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Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Fri, 22 Dec 2017, 00:54
by Lootyhoof
As I'm sure many of you are aware, currently we have somewhat of a reliance on Mozilla's add-ons site, addons.mozilla.org, in addition to its update service, for add-ons hosted on that site. Searches performed in the Add-ons Manager (about:addons) are also searched using this system.

With Mozilla's push to another extension architecture, named WebExtensions, in Firefox 57, the last currently-supported release of Firefox that supports the extensions also in use on Pale Moon is Firefox 52 ESR. Once support for this is removed by Mozilla, they have already confirmed that they will be removing these add-ons. At this point, addons.mozilla.org ("AMO") will no longer be of use to us, and will only serve to cause confusion if this service is still used.

As a result, I can confirm that on May 8th, 2018 (2018-05-08) we will be removing support for AMO, in all its forms. In addition, due to its age we will also remove support for Pale Moon 26 and below at this time. This includes the following:

  • Automatic Update Services (AUS)
  • Searches performed using about:addons
  • Any and all other AMO integration within the Add-ons Manager
  • External add-on listings on addons.palemoon.org pointing to AMO
Instead, we will rely exclusively on the AUS within our own add-ons site, addons.palemoon.org. This of course does not include self-hosted add-ons, which will continue to update as usual on their own update infrastructure, unaffected by these changes. Add-ons Manager integration, including search, will use our site instead. External add-ons currently directing to AMO can either host with us or self-host. If you are a developer of such add-ons please contact us regarding how you would like to proceed.

I'm a user whose add-on still resides on AMO, what effect will this have on me?
Ultimately the removal of these add-ons is up to Mozilla, however as we know support for the next Firefox ESR release is Firefox 60, on May 8th, we have a general idea for when services may start to deteriorate. As such, to prevent the service becoming unreliable, we will be removing support at a time when we know it will still be active, if only just. Any add-ons you require that still reside on this service and have not already been installed on your browser would be removed from AMO unless you personally back them up, or a developer decides to "fork" (start development anew) the add-on.

But what if the service stays live on Mozilla's end after that! Will you reconsider?
Short answer: No. While it may work for a time beyond this, we would not be able to know exactly when this service would stop working, and to ensure a smooth transition we would make the switch before this. We have gained a wide variety of interesting and original add-ons on our site over the past few years of its service, and we would hope that these can provide a suitable experience for users, or if this is not sufficient, that developers could come forward and submit add-ons to our site. We are continually making improvements to our add-ons site to make this process simpler and easier, also. Note also that if the service remains live on Mozilla's side and add-ons are not removed for a time, it is still possible to install (or otherwise download) add-ons, by visiting addons.mozilla.org, however it would not be possible to receive further updates.

While I understand that this may not be great news for some, please understand that this is both (a) to migrate services away from a service which will no longer be relevant to us anymore, and (b) to promote Pale Moon-specific add-ons, which in the case of the search in about:addons it does not currently. This is especially useful for developers, who may (for example) produce a Pale Moon-specific version of an add-on also distributed on AMO. In this instance, users could have installed the AMO version, either via visiting AMO or using the search feature in about:addons, and thus have issues with this version that are fixed in the Pale Moon-specific version. This is also true of forked add-ons, where another developer has continued development, possibly under a different name.

Please bear with us during this transitionary period, and we will attempt to make the move as smooth as possible.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 05:05
by nimanima
So, that means you are also deleting the Classical add-ons Archive or what? Why have you undergone that work to secure and transfer all of them to somewhere first, when only a few months later to decide to let us stand in the rain now. Of all my add-ons I use only 2 or 3 from Pale Moon the rest is all from Mozilla and the reason for this is simple as that: Pale Moon doesn't have any add-ons that work like these.

You have
no abc-tajpu
no default zoom level
no easy youtube video downloader
no Fire Shot
no real greasemonkey through which I can use FB Purity (Social Fixer is no alternative as it is lacking the deleted friends alert feature)
no IE Tab
no Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar
no Pearl Crescent Page Saver (the best screenshot tool ever)
no Too Many Tabs

Add to this list 2 Pale Moon add-ons (CAA and Screen Grab) and you see the relation between the two.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 05:50
by New Tobin Paradigm
"Classical Add-ons Archive" has NOTHING to do with the Pale Moon Add-ons Site and indeed is just another add-on relying on sources that will be gone soon. Nor does anyone except Mozilla have control over what Mozilla is doing. Mozilla is going to delete every non-webextension by the end of June at last report.. There is no reason to continue relying on their Add-ons Site and Service if there will shortly after be no add-ons.

