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  1. Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy is anew browser extension for the Firefox web browser that blocks Firefox from sending Origin headers under certain circumstances. To understand what Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy does, it is necessary to understand how the same-origin policy and cross-origin resource sharing works. The same-origin policy is a security model that restricts access to resources, e.g. JavaScript scripts, based on the origin (made up of scheme, hostname, and port); this is done to prevent cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery attacks. Cross-Origin Resource Sharing bypasses the same-origin policy so that other sites may request resources protected by the same-origin policy. When a browser makes a cross-origin resource request, it adds a reference to the HTTP header that includes the origin that triggered the request. In other words: it tells the server the request is made to that you came from a certain domain, e.g. https://www.example.com:8080. Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy may modify these requests to block the information from being revealed to the site the CORS request is made to. The extension comes with several modes of operation; the default mode, relaxed, relies on heuristics to determine whether it is save to strip the origin header. Aggressive mode on the other hand strips all origin headers. Both modes work on GET requests only. Relaxed mode won't remove the origin header if the request includes cookies, authorization header, or username, password, query, or hash data in the URL. Some sites, often those that use cross-origin resource requests for legitimate purposes, may break when the extension is used as requests may fail if the origin header is not sent with requests. Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy comes with options to whitelist domains. If you notice breakage, e.g. some site functionality is not available when the extension strips the Origin header, then you may add it to the whitelist to allow requests on that domain. The settings give you even more control over the process: Change the global mode (aggressive or relaxed). Enable overrides, e.g. using aggressive on certain sites or whitelisting sites. Select types of requests, e.g. font or stylesheet, that you want handled in relaxed mode like in aggressive mode. Exclude root domain matches, to allow requests between non-www and www domains that share the same root, e.g. example.com and www.examplec.om Exclude requests using patterns. Closing words and verdict Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy is another browser extension that attempts to improve user privacy by restricting built-in functionality. It requires a bit of trial and error to make sure that essential features don't break because of it. Firefox users who use uMatrix, uBlock Origin, NoScript or other content blockers that can block third-party requests offer an alternative. Source: Privacy-Oriented Origin Policy for Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  2. Karlston

    Permission Inspector for Firefox

    Permission Inspector is a new extension for the Firefox web browser that provides details on permissions that the installed Firefox extension requested. Firefox displays a permissions prompt when users install extensions from the Mozilla Add-ons Store or from elsewhere; the listed permissions are requested explicitly by extensions to extend the available functionality (all extensions share access to certain functions that are permitted by default). While users may verify permissions during the installation dialog, requested permissions are not listed on Firefox's about:addons page. The page is the management interface for extensions, themes and other components. I'm not aware of an option to list extension permissions in Firefox. Firefox users can visit the extension's page on Mozilla's Firefox Add-ons Store as they are listed in the sidebar there. Permission Inspector is a Firefox extension that changes that; it displays all extra permissions that installed extensions require to function. Even better: it lists some permissions that are not listed on Mozilla AMO or during installation of the extension. Just click on the Permission Inspector button in the Firefox interface to open the local management page. The page is divided into the Extensions and Permissions tab. Extensions list the description of the extension and its requested permissions. Firefox add-ons that are installed but disabled show only the description but no permission information. System add-ons, extensions installed by Mozilla automatically, are not listed on the page. The Permissions page lists each requested permission and the extensions that requested them. It offers a different view and gives you options to check specific permissions that you consider critical or problematic. It lists the permission name, e.g. Notifications, and then the extensions that have that permission. Closing Words and verdict Permission Inspector is a useful extension; it is actually something that should be integrated in Firefox to provide users with the information that it provides. It displays all permissions of all extensions installed in the browser. There is room for improvement though. I'd like to see links to about:addons, an extension's management page in Firefox, and an extension's page on Mozilla AMO. A rating system of sorts might also be useful to look into; not all permissions are equally problematic for users, and Permission Inspector could use a rating system and provide filters or sort options to list the most problematic extensions at the top of the listing. Permission Inspector is not the first extension of its kind. We reviewed Project Insight in 2018 which offers similar functionality. Google Chrome displays requested permissions natively for each installed extension. Source: Permission Inspector for Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  3. Mozilla is working on a new web browser for Android to replace the currently available Firefox for Android mobile browser. Firefox users who use the browser on Android may have noticed that development slowed down in recent time. Updates are still released regularly but they address issues such as slowdowns, crashes, or security issues for the most part. The core reason for that is that Mozilla's working on Fenix, a new mobile browser for Android. Fenix is based on Android Components and GeckoView. In other words, Fenix will be powered by built-in components on Android and Mozilla's GeckoView. Note: The following is based on mockups and not the final product. Things may change during development. Mockups are useful, however, to get a first impression of a product. First Firefox Fenix for Android mockups The very first thing that Firefox for Android users may notice is that the address bar is shown at the bottom of the interface in the screenshot. The current version of Firefox for Android displays the address bar and menus at the top; Firefox Rocket / Firefox Lite, another mobile browser for Android by Mozilla, divides the interface. The mobile browser displays the address bar at the top but the menu bar at the bottom of the browser interface. Fenix moves the entire browser chrome to the bottom. Users find the address bar, home button, and menu listed there. The menu displays important options such as back, forward and reload buttons, new tab and private tab creation options, an option to switch to the desktop site, and to open the settings or the library. The Library provides access to bookmarks, downloads, the browsing history, and other features on the desktop, and it seems likely that the new Firefox for Android will provide similar functionality. Barely visible in the screenshot is another toolbar on top of the address bar. It is a quick actions toolbar to use favorites among other things. The start screen of the new mobile browser displays a unified search and address field, and the current or recent sessions. Current session lists open tabs in the browser while recent session tabs groups of tabs that were open previously in the browser. All tabs open in Fenix at the time of closing are automatically added to a new session that users may access in the future. Mozilla plans to integrate other core features into Fenix such as tracking protection or the ability to display websites offline. Closing Words Work on Fenix continues and Mozilla has not revealed yet when Fenix will become available and how the organization plans to get Firefox for Android users to migrate to the new browser. Source: Firefox Fenix for Android mockups (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Mozilla implemented a feature called Scroll Anchoring in Firefox Nightly recently that fixes a very annoying scrolling related issue. Here is the issue: open any site with a good number of images or other content and quite a bit of text. Scroll down while the page still loads and stay on a fixed position. The loading of content such as images changes the position on the page. I experience the issue regularly, for instance when starting to read a long article or text on a site without waiting for all content to be loaded on it. The loading of images and other content that takes up space may move the visible