Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

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LadyGeek
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Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

Although the Firefox developers have given plenty of warning, the recent upgrade to Firefox Quantum (revision 57.0) has broken an extension I use quite a bit.* I don't see a replacement coming any time soon. (I can use an extension in Chrome, so I'm not stuck.)

After some investigation, I went with Waterfox - The free, open and private browser. It's based on Firefox, but is staying with the development environment that Firefox just dumped. Waterfox is much more attuned to privacy concerns, which I like.

After using it for a few hours, I honestly can't tell the difference between Firefox and Waterfox. It has a different icon, search engine selection, and improved privacy in the form of removing intrusive features from the source code.

To get an add-on, just download what you want from FireFox. So far, Waterfox is running in Windows 7 and Linux. Windows 10 is on my laptop and will be next.

My add-ons:
- Make Link (Create link on Chrome)
- uBlock Origin
- PassIFox, an easy-to-use interface between Waterfox and KeePass. I dumped Keefox in favor of this one. On Chrome, I use Chromelpass. Both interface to KeepPass using the KeePassHttp plugin. Nice.

*See the discussion starting from here: Re: Linking wiki articles into forum posts
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telemark
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by telemark »

My first thought was that the new version was much, much slower. Then I noticed it had disabled uBlock Origin. Fortunately that was easy to get working again. I will look at Waterfox.
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ThereAreNoGurus
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by ThereAreNoGurus »

Thanks for the info, LadyGeek.

I will checkout Waterfox. Also, I use Keepass, so I'll checkout the add-ons/plugins.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by jebmke »

Were you able to port the complete FF profile to Waterfox?
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by azurekep »

I've been deferring trying out Waterfox since my daily driver is a 32-bit machine and Waterfox is 64-bit. But yesterday, I installed it on my financial VM (on a 64-bit machine) and it's great. I haven't put it through all the paces yet, but I don't anticipate any downsides. I've had my eye out on Waterfox, because not only are they planning on staying on the old FF path, but as previously noted, they give more considerations to privacy than the regular FF .

And like LadyGeek, it was one extension that made the new FF untenable. I've been with Prefbar ever since the beginning (FF 0.X) and am not willing to give it up.
jebmke wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:16 am Were you able to port the complete FF profile to Waterfox?
I installed Waterfox without porting the FF profile. On another VM, I will try porting the FF profile. VMs are a handy tool in this environment -- enabling one to try out various things before fully committing.
Last edited by azurekep on Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Smorgasbord
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by Smorgasbord »

Thanks for the info...I tried rolling back Firefox to version 56 (pre-quantum) and disabling automatic updates, but firefox still updated :annoyed .

Flashgot All is my must have extension.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by jebmke »

azurekep wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:52 am I installed Waterfox without porting the FF profile. On another VM, I will try porting the FF profile. VMs are a handy tool in this environment -- enabling one to try out various things before fully committing.
good idea. I will do the same. I have a bunch of W7 VMs for testing and some Linux VMs I use for browsing.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by John151 »

I’ve stayed with Firefox for years because of one extension: Scrapbook. It doesn’t work on Firefox 57, and although the developer is working on a compatible version, he doesn’t think it will have all the features of the original.

Right now I’m using Scrapbook on Firefox 52.5.0 ESR. That should work for several months more. If or when it stops working, it’s great to know that Waterfox is a viable option.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

jebmke wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:16 am Were you able to port the complete FF profile to Waterfox?
By "porting", I assume you mean to convert the existing profile. No, as I'm still experimenting with the new FireFox, which uses the existing profile.

A good rule of thumb - don't mix data written by two different software applications.* azurekep's use of VM (Virtual Machine) allows one to "experiment" without concern. Problem? Just delete the VM and try again. That's fun for developers; not recommended for those who depend on the browser to work.

After installing my add-ons, I exported my Firefox bookmarks as an HTML file and then imported them into Waterfox. Works fine. You might have to tweak a few Preferences (Delete history on exit, cookie handling, etc.), but that's about it.

* I still have problems booting into Win 7 from my Linux boot partition (via grub2), but that's a different discussion. It works, but Win 7 seems to intermittently crash after using it for an hour or so. No issues when booting from the Win 7 drive directly.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by inittowinit »

I have noticed that LastPass' functionality is limited in the new Firefox. Frustrating.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:32 pm...
To get an add-on, just download what you want from FireFox. So far, Waterfox is running in Windows 7 and Linux. Windows 10 is on my laptop and will be next.

