05 August 2017

Panic Button/wx 4.0 beta 1 released!

This is the first beta release of the WebExtension version of Panic Button/wx, which is named as such to differentiate it from older versions of Panic Button.  It has been created in anticipation of Firefox 57, which is scheduled for release in November 2017; at that time, it is expected that older versions of Panic Button will no longer work.

Because this is a beta release, no automatic upgrades to this release will be available to current Panic Button users.

Most features that exist in Panic Button 3 are present in Panic Button/wx; however, there are some that are missing:
  • The "Hide all Windows" action is no longer available
  • Cannot upload a image file to use as a custom Panic Button icon
  • The shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action cannot be changed to something else; the default is F9
  • Setting a password for restoring the browser session (for the "Hide and Replace" action)

How to Get It

Head over to the Panic Button page on the Mozilla Add-ons website.  Scroll down the page and expand  Development Channel.  Click on the yellow "Add to Firefox" button to install.

Help and Support

Send your questions and comments to the AE Creations forums.  If you wish to report a bug, you may do so in GitHub; you will need a GitHub account if you don't have one already.

30 July 2017

Compatibility with Firefox 57

Many users have been wondering about plans to make the AE Creations extensions compatible with Firefox 57, which is scheduled for release in November 2017, and is expected to remove all support for legacy extensions.  Clippings, Panic Button and Send Tab URLs are all legacy extensions, and would need to be completely rewritten as WebExtensions to be compatible with Firefox 57 and future releases of Firefox afterwards.

After spending the last few months studying developer documentation, developing prototypes and understanding the capabilities and limitations of WebExtensions, I have enough information to announce plans for compatibility with Firefox 57.

Clippings

Clippings will be completely rewritten as a WebExtension.  The legacy extension will continue to be supported for Thunderbird, which is not switching over to WebExtensions at this time.

Clippings will be subjected to the limitations of WebExtensions, in that many existing features will no longer be available.  Examples are color-coded labels on clippings, ability to choose data source location, backing up and restoring the data source, and exporting clippings to HTML.

For current users of Clippings, there will be a migration step that everyone will have to perform when upgrading to the WebExtension-compatible version of Clippings.  A final legacy version of Clippings will be released in advance of Firefox 57 to make it possible to perform this migration; more information on this is coming soon.


Panic Button

Panic Button will be completely rewritten as a WebExtension.  Like Clippings, it will be subjected to the limitations of WebExtensions; as a result, some features in Panic Button 3.x will no longer be available in the WebExtension-compatible version of Panic Button. Examples include the "Hide All Windows" action, custom toolbar button icons (but the 20 predefined toolbar button icons will still be available to choose from), and changing the shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action.


Send Tab URLs

Send Tab URLs is the least-used extension from AE Creations, with 5,786 average daily users between July 2016 and July 2017, compared to 8,354 for Panic Button and 35,962 for Clippings.  I've decided to discontinue development of Send Tab URLs, and focus on Clippings and Panic Button.