part of the page so that I have to scroll again to go back to the position I was at. Images, media, and other content on the page may not be loaded immediately. It depends on various factors such as size of files or the number of images on the page. Tip: check out our Firefox download guide to find out how to download Firefox Nightly. We suggest that you use different profiles for Firefox. The issue may be experienced on dynamic pages as well that load content as the user scrolls the page. Bug 1305957 on Mozilla's bug tracking site, Page scroll position is not consistent while content is loading (implement "scroll anchoring"), was opened two years ago. Mozilla plans to launch the change in Firefox 66 Stable and has already implemented in Firefox Nightly, the cutting edge development version of the browser. Scroll Anchoring support in Firefox fixes the issue. The visible part of the page remains in sight while the page is loading if the user scrolls down before the load event completes. Google implemented Scroll Anchoring some time ago in the company's Chrome browser. The company launched Scroll Anchoring as an experimental feature that users had to enable on chrome://flags and enabled the feature by default back in 2016 for all users of the browser. Closing Words The implementation of Scroll Anchoring is a welcome addition to the Firefox browser as it resolves an annoying issue that some Internet users ran experienced. Source: Firefox 66: Scroll Anchoring fixes scroll position jumps during loading (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  5. SmartAdblock is a new content blocker for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, and compatible browsers. While there are certainly lots of content blockers out there already, including the excellent cross-platform extensions uBlock Origin and uMatrix, it is fair to say that there is still room for improvement especially when it comes to usability and also functionality. SmartAdblock does not reinvent the wheel when it comes to the blocking of ads, but it does add some extra features on top of it that set it apart from the default configurations of other content blockers. The three main features that the browser extension supports out of the box deal with cookie and GDPR warnings, handle adblock detectors on popular websites, and block aggressive popup ads on sites. Note: Advertisement is still powering a large part of the Internet and sites like Ghacks rely on the revenue to stay online. Consider supporting the sites that you like and visit regularly. SmartAdblock First Look The extension adds an icon to the main browser toolbar. The icon indicates the number of blocked elements on the active page. It furthermore lists an option to disable content-blocking on the active site, and to open the developer website to contact the developer or tip them. The security certificate of the site expired today, however. Happens, but it is definitely something that the devs should address quickly. SmartAdblock works out of the box; that is necessary, as it does not offer any configuration options besides enabling or disabling ads on a site. If you need more control, e.g. allowing or disallowing certain connections, you need to look elsewhere right now. Options to add custom filters, remove elements visually, and other important features are missing as well at the time of writing. Bypassing Adblock detectors and cookie / GDPR privacy notifications Many sites display notifications or prompts to users when they detect the use of content blockers. Some allow users to continue without disabling the content blocker, others block access until the use signs up for a premium account or disables the content blocker. SmartAdblock bypasses these prompts on a number of popular websites and many more. The extension worked on sites like CNET, Business Insider, IGN, Eurogamer, and Techradar. Site content loads directly and interrupting prompts are not displayed. The bypassing works for many cookie and GDPR privacy notifications as well out of the box. Popup blocking Popup blocking is another specialty of SmartAdblock especially when it comes to aggressive popups used on sites like Putlocker. The blocking worked really well during tests on sites that throw popup ads at users regularly. Blocked popups are highlighted in the extension interface so that they may be opened in case of false positives. Closing Words SmartAdblock is a set and forget kind of adblocker that blocks advertisement well. It is the extension's extra features, the bypassing of anti-adblock and privacy prompts, and the blocking of aggressive popup ads that make it stand out. The developers should consider adding more control over the blocking process to the extension to make it more useful. Also, more options, e.g. custom filters, loading of extra lists, and so on would certainly be appreciated by many users. Source: A first look at SmartAdblock for Firefox and Chrome (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  6. Mozilla plans to integrate a keyboard shortcut manager on the about:addons page of the Firefox web browser. Firefox extensions may map keyboard shortcuts to certain functionality; keyboard shortcuts may speed up certain operations as it may be faster to use them instead of navigating through mouse or touch-based menus. Firefox 66, currently available as a Nightly development version, features the new functionality already. Firefox users who open about:addons in Firefox 66 may notice a new "keyboard shortcuts" link on the manage your extensions page. A click on the new button opens a new page that lists all keyboard shortcuts mapped by all extensions that are enabled in the web browser, and keyboard shortcuts that may be mapped. Extensions that don't support keyboard shortcuts show "there are no shortcuts for this extension" whereas extensions with keyboard shortcut functionality the functions that can be mapped to shortcuts. Some of the available shortcuts may come as a surprise as extensions may not list them in the options or provide users with options to change them. Each shortcut is listed with a description and the shortcut field. The popular content blocker uBlock Origin list three shortcuts: "Enter element picker mode", "Enter element zapper mode", and "Open the logger". Activate the "Type a shortcut" field to assign a keyboard shortcut to the function. Note that shortcuts need to include Ctrl or Alt, but may use other modifier keys such as Shift as well. Firefox notifies users when native shortcuts are selected; you cannot map Ctrl-T to a function on the Manage Extensions Shortcuts page as it is used to open new tabs in the browser. One issue that you may run into is that Firefox does not check if the shortcut is mapped to another extension function already. Considering that the feature just landed, it is likely that Mozilla will resolve this issue and others before the integration in Firefox Stable as it is listed as a bug already on Bugzilla. Keyboard shortcuts mapped to extension functions work on any page the extension runs on. Just activate the shortcut to run the mapped function in the browser. Closing Words The option to manage extension shortcuts is an excellent addition to Firefox. The new feature serves several purposes: List all extension shortcut functions and the keys they are mapped to. Reveal keyboard shortcuts to users that may not be configured directly, and let them configure these directly. Change keyboard shortcuts comfortably from a central location. Extension developers may want to check the available API to integrate the functionality into their extensions for Firefox. Source: Manage Firefox Add-ons keyboard shortcuts on about:addons (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  7. Mozilla plans to disable Adobe Flash in Firefox 69 by default according to an updated bug listing on the organization's bug-tracking website. Adobe Flash Player is the last NPAPI plugin that Mozilla Firefox supports; support for other NPAPI plugins like Microsoft Silverlight or Java was removed in Firefox 52. Firefox users could switch to Firefox ESR to continue using NPAPI plugins at the time. Google dropped support for NPAPI plugins in 2015 in Chrome. Firefox continued to support Adobe Flash provided that users installed the software on supported devices, and even considered integrating a Flash replacement called Shumway in Firefox, and later on Pepper Flash, the Flash system that Google used. Google integrated Adobe Flash in the company's Chrome browser in 2010, and Microsoft did the same for its latest browsers. Mozilla, Google, and other browser makers announced that Flash was on its way out, and Adobe decided to retire Flash in 2020. Mozilla's Flash retiring timeline lists two Flash related events for 2019: Early 2019 -- a visible warning displayed to Firefox users about Flash usage. 