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Mozilla Removes Individual Cookie Management in Firefox 60 (ghacks.net) 177

Martin Brinkmann, writing for Ghacks: The most recent version of Firefox Nightly, currently at version 60, comes with changes to Firefox's cookie management. Mozilla merged cookie settings with site data in the web browser which impacts how you configure and manage cookie options. If you run Firefox 59 or earlier, you can load about:preferences#privacy to manage privacy related settings in Firefox. If you set the history to "use custom settings for history" or "remember history", you get an option manage cookie settings and to remove individual cookies from Firefox. A click on the link or button opens a new browser window in which all set cookies are listed. You can use it to find set cookies, look up information, remove selected or all cookies. Mozilla engineers changed this in recent versions of Firefox 60 (currently on the Nightly channel).
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Mozilla Removes Individual Cookie Management in Firefox 60

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:09PM (#56190055)
    I often need to whack a broken cookie for a single site. Now I have to blow out all my logins (and worse, my user's logins) just to fix one bad cookie? Are they nuts? You can kiss FF goodbye in any environment more complex than grandma's surfing the net. Everybody else is going to get fed up the first time their IT whacks everything instead of the one busted cookie.
    • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:16PM (#56190101)

      Mozilla just keeps thinking of new ways to make Firefox worse.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:16PM (#56190103)

      I advise a bit of patience before reacting strongly to this. The article indicates that this is part of a larger plan to reorganize the settings available to users. It is definitely reasonable to reorganize settings, especially to present them in a more intuitive manner. It's entirely possible that functionality to manage individual cookies will be reimplemented prior to an official release of Firefox 60. In that case, this would be much ado about nothing. Users should expect that nightly builds may be broken or incomplete. If Firefox 60 is released officially without the functionality to manage individual cookies, then users have a good reason to be angry. Let's wait and see what happens before ditching Firefox.

      • I advise a bit of patience before reacting strongly to this.

        You're absolutely right. I'm taking my strong reaction over to reddit.

      • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:53PM (#56190373)

        I disagree, and here's why.
        While it's true that this is a nightly build, it's false to say "wait". The sooner the customer base reacts, the greater the chance this functionality change will be looked at and changed BEFORE it goes into release.
        I'm past the "let's hope they don't do it" hope, that mentality died years ago.
        And yes, I would be one of the affected users, there's a corporate product that I use all the time (part of my job) that consistently mangles cookies, and the simplest solution is to delete cookies related to that environment only. This happens once or twice a week. Now, losing all my logins to 50-ish different websites which I am supposed to have easy access to at all times is a big no-no, a loss of productivity and increased frustration is what it's going to give me instead.

        They want to reorganize settings? Cool! Fork the code and knock yourselves out. Or give me a "classic mode" alternative. But really, removing functionality was never a good idea.

        • Wow if only there was a solution to that problem. Yeah - don't run Nightly, which is primarily for Addon authors and folks that wish to help with FF development.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Mozilla's actions are at odds with their publicly professed goals.They hid third party cookies in the previous release and now want to do this. Why even waste time and resources on a user hostile action, how will these actions benefit users?

          They are mainly sucking up to Google's interests and hide behind political answers when called out. Firefox now seems to exist more as token competition to Chrome in the browser marketplace so no one can accuse Google of being a monopoly.

          We need a genuine open source alt

          • by lsllll ( 830002 )

            Why even waste time and resources on a user hostile action, how will these actions benefit users?

            How? Make things simpler. Go the Apple way. Take as many options as you can away from the user so that the user is left with not too many choices. "Hmm, should I delete all cookies? Well, it may fix the issue, so why not."

            It's funny. Even Microshaft Internet Exploder offers an option to remove individual cookies.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The sooner the customer base reacts, the greater the chance this functionality change will be looked at and changed BEFORE it goes into release.

          You seem pretty optimistic regarding Mozilla's ability to listen to their users and behave accordingly. What makes you think they would start doing that any time soon?

          • Not much I guess, but at least word would go out and people would be able to plan ahead. I for one am thankful for this article, otherwise I wouldn't have known.