The Pale Moon Add-ons Team cannot simply add extensions to the site.. That isn't how it works.. Developers must bring their add-ons over or others fork existing add-ons and submit them to the Pale Moon Add-ons Site.

I think you did not read what Ryan (Lootyhoof) actually said. Don't worry, no one reads anymore. In any event, there is a effort to preserve what is on AMO now that is in the works. An effort to create a read-only archive of every extension on AMO. However, this effort is not related to the Pale Moon project. It can't be. When it is ready for the public it will find its way to the forum.

Do re-read what Ryan said.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 06:40
by nimanima
I read what he wrote and my reply is what I understood from it. Sorry, I am not English and I am no developer or Computer Specialist, I just want to use my things the way I did. I have by the way not updated any add-ons since a long time which means the versions I have now seem to harmonize quite well with Pale Moon, so if you don't change frequently things in that area they might with a bit of luck work in future versions as well. Also it is not always the latest add-ons version which harmonizes best with the latest Pale Moon version. You have to sometimes go back to versions which are already a few years old to find the right version for your current Pale Moon. Since I never do automatic and online updates, but always download the new programme version to my PC and install it from there, I have the xpi files of the versions I currently use of the add-ons I have curently installed, but what, as others have asked, too, when in future there will be need for some other tool? Especially I deeply rely and daily so on abc-tajpu, Default Zoom Level, Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar, Pearl Crescent and Too Many Tabs all of which you have not yet incorporated in your database and without which internet for me wouldn't work.

Maybe it would be a good idea if the Pale Moon Extensions Team could contact the developers instead of hoping the developers would find Pale Moon out of their own instead. I have just been for example on the Facebook page of Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar to see what was their last version and the last post of the developer there was a frustrated "we have been outplayed by Mozilla". No mention of altering their little tool for Pale Moon. I have suggested that now including a link to the Pale Moon website and Facebook page. The guy from Visibo (Too Many Tabs) told me already a few years ago when Firefox made the first severe changes that TMT won't work with these new versions and he continues working for Chrome now, as if there were only two browsers. So then I stuck with an old version of Firefox until I found Pale Moon almost four years ago. Just to say the situation among developers seems to be similar to that among users, they know only the BIG 4 and others don't come to their mind.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 07:10
by New Tobin Paradigm
We tried contacting developers for three years.. You have seen the results. The Pale Moon Add-ons Team is done doing that. Time to take what we can from Mozilla put it up on an independent and readonly archive for others to fork or use for reference. As well as, improve our own infrastructure and technology like Project Phoebus to help support and facilitate add-on development.

However, this is getting REALLY off-topic so feel free to make a new thread.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sat, 27 Jan 2018, 08:24
by SpockFan02
Off-topic:
nimanima wrote: Especially I deeply rely and daily so on abc-tajpu, Default Zoom Level, Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar, Pearl Crescent and Too Many Tabs all of which you have not yet incorporated in your database and without which internet for me wouldn't work.

Ctrl+0 to reset zoom level. As for multirow bookmarks toolbar, I think there was a way to do that with userChrome.css, but I can't seem to be able to find it.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 14:41
by Smokey20
XUL extensions at Addons site are NOT being removed on May 8 or anytime in May. Why? Because Fx 52.x ESR is SUPPORTED BY MOZILLA THROUGH AUGUST 28. It will be sometime in SEPTEMBER, at the earliest, that traditional extensions will be removed. You are jumping the gun.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 14:54
by Lootyhoof
Smokey20 wrote:XUL extensions at Addons site are NOT being removed on May 8 or anytime in May. Why? Because Fx 52.x ESR is SUPPORTED BY MOZILLA THROUGH AUGUST 28. It will be sometime in SEPTEMBER, at the earliest, that traditional extensions will be removed. You are jumping the gun.

Please check the original post for the answer to this:

While it may work for a time beyond this, we would not be able to know exactly when this service would stop working, and to ensure a smooth transition we would make the switch before this. We have gained a wide variety of interesting and original add-ons on our site over the past few years of its service, and we would hope that these can provide a suitable experience for users, or if this is not sufficient, that developers could come forward and submit add-ons to our site. We are continually making improvements to our add-ons site to make this process simpler and easier, also. Note also that if the service remains live on Mozilla's side and add-ons are not removed for a time, it is still possible to install (or otherwise download) add-ons, by visiting addons.mozilla.org, however it would not be possible to receive further updates.