2019 -- disable Adobe Flash by default in Firefox. Adobe Flash was a major technology for many years but its popularity decreased in recent years. New web standards emerged that replaced Flash functionality for the most part. While there are still sites out there that make use of Flash, Adobe Flash is playing less of an important role on today's Internet than the technology did ten years ago. Flash is problematic from a security and also a stability point of view. Mozilla plans to disable Adobe Flash in Firefox 69. The Firefox release schedule lists September 3, 2019 as the release date for the stable version. Mozilla will disable Flash in Nightly when the browser hits version 69, then in Beta, and finally in Stable. Disabling means that Flash cannot be used anymore by default unless activated again by the user. Firefox won't prompt users anymore to enable Flash when sites require it, but it will be possible to enable Flash in the browser. The next steps in the Flash deprecation happen in 2020 and 2021. Flash support is removed completely from all Firefox versions except for Firefox ESR in 2020. Firefox ESR will continue to support Flash until the end of 2020. When Adobe stops the release of security updates for Flash, all Firefox versions won't load the plugin anymore. Google and other browser makers plan to end Flash support at the same time. Google made Flash usage more annoying already in Chrome 69. Closing Words Adobe Flash won't be supported by major browsers anymore from 2020 onward. Smaller browsers or fork may continue to support Flash so that Flash content that is still available on the Internet remains accessible; the downside to this is that these Flash versions are no longer supported with security or stability updates. It is unclear if organizations like Archive.org will preserve Flash content, e.g. tens of thousand of Flash games and applications, and how they would go about it. Source: Firefox 69: Flash disabled by default (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  8. Mozilla is working on integrating a Task Manager of sorts into the Firefox web browser. I looked at Mozilla's plans back in October 2018; basically, what Mozilla wanted to do back then was to replace the existing about:performance page with a new page that would highlight open tabs, extensions, and other content, and reveal the memory usage and energy impact of each loaded element to the user. Users would get options to deal with loaded elements, e.g. close tabs, to deal with content types that use a lot of memory or energy. Mozilla launched the Task Manager in Firefox 64.0 officially. It listed open tabs and add-ons, and the energy impact of each. While that is useful information, the lack of memory readings made the Task Manager less useful at this point in development. In Firefox 65, memory readings are added to the Task Manager to make it more useful. Firefox 65 is scheduled to be released on January 29, 2019. Firefox users may load about:performance in the browser directly to display the loaded components in the browser. Firefox lists all loaded webpages and add-ons in the interface. The name of each loaded component and its energy impact and memory usage is listed. The readings are updated automatically while the page is open. The only interactive options in Firefox 65 are to close tabs that are open by clicking on the close x-icon on hover over the row, and to open extensions in the add-ons manager. Mozilla works on additional features such as column sorting to sort by highest/lowest memory use or energy impact, or by type. The Task Manager appears to have no keyboard shortcut mapped to it at this point in time. Firefox users may open it either directly by typing about:performance in the browser's address bar, or by selecting Menu > More Tools > Task Manager. The last option is similar to how Google Chrome provides access to the Task Manager. Chrome users may use the shortcut Shift-Esc to launch the Task Manager of the browser. How does it compare to Chrome's Task Manager? Chrome's Task Manager launches in a window and not in a tab. Chrome displays memory, CPU, and network information for each loaded tab and extension, and supports the sorting of the data. Mozilla's Task Manager displays the energy impact which Google Chrome does not. Lastly, Chrome users may use Shift-Esc to launch the Task Manager. What I would like to see in the Firefox Task Manager The Firefox Task Manager looks as if it could become a useful tool for users of the browser. For that, I'd like to see the following features implemented. Mapping of a shortcut to launch the Task Manager quickly using the keyboard only. Option to launch the Firefox Task Manager in its own window. More data, e.g. network, storage and CPU readings. Sorting of columns. Search functionality. History feature to display the average usage of a site or extension over time. Source: Firefox 65: Task Manager with Memory readings (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  9. Mozilla redesigned the add-ons manager of the organization's Firefox web browser in a recent update to the browser. The update modernized the add-ons manager and replaced the traditional layout with a cards-based layout. Mozilla did not remove any functionality from the add-ons manager in the process but individual add-on listings used more space than before so that fewer add-ons are displayed on the visible part of the page in the new version. Firefox users who have a handful of add-ons installed in the browser may not mind, but those who have a dozen or more add-ons installed in the browser might. The Add-ons Manager comes without options at this point to compact the listing to display more extensions at the same time. Firefox users may modify the page using CSS, however. A user published a CSS style for the add-ons manager on Reddit recently that makes the listing more compact than before. Here is a screenshot of how it looks like after the changes are applied to the browser: As you can see, the modified compact version of the Add-ons Manager uses less than half of the space to display installed extensions than the default layout of Mozilla. It is naturally possible to modify some values, e.g. make fonts a bit bigger or increase margins. First though, the instructions on how to set it up this way. Download the archive that contains the code with a click on this link: Firefox-compact-addons-manager.zip If the link does not work, check it out here on GitHub and download it from that site to the local system. Open the Firefox web browser. Type about:support. Click on the "open folder" button near the top to open the Profile folder on the local system. Check if a chrome subfolder exists. If it does not exist, create a new folder and name it chrome. Open the chrome folder. If a userContent.css file does not exist, place the one that you downloaded in the folder. If a file exists already with instructions, copy the content of the downloaded file instead and append it to the existing one using a plain text editor. Restart Firefox. Open the Add-ons Manager on the next start. You should see that it displays in a compact layout instead of the default layout. Source: How to compact the Firefox Add-ons Manager (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  10. Mozilla released Firefox 64.0.2 to the stable channel on January 9, 2019. The new version is a bug fix release that addresses several issues of the previous version of Firefox including a video stuttering issue on YouTube and a crash fix on Mac OS X devices running Firefox. Mozilla released Firefox 64.0. in December, and Firefox 64.0.1 for Android exclusively (Firefox 64.0 was not released for Android). The new version is already picked up by Firefox's automatic updating functionality; users can verify the version by selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox from the menu. An option to run a manual update check may be provided as well depending on how updating settings are configured. Firefox 64.0.2 can be downloaded from Mozilla directly as well; either to install the browser over an existing installation or install it as a new program on the device. Firefox users noticed micro-stutters on YouTube when playing videos after the upgrade to Firefox 64 even with the video quality set to Auto and on relatively powerful machines where this should not happen. The issue affected Firefox on all supported operating systems (desktop) but not other browsers that users ran on their devices. Mozilla analyzed and fixed the issue in December, when the issue was reported to the organization on Bugzilla. The analysis found that about 10% of frames were dropped on affected versions of Firefox. The fix was rolled out to Nightly versions of Firefox first to verify it. Firefox users who ran into video playback issues on YouTube should upgrade to the new version to fix the issue. Firefox 64.0.2 features four additional fixes for issues. One issue fixes a browser crash on Mac OS X devices that started in Firefox 63.0.3. Mac Os X users reported that Firefox would crash, often during payment processing operations. The issue should be fixed in Firefox 64.0.2. The three remaining fixes are: Japanese language version updates. Column sizes are properly restored in the Developer Tools Inspector tool. Lightweight theme updates fixes. Interested users can check out the full changelog on the Mozilla website. Firefox 64.0.2 for Android fixes a crash that occurs when Firefox is put in the background, and another crash when Web Speech is used. Source: Firefox 64.0.2 fixes video stuttering on YouTube (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  11. I think it was Google that started to display a search form for the first time on a browser's New Tab page; correct me if I'm wrong on that. Many browser makers, Mozilla included, added search forms to the New Tab page of their browsers, and it