Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

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Radish
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Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Radish »

Yesterday Mint Updater offered an update for Firefox to version 43.0. I installed it. Then, as I do after all updates of Firefox, I went to check if my Addons needed updating.

What I found is the following message:
Mint Search Enhancer could not be verified for use in Firefox and has been disabled.
I looked for more information and found the following from Mozilla (at this webpage https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/ad ... =inproduct):
What can I do if Firefox disables an installed, unsigned add-on?

If any of your installed add-ons gets disabled because it hasn't been signed, contact the add-on developer or vendor to see if they can offer an updated and signed version of that add-on. You can also ask them to get their add-on signed.
Override add-on signing (advanced users): You can override this setting by changing the xpinstall.signatures.required preference to false in the Firefox Configuration Editor (about:config page). Support is not available for any changes made with the Configuration Editor so please do this at your own risk.
I really don't want to override default settings for blocking potentially malicious Addons - so thought it best to post up here. I don't know where to report this for Mint developers. Where do I report it?
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Cosmo.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Cosmo. »

I think, we will see in the next future numerous complaints about that.

In principle:

It has been announced by Mozilla, that not digitally signed extensions will stop working in the future. All extensions, which are stored at the Mozilla-Add-on-site, have been signed half a year ago. Developer of extensions who do not place them there have to take the step to get the digitally sign and provide the signed extensions for the users.

If there are extensions, which are not signed, the described setting (actually a switch) give for the last time the chance to set the behavior of FF back to the state of FF 42. With FF 44 (expected in the middle of January 2016) this switch will be removed, then those extensions are only a dead peace of code. They do not hurt, but they also do not make any sense.

Users can do nothing about that. If there does not come an update for the extension, you can remove it:
Close FF
Remove the package mint-search-addon with synaptic.
(In contrast to most extensions you cannot remove this from inside FF.)
solar1951
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by solar1951 »

I noticed it also disabled Hola unblocker. However downloading Hola for Firefox from their website does work. Bizarre !
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Radish
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Radish »

Okay Cosmo, thanks for the information.

Have to say that I'm of two minds on whether to be happy or otherwise on what is going on here. There are at least two ways to view this:

(1) It is useful that Firefox, or any other component of an OS, can protect users by requiring approval of an application/addon. This is how, Firefox, sells this 'feature' to users - its a protection 'feature'.

(2) It is part of a power-grab on the part of Firefox, or any other component of a system, by requiring that any program/addon on a system be approved by some other component of the system. Looked at this way it seems that powerful companies/actors are now starting to dictate what a user can or cannot use on their systems - it amounts to removal of freedoms that the users should have to do what they want with their own systems. This is one of the many reasons why I decided to move from a Microsoft OS to GNU/Linux. Microsoft are currently in the process of moving towards a system whereby Microsoft will dictate to users what programs/components are allowed to run on a system - enforced through their Microsoft Approved certificates. Dark times ahead if this kind of behaviour extends onto GNU/Linux systems.

I was though wondering why Mint doesn't just seek approval for the addon via Mozilla? As I understand it, using the Mint Search Enhancer generates some revenue for Mint, so it would make sense for Mint to have the addon approved. (But, again, that is a bit of a dark tunnel to start walking down. There are issues concerning freedoms, and who controls what, there.)
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Cosmo. »

Read here about the extension. I doubt, that it will be updated with a signed version. It would have been anyway better, if it would have been removed before the release of LM 17.3. Now the users have to do this.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by BRKsays »

Cosmo. wrote:Read here about the extension. I doubt, that it will be updated with a signed version. It would have been anyway better, if it would have been removed before the release of LM 17.3. Now the users have to do this.
can it be removed safely from synaptics manager? when I search "mint search enhancer" I find only one installed entry and it is that.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Cosmo. »

BRKsays wrote:can it be removed safely from synaptics manager? when I search "mint search enhancer" I find only one installed entry and it is that.
Yes, see my first post.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by BRKsays »

