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back to article Mozilla tries to shunt Firefox 3.0 users over to 3.5

Mozilla is coaxing users off Firefox 3.0 by prompting them to shift over to version 3.5 of its popular open source browser. The outfit has begun sending out messages to users of Firefox 3.0.13 encouraging them to upgrade to Firefox 3.5.2. As an added incentive, it’s telling stick-in-the-mud types to update their browser to the …

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Silver badge
Linux

But Ubuntu is still on 3.0.x...

...and somehow I doubt there'll be an "official" 3.5.x in the repos until the 9.10 release, so I suspect the vast majority of us will be holding out for another couple of months, anyway.

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FAIL

Or MAYBE.....

.....people, like myself and my wife, have found that 3.5 is a dead-slow, buggy POS which crashes all the time. We're both switching back to 3.0.

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Anonymous Coward

3.5.2? That'd be nice

Yeah, well if my Linux distro would compile and package 3.5.x, I'd be on it now. But until that happens, I'm stuck on 3.0.x.

Don't get me wrong, I love Linux. But some of the packaging decisions that distro "managers" (for want of a better term) make leave me confused.

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Ooooh , private browsing , la de da!

That'll be the same as Tools -> Clear Private Data then.

Anyway , theres a shock - a semi-forced upgrade to yet more bloatware for no noticable gain. Just a whole heap of new bugs and security advisories no doubt.

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FAIL

"Twice as fast...." LOL..

You would have to be an idiot to believe that PR Spin... Hang on... Firefox users.... I'm sure they'll lap up those "lets create a benchmark suite that only benchmarks the good bits" numbers...

Twice as bloated, now that would be more accurate.

Twice as many resource leaks?

Twice as insecure?

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FAIL

And me....

Most of my work stuff stopped working under 3.5 - so I have gone back to 3.0 at work. However, I'm happy with 3.5 at home...

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Give me a chance

I saw the pop-up notice and tried to get my cursor down to it to click, but it faded away before i could get to it. An upgrade for the not-speed-challenged only?

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I would upgrade if I could...

...but 3.5 is not available on Ubuntu. Yes there is "Shiretoko" which will do a side-by-side deploy, but if you want to stick with what is official and actually in the repos, yer stuffed.

Maybe it'll appear in Karmic (along with Intel support, (here's hoping!)

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Anonymous Coward

Running 3.52 here..

It doesn't seem too bad, but then I upgraded from FF2 just recently. I don't know why I held out that long.

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Linux

@ Uncle Slacky

Firefox 3.5 is available for ubuntu, it just isn't linked to by the firefox symbolic link in /usr/bin ... you can link to the 3.5 executable instead and hey presto you have shiretoko, or something like that. I eventually reverted back to 3.0

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Not so keen

I've noticed a fair few websites now seem to render really badly since I've moved one of my boxes to 3.5 (that is worse than many sites that of course are targetted at IE). So no rush to go 3.5 everywhere just yet, ta...

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slow

3.5 is deadly slow... although I think that might be more Firebug's fault than Firefox's? The other day I checked in Task Manager and with 3 tabs open I was using 1.5GB of RAM.

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Happy

Got to moan about something I suppose.

Wow, moan, moan, moan.

3.5.2 works fine for me in XP, I too wish Ubuntu would upgrade, the present version won't even display Google Groups properly.

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Zid
Badgers

Tab Tearing

The message advising people to upgrade should also come with a warning to make users aware that 3.5 is the most infuriating version yet.

Tab Tearing is the new feature which lets you drag a tab off of the tab bar, once this happens, the tab will open in a new window. Nifty? Not when you flick the tab accidentally off of the page with the lightest of clicks coupled with a fast movement.

Then there's the problem whereby it actually just opens the URL in a new window, so if you were filling out a form, that's all gone. If you were in the middle of a LogMeIn session, that's refreshed itself and you'll have to log in again.

I can see flamers cracking their knuckles in glee, ready to jump on me and tell me to embrace change for what it is. If I really don't like it I should just turn the feature off and move on with my life. Well it can't be turned off, I have to install another damn addon to further increase the memory load of what is already a long running joke. (admitedly it's a small amount, but it's an amount of extra memory that wasn't in use by firefox before.)

Now if I wanted to elope to browser freedom, I can't actually go anywhere at all.

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Unhappy

3.5 big let down

Middle clicking on links suddenly stopped opening them in new tabs. I think it's a problem with my configuration, but combined with sudden crashes and some pages infinitely loading for no reason, I have switched to chrome. I didn't want to do it - I still love a lot of firefox more than chrome, but there's just so much stuff that's unusable right now.

Hopefully 3.6 will be better.

This reminds me of the Windows "You must restart your computer" box, that keeps popping up and doesn't let you dismiss it for more than 4 hours.

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Flame

May I suggest

...that someone updates Firefox on Yum to 3.5.

As it stands the Linux version one downloads from Mozilla simply gives you zip which when extracted gives you a folder called 'Firefox'. No documentation, nothing.

Sure you can click on it I guess, but who wants to arse around when something like

yum -y install firefox

...will give you a full working version (3.0) complete with Gnome menu icon.

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FAIL

High CPU issue

3.5.X causes a high cpu condition after several minutes on all of our corporate machine builds, even with just one tab open - ie, open the browser and sit on home page. No amount of tweaking or help from the Mozilla folks cleared it up. So we'll be on 3.0.x indefinitely. If they stop issuing security patches, we're going to have to move to another browser platform. Too bad, it was a huge uphill battle to get Firefox approved.

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@boltar

There's quite a bit more to it than that...

For instance, in 3.0 where's the option to just clear the last hour? Or 2 or 4? Or just today?

And for the rest - in my experience it uses less memory than 3, it's noticeably faster (and not just on javascript heavy sites either) and has been as stable as a stable thing that's had extra stabilisers fitted.

It is annoying that Ubuntu hasn't got round to updating yet though.

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Silver badge

Tabs fail

The biggest fail for me is that when you only have one tab left you can't close it and be left with an empty page. No, you have to open a new tab then close the one you didn't want. Solution, go back to 3.0.9.

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Unhappy

.. and another Vista problem

I use FF 3.5 at work on XP and it's fine. At home, under Vista Home Premium, it's a different story and FF 3.5 is slow, crashes and holds on to processes. I was about to downlgrade to FF3.0.xx... hey ho

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FAIL

Sic Transit Gloria Firefox

On my computer, and on certain web pages, Firefox 3.5 causes a memory corruption error so severe that the system freezes. It can only be restarted after turning off the computer's master switch (pressing reset merely hangs the system). There then follows a three hour wait, while my RAID1 array rebuilds itself.

Firefox 3.5 is by far the worst piece of software I have seen in years. And it used to be so good...

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Firefox 3.5 is in Ubuntu 9.04

As Shiretoko. ;-) The package is firefox-3.5. However, while it is faster, it's definitely buggy. Crashed it more than once and when I switch workspaces the keyboard quits working in the browser. I'm hoping the final build in Karmic when they remove the Shiretoko branding and just call it Firefox will be better.

Firefox 3.5 on Windows, incidentally, has been frickin' ace.

And for the love of GOD, I've said it a million times, if you want to check actual compatibility of your plugins rather than wait for the authors to