Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

General discussion, compatibility and contributed extensions.

Moderators: satrow, Lootyhoof, FranklinDM

User avatar
TheRealMaestro
Hobby Astronomer
Hobby Astronomer
Posts: 25
Joined: 2019-08-13, 00:30

Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by TheRealMaestro » 2019-08-19, 22:22

Reading Pale Moon's roadmap, I noticed that Pale Moon wishes in future versions to keep general compatibility with the traditional XUL platform, yet:
Pale Moon Roadmap wrote:[Pale Moon will] maintain this general level of compatibility[, yet] the (transitional) dual-ID setup will eventually be removed, at which point only Pale Moon targeted extensions will be accepted[;] Firefox-only extensions will no longer be accepted by the browser[.]
Being unaware of what is happening behind the scenes, I ask: to what extent will unmodified extensions for early Firefox be restricted? Would this be some kind of 'ID checking' that could be disabled or adjusted (as under Tools > Preferences > Security > Add-ons > Add-on security level now)? Naturally, as Pale Moon continues to develop in its own direction, backward compatibility cannot be ensured indefinitely, and foreign extensions could only possibly be used 'as is' without official support, but would the option to try to install and use them remain, even if only in about:config? The word 'accept' here seems to imply that we should still keep the option to try, yet I find it best to confirm definitively that my interpretation is correct.

vannilla
Keeps coming back
Keeps coming back
Posts: 817
Joined: 2018-05-05, 13:29

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by vannilla » 2019-08-19, 23:09

As an extension developer who forked a couple of Firefox extensions, I can tell you that most Firefox extensions just need an entry in the install.rdf file with the Pale Moon (and/or Basilisk) ID and nothing would change.
The problem this approach has is that not every extension can be forked because of the license. Most of them are under a license like Apache, BSD or even something from the GNU project, meaning they can be forked with relatively few problems, but there are also those under a non-free license or under a license which requires to be more careful to avoid breaching it.
In short, to get most Firefox extensions without the dual GUID mechanism all it takes is a simple fork targeting Pale Moon/Basilisk and a submission to the add-on site.
And before someone says it: no, you don't need to know how to code to make this fork. This is especially true for old Firefox extensions: after all, they work as intended now, so you don't need to fix bugs or add new features. At worst, incompatibilities when a major version is released (e.g. Pale Moon 29) can arise, but this forum will likely offer some sort of help if requested.

User avatar
Moonchild
Pale Moon guru
Pale Moon guru
Posts: 25710
Joined: 2011-08-28, 17:27
Location: 58°2'16"N 14°58'31"E
Contact:

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-08-20, 00:37

The answer is simple: unmodified Firefox extensions (i.e. that only target Firefox in their install.rdf) will no longer work because they are no longer compatible and must target Pale Moon specifically from that point forward.
"There will be times when the position you advocate, no matter how well framed and supported, will not be accepted by the public simply because you are who you are." -- Merrill Rose
Image

User avatar
New Tobin Paradigm
Off-Topic Sheriff
Off-Topic Sheriff
Posts: 6664
Joined: 2012-10-09, 19:37
Location: Sector 001

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-08-20, 07:07

Now don't freak out guys. This is a long term goal we would like to do because it does nothing to improve actual conpatibility. It is and always has been a basic hack on the install check to allow a Firefox targetApplication to be accepted when the real application's targetApplication does not exist.

One day we hope we will have enough Pale Moon targeted extensions that the hack simply won't be required anymore. It is totally not something that is gonna happen tomorrow or for a good long time. It also shall not happen arbitrarily or without warning and a long leadtime.

There may be other possibilities that can be researched and explored for how such a thing could take shape which could help users when that time comes.

I would suggest you all continue your own research and continue to create and fork extensions in any case.
Image
The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak.
In the event that the weighted companion cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.

https://binaryoutcast.com/ | http://thereisonlyxul.org/ | Freenode #binaryoutcast

User avatar
gepus
Lunatic
Lunatic
Posts: 403
Joined: 2017-12-14, 12:59

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by gepus » 2019-08-20, 15:58

@New Tobin Paradigm

Thanks for clarifying!
Probably it wouldn't affect me personally (irrespective of licences) but a lot of people using Pale Moon...

User avatar
New Tobin Paradigm
Off-Topic Sheriff
Off-Topic Sheriff
Posts: 6664
Joined: 2012-10-09, 19:37
Location: Sector 001

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-08-20, 17:16

Exactly and you are welcome.
Image
The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak.
In the event that the weighted companion cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.

https://binaryoutcast.com/ | http://thereisonlyxul.org/ | Freenode #binaryoutcast

User avatar
John connor
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1140
Joined: 2015-01-21, 05:06
Location: From RLG fly heading 053 intercept 315 DVV look for the SAM

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by John connor » 2019-08-20, 17:42

Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
Imagine if God created a creature that was bipedal, soft and cuddly, stood about 9 inches tall and sang. Then called him Gizmo.

