back to article Firefox 78: Protections dashboard, new developer features... and the end of the line for older macOS versions

Mozilla has released Firefox 78 with a new Protections Dashboard and a bunch of updates for web developers. This is also the last supported version of Firefox for macOS El Capitan (10.11) and earlier. Firefox is on a "rapid release plan", which means a new version every four to five weeks. This means that major new features …

  1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Flame

    Checkboxes on Linux

    I wonder if it will be able to render checkboxes as something other than 1x1 pixel in this version?

  2. Feival

    "Users often have an instinct to uninstall and reinstall when an application is not working correctly. Anticipating this, Mozilla has put a Refresh button into the uninstaller, which resets the settings. Refresh may well work better than reinstall..."

    If only. No website owrked today since the update. Tried refresh to no avail. Uninstalled and reinstalled and hey presto everything is working again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had this today too, seemed to be caused by Adblock Plus for me as removing that add-on got things working again without needing to re-install.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        uBlock Origin is a much better alternative to Adblock Plus.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Implementation

    Why, one might ask, does the same reasoning not apply to the entire JavaScript engine? Should Mozilla just migrate to V8?

    Well, regexes really count as DSLs (domain specific languages), which is why the two browsers have been using the same approach for years. The change presumably includes some kind of binding so that the V8 engine can be called directly and doesn't have to be ported.

    The same does not necessarily apply to the JS runtime. But I do think we will start to move towards consolidation other areas such as HTML, CSS and JS parsing, areas where Mozilla's use of Rust might have advantages.

  4. tin 2

    Refresh firefox...

    ....is linked to by a lot of the troubleshooting documentation, so it kind of is there. I used it last week to great effect. Now just need the same for MS teams.

    1. Len Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Refresh firefox...

      I do a Refresh of Firefox about once a year, as a form of spring cleaning, and can thoroughly recommend it. Make sure to make a backup first, I've never needed it but it's always good to play it safe.

      1. poohbear

        Re: Refresh firefox...

        I used Refresh once, never again ... it threw away far to much.

        Maybe recent versions are less destructive.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Refresh firefox...

          I had to use it a couple of weeks ago after the umpteenth restore of my Mac in largely futile attempts to create a working Apple ID. I thought Firefox was trashed because pages would not render at all but Refresh worked quite well.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they finally cleaned up WebRTC

    It's very annoying that the only browsers that handle WebRTC in an acceptable way are Chromium/Chrome & derivatives and Vivaldi.

    It's one of the simplest way to set up decent videoconferencing, but it sucks in Firefox.

    Update: it seems to get decent test results at https://test.webrtc.org/ (apart from the whinging about lack of IPv6 connectivity, but that's because I disabled it as I don't yet know if that is flatout public, or is still at least behind the router NAT).

    Well, there is hope.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: I hope they finally cleaned up WebRTC

      If you have IPv6 working on your router - presumably by default on an ISP supplied router - then it's pretty well a given that it will be using a statefull firewall. The default for the firewall will be to block all inbound connections - so you are as safe behind IPv6 as you are behind IPv4 and NAT. In some ways you will be safer as the default these days is for end user devices to change addresses every so often - so an attacker would be targeting something that's using just a handful of addresses out of a block of 2^64 addresses (itself only part of the wider internet of 2^128 addresses.) In principle, your device could use a different address for every outbound connection if it wanted to and thus present a "never in the same place twice" moving target - but nothing has got to that stage yet as it would break too many things (such as websites that expect relatively static client IPs).

      In any case, probably the largest attack vector these days isn't from the outside working in, it's from a beachhead (via a compromised device) on the inside where it has full access and a full view of what's on the network. [sarcasm]All these devices that maintain outbound connections to all sorts of stuff they don't tell you about - yeah, that's a really good idea and not open to abuse [/sarcasm]

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: I hope they finally cleaned up WebRTC

        No, no you won't unless you've manually configured your OS to not use your mac address in your IPv6 address. If you're use IPv6 nat, you need to insure that your router isn't doing the same.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: I hope they finally cleaned up WebRTC

          No current OS uses it's MAC address in it's global IPv6 addresses any more - that was deprecated a lot of years ago. They are still used in link-local addresses - but they are not accessible other than on the local link.

  6. James O'Shea

    works here, for now

    using FF 78 right now. Will see if anything breaks.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: works here, for now

      I checked my version when I read your post and FF moved to 78.0.1 - it works, I like FF but all these updates are a little scary sometimes.

  7. David Austin

    Still waiting for the Toolbar API they expected to land in 2018

    https://discourse.mozilla.org/t/when-will-a-toolbar-api-for-webextensions-be-available/34281

    Disappointed at the slow pace of adding safe to implement API's to WebExtensions to add features the legacy add-ons could do. Most developers got bored of waiting, and gave up waiting for missing features needed to port.

    In the meantime, I switched to Chrome: It runs faster on my hardware, and with much less customisation to streamline the workflow, there wasn't really an advantage to stick with Firefox.

  8. Alfie Noakes
    Thumb Down

    Recommended by Pocket!!

    They seem to have snuck in a "Recommended by Pocket" option, which is turned ON by default!

    I haven't ready all the "privacy" propaganda yet, but would rather have be given an "opt-in" option with an explanation beforehand :(

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Alfie Noakes

        Re: Recommended by Pocket!!

        A new section appears on your home screen, similar to "Top Sites" and "Highlights".

        You can turn these sections on and off via "about:preferences#home", but after upgrading the "Pocket" section was enabled by default.

        Strangely, after i disabled the Pocket option last night (and rebooting) the setting has disappeared, otherwise i could provide a screenshot :(

  9. Julian Bradfield

    URLbar

    Just when I'd finally got used to the last change to the urlbar, a couple of months ago, they bugger around with it again. Why can't software projects leave an interface alone? Preferably for at least a decade...

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