How to Check Add-on Compatibility with Firefox 57 or Later

Firefox 57, which is scheduled for launch this November, will deliver some fairly huge adjustments to the browser, together with one that may, doubtlessly, break compatibility with some in style add-ons that many people discover indispensable in our day-to-day utilization. With Mozilla shifting away from XPCOM and XUL, the foundations of Firefox’s thriving add-ons eco-system, the browser will solely assist a brand new extension API known as ‘WebExtensions’, ending compatibility with XUL overlay extensions, bootstrapped extensions, SDK extensions and even Embedded WebExtensions. As a devoted Firefox person ever since its Netscape Navigator days again within the mid-nineties, the concept that a few of my beloved add-ons might change into out of date in a matter of weeks is a bitter tablet to swallow, however there are workarounds that you should utilize to purchase your self a while earlier than they change into outdated. On this article at this time, we’ll inform you precisely why Mozilla is deprecating XUL extensions, how one can test add-on compatibility with Firefox 57, and how one can preserve utilizing legacy extensions even after Firefox 57 ends assist for the XUL and XPCOM for good.

Why is Mozilla Ending Assist for XUL With Firefox 57?

In line with statements launched earlier this yr by Mozilla, implementing the WebExtensions API will assist Firefox in a number of methods, though, many within the developer and power-user communities are usually not satisfied. First-off, based on Ken Needham, Mozilla’s Firefox desktop supervisor, the first cause the browser is abandoning XPCOM and XUL is safety and stability. In line with him, the truth that a lot of the Firefox code is in JavaScript has been an enormous benefit for the browser when it comes to making it far more customizable than any of its opponents, but it surely additionally makes the browser inherently insecure from malware and different safety threats. He  additional mentioned, “Add-ons have full entry to Firefox’s inner implementation. This lack of modularity results in many issues. Add-ons may trigger Firefox to crash once they use APIs in surprising methods”.

WebExtensions, the brand new software programming interface (API) that Firefox has already adopted and would be the sole foundation for its add-ons from Firefox 57, can be appropriate with Blink, which is Google’s fork of Apple’s open supply WebKit browser engine that’s at the moment utilized by Safari and types the idea of different in style browsers, similar to Chrome and Opera, with the latter abandoning its Presto browser engine in favour of WebKit some time again. The Blink-compatibility will permit builders to simply port their Chrome add-ons to Firefox with out having to alter the code an excessive amount of, which is but one more reason for the shift, based on Mozilla. So whether or not you prefer it or not, you’ll must take care of this modification.

Test Which Add-ons Are Suitable with Firefox 57 or Later

  • To test in case your Add-ons are appropriate with Firefox 57 and later, click on on the hamburger menu on the top-right of your Firefox window, after which, click on on ‘Add-ons’.

Firefox Addons Button Beebom Homepage 2 KK

  • On the resultant display, click on on the ‘Extensions’ possibility as proven within the picture beneath.

Addons Legacy KKNow you may see XUL and different extensions labelled with a yellow ‘Legacy’ tag, whereas those which have already migrated over to the WebExtension API could have no such marking and, will proceed to work as regular even with Firefox 57 and later.

The best way to Hold Utilizing Legacy Extensions

In case you actually wish to preserve utilizing a specific extension whose developer hasn’t but migrated over to WebExtensions or is unlikely to take action sooner or later, what you are able to do is swap over to Firefox ESR (Prolonged Assist Launch), which is basically aimed toward organizations and enterprises that worth compatibility over options. ESR releases might not get up to date with new options, however they do proceed to obtain all safety patches till the discharge of the following ESR model. The present ESR launch is Firefox 52, and it’ll proceed to obtain safety updates till subsequent June, so you may proceed utilizing your legacy extensions until then with none issues about safety. It gained’t be a everlasting resolution, however will purchase you a while to judge your choices going ahead.

SEE ALSO: The best way to Use Firefox Ship to Ship Self-Destructing Information

Test Add-on Compatibility with Firefox 57 or Later

Whereas Firefox’s transfer has attracted a lot of vocal and influential critics, the group remains to be going forward with the proposed adjustments as deliberate. So whether or not you prefer it or not, no less than a few of your favourite add-ons is probably not usable any extra by the tip of this yr. Certain, you may shift to the ESR model, however you’ll nonetheless be dwelling on borrowed time, as a result of the respite is barely going to be non permanent and never everlasting. So do you suppose the adjustments will alienate builders and customers? Will Firefox lose a piece of its customers, or do you consider die-hard Firefox customers will proceed to assist the browser if just for ideological causes? Do tell us what you concentrate on the difficulty, as a result of we love listening to from you.