        • You should run that site in a container: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]
      • If Firefox 60 is released officially without the functionality to manage individual cookies, then users have a good reason to be angry. Let's wait and see what happens before ditching Firefox.

        It would be sadly ironic to "ditch Firefox" by switching to a non-free (proprietary, user-subjugating) browser in response to the lack of user control Firefox didn't give you in this build. If there's one thing we can say with certainty about proprietary software: users only get as much control as the proprietors want

      • The article indicates that this is part of a larger plan to reorganize the settings available to users.

        In other words, very much a reason to react strongly. They're always reorganizing the things that aren't broken.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You probably still can. I don't care to check, because I don't particularly care about Firefox any more, but from what I can tell they're simplifying the "basic user" UI to make it merge all storage together, rather than show individual cookies.

      The dev tools (Ctrl-Shift-I) contain a UI that lets you view and manipulate ALL local storage, including individual cookies. It doesn't sound like this is going away. So if you need to remove a single cookie in Firefox, you can probably still do it through the dev to

      • You probably still can. I don't care to check, because I don't particularly care about Firefox any more, but from what I can tell they're simplifying the "basic user" UI to make it merge all storage together, rather than show individual cookies.

        The dev tools (Ctrl-Shift-I) contain a UI that lets you view and manipulate ALL local storage, including individual cookies. It doesn't sound like this is going away. So if you need to remove a single cookie in Firefox, you can probably still do it through the dev tools.

        This probably isn't quite as bad an idea as the article wants you to think it is because I suspect most people who knew enough to remove individual cookies were probably using the dev tools anyway and not the cookie tools available via the preferences.

        Why do I, as a non-dev, need to access dev tools to do something that as a user, I'd like to be able to do? Maybe I'm just splitting hairs here, but it feels a bit like some clown making me pull my car over, and switch the gear selector lever into park to unlock the ability to change stations on the radio, so that I won't fiddle with it while I'm driving. Finding out that a car I'm looking at buying has this feature would probably make me choose a different car, or, if all cars had that feature, no car at

      • by jecowa ( 1152159 )
        Yeah, I think I've been using dev tools edit cookies anyway. I don't know of any other way. I don't do it very often though. The shortcut key is Command-Option-I on the Mac version, btw.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the new API allows this to be managed through an add-on, then I'm more-or-less okay with it. (Though the FF engineers should then write that plugin to restore missing functionality, amirite??)

      FF can't win. People complained (and still do) about "bloat" in the browser. The logical conclusion from the whining masses is that the "bloat" should be stripped-out. But then a feature is stripped out, and another set of people say "OH, NO, not THAT feature, I meant all the other features that I don't use".

      Yes

      • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:52PM (#56190363) Journal

        Looks like Cookie Manager can replace the lost functionality:

        https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

        • by Anonymous Coward

          But when Mozilla finds out that a plugin implements something they removed, their next logical step is to remove the API which makes the plugin possible. If people could have and use the features which Mozilla's designers removed, that would make them look bad.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @08:14PM (#56191439)

        FF can't win. People complained (and still do) about "bloat" in the browser. The logical conclusion from the whining masses is that the "bloat" should be stripped-out. But then a feature is stripped out, and another set of people say "OH, NO, not THAT feature, I meant all the other features that I don't use".

        That's a little unfair. I saw a lot of people complaining about bloat that wasn't really related to the core browsing functionality and could just as well have been handled through add-ons. I'm not sure that in my entire life I've ever seen a Firefox user complain that its flexibility as an actual web browser was a bad thing or that the ability to configure everyday things like cookies should be nerfed.

        It seems to me that Firefox has, and has always had, a clear way to "win": It needs to be the trustworthy, reliable, highly customisable browser that made it attractive, and then focus on quality of implementation as an actual web browser instead of all the peripheral junk.

        Unfortunately, they seem to be doing almost everything but that. They gave up huge amounts of customisation with 57, and I am still irritated every time I have to use it by so many little things that are worse than they were before as a direct result, while literally nothing has improved perceptibly for me. It's also been flaky since 57 and just plain broken since 58 in several ways, making a mockery of the claims about the architecture changes improving speed and reliability. I must be the unluckiest person on the planet given how many people seem to defend that change every time the subject comes up!

