Opera before it went down the Chrome route.

This is no worthwhile future in which we are moving. It is and stays backwards. Evolution perverted :evil:

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Moonchild » 2016-11-24, 15:40

There's a basic design issue with WebExtensions, and that is how it is supposed to integrate with the UI.
The integration is done with a snippet of HTML - not with native markup components. That's fine if you build your UI with HTML already, but not otherwise.
Having a small browser component for each added UI control is going to be an issue, not in the least from a performance and customizability perspective. Not to mention what would be needed to prevent bad HTML from being run in chrome context.
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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by GreenGeek » 2016-11-24, 16:03

@sajadi: Your objections have no technical basis. There is no google anything in a self-written web extension. You don't have to go to the google store to install one. I'm the most anti-google person I know, and I'm in favor of adding support for this format. It does not mean you'd be using google technology or their sites at all. In fact, unless you're working very hard at blocking them, you are loading google code on most web pages you open.

@Moonchild: Even though you may not include it in the core, I can't see any reason why it can't be implemented through a regular extension. I'm thinking of one Xul extension that supports web extensions (maybe a limited subset of functions) similar to Custom Buttons. I guess it depends whether someone will be interested enough to do it.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by win7-7 » 2016-11-24, 16:22

I already have knew this sometime ago by reading Mozilla wiki. I actually intended make topic about this but didn't.

XUL is far more powerful API than WebExtensions and this decision won't benefit Firefox add-on system and customizability in long-term.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1306671

There is bugzilla bug about new theme API that is called cedar. Moonchild have you checked this yet and if so what you think Mozilla replacement theme API?

Most likely it won't be as powerful as complete themes are now.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-24, 18:06

GreenGeek wrote:@sajadi: Your objections have no technical basis. There is no google anything in a self-written web extension. You don't have to go to the google store to install one. I'm the most anti-google person I know, and I'm in favor of adding support for this format. It does not mean you'd be using google technology or their sites at all. In fact, unless you're working very hard at blocking them, you are loading google code on most web pages you open
That is the minor issue. The major issue is that that extension technology is utterly simple and you can't do the same nice tricks like you was able to do before. Also, the only way to get Webextensions into Pale Moon would be updating to a new engine, as i am pretty sure implementing that is much more complex than adding Promises support to the browser. That was not possible already, so how do you think it would be more simple with Webextensions?

And let's say an engine update would be planned, that means XUL would be lost and customization of the UI would be lost. In fact you would have just a normal Firefox clone which is same simple and not complex feature wise. This idea is even more horrible than Australis alone.

Australis, Webextensions, XUL removment and killing off full themes is just another flavor of Chrome with a different engine - another browser for simple users and simple needs, but not at all for power users.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Moonchild » 2016-11-24, 18:41

Sajadi wrote:Australis, Webextensions, XUL removment and killing off full themes is just another flavor of Chrome with a different engine - another browser for simple users and simple needs, but not at all for power users.
And all that will lead up to dumping Gecko, in the end, after making it nigh unusable.
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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-24, 18:49

Moonchild wrote:And all that will lead up to dumping Gecko, in the end, after making it nigh unusable.
I would not be surprised if that new engine, no matter how it will be named in the end is also heavily Google Chrome/Blink inspired in how it works and how it is build. There is only a minor step from being inspired UI and extensions technology wise. If Mozilla goes that far, that would be a logical next step for them.

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-26, 01:33

As it looks like, it even is unclear what happens with that famous add-on Classic Theme Restorer - if it is possible to save it. But one thing, if that add-on really would cease to exist, it would be a blow against still available customization possibilities to enhance Firefox.

JodyThornton

Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by JodyThornton » 2016-11-26, 16:15

Now the Classic Theme Restorer - isn't that what Cyberfox basically uses to provide an older look by default? Or is that different?

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Re: By end of 2017 Firefox will only support web extensions

Post by Sajadi » 2016-11-26, 17:17

JodyThornton wrote:Now the Classic Theme Restorer - isn't that what Cyberfox basically uses to provide an older look by default? Or is that different?
It is more or less the same.

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