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Kudos0

Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

On November 23, 2016, Mozilla posted an announcement that included this:

"By the end of 2017, and with the release of Firefox 57, we’ll move to WebExtensions exclusively, and will stop loading any other extension types on desktop."

On June 13, 2017, Mozilla released Firefox 54 which supports a new multiprocessing feature called Multiple Content Processes (also called Electrolysis or e10s). The Norton Security Toolbar add-on for Firefox DOES NOT CURRENTLY SUPPORT Firefox's Multiple Content Processes feature.

I am sure that Symantec developers are well aware of these changes in Firefox.

Since the release of Firefox 54 (with Multiple Content Processes), several customers have complained that the Norton Security Toolbar was automatically disabled (by Firefox 54). See this thread for more details.

I think that there may be a direct link between the Toolbar's lack of support for Firefox's new Multiple Content Processes and the Toolbar being disabled by Firefox 54. However, I was asked to start a new thread on this issue.

Specifically, the purpose of this thread is to ask Symantec for some feedback on their plans to support the following two Firefox features in the Norton Security Toolbar add-on:

  • Firefox's Multiple Content Processes
  • WebExtensions


The first question that comes to mind is: Does the new release of Norton Security (version 22.10.0.83) and its Toolbar (version 2017.11.0.1) support the above two Firefox features?

Since those new Norton versions are currently being released, I would hope that Symantec (or someone who already has those new versions) can at tell us if the new Norton versions support the Firefox features mentioned above.

Replies

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Are you a Firefox user?
Probably the best way to test if your add-ons work with e10s is to use the Add-on Compatibility Reporter which will tell you if your add-ons are multi-process compatible and let you tell the developer how well they work.  See this blog post for more.

http://www.arewee10syet.com/ 

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Thanks bjm.

I have seen that site, and have installed the Add-on Compatibility Reporter.

The Add-on Compatibility Reporter shows this status for Norton Security Toolbar:

"Not compatible with multiprocess".

I am hoping that Symantec can give us some indication that they are indeed already working to address this incompatibility, and (hope beyond hope) even an approximate timeframe as to when a Toolbar will be released that supports both Firefox multiprocess and WebExtensions.

As long as one has add-ons that are not compatible with Firefox's multiprocess, then the choices are:

  1. Uninstall all add-ons that are not compatible with multiprocess so that Firefox will then enable the multiprocess feature.
  2. Keep the add-ons that are not compatible, and run without Firefox's multiprocess feature.

Unfortunately, we cannot uninstall the Norton Security Toolbar ... unless we want to uninstall Norton Security. So (until the Toolbar supports Firefox's multiprocess feature), we really only have one choice:  run Firefox with the multiprocess feature disabled.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

I've been running without Firefox's multiprocess.  
I've got three not compatible extensions.
No worries.  Just me.

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Anyone currently running Firefox 54 can easily determine if the Multiprocess Feature has been enabled or disabled ....

Type this into the Firefox address bar and hit enter:

about:support

A Troubleshooting Information page will open. Scroll down to the entry named: Multiprocess Windows (in the Application Basics section). The status will be shown on the right of the Multiprocess Windows entry.

My status shows as:  0/1 (Disabled by addons)

I am running Norton Security version 22.9.4.8 and Toolbar version 2017.9.0.2

If anyone has the Firefox Multiprocess feature enabled, please post the version of Norton Security and version of Norton Security Toolbar that you are using.

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

I have the Compatibility Reporter enabled and if you disable the non-compatible add-ons then the FF Multiprocess feature will enable.

I don't use FF much but at least Norton ID Safe is compatible.

Jim 

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Hello

I will try to bring this to Norton's attention and see if I get any responses from them.

Thanks.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NS with BackUp 22.10.0.85 I E 11
Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

geek47:

...Since the release of Firefox 54 (with Multiple Content Processes), several customers have complained that the Norton Security Toolbar was automatically disabled (by Firefox 54). See this thread for more details.

I think that there may be a direct link between the Toolbar's lack of support for Firefox's new Multiple Content Processes and the Toolbar being disabled by Firefox 54. However, I was asked to start a new thread on this issue. above.

Hi geek47:

I don't believe that your disabled Norton Security Toolbar has anything to do with lack of support for Firefox's Electrolysis (e10S) multiprocess architecture.

I installed Mozilla's Add-on Compatibility Reporter suggested by bjm_ and even though it shows that the latest Norton Security Toolbar v2017.11.0.1 is not compatible with multiprocess the toolbar still works fine in my Firefox ESR browser.

