PSA: Firefox extensions wonkiness – recovering from extensions.json hack

UPDATE: deleting extensions.json did not work by itself – i ended up rebuilding my Firefox profile and importing on the necessities

In a previous post i offered a quick tutorial that i scarfed from which would re-enable all the add-ons that Mozilla disabled because of their certificate blunder. The file we manipulated in order to achieve this was extensions.json. Well, i started noticing some weirdness in that extensions that i installed post-fix weren't showing up in about:addons after a browser restart.

If you also employed the extensions.json hack to get your add-ons re-enabled, i suggest backing up your profile, deleting extensions.json and restarting the browser. There should be nothing more to do.

Article update: Firefox Extensions – My Picks

Firefox Extensions – My Picks was updated. The changes…

  • removed Don't touch my tabs! – not needed if using CanvasBlocker
  • removed Header Editor
  • moved Extension source viewer to the added functionality section
  • moved Violentmonkey to the added functionality section
  • added Maximize All Windows (Minimalist Version)
  • added mozlz4-edit
  • added Scroll Up Folder
  • minor edits

If you typically maximize Firefox and you have privacy.firstparty.isolate enabled, you may be annoyed when it fails to remember its state after restart. The Maximize All Windows (Minimalist Version) add-on solves the problem, but know that Firefox may be greatly more vulnerable to fingerprinting as a result.

Article update: Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs

I added a bit of information to the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs regarding a serious problem with Firefox and add-ons that use Content Security Policy (CSP) to modify HTTP headers. Read the 2nd paragraph here if interested. Mozilla has done nothing about this for a year and the clock continues to tick. Chromium is apparently not affected by this issue, but its got its own problems.

Mozilla showed me what the interwebs look like and now i have mad cow disease

I'm in rant mode. You've been warned. Wasn't Mozilla that got me started either. It was a tree, but that's slightly different story.

Since when do YouTube videos have ads? You seen what the interwebs look like lately? Without an ad blocker i mean? Holly crap i'm still seeing flashy things when i close my eyes. How do people tolerate that in-your-face pop-up bubble blinking animated obnoxious garbage?

The other day the M@Ms (that's short for 'Morons At Mozilla', corporate i mean) let a security certificate expire that's used to sign add-ons, the result being that pretty much everybody around pretty much the whole earth (apparently) had pretty much all of their Firefox add-ons disabled. F'n REALLY!?!? You couldn't have a CRON job to remind people when a cert is due for resurrection? A calendar app? A sticky note? A mental note? Do you guys remember to change the oil in your Veyron's?

I was using Firefox yesterday and writing something very (un)important (because somebody on the interwebs was wrong…again) when all of sudden i saw what everyone else apparently saw; a sickening yellow warning bar sliding slowly and sneakily down from the top of my screen notifying me that MY browser just disabled some of MY add-ons because… stupid stuff. WTF just happened i wondered, and so i went surfing for answers.

Among the disabled add-ons, which of course Mozilla made sure COULD NOT BE IMMEDIATELY RE-ENABLED by users, was uBlock Origin, my fav ad blocker. I can't remember the last time i surfed the web without an ad blocker. 15 years ago? 50? What a joke! There's ads everywhere and they stick 'em in every nook and cranny. Luckily i quickly found a hack to rectify the problem and so i don't think i was exposed to the viri long enough to result in permanent brain damage, other than permanently hating Mozilla corporate a little more than i hated them the day before and i don't even know if that's who was actually responsible for the Big Blunder, but when you're pissed you really don't care if the vitriol lands off-target. And this elevated level of intense dislike, by the way, puts me pretty close to the threshold of dislike which is required before i say 'F U You Bunch Of Idiots' and move to…………. to what? Chrome? NO WAY! Brave? Vivaldi? Pale Moon? Waterfox? Not even. What else is there that is as hackable and well suited to the plethora of extensions and config tweaks required in order to realize some degree of control over your web surfing privacy? Seriously, i'm not aware of any other browser that would meet my needs. Why do ya think the TOR project uses Firefox? Because they think it's the daises? I bet it's because they see it as the lessor evil. They're probably stuck with it like the rest of privacy geeks us are, for the time being anyway.

Firefox USED to be a "good" browser. Why the quotes? Because it wasn't a good browser, but it was the most hackable-by-noobs major-ish browser out there back in the day. The ratio was like 2:5, the 2 because of how it (failed to) preform and the 5 because it was so wonderfully hackable, and that made it a good browser. I think it was sort of a niche browser for a small but very dedicated bunch of tweak geeks and privacy phreaks. I think i still have my Firefox 1.0 T-shirt. I got some gas and a Bic too (the tree thing), so i hope i still have it. Well, let me tell you my friend, that ratio has flipped. It now IS a good browser from a performance and capability POV, but it's becoming less hackable. But it's not just that it's less hackable, no no no. You see, Firefox used to be thought of as a community project and i think that's another reason it was loved so, but it's not loved as much anymore, at least not by some of us. Nowadays Mozilla is raking in HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY because the M@Ms that vomit all the nice doo-doo that we like to rub ourselves in, like "Mozilla puts people before profit", think it's more profitable to put profit before people, and for the time being they're right, but we'll see who runs shit 'round here in the long run.

Don't get me wrong; i think there are some/many very talented developers spending too much time staring at glowing rectangles and pumping out really good code with a focus on privacy and security over there, but there seems to be a gap between the engineers and the idiots upstairs, as there often is in any corporation, and that gap seems to be widening to canyon proportions. I wonder what the engineers think about some of the lunatic ideas that the M@Ms at corporate come up with, like the whole Pocket fiasco where they decided to essentially bundle proprietary code in their "open source" browser and then make excuses all over the place when users revolted? Or how about the time when they decided it was a good idea to spy on their users (which they still do) and then make excuses all over the place when users revolted? Or the time when they bundled malware with the browser and then made excuses all over the place when users revolted?

Ya see where this is going? How many more revolts can Mozilla absorb in their seemingly desperate quest to find the next goofy gimmick that will convince everyone to love them again before the foxes become the foxineers for good? Absent a major shift in goals and ETHICS, Firefox's days are numbered and, frankly, i'm giving less of a shit every day. I wonder how many (more) developers are beginning to look out their windows instead of at their monitors while the M@Ms predictably trod along on their decent to doom?

These greedy sons-a-bitches will never learn.