Firefox 29.0.1 Released

Mozilla released the first incremental update for the 29 Stable branch on May 9th, 2014. Firefox 29.0.1 includes such changes as:

  • disable seer
  • fix crash in java
  • rename Send Tab activity
  • re-enable Send Tab on Beta
  • don’t let invalid sessionstore.js files break sessionstor.

Depending on individual’s update settings (Tools > Options > Advanced >Updates) users should be prompted for an update within the next 24-48 hours or can go to Help > About Firefox to trigger the update or download and manually install via the site.

The next planned update will be Firefox 30 on June 10th, 2014.

How to turn the new Firefox 29 into the old Firefox

” Firefox 29 will introduce changes to the web browser that will rock the world of some users of the browser. The version of Firefox ships with Australis, a design, layout and feature change that introduces major changes to Firefox and is in my opinion comparable to the major switch from Firefox 3 to 4.
“So what are those changes? …”

Source: gHacks Technology News
 How to turn the new Firefox 29 into the old Firefox

List: Firefox Addons From gHacks Technology

” This web page lists the best Firefox addons. These browser extensions add, remove or modify features of the browser itself, for instance interface elements, but also of websites that you may visit in Firefox.
“Add-ons may add security features to Firefox, improve how your favorite site looks in the browser, may help you download files more easily, or fix annoyances of Firefox itself or of websites.

“We have grouped all extensions listed here on this page into categories for easier access. Since there are that many, we have decided to separate them on different pages to improve loading times. “

 Best Firefox Addons | gHacks Technology News

Bluehell Firewall, lightweight Ad-Blocker addon

This has come up on several sites lately and, as I had never heard of it, I did a quick Google check.
Looks like a good addition.
That’s addition, not replacement, but since I don’t use Adblock Plus -as NoScript blocks many ads anyway- it may be a good companion.
Posting from here cause it has more info and pretty pics. ;)

” Bluehell Firewall is a lightweight ad-blocker add-on developed by Diego Casorran for Mozilla Firefox. This the same developer who created an add-on to prevent facebook phishing on Firefox. This add-on weighs only 30 Kilo Bytes which makes it non compromising with browser performance but comes with price. Lightweight means no configurable settings. So, you can’t depend on this add-on for complete elimination of annoying ads, particularly those non Google ads and private ad pop-ups. “

Source: Browsers Addon
More  Bluehell Firewall, lightweight Ad-Blocker addon for Mozilla Firefox.
From the developer:
” …Next i’ll let you decide if this is for you… as long performance is in your mind, it should.

You can turn the extension on/off at any time by clicking the toolbar button (Fx Desktop), or touching the menu item entry (Fx for Android)
What’s next for Bluhell Firewall
ATM this is a option-less extension, but we’re considering adding options/features which are most demanded by our users.”

Firefox 29 Back Button with CTR Issue Resolved

Last week I had contacted the developer of the Classic Theme Restorer (CTR) add-on upon discovering this add-on was causing my ‘back button’ issues. At that time the developer had advised that he was not able to find a way to restore back the functionality when using the ‘movable back-forward’ button option in CTR. Furthermore, he did not foresee being able to resolve this issue.

Earlier today I received an email from the developer advising me that the functionality had been fixed in the recent Beta update of CTR to version 1.1.8 beta 8. After updating the add-on, I am please to report the holding down the back (or forward) button to get a brief history functionality is working again.

You can get the updated Beta version of CTR by going to the add-on’s page then scrolling down to the bottom to the Development Channel section.

Update to Firefox 29 Back Button Issue

I received several comments in regards to the Changes to “Holding” the back button in Fx 29 post from here as well as comments on mozillaZine Firefox Builds. All were the same theme, “Still works for me. Could be an add-on”. So, I went through and started disabling add-ons. Thing was this profile was fairly lean when it came to add-on, just had AdBlock Plus, Classic Theme Restorer, CoLT, Flagfox and Greasemonkey.

Turns out, it was indeed an add-on giving me the troubles. The Classic Theme Restorer, more specifically in the options if you choose “Movable back-forward button” then the left-click history doesn’t work. So the fix to this issue is not to use that option. But, that option fixed the other issue I was having which was having with the navigation toolbar buttons not being in the order I preferred. Also, the Movable back-forward button will always display the forward button, even when you can’t go forward. I don’t like the default setup where the forward button will ‘pop’ up when you can go forward, thus shifting the address bar to the right.