is quite common to see a search field on the page. I never really understood why Mozilla added the field to Firefox, as you could just use the address bar or the search bar, if displayed, to search on the Internet. Firefox's address bar runs searches using the default search provider but the browser supports on-off searches as well to use different installed engines for individual searches. Mozilla added search shortcuts to the Top Sites listing on the New Tab page recently that use keywords, a neglected feature, to power searches. Firefox users who don't use the search field on the New Tab Page can hide it on the page by disabling Web Search on the configuration page about:preferences#home. New Tab Page search changes in Firefox Firefox 66, currently available on the Nightly channel, changes the behavior of the search field on Firefox's New Tab page. The search form is displayed on the page and activation highlights the cursor in the form; the input is moved to the address bar automatically, however, as soon as you start to type the first character. In other words, the search field is degraded to a link to the address bar. It is not clear, at this time, if the change is just a test to see how it performs compared to the status quo, or if Mozilla plans to go ahead with the change and launch it in Beta and Release versions of Firefox when they hit version 66. I have created a short demo video that highlights the change Firefox users who dislike the new functionality may turn it off the in the following way (again, as of right now. It is possible that Mozilla will add a switch to the preferences to improve the visibility). Load about:config?filter=browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.improvesearch.handoffToAwesomebar Double-click on the preference. A value of False means that the feature is turned off, i.e. input in the search field on the New Tab page in Firefox does not jump to the browser's address bar on first character input. A value of True means that the feature is enabled. Closing words The new system that Mozilla plans to launch in Firefox 66 changes what happens when users start to type in the search field on the New Tab page in Firefox. Users would expect text input to be entered in the field they are typing in, but Firefox will move the input to the address bar. Whether that will lead to some confusion on the user part remains to be seen. Mozilla could have created different solutions, e.g. that text is displayed in both fields or that activation of the search field jumps to the address bar directly (with a short notification that things changed in that regard). Source: Firefox 66 may move New Tab search input to Address Bar (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  12. Did you know that Firefox filters certain sites so that they don't appear in the Top Sites and Highlights listing on the New Tab Page? Firefox's Top Sites listing on the New Tab Page displays popular sites visited by the user and sites and search shortcuts that Mozilla added to the listing by default. Mozilla implemented a filter for the top sites listing in 2014 to prevent certain sites from appearing on the New Tab Page. The reason for the filter? conflicts with commercial partners. Kevin Ghim opened the issue on Bugzilla in 2014 using the following description: Problem: commercial partners do not want their content to be negatively associated with adult content. In the context of Suggested Tiles, this means no sponsored or affiliate tiles should appear within same browser viewport. As an example, MGM would not want a 007 DVD release to be appearing within the same page (in particular, directly next to) where PirateBay tile appears. In other words, commercial partners who are interested in placing sponsored tiles on the New Tab Page might not wand their content displayed next to sites opened by the user that may affect the sponsored content negatively. Mozilla launched sponsored tiles, a new revenue option embedded in Firefox, in 2014. Back then, I suggested that sponsored tiles might not be worth it as revenue would be comparatively low and might affect user perception of Firefox negatively. Mozilla dropped sponsored tiles one year later in Firefox but did not remove the content filter. Certain sites won't be listed on Firefox's New Tab Page even if you visit them regularly or if they are the most visited sites in the browser. Firefox's New Tab Page with disabled content filter A quick check in Firefox Stable on Windows confirmed this. Visits of popular adult sites -- for research -- did not result in these sites being added to the Top Sites or Highlights listing on the New Tab Page. Disabling the filter in Firefox would make these visited sites appear eventually (I had to dismiss one item to get these to display, probably because of caching). Catalin Cimpanu, who discovered the filter, notes that the filter prevents [certain] adult sites from appearing in the Top sites and Highlights section of Firefox's New Tab Page. He notes that Firefox users may disable the filter; this is done in the following way: Load about:config?filter=browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.filterAdult in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning prompt is displayed. Set the preference browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.filterAdult to false by double-clicking on it. A value of false disables the adult filter, a value of true is the default filter and means that it is enabled. A list of domain hashes that Firefox uses for the filter is listed here. The list contains a total of 2919 encoded URLs. Closing Words The filter was introduced at a time when Mozilla tried various monetization options to diversify revenue. Mozilla's decision was based on commercial interests only and not Firefox user interest. The organization could have used a different implementation: maintain a list of sites that advertisers object to and if found on the New Tab Page in Firefox, omit the advertisement. Limiting Firefox's Top Sites and Highlights functionality in favor of commercial interests is not something that one would expect from an organization that states on its start page "Your life is your business. Not ours". Mozilla should consider removing the filter from the New Tab Page. Source: How to disable Firefox's Adult Filter on the New Tab Page (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  13. Prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web. The Facebook Container extension for Firefox helps you take control and isolate your web activity from Facebook. What does it do? Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook identity into a separate container that makes it harder for Facebook to track your visits to other websites with third-party cookies. How does it work? Installing this extension closes your Facebook tabs, deletes your Facebook cookies, and logs you out of Facebook. The next time you navigate to Facebook it will load in a new blue colored browser tab (the “Container”). You can log in and use Facebook normally when in the Facebook Container. If you click on a non-Facebook link or navigate to a non-Facebook website in the URL bar, these pages will load outside of the container. Clicking Facebook Share buttons on other browser tabs will load them within the Facebook Container. You should know that using these buttons passes information to Facebook about the website that you shared from. Which website features will not function? Because you will be logged into Facebook only in the Container, embedded Facebook comments and Like buttons in tabs outside the Facebook Container will not work. This prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity. In addition, websites that allow you to create an account or log in using your Facebook credentials will generally not work properly. Because this extension is designed to separate Facebook use from use of other websites, this behavior is expected. What does Facebook Container NOT protect against? It is important to know that this extension doesn’t prevent Facebook from mishandling the data that it already has, or permitted others to obtain, about you. Facebook still will have access to everything that you do while you are on facebook.com, including your Facebook comments, photo uploads, likes, any data you share with Facebook connected apps, etc. Rather than stop using a service you find valuable, we think you should have tools to limit what data others can obtain. This extension focuses on limiting Facebook tracking, but other ad networks may try to correlate your Facebook activities with your regular browsing. In addition to this extension, you can change your Facebook settings, use Private Browsing, enable Tracking Protection, block third-party cookies, and/or use Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension to further limit tracking. What data does Mozilla receive from this extension? Mozilla does not collect data from your use of the Facebook Container extension. We do receive the number of times the extension is installed or removed. Learn more Other Containers Facebook Container leverages the Containers feature that is already built in to Firefox. When you enable Facebook Container, you may also see Containers named Personal, Work, Shopping, and Banking while you browse. If you wish to use multiple Containers, you’ll