New Firefox Release Impacts LodeStar Authors

In early 2019, Lodestar released a new previewer. With the new previewer, authors could see precisely what their students were seeing in a browser when the activity was served up by a learning management system (LMS).

The improved previewer eliminated the need to launch a local project manually from, for example,  Firefox.  But some authors got accustomed to previewing projects in Firefox. Firefox, Edge and Internet Explorer were the only browsers that supported a local project accessing local data stored on the hard drive. Of the three, we always recommended Firefox.  Of course, once the project was uploaded to an LMS, students could use any browser to view the project – just as they can now.

With the latest release of Firefox 68.0, developers discontinued Firefox’s ability to access local data.  Given this change, authors must now use the Lodestar built-in previewer. Firefox no longer supports local access to data.

The good news is that authors will find the built-in previewer convenient and an improvement over the past. Lodestar serves up the project to the default browser. Lodestar behaves like a web server, enabling the browser to access the data. The entire experience is a more streamlined experience for the author.


LodeStar behaves like a web server that serves up projects to the browser for preview.

To ensure a trouble-free experience, authors should be aware of what browser is their default browser.  A quick search on the web will provide step by step instructions for the operating system on how to set a specific browser to be the default.  Authors can choose any modern and up-to-date browser.  They should then launch their default browser from the desktop.  If it launches, that means that LodeStar can launch the browser when previewing a project.  If it fails to launch, authors should try re-installing the browser application.