My add-ons:
- Make Link (Create link on Chrome)
- uBlock Origin
- PassIFox, an easy-to-use interface between Waterfox and KeePass. I dumped Keefox in favor of this one. On Chrome, I use Chromelpass. Both interface to KeepPass using the KeePassHttp plugin. Nice...
Waterfox is now running on Windows 10.

To address an earlier question, the installation went differently on Windows 10 than Win 7 or Linux. In this case, a profile was ported over from Firefox and created in C:\Users\(user)\AppData\Roaming\Waterfox\Profiles\(profile).

I reinstalled the add-ons to be sure everything would work as expected. Everything worked except PassIFox. I'm running the Chrome extension simultaneously, so it's not the KeePassHttp plugin. Google suggests an incompatibility with uBlock Origin, but that wasn't it.

I ended up installing the deprecated version of Keefox, which is now called "Kee". Scroll down the "Kee" page to find Version History --> See all versions --> Install Version 1.7.2. Follow the instructions to install the KeePassRPC.plgx plugin, needed by KeePass. KeePass works fine with both plugins simultaneously.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by iceport »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:32 pm Although the Firefox developers have given plenty of warning, the recent upgrade to Firefox Quantum (revision 57.0) has broken an extension I use quite a bit.* I don't see a replacement coming any time soon. (I can use an extension in Chrome, so I'm not stuck.)

After some investigation, I went with Waterfox - The free, open and private browser. It's based on Firefox, but is staying with the development environment that Firefox just dumped. Waterfox is much more attuned to privacy concerns, which I like.

After using it for a few hours, I honestly can't tell the difference between Firefox and Waterfox. It has a different icon, search engine selection, and improved privacy in the form of removing intrusive features from the source code.
Thank you for this heads-up. I installed Waterfox and did not port the Firefox profile, so that I could clear out old extensions and start fresh with the browser settings. I did, however, import my bookmarks from Firefox.

After only one day, I felt comfortable enough to set Waterfox as my default browser.

Thanks again!
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by likegarden »

About 8 years ago Firefox had a terrible update on our PCs, seemed to show parts in Yahoo or similar possibly. We all went with Google Chrome then and stayed there.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by dumbmoney »

When I learned this was coming I switched to Firefox 52 ESR (ESR=Extended Support Release). Hopefully by the time 52 ESR is no longer supported, the add-on situation will have improved.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by FiveK »

The "Link Text and Location Copier" for Firefox at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... on-copier/ has been working well for the ~10 days I've tried it. Other than - for whatever reason? - the addon page itself.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by midareff »

inittowinit wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:06 pm I have noticed that LastPass' functionality is limited in the new Firefox. Frustrating.
Have not noticed that and use LastPass daily. FWIW, I thought Quantum was quite a bit quicker than the older fox.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

Just wanted to add that the latest version of Firefox (Quantum) is supposed to be a significant performance upgrade as much of the browser has been rewritten in a newer language (Rust from C++). For most users, you probably won't notice the difference right away. Obviously plugins will take some time to catch up to the major update, especially if they are no longer being actively maintained.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by azurekep »

3CT_Paddler wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:21 am Just wanted to add that the latest version of Firefox (Quantum) is supposed to be a significant performance upgrade as much of the browser has been rewritten in a newer language (Rust from C++). For most users, you probably won't notice the difference right away.
For me, one of the main benefits of Firefox is the addons. Particularly the addons that add back what they took away. :)

So obviously, Quantum has not been of interest to me personally and there are plenty of good alternatives... Waterfox reportedly being the best (for 64-bit users. who want the best aspects of FF without the bad ones.)

However, since I'm eventually going to be exposed to Quantum, I'm curious what the RAM and processor requirements are. At home, I get along great with 1 GB RAM and an old-generation processor. I'm wondering if that will preclude me from using Quantum on a home computer.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by John151 »

LadyGeek, I gave Waterfox a try, and I like it. It imported all of my Firefox legacy add-ons and most of my settings flawlessly. The only glitch was that the Add-ons Manager was for some reason set to “Update Add-ons Automatically,” and Waterfox updated Stylish to a version that doesn’t work for me. So I restored the previous version of Stylish and set Waterfox to look for updates only when I tell it to. Everything else looks and works like Firefox, and my legacy add-ons are happy campers. Thank you for recommending Waterfox!
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

You're welcome.
FiveK wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:40 am The "Link Text and Location Copier" for Firefox at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... on-copier/ has been working well for the ~10 days I've tried it. Other than - for whatever reason? - the addon page itself.
Thanks! I have it working in Windows 10, 7, and Linux.