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I saw a lot of people complaining about bloat that wasn't really related to the core browsing functionality

          This.

          Pocket, Hello, Personas, Suggested Sites, search engine integration...

          Even Mozilla employees don't use Firefox [medium.com]:

          I head up Firefox marketing, but I use Chrome every day.

          Firefox is finished. I switched to Waterfox a while back, but I don't like the idea of relying on one guy (or whatever it's up to now) for security updates. I'll probably be looking at Opera soon.

          • Even Mozilla employees don't use Firefox:

            I head up Firefox marketing, but I use Chrome every day.

            That's misrepresenting what was written. The author actually says they use both Firefox and Chrome.

        • Agreemsg. ISTR a lot of gabbling on about how Firefox was a platform, but they seem to want to bundle everything into it instead of treating it like a platform and providing the rest as addons. What would serve the userbase best (IMO obviously, but I've been doin' this web thing since you had to build your own browser from source and I have a thing or two to say about it) is to have at least the option of downloading just the browser, with just the core functionality. Frankly, complex cookie management woul

        • by lsllll ( 830002 )

          They gave up huge amounts of customisation with 57, and I am still irritated every time I have to use it by so many little things that are worse than they were before as a direct result, while literally nothing has improved perceptibly for me.

          The one thing that pisses the shit out of me is the warnings on the login/password input boxes when the site is not SSL. First of all, the browser doesn't know if the code that posts the form uses SSL or not. You can't deduce whether the connection is going to be SSL

      • by doom ( 14564 )
        I don't think I've ever once complained about "bloat" in Firefox. My number one complaint about Firefox has been that they're remarkably lame about supporting the user-customization features (a regular pattern: they roll out a "feature", you do research to figure out how to shut it off, that breaks, you do more research to find out how to shut it off, then... ). And then they decided to break all of the addons (because "Security!").
    • I have disabled automatic updates on my FF58. I never use it for anything requiring a login anyway, I just use it so I can squash annoying/overbearing advertisements anyway, but this, if true, will mean I will be ditching Firefox, or simply just using a progressively more and more outdated version. That said...

      All good things come to an end. The internet seems to have peaked, and now it's just going to go slowly downhill with the end of net neutrality, so it's time to figure out what things are done WIT
    • "I often need to whack a broken cookie for a single site"

      Me too. Mostly to kill those ludicrous 'paywalls' of the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, etc.

      If this is real, I'll switch.

      It's bad enough that I have to delete the Google News app on my phone and reload it every day to kill the paywalls, because it doesn't allow deleting the cookies, but I'm sure not going to delete and reinstall FF just to continue reading.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      I often need to whack a broken cookie for a single site. Now I have to blow out all my logins (and worse, my user's logins) just to fix one bad cookie?

      It appears they are grouping all local data (cookies, cache, etc) under one heading per site. You can still search by site and remove data specific to that site, leaving other sites' data untouched, but you can't clear only cookies and leave cache, or just one cookie out of several, for example.

      I suppose that if a large number of people use the same PC and user account, then yes, you will wipe out all other users' cache and cookies for the same domain. I guess Mozilla assumes most people would have a separa

    • I have a couple of news websites, that only allow you x number of "free" reads per month (local newspaper sites). But if you blow out the INDIVIDUAL cookie for that site, you can read 5 more. I made a shortcut to get to the cookie, then type in the cookie name to blow just the 3 cookies associated with that site. Now I have to blow them ALL out? WTH?
    • Most power users edit individual cookies through the developer tools, they still can. A redundant method was removed.

    • Open developer tools, click storage.

    • by lsllll ( 830002 )

      You can kiss FF goodbye in any environment more complex than grandma's surfing the net.

      Actually THOSE are the instances you can kiss FF goodbye, since grandma won't remember her username for any site she logs on to.

  • As always (Score:4, Funny)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:15PM (#56190083) Journal

    This is why you never let your programmers program your applications. No good can come of it.

  • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:16PM (#56190105)

    When is Mozilla going to realize that Firefox got popular because of developers and power users and the fact that they keep doing things like this that are hostile to developers and power users is a contributing factor to Firefox's decline in usage?

    • Chrome has over 60% of the browser market. Regular people "marketers" then conclude firefox needs to be more like chrome to get their numbers up.

      • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

        Forgetting to notice that Chrome grew such a big marketshare *because* FF irritations drove users to look for alternatives, and once they find one, most never look back.

        And when the primary choice becomes Chrome, or a buggy imitation of Chrome, which d'ya suppose will win more users?

        [Me, I use SeaMonkey as my primary, PaleMoon as my secondary, Chrome as a last resort. I haven't even installed FF in years, and that's entirely their own fault.]

        • chrome won not because it's a better product. it won because google search is the most popular web search engine, and every time you visit it you get an ad from them asking you to install it.

    • Most power users edit individual cookies through the developer tools, available through UI or keyboard shortcut. There were three ways to mess with cookies, one which was redundant was removed.

    • You've got it all wrong, dude. Mozilla is very much aware that developers need great features, so they're just forcing people to use the ultra-powerful scripting console in Web Developer mode. It's good for you! Nobody needs those fancy-pants graphical interfaces!

      Heaven forbid they allow the ability to add your own buttons to the toolbar and run scripts with a click. Get to the console, you slacker.

      In other news, Linux continues to be ignored by the unwashed masses for the same reasons.

    • If I wanted Chrome, I would have used Chrome.

      Making FF more Chrome-like will not attract more users. It will just alienate more of their remaining users. I hate everything about Chrome, from calling home to to the crappy user interface. Personally, I use the Firefox ESR release under Windows and an old version under Linux . When those expire, I will find something else. Or build my own browser if I have to. *That* is how much I like Chrome!

      Hi FF: I want to see the URL I am connecting to. I want dialog bo

  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sremick ( 91371 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:17PM (#56190115)

    Seriously? I use this all the time. This REALLY pisses me off. Sure, someone will quickly make an add-on, but basic core functionality shouldn't depend on a pile of third-party add-ons.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @08:22PM (#56191471) Homepage
      ...basic core functionality shouldn't depend on a pile of third-party add-ons.

      Tell that to the Gnome 3 devs and watch them laugh at you.
  • Done with FF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:21PM (#56190155)
    First they broke a lot of extensions including ScrapBook which I've used for a very long time. So I reverted back to 56 which was a pain but doable, hoping there would be some upgrade path. Nope, the new architecture doesn't support a lot of the plugin features and I'm hearing that repeatedly from multiple places. They got rid of the status bar and I'm using an extension so I can read mouseover events easier. Now they're making it difficult to delete individual cookies? WTF, Firefox team. You know, it's been a nice run and all, but I'm spending more time keeping it working the same way than I should be. Enough is enough.
    • You know, it's been a nice run and all, but I'm spending more time keeping it working the same way than I should be. Enough is enough.

      I'm using Chrome as Firefox 38.0.2 will not display. Process Explorer shows it loads just no GUI.
      When I get control of FireFox again I'm disabling updating. Who knows Opera 12 next...

      That's it's Win10 problem, with Linux Mint after disabling Hardware acceleration it will then show videos.

  • Misleading headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by campuscodi ( 4234297 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @04:24PM (#56190175)
    The option is still there. You just have to press the "Settings" button in the Cookies section. Weird choice of words, I'll admit that. Some Mozilla UI designer needs to get in trouble, that's for damn sure.
    • on a click bait-y headline. Though to be honest after the $h!t show that was their extension API changes I was honestly prepared for something that boneheaded.
    • Yes, the "Show Cookies" button is still there in Nightly and now called "Settings" (presumably a temporary label, because there aren't actually settings in there) but the thing TFA is talking about is that the behaviour of the popup that appears when you press that button has changed from per-cookie to per-site. Previously you got a list of folders, one for each site that has cookies stored. When you expand a folder you get a list of individual cookies that you can see and selectively remove.

