You are here

Add-ons become "not compatible" when portable path changes

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
Add-ons become "not compatible" when portable path changes

If I change systems and my USB key gets assigned a different drive letter, or if I move a Firefox portable install to a different location, some of my add-ons become disabled and show as being incompatible with Firefox 3.0. It is always the same few add-ons that do this, and I have verified that they are all updated versions for use with Firefox 3.0. Additionally, they work fine as long as the absolute path to Firefox does not change. Once the add-ons have been disabled, the only way to fix it is to manually uninstall and reinstall them each time the path changes. Users may not be able to change the drive letter of their device as they may not have admin access to the systems they are using Firefox portable on, so those users must reinstall their add-ins each time they change systems.

Add-ons I have noted that become disabled as described above:
- Add to Search Bar 1.7
- Tab Clicking Options 0.6.9
- Uppity 1.5

I'm sure there are more add-ons that have this issue, as I have only tested a few.

If this is not a Firefox portable side issue, please post the appropriate information so that I may pass it onto the add-on developers so that they may fix the issue on their side.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 2 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Add-On Issue

Some add-ons store their information in non-standard ways. Any add-on that stores their information in prefs.js will have their paths changed provided it's in the standard "file:///X" or "X:\\" formats. Some extensions store it in slighty different formats which will not work.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

wk
wk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 2007-09-05 12:31
addtosearchbar works without complaint

FF3,XPSP3, admin/restricted account -> broken file issue with your addons?

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
-> broken file issue with

-> broken file issue with your add-ons?

After further testing I discovered that simply changing the folder directory is not enough to break it. you have to move it to another drive letter.

Close Firefox, move the folder to another drive (or plug the usb drive into a system that mounts the drive as a different letter), and relaunch.

I verified this with a base install and add to search bar as the only installed add-in.

Once you move it to another drive and launch, the add-on remains broken, even if you move the directory back to its original location. The only way to fix it is to remove and reinstall the broken add-ons.

wk
wk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 2007-09-05 12:31
I use three different drive letters with different accounts

and had the same issue with some addons, ffP always wanted to update/ install/reinstall the addons, they were deactivated and I should restart.
At last upgrading from FFP2 and a broken profile/addon (pref.js or else..) were guilty.At last reinstall of the addons after a second upgrade over a working FFP2 made it.
Those addons not compatibel with FF3 can be modified by Mr.Tech Toolkit addon, but one should know which addon will cause crashes (=tab effect etc).
just for testing: setup a fresh FF3P install on the desktop, install your addons -> move the testFF to your flashdrive and change the PC/drive letter ->should work, if the drive or usbport isn´t the problem
https://portableapps.com/node/14323

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

rumiti
Offline
Last seen: 15 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-10 02:55
This is realy annoying,

Is there a way to fix this?

The add-ons that are not working for me is:

Menu Editor - FF becomes messy when i cant use this.
Password Exporter - I don't need this one.
Tamper Data
translator
User Agent Switcher

m-p-3
m-p-3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 19 hours ago
Joined: 2006-06-17 21:25
This would be up with the

This would be up with the extension developer to correct the behavior of their extensions, not the other way around.

rumiti
Offline
Last seen: 15 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-10 02:55
it works now!

I just opened up the add-ons window and i writed something in notepad, and when i just did nothing to FF. Suddenly it comes a message on the add-on that was marked wich said that this plugin was going to be enabled next time FF restarted, so I tried, and all my non-working add-ons worked propperly again. I also tesded with difrent drive letters, and they still working Smile

Now I just waiting to them to be "corrupt" again.

Tim Clark
Tim Clark's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2006-06-18 13:55
???

and i writed something in notepad, and when i just did nothing to FF. Suddenly it comes a message on the add-on that was marked...

I have no idea what you did here, could you clarify ?

