Disappearing add-ons in Firefox

Well, this is messy.

Mozilla managed to release Firefox 7.0 with a large bug which means that any add-on for which an update is pending when you install the Firefox 7 update will apparently disappear after the update.

We managed to release the update to Fedora 15, thanks to positive feedback, even though I tried to alert release engineering to except the update from the stable push after Oliver Henshaw informed me of the bug (thanks, Oliver). Oliver and I added negative feedback to the report, but due to the way Bodhi is currently set up, this does not result in the update submission being cancelled; we've wanted to make this work better for a while, but with the current Bodhi feedback setup it's quite difficult to make it behave 'correctly' in all circumstances as the only variables we can go on are 'proventester, registered user or anonymous feedback', 'time of feedback', and 'positive or negative'. Bodhi 2 will introduce different types of feedback, so we should be able to introduce some kind of 'parachute clause' like 'I have tested this already-approved-and-pending update and it contains a huge bug, un-submit it now!' which could be triggered by one or two proven testers, say.

Anyway, the upshot is this bug is out there and probably affecting Fedora users. It bit me - my Noscript has disappeared. It's actually quite likely to happen, as add-on authors often push updates the day before or the day of a Firefox release.

Now thanks a particularly bone-headed policy on the part of Mozilla, you might find some trouble getting out of this situation - I did. Mozilla published a workaround for the issue. However, you can't find out what it was, because when they released Firefox 7.0.1 (which fixes the problem), they took down the workaround text and replaced it with text which just says 'update to 7.0.1', as you can see on the page (unless they've now changed it back in response to my nagging). It can be very frustrating that Mozilla consistently refuses to acknowledge users who don't install Firefox direct from upstream, but use distribution packages. Folks, just because you've released 7.0.1, does not mean all your downstream distributors have. Removing the workaround text is just plain rude and unhelpful.

Anyway, I found another workaround mentioned in passing in the bug report, which works for me at least. You can find it here. I don't know its provenance or what it does - well, it clearly comes from some guy at Mozilla called Ed Townsend, I guess. But that's about all I got. Try it, or bug Mozilla to put the workaround back.


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