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Update 2021-12-15 as noted here, so happy this is working again!!!! FF 68.11.0.

I will say that BWC can be interpreted liberally. If it was not possible to reinstate the same functionality, say for Inbox and Achievements (expanded drop down), a simple fallback to open to the user profile page, inbox tab is a better UX than nothing/breaking.


Whatever changes were pushed today (2021-12-08 seem to have rendered a significant portion of the UI inoperable on Firefox for Android 68.11.0. Yes, that's a rather old version, but it's the last one before Firefox pushed their UI overhaul that everyone hates.

It's a similar list of issues as @dbc described for SeaMonkey

  • can't comment
  • can't expand Inbox, Achievements or the hamburger
  • can't vote up or down
  • probably more too.

I am 100% sure reporting this is not going to change anything and will just be one more of those sacrificial changes in the name of cosmetically keeping up with the Joneses taking away from the user experience, but it's documented now.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough, they did a half-baked job of breaking the UI. If I "Request Desktop site", then the Inbox and Achievements work as expected, but the hamburger and the ability to "Add a Comment" remain broken. I thought the only thing "Request Desktop site" was supposed to change was how the site presented itself, not actually change the behaviour. If it works on one mode, why not the other?

And just to add my footnotes here, it turns out "Firefox Mobile" is not on the list of "Supported Mobile browsers", and yes, I realize this has most likely has to do with "JavaScript Migration" and not the UI refresh or footer changes, but if they spent more time first cleaning up the mess created by:

We have a third-party folder in the repo. It contains (very old versions of) a variety of libraries. Some of those libraries have multiple versions in subfolders. Some of those libraries have had ad-hoc edits made to them. It's difficult to upgrade dependencies and it's difficult to manage transitive dependencies.

Rather than tweaking/breaking a functional UI, then perhaps they'd break less of the UI and have better BWC! Makes me shudder!! Duplicating code, checking in libraries, making custom local fixes (hacks/workarounds) instead of contributing PRs back to the original ... Those were bad practices back in the 1990's!!

I'd rather have websites that work instead of ones are "hip", especially when it's supposed to be one dedicated to sharing knowledge and not marketing.

Finally, to those who are suggesting this is a possible duplicate of the exact question I referenced by link, I am not sure what to say. SeaMonkey is a different platform entirely to Android for Mobile. It is possible some, most or all of the symptoms are the same, but I can't verify that. Since it's a different app and platform, I'd say it's not a duplicate.

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    Probably more to do with the javascript migration than cosmetic changes to profile page. Only the latest versions of browsers are supported unfortunately. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 5:57
  • Unless I've missed something, your browser is not supported. The fact that it worked at all is largely down to BWC, but it is and was expected to break at any time, and this is a risk you took (whether known or not).
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 6:39
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    "Browser Ageism", "Internet rot", "New is cool, Maintain is hard"; laziness. Can you imagine the auto industry saying "We only support the last two model years" !! ??
    – Ian W
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:13
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    @Nij, I guess I dam missing something because Firefox is note even listed on the Supported Mobile browsers. "Your exotic foreign browser in not compatible with our domestic roadways". Evidently no embedded mobile browsers are supported either. Web standards - everyone gets one, Oprah-style.
    – Ian W
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:18
  • @cave-johnson, yes, it's more likely the JavaScript Migration than a UI refresh, but if they spent more time cleaning up the mess created by "We have a third-party folder in the repo. It contains (very old versions of) a variety of libraries. Some of those libraries have multiple versions in subfolders. Some of those libraries have had ad-hoc edits made to them. It's difficult to upgrade dependencies and it's difficult to manage transitive dependencies."first rather than tweaking/breaking a functional UI, then perhaps they'd break less of the UI and have better BWC! makes me shudder !!
    – Ian W
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 7:35
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    Besides, with exactly the described problems, it affects browsers like Waterfox Classic (and probably also Palemoon) on the desktop as well. List can be expanded to include: the site selection at the end of the page no longer works "inline". Tapping e.g. "Technology" no longer expands that item, but opens that page (I just found that's a separate thing, though – but I've used this frequently). // I now have to copy-paste links to a second browser to be able to comment etc. – which makes moderating 2 SE sites really hard. I can't even vote anymore?
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 8:21
  • Besides the above, the changes also affect older versions of Firefox, Chrome and Mypal on Windows. But the new code is much hipper, there is that, even though it breaks the functionality for quite a few people.
    – ocrdu
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 8:37
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    It's the same cause causing issues in all these browsers: the use of optional chaining, which is not supported in Firefox versions prior to 74. As the user agent string in the duplicate target indicates, SeaMonkey is also based on Firefox 68, the same version as your Android version. The fact that they're on different shells of the same engine doesn't change that this is a duplicate. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 9:55
  • And yet, @sonic-the-anonymous-hedgehog, somehow the same thing broke and was fixed for Windows phone back in August ? How is SeaMonkey, not also a duplicate?
    – Ian W
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 9:59
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    Because IE for Windows Phone was supported in 2011, and the root cause was different at the time. Also, the team prefers that users file new bug reports for fixed problems that later come up again; those are not duplicates. There's even a tag for such reports, regression. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:02
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    I posted a request at meta.stackexchange.com/a/372769 . Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 11:54
  • “Request Desktop site”, or clicking the “full site” link in the footer requests an entirely different page, i.e. different HTML, CSS, and JS. It’s not only the appearance. @IanW Why are you comparing the auto industry to the Web? One uses physical resources, frequent replacement of which is discouraged due to cost and the environmental impact, the other uses software, frequent replacement (i.e. upgrades) of which is encouraged due to compatibility and security considerations. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 16:38
  • So happy this is working again!!!! Thx!I will say that BWC can be interpreted liberally. If itbwas not possible to reinstate the same functionality, say for Inbox and Achievements (expanded drop down), a simple fallback to open to the user profile page, inbox tab is better than nothing/breaking.
    – Ian W
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 9:20

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