Flagfox 6.0.6 and 5.2.7 updates released

Flagfox 6.0.6 for Firefox 57+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.7 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 6.0.6 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for May 2018
  • Updated Flagfox-Geotool CAPTCHA pass mechanism

Flagfox 5.2.7 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for May 2018
  • Updated Flagfox-Geotool CAPTCHA pass mechanism

(Same IPDB files as 6.0.x from same the build system, now updated. All other updates are exclusive to newer versions.)

The updated Flagfox-Geotool CAPTCHA pass mechanism is just a change from validating Flagfox versions to Geotool via a hash to an HMAC (a fancier hash) of the rest of the cookie. (still no user/client identifying information; no privacy policy change needed) Nobody should notice any change from this; it should just simplify maintenance of the system in the future. CAPTCHA policy is the same as it was before: the current and previous month’s Flagfox versions can use Geotool CAPTCHA-free and older versions don’t (with the current temporary exception of 5.2.3, the last 5.2.x version on AMO). Other abuse prevention mechanisms are also in place. We haven’t had too many issues as of late, so we’re hoping that people who would consider mass scraping Geotool results have just noticed it’s simpler to do it the right way and use an IP location database directly, instead of murdering Richard’s poor innocent server.

Flagfox 6.1 is still a work in progress. I’d have released a beta by now if Mozilla didn’t get rid of the beta channel on AMO. It still needs a little bit of work and testing; hopefully will be done soon. Just a reminder: Flagfox 6.1 requires Firefox 60+ (ESR).

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Flagfox 6.0.5 and 5.2.6 updates released

Flagfox 6.0.5 for Firefox 57+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.6 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 6.0.5 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for April 2018
  • Updated IPDB build system to handle new Maxmind file format
  • Updated country names list for Swaziland->eSwatini name change

Flagfox 5.2.6 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for April 2018

(Same IPDB files as 6.0.x from same the build system, now updated. All other updates are exclusive to newer versions.)

Future release schedule:
My extended support for Flagfox 5.2.x is scheduled to end once the current Firefox 52 ESR reaches its official end-of-life (EOL), which is currently scheduled to be in August 2018. If Mozilla’s schedule changes, I will most likely do so as well, but I don’t expect them to extend it. I plan to release Flagfox 6.1 sometime next month, at which time support for Flagfox 6.0.x will end. Flagfox 6.1 will use new APIs added to Firefox 60+, and as such will drop support for Firefox 56-59. This will create the unusual situation where the current version of Flagfox requires the absolute most recent version of Firefox, again. Fortunately, this time Firefox 60 is an ESR; no users should have any legitimate reason to continue running the dropped versions of Firefox. Of course, this plan is subject to change, as it all too frequently does.

Flagfox 6.0.4 and 5.2.5 updates released

Flagfox 6.0.4 for Firefox 57+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. Flagfox 5.2.5 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.

As a welcome bonus, new versions of addons signed and hosted by Mozilla on AMO are finally signed using SHA2-256, rather just SHA1, which is broken, and MD5, which is comically broken. It only took them… 3 years, since I filed the bug requesting this. This obviously requires the newest Firefox version to be used, otherwise SHA1 is still used (the MD5 hashes are included for no actual reason). If you don’t know what any of this means, you don’t have to; it won’t affect you in any way. Mozilla’s addon security systems are just now using something they should’ve upgraded to long ago and actually provides realistic security again. This is just your routine reminder that security is still usually legally considered to be an optional endeavour, and everything is on fire by default.

Flagfox 6.0.4 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for March 2018
  • Fixed actions import via drag/drop text into options
  • Added ability to import from text file via drag/drop into options
  • Files are finally now signed by AMO using a non-broken hash (SHA2-256)

Flagfox 5.2.5 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for March 2018

(Flagfox 5.2.5 was not affected by the text drag/drop bug. All new features are exclusive to newer versions.)

On Forks

A few people asked me what my opinion is of the various Firefox forks that are becoming more popular after Mozilla screwed up. Rather than write my own explanation, I just found someone else’s blog post from last week that says pretty much the same thing, so I’m just going to point to that instead. I don’t normally read How-To Geek, but this explanation from Chris Hoffman is quite good. TL;DR: Firefox 52 ESR is the better recommendation.

Note that Flagfox does generally run in forks and I am occasionally releasing 5.2.x updates, regardless of if I recommend people use forks or not.

Flagfox 6.0.2 and 5.2.4 updates released

Flagfox 6.0.2 for Firefox 57+ has been released and is available for update and download from AMO. (Firefox 56 has partial support and this update may be downloaded and installed manually) Flagfox 5.2.4 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). Mozilla has banned legacy XUL/XPCOM addons on AMO, thus you’ll need to install it manually after downloading it here. The installer is not signed, thus you will need to set xpinstall.signatures.required=false in about:config (Firefox 52 ESR required; will not work in 56). Note that dual branch updates like this will not be provided indefinitely. I will re-evaluate whether to continue after the Firefox 52 ESR EOL.

Flagfox 6.0.2 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for February 2018
  • Added ability to handle raw IPs when webRequest API provides no IP
  • Minor optimizations
  • Minor JS updates to use some newer syntax, where applicable
  • Tweaked startup to ensure there’s always at least one menu item enabled
  • Reverted crossed-out HTTPS tag to “INSECURE HTTP” due to issues on some platforms

Flagfox 5.2.4 changelog:

  • IPv4 & IPv6 address location database updates for February 2018

I had originally intended to backport a specific bugfix for drag/drop functionality in the options dialog from 6.0.x to handle a changed API, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mozilla had actually fixed the compatibility breakage on their end in the interim, at least for the time being. (Unfortunately, I discovered this only after I went to write and test it, thus wasting some time…) Please only use the latest Firefox ESR release.

Note that Firefox forks that are not based on Firefox 52 ESR or Firefox 57+ are not considered fully supported, though they should probably work fine, for now. (meaning I will not be fixing fork-specific bugs in 5.2.x) It is highly recommended you stop using anything based on such old code as soon as possible. Forks that do not eventually implement proper WebExtension support will not be supported indefinitely. Official SeaMonkey support may be re-added in the future once they have full WebExtension support (aka aren’t based on Firefox 52 ESR anymore). Continuing to support legacy addons in addition to WebExtensions is one thing, but asking developers to continue supporting two completely different APIs forever is extremely unrealistic.

Edit: Flagfox 5.2.x ESR downloads & hashes moved to a new dedicated page. Link updated.