Form History Control II

Monday, March 20, 2017 | 12:59

I am happy to announce that work on porting this extension to e10s and web-extensions has started.

Not all functionality from the current version can be ported due to limitations imposed by the new API.
Due to he lack of a decent FileIO-API importing and exporting history will be impossible. The new API is also missing services to interact with the browsers internal Formhistory storage, so the new add-on must gather and maintain its own copy.

Update 11 oct 2017:
I managed to get importing and exporting to work. You can even import files exported by the old extension!
This was high on my own priority list and I am very happy I got this working. It is also a very convenient way to get lots of data into the new extension for testing.

28 comments:

matif said...

Thanks for this awesome addon, but please don't use zh-CN to zh-TW, it's different, zh-CN use simplefied Chinese, zh-TW and zh-HK use Traditional Chinese.

matif said...

If you have zh-CN strings translation file, you can send it to me, I can help you to use software convert it to Traditional Chinese.

matif said...

I have sent a email to you.

PhoneixS said...

Nice to ear it! So this will made it compatible also with chrome?

Mr Wolf said...

Hi! Would you be so kind to take a look at this topic:
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3029791
which also concerns Form History Control?

Many thanks!

Murz said...

Thanks, very good news! I'm happy that you create new version, so I can use Firefox in e10s mode in near future! Can we download and test current developing version?

Anonymous said...

Was looking for an alternative to Lazarus and this seems like it would be good and close enough. Looking forward to this!

setuid said...

You've mentioned a month prior that you were marking this add-on as end-of-life. Is that still the case? No longer going to continue to develop and support it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing the plugin!

Stephan Mahieu said...

@setuid: as this post stated I have started to work on a new version that supports e10s and webextensions.
Progress is however slow, but I am continuing development and support.

Stephan Mahieu said...

@Murz: as soon as I have a beta ready for testing I will let you know.

John said...

Is there any consideration to creating a Google Chrome Extension for this? Lazarus Form Recovery works great, but they take forever to release revisions, and their website is ALWAYS down. It would be nice to have an extension that does the same thing (form recovery) but where the site always stays up to date and available. Thanks!

Stephan Mahieu said...

@John: the answer is yes. The extension should work in both Firefox and Chrome. I will do my best to make it available for both browsers.

kstev99 said...

Great to hear that you are updating this to web extensions. I use this add-on to mainly backup and restore form history to new browser installations etc. Will we still be able to backup manually formhistory.sqlite OR the equivalent that is created by the new version? It is a shame that mozilla puts so many restrictions with WE, a lot of once useful add-ons now are just a shell of what they once were.

Stephan Mahieu said...

Yes, import/export is one of the things I implemented first. It will be possible to import the complete history from files exported with the old version.
(It is also a valuable way of testing the new version with lots of data :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello, thanks for the great extension and updating. Does that mean that in webextensions, it will be impossible to remove an unwanted input in the form (accidentaly typed password in the login field etc.)? Or, if the extension uses a separate copy of the form history, changing it there and sweeping browser's memory will remove it?

Stephan Mahieu said...

Hi, webextensions can no longer access the browsers formhistory, so unwanted history can no longer be removed by this or any other extension. The only way is indeed by erasing the complete formhistory, or if you manage to get it displayed in the built-in auto-complete dropdown list, you can remove an unwanted item by pressing the delete button.
My new extension is in fact storing it's own copy of everything you type into textfields. I am currently investigating the possibility of adding my own autocomplete-dropdown list which will hopefully do a better job as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't know it was possible in plain firefox, thanks. I'm less concerned now. Good luck!

Twisted_Code said...

(in response to Stephan's most recent comment here)

So you at least have something to help me ensure stuff I'm typing is backed up? Good, because that's the main thing I use the plugin for. If I really need to clean up the history for a given form, I'll do just what you were explaining to the Anon: hit delete while the entry is highlighted. still, I kind of wish they would add the history access to the API. Not supporting that doesn't make sense to me for either of the stated purposes of the new API: Security and Forward-Compatibility
If the security concern is the reason, the current system already handles this with a very simple permission prompt. Something along the lines of this would do: "This plugin needs permission to access your history. [Allow Now|Allow and Remember|Deny]"
as for forward-compatibility, well, it's an API. It should be forward-compatible to begin with, right? I can't imagine they're going to change how the form history is stored and handled so much that they will need to change how the plugin interacts with the API, especially to the point of completely breaking a plugin over it.
All this to say, maybe you should send them feedback about the API's apparent shortfalls, or maybe even offer to help them fix said shortfalls if you have time (it is an open source project after all).

Twisted_Code said...

(also, you may want to do a bit more digging to see if there really isn't a way to access the history. It seems almost ludicrous they wouldn't have SOME way for plugins to access it)

Stephan Mahieu said...

Believe me, the issue about not being able to access the browsers form history has been raised already by many people.
Mozilla has chosen to adopt the same API as Google Chrome which means that any proposal to add or change the API is a lengthy process, all parties involved must agree.
The choice to adopt the Chrome API is also one of the reasons that the new API is not compatible with the old API.

Stephan Mahieu said...

More info about (uns)supported APIs: https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebExtensions/NewAPIs

Twisted_Code said...

Huh, wonder why nothings been done about it just yet. Permission to nag them on your behalf?

Stephan Mahieu said...

In the new upcoming version everything you type should now be stored by my plugin. It will also replace the autocomplete dropdown with my version based on the formhistory kept by my plugin so it is not an issue for me anymore.

Maybe it is even better this way because now I do not have to rely on the (not so stable) Firefox API and the way Firefox remembers history which it does only for simple text-input fields and only when the containing form is submitted in a standard way.

My add-on will try to remember typed input for any field and does this on-the-fly for multiline/wysiwyg fields and for simple text-inputs at the moment the field loses focus. This should be more reliable and provides me a uniform way of doing things instead of wrestling with the Firefox way.

Murz said...

Thanks for good news about development! Does Form History Control II extension available for public alpha testing?

kstev99 said...

Just downloaded Version 2.0.0pre1 from the add on page under the Development Channel . Looking very promising. Thank you for letting us test it as it develops

kstev99 said...

Is it possible, or will it be possible in later versions to exclude certain sites or specific fields from being saved?

Stephan Mahieu said...

Yes, the possibility to exclude certain sites and/or certain fields ranks high on my todo list.

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