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Firefox 57+ Addon Compatibility / Replacements

Mozilla is doing it again: detering the addon developers who once made it „big“ (last time was when they forced them from XUL to their new „stable API“ for „long-time compatibility“ – which then proved to change as often as the XUL did before). So again, many of them are „jumping boat“, as they a) have no time to migrate to the new WebExtensions, b) WebExtensions don't offer the APIs required to perform the tasks needed by their addon, c) WebExtensions not even being ready yet (with just a couple of weeks left to the deadline, the API is still changing and far from being completed).

I won't start a rant on „if I wanted a browser that looks like Chrome (Aurora with FF29), behaves like Chrome (only signed addons via a central store), and now feels like Chrome, I'd use Chrome“. Of course that's true, and having to re-configure ~80% of the browser of course lets me consider changing to a different browser (certainly not Chrome, though). But first let's look where we stand (comments, additions and suggestions welcome):

Addon compatibility/replacement overview

The marks in the WE (WebExtension ready) column stand for:

  • „√“: available/ready (at least seamingly, I've not tested them om FF57+ yet)
  • „-“: unavailable and won't be created (comment might hold explanation and/or replacement)
  • „X“: unavailable, no replacement (mostly none possible due to WE restrictions). When bold, considered a show-stopper (for me)
  • „?“: unclear
Addon WE Comment
Add Bookmark Here X can't be ported due to WE limitations. Stopped working with FF56.
BetterPrivacy X Dead. Kill Flash, issue solved. Further, Flash is "click-to-play" now anyway, and FF kills Flash Cookies along with normal Cookies (source?).
Adguard ready (alternative: uBlock Origin, see below)
checkCompatibility X Dead. Not needed with 57+ anyway, as XUL is dead? Simple Add-On Manager includes the feature to disable compatibility check
ClassicThemeRestorer X Dead, no replacement (possible). See addon page for work-arounds. Will keep on working with Waterfox (see browser alternatives below).
Clear Site Cache - ? (issue open)
CoLT - Format Link is the only one that works (in the version released after 2017-08-24), and the dev gives excellent support. None works on AMO pages, btw.
Configuration Mania X Dead, no further development (thanks, Mozilla). Replacement?
Cookie Controller - ? Probably no longer needed (see „Self Destructing Cookies“ below). Looks like it stopped working with FF56 anyway.
Decentral Eyes Ready and rolled out with FF56.
Dorando keyconfig X Is a replacement even possible? It's alternative Keybinder says here lack of corresponding APIs in WE make it impossible to maintain anymore. Dev of Dorando says the same.
Emoji Cheatsheet for GitHub Ready.
ErrorZilla Plus - ?
Expire History By Days Ready.
Extension List Dumper X doesn't work anymore anyway, not updated since 2011. It's fork Extension List Dumper 2 was last updated 1/2017, but isn't a WE either; use about:support instead
Extension Options Menu X ?
Findbar Tweak X Dead, and won't be updated anymore. Partial Work-Around: Set findbar.modalHighlight and findbar.highlightAll to true in about:config
Go Parent Folder X Deleted from AMO. Bookmarks Manager and Viewer claims to cover this.
Googlebar Lite X Won't be updated anymore. No alternatives known.
Greasemonkey WE (v4.*) released on 2017-11-02. Alternatives: ViolentMonkey, TamperMonkey, Custom Style Script
Greasy Scripts - won't be ported
Html Validator WE released as v0.9.8. As usual, the WE version is limited; see feature comparison. So e.g. it only works with DeveloperTools being open (not even an icon without that), and can no longer validate Frames.
HTTPS Everywhere WE ready. Alternative: Smart HTTPS (Revived)
Image Context Menu - ? FoxyImage offers parts of this (and adds other features), though "reload" and "search" seem to be missing. Media Reload might have the former (video only?)
More About ? about:about?
Neo Diggler ready for XMas 2017; if not satisfied, partly solutions: Navigate Up + Wayback Helper / The Archiver / Archiver Menu
NoScript Ready. Alternative: uMatrix
Pocket - revert to the lousy support built-in to FF – and add In my Pocket – or switch to (self-hosted) Wallabag and use Wallabagger?
Privacy Settings ? WE ready, but rather limited as WEs cannot directly change FF settings.
Profilist ? web extension version: help needed
QR Code Generator Ready.
Quick Locale Switcher X development stopped in 2013. Its fork won't get a WebExt. Couldn't find a replacement.
Referrer Control ? Looks like this won't be updated, as the corresponding issue has been closed without comment. Alternatives: Referer Control, but that one has privacy issues (loads 3rd party JS plus Disqus comments in iFrame, config page only) and lacks rule for "same domain" plus "from › to" connections. Smart Referer seems to be the better choice.
Restart - Use Shift-F2 to open Developer Toolbar CLI, type restart, press enter.
Second Search WE released. Part of the original functionality is meanwhile integrated with Firefox directly.
Self-Destructing Cookies - replacement: Cookie AutoDelete
Server Switcher X no longer maintained (last version 5/2014). With some modifications. Dev points to Location Switcher as replacement; Domainswitcher might be usable with some modifications
Session Manager ? Dev states porting impossible unless Mozilla provides proper API (see addon page). Further details include migration hints.
Show Chromeless X There's a work-around (bookmarklet, see below) – but creating a hotkey requires Dorado Keyconfig (no longer working with 57+)
Show Selected Images ? ?
Simple Locale Switcher ? waiting for API updates
SSleuth ? may come later
Stylish Ready. Alternatives: Stylus, Custom Style Script, xStyle (AMO)
Tab Mix Plus ? looks like Mozilla wants to keep it up (Update: Prio degraded to the lowest available (P5 = "We basically never want this"), so "not really important" 🤐). Also see here and The future of Tab Mix Plus
TableTools2 X last update 4/2012; partly: GM TableSorter (no filter, no copy-as)
TagSieve ? unlikely. Last version 1/2016.
uBlock Origin Ready.
Video WithOut Flash - last update 10/2015
Xmarks ready (but a little feature-restricted)

