New Firefox

The Wanderer wanderer at fastmail.fm
Tue Nov 21 12:45:05 UTC 2017


On 2017-11-21 at 05:57, Michael (work) wrote:

> The old extension mechanism was Firefox's greatest strength and
> greatest weakness.
> 
> Giving extension developers access to almost any part of our codebase
> gave them a lot of power but it was easy to create extensions that
> slowed down the browser and made it unstable... using the web
> extension model gives us much more control over this and will allow
> us to share extensions with other browsers, which is a win win for
> everybody.

Except for the people who needed or wanted things which the old
extension model made possible and WebExtensions does not - and in fact,
by intentional design, never will.

The ultimate customizability provided by its extensions was Firefox's
greatest strength, indeed. IMO abandoning that customizability, without
providing a fully comparable replacement means of achieving equal
customizability, is a major misstep; it may not end up killing Firefox
(though I wouldn't be surprised if it did), but it does leave users with
fewer options and less power, which hardly seems like a net good thing.

There are certainly advantages to the approach Mozilla has taken with
WebExtensions; much though I disagree with that approach, I can still
see and acknowledge that the advantages do exist, and that there are
reasons for going that way.

But it's not a pure win/win move, and to pretend that it is gives those
of us who are losing as a result of it the opposite of that "nice warm
fuzzy feeling" you get from the positive feedback.

-- 
   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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