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How did Firefox disable addons when all options for updates were disabled? Does Firefox ignore those settings?

  • 9 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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I had my version of Firefox set up so no updates would be installed of even checked for. And yet this add-on bug affected my version of Firefox. It is apparent the Mozilla ignores the settings for no updates because my add-ons were disabled even though my Firefox was not even supposed to check for updates. I am running v52esr because I need some legacy add-ons that have now been disabled. This appears to be an underhanded & dishonest way Mozilla has come up with to force people to upgrade.

All Replies (9)

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Please note that the recent issues with the add-ons in Firefox had nothing to do with Firefox updates. It was issue with a security certificate expiring.

Since Firefox 52 is no longer supported by Mozilla (and haven't been for quite some time now), it will take longer for the development to develop a permanent fix for your version. Instead, there are some steps that you can follow on the bottom of this page to enable a hotfix for the issue. There's also some more information about what exactly happened.

Other than that, you can also update to the most recent version of Firefox, where add-ons are working as expected.

Modified by Wesley Branton

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This appears to be an underhanded & dishonest way to force users to upgrade. It appears that this has been designed to force users of older versions to upgrade against their wishes. Mozilla is not a company to be trusted!

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I can assure you that's not the case. Mozilla has clearly documented the cause of the issue.

A permanent fix is under development for those older versions, but since the code has changed a lot since those versions were released, it will take a lot of work before they are ready to be rolled out permanently.

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I don't accept that. As an electrical engineer I have a background in computer engineering & this issue would not have affected my computer if it was not 'pushed' on me by Mozilla. Any fix Mozilla creates will render the older 'legacy' add-ons' non functional which appears to be Mozilla's intent.

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The issue is quite simple and it was not "pushed" on to Firefox via an update or anything. Mozilla hasn't pushed updates to Firefox 52 since September.

This issue is with the XPI signing system. Firefox is trying to verify the integrity of add-ons, but the certificate it is using for that expired. Mozilla is trying to change over to a new certificate that's valid and has done so in the most recent version. It's just taking a bit longer on older versions of Firefox because it involves digging up old code and, since the code base was radically changed, it requires more work to get the fix to work with older versions.

There is no incentive for Mozilla to "force" users to update. It doesn't really matter to them whether you accept a free update for your free browser. There is no incentive for Mozilla to kill off legacy add-ons. It doesn't matter to them whether or not you continue to use free legacy add-ons that are developed by other people. There's literally no reason that Mozilla would want to even waste the time removing your ability to use legacy add-ons.

The truth of the matter is that the issue is a simple mistake. Mozilla's explanation of the cause has been well documented and verified by other sources that aren't affiliated with Mozilla. There is nothing "underhanded" or "dishonest" going on here.

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May I ask who you work for. You state that "there is no incentive for Mozilla to "force" users to update". But that is not true. If a user as updates enabled Firefox updates faster then you can keep track of. The update cycle is so fast it is reckless which led to this situation. So who do you work for for?

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Since you are making assumptions on why and what happened, here is a technical details on what happened and the effort to fix things since..

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I'm not a Mozilla employee. Most of the other people who answer questions and contribute to Mozilla are not employees either. Most of us are volunteers.

There's no reason for Mozilla to care about tracking updates. It doesn't matter to them whether statistics say that 50,000 people updated or 5 people updated. At the end of the day, it's just a number with no tangible value.

This specific issue has nothing to do with the update cycle. When a certificate is issued, it has an expiration date. If it expires, it's no good anymore. Since the XPI signing system depends on that certificate, when it expired it broke the system slightly. Now it's just a matter of giving Firefox versions a copy of the new certificate that has a valid expiration date.

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