Show Chromeless Bookmarklet

Create a bookmarklet for

javascript:(function(){window.open(window.location.href,"Chromeless","menubar=no,location=yes")}())
  1. embed the link into some HTML page
  2. open the bookmarks toolbar
  3. drag and drop the link there
  4. assign a keyword to the new bookmarklet (needed for the next steps)

Use Keyconfig addon to create a hotkey for the bookmarklet:

  1. open Keyconfig
  2. chose to "add a new key"
  3. paste into the text area (replacing "KEYWORD" with the keyword used for the bookmarklet):
    getShortcutOrURIAndPostData('KEYWORD').then(function(result){loadURI(result.url);});
  4. assign the hotkey
  5. click "apply"

Now, pressing the configured hotkey will open the page you've got in the foreground tab in a separate, chromeless window.

Useful links

Browser alternatives

The latest developments at Mozilla's end are not only disappointing in terms of "dropped functionalities" and related restrictions, but also privacy wise:

Some of the stuff has an „opt-out“ – but you can use that only if you know it's there, which most users won't. Or you have to use about:config hacks to disable it (e.g. screenshot). I'd call that a definite end to „do no evil” – and probably a „spelling error” in their privacy terms (a missing comma, so read it: „We take your privacy, seriously“).

In this context, instead of looking to replace addons one maybe should rather look to replace the entire browser. Just giving some examples to investigate (without already having done so in-depth – so please point out if any of those also have similar issues):

Cross-Platform Forks:

Browser Alternatives

@jflorian

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jflorian commented Sep 5, 2017

Awesome start on a list. Too bad I only now discovered this as my search is nearly over. AMO doesn't even help us find modern WE through a simple filter. Anyway, here's a few that I found:

Privacy Badger √
Brief - Feedbro looks like an excellent alternative and is fairly similar in design.
VimFx - Vimium is the most likely alternative, but Saka Key also looks promising for keyboard-centric browsing that's not necessarily VIM-like, though can be.
FoxyProxy Standard, ugh I thought I found a WE version, but FF Sync doesn't show it here at home. I'll have to take another look at work tomorrow. Might have been in a developer channel.
It's All Text - This one I still need a new alternative. Textern looks the most promising but I've yet to try it since it also requires a native portion to be installed separately from the WE to cope with the limited WE capabilities.

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Sep 6, 2017

@jflorian

AMO doesn't even help us find modern WE through a simple filter.

To help yourself: Have &appver=57.0 in the URL. That should limit addons displayed to web extensions – which is how I've performed my "replacement search" (apart from checking connected issue trackers, mostly on Github, and finding other reports e.g. in Bugzilla).