have the best user experience if you install the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension. Learn more about Containers on our support site. Known Issues When Facebook is open and you navigate to another website using the same tab (by entering an address, doing a search, or clicking a bookmark), the new website will be loaded outside of the Container and you will not be able to navigate back to Facebook using the back button in the browser. NOTE: If you are a Multi-Account Containers user who has already assigned Facebook to a Container, this extension will not work. In an effort to preserve your existing Container set up and logins, this add-on will not include the additional protection to keep other sites out of your Facebook Container. If you would like this additional protection, first unassign facebook.com in the Multi-Account Container extension, and then install this extension. What version of Firefox do I need for this? This extension works with Firefox 57 and higher on Desktop. Note that it does not work on other browsers and it does not work on Firefox for mobile. If you believe you are using Firefox 57+, but the install page is telling you that you are not on a supported browser, you can try installing by selecting or copying and pasting this link. (This may be occurring because you have set a preference or installed an extension that causes your browser to obscure its user agent for privacy or other reasons.) How does this compare to the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension? Facebook Container specifically isolates Facebook and works automatically. Firefox Multi-Account Containers is a more general extension that allows you to create containers and determine which sites open in each container. You can use Multi-Account Containers to create a container for Facebook and assign facebook.com to it. Multi-Account Containers will then make sure to only open facebook.com in the Facebook Container. However, unlike Facebook Container, Multi-Account Containers doesn’t prevent you from opening non-Facebook sites in your Facebook Container. So users of Multi-Account Containers need to take a bit extra care to make sure they leave the Facebook Container when navigating to other sites. In addition, Facebook Container assigns some Facebook-owned sites like Instagram and Messenger to the Facebook Container. With Multi-Account Containers, you will have to assign these in addition to facebook.com. Facebook Container also deletes Facebook cookies from your other containers on install and when you restart the browser, to clean up any potential Facebook trackers. Multi-Account Containers does not do that for you. Report Issues If you come across any issues with this extension, please let us know by filing an issue here. Thank you! ----- Release Notes: This release also asks for permission to clear recent browsing history, so we can improve its protection and its integration with Multi-Account Containers. 83ae8bf fix #183: Can't search Google/other sites with string "fbclid". Add-on's Permissions: This add-on can: Access your data for all websites Clear recent browsing history, cookies, and related data Monitor extension usage and manage themes Access browser tabs ----- Homepage/Download https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-container/
  14. Mozilla won’t bring ads to Firefox browser, and the recent snippet that has been spotted in the application is nothing more than an experiment. That’s what Justin O'Kelly, Mozilla communications team, told us in a statement, emphasizing that what the company does is actually look for ways to improve the browser. “This snippet was an experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner. It was not a paid placement or advertisement. We are continually looking for more ways to say thanks for using Firefox,” he said. “In a similar vein, earlier this month we offered Firefox users a free opportunity to enjoy a live concert from Phosphorescent. In addition to adding value to Firefox users these efforts are intended to support an open ecosystem. When users see such offers no data is being shared with a partner until users have made the choice to enter a relationship. We hope that this strategy sets a positive example.” Feature available in Firefox 64 In late December, users came across a small popup at the bottom of the Firefox UI that pointed them to Booking.com, with the message making many describe the whole thing as an ad. “Ready to schedule that next family reunion? Here’s a thank you from Firefox. Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restriction apply.)” the message reads. Mozilla actually calls this feature a “snippet,” and it lets users disable them from settings. To turn it off, users must go to Preferences > Home > Snippets. The feature is available in Firefox 64 and will probably continue to remain available in the next versions, though it’s pretty clear that Mozilla wants users to be able to choose whether they want this feature to be turned on or off. source
  15. Are you a big fan of dark mode or black themes? Dark color schemes are more pleasing to the eye and are also comfortable when you are using your computer in the dark. Many popular websites like YouTube have already started offering an inbuilt dark mode. But most websites do not offer it, and you might be restricted to use them in the light color scheme. A browser extension named Dark Reader is trying to change this entirely. Dark Reader extension for Chrome & Firefox Dark Reader is a free browser extension available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It lets you apply a dark color scheme to any website so that you can enjoy browsing your favorite websites at night or in the dark. The extension is available in respective extension stores and can be quickly installed to any of the browsers mentioned above. For this review, we installed the extension on Google Chrome and tested it out on various website. The extension is quite simple and easy to use. Once installed, you can quickly switch to the dark mode for any website. Enable Dark Mode on any website To enable the extension, hit the Dark Reader icon adjacent to the address bar and click on the toggle button. Or you can you the Alt+Shift+D to quickly turn on/off dark mode. Once enabled, all the websites will be now presented to you in their respective dark modes. This is quite an intelligent extension, and it works well with most of the websites. Apart from color schemes, there are a few options that you can customize. Firstly, you can adjust the brightness by moving the slider in either direction. Then you can adjust contrast if you would like. Moving on, you can even add Sepia or Grayscale filters with some percentage. Adjust all these options so that you can have the best experience while browsing the internet. The level of customization offered by this tool is simply amazing, and you can easily create a combination that is soothing to your eyes. Not just color schemes, this extension even lets you adjust fonts to improve readability. You can practically change fonts for any website/webpage. Just switch to the font tab and select a font that you consider is best for longer periods of reading. The font will be applied to the entire website/webpage, and you will be really surprised to see its effects. You can also add a little stroke to the text by adjusting the slider. Dark Reader comes with four different theme engines. Discussing each’s functionality is beyond the scope of this post, but you can try them out and select the best out of them. You must be wondering, how can you have different settings for different websites. Dark Reader has got you covered. Once you are done customizing a website, you can use the Only for website.com button to preserve these settings only for this website only. Doing this will not only give you better control, but also a different experience on every website. You can also disable dark theme for some websites if you like them as it is. There is another feature that Dark Reader has to offer. It lets you maintain a whitelist and a blacklist of websites on which the dark mode should be applied or not. A hotkey can also be configured to quickly add a website to any of these lists. Dark Reader is a must have browser extension if you are a big fan of dark color schemes. It is nice and easy to use a browser extension that has a lot of features to offer. Once you get used to it, you can use the hotkeys to quickly perform actions and switch between dark and light color schemes. Click here to download Dark Reader. source
