Ever since Mozilla released an upgrade of Firefox to version 40.x I seem to been seeing frequent and persistent crashing of my Firefox browser.
As of the time of this post, I am running version 40.0.3.
The issue seems to occur most when I grab an open tab handle and drag/drop the tab into my bookmark side-bar to “save” a bookmark of that page.
It got so bad that I began to look at rolling back (downgrading) my Firefox version to an older version, say the last 39 release version, to see if that would help.
Making a bookmark the “long way” by clicking the “star” icon or using the Ctrl+D key-combo worked fine but was a lot of work due to my deep folder structure in the bookmarks.
Fortunately, I found that by grabbing the small icon on the far left of the address bar, I could drag and drop that to also create a bookmark at will without the crash I get from using the same technique but with the page-tab item.
I’ve not yet filed a bug report, but will shortly.
Firefox Version Roll-Back
The process to roll back to an older version of Firefox is fairly simple, as long as you know where to get the bits. In my case it is a touch more complicated as I use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition via Portable Apps. For installed versions of Firefox, head over to Index of /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases and download the version you want and reinstall. Sure, you should first back up your profile, etc. before doing it, just in case. For portable apps versions, head over to Mozilla Firefox, Portable Ed. at SourceForge.net project page, and find the earlier version, download, and over-install.
Here are some more guides on the process to roll-back Firefox:
- How to go back to an old version of Firefox - gHacks Tech News
- Go back to an old version of Firefox - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
- Install an older version of Firefox - Firefox Help
- Revert back to older version - Firefox Support Forum | Mozilla Support
- Index of /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases - Mozilla FTP site (older versions)
- Mozilla Firefox, Portable Ed. at SourceForge.net - PortableApps.com
- MozBackup - Pavel Cvrcek
My recent and growing frustrations with Mozilla/Firefox have led me to invest even more heavily that normal (and that’s saying something) in spending considerable more time using and testing alternative web-browsers; specifically Vivaldi (based on Chromium) and Pale Moon (based on Mozilla).
Add-On Support for Pale Moon and Firefox
Pale Moon (portable) has been very stable and runs very well on my systems in the testing work I’ve been doing more and more.
I don’t have a lot of Firefox Extensions/Add-ons and found that almost all of them were compatible in Pale Moon. Listed below are my current Firefox Add-ons and I’ve noted the ones that ARE NOT Pale Moon compatible -- at least directly installable via the Mozilla Add-ons store.
- about:addons-memory 10.1-signed (not offered for Pale Moon / Firefox 24.9)
- Adblock Plus 2.6.10 (didn’t bother to try as I like/prefer uBlock Origin)
- CoLT 2.6.5
- Copy as HTML Link 3.2.1-signed
- Download Status Bar 188.8.131.52-signed
- Extension List Dumper 2 1.0
- FiddlerHook 184.108.40.206 (installed on system by Fiddler, but doesn’t seem to pick up in Pale Moon / Firefox 24.9)
- Firebug 2.0.11 (not offered for Pale Moon / Firefox 24.9)
- Greasemonkey 3.3 (I didn’t bother to try to install yet in Pale Moon)
- HttpFox 0.8.14.1-signed
- Linky 220.127.116.11-signed
- NoScript 18.104.22.168rc1
- Search By Image (by Google) 22.214.171.124-signed
- Tab Memory Usage 0.1.8 (Disabled)
- TinEye Reverse Image Search 1.2.1
- uBlock Origin 126.96.36.199
Pale Moon project provides a list of known incompatible Add-ons you may wish to consult.
The FiddlerHook item is not a real deal-breaker as I have lots of network sniffers/tracers to use, and isn’t “required” as you can just run Fiddler, then manually/temporarily set Pale Moon to use the system proxy.
- Fiddler free web debugging proxy
- Add Ons - Fiddler Add-ons
- Where to download Fiddler Firefox extension? - Google Groups.
Via EricLaw’s comment from that last URL:
Having said that, this extension isn't really needed in modern versions of Firefox. Instead, simply set Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Proxy Connection to "Use System Proxy."
