Flagfox 6.1.5 and 5.2.11 updates released

Flagfox 6.1.5 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.11 has also been released for Firefox 52 ESR, SeaMonkey, and Firefox forks based on older Gecko versions (or at least anything newer than Firefox 24). You can download it here.

Flagfox 6.1.5 & 5.2.11 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for September 2018

Mozilla has ended support for Firefox 52 ESR as of a few days ago, and thus this is the final Flagfox 5.2.x ESR update. Everyone should be in the process of upgrading to a currently maintained browser, if they haven’t already. Being labeled EOL does not make it instantly insecure, but continuing to use an out-of-date browser will eventually make yourself a danger to yourself and others. Yes, I’m well aware Mozilla has made a lot of mistakes here, but we’re all hostage to security updates, eventually. Direct your annoyance at somewhere other than here, please. (fortunately, the complaints I’ve received have at least been polite)

This also marks the end of official SeaMonkey support in Flagfox, until they get their act together and implement sufficient WebExtension API parity with Firefox 60 for things to work (and of course, fix the bugs that caused me to disable WebExt storage support in Firefox 5.2.x). If anyone knows what’s going on with them, I would be appreciated for some info. Is the SeaMonkey project dead, or is a Gecko 60 version actually coming?

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Flagfox 6.1.4 update released

Flagfox 6.1.4 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO.

Flagfox 6.1.4 changelog:

  • Added timeout for favicon fetching (can now handle errors faster)
  • Improved favicon cache to only retry failures after a day or so
  • Replaced broken “Check Server Status” default action with “Is It Up?”
  • Various code, debug, & L10N cleanups

The previous server down checker decided to be ironic and died. It being broken apparently gets handled badly by Firefox, which takes longer than normal/expected to timeout fetching the favicon, which can cause the menus in Flagfox to take too long to load after recent changes. This update fixes this by replacing the primary server status checker with the other one included in the defaults (done this way to keep the localized “Check Server Status” string and default hotclick), and also making my error handling more robust.

I did generally like the old server checker, but even though it’s seemingly working over cleartext HTTP, being completely broken over HTTPS makes it not usable anymore here. Their contact form is also broken, so I can’t even report the problem.

Flagfox 6.1.3 bugfix update released

Flagfox 6.1.3 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO.

Flagfox 6.1.3 changelog:

  • Fixed a bug caused by polyfill for new JS methods for Firefox 60-61 that broke the options page

This was caught the night after the release by a very kind Flagfox user/tester and reported via Twitter. Easily reproducible problem; basically, the light boxes in the options page were broken (assuming you were on Firefox 60 or 61, where the polyfill is needed). I tracked down the issue, and it’s nice to see that it was my fault, and not yet another Mozilla bug. I tested and released the fix shortly thereafter. Sorry about that. Basically, JS is too much of a mess for me to extend stuff the way I learned 10-20 years ago… I have re-educated myself on the topic and learned the modern more complicated way of doing things without breaking things as easily.

Flagfox 6.1.2 and 5.2.10 updates released

Flagfox 6.1.2 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.10 has also been released for Firefox 52 ESR, SeaMonkey, and Firefox forks based on older Gecko versions (or at least anything newer than Firefox 24). You can download it here.

Flagfox 6.1.2 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for August 2018
  • Added DNS cache check retries if no IP is found within a minute of startup (for already loaded tabs)
  • Created a hack to allow hiding of menus without deletion+recreation (WebExt API can only disable)
  • Flagfox menus now hide automatically for all URLs which never show Flagfox icons (e.g. about:newtab)
  • Flagfox menus are now generated on first open instead of all at first startup (using new APIs more)
  • More cleanups and optimizations

Flagfox 5.2.10 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for August 2018

This release was delayed a little bit this month for more testing of the menus revamp and startup DNS handling. No real user-facing changes here beyond working better, so still just counting this as a minor update. As per usual, contact me if something explodes.

Mozilla ends support for Firefox 52 ESR next month and thus the Flagfox 5.2.11 ESR update will be the final one on the old branch. Update to Firefox 60 ESR and Flagfox 6.1.x within the next couple months.

One final note: I’ve been checking the reviews on AMO for Flagfox less often these days, as they seem to have a rather bad spam/abuse problem at the moment. AMO reviews have never been a good contact method for anyone, so please don’t expect replies there, let alone quick. Bug reports and support requests should only be posted in any addon’s reviews as an act of desperation after all other contact channels have been exhausted.

Flagfox 6.1.1 and 5.2.9 updates released

Flagfox 6.1.1 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.9 has also been released for Firefox 52 ESR, SeaMonkey, and Firefox forks based on older Gecko versions (or at least anything newer than Firefox 24). You can download it here.

Flagfox 6.1.1 changelog:

  • Fixed checking/disabling of unavailable actions in menus in some circumstances
  • Worked-around WebExt menu API bugs when at “about:” URLs
  • Various code cleanups and minor optimizations

(Flagfox 6.1.x already received the monthly IPDB update in 6.1.0; IPDB version is July 2018)

Flagfox 5.2.9 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for July 2018

Just to reiterate for the last time: Flagfox 6.0.x is now EOL; upgrade to Flagfox 6.1.x.