Help | Troubleshooting Information | Application Basics | Multiprocess Windows shows that e10S is "0/1 (Disabled by add-ons)" but my image shows that other extensions like my Mozilla Archive Format (MAF) v4.1.3 toolbar will also disable multiprocess in my browser.  The designer of this MAF extension has already warned users <here> that he will be discontinuing support for this toolbar when FFv57 is released on 14-Nov-2017 because he doesn't want to spend the next 4 months doing a complete redesign to make MAF compatible with multiprocess.

geek47:

I am running Norton Security version 22.9.4.8 and Toolbar version 2017.9.0.2

As noted in the thread Firefox 54.0.1. has disabled Norton Toolbar add-on 2017.9.2.2 updated on 10-Jul-2017, the likely reason your Norton Security toolbar is automatically disabled is because you have not updated to the latest Norton v22.10.0.83 and Norton Security Toolbar v2017.11.0.1.
----------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.83 * NSTB v2017.11.0.1

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

In Firefox 55 beta it still allows non-compatible extensions to run but clearly identify what extensions are "Legacy" and the Norton Security Toolbar is considered a legacy  extension.  So if the Norton Security Toolbar is not updated it will soon be disabled.  Norton Identity Safe is considered a compatible extension.

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Thanks Imacri.

I am running the Add-on Compatibility Reporter, and it shows that, with the exception of Norton Security Toolbar, ALL of my other add-ons are compatible with multiprocess.

With the Norton Security Toolbar enabled, the Help | Troubleshooting Information | Application Basics | Multiprocess Windows shows that Firefox's Multiprocess feature is "0/1 (Disabled by add-ons)".

With the Norton Security Toolbar manually disabled, the Help | Troubleshooting Information | Application Basics | Multiprocess Windows shows that Firefox's Multiprocess feature is "1/1 (Enabled by add-ons)".

I think this clearly shows that (on a computer with all other Firefox add-ons being compatible with Multiprocess) enabling the Norton Security Toolbar directly causes the Firefox Multiprocess feature to be disabled. 

So right now, customers (with all add-ons compatible with multiprocess except the Norton Toolbar), must choose between having the Norton Toolbar enabled or having the Firefox Multiprocess feature enabled.

In addition to not supporting multiprocess, the Norton Toolbar does not appear to support WebExtensions. Mozilla has clearly stated that by Firefox version 57, they will no longer load any add-on that does not support WebExtensions.

It appears that you are running the latest version of Norton Security (22.10.0.83) and the latest version of the Toolbar (2017.11.0.1), and these are also not compatible with the Firefox Multiprocess feature.

Thus, I am hoping that someone from Symantec will post here and let us know if (and approximately when) Norton Security and the Norton Toolbar will support Firefox Multiprocess and WebExtensions.

I am not yet running the newest versions of Norton Security and Toolbar because these are being released in phases, and I have not yet been offered these newer versions in Live Update.

Regarding my version of the Toolbar being disabled: I was running Toolbar v2017.9.2.2 and it was disabled by Firefox 54. Hard to say with certainty exactly why my Toolbar was disabled. Others posting in the  Firefox 54.0.1. has disabled Norton Toolbar add-on 2017.9.2.2 updated on 10-Jul-2017 thread also had their copy of the Toolbar disabled.

I followed the suggestion (in that thread) and renamed my coFFAddon folder, rebooted and ran Live Update. A back-level version of the Toolbar (v2017.9.0.2) was installed and is currently running (i.e., it is enabled). I have read where others who renamed/deleted the coFFAddon folder had version 2017.9.2.2 reinstalled (and enabled). Apparently, not having the most current versions of Norton Security and Toolbar does not result in Firefox 54 disabling the Toolbar (sorry for the double negative, hope my meaning is clear).

Unfortunately, on a computer with all other add-ons already compatible with multiprocess, having any version of the Toolbar enabled causes Firefox Multiprocess to be disabled. 

The issue I am trying to raise here is not the Toolbar being disabled (the other thread discusses that issue). I am trying to raise the issue of the Norton Toolbar not currently supporting Firefox's Multiprocess and WebExtensions.

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

geek47:

...I think this clearly shows that (on a computer with all other Firefox add-ons being compatible with Multiprocess) enabling the Norton Security Toolbar directly causes the Firefox Multiprocess feature to be disabled. 

So right now, customers (with all add-ons compatible with multiprocess except the Norton Toolbar), must choose between having the Norton Toolbar enabled or having the Firefox Multiprocess feature enabled.

Hi geek47:

I'm not disputing that the latest Norton Security Toolbar v2017.11.0.1 currently disables multiprocess in Firefox, but so do other extensions I have installed in my browser.  Enabling multiprocessing in Firefox might actually prove to be detrimental for my system performance since my old laptop has a limited amount of free RAM - see the Task Manager screenshot in Martin Brinkmann's ghacks.net article Multi-Process Firefox: Everything You Need to Know which shows how much memory these multiple firefox.exe processes begin to consume each time a new tab is opened in Firefox when multiprocess is enabled.