As mentioned, we will not be adjusting this date just because add-ons continue to survive at AMO. This date was chosen as ESR 60 will be released then, so it is expected that Mozilla will begin the transition at this time (even if it isn't complete until ESR 52 is out of support).

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 15:03
by New Tobin Paradigm
At last report, they were targeting end of June for the great Add-on Purge at AMO.. Has this date changed? Can you cite the source?

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 15:25
by JustOff
Our previous plans were based on ESR 59, but it has been changed to ESR 60 since then (confirmed in January 2018). Probably we could also make a shift?

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 15:28
by Lootyhoof
JustOff wrote:Probably we could also make a shift?

This is why May 8 was chosen. It would have been earlier otherwise.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Sun, 11 Feb 2018, 16:05
by JustOff
Lootyhoof wrote:This is why May 8 was chosen. It would have been earlier otherwise.

No one can argue with this :)

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 14:31
by Smokey20
You say you can't know exactly when AMO will purge their site. That is NOT true.

"AMO (addons.mozilla.org) will continue to support legacy add-on listings throughout the ESR 52 cycle."

https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/10 ... refox-esr/

End of support for Fx 52.9.0 ESR is August 28.

Monday, February 12, 2018 04;29;16001.png

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 15:18
by New Tobin Paradigm
Mozilla has never respected that "qualifying" period. Point 8 and 9 are not a sure thing. In fact they haven't done point 9 or more since ESR17.. So no, we can't know exactly when AMO will die.. Mozilla's point 8 doesn't matter anyway it won't stop the AMO team and the last we know was targeting end of june so maybe end of a point 8 or so.

In any case it is moot. Access to their service.. access to any service or the fitness of anything for anything has never been a thing.

May 8th and that will be the end of it. If you'd like, we can pull the AMO kill switch now.

https://github.com/Pale-Moon-Addons-Team/phoebus/blob/RELEASE/components/aus/addonUpdateService.php#L37

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 19:27
by coffeebreak
New Tobin Paradigm wrote:In fact they haven't done point 9 or more since ESR17..

Actually there was a point 9 for 45.*esr: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/45.9.0esr/

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 20:44
by New Tobin Paradigm
They didn't mention it on their wiki.. Still.. Not a sure bet.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 22:24
by Moonchild
Regardless of potential overlap, point releases or changing plans or not of Mozilla, we've set this date and will stick to it. You can't just make long-term planning and plan other things around it to then suddenly make it flexible on a whim.
8 May is a good, solid date, far enough into the last support cycle of ESR52 to assume that things will be phased out shortly after -- our use of current AMO is already barely useful as it is now, and hasn't for some months; extending it with a month or two will not change that and will just make our planning all that more difficult. On top, having a transition period for us is good because it doesn't require extension developers to make a sudden last-minute decision (which will likely be negative for any hobby developer) and most devs will not change (as is per normal human psychology) unless they are on the precipice and staring into the abyss.

The date is set based on solid research and evaluation, and will not change.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 23:50
by Smokey20
Jorge Villalobos has replied in the Fx ESR list serve, where I asked about this, and has stated unequivocally that Mozilla will not purge Addons until after end of support for Fx 52.9 ESR (August 28).

How does this May deadline deal affect Basilisk? I no longer use Pale Moon as I had to remain on 26.5 because extremely important extensions don't work on Pale Moon 27. I was thrilled to find Basilisk and LOVE it because all my XUL AND also WE extensions work on it. Baslisk is, bar none, the best browser I have used in years (and I have a bunch of browsers). I was distressed to read recently that future Basilisk will be forked off of Fx 52 ESR instead of Fx 55. That would mean killing WE extensions.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Tue, 13 Feb 2018, 00:22
by Moonchild
Nobody prevents you from surfing to AMO directly.

Re: Planned Removal of Mozilla Add-ons Service and Old Browser Versions

Posted: Tue, 13 Feb 2018, 02:30
by New Tobin Paradigm
Basilisk was never Firefox 55.. We just CALLED it Firefox 55 for legacy mozilla reasons.