Mozilla issues Firefox fix following weekend of extension woes

Posted:
in Mac Software
Mozilla is recovering from a few days of browser extension failures in Firefox, a problem caused by an expired signing certificate that the company has fixed for users of the current release of the browser -- but not for those on legacy versions.




On Friday, a large number of Firefox users discovered some add-ons that previously worked fine were no longer functional. Attempts to download new extensions from Firefox's online archives also failed to install successfully, leaving many users unhappy with their browser not functioning how it normally would.

An addition to a post on changes in add-on policies reveals a certificate expired on May 3, causing the extension failures. A follow-up post on May 4 advises the issue was identified and a temporary fix rolled out to all Firefox Desktop users on the Release, Beta, and Nightly builds, which would be automatically applied in the background within 24 hours.

Mozilla warned users they did not need to take any active steps for the fix to take place, and to not delete or reinstall any add-ons, as this may disassociate data relating to the app. As the temporary fix used Firefox's Studies system, it may not have worked for users who disabled the feature under the "Data Collection and Use" section of the "Privacy & Security" menu within the browser's Options tab.

A general fix for the issue that doesn't require the use of the Studies system was also issued as a full release, bringing the browser to version 66.0.4. Mozilla admits the full update still leaves some remaining issues, but wanted to get the fix out by Monday to "lessen the impact of disabled add-ons before the start of the week."

While the fix will help those using the most recent version of the browser, legacy users have complained that, as they are resisting going to version 66 of the software, they won't benefit from the fix at all. Engadget reports some users are threatening to find other solutions like switching to another browser if Mozilla does not issue a fix for older versions.

The legacy users use the earlier releases for a variety of reasons, such as being limited to them by using older versions of operating systems, or if there is an extension that works with earlier versions but won't function with newer releases.

Mozilla has yet to advise on how they would help legacy Firefox users, if at all.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,149member
    I'm on the ESR Release and after reinstalling my addons and restarting it all worked.
    I won't go to the bleeding edge release on any software... I've been burned too many times for that especially wrt Windows updates.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 6
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,957member
    I like FireFox for a number of reasons -- one of which is it provides commonality between my Windows and MacOS devices -- where I can share bookmarks and pick up on one device where I left off on the other.  I would prefer to use Safari on both, but Apple discontinued it on Windows -- so now I use FireFox.
    mike54
  • Reply 3 of 6
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 988member
    I like FireFox for a number of reasons -- one of which is it provides commonality between my Windows and MacOS devices -- where I can share bookmarks and pick up on one device where I left off on the other.  I would prefer to use Safari on both, but Apple discontinued it on Windows -- so now I use FireFox.
    Installing iCloud on Windows lets you sync bookmarks between Safari on iOS and FF on Windows
    dysamoriaGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 6
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,269member
    More server-side everything leading to huge messes for users. Yay for cloud technology.

    i just had a companion asking me about why her ad blocker no longer worked. I found out about this obnoxious mess via a review posted on an ad blocker entry on Mozilla’s extension library. How exactly did Mozilla inform users? Through the update mechanism?

    Abandoning users of older versions, after screwing them up, is getting to be an absolute norm in this stupid industry, even with free products. This is not progress.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,739member
    dysamoria said:
    More server-side everything leading to huge messes for users. Yay for cloud technology.

    i just had a companion asking me about why her ad blocker no longer worked. I found out about this obnoxious mess via a review posted on an ad blocker entry on Mozilla’s extension library. How exactly did Mozilla inform users? Through the update mechanism?

    Abandoning users of older versions, after screwing them up, is getting to be an absolute norm in this stupid industry, even with free products. This is not progress.
    Being the schmuck I am, it never occurred to me that it might be a bug. I just assumed I needed to update my ad blocker extension. When it wouldn't install, I figured I must have to delete the old one to install the new one. For some reason it didn't occur to me that by doing that I was also deleting my custom blocking list and my whitelist. Whoops. Damn.
    kingofsomewherehotGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 6
    reader50reader50 Posts: 5member
    Mozilla has updated one of their notes on this. They are going to fix some legacy Firefox versions, back to FF 52.
    For users who cannot update to the latest version of Firefox or Firefox ESR, we plan to distribute an update that automatically applies the fix to versions 52 through 60. This fix will also be available as a user-installable extension. For anyone still experiencing issues in versions 61 through 65, we plan to distribute a fix through a user-installable extension. These extensions will not require users to enable Studies, and we’ll provide an update when they are available. (May 8. 19:28 EDT)
    This is good news. I can't stand the Quantum versions myself - exceptionally ugly, and impossible to fix with extensions.
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