An update on the topic of Mac keyboard shortcuts: For anyone who didn’t read the discussion in the comments on the Flagfox 6.1.0 release blog post, we seem to have come to the conclusion after testing on a Mac that Flagfox 6.1.0+ is actually handling things correctly for the platform, however there are more mystery hotkey combinations that Firefox thinks are fine and allows setting, but don’t actually ever work. Mozilla has provided no method to detect this problem. I suspect these are keyboard shortcuts for OS functions of some kind, and on Mac, this generally means the Command key, even though it gets used for lots of other stuff too. Alt and Ctrl were reported to be working fine, as well. So, for the moment, there’s nothing left for me to do with this issue. If Mozilla ever gets their act together here they might fix this by properly rejecting not-allowed hotkey combinations instead of setting up for silent fails. If anything changes here, please let me know.

Flagfox 6.1 released

Flagfox 6.1.0 for Firefox 60+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. This major update brings back multiple features that were forced to be dropped during the WebExtension transition due to lack of API development by Mozilla. A year late, they’ve begun improving the API to bring back at least some dropped capabilities to addons. The two major features now reimplemented in Flagfox are: customizable hotkeys for all actions and the ability to fetch IPs from the DNS cache, as needed. Overall, Flagfox 6.1 is now more reliable and performant.

Flagfox 6.1.0 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for July 2018
  • Reimplemented support for fetching IPs from the DNS cache, instead of only requests (new WebExt API)
  • Reimplemented support for customizable hotkeys for actions, instead of just one default (new WebExt API)
  • Reimplemented action availability check on menu open, instead of all tab changes (new WebExt API)
  • Added local caching for all favicons (uses localStorage; clears with cache clear)
  • Added throttling to favicon fetching while editing an action’s template
  • Reimplemented default icon loading for missing favicons in menus
  • Added support for importing actions into options from prefs/actions JSON files
  • Improved startup to attempt to load icons into existing tabs, where possible
  • Rewrote IP/host cache, yet again (having the DNS API makes things way less complex now)
  • Added support for all action types in context menus, where now possible (IPs obtainable via DNS cache)
  • Changed hotkey pref save format to match new API; old ones from Flagfox 5.2.x will be imported
  • Added detection and indication of invalid or existing hotkeys, when setting (not 100%, due to iffy API)
  • Added ability to undo a hotkey change without having to cancel config, via escape key
  • Switched to PointerEvents where applicable (only minor use)
  • Improved opening of new tabs to use openerTabId; now opened next to subject, instead of end of strip
  • Support for Tree Style Tabs addon (and similar) is now available again due to openerTabId change
  • Shut up some pointless warning messages on startup from manifest.json load
  • Various code cleanups/fixes
  • Dropped support for Firefox 56-59, as Mozilla only finally added the new APIs used here in Firefox 60

Note: Firefox will ask for a permissions update for DNS, because WebExtensions are forced to re-ask for permission to do everything they used to do before. Just say yes to shut it up and allow update. I don’t even do DNS requests; just uses cache. Google/Mozilla’s permissions model here is not fantastic. I’ve already amended the Flagfox FAQ section on the topic of permissions, if you’d like a longer explanation of any of them in use in Flagfox.

I posted 3 beta test versions to this blog and managed to get a couple dozen people to test it… with zero feedback. Maybe it would’ve been a less anemic beta test if I could still use the beta channel on AMO, but Mozilla killed that in their apparent never-ending quest to make addon development more annoying. Part of the problem is also likely the plague of all software developers labeling their software as “beta” forever, teaching people that it just means “new” and not “test and report”. In any case, the only major issue I’m worried about is hotkey support on Macs, as neither I nor Richard have one and the documentation with regard to Mac keyboards and this new API is a freakin’ riddle. If someone reading this has a Mac, please test setting and the using a shortcut using the Command key, and then post a comment here telling me how it goes. (if it doesn’t work, Ctrl should trigger it instead, in which case, tell me and I can fix that)

The beta changelogs included recent changes to the default actions that were backported to the Flagfox 6.0.7 update and are thus not listed here. The main noticeable change in 6.1.0 since 6.1b3 is a fix to the detection of tab selection Firefox hotkeys on Windows (every OS uses a different modifier here, apparently). It previously let you try to set those when it shouldn’t and didn’t let you set the ones used in Linux (Mac was already handled). There’s also some code cleanups and the console debug messages have been turned off, as usual.

Just to be clear on the other Flagfox version branches: the Flagfox 5.2.x ESR update with be released later this month and Flagfox 6.0.7 was the final update for that branch. I’m not insane enough to simultaneously maintain 3 branches of an addon. There were no Firefox versions of real consequence dropped from support, so all Flagfox 6.0.x users should simply update to 6.1.x. It never is “simple”, though, as I know there are weirdos stuck on all sorts of intermediate Firefox versions because they disabled Firefox updating arbitrarily and forgot about it, but they’ll update eventually. Flagfox will at least tell them its database is stale after 3 months, as always.

Note that this post is auto-shown only on this major update, and should not be shown again (unless reinstalled). Flagfox is just a tiny little icon most of the time, so a first-run page is pretty much the only way for people to know much has changed. 🙂