[Zotero extension +] Firefox v116 on macOS broken Discourse?

Upgraded my Firefox version this morning to 116.0.3 (64-bit) on macOS. Now every installation of Discourse where I am active (20+ systems) stalls when using the G-J shortcut from any of New, Unread or Unseen. Progress bar starts off and then stalls around 75% or 80% of the way and never finished. It does not matter if my ad blockers (Ghostery and uBlock Origin) are active or inactive the progress bar never finishes and the post never appear.

Using the Discourse hub app on iOS works as do every other web site I visit with (the updated) Firefox on macOS. The problem is only on Discourse sites including here at Meta.

If I right-click on the lists from New, Unread, and Unseen chooinge Open in New Tab then the posts display but to do this is tedious as some of the Discourse communities are very active with 20+ new or unread posts daily.

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Something else that no longer works with 116.0.3 is the re-display of a post after editing the content. Have to resort to a explicit Reload for it to redisplay.

Hi glimfeather!

I tried Firefox 116.0.3 on MacOS Ventura 13.5 and can’t repro your issues.

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I am also seeing various broken behaviours on Discourse sites in Firefox. I am using Firefox Nightly (2023-08-21) on macOS 13.5.

Most “active” features which rely on in-page scripting appear to silently fail for me, including:

  • opening the user menu by clicking my avatar at the top right
  • transitioning to some posts by clicking on their titles
  • loading additional posts in long threads
  • posting replies (they do go through, but I have to refresh the page manually to see them)

As @glimfeather mentions, I can sort of workaround loading a thread by forcing it to load in a new tab to see the initial posts, but there are still many other broken features.

I only started to notice this today, so I would assume it’s a recent Discourse change that went live for hosted sites in the last few days.

When I reach the bottom of a long thread (such as Install the Discourse Theme CLI console app to help you build themes), I can see that the browser’s developer console is full of many errors like:

Uncaught TypeError: can't access property "lastNode", this.last is null
    lastNode runtime.js:916
    lastNode runtime.js:4347
    lastNode runtime.js:1008
    evaluate runtime.js:4424
    _execute runtime.js:4306
    execute runtime.js:4291
    rerender runtime.js:4606
    Ember 2
    It runtime.js:4139
    Ember 3
    invoke queue.ts:201
    flush queue.ts:98
    flush deferred-action-queues.ts:75
    _end index.ts:616
    end index.ts:298
    _run index.ts:667
    _join index.ts:640
    join index.ts:362
    Ember 2
    start screen-track.js:52
    setupController topic.js:289
    setup Ember
    s router_js.js:1514
    routeEnteredOrUpdated router_js.js:1524
    setupContexts router_js.js:1470
    finalizeTransition router_js.js:1378
    promise router_js.js:1321
    y rsvp.js:435
    v rsvp.js:421
    invoke queue.ts:203
    flush queue.ts:98
    flush deferred-action-queues.ts:75
    _end index.ts:616
    _boundAutorunEnd index.ts:257
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    _scheduleAutorun index.ts:803
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    <anonymous> start-app.js:4
    <anonymous> discourse-boot.js:20
    <anonymous> discourse-boot.js:1

@glimfeather, do you use Zotero by any chance?

I noticed that these issues on Discourse sites did not happen in a private window, so I started to suspect extensions. After bisecting those, it seems the Zotero Connector extension is the culprit for me.

This Zotero forum thread confirms they’ve had some recent issue that caused errors on various sites.

I was able to get things working again with the following steps:

  1. Disable the Zotero Connector extension in Firefox
  2. Restart the Zotero desktop app
  3. Enable the connector extension again
  4. Refresh any Discourse tabs that were already loaded

Yeah in as much as the Firefox add-on is installed. I do not have Zotero itself running. As an aside, if there were some better way to extract bibliographic data from Amazon book listings into BibDesk then I would gladly remove Zotero especially as Zotero regularly breaks its own add-on that passes the data to BibDesk.

At the moment I do not think that it warrants the subject line being amended. Leave it as it was.

If you disable the Zotero add-on in Firefox, do the issues you’re seeing on Discourse sites go away?

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  • There is confirmation of the Zotero team of this being their fault and shipping a fix

  • Our team can’t repro without it

  • @jryans shared that removing the extension fix it

Nothing else for us to do here.


Then that should have been made clear before the subject line amendment.

And while Zotero have admitted they caused a problem it is possible that other browser add-ons could cause the same problem. It is too specific to have Zotero in the subject line.

A better amendment would be “Browser add-ons (including Zotero) in Firefox (after updates (e.g. v116)) may break Discourse”.