Tim

Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

rumiti
Offline
Last seen: 15 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-10 02:55
thats it!

i didn't do anything, suddenly the add-ons just working. I now use FF on my work and home, and sometimes at my friends. The problem is gone, it just "solved itself"... sorry no guide Blum

allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
Roughly 1/4 of the plugins I

Roughly 1/4 of the plugins I have tested fail when the drive letter changes. There is some feature of function that plugins are using that work just fine elsewhere yet fail when used with Firefox Portable in the above scenario. There has to be a way to correct the portable-specific drive/path updating code because tracking down 1/4 of every current and future plugin developer is a bit silly. The common issue is either Firefox itself or Firefox Portable.

wk
wk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 2007-09-05 12:31
with the new launcher for FFP 3.0.1

all drive letter issues should have gone.. Wink

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 2 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Extension Bugs

Some extensions don't correctly list their compatibility in their install.rdf and will have issues as you move between PCs. The extension authors themselves need to fix this, though.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
I've verified 3.0.1 portable

I've verified 3.0.1 portable launcher does not correct this issue.

What do the authors need to do specifically? Can the install.rdf be hacked / modded on the end user side of things?

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 2 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
maxVersion in install.rdf

For example, GMarks (which lets you carry your Google bookmarks) has an entry of "3.0pre" in its maxVersion which means it is NOT compatible with 3.0 and 3.0.1. But, addons.mozilla.org will report back to Firefox that it IS ok. Unfortunately, this bit of info is stored in an odd way and we can't yet portablize it.

So, yes, it is technically the fault of the extension authors who listed it incorrectly or haven't properly updated. And, yes, you can fix the issue by hacking the install.rdf.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
So as I understand it, when

So as I understand it, when the addin is installed and has a maxVersion prior to the current Firefox running, it checks addons.mozilla.org for compatibility. That compatibility data gets cached *somewhere* so that Firefox does not repeatedly check all addins each and every time it is relaunched. This caching is retained even if the folder is moved elsewhere on the same drive, but is somehow lost if Firefox is moved to a different drive letter between launches.

I suspect the 'easier' fix here is to find out how/why the cached version compatibility is getting lost only when the Firefox path has changed drive letters.

If Firefox Portable had to verify compatibility for a small group of addins, whatever those may have been, that data *should have* been retained even if the drive letter changed.

For those brave enough to tackle hacking their install.rdf's, what specifically should they change maxVersion to? Can it be wildcarded as to include all 3.x.x for example? If so, what is the required format?

wk
wk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 days ago
Joined: 2007-09-05 12:31
use

MrTechtoolkit addon, adjusts your rdf without any editing with notepad or else

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis .." Friday Next -
"May The Schwartz be with You!" Yogurt the Yoda

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 2 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Nonstandard

The way it is cached is not the way it is documented. It's completely undocumented from what I've seen. If you delete your extensions cache the extensions will then fail. This is COUNTER to the Firefox documentation which states that the extensions cache is supposed to be automatically recreated whenever it is missing. I went through multiple attempts to trace the differences but could not find a way to portablize them.

The bottom line is that it is the extensions themselves that are broken/misconfigured. Luckily, this doesn't affect any of the popular extensions I've checked... only some of the more niche extensions... so it isn't an issue for probably 98 or 99% of users in that respect. And most users are using it as intended, on a single drive moving between PCs. Which means that this issue is only affecting .01% of users. Unfortunately, that's you. Smile

So, if you want to keep changing Firefox Portable's path and using the outdated extensions, you'll have to keep opening addons and selecting check for updates to have Firefox apply the fix each time you move it.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

allynm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2008-07-09 16:24
update from one of the plugin authors

I've had success with the author of 'Uppity', who had done some research thus far as to the possible causes. He is still not sure if the root cause is Firefox Portable. I suspect it may be a tweak needed to the code in Firefox Portable that handles propagating drive letter updates across the plugins.

Link to the bug tracker on their site:
http://trac.arantius.com/ticket/172

Relevant excerpt from the thread there:
"I believe I've located the common thread. In all cases, install.rdf says that the extension is not compatible with 3.0 (rather, something like 3.0pre or 3.0b5), but the compatibility information has been updated in AMO."

Log in or register to post comments