Legacy Add-on Support on Firefox ESR

Earlier this year, we shared with you our compatibility plan for Firefox. As anticipated, Firefox 57 will be released in late November, only allowing add-ons using the WebExtensions API. However, we have received some questions from developers on how this timeline applies to the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).

To clarify how legacy extensions will work with the ESR release:

  • ESR 52 will be the last ESR release that supports legacy add-ons. Support for ESR 52 officially ends on June 2018.
  • The following ESR release (59), and any subsequent release, will not support legacy add-ons. There will be no override provided for this behavior.

AMO Support

AMO (addons.mozilla.org) will continue to support legacy add-on listings throughout the ESR 52 cycle. However, AMO will primarily focus on WebExtension add-on listings. This means some legacy features may also change during this time period. There are big changes coming to AMO, including a completely new design. Stay put for more updates on this.

35 responses

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  1. Micah S wrote on :

    I would like my extensions back, please 🙁

    Reply

  2. JiggleBilly wrote on :

    Remove legacy extensions from the extensions site. So users can’t see them

    Reply

  3. Chuck Baker wrote on :

    Does this mean ‘legacy’ add-ons will eventually disappear from AMO? What about users (like myself) that have turned off automatic updates and will only use Fx v56 for the foreseeable future. Will there be any repository we can go to to install non-WE extensions?

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      For AMO, we generally draw the line for support on ESR, and supporting legacy add-ons means maintaining a whole host of features that make the site very complex and hard to work with. There won’t be a Mozilla repository for legacy add-ons after we drop support, but the add-ons are currently available if anyone outside of Mozilla wants to try to create one.

      Reply

      1. Richard Paul wrote on :

        So now it looks like, not only have I had to download FF56, but I’m going to have to download all the XPIs too in case I need to install elsewhere.

        Another case of scorching the earth and salting it as you move forward preventing anyone who disagrees with you from being able to go their own way without someone investing a huge amount of effort.

        Reply

        1. Chuck Baker wrote on :

          To save all your current extensions in Fx v56, you may want to try my FEBE extension to backup those add-ons as install-able .xpis.

          But get it soon because it won’t be around in Fx v57.

          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/febe/

          Reply

          1. Richard Paul wrote on :

            Many thanks Chuck 🙂

    2. mgol wrote on :

      Using not up-to-date Firefox is dangerous, you can catch malware or be hacked. If you want to dely the WebExtensions switch it’s way better to switch to 52 ESR than stay on v56 with security issues.

      Reply

      1. Chuck Baker wrote on :

        Firefox updates about every six weeks. My anti-virus program updates much more frequently than that. I don’t believe I’m taking any real risks.

        Reply

      2. Keiya wrote on :

        Why bother? We’ll be stuck using an out of date Firefox eventually, since they refuse to support proper extensions. OverbiteFF, one of the extensions that keeps me on Firefox over chrome is literally impossible as a webextension, the best you can do is a redirect to an external proxy.

        This also violates the agreement Mozilla put in place with the Gopher community when they removed gopher support from core because of a completely unrelated bug in Safari. The promise was that it would *always* be an option as long as someone was willing to put in the effort to maintain an extension.

        Reply

  4. Cordylus wrote on :

    > However, AMO will primarily focus on WebExtension add-on listings.

    Does it mean that XUL extensions will be unreachable via search? Or even deleted from the site eventually?

    Will you provide a list (or better a complete dump) of obsolete extensions that will be hidden (removed), so an independent search (add-on storage) website for legacy extensions could be created? There happen to be interesting and unique extensions so I’d like to see all of them archived somewhere.

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      > Does it mean that XUL extensions will be unreachable via search? Or even deleted from the site eventually?

      After the June deadline, most likely yes.

      > Will you provide a list (or better a complete dump) of obsolete extensions

      You can access the current add-on set via the AMO API. Someone interested in creating an archive can use this while the add-ons are available on the site.

      Reply

      1. Chuck Baker wrote on :

        Will Mozilla continue to host the XUL/XPCOM documentation on MDN Web Docs? (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/)

        Reply

        1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

          As long as it’s relevant, I suppose. It’s deprecated in the context of add-ons, but it’s still needed for Firefox development.

          Reply

  5. charles wrote on :

    After reaching the next ESR, what will happen with legacy Thunderbird/SM add-ons in AMO?

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      We’re working on a solution for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey add-ons. More on that soon.

      Reply

  6. Ataul Ghani wrote on :

    I tired to open console for my blog but it’s not showing. And i saw most of the addons are showing yellow button with name Legacy! I’m not showing what that mean. Please tell me.

    Reply

    1. Chuck Baker wrote on :

      It means those extensions will disappear forever next month and there is nothing you can do about it (unless the developer re-writes the extension from scratch with the WebExtension platform).

      Reply

      1. Ataul Ghani wrote on :

        @Chuck Baker,

        Thanks for your response. I thin the Firefox default console is better for me now.

        Reply

      2. Keiya wrote on :

        Don’t forget: Many, many extensions are literally impossible to implement as webextensions. Even ones that Mozilla promised would always be an option as long as someone was willing to maintain it.