  16. Sören Hentzschel released a new version of the bookmarks management extension Bookmarks Organizer for the Firefox web browser. Bookmarks Organizer 3.0 includes a new whitelisting functionality and other improvements. Sören released the first version of the extension in 2017; Bookmarks Organizer is a WebExtension which means that it is compatible with all recent versions of the Firefox web browser. The extension filled the gap that the removal of Firefox's classic system for add-ons created as classic bookmark management extensions stopped working as a consequence. Bookmarks Organizer runs scans on all bookmarks of the browser to find dead, duplicate, or redirecting links. Firefox users who run the extension may deal with the results in bulk or on a case-by-case basis. Bookmarks Organizer 2.0 was launched in March 2018. The new version fixed some issues in the extension, introduced translations, and improved performance. Bookmarks Organizer for Firefox Bookmarks Organizer 3.0, released in December 2018, is a major new release; it features whitelist functionality to exclude certain bookmarks from the extension's scans. Whitelist functionality is useful in certain situations; when resources that links point to are not available all the time, when redirects or other issues with bookmarks should be ignored, when resources require authentication, or when the scanning of a resource causes delays or issues. Bookmarks can be added to the whitelist after scans and only if they are listed in the results. Just select the "add to whitelist" option next to the result to exclude it from future scans. The usual options to edit or delete bookmarks are available as well. Some Mozilla domains were added to a skip list as these cannot be checked according to Sören for "security reasons". Existing users of Bookmarks Organizer may notice that the number of bookmarks is updated automatically and right away when new bookmarks get added. The reliability of checks for broken bookmarks was improved in the new version as well. Bookmarks Organizer 3.0 includes several fixes and a Chinese version. The new version fixes a display issue that affected the visibility of the mass action buttons among other things. I ran into a display issue for scanned bookmarks that I added during a browsing session. Bookmarks Organizer would not display the bookmarks in its listing; only the "deal with" options to remove bookmarks were displayed. A restart and rescan fixed the issue. Closing Words and verdict Bookmarks Organizer 3.0 is a well designed browser extension for Firefox; it is most useful to Firefox users who maintain medium to large sets of bookmarks. Firefox users can run scans on all bookmarks to find dead, duplicate or bookmarks without name, and deal with those. The new whitelist feature of Bookmarks Organizer 3.0 is a welcome addition as it introduces an option to exclude certain bookmarks from scans by the extension Source: Bookmarks Organizer 3.0 for Firefox includes whitelist functionality (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  17. Firefox Focus is Mozilla’s privacy-focused browser for Android and iOS. It key feature is that it blocks all sorts of online tracking, including targeted third-party advertising, to protect user privacy. That has the beneficial side-effect of also improving the browser’s speed. Focus also automatically deletes the user's search history when the application is closed. Today, Mozilla's announced that it's added more features to its mobile-only browser, with the main benefits for Android users. The headline feature is the addition of what it's dubbed 'Enhanced Tracking Protection'. This feature's already available on the desktop version of Firefox, and allows users to decide which publishers they want to share their personal data with. Previously, Firefox Focus blocked all cookies by default, however the new feature gives users more control over cookies and tracking. While the option to block all cookies is still available, users can now choose to allow third-party trackers and allow individual sites to use cookies by creating an 'allowlist'. Mozilla is using Disconnect’s Tracking Protection database to specify who these 'third parties' are. Safety first The second addition to the Android app is the integration of Google’s Safe Browsing tool. This feature checks URLs for dubious activity like malware and phishing links. When a fraudulent site has been identified, the tool will display an alert on Firefox Focus which the user can choose to either ignore or follow. The list of shady sites is constantly updated by Google. While the aforementioned features have so far only come to the Android version of Focus, iOS users haven't been completely left out – a new version for Apple's mobile OS has gained the search suggestion feature that was originally added to the Android app in October 2018. This feature is turned off by default, but users who wish to enable the feature will need to keep in mind that their search history will likely be shared with Google. source
  18. Firefox 64 was released this week; the release brought along with it a number of changes including support for multi-tab operations. Firefox users can Shift-click or Ctrl-click on tabs in the browser's tabbar to select multiple; operations like pinning, closing, or moving can then be executed on the tab stack. Ctrl-click selects or deselects individual tabs; Shift-key on the other hand selects all tabs between the active tab and the selected tab. Both operations work similarly to how files can be selected in Windows Explorer and other file managers. Firefox users who used the browser's "Bookmark Tabs" functionality may have noticed that it is not listed anymore when only one tab is selected. Only Bookmark Tab is available, and that option will add a bookmark that points to the active tab. How do you bookmark multiple tabs then in Firefox 64 or newer? Simple: by selecting multiple tabs. Just Shift-click or Ctrl-click to select multiple tabs. Firefox indicates selected tabs with a coloured line on top of the tab so that you know exactly which tabs are in the selected tab stack and which are not. Right-click on the selection afterward and you find the "Bookmark Tabs" option listed there. Select it and the "add bookmark" dialog is displayed in Firefox to bookmark them all. Select a folder name for the selection and a location for the folder to add the bookmarks to the Firefox browser. Previous versions of Firefox provided an option to bookmark all tabs of a window; how do you do that in Firefox 64? You have two options to do so: Right-click on any tab in the browser and activate "Select All Tabs" from the context menu. Right-click again afterward and select "Bookmark Tabs" from the context menu. Select the first tab in the tabbar, hold down the Shift-key, and left-click on the last tab; this selects all tabs. Right-click on the selection and use the Bookmark Tabs option to bookmark all open tabs at once. Source: How to bookmark multiple tabs in Firefox 64+ (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  19. Sidebery is a new extension for the Firefox web browser to manage browser tabs, bookmarks, and containers in the sidebar. The default sidebar of the Firefox web browser may display bookmarks or the browsing history already; Sidebery extends the functionality by adding open tabs and containers. The extension adds a new sidebar to Firefox to control open tabs, containers, and bookmarks. It displays an icon bar at the top that you use to navigate between the different elements. You may close and open the sidebar with a tab on F1, or by pressing Alt and selecting View > Sidebar > Nav Center. A click on the bookmark icon displays the bookmark structure and options to navigate it. A left-click on any bookmark opens it in the current tab, a middle-click in a new tab. You can use keyboard modifiers to open links, or the right-click menu to get advanced options such as loading bookmarks in specific containers. You may use the menu to edit or delete bookmarks right from the sidebar. Open tabs are displayed in a vertical layout that uses multiple levels to indicate relationship. The default tabs listing displays all tabs except for those that are loaded in containers. The right-click menu displays options to load open tabs in a container, to move it to a new window or private browsing window, and to run operations on it such as mute, pin or duplicate. There is also a useful "clear cookies" option that you may use to clear cookies set by that domain. A click on a container icon displays tabs loaded in that container; a double-click opens a new tab in the container. The right-click menu displays the same operations that you get in the regular open tabs listing. Sideberry supports the creation of new containers from the sidebar. A click on the settings icon lists customization options; lots of them. You may change click actions, e.g. that a double-click on a tab reloads it or mutes it, or that a long left-click clears the cookies. Bookmarks can be opened in new tabs automatically, horizontal scroll may be enabled to switch between panels using the mouse, or you may change the theme and default font size. The settings listing displays supported keybindings. You may use Alt-G to select all items, switch between containers using Alt-Period or Alt-Comma, or use Ctrl-Delete to delete the active tab. Switching between panels may change the active tab automatically. You can disable that in the settings if you prefer to keep the current tab active before you switch to another panel in the sidebar. Closing Words Sideberry is a powerful extension for Firefox that improves tab, bookmarking and container management. It is especially useful to Firefox users who run Mozilla's Containers extension as it improves the management of container tabs in Firefox. Source: Manage Firefox tabs, bookmarks and containers in the sidebar (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  20. In June, Mozilla had announced that they were performing a limited Shield study for their Nightly users to monitor the performance of DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) in Firefox. This study uses Cloudflare's DNS service to encrypt both the requests and responses to any DNS queries in order to increase a user's privacy. Mozilla has been happy so far with the performance of DoH and have stated that even the slowest users have seen a huge performance improvement. Due to this, Mozilla is now expanding this Shield study to a small portion of the Release channel to get a wider audience testing their DNS-over-HTTPS feature. "Our initial tests of DoH studied the time it takes to get a response from Cloudflare’s DoH resolver," stated Mozilla's announcement. "The results were very positive – the slowest users show a huge performance improvement. A recent test in our Beta channel confirmed that DoH is fast and isn’t causing problems for our users. However, those tests only measure the DNS operation itself, which isn’t the whole story." As this expanded study will only roll out to a limited amount of users, not everyone who is currently using Firefox will have it enabled. For those who are picked to be part of the study, you will be shown an notification describing the study and asking if you wish to participate. For those who were not selected for the study, but still wish to test Firefox's DoH implementation, you can enable it manually using the instructions below. How to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) in Firefox Currently DoH is still being tested by Firefox, but if you want to start using it immediately you can enable it in the about:config settings. To enable DoH, please follow these steps: Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and then press enter. When Firefox asks, click on the button stating that you accept the risks. In the search field enter network.trr to display all of the settings for Firefox's Trusted Recursive Resolver, which is the DNS-over-HTTPS Endpoint used by Firefox. Double-click on network.trr.mode, enter 2 in the field, and press OK as shown below. This turns on DoH in Firefox. Next you need to make sure the network.trr.uri is set to https://mozilla.cloudflare-dns.com/dns-query as this is Cloudflare's DoH DNS resolver that Firefox has partnered with for the test. If it is not set to this URL, please double-click on the setting and enter the URL. You can now close the about:config page. To test whether you are now using DoH to resolve DNS queries, you can go to Cloudflare's Browsing Experience Security Check page and click the "Check my browser" button. The web page will now perform a variety of tests to see if you are using Secure DNS, DNSSEC, TLS 1.3, or Encrypted SNI. If DoH is enabled correctly it should report that Secure DNS and TLS 1.3 are enabled . Source
  21. Too bad fewer people are using Mozilla's web browser. An expanded Firefox search deal with Google helped push Mozilla revenue's annual revenue up 8 percent to $562 million for 2017 -- money that should come in handy as the nonprofit tries to salvage what's good about the internet. Facebook's Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal have led plenty of people to question whether today's tech is actually a net benefit for society. But Mozilla was founded to tackle those kinds of internet health issues. "Privacy and security have been brought to the mainstream. We love that we can talk about these issues in a way that's creating a lot more knowledge and understanding for the consumer," said Chief Operating Officer Denelle Dixon. Mozilla is using not just the Firefox web browser but increasingly other products, services and campaigns to try to help us online. "That's our focus as we enter into in 2019," she said. Too bad Mozilla is arguably losing leverage just when we could use it the most. Over the last year, the number of people using Firefox monthly has dipped from about 300 million to about 277 million, according to Mozilla's own figures. Mozilla offers more technology than Firefox, but the browser is its best-known brand, most widely used product, and a key tool to get people to try things like Mozilla's VPN service for network privacy, Lockbox tool for password management, and the Firefox Monitor tool to warn if you were affected by a data breach. And Firefox trails Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari, too. Firefox usage slipped over the last year from 6 percent to 5 percent, according to analytics firm StatCounter, which measures how often browsers are used to view websites among its network. That's third place to Google's dominant Chrome browser at 62 percent and Apple's Safari at 15 percent. Firefox doesn't need to dominate the internet. But it does need a strong enough presence to influence the development of standards so the web remains an openly developed platform, not just whatever works with Chrome. Mozilla's 2017 revenue increased 8 percent to $562 million. Some of the increase in Mozilla's 2017 revenue came because Mozilla signed a deal to get paid for Google search traffic in parts of Europe, Thayer said. "We generate a significant amount of revenue from outside the US," she said, including from non-Google partners. She declined to comment in detail on the Verizon lawsuit, which is in a preliminary data-discovery phase. "We feel very good about our revenue from existing partners. We have anticipated not receiving any additional revenue from Yahoo as the litigation is pending," Thayer said. Mozilla has taken on Facebook, pulling its advertisements and offering a Firefox plugin that makes it harder for Facebook to track you online. But Mozilla's search partners aren't free from criticism, either, whether it's Google tracking you online or wrestling with the idea of censored search results in China. Of course, you can always search in Firefox's private-tab mode, which makes it harder for Google to profile you based on your search history. More marketing money Mozilla's revenue increased from 2016 to 2017, but so did its expenses, including $30 million more spent on software projects and $18 million on marketing -- mostly the new Firefox Quantum version that's spearheading Mozilla's attempt to reverse its market declines. Also in 2017, Mozilla paid $2.3 million to its chair, Mitchell Baker, a key executive since Mozilla's early days. Mozilla's total expenses increased from $361 million to $422 million. Mozilla is branching out beyond Firefox, though only modestly at this stage. One example is its 2017 acquisition of Pocket, a service that lets you bookmark websites, save them for online or offline reading at your convenience, and more recently convert them into spoken words with AI text-to-speech technology. Pocket feeds recommendations -- including sponsored posts -- into the new-tab page in Firefox. You can also subscribe to Pocket for ad-free usage. Mozilla garnered nearly $3 million in revenue from Pocket, Thayer said. Mozilla also disclosed that it paid $25 million in cash for Pocket plus $5 million in deferred payments. It might not be the last time Mozilla decides to expand through an acquisition, too. "We're constantly evaluating our options in building, buying and partnerships," Thayer said. "I would hope to say Pocket is not our last acquisition." Firefox-generated search revenue The lion's share of Mozilla's revenue -- $542 million, according to the 2017 tax reports it released Tuesday -- comes from deals that send our queries in Firefox to search engines such as Google, Yandex and Baidu. An earlier deal with Yahoo ended in an as-yet unresolved lawsuit with its owner, Verizon. Mozilla is paid in proportion to the search traffic it sends to search sites, which make money by sometimes showing search ads alongside search results. Source
  22. We knew that the day would come on which Mozilla would remove all classic extensions, Mozilla calls them legacy, from the organization's AMO website. Legacy extensions are not compatible with recent versions of the Firefox web browser. The website returns "page not found" errors for any legacy extension that you might still have a link for; search has been updated already to return only those extensions compatible with recent versions of the Firefox web browser. Mozilla switched to a new extensions system in Firefox 57 which it released to the stable channel in 2017; only new extensions, called WebExtensions, are supported in recent versions of Firefox. Firefox ESR, the Extended Support Release, was the last version of the Firefox web browser that supported legacy extensions. The Firefox 62 updates, released in September 2018, moved Firefox ESR installations from the legacy extension supporting 52.x version to the WebExtensions exclusive 60.x version. Mozilla planned to remove legacy extensions in October initially but October passed without action. Mozilla wanted to remove legacy add-ons from the frontend Store only so that they would not appear in Search or listings anymore. The extensions would still be available in the backend so that developers could update the listings and publish new (WebExtensions) versions of extensions that were removed from Mozilla AMO. No version of Firefox that is officially supported supports legacy extensions anymore. Browsers based on Firefox code, e.g. Pale Moon or Waterfox, support legacy extensions and will continue to do so at least for the foreseeable future. Those users may use project-specific extension repositories, if they exist, or an