The issue I am trying to raise here is not the Toolbar being disabled (the other thread discusses that issue). I am trying to raise the issue of the Norton Toolbar not currently supporting Firefox's Multiprocess and WebExtensions.

Fair enough, but your original post states "I think that there may be a direct link between the Toolbar's lack of support for Firefox's new Multiple Content Processes and the Toolbar being disabled by Firefox 54" - hence the confusion.

I am, however, looking forward to an update from Symantec about whether the Norton Security Toolbar for Firefox will be fully compatible with WebExtensions and multiprocess before the release of FF v57 on 14-Nov-2017.  According to Symantec employee SriHarshaA's January 2017 post in the thread Firefox 50.1.0 will Norton Toolbar ever support Firefox Electrolysis "We are working on building a extension that is compatible with multi-process. This is definitely a high-priority item for us and we are actively working on resolving it".
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.83 * NSTB v2017.11.0.1

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Hello

I have brought this issue to Symantec's attention. Perhaps they will respond this week after consulting with the necessary Teams. No guarantees of a response as to when anything will be ready if they are going to do anything.

Thanks.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NS with BackUp 22.10.0.85 I E 11
Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Imacri:

Thanks for the links.

"Enabling multiprocessing in Firefox might actually prove to be detrimental for my system performance since my old laptop has a limited amount of free RAM"

I agree that running multiple Firefox processed on a memory-constrained computer could hurt performance ... but then again opening multiple windows (any applications) on that same memory constrained computer could also hurt performance.

If a computer has no incompatible add-ons, and Firefox enables its Multiprocess feature, then (via setting changes) the user has the ability to set the max number of processes or manually disable the Multiprocess feature. So you could opt out of the Multiprocess feature on your old laptop if it causes a performance problem.

I read Brinkmann's article. He estimates a 20% increase in RAM usage with Firefox's Multiprocess feature enabled. I did a quick/informal test on my PC (with 12 GB of physical RAM) and with Multiprocess enabled I only had an 8% increase. YMMV.

floplot:

Thanks for bringing this to Symantec's attention. Imacri provided a link to a thread where on January 18, 2017, Symantec employee SriHarshaA stated:

" We are working on building a extension that is compatible with multi-process. This is definitely a high-priority item for us and we are actively working on resolving it. "

That was six months ago. Perhaps SriHarshaA (or some other Symantec employee) can provide some current status (on the Toolbar's support for Firefox's Multiprocess feature and WebExtensions).

Kudos3 Stats

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Hi @geek47,

SriHarshaA 

We are working on building a extension that is compatible with multi-process. This is definitely a high-priority item for us and we are actively working on resolving it. 

Thank you,

Harsha

As stated earlier here by our team "SriHarsha", we are working on addressing Norton Security Toolbar extension compatibility with Firefox multi-process feature. Will share once we have more details. Thanks

Sunil_GA | Norton Forums Administrator | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

Sunil_GA,

Thank you for your reply about Norton Security Toolbar compatibility with the Firefox multi-process feature.

Could you also provide some status on Symantec's progress in re-writing the Norton Security Toolbar to support WebExtensions?

Mozilla has clearly stated that as of Firefox 57, any add-on that does not support WebExtensions will not be loaded by Firefox.

Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

I manually ran Live Update, and a new patch was downloaded.

After the Live Updated completed, I rebooted my PC.

My current Norton versions are now:

  • Norton Security: 22.10.0.85
  • Norton Security Toolbar: 2017.11.0.1

I am running Firefox 54.0.1 (32-bit). My Norton Security Toolbar add-on in Firefox remains enabled and the Add-on Compatibility Reporter says that Norton Security Toolbar (v2017.11.0.1) is not compatible with Firefox's Multiprocess feature.

The Firefox Troubleshooting Information shows that the Firefox Multiprocess feature is "Disabled by add-ons".

All of my add-ons except the Norton Toolbar are compatible with Firefox's Multiprocess feature. So, with the latest releases from Symantec, I still must choose between the Norton Toolbar or Firefox Multiprocess.

We anxiously await some status from Symantec about an approximate timeframe in which the Toolbar will be made compatible with Firefox's Multiprocess feature. All we know (thank you Sunil_GA) is that Symantec has been working on this issue for about six months ... and they continue to work on it.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

We hardly ever give out timeframes for releases, approximate or otherwise. While posting one might seem easy to do, there are many factors that can cause delays. We have a commitment to high quality products, and with the commitment comes the possibility of delays. Good testing takes time. This situation is no different, and for those reasons we won’t be posting a timeframe.

We have a goal to meet the requirement of supporting the multiple content process feature by the Firefox 57 release, and we are continuing to develop and test, to ensure this new compatibility requirement does not result in conflicts. We definitely want to meet that goal, and we will continue to work hard toward it.

Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Toolbar support for new Firefox features: Multiprocess & WebExtensions

THANK YOU Tony.