Interested in a secure Linux environment? Check out Qubes. Wanna help secure your browsing? Check out the now free Sandboxie.

User avatar
New Tobin Paradigm
Off-Topic Sheriff
Off-Topic Sheriff
Posts: 6664
Joined: 2012-10-09, 19:37
Location: Sector 001

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-08-20, 17:57

F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 17:42
Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
Don't be a moron.
Image
The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak.
In the event that the weighted companion cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.

https://binaryoutcast.com/ | http://thereisonlyxul.org/ | Freenode #binaryoutcast

Goodydino
Astronaut
Astronaut
Posts: 546
Joined: 2017-10-10, 21:20

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Goodydino » 2019-08-20, 18:02

F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 17:42
Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
Look at the information for target application in install.rdf in one of the themes for Pale Moon. Just use that information.

User avatar
John connor
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1140
Joined: 2015-01-21, 05:06
Location: From RLG fly heading 053 intercept 315 DVV look for the SAM

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by John connor » 2019-08-20, 18:04

Goodydino wrote:
2019-08-20, 18:02
F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 17:42
Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
Look at the information for target application in install.rdf in one of the themes for Pale Moon. Just use that information.
Thanks for two reasons: Not calling me a "moron" and answering my question.
Imagine if God created a creature that was bipedal, soft and cuddly, stood about 9 inches tall and sang. Then called him Gizmo.

Interested in a secure Linux environment? Check out Qubes. Wanna help secure your browsing? Check out the now free Sandboxie.

User avatar
New Tobin Paradigm
Off-Topic Sheriff
Off-Topic Sheriff
Posts: 6664
Joined: 2012-10-09, 19:37
Location: Sector 001

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-08-20, 18:25

Well, now that I know you are modifying Firefox extensions any support requests from you are therefor null and void. Good job, moron.
Image
The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot speak.
In the event that the weighted companion cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.

https://binaryoutcast.com/ | http://thereisonlyxul.org/ | Freenode #binaryoutcast

vannilla
Keeps coming back
Keeps coming back
Posts: 817
Joined: 2018-05-05, 13:29

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by vannilla » 2019-08-20, 18:59

F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 17:42
Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
You can't do that unless the license says so, regardless of one's intelligence.
If the license says you can modify it, also check if modified copies can be redistributed. If so, change the extension branding (name and icons, just to avoid licensing issues) and submit it to the add-on site.

User avatar
Moonchild
Pale Moon guru
Pale Moon guru
Posts: 25710
Joined: 2011-08-28, 17:27
Location: 58°2'16"N 14°58'31"E
Contact:

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-08-20, 19:17

vannilla wrote:
2019-08-20, 18:59
F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 17:42
Anyone be so kind as to post what that hack is to add to the install.rdf?
You can't do that unless the license says so, regardless of one's intelligence.
If the license says you can modify it, also check if modified copies can be redistributed. If so, change the extension branding (name and icons, just to avoid licensing issues) and submit it to the add-on site.
and one important additional step: if you fork it like that, commit yourself to actually maintaining it too -- it's not a fire and forget thing.
"There will be times when the position you advocate, no matter how well framed and supported, will not be accepted by the public simply because you are who you are." -- Merrill Rose
Image

CharmCityCrab
Banned user
Banned user
Posts: 638
Joined: 2015-06-25, 00:47

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-08-20, 19:50

In the long run, using unmaintained Firefox add-ons from years ago is probably not a great thing from a security or a compatibility perspective. It makes sense for Pale Moon to at some point stop allowing add-ons that specify that they are Firefox add-ons just from those perspectives alone. Any Firefox add-on that has been maintained specifically for Firefox past Firefox 57 two years ago would be a webextension (I guess some extensions targeting Firefox ESR would have been maintained longer, but Firefox ESR has switched to webextensions as well now), which is a format Pale Moon has never and has no plans to ever support.

So, it does seem logical to by default have XUL add-ons have to specify Pale Moon in their instructions at some point. It's sort of a bare minimum indicator that someone at least might have been maintaining it or have done some updates since Firefox switched add-on formats.

Of course, this would as a practical matter require Pale Moon and the Unified XUL Platform to have continued to build up a large number of it's own add-ons (Some of which could be forks from old Firefox add-ons) and to keep building on it, to the point where not too many people feel like the rug has been yanked out under them when the Firefox ID support for extensions is pulled. But it sounds like that's the plan- keep building up the Pale Moon AMO.

User avatar
John connor
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1140
Joined: 2015-01-21, 05:06
Location: From RLG fly heading 053 intercept 315 DVV look for the SAM

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by John connor » 2019-08-20, 20:46

I don't plan on forking, modifying or any of that crap. This is for my use only. I don't even know code, let along JS, CSS, HTML or even PHP.
Imagine if God created a creature that was bipedal, soft and cuddly, stood about 9 inches tall and sang. Then called him Gizmo.

