Phasing out Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 support

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Phasing out Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 support

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:52 am

Edit: Please see http://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic. ... f=1#p37029 for an update.

I am currently working on a major change for the object tabs feature and noticed that supporting four Firefox versions (3.0, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7) is way too much. From what I understand, Firefox 3.0.18 is still going to be released mid-February but that's the last Firefox 3.0 release - users are encouraged to migrate to newer Firefox versions (preferably 3.6 of course). This means that supporting Firefox 3.0 is no longer a priority for Adblock Plus.

What this means in detail:
  • Changes to Adblock Plus might result in limited functionality in Firefox 3.0 if keeping Firefox 3.0 in sync requires significant effort. For example, in Adblock Plus 1.2 on Firefox 3.0 the position of object tabs will most likely not adapt if you scroll the page or otherwise move the object the tab is attached to.
  • Testing with Firefox 3.0 will not be as thorough as it is with newer Firefox versions. This is unavoidable given that most users of Adblock Plus development builds no longer use Firefox 3.0.
  • At some point changes in Adblock Plus might cause a major break of functionality in Firefox 3.0. If that happens and avoiding the breakage requires significant effort support for Firefox 3.0 will be dropped altogether.

A special case is Songbird - it is currently based on the same code as Firefox 3.0 and the above affects it as well. Unfortunately, there is no Songbird version available that would use newer code. Only the release following Songbird 1.7 should catch up with Firefox 3.6 (this isn't even certain however). This is very unfortunate and it might happen that Songbird won't be supported at all for a short time.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Fury » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:29 pm

Wladimir Palant wrote: but that's the last Firefox 3.0 release - users are encouraged to migrate to newer Firefox versions (preferably 3.6 of course).


You should keep in mind, that Ubuntu 8.04 LTS uses Firefox 3.0 as default browser. The guys from canonical will probably continue to patch Firefox 3.0 as they did with Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and Firefox 1.5.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Wladimir Palant » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Honestly, I think that Ubuntu is doing their users a disservice. While there might be many reasons for LTS, I don't think that keeping an outdated and increasingly unusable browser around is one of them. Keeping Firefox 3.0 secure will not work too well as user numbers drop. New security and web features will not be backported, add-ons will also drop support after some time.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby tiik » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:50 am

i recommend you drop firefox3.0 support because 3.6 is much faster.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby asdf » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:58 am

I support this decision.

Browsers update for good reasons. You should provide incentive.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:36 am

I don't think that me dropping Firefox 3.0 support is going to convince any of those still using it, they will simply stop receiving notifications about new Adblock Plus versions. According to stats, there are still around 12% of Adblock Plus users on Firefox 3.0 (numbers are decreasing again since Firefox 3.6 release), there is probably a large intersection with the 10% of the users with outdated (pre-1.1) versions of Adblock Plus.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby fanboy » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:19 pm

hmm 12% is still a decent amount of users
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:30 pm

Yes but that's not going away any time soon - Firefox 2.0 also took ages to reach reasonably low numbers. Some people simply don't update, ever.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby phyzome » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:06 pm

I understand that those of us who cannot upgrade to Firefox 3.6 for one reason or another will no longer receive updates to the ABP extension. What I'm wondering is how long it will be before filterlists become incompatible? I assume that new filter syntax will be introduced at some point.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Michael » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:52 pm

We are currently trying to ensure that EasyList will function correctly with all versions of Firefox that Adblock Plus supports, although the reality is that there are very few changes that are required in order to ensure full compatibility. Syntax changes only occur when new functionality is added to Adblock Plus, not the browser.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby phyzome » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:40 am

Michael wrote:We are currently trying to ensure that EasyList will function correctly with all versions of Firefox that Adblock Plus supports


Yes, but I'm asking about what happens when Firefox 3.0 is no longer supported. Basically, I'm asking for an estimate of how long EasyList will only have syntax that is still readable by ABP-for-Firefox-3.0.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Michael » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:32 am

The crucial Adblock Plus version is 1.1, as that was, to my knowledge, the last release to add new syntax (|| and ^) to the add-on; this version works on Firefox 3.0, as do all releases of the add-on that have since occurred. Provided that no new syntax is introduced and used as a crucial part of the subscription, EasyList itself will be able to run theoretically indefinitely on the browser, although there will be a point at which you will not be able to update Adblock Plus.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby IceDogg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:30 am

I think it's also important to know that you are asking for predictions of the future and that is why no one can say for certain when filtersets will not work with the older versions.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Wladimir Palant » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:21 pm

As Michael mentioned, Adblock Plus 1.1 was the last version to introduce filter syntax changes. No additional changes are planned, the only change currently considered is https://adblockplus.org/blog/filtering- ... block-plus but it is unclear whether/when it will be implemented. Generally, new filter syntax features will only be implemented if it becomes obvious that they are of benefit to users/filter list maintainers in the current web landscape.
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Re: Phasing out Firefox 3.0 support

Postby Oxwil » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:46 pm

Just put a notification on the main add-on page & this website that Fx 3.0 support has been phased out, so when people using old versions come poking around to inquire what's wrong, they will know what to do if they still want to to use AB+.
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