Likewise Firebug is a very powerful tool to inspect web page elements and code. However the “F12” web developer tools natively provided in Pale Moon are a sufficient alternative.
Gripes News and the “Contextual Identity” Project
- Firefox 41 (and Headaches) Coming September 22nd - Firefox Extension Guru's Blog
- Block Firefox from connecting to sites when you hover over links - gHacks Tech News
- A comprehensive list of Firefox privacy and security settings - gHacks Tech News
- Mozilla's self-destruct course continues: major add-on compatibility changes announced - gHacks Tech News
- Mozilla to Depreciate add-ons using XUL, XPCOM, or XBL - Firefox Extension Guru's Blog
- Experimental Private Browsing now in Firefox Beta - Firefox Extension Guru's Blog
- Reactions to Mozilla's announcement about upcoming Firefox add-on changes - gHacks Tech News
- Mozilla plans to add contextual identities to Firefox - gHacks Tech News
That last one really has me conflicted.
For full details see this Security/Contextual Identity Project/Containers - MozillaWiki feature draft page that Martin Brinkmann alluded to in his article.
Also, take a look at the Security/Contextual Identity Project mainpage for full context.
As a browser user, I can see the draw and benefit of having a feature allowing for concurrent “persona” sandboxing while browsing at work; that way I can browse all the cat sites I want at work under one “persona” while concurrently monitoring all my embedded network appliance and nodal dashboards in the same browser under my other “persona”, while doing all my personal secure on-line banking transactions in a third “persona”. See how handy that will be? I can separate all those browsing activities while doing them at the same time in my browser -- at work -- and never will they need to inter-mingle.
Oh. Wait. Why am I doing personal web-browsing at work on my work-provided systems?
I guess it comes down to the workplace internet usage policy, but I just don’t see it a good idea to mix personal web browsing on work-provided equipment and networks; even if permissively allowed by the employer policy. That activity is fraught with security and privacy issues.
But then again, I’m an old security curmudgeon.
Like I say, read the feature draft page for full details. I’m confident many “modern” browser users will totes love this feature if it gets folded in. I get it and it does look like it will be slickly delivered. However as a sysadmin I think that while the feature looks good it may provide a false-sense of security and provides less benefit from a network administrator/security perspective for the organization’s benefit.
Oh well, I probably don’t have to worry because as we all know, only Internet Explorer is approved for use in the workplaces right?
Vivaldi Developments and Tab Tiling!
The Vivaldi team remains focused on regular snapshot updates to their project. It’s still at “technical preview” release level so not yet ready for prime-time use. But the fixes and features keep coming strong.
- Snapshot 188.8.131.52 - Web Panels, Extension buttons UI, Progress bar info and tab performance improvements - Vivaldi blog
- Snapshot 184.108.40.206 - Typed history dropdown, more polish on Web-panels and Extensions… and smooth scrolling - Vivaldi blog
- Snapshot 1.0.257.3 - Visual tab cycler and better cookie management - Vivaldi blog
- Snapshot 1.0.258.3 - A quick fix for languages and improved tab selection for easier tiling - Vivaldi blog
- Latest Vivaldi Snapshot ships with Web Panels support - gHacks Tech News
- Vivaldi browser continues to make progress: snapshot 1.0.258.3 released - gHacks Tech News
Snapshot 1.0.258.3 was pretty cool for me as it brought in tab-tiling.
Basically, you select more than one tab that is opened, hit a little tab-tiling option icon in the bottom right corner and select the layout, then the browser opens (tiles) them in a single window for concurrent viewing of all the tab pages side-by side!
For data-hungry sysadmins monitoring multiple web-pages on a super-screen sized monitor this could be handy.
And no, it’s not the same think as the “contextual identities” feature as Mozilla is discussing, thank you very much.
IE 11/ Edge browser
Just had to toss this one out there to make up for my cheeky comment about IE browser in the workplace.
- How Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 work better together in the Enterprise - Microsoft Edge Dev Blog