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back to article Firefox laggards offered security update

Mozilla has released a security and stability update for users still running 3.0.x versions of Firefox. Firefox 3.0.12 addresses security and performance bugs in the open source browser for users yet to upgrade to 3.5.x, which was released with great fanfare in late June. The 3.0.12 update addresses five critical flaws, arising …

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FAIL

Released with great fanfare?

Personally I don't check the news to track every release version of programs I use; I trust them to upgrade themselves when I check for updates.

So why is it that Firefox is offering me the 3.0.12 update but not 3.5? If it's so much better, more secure, and a full release, I don't quite see why the update system is ignoring it.

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Silver badge

I'm still running 3.0 , so what?

It displays web pages. What else do I need? Why should I waste my time upgrading to even more bloatware?

Until they fix one of the glaring problems with Firefox - ie it can run multiprocess as opposed to multithreaded so any blocking operation (eg DNS lookup) *doesn't* hang every bloody instance , then I'm not interested.

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Wait what?

What Ian said, if 3.5 is so great, why don't I already haz it automatically?

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WTF?

They need to work on 3.5

Last time I tried to upgrade it reported 6+ add-ons were out-of-date. I'll wait until they fix that.

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Welcome

Updated to 3.5.1 - Fingerprint software stopped working

Interesting reading FAIL comment above. I was running 3.0.11, selected Help => Check for updates and got 3.5.1. That version appears to be incompatible with the fingerprint password safe on my computer, so I had to start remembering passwords for sites such as this one again. I have since gone back to 3.0.11, then went looking specifically for 3.0.12 based on the URL used to download 3.5.1 and just changing the numbers.

Generally, I'm content with Firefox 3.0, I have quite liked using the Space-Time browser for a while, but I'd rather just keep this version with fixes being applied to it as and when.

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Anonymous Coward

@boltar

You know going multiprocess will increase the 'bloat' you dont want, right?

Oh and for the record, Im all for the multiprocess approach, especially I'd prefer a new Firefox window to be in its own process. But hey, its free and imho infinitly better than anything else has to offer. I was honestly shocked when using Chrome at the number of adverts on the web. Nothing else like Adblock Plus and NoScript!

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Its not about being a laggard, its about plugins.

As long as an essential plugin (to use FF in my office without the network guys detecting me and forcing me back to IE6) is not supported in 3.5, I can´t move on to 3.5.

And FF3.0.11 instead of IE6 is "an offer you can´t refuse". At least not if you expect to get any bloody work done.

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FAIL

3.5 is pants

That is why after 2 weeks of frozen screens I went back to 3.11 on Monday.

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We are not laggards

We are using the version of software that works with the tools we need to do our work. I just fixed the Testing QA guys problem yesterday by pointing out he was using the wrong version of Firefox and his tool did not support FF 3.5.

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Headmaster

On what planet is Firefox bloatware?

It weighs in at a measly 7MB, which is only a couple of megabytes heavier than Firefox back in 2004 (go check with the Wayback Machine if you don't believe me). The installation doesn't include anything but the browser, and any add-ons (including things like dictionaries that some would consider essential browser components) are optional downloads AFTER the browser is up and running. The setup program doesn't even ask you to install so much as a toolbar, so how exactly is Firefox bloatware?

Also, it's pretty obvious why the updater won't take you from 3 to 3.5 automatically. It's a new version with new standards, and for which some plugins need to be ported. Although ALL of my existing plugins worked with 3.5 (and I use a lot), it's hardly a good idea to risk the productivity of end-users by automatically updating to a version that could break essential add-ons.

Let them seek it out and understand the risks first, eh?

Jeez, El Reg, where are you picking up these new commenters? Sky News?

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Silver badge

No , multiprocess doesn't increase bloat

"You know going multiprocess will increase the 'bloat' you dont want, right?"

BS. Multiprocess (on unix anyway) requires a damn sight less code (usually just fork() and a few lines of wrapper) than multithreaded since it doesn't have to worry about critical code section locking etc. And it won't even take up any more room in memory because the code sections will be shared.

When firefox is started off in unix , even from the command line , it appears to check for shared memory which if it exists uses to communicate with a currently running firefox process and tell it to kick off a new thread. The process you started manually then just exits. WTF?? Why go to such trouble to end up with something thats a poorer relation of something running in a seperate process that unix gives you for free!? What idiot designed this??

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Still on 2.0

And will be while 3.x doesn't run on my operating system. If anyone wants to send me the money to upgrade my Windows and upgrade the hardware so it can run that OS, and pay for upgrading anti-virus software as well, my wallet is open and waiting. And, no, Linux is not an option.

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I upgraded to 3.5 last week...

and lo and behold, the only two plug ins I use (adblock and noscript) were upgraded too. It is considerabley quicker loading on my vista machine, and even quicker on my xp machine. it is yet to crash or hang, even with upto 8 tabs open.

I think some people like to complain for the sake of complaining.

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Yeah whatever

I did, in fact, notice the release of Firefox 3.5. I examined it. It offers me absolutely nothing whatsoever beyond 3.0 that I actually care about, and given how much I personally think 3.0 sucks compared to the prior version, I find myself curiously disinclined to inflict even more irritation upon myself until I absolutely must. You say "laggard," I say "not a masochist."

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Stop

FF 3.5 isn't fully cooked

I'm running 3.5 on two PCs here at the office. Both suffer from "server not found" errors. Repeatedly pressing the "Try Again" button eventually allows the browser to connect. I ended up putting a .bat file in my startup folder to run ipconfig /flushdns to help alleviate the problem. There are far too many people experiencing this same issue for to me recommend upgrading to 3.5.