      Now you simply

      • That's not true. You can still remove individual cookies on a per site basis.
        Click on the left side end of the url bar on the information button
        Expand right
        Click "More Information"
        Security Tab
        View Cookies
        Remove the individual cookie you want to remove.
        • Yes, that's exactly what I said. You can no longer remove individual cookies from about:preferences but you can still do it in other ways.

  • The A/C controls are now located in the trunk. For your own good, of course.
  • by rnturn ( 11092 )

    Is the ability to selectively clear cookies holding back Firefox development that you're making this function a 3rd-party add-on? Really? (An add-on that may not even exist for some time while it's being developed/debugged.)

    What incentive do I have to switch back to Firefox from Chrome where I already have to rely on a external add-on to manage cookies? I'm thinking there isn't any reason to come back.

  • Firefox has been racing to the bottom for the past few years, and is already almost unusable as of the latest builds. It's slow, buggy, and becoming as limited and useless as Chrome.

    The faster it craters, the better, as only that will offer us the realistic prospect of a new competitor.

    • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

      Firefox has been racing to the bottom for the past few years, and is already almost unusable as of the latest builds. It's slow, buggy, and becoming as limited and useless as Chrome.

      The faster it craters, the better, as only that will offer us the realistic prospect of a new competitor.

      So what's a good alternative? I need a browser that has reasonable ad filtering and the ability to inject HTTP headers into all my requests. (I am not being snarky, it's an honest question)

  • Fixed that for you. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Mozilla XXmoves Individual Cookie Management in Firefox 60

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The main point is that they are putting Site Data (the JavaScript APIs localStorage and siteStorage) and cookies together, since they are functionally the same thing: they let sites store persistent data on your computer.

    So the new UI is organized by site, and shows you how big the data is, and how many cookies. And you can still pick and choose a site, and delete its data.

    For now, it seems like the ability to delete some but not all of a site's cookies, and to inspect cookie values, is lost. As a develope

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      +3
      There has been too much scaremongering and too little reading of details.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      The reports are, however, that you still can't manage individual cookies, even when to go to the UI locale (Settings?) for the sites.

      Not good. I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether it's even acceptable. I rarely manage individual cookies, but still...

      Let's put it this way, I've started looking for an acceptable alternative. That I haven't found a good choice yet doesn't mean that at some point I won't decide it's worth the pain of changing to something that wasn't as good, even though it

      • It may be worth waiting to see if this comes to pass. At the moment we're discussing rumours and "what may be".

        At the risk of making a huge generalisation here... people who get hung up about cookies & privacy [and I include myself in this set] are generally also technically competent and able to hack around about:config pages. Loss of a UI, whilst hurting the general population (and acclimatising them to the inevitability of cookies & tracking) is not so big a deal for those who manage cookies alre

  • The analysis of the interface change comes from a work-in-progress nightly version, yet the title makes it look like it refers to the final version. The feature has not been disabled, just moved around. Yet many readers are commenting as if yet another feature was missing from Firefox. Is there a deliberate attempt to paint Mozilla in the worse possible way to harm the project, or mere clickbait to catch eyeballs?

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      That would be a fair comment if Firefox hadn't taken so bloody many absolutely bad choices and committed them to the stable tree. As it is, I count this fair warning of what's coming.

  • They are going to keep pulling this stuff until FF is forked.
    It worked for LibreOffice.
  • I switched to Vivaldi. A little rough around the edges still but very usable. I get blink and extensions from the Chrome store (like Google Translate and the Tideways extension). In addition there is finer control over zoom increments and a whole bunch of other nice improvements over Chrome.

    Looking forward to their sync implementation (coming soon) and Android app (coming later).

  • From the original article; "Update: Some commenters stated that Firefox users may still manage individual cookies in the following ways for now:

    Load chrome://browser/content/preferences/cookies.xul to display the dialog.
    Click on the information button in the Firefox address bar, and navigate to "right arrow" > More Information > View Cookies. Remove the site name to list all set cookies.
    Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-I to open the Developer Tools and switch to the Storage tab (enable it under se

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