Extensions in Firefox 83

In addition to our brief update on extensions in Firefox 83, this post contains information about changes to the Firefox release calendar and a feature preview for Firefox 84.

Thanks to a contribution from Richa Sharma, the error message logged when a tabs.sendMessage is passed an invalid tabID is now much easier to understand. It had regressed to a generic message due to a previous refactoring.

End of Year Release Calendar

The end of 2020 is approaching (yay?), and as usual people will be taking time off and will be less available. To account for this, the Firefox Release Calendar has been updated to extend the Firefox 85 release cycle by 2 weeks. We will release Firefox 84 on 15 December and Firefox 85 on 26 January. The regular 4-week release cadence should resume after that.

Coming soon in Firefox 84: Manage Optional Permissions in Add-ons Manager

Starting with Firefox 84, currently available on the Nightly pre-release channel, users will be able to manage optional permissions of installed extensions from the Firefox Add-ons Manager (about:addons).

Optional permissions in about:addons

We recommend that extensions using optional permissions listen for the browser.permissions.onAdded and browser.permissions.onRemoved API events. This ensures the extension is aware of the user granting or revoking optional permissions.

4 comments on “Extensions in Firefox 83”

  1. zakius wrote on

    now that there is additional permissions management can’t you add permissions class that can’t be granted on install and require explicit user action like enabling ContentScripts globally (bypassing the safelist), (probably except the extensions manager as it’s the most critical zone)?

    1. Rob Wu wrote on

      The announced feature here is about allowing users to toggle permissions that the extension has marked as optional. In your comment you are suggesting to allow the user to not only remove an optional permission, but to also prevent an extension from being granted a required permission, and even go as far as doing that by default for new installs/updates of extensions.

      While that sounds solid from the security perspective, it is not ideal from the usability perspective, because extensions are often designed under the assumption that a required permission has indeed been granted.

      We are looking into ways to give users more control over their add-ons, so watch the blog for future announcements.

      1. zakius wrote on

        I meant to allow users to extend permissions beyond required ones if they want to and only when they do it intentionally, without extension asking them to do so.

        One of extra permissions would be running content scripts with (nearly) no limitations while currently it’s really tightly limited making some extensions impossible to work properly… and I’ve been saying that since you announced transition to chromium alike model so for 4 or 5 years now

        that still would be far from ideal from power and performance point of view but would be the very minimum to make some extensions viable on quantum

  2. mzt wrote on

    Please add user agent switcher addon, it is truely important in some area where websites always degenerate mobile web experience to force you to use mobile native app, it is annoyed if we can’t configure the user agent or configure desktop mode in special website, I have seen many people mentioned it in forums, so please give us a solution.