And, as others have mentioned, not all of my add-ons are 3.5 compatible yet. You can call FF 3.5 an upgrade, but it has been my experience that you are actually downgrading the functionality for the time being. The mozzarella folks need to let 3.5 cook for a while longer me thinks. It's not quite done yet.

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FAIL

Re: On what planet is Firefox bloatware? #

Walker, your fanboy's Firefox thong is showing.....

Firefox has become an immense piece of bloatware over how it started, and there are many people that fail to see how it is bloat. Bloat is more than how big the installer is!

It started with good intentions, of being small and fast compared to the Mozilla suite. FF became popular quickly, and instead of focussing on getting FF trimmer they seemed to focus on pandering to the sudden masses of users. So it got face lifts and interface shuffle-arounds, with only minimal back-end changes, but it got more and more users.

At some point Google got involved to fund the project, meaning suddenly FF was not as focussed on being a good browser, but being a platform for Google to make money - things like Google being the default search engine, I think the OCSP verification, etc..

But with all these users suddenly FF was looking to be a credible threat to IE, so people's jobs at Mozilla changed or became more targeted at getting IE users onto FF. Pay rises, promotions and other perks based on numbers of users of FF means FF is now chasing the section of society that uses IE. Hardly people that are very discerning about software!

This was most noticable when FF3 came out with that massively messed up URL bar. It may be great if you don't know how to use a browser, but if you do it is a royal pain. That is a feature that should have been an extension all along, but because FF has become bloatware it got shovelled into the main project and forced on all users!

Sorry, but I don't want to run an IE by another maker. I want a light, fast browser where I add the features that I want, not be given hand-holding features and told "it'll make it easy to use". It was easy to use: I knew how it worked - it cannot get any easier than that!

And what features has 3.5 brought? The <video> tag? Well, that failed IIRC, and some damn feature where a website can find out where you are automatically? No thanks, I do not want that ability! If a site needs to know where I am, it can ask and I will key in the info. If a user wants this feature, maybe they should have it in an extension?

The geolocation tab might be useful for the a very small minority of computer users who have netbooks, but otherwise it is just an advertisers' wet dream.... see, the Google involvement again.

Unfortunately I cannot code, but if I could I would be very tempted to fork Firefox and make something good. I wish someone would..... A browser that is just a box for rendering HTML and showing images, and supports extensions.

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@cybersaur

I get this frequently, selecting a link makes FF get stuck on a loading screen - you need to select the stop page loading button and press the link again and if you're lucky, your page loads. If not, you do the same thing until it does load with occasionally HTML displayed instead of the page.

And another thing while I'm in rant mode, when I click on a link button, a window pops up asking me if I want to save it instead of going to the web-page. Don't know if this is a badly written web-page (doubtful as it happens on several websites), or a problem with FF.

Maybe they should have tested it a bit longer before releasing it.

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EJ

3.5 gots issues

I've tried to use v3.5, buying into the talk of the faster JavaScript performance. Indeed, it is faster than 3.0. However, both my home PC and my work PC now suffer from v3.5 grabbing around 50% of CPU after awhile and becoming unresponsive. Others are reporting this issue, too.

Time to go back to 3.0.12 until they can fix this.

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Joke

"It displays web pages. What else do I need?"

Netscape 1.5 also displays web pages. So does Lynx.

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AC 5:11

3.5 actually lets you set the browser bar to near 2.0 functionality ie it no longer tries to dig through bookmarks for autocomplete matches etc.

I stuck with 2.0 for ages because I hated the url bar so much but 3.5 is much more like it.

I crashed it once but I had a million tabs open or something.

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Badgers

@ Aortic Aneurysm

only 8 tabs? In the 1 window I'm guessing.

Not enjoying the greying out of FF 3.1b3 on OpenSolaris, but hey, tomorrow's another day (must code, more caffeine)

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WTF?

Takes 2-3 updates

Before the new version is stable and secure enough to run in industrial applications. You confuse lag with allowing the new version to come up to speed so it's worth doing 35 installs.

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FAIL

Laggards?

That'll be Canonical then. They have not updated the repros for Jaunty and all you can get is the "Shiretoko" beta release. Seems like Ubuntu fans will have to wait for Karmic before getting any proper FF 3.5 goodness from the repositories.

I know Canonical like to keep things controlled, but this is fecking ridiculous. They don't have to supply 3.5, but they should at least let me install it from the repros. And ShiteRoko does not count; it can't transfer your FF 3.0 settings or plugins, does not set up launchers on install (that's an extra step) and it crashes like buggery.

And what about installing from a Mozilla download? NO! Don't be so stupid! That's not recommended at all. FF must be installed from the repros or not at all according to Canoncial.

*THIS* is why Linux is a minnow in the world of IT. No understanding of what an average user might want to do.

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@Sartorius

Yup, only in the one window. for home browsing purposes. at work i need to use IE, for various reason.

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Unhappy

Passwords

I generally have a bunch of tabs open on my corporate FireFox, which runs through an authenticated proxy.

Every time that an update comes through, or I have to restart for any other reason, the stupid thing prompts me for my proxy password for every single request until it has fully started up, even though I have ticked the 'remember password' box.

Having to click okay for every single extension update check, and several times for every tab, takes me bloody ages. Call me when you have a fix for this and then I'll upgrade.

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