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Extension Signing

Firefox News

Yes, it has been a while since The Guru has posted non-release news. Here’s some Firefox news from the past month. Firefox for iOS adds Security Features (The Mozilla Blog)- Changes to the Firefox Password Manager now allow iPhone/iPad users to add a 4-Digit password to the password manager for extra security. Inviting Conversation (Mitchell’s Blog) – Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation Chair is looking to invite conversation about the Open Internet, Mozilla and Mozilla’s mission in a series of upcoming less “official” blog posts. Shipping Some Firefox Features Outside of the Release Cycle (Mozilla Future Releases) – Now new bloat features will be introduced more often and…

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Add-on Signing now Active in Firefox 43

One feature Mozilla, seems to have conveniently left out of the release notes for Firefox 43 is add-on/extension signing is now active and being enforced. Users can no longer install unsigned add-ons and there is no longer a mechanism to override this. Mozilla claims “(add-on signing) will make the block-list and other malware prevention measures more effective.”  

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Firefox 41 Released

Mozilla release the next update to Firefox on Tuesday, September 22nd with Firefox 41.0. This release included many fixes, updates and changes which can be reviewed in the release notes. Also note: Extension Signing Validation can still be disabled in this version by changing xpinstall.signatures.required to False in about:config. There is not an official Windows 64-bit (Win64) version of Firefox 41, this is currently planned for Firefox 42. User should be prompted to update or can do so manually via Help > About Firefox or download and install the latest version via getfirefox.com. The next planned release is Firefox 42 on November 3rd….

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Enforced Extension Signing Delayed until Early 2016

Bug 1203584 was filed on September 10th, 2015 indicates Mozilla has delay the enforced extension signing (unsigned add-ons can not be installed…period) until Firefox 44 coming in late January 2016. This means that unsigned add-ons may still be installed in Firefox 41-43 if you set the xpinstall.signatures.required preference in about:config to FALSE. Not sure as to the reason for this change as the bug simply stated: We’ve decided to push turning the pref for signing requirements on out to 43 so need to turn it off in aurora/beta. Forcing the pref on will be pushed out to 44  

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Experimental Private Browsing now in Firefox Beta

As mentioned in the Three Pillars of Firefox from July 2015. The Uniquely Firefox Pillar hinted towards an improved private browsing mode. In the past Private Browsing would not show up in your history, or keep cookies and temporary files. So, now Mozilla has expanded on what happens in a private browsing session and has rolled this out in the current Firefox 40 Beta. Our hypothesis is that when you open a Private Browsing window in Firefox you’re sending a signal that you want more control over your privacy than current private browsing experiences actually provide. The experimental Private Browsing enhancements ready…

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Back in July Mozilla’s Dave Camp had talked about in his email how to get Firefox away from being dependent on XBL and XUL. At that time, many on mozillaZine were concerned that this could have dire consequences on the future of Firefox as trying to move away from a development system that has been used for the past decade would not be easy. If anything, it would require a complete rewrite/redesign of the desktop version of Firefox. Many had hoped this would be like a campaign promise and people would forget about it. Unfortunately, Mozilla has lived up their…

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Extension Signing in Thunderbird?

Apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce extension signing into Mozilla Thunderbird. At the end of May 2015 Magnus Melin filed Bug 1168571: consider force signing add-ons requirements on in beta/release for thunderbird (too). So Mozilla is going to shoot themselves in the other foot if they are stupid enough to do this. A couple interesting points against this: Unlike Firefox, Thunderbird does not have issues with rogue add-ons Thunderbird dropped the ESR Branch a while back which would likely have to be reintroduced in order to support proprietary enterprise add-ons that shouldn’t be hosted on AMO. It…

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Mozilla is moving right along with getting Firefox 41 ready to ship for the September 22nd release. Having had a chance to play with the current Beta version of Firefox 41, here are THREE major changes users should be aware of to avoid headaches upon updating/downloading: New ‘New Tab’ behavior. Gone are the days users could set their preference as to what comes up when they open a new tab via the browser.newtab.url preference in about:config. Nope, that was being ‘exploited’ so Mozilla removed this functionality that has been in Firefox since Firefox 13 (June 2012). There is a simple solution, Custom New…

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Mozilla has allowed extension signing not to be enforced on the Nightly and Developer Edition (Aurora) builds for add-on developers. However, it is enabled by default though when you install or update to these builds. To turn off the extension signing follow these steps: In a new tab type: about:config in Firefox’s address bar and hit enter. Confirm you will be careful if a warning message is displayed. Search for xpinstall.signatures.required. Double-click on the preference name so that its value is set to false. Restart the browser to reactivate any disabled extensions The release version of Firefox 41 (September 2015) will still…

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A Look at Extension Signing In Firefox 40

Finally got around to creating (actually cloning) new profiles today and installing the Nightly 42, Developer’s Edition (Aurora) 41 and Beta 40 of Firefox. As I am sure you know by now, Mozilla is starting Extension Signing with Firefox 40. So, what does this mean in the upcoming Firefox 40 (ETA August 11th)? In Firefox 40, it is just warnings…warnings in the add-on manager and a warning when you attempt to install and unsigned (or unverified) add-on. Below is a screenshot of my add-ons manager in Firefox 40. First thing I noticed was the slight change in the UI with the…

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