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It really, really is a shame that they removed proper extensions. While Safari never had a good extension story, it was at least bearable, and in all other regards its simply the best Mac browser.

Now I have to take a really hard look at switching back to Firefox, and that would be a downgrade in almost every regard I care about. Pity.




I made the switch to FF 2 months ago after being a Safari zealot (for nearly 10-14 years). I did not notice any memory hogging (was an issue in past). I have not rebooted FF in 20+ days. I really enjoy the "container" concept in FF. (ymmv of course)


I've used FF almost exclusively for a large chunk of the aughts, so there is some familiarity left.

My main concern today is actually a matter of trust. Mozilla has had enough privacy-related debacles and questionable decisions that after each update, there is a lingering doubt in the back of my head whether I need to crawl through some settings again or worse, edit obscure config keys to keep it from doing what it shouldn't have been doing in the first place. It's the same feeling I have after a Windows update, albeit to a lesser extent.

I used to be a huge advocate for Firefox. My name is one of the many thousands of donors in their NYT ad from 2004. It pains me to say that these days, Firefox feels somewhat user hostile.

If I do find myself leaving Safari, it's merely the least-bad choice from a continuously shrinking field of options.


The only downside is that FF battery life is much worse than Safari. Supposedly they're working on being smarter about GPU usage to improve this, but I haven't checked lately to see if it has made a difference.


On newer versions (of Firefox Nightly), they use the native CoreAnimations library now for vastly improved battery life:

https://twitter.com/whimboo/status/1168437524357898240


It's still a very long way from Safari on battery life. As is Google Chrome, by the way.


What's a "proper" extension? The only things in the release notes seem to be about broadening the API somewhat.


They did not just broaden the API. Previously, extensions were written in Javascript, roughly following open web standards[0]. This let you write your extension (nearly) once and have it work in all web browsers.

Now, all of those Javascript extensions are deprecated (users can no longer install them). If you want your extension to work, you now have to rewrite the majority of it from scratch in Swift[1]

[0] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/Web... [1] https://developer.apple.com/documentation/safariservices/saf...


Thanks for this information. How do the capabilities of the new API differ from the old one? If a developer is willing to put in the effort to do what Apple says, what extra capabilities do users get, and what existing capabilities are taken away?

I'm not asking about ad- / content-blockers, because that issue has been discussed many times and there's no value in rehashing that discussion. I'm asking about OTHER TYPES of extensions.


There were legacy extensions delivered outside the app store. Those are deprecated and with Safari 13 were removed.

There are other extensions delivered through the App Store you can install. For example, there is a uBlock extension there.


The "uBlock" app extension in the store has nothing to do with uBlock Origin. Do not install it.


What could be driving that, I wonder? Are they concerned with malware?

Regardless, it seems like a big thing to omit from the notes.


If I were to guess, probably performance and battery life. They emphasized efficiency when they introduced their own compiled blacklist API for content blockers.


At a guess: Engineering overhead of two separate extension models, the "real extension" model can't do the kind of cross process communication a lot of extensions really need (password managers, etc).

Then performance problems of extensions injecting and running a pile of JS into all pages.

But yeah, I am not looking forward to losing ublock. I (Safari fanboy) will probably delay updating as long as possible.


> Removed support for Legacy Safari Extensions.

It was in the notes. That's the line.


So far I've managed to find a perfectly acceptable alternative to every extension I was using except for Tampermonkey.


Dang, that’s the only legacy one I use


What extensions do you miss?




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