Future direction of Zotero Firefox add-on

This post might be more appropriate for Zotero-dev but it does impact on general users.

I have read this blog on the future of Firefox add-ons development ...

Moving forward
The strategy announced here necessarily involves a lot of trade-offs. Developers who already support Chrome extensions will benefit since they will have one codebase to support instead of two. Developers of Firefox-only add-ons will have to make changes. Those changes may require considerable development effort up-front, but we feel the end result will be worth that effort for both Firefox’s users and developers.
And do follow developers' and users' comments at the bottom of the blog. Some are very critical of this change in direction by Mozilla.


I am beginning to see the first fall out from this migration. Following recent updates of Firefox when I view installed add-ons (in Firefox 41.0) I now see a number of warning notes. Here is the Zotero add-on warning.
Zotero could not be verified for use in Firefox. Proceed with caution.
And there is a link to this website ...


My question is ..

Can we assume that Zotero add-on developers plan to fall into line with these changes by Mozilla?
  • Zotero will be signed once that's actually required (which is going to be in FF43 now, unless it's postponed again).

    I don't think the decision on where to go with Zotero once xpcom etc. becomes deprecated has been made. Either they'll work with what mozilla offers or they go all Standalone.

    Here's the comment by Simon, Zotero's senior dev, on that thread:
  • edited October 19, 2015
    Glad this thread is already discussed.

    Currently, these show as not verified:
    - Zotero
    - Zotero Word for Windows Integration
    - Item History for Zotero
    - Prevent Duplicates Plugin for Zotero

    These do not have any alert, so they are verified?:
    - Zotfile
    - Zutilo
    - Zotero Scholar Citations
  • you should assume that Item History and Prevent Duplicates will stop working once signing is actually required. As far as I'm aware, neither of the two is being maintained.

    Zotero and the Zotero Word integration will obviously be signed and keep working. Any add-on available from mozilla (which includes the three you list) is automatically signed.
  • "Prevent Duplicates will stop working"

    Oh, no! This plug-in is vital to my workflow. Can someone reach out to the author to get this to sign-ready?

    @adamsmith: I recall reading Zotero may get an inbuilt prevent duplicates feature. When is that expected?
  • no eta on built-in version. You can Try reaching out to Robin, see if he'd be willing to do it or you can try forking the repository and see if you can get it signed yourself.
  • I am on it!

    How do I contact Robin? I searched for the add-on name but can't find anything that leads me to author/owner. I found this:

    Is "Chris Johnson-Roberson" aka Robin?

    Can @fbennett help?
  • right, sorry, got names mixes up. Chris is the author. fbennett has nothing to do with that.
  • edited October 20, 2015
    Ok, I left a comment here which might be awaiting moderation. I hope Chris sees it:

    I don't know how else to contact him.
  • you should also try directly via github by creating an issue.
  • My system upgraded to Firefox 43.0 and all unsigned add-ons were disabled. So far, I have not heard back from Chris on the prevent duplicates add-on. I have posted my request at github and the google group mentioned above.

    Ideas anyone?

    As a temporary fix, I have toggled the xpinstall.signatures.required to False. This setting can be accessed by typing about:config in your Firefox address bar.
  • I'll try to get in touch with them (the name is now Cora) and will fork and sign prevent-duplicates if need be, though it's obviously preferable if they do it.
  • Thanks, appreciate it!
  • Just checking if there is an update for this issue.
  • yeah -- they updated papermachines and gave me the go-ahead to fork&sign prevent-duplicates, I just haven't gotten to it yet, sorry.
  • Great, thanks. No rush since the temporary fix (xpinstall.signatures.required to False) is working fine.
  • Related thread:

    Is there a better way to mark threads as "related"?
  • @adamsmith: Think you'd be able to have Prevent Duplicates signed before Firefox drops the current workaround?
  • I am holding out and not updating to FF 46.0.1

    @adamsmith, think you can get the prevent duplicates add-on signed?
  • The pref will still work until Firefox 47.
  • Thanks, Dan! Just to be sure, did you mean the workaround will work until (but NOT including) FF47?
  • Yes, that's right. The pref has been removed in the Firefox 47 betas. There's supposed to be an unbranded build of Firefox that still supports the pref by the time Firefox 47 ships.
  • @adamsmith, @Dan

    I'm holding up FF 47 update to keep Prevent Duplicates plugin running. Think someone can get it signed ASAP? Thanks!
  • Thanks, Dan. I'll go ahead and keep updating until we hit FF 48.
  • I moved to a new computer with Windows 10 and am unable to install the prevent duplicates and item history add-ons.

    When I point Firefox (47.0.1) to the .xpi files, it gives a warning, lets me proceed with the installation, and I see the restart firefox button. However, when I restart firefox, these two add-ons do not show up in the extensions list, nor can I see the item history browsing buttons in Zotero. I have xpinstall.signatures.required set to False.

    Any thoughts?
  • Any chance we can get the 'Prevent Duplicates' plug-in signed so it can work with FF 48.0.2?
  • I'm really sorry. I'll try this weekend for real. If the signing goes smoothly, I'll have it done, but I won't have much time to fix any issues.
  • The Item History plugin is outdated, and does not work with recent Zotero releases, as far as I know. I believe that similar functionality is in the development roadmap for Zotero proper.
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