Firefox finally forced me to upgrade from version 52 ESR. 52 stopped receiving updates several months ago. I was actually planning to download the regular version this evening and use that for most browsing, leaving 52 ESR for my large existing tab list and developer edition for development purposes, but the forced upgrade made me switch around how I did things and end up with 60 ESR instead of the regular release. It’s possible that visiting the Firefox download page forced the upgrade, but that seems weird.

The reason I still need 52 ESR is because I use the Tab Groups extension and still have 340 tabs in there that I want to go through and either close, finish reading, or save as bookmarks. Firefox 57 changed its extension system completely, and Tab Groups was never updated to the new system. I haven’t yet found a satisfactory replacement.

Because I upgraded to 57, downgraded to 52, and then jumped up to 60, I now have the 580 tabs I had back when I first upgraded to 57 instead of the list I culled and added to since then. Also because of my irregular upgrade path, Firefox just hides tabs that weren’t in the current group. My plan is to keep the 580 until I find a reasonable Tab Groups replacement, so I can verify it is satisfactory, then just close the window to get rid of those tabs.

52 ESR will be where I actually manage the tab list. Before I closed my still running 52 ESR, I exported my tab groups. I then re-downloaded 52 ESR, renamed it ‘FirefoxESR’, and installed it. I created a new profile, copied some files from the old profile, reinstalled Tab Groups, and imported my export. I will slowly over time go through those tabs until I’ve removed them all, then get rid of the app and the profile.

Right now I have three separate installs of Firefox (on my main computer): 60 ESR, 52 ESR, and developer edition. I had been using developer edition for payment and other sensitive sites, but will no longer need to do that. I’ll switch to 60 ESR for those purposes. Eventually, I’ll switch that to the regular update channel, but probably when I’m on unrestricted internet.