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Old 08-21-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
john_b
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Default Firefox update policy

I don't know what Firefox is playing at these days but they're now pestering me to install version 6. I only got version 5 recently and I think even that seemed to skip version 4 which I simply don't remember installing at all...;-(

While I'm all in favour of keeping software up to date, this seems to be going at some blistering pace. ISTR reading somewhere that Mozilla is aiming to bring out a completely new version every six weeks!

All of which wouldn't be so bad if you knew beforehand what effect it was going to have on your favourite add-ons and extensions....

...is there a simple way to check this before you commit to installing the thing?

NB: Mozilla seem to be pursuing a similar policy with Thunderbird which is also pestering me to update. The same issues apply and I can't help thinking this is all going to get soooo irritating...;-(

John
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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I'm not too thrilled with the rapid updates either. I installed Firefox 6 on my Linux computers yesterday. I don't recall having Firefox 5 installed all that long. I did have FF4 and all the versions before that. Security issues are involved so often that I don't like to hesitate before upgrading.

It takes less than a minute to install a new version in Linux, and all my settings are preserved because they are kept in a mozilla directory in my home directory. However, a new version may indeed have a bad effect on addons and extensions. For example, FF 6 is incompatible with Moonlight, the open source version of Silverlight. I wouldn't care except there are a few web sites that require Silverlight (Moonlight often works with them). I don't know if Silverlight works with FF6 in Windows, but since I use Linux most of the time, it's irrelevant to me. FF6 also broke a theme that I liked to use in Linux.

I've never cared much for Firefox, which was overrated from the start. Opera already had most of the stuff people were mindlessly raving about. But I do use it sometimes in Linux (I'm writing this in Firefox 6) and I don't want it to be broken. I've never bothered with AdBlock or NoScript or whatever they're called. Opera has those functions built in and they're adjustable on a per-site basis.
--Judy M.

   
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
john_b: but they're now pestering me to install version 6. I only got version 5 recently and I think even that seemed to skip version 4 which I simply don't remember installing at all...;-(
Six?!! Wow...I thought the most current was 4...

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Old 08-21-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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I was surprised too. I hope this doesn't happen every few weeks.

   
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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After replying to your post, I decided to open FF4 and see what "check for updates" would do and interestingly enough after it downloaded the update and asked me if I wanted to install it--which I did allow--I now have FF6 installed...'-}}

Of course, I still have FF2 and FF3 separately installed and I use FF3 most of the time--there's a plug-in I need for some things that doesn't exist after FF2 so when I need that, I use FF2. I really don't like tab browsing and while there is a way around it in FF4/6, it's awkward but I may try to start using 4/6 more often...

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Old 08-21-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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After a while, you might not have new version numbers staring you in the face -- just updates when needed:
http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011...-attention.ars

   
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:20 AM   #7
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Interesting article and I read something similar in another forum. It just seems to me that attitudes like that are ones that are attempting to practice a form of deception on the FF user base. I don't much care what version number it is, but I do care if someone is trying to obfuscate it for no apparent reason.

In any event, what bothers me even more is that I can't find a way to tell in advance whether or not extensions are going to work with whatever update is being rolled out. I think that you only find out when you've started to install the new one and it helpfully advises that - by the way - this or that add-on ain't gonna work no more! By which time it's too late...

I've been a supporter of the FF (and Thunderbird) project but, if what has been suggested comes to pass, then I'm afraid it's a very misguided approach and may force me - and, I suspect, many others - to look elsewhere...;-(

John

Last edited by john_b; 08-22-2011 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:56 AM   #8
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This is a brain dead policy if I have ever seen one.

Don't they know that commercial software companies spend countless hours checking the compatibility of their software with major browsers. The LMS at my college is certified for FF 4 and IE 7 (I think).

When a new version comes out, there is a lag before it is certified, and I suspect that if a new version comes out while they are certifying an old one, the company is liable to just throw up their hands and decide to not certify that version at all, as being unstable.

Sheesh.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:30 AM   #9
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I came across some information re installing older versions of Firefox so I suppose that if installing the newer version cuffs your add-ons you could always go backwards...

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
john: After a while, you might not have new version numbers staring you in the face -- just updates when needed
I want a version number--for all the reasons outlined in the article...

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