For once, this wasn’t a change made by Mozilla. So my next step is check with the add-on developer and see if they know about this issue and if there is going to be a fix.

Changes to “Holding” the back button in Fx 29

Another annoyance I have discovered with the upcoming Firefox 29 is holding the left mouse button when clicking on the back button no longer brings up your “history”. There are many times I don’t want to go back one or two pages, but rather several in one click. To do this I would simply left-click on the back arrow and hold the mouse button down until the list appeared and then select which page I wanted to go back to. This is the way it works in Firefox 28 (and older), Google Chrome and even Internet Exploiter. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that functionality also worked in Opera, Safari, SeaMonkey and pretty much any web browser out there.

However, in Firefox 29 it is a different story. For some insane reason Mozilla has decided they should be different and take away this function. Keep in mind you have always been able to get to this history by right-clicking on the back button. Now with Firefox 29, right-clicking is the only way, besides cluttering your toolbar by adding the back/forward button (small arrow pointing downward) via the Customize… option.

I looked through the options on both the Classic Toolbar Buttons (which I am not using anyway) and the Classic Theme Restorer add-ons, but did not find anything that would restore this functionality.

This change really has me baffled as this is not a matter of trying to be like Google Chrome. Really seems like an odd way for Mozilla to set themselves apart in removing a function that has been (and still is) around for a long time. I have posted my concerns in the Firefox Builds forums on mozillaZine and hope to have some answers soon. Stay tuned…

The New Firefox Sync (Firefox 29)

Besides the UI overhaul aka Austrilas, Firefox 29 features a new and improved Firefox Sync. I didn’t really know what was so new about it since I had tried a long time ago to use it without much success. Turns out, Mozilla has made the sign-up as well as management processes a lot simpler now. This help article checks your user agent and will automatically direct you to Sync instructions based on what browser you are using. Reading through this article you will see the current method is very complicated and time consuming. Note: If you click the link in Firefox 29 or any of the newer developmental builds you will be directed to the new and much simplified instructions.

With the New Firefox Sync in Firefox 29, you create a Firefox Sync Account (you can also port over your existing account) from within Firefox:

  1. Select Sign into Sync from the Firefox Menu.
  2. Click Get Started
  3. On the next screen enter your email address, chose a password and select the year you were born. Note: there is no longer a CAPTCHA challenge.
  4. Firefox Sync will then send you an email with a link to activate your Sync account.
  5. Once you click the email verification link your Firefox Sync account is setup and activated.

Now, to add and sync another device all you need to do is sign-in using your email address and the password you created. That is it! No more having to “pair devices” with security codes. Once you have signed in Sync will automatically start syncing that device.

Firefox Sync will store your data and preferences securely on Mozilla’s servers and then sync them between devices (other computers, tablets and/or phones) including:

  • Bookmarks
  • Saved Passwords
  • History
  • Open Tabs
  • Installed add-ons (only those that are hosted at and status (enabled or disabled)

Here is what it does NOT sync:

  • about:config settings
  • userContent.css/userChrome.css files
  • Some installed add-ons preferences (see below)
  • Greasemonkey/Stylish Scripts
  • Add-ons that are hosted elsewhere such as the ChromEdit Plus add-on.
  • Toolbar Customization and Buttons

I went ahead and gave this a try earlier tonight and was able to successfully create a Firefox Sync account as well as sync my main desktop, laptop and tablet (I have not yet tried this on my phone). So once I signed in to Firefox Sync on the laptop it went ahead and installed all my add-ons (that were hosted at You will need to restart to fully activate your add-ons.

A couple things to keep in mind with the add-ons; some of your preferences may not being synced. Case in point, all the preferences I had setup within Classic Theme Restorer did not carry forward. However, I suspect that is because it makes changes to your about:config settings and those setting are not synced. Second, some add-ons such as AdBlock Plus will sync settings if you activate that option in the add-on itself.

Overall, I am very impressed with the new Firefox Sync. The sign-up and adding devices processes have been greatly simplified. The process is far less complicated and can be done in less than a minute. While there are some limitations to what it will sync with add-ons, just being able to get all my (AMO hosted) add-ons automatically downloaded and installed was an incredible time saver.

One last thing, I have noticed I really don’t use the ChromEdit Plus add-on much anymore. The only reason I noticed it was missing on the laptop, was when I was going to restart Firefox to finish the add-ons installed. That was when I noticed I didn’t have the reset button (which is the only feature I was still using it for). A quick search on AMO tuned up Restart Button. This add-on works perfectly, thus allowing me to remove the ChromEdit Plus add-on.

