Support of Firefox by The Latest Discourse (Dropped FF 78)

Hello,

Firefox 78 is the newest version of the browser I can use. Prior to early August, I could use it on any Discourse site. I’ve taken notice of the view expressed in https://meta.discourse.org/t/why-firefox-87-is-no-longer-supported/233468

16 months is not really that old. There’re many devices that «are stuck» but considering that overall Firefox 78 (and earlier) is capable of handling content on such sites as Facebook, Vimeo and Youtube, as well as non-Discourse powered forums, the fact that forum software abandons browsers, feel uneasy. Discussion boards have always been about text, not fanciness. Cutting off capable browsers on the grounds of it being 16 months old is not justified from the POV of the user.

Can the support be restored? Its absence severely affects my ability to learn by communicating with other users.

P.S. I had to use another person’s device to post this topic.

Hey @smmmx , which device/os are you using to be stuck at that version of Firefox? Mozilla themselves stopped supporting version 78 a year ago:

AFAIK Firefox 79 dropped support for macOS 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11. If you’re using one of these then it’s not really a matter of being out of date by 16 months, El Capitan (10.11) came out in 2015 (the year after Discourse launched) and runs on hardware going back to 2007. It hasn’t been updated since 2018.

As the topic you linked outlined, there are technical issues with older versions of Firefox. If would be helpful to know more about your local environment so that we can suggest possible alternatives.

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Nuance: cutting off officially unsupported browsers that have quite a few bugs.

Should you expect software to keep working around bugs in browsers that have been fixed for that long already? A device that is “stuck” on FF78 is insecure in many ways. Having a device that cannot be updated after a mere 16 (26*) months, that is what is not justified from the POV of the customer. I would not recommend going on the internet with it, and IMO the device manufacturer is the entity you should address your complaint to, IF the device is indeed that new.

*) Yes, the linked topic is about Firefox 87 which is (now) 18 months old. But FF78 is 26 months old.
That’s ancient for a browser.

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We’re talking about FF78 ESR which ended only the last year. I don’t care about company policy and roadmap. I want to use the Internet, let alone forums with a capable piece of software. Discourse is not a media platform, nor is it a gaming platform. Cutting off browsers by forums regardless of the reason is not what I deem reasonable.

I repeat that until August FF 78 had no troubles with Discourse. I understand that was a lower version. It means there’s no reason for the trend not to continue.
Other forum platforms work perfectly well in FF78. What’s so special about Discourse which is just another discussion board software? I don’t see anything that would single it out, I expect from forums a minimum which is not to become an equivalent of Porsche.

Firefox 78 wasn’t deemed incompatible on a whim. Dropping support is typically the last resort, where the payoff outweighs the technical effort. If you’re just looking to vent then that’s fine, providing you recognize that you’re unlikely to get the solution you’re looking for.

As to your point about Discourse versus other platforms:

What are the minimum browser requirements?

Discourse is designed for the next 10 years of the Internet, so the minimum browser requirements are high.

Discourse supports the latest, stable releases of all major browsers and platforms:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari

Additionally, we aim to support Safari on iOS 12.5+ until January 2023 (Discourse 3.0).

About Discourse

It doesn’t mean you have no options though. If you’re willing to share more information on your system we might be able to help you find a solution. That’s why we’re here on meta, responding on our weekends.

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I don’t know, but could you just change user-agent — or is there another way sniff out version?

But I’m really curious — what kind of device is stuck in that old browser and can’t use something else?

That’s the Extended Support release and its extended support, well, ended, more than 10 months ago. So even Mozilla does not support this browser any longer.

This seems more like a vent than a request for an actual solution, since you’re not sharing any more info about your environment.

If you’re not willing or able to update your browser, OS or device then I’m afraid there isn’t a solution. I highly doubt that someone will backport a workaround for an old bug in a third party product - that already has been fixed by said third party.

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