Thanks for your additions, will see to integrate them later (got some work to do first). I've also started some queries at SoftwareRecs.SE:

Both are still unanswered, unfortunately.

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Sep 7, 2017

@jflorian I've added your candidates to that GDoc spreadsheed. As for "It's all text", quoting the project page:

Version 2.0 will work on a completely different mechanism which will allow it work across Chrome, Firefox, and any other browser that has plugins that do ajax requests.

To me that sounds like a web extension (mentioning Chrome). But following up the link given, it rather looks like an own server-side implementation, so I'm not sure if that's what you're after.

@sumyungguy

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sumyungguy commented Sep 14, 2017

About Session Manager, the dev did answer, in July:

If Mozilla adds the necessary API, but at the moment that doesn't exist.

Some of the missing API support includes:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1378647
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1378651
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1322485
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1381922

Most of the above are unassigned (nobody working on them), and have received an average of about 10 votes each from the million or so people who use it. So it might happen, someday, but almost certainly not in time for Firefox 57.

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Oct 2, 2017

@sumyungguy Guess many users will at least delay the upgrade to FF57 for a while (e.g. temporary switching to ESR or a fork) to see how their lists complete. For "compatibility and experience checks" I'll use a temporary instance on my laptop to check with, and stick to FF56 for a while longer (did the same with FF3.6 back then, and again before FF29 until Classic Theme Restorer was ready). Not sure if I'll stay with FF: it's at least for the 3rd time Moz causes a big mess with such "upgrades", and always wastes a lot of my precious time I'd rather spend doing something useful instead of hunting for how to fix the issues they're causing me …

Thanks for the pointer, though (and sorry for the late response, but I was on vacation)!

@jchrusciel

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jchrusciel commented Nov 16, 2017

Is there any addon to edit the tab context menu (just as Tab Mix Plus could)?
I need to at least add the "new tab" option to it :/

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Nov 18, 2017

@jchrusciel I don't know, but it's quite unlikely (AFAIR WebExts cannot manipulate that). TMP is one of my core addons – so without that I won't make the update to FF57 anyway.

Currently it rather looks like I'm switching browsers: either to Waterfox (as it supports legacy addons and WebExts) or to a completely different browser altogether (if I need to reconfigure anyway, I don't see why I should stick with Mozilla any longer, which forces this upon me now for the 3rd time already). Yes, I'm using FF since v0.8 or slightly before, when it still was named „Phoenix“. So I was there when the "big jump" after 3.6 forced me to freeze at that version for almost a year, then having to fiddle with the Aurora stuff at FF29 (frozen at FF28 unti CTR became available), and currently I'm frozen at FF55 (as 56 already starts causing a mess, rendering several addons unusable).

@brownslink

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brownslink commented Nov 18, 2017

Bookmarks Manager and Viewer is not a replacement for GoogleBar Lite. They seem completely different.

@arkenoi

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arkenoi commented Nov 19, 2017

signTextJS, all forks, dead for good.

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Nov 19, 2017

@brownslink Thanks for finding that! Belongs one line up, as it claims to cover the "open enclosing folder" (what Go Parent Folder is doing). Fixing that now.

@Teko101

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Teko101 commented Dec 9, 2017

There is a workaround for:

None works on AMO pages, btw.

You can get any extension to work on AMO Pages by following these steps:

  1. Open about:config
  2. Search for: privacy.resistFingerprinting.block_mozAddonManager just to make sure it does not exist.
  3. Right-click > New > Boolean
  4. Name the new Boolean value privacy.resistFingerprinting.block_mozAddonManager
  5. Set its value to true.

Cheers!

@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Jan 6, 2018

Thanks @Teko101 – added that to the "useful links" section (with a link to your comment and to GHacks with additional details). Sorry for being late with that – but Gists unfortunately don't give notifications when someone adds a comment …

@mario98

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@IzzySoft

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IzzySoft commented Feb 19, 2018

@mario98 that is a fork of this list here. I've got no idea how to merge it. Apart from which, I used this Gist to track Addons I use on different installations – it's not intended to cover all existing addons.

BTW: I ended up switching to Waterfox, so I no longer care whether some addon was migrated to a WebExt (especially not if it got restricted by that and no longer has its full feature set; so I e.g. won't update GreaseMonkey or Stylish). The new WebExt API is so much crippled that Mozilla itself kept its own (integrated) Addons on XUL. Speaks for itself, doesn't it?

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