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Re: Firefox Future and Config [WAS: Re: Password managers [WAS: Re: when do I get a browsere that will do internet purchases?]]

(Please learn to quote properly. Failure to quote at all is arguably
even worse than top-posting.)

On 2017-10-20 at 18:07, Garreau, Alexandre wrote:

> Wait, do you mean overriding password manager, and TreeStyleTabs
> will certainly and definitely stop to work?

I don't know about TreeStyleTabs. I recall hearing that a solution was
in place for at least some vertical-tabs extensions, but I have not been
following WebExtensions progress closely, simply because the stress of
knowing that I'm going to be left behind anyway is not good for my
psychological health.

The other I don't know about, but I wouldn't be terribly confident about
it. Check with the developers of the extension(s) you're concerned
about; if they'll be supported as WebExtensions, the developers will
probably already have made releases which include that support.

> Would it be realistic to find some way to make Debian maintain
> patches/a fork (or package GNU IceCat and work with them?

Not really. A proper fork of a project the size of Firefox is a MAJOR
project, particularly if you aren't going to be able to draw on
importing upstream's work anymore (because they're rewriting their base
to the point where the patches they write won't be applicable).

Plus, part of the reason why Mozilla has decided to drop XUL support
(part and parcel of the WebExtensions move) is that they find that the
work involved in maintaining it and keeping up further development based
on it is unsustainable - and that's Mozilla, which if I'm not mistaken
is a much larger and better-funded organization than Debian is.

It would not be completely impossible for a volunteer-basis organization
to come together and pick up the work and contribute funds to pay for
the infrastructure and so forth, but as it hasn't really happened in all
these years of Mozilla, the odds of it happening now aren't great either.

> why isn’t any fork packaged into Debian?

As I understand it, because that would mean having to support two very
similar codebases for security patches, which is double the work for the
security team and for relatively little return.

Beyond that, probably also people haven't been coming out of the
woodwork to volunteer to package them.

The former concern may be less significant in the future if Firefox
diverges far enough from the XUL codebase of the forks that there isn't
really much duplication, but even if so, that doesn't guarantee that the
security team will be willing to accept having both.

> ’cause Firefox isn’t known to be that cool for their decisions) that
> could still do that? Possibly still supporting XUL plus WebExtensions
> of course,

As above, this would quickly become unmaintainable in the absence of a
much larger outpouring of sustained, skilled volunteer effort than is
likely to occur.

Even if such a volunteer work were to get going, it would be better to
have it be independent of Debian, for a variety of reasons. (And basing
it on one of the existing forks would probably be a good idea, if only
because they probably already have some of that volunteer developer

> but also maybe some extended version of WebExtensions that allow this
> kind of stuff?

About the closest thing I can think of to this would be something akin
to what the recent Firefox versions have had: supporting both
WebExtensions and XUL extensions side-by-side, and also supporting
"hybrid" extensions (one type embedded inside the other) which can talk
to both APIs to some degree.

Firefox only supported those for transitional purposes, but it might not
be impossible to keep them around as a thing of their own - although the
effort required to do so, particularly long-term, would probably be

   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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