        Reply

  7. Zoeymae wrote on :

    I started my day like any other day. But I ended up somehow being redirected to a Bugzilla site for what is supposed to be a bug. I’m supposed to set the appropriate flags and settings by following those instructions. So I tried logging in. It turns out that I have possibly 7 websites connected to Mozilla in one way or another. I finally after maybe an hour did log into a Wiki Main Page. Not your wiki page but the whole wiki site with the signin that I use for wiki.Mozilla.org. Did I ever get to that website to configure those flags and things…No! By the time I had read all of that I had to go.
    So – Add-ons. I “bought” Kaspersky for a reason and part of that reason is because I have and want to continue using the Browser Security. It’s a feature that should not be discontinued by anyone but myself or Kaspersky. The other add-ons really do not have any equally as good replacements. Leaves one feeling hopeless and looking for a new browser.
    What is bothering me is that I don’t want to learn all the workings of the Browser – The Code – The API’s – Old but really very good add-ons that I can’t find replacements for – or Wiki Centralized log-in, etc, etc, etc.. I try to do something very simple on your Browser now and I end up with possibly 10 new tabs. I do not want to be reading all this new information when I have much more pressing things I want and have to do on here.
    Don’t get me wrong….I love your Browser and have since the day it came out. I really think that you all work very hard to make this the best Browser out there and you are doing just that. But just like Windows now – They are “making” people read about features that we plain and simple non-coders don’t want to. Microsoft is turning Windows into a “Learning Service” not “Windows as a Service”. And they won’t respond to any feedback.
    Please don’t make anything more difficult. I now enter about:config and there is so much new stuff that it’s impossible to make Firefox/Thunderbird your own.

    Thank you

    Reply

    1. Michael wrote on :

      Sounds like you’re using Windows. That’s the real problem. Stop paying and get better performance and security with a version of Linux.

      Reply

  8. Jeffery Seiffert wrote on :

    Well, I for one will not be updating to version 57. I love and use the add-ons every day and are a valuable tool. Sadly some or maybe all cannot be ported to your new system. DownThemAll – One of the best add-ons of all time is one I do not want to do without and the developer has already said that his add-on for what it does cannot be built with the new API’s.
    I don’t know about Evernote Web Clipper if they are able to go to the new system but another big one I use plus many more. I was already sad to see one of the best developer tools not even compatible with version 56.

    There are things in Chrome that really bug me but sadly I may have to be going there and or trying out Microsoft Edge more 🙁

    I doubt anyone will care about me not upgrading to 57 but I wanted to put my two cents in.

    Jeffery

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      There will probably be a DownThemAll port, and Evernote is already using the new system. Also, moving to Chrome isn’t going to make your add-on situation any better.

      Reply

      1. Richard Paul wrote on :

        So there’s not going to be a DTA plugin, there’s going to be a DTA Lite plugin which is inferior.

        Saying that going to Chrome isn’t going to make the situation any better is disingenuous as it’s not going to make things worse and he’ll have more options. As for everyone else, I expect you will see a significant amount of continued FF56 access to the AMO site for some time to come.

        Reply

  9. vitalikp wrote on :

    What about user.js for WE?
    I like to store system and addons preferred settings in this file.
    But if WE use local storage API, this is not possible.
    I want create some file in profile directory,
    in which i can predefine settings for all my installed WE.
    What alternative i can use for this?

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      Managed storage does some of that.

      Reply

  10. Alongtime UserSinceNetscape wrote on :

    I’m on ESR 52 and just lost my plugins: NoScript, and Memchaser. Now I can’t enable any sites that have Javascript blocked. This is a terrible decision, and change for the sake of change. I will not be getting a Firefox account, and if this policy isn’t reversed, I will leave and never look back again. The internet is not a safe place. Javascript doesn’t need to be enabled for every site, nor are any of the relationships between site and external sources of scripts disclosed.

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      52 still supports legacy add-ons, and NoScript should be working fine. It sounds like you have a different problem.

      Reply

  11. FloridaJim wrote on :

    I need YesScript, a very, very simple javascript toggle on/off blacklist add-on. I like it because I don’t have to create a massive whitelist. It beautifully stops back button disabing, floating video players, auto refreshing, etc. The developer has said he’s not going to make it 57 compliant. If he doesn’t change his mind by Nov 14 when 57 comes out, or if someone doesn’t volunteer to fix it for him, I will have to permanently stop upgrading Firefox and stay with 56, where the add-on is now listed as “Legacy.”

    My understanding is that FF 56 will still work after 57 and add-ons like YesScript will also still work, but if I get a new laptop someday, I will not be able to reinstall a legacy add-on from Mozilla and they will only be available if a third party has created a Legacy add-on site and it is listed there. Are these assumptions correct? Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    1. Jorge Villalobos wrote on :

      56 will continue to work indefinitely, yes, but it will become progressively less safe to use, as new security fixes are shipped with new versions of Firefox. For long-term support, it’s best that you install the ESR version of Firefox. It’s currently at version 52, and it will be officially supported (and get security updates) until June 2018. After that your only choices will be to move to the new system or use a potentially insecure version of Firefox.

      Reply

    2. Cordylus wrote on :

      If YesScript is your only legacy add-on, you are a lucky one. Try https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/yesscript2/

      And yes, your assumptions are correct. You can also save the add-ons you want on your own: right click on the “Add to Firefox” button on its page at addons.mozilla.org and choose Save Link As… Then you can open the saved file with xpi extension in Firefox anytime and it will offer you to install the add-on.

      Reply

      1. Chuck Baker wrote on :

        And if you don’t want to spend the time locating and downloading all your ‘legacy’ extensions, you can use FEBE to back them all up as install-able xpis.

        https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/febe/

        Reply

  12. Phunky wrote on :

    Can someone migrate this add-on to the new API? Thank you.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/downloads/file/382291/wikilook-2.7.1-sm+fx.xpi?src=devhub

    Reply

    1. Caitlin Neiman wrote on :

      Hi Phunky, you might want to post this request to the community forum on Discourse (https://discourse.mozilla.org/c/add-ons) to share it with other developers.

      Reply

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