add-on like Classic Add-ons Archive. Closing Words It makes sense from a usability point of view to hide or remove extensions that Firefox users can't install anymore in any supported version of the browser. It is still a sad day to see that many extensions, many excellent, removed from the Internet. While you may be able to use the Wayback Machine, the classic Add-ons archive, and other preservation services to look them up, it would have been a nice gesture if Mozilla would have created a read-only archive of legacy extensions on its site that would be separate from the actual extensions Store. I have to comb through all Firefox extension reviews of the past 15 years or so to remove any link or even the review from this site. Our list of the best Firefox extensions will shrink to a third of its current size once I'm done with it. Source: It appears that Mozilla removed all classic extensions from Firefox Add-ons (ghacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  23. Mozilla plans to offer Firefox MSI installers for Windows systems with the release of Firefox 65. MSI installers will be offered alongside regular Firefox installers offered as .exe files for Windows PCs. MSI installers will be offered for each locale, version of Windows and CPU architecture that is supported, just like it is the case for .exe installers currently. In other words: Windows 7 or newer, 32-bit or 64-bit, and all locales that Firefox supports. Firefox Nightly MSI installers are already available; Mozilla plans to publish MSI installers for Beta and Release versions of the Firefox web browser when these versions hit version 65. Firefox Beta 65 will be released in December 2018, Firefox 65 Stable at the end of January 2019. The Nightly installer is not available on the official download site on the Mozilla website; administrators who would like to download the MSI installer need to open this page on Archive.Mozilla.Org to download the installer to the local system. Tip: Use the on-page find with a tap on F3 and search for .msi to jump find the right installer faster. It is possible that the installer will be offered on the official Enterprise website on the Mozilla website once it hits the stable release channel. MSI installers are useful for deployment through deployment tools such as Active Directory or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Administrators may run the installation with options to customize the installation. Mozilla published available options on a support page. The following MSI transforms are supported: INSTALL_DIRECTORY_PATH=[path] to define a path for the Firefox installation. INSTALL_DIRECTORY_NAME=[name] to define the name of the Firefox directory. TASKBAR_SHORTCUT={true,false} defines whether a taskbar shortcut is placed during installation. DESKTOP_SHORTCUT={true,false} defines whether a desktop shortcut is placed during installation. START_MENU_SHORTCUT={true,false} defines whether a Start Menu shortcut is placed during installation. INSTALL_MAINTENANCE_SERVICE={true,false} defines whether the Maintenance Service is installed. REMOVE_DISTRIBUTION_DIR={true,false} defines whether the distribution directory of an installation is removed. PREVENT_REBOOT_REQUIRED={true,false} to allow or prevent reboots if required. OPTIONAL_EXTENSIONS={true,false} ti allow or disallow the installation of bundled extensions. EXTRACT_DIR=[directory] extracts the Firefox files without installing them. MSIEXEC options are supported as well. /i or /package will install the browser. /L or /log writes to a log file. /m generates an SMS status .mif file. /q, /quiet, or /passive to install Firefox silently /norestart, /forcerestart, or /promptrestart to block, force or prompt users for a restart. You could use the basic command msiexec /package firefox{addversion}.msi /q to install Firefox silently on the local system. Note that you will get an UAC prompt if you run the command from a command prompt that is not elevated. (via Sören Hentzschel) Source: Firefox 65 supports MSI installers (ghacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  24. Firefox users who run a recent Nightly version of the web browser may have stumbled upon a puzzling change that Mozilla implemented recently in the development version. Firefox users who attempt to install a search provider from Mycroft Project, Mozilla AMO, or any other site that supports it, will notice that this is not possible anymore in the most recent Nightly version. All you had to do previously was click on a search provider to get the "Add Search Engine" prompt to add it to the list of supported search engines. Selection of a search provider link on a site like Mycroft Project does nothing anymore in Firefox Nightly (currently Firefox 65). The sites use the method AddSearchProvider() for the functionality; the method is deprecated and support for it will be removed from Firefox. Mozilla made the change in Firefox Nightly 65 already which is why users of Nightly can't add search providers anymore using sites and services that make use of the method. The organization did so to collect regressions and plans to disable the functionality in Firefox 66 Stable for all users. Mozilla explains on the Firefox Site Compatibility blog: The IE-derived window.external object will remain, but the AddSearchProvider and IsSearchProviderInstalled methods on it will be no-op, simply returning undefined, according to the latest HTML spec. This change has also been made to Firefox 65 Nightly. While AddSearchProvider could be used to add an OpenSearch plug-in to the browser, IsSearchProviderInstalled was always returning 0 on Firefox. The change does not impact Firefox's auto-discovery capabilities; the browser picks up open search engines automatically (provided that they use a specific format) so that users may use these in Firefox or make them the default. Firefox users may also add any search engine that is picked up by Firefox using the search field in the browser. A bug on [email protected] highlights the controversial nature of the removal in Firefox. The deprecation breaks Firefox extensions such as Add Custom Search Engine that make use of the feature, sites like MyCroft Project, and also search engines that are available on AMO (Addons Mozilla Org). The critical nature of the change could lead to a postponing to resolve some of the side-effects of disabling the functionality in the Firefox browser. Source: Mozilla plans to change how search providers are added to Firefox (ghacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  25. Karlston

    Mozilla releases Firefox 63.0.1

    Mozilla releases one or multiple minor updates usually after a major release; the release of Firefox 63 is no exception to the rule as Firefox 63.0.1 will be rolled out today to the stable channel population of the Firefox web browser. Firefox 63.0.1 is a minor bug fix release that addresses three issues in total that affect part of the userbase. The new version of Firefox is not available through the browser's automatic updating functionality or on the Mozilla website as Firefox 63.0 is offered through these channels currently. Firefox installations configured to check for updates automatically will pick up the new version later today or tomorrow at the latest. Firefox 63.0.1 Firefox 63.0.1 is a bug fix release the corrects three issues in the stable version of the web browser. The first issue affects snippets on Firefox's New Tab page. Snippets refers to information from Mozilla and the Firefox team that Mozilla may push to the browser's new tab page. It is a news section for Mozilla and Firefox related information that Mozilla uses heavily. Snippets including onboarding messages for new users who open the New Tab page for the first time and announcements for existing users. Michele Warther notes on Bugzilla that Mozilla is losing tens of millions of impressions each day because of the bug and that the organization was prepared to launch several new campaigns each week. It means that new users don't get any onboarding messages in the 9 languages we support and existing users aren't getting any announcements (Monitor, Lockbox, US Elections, Referral Programs etc.) and that's just this week. We are losing 10's of millions of impressions each day and have an average of 5-7 new campaigns launching each week, it's a very big issue for us. Firefox users who don't want to see snippets on the New Tab Page can disable the feature on about:preferences#home. The second issue that is fixed in Firefox 63.0.1 is printing related. More precisely, Firefox's print preview feature highlighted to users that it showed the printout in 30% of the original size when it was using shrink to fit instead. The third and final issue that is fixed in the new release addresses an issue in Japanese versions of Firefox. Firefox displayed placeholders in the message that it displays when the user attempts to exit Firefox. The release notes are already live but the downloads are not, or at least not for everyone at the time of writing. Source: Mozilla releases Firefox 63.0.1 (Ghacks - Martin Brinkmann) Poster's note: The automatic update check can be disabled by an addon I mentioned in this post... https://www.nsaneforums.com/topic/324190-how-to-block-updates-in-mozilla-firefox-63/?do=findComment&comment=1381858
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