Interested in a secure Linux environment? Check out Qubes. Wanna help secure your browsing? Check out the now free Sandboxie.

User avatar
Isengrim
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2015-09-08, 22:54
Location: 127.0.0.1
Contact:

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Isengrim » 2019-08-20, 21:12

I didn't know much about JS or CSS or XUL either until I made ReaderView for Pale Moon (which is mostly borrowed from Firefox anyway), because it's something I wanted to use, and it was apparently useful for others as well.

Don't forget that Pale Moon, UXP, and everything else around them is a community project, and as such we should all be contributing towards making our forked add-ons available for others. Even if it's just a rebrand and minor compat update, it's better than nothing.
Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon (64-bit), Windows 7 (64-bit), Windows 10 build 1803 (64-bit)
"As long as there is someone who will appreciate the work involved in the creation, the effort is time well spent." ~ Tetsuzou Kamadani, Cave Story

User avatar
back2themoon
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1589
Joined: 2012-08-19, 20:32

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by back2themoon » 2019-08-20, 21:23

F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 20:46
I don't plan on forking, modifying or any of that crap.
Without forking, there would be neither Pale Moon nor lots of other nice things. I know what you meant, but clearly an unfortunate choice of words.
Safe Mode / clean profile info: Help/Restart in Safe Mode
Information to include when asking for support - How to apply user agent overrides
How to download videos

Windows 10 Pro • Pale Moon x64 • Interlink x64 • Emsisoft Anti-Malware

User avatar
Moonchild
Pale Moon guru
Pale Moon guru
Posts: 25710
Joined: 2011-08-28, 17:27
Location: 58°2'16"N 14°58'31"E
Contact:

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-08-20, 21:29

F22 Simpilot wrote:
2019-08-20, 20:46
This is for my use only.
And everyone who wants to do this for their use only is being selfish and ultimately reinventing the wheel.
I could have made Pale Moon "for my use only" as well, but no, I decided to publish it. Why? because others might find it useful too. In 2009 I didn't know jack shit about the Mozilla code base or any of the advanced programming techniques I know about now. I barely knew C++ when I first started, as well. But guess what? Publishing Pale Moon made me learn all those things.
Extensions are a lot simpler, and can easily be created and maintained by a single person in a few odd hours of spare time -- why? Because most of them were initially created by people who were doing this in their free time, as a hobby, and learning along the way.
Think Ratatouille: "Anyone can cook".
"There will be times when the position you advocate, no matter how well framed and supported, will not be accepted by the public simply because you are who you are." -- Merrill Rose
Image

User avatar
Isengrim
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2015-09-08, 22:54
Location: 127.0.0.1
Contact:

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Isengrim » 2019-08-20, 22:23

Moonchild wrote:
2019-08-20, 21:29
Think Ratatouille: "Anyone can cook".
Off-topic:
You sir made my day. I love that movie.
Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon (64-bit), Windows 7 (64-bit), Windows 10 build 1803 (64-bit)
"As long as there is someone who will appreciate the work involved in the creation, the effort is time well spent." ~ Tetsuzou Kamadani, Cave Story

User avatar
Lootyhoof
Themeist
Themeist
Posts: 1359
Joined: 2012-02-09, 23:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Will traditional Firefox extensions remain useable after dual ID are removed?

Post by Lootyhoof » 2019-08-20, 22:28

While the bandwagon's still there, let's have a history lesson of my own, shall we? ;)

Back in 2011, I still used Firefox. Firefox 4 had just come out, but my favourite theme in the 3.x era, Kempelton, wasn't updated. I waited for a short while, then eventually the author announced they'd discontinued the theme. I didn't know CSS. I didn't know how Firefox themes worked (or add-ons in general, for that matter). But I did have one thought in my mind: what exactly is so different that this theme can't work? So, I looked at other themes. I wanted to see what they did that this one didn't. I plugged away at it for a while and eventually produced a working theme. It wasn't pretty by any means, but it did the job I wanted of it, and I was happy for that fact. Since I knew several other people also wanted that theme on Firefox 4+, I knew it would be a shame to leave that to myself, so I published it. Given that one went so well, I decided to work on some more themes too. Of course, given Firefox's rabid release cycle and my inexperience at the time, I wasn't really able to keep up with it and it fell to the wayside.

Fast-forward a couple more years and I'm on Pale Moon, I get contacted by a forum member at the time asking for Kempelton Reloaded to come back. As Pale Moon was much easier to handle in terms of versions and theme changes (and still is!), I decided to have a look into it, and got something working. I still wasn't great at CSS at the time (comparatively speaking), but I put it together and was happy with the result. I kept improving on it, then decided to port other themes and, well, the rest is history. ;)

The moral of the story? Just because you don't know how to do x thing doesn't mean you can't - you just need to put your mind to it.

Locked