Cosmo. wrote:
BRKsays wrote:can it be removed safely from synaptics manager? when I search "mint search enhancer" I find only one installed entry and it is that.
Yes, see my first post.
sorry for the trouble. I'm an idiot. :oops:
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by MtnDewManiac »

Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Cosmo. »

In the meantime an update removes the extension (except the documentation with the changelog for the update) saying
* Removed extension from package (going forward it will need to be discontinued or signed).
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by chrisonmint »

Radish wrote: (2) It is part of a power-grab on the part of Firefox
I think thats an over-reaction. Locking down all parts of the web browser results in better security.

The only loser here, I guess, (for the MINT addon) is that we dont get a 'minty' search results page, no big loss surely?
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by sdibaja »

Cosmo. wrote:I think, we will see in the next future numerous complaints about that.

In principle:

It has been announced by Mozilla, that not digitally signed extensions will stop working in the future. All extensions, which are stored at the Mozilla-Add-on-site, have been signed half a year ago. Developer of extensions who do not place them there have to take the step to get the digitally sign and provide the signed extensions for the users.

If there are extensions, which are not signed, the described setting (actually a switch) give for the last time the chance to set the behavior of FF back to the state of FF 42. With FF 44 (expected in the middle of January 2016) this switch will be removed, then those extensions are only a dead peace of code. They do not hurt, but they also do not make any sense.

Users can do nothing about that. If there does not come an update for the extension, you can remove it:
Close FF
Remove the package mint-search-addon with synaptic.
(In contrast to most extensions you cannot remove this from inside FF.)
Remove the package mint-search-addon with synaptic?

I tried that, mint-meta-debian-core and mint-meta-debian-mate also get removed.
OK, I did that... then to reinstall mint-meta-debian-core and mint-meta-debian-mate However there is a required dependency: mint-search-addon

So I guess I could reinstall and Not accept that "Level 1 Update". Or do you have a simpler way?

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind funding Mint. If they accepted donations in some other manner that PayPal the money would just roll in! (mine would, and probably many others)
So: this mystery snooper package just got slipped in with the description "Enhances the results given by Google" what does That mean? Be Honest and Open about it please!

Happy Holidays!
Peter
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chrisonmint
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by chrisonmint »

sdibaja wrote:"Enhances the results given by Google" what does That mean? Be Honest and Open about it please!

Happy Holidays!
It puts a nice Mint logo in the top corner of the results page. Is it separate from the revenue-generating referral search link? Not sure...
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Pierre
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Pierre »

after FF43 nobles everything, some updates for this came through, last night.
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by Cosmo. »

Regarding the meta-packages:

Meta-packages are packages, which do not bring any binaries (only some documentation files for the meta package itself), but they are a kind of container for several other packages. Removing the meta package, does not remove any binary and no other package. But removing one (or more) of the packages, which belong to the meta package, removes necessarily the meta package also, as obviously no more all of the packages, which belong to the meta package are installed.

Looking from the other side: If you later install the meta package again, all packages, which belong to it would get installed automatically.

So you can remove the mint-search-addon package without really loosing anything else.

In the meantime there came an update for the mint-search-addon package, which effectively removes it - leaving only a documentation that contains the information
* Removed extension from package (going forward it will need to be discontinued or signed).
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by sdibaja »

done. thanks for a better understanding of meta-packages
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Re: Update to Firefox 43.0 - Kills Mint Search Enhancer

Post by chrisonmint »

chrisonmint wrote:
sdibaja wrote:"Enhances the results given by Google" what does That mean? Be Honest and Open about it please!

Happy Holidays!
It puts a nice Mint logo in the top corner of the results page. Is it separate from the revenue-generating referral search link? Not sure...
Actually, my mint logo is still shown in the Yahoo search results and there seems to be a referral code for Yahoo and the DuckDuckGo search tools. Maybe the add-on was only required for Google - no great loss as I dont use them any more! :D
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