Firefox 29 and Australis

In the post yesterday we asked if the screenshot below was that of Firefox or Chrome.

The answer is Firefox. Firefox 29 Beta 1 release with the new Australis theme/UI. This is the first major UI change since Firefox 4 was released on March 22, 2011 (after over a year of developmental releases). Firefox 4 also introduced Tabs on Top, the hidden menu bar and the Firefox button, which with Firefox 29 will be a thing of the past. Kind of a shame too as it at least made Firefox standout from other browsers which are really all starting to look the same now.

Like Thunderbird and Chrome there is now an app/menu button. In Firefox (and Chrome) it is on the far right side of the main toolbar. However, I was rather disappointed with the limited number of options in this menu compared to that of Chrome and for the matter Thunderbird. As you can see below there are a handful of options and they are displayed as icons with small text.

Firefox 29 App Menu

Firefox 29 App Menu

I really don’t understand as to why Mozilla chose to put so little on the new Firefox app menu, especially if you compare below to what options are on the current Firefox 28 Firefox Button menu along with the app menus of Thunderbird 24.4.0 and even Chrome.

Current Firefox App Menu

Firefox 28 Firefox Button (App) Menu

Thunderbird 24.4.0 App Menu

Thunderbird 24.4.0 App Menu

Google Chrome App Menu

Google Chrome App Menu

While you can add options to the new app menu, it is limited to toolbar buttons that are not already on a toolbar. With the lack of options in the new app menu, people are going to want to keep or restore the menu bar. You can re-display the menu bar by right-clicking on the tab bar and selecting Menu Bar. You can also display the menu bar temporarily by pressing the ALT key.

In Chrome as well on my Firefox “Release” profile (Firefox 28) I have my navigation buttons as follows: back-forward; stop/reload; home. So, I was rather irritated when I updated my “Beta” profile to Firefox 29 and discovered the following: the back button is hidden if you can’t go back; the back button (when visible) and the forward buttons are “attached” to the urlbar; the stop/reload button is also “attached” to the urlbar on the right-side; the home button is now on the far left. It wasn’t long before I was accidentally clicking the home button when I thought I was clicking the back button (at least where I was use to the back button being located).

A while back Gareon wrote about the Classic Toolbar Buttons add-on by Aris. I gave this try and while it did let me “detach” the back-forward button from within the address bar, they were still “attached” as in they could not be moved. The same applied for the stop/reload button too. After a little more hunting I found another add-on by ArisClassic Theme Restorer (Customize Australis). With this add-on you can restore squared tabs, appmenu, add-ons bar, small button view and more on Australis UI. There are lots and lots of customization options with this add-on, so you can setup Firefox pretty much anyway you could possibly think of (which is rater ironic considering this was the big claim to fame for Firefox when it first came out).

 photo options-1.png

Main Options Menu on Classic Theme Restorer

I don’t mind the new tab style, so I went ahead and opted not to restore the square tabs. I did restore the old Firefox App button and made it icon (which is different from that of Firefox 28) only on the titlebar. Movable back-forward button allows you to “detach” the button(s) from the urlbar. The Hide urlbars stop & reload buttons option is somewhat confusing, but it has to do with the way stop & reload buttons are “connected” with the new theme. Checking this option will remove the button(s) from the urlbar. Then, you can right-click on a toolbar button and choose Customize… Grab the stop & reload button(s) and drag to where you want the button(s) on your toolbar. The end result of my customization is below.

 photo classictheme.png


So much like Windows 8 (with Classic Shell), Firefox 29 and Australis are bearable once you install an add-on and do a little tweaking. The two add-ons can be used together if you choose (I don’t mind the newer buttons so I opted not to use the buttons one). The Classic Toolbar Buttons can be used with Firefox 24 or newer and installs without a restart. However, Classic Theme Restorer can currently only be used with Firefox 29 Beta or any of the other current developmental builds (Firefox 30 Aurora and Firefox 31 Nightly) and will require a restart when installed. Once Firefox 29 has been released, you will need to update to Firefox 29, then you will be able to install the Classic Theme Restorer add-on, restart then customize your Firefox to your liking.

One more thing…a teaser of sorts…Firefox 29 is supposed to include a “new and improved” version of Firefox Sync. I have never had much luck with this feature before, which is why I have been using Google Chrome on most of my devices. I just need to install Firefox 29 Beta on my laptop and tablet, then I can try out this feature.