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Web Browsers!
tuubi commented on 19 November 2017 at 10:25 am UTC

I've been running the new Firefox for a day or so, and it seems to work pretty well. The better performance and other very welcome improvements are definitely worth the plugin breakage.

wolfyrion commented on 19 November 2017 at 10:52 am UTC

After some research the only versions you can use that are compatible with Firefox 56 and all the previous extensions are:

1) firefox-kde-opensuse 56.0.2-1 is on AUR (it takes some time to compile)
2) Waterfox (still on 55 but it will be updated to 56 in a few days)

Firefox ESR and Icecat are on version 52.5 so some things and extensions are not working and some web pages make the tabs crashing a lot. Hopefully they will be upgraded as well to a newer version.

Finally I have tested Palemoon but you have to use their own limited extensions otherwise you may be in trouble.

Beemer commented on 21 November 2017 at 4:09 pm UTC

Ugh - My system just updated to FF 57 yesterday. I don't tend to watch the browser 'up and coming' stuff so I didn't know most of my addons would break with this version.

I've had to (on Manjaro) revert to FF 56 and pin it in the package manager. It's insane that they would introduce Web Extensions and simply cut off the old extension support. As someone on their forums pointed out a couple months ago - their Web Extensions setup simply doesn't have the API needed to support the current addons despite it being announced over 2 years ago.

I understand the need/desire to move forward but you can't do that until at least 75-80% is working. From what I'm reading, it seems likes it's maybe 25% ready.

Hopefully, adoption of FF 57 will falter and the FF management will wake up and turn legacy addon support back on in FF 58.

tuubi commented on 21 November 2017 at 5:59 pm UTC

BeemerI understand the need/desire to move forward but you can't do that until at least 75-80% is working. From what I'm reading, it seems likes it's maybe 25% ready.

Hopefully, adoption of FF 57 will falter and the FF management will wake up and turn legacy addon support back on in FF 58.
I hope not. If legacy plugin support is holding back tangible improvements in the actual browser engine (and that's obviously the case here), it's just not worth it. Your percentages are meaningless.

wolfyrion commented on 22 November 2017 at 8:24 am UTC

Good News Everyone , MrAlex94 just released Waterfox Test Build 56

https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/7ed9sf/waterfox_56_test_build_download_plans_please/

Everything is working fine and is very fast.

if you want to have it permanent on your system you can install from AUR version 55 and then replace the files in /opt/waterfox/ with the ones you have downloaded

If you find a bug or something is not working please report it to waterfox reddit channel

Beemer commented on 23 November 2017 at 5:30 pm UTC

tuubi
BeemerI understand the need/desire to move forward but you can't do that until at least 75-80% is working. From what I'm reading, it seems likes it's maybe 25% ready.

Hopefully, adoption of FF 57 will falter and the FF management will wake up and turn legacy addon support back on in FF 58.
I hope not. If legacy plugin support is holding back tangible improvements in the actual browser engine (and that's obviously the case here), it's just not worth it. Your percentages are meaningless.

Imagine an update to a spreadsheet program that broke 70-80% of the formula functionality but it gave tangible improvements to the underlying calculation engine. Most users would ditch that spreadsheet for something that worked and not wait for their needed functions to return.

The engine in FF needed/needs improvement - that's a valid issue. However, it shouldn't be rolled out if it breaks a large percentage of the functionality. The extensibility of FF has always been one of it's largest draws - now in v57, that's mostly broken.

Faster page loading, to myself and others, isn't worth it if the addons we've used to make browsing easier no longer work.

tuubi commented on 23 November 2017 at 7:02 pm UTC

BeemerImagine an update to a spreadsheet program that broke 70-80% of the formula functionality but it gave tangible improvements to the underlying calculation engine.
It would be much more accurate to imagine that some third party plugins to the spreadsheet program stopped working due to a deprecated plugin interface. Things changed (mostly for the better) but no core browser functionality was removed as far as I can see.

What's with all the random percentages by the way? Do you enjoy pulling them out of your hat, or is there a credible source? Something like counting plugins using the removed API isn't enough to give insight into how many users are affected.

BeemerFaster page loading, to myself and others, isn't worth it if the addons we've used to make browsing easier no longer work.
Faster page loads are only one of the benefits, but I do understand how this is bad for you and others who depend on third party plugins that are no longer supported. I think Firefox developers believe this helps more people than it hurts, and I'd assume they have a pretty solid case. I sure haven't seen any real data to the contrary.

Beemer commented on 23 November 2017 at 9:22 pm UTC

My point with the spreadsheet example is that the functions are a major feature, like the addon API of FF.

Per https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?type=extension - there are 21,994 addons available for FF.

Per this (https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/09/28/webextensions-in-firefox-57/) article from Sep 28th, there were almost 5000 addons migrated at that time - almost 23%. Following the link embeded in that article (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?tag=firefox57), there are now 6,925 migrated - 31%. This is after two years of knowing this was coming. It was pointed out in one of the post comments that the API is missing a lot of functionality that was in the previous one. Also, one of my addon's home page explicitly states they can't migrate because of the new API.

While the above links can't tell us who uses what addons, it speaks to the state of the Web Extensions API. The addon eco-system of FF is a major 'feature' of that browser and they've pushed out an update that breaks it.

If a major feature that (I'm guessing 'many' users depend on or use in some fashion is broken, then it really shouldn't ship (IMHO).

The actual stat that will matter in then next couple months is the adoption rate. Most business I've seen will likely pin this to v56 until the addon issue is fixed. Otherwise, they run the risk of breaking the user's workflows.

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