The author of the Firefox security add-on NoScript, Giorgio Maone, answered questions about the WebExtensions migration of the NoScript add-on recently.
NoScript is my number one must have add-on for the Firefox web browser; in fact, it is one of the few things that keeps me from switching my main web browser as it cannot be realized in other browsers (non-Firefox based that is).
Like any other legacy Firefox ad-on author, Giorgio is affected by the looming WebExtensions exclusivity deadline. Mozilla plans to switch off the legacy add-on system in Firefox 57 Stable and Beta. The current version of NoScript would stop working for the majority of Firefox users at that time.
Giorgi is a high profile developer considering that NoScript is one of the top add-ons for the Firefox browser. Mozilla asked him to work with them on the required WebExtensions APIs to realize NoScript as a WebExtension, and Giorgio did.
While Mozilla wants feature parity in regards to WebExtensions with Google Chrome, the organizations plans to create APIs that are Firefox exclusive to provide add-on developers with better options to create add-ons for the browser.
In fact, NoScript is not realizable on Google Chrome, while it can be realized on Firefox once the required APIs land.
Check out these NoScript articles and guides:
- NoScript Beginner’s guide
- The Firefox NoScript guide you have all been waiting for
- How to use NoScript efficiently
- Top 6 NoScript features you may not know about
Giorgio wants to release the WebExtension version of NoScript when Firefox 57 gets released so that Firefox Stable and Beta users can continue using it.
The interview with Giorgio revealed a couple of interesting tidbits about the migration.
- The WebExtensions version of NoScript will be leaner than the legacy add-on version thanks to backwards compatibility code being removed from the add-on.
- Giorgio will maintain the legacy add-on version for another year as Firefox ESR and Tor Browser users cannot use the WebExtensions version until the next major ESR version is released. This means support until June 2018 is guaranteed.
- Some WebExtensions APIs won’t land until Firefox 57. This means that NoScript will be offered as an Embedded WebExtension.
- User configuration date will be migrated to the WebExtension.
- Some features of NoScript perform better as a WebExtension. This is true for the XSS filter which benefits from the asynchronous nature of WebExtensions.
NoScript will be published as a WebExtension so that Firefox Stable and Beta users can migrate to the new version of the popular security add-on once Firefox 57 gets released. The interview highlights Mozilla’s ambitious deadline as well.
Now You: Which of your favorite add-ons have not yet been migrated?