snarkpup
Since May 29, 2002

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The Firefox Extensions Fiasco

What follows assumes the reader is familiar with this topic. (See the References below.)

These are notes to myself, which I am copying-and-pasting to my FR homepage in case others find this information useful.

Browsers and Extensions

The following "scoreboard" shows which extensions I am currently using (successfully or, as noted, unsuccessfully) in Firefox and other browsers I am evaluating as potential Firefox replacements. I will update this as I try more things and as the saga unfolds. Currently, the versions of the browsers should be the latest available; and the versions of the extensions are the most up-to-date that each browser will accept.

 
  Firefox 56.0.2 Waterfox 55.2.2 Pale Moon 27.6.1
whitelist-based garbage blocker NoScript 5.1.6 NoScript 5.1.6 NoScript 5.0.6
blacklist-based garbage blocker uBlock Origin 1.14.18 uBlock Origin 1.14.18 uBlock Origin 1.13.8
auto cookie cleaner Cookies Exterminator 2.9.0 Cookies Exterminator 2.9.0 Cookies Exterminator 2.9.0
validator HTML Validator 0.9.7.4 HTML Validator 0.9.7.4 (crashes the browser) HTML Validator 0.9.5.8.1 or 0.9.7.4 (does nothing)
YouTube downloader Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express 10.5 (does nothing) Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express 10.5 Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express 9.12

Waterfox and Pale Moon are Firefox offshoots.

Chrome and its Relatives

I have not found suitable security extensions in the Chrome Catalog; so neither Chrome nor any of its relatives are currently being considered as a Firefox replacement.

uBlock Origin (which seems to run everywhere) is the only good security extension I have found so far in the Chrome Catalog. In order to complete my "trio" of security/privacy extensions, I still need a whitelist-based crap blocker (like NoScript) and an automatic cookie destroyer (like Cookies Exterminator). Potential substitutes for NoScript that were tried and rejected include: ScriptSafe, uMatrix, ContentBlockHelper. Potential substitutes for Cookies Exterminator that were tried and rejected include: Cookie AutoDelete, Vanilla Cookie Manager.

Chrome is associated with Google; and many have concerns about using a browser made by a company whose income depends on harvesting private information. Relatives of Chrome that presumably do not "phone home to Google" include Vivaldi and Slimjet.

Vivaldi is the slowest browser I have ever seen. Maddening.

Slimjet has possibilities and is the only member of the Chrome family I would consider—if I can find the necessary security/privacy extensions, etc. Slimjet comes with a built-in ad blocker; but I turn it off and use the uBlock Origin extension instead.

Other Notes

Basilisk, from the Pale Moon developers, is supposed to be available soon for beta testing and experimental use. They say it will be a "potential replacement for Firefox to retain the use of Firefox Extensions."

Pale Moon seems to be locked into very old versions of extensions. Whether this situation will get better or worse remains to be seen.

Opera has been sold to China and is no longer under consideration. (See below.)

SeaMonkey's browser is a very old relative of Firefox and is apparently popular with those who demand an integrated suite of browser, mail reader and HTML editor. It will probably be of interest only to those who already have it. Before installing it on a machine that already has Firefox and/or Thunderbird, one may wish to research potential conflicts.

HTML Validator seems to work with Chrome and its relatives, but clumsily. It doesn't work with View Source and instead runs only with a complicated developer tool.

References

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons, The Register, Nov. 10, 2017. The author sounds like a bit of an apologist for Mozilla; but the Comments section is useful.

China-owned Opera touts big comeback, The Register, November 8, 2017.

Another "Which PC browser should I go with?" post. FR thread, posted October 26, 2017.

Mozilla Will Kill Legacy Firefox Add-Ons in Exactly Three Months (Now November 14, 2017). FR thread, posted October 23, 2017.