In Linux, the Kee – Add-ons for Firefox (KeePass interface) is not working in Firefox 57. I'm still using Waterfox until I can find a replacement.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by patrick013 »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:17 pm In Linux, the Kee – Add-ons for Firefox (KeePass interface) is not working in Firefox 57. I'm still using Waterfox until I can find a replacement.
Try Blur add-on for passwords. Finds everything it seems. Cloud program.

If I install Waterfox for Linux will I have to uninstall FF57 ? Where would
I put Waterfox, anyplace ? And it updates /.mozilla into Waterfox ?

Here's the last pre-57 Firefox in standalone which I would run out of $HOME
Directory Listing: /pub/firefox/releases/56.0.2/linux-x86_64/en-US/
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

patrick013 wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:17 pm Try Blur add-on for passwords. Finds everything it seems. Cloud program.
Thanks, but the Blur reviews don't instill confidence. The only cloud storage I currently trust is LastPass, which has been reviewed numerous times and been around a while. Otherwise, I'll stick with KeePass.
patrick013 wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:17 pm If I install Waterfox for Linux will I have to uninstall FF57 ? Where would
I put Waterfox, anyplace ? And it updates /.mozilla into Waterfox ?
The installation is in /opt/waterfox/, which is where I chose to put it. Your distro may want to install it elsewhere.

The profiles are in separate folders. ~/.waterfox/ is the default location, see: Waterfox 55 Release (Windows, Mac, Linux and Android) I don't remember if it copied anything from Firefox in Linux, but I know it did port over my Firefox configuration in Windows 10.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by LadyGeek »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:17 pm ...In Linux, the Kee – Add-ons for Firefox (KeePass interface) is not working in Firefox 57. I'm still using Waterfox until I can find a replacement.
I found a replacement: KeePassHttp-Connector
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by patrick013 »

So if I leave FF 57 as is and put WF in /opt I'll have the old
add-ons plus FF 57 improvements, mostly add-on updates.

Well if they ever make Blur for a local system I'm for it.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by BBBob »

Thanks for the tip,Lady Geek; I have not been happy with Quantum, and this looks like an interesting solution. One dumb question though: if I am loading it to a laptop, must I download the portable version? And what's the difference between the portable version and the other download? (Am running Win 10)
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by Angelus359 »

I do question the ongoing support of extensions outside of the mainline track Firefox has going for it
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by azurekep »

BBBob wrote: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:33 pm Thanks for the tip,Lady Geek; I have not been happy with Quantum, and this looks like an interesting solution. One dumb question though: if I am loading it to a laptop, must I download the portable version? And what's the difference between the portable version and the other download? (Am running Win 10)
Not LadyGeek, but portable versions of Windows software just mean that there isn't a Windows installer. Iinstead, you just click on the downloaded file, usually a .zip file, and you are prompted where to unpack the files. It then sets up automatically.

Also, portable software doesn't add junk to your registry.

And, of course, portable software -- in this case Waterfox -- can be installed on a USB drive, carried around with you, and used on hundreds of computers without leaving a trace of your usage (cookies, browsing history, etc.) on those computers.

I'm describing the pure sense of portable freeware. In some cases, installing portable freeware on a USB drive will install a random file somewhere on the host computer, but that's not important in your situation.

All you need to know is you can download either a regular version or a portable version of any software on any computer, whether a laptop or desktop. In fact, you can install both at the same time and they won't interfere with each other.

When I used Windows, I always installed the portable version of Firefox since I liked to keep the operating system clean and without a lot of junk. But I sometimes have had a regular version of Firefox installed as well.

tl;dr: Use either the portable or non-portable version of Waterfox.
Last edited by azurekep on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by rgs92 »

Thanks for the tip, I never heard of Waterfox. Also give a try to Vivaldi. It has nice flexible bookmark/link arrangements.
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Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Post by BBBob »

Double thanks, Ladygeek. i downloaded Waterfox today; it loads twice as fast as Quantum, and opens domain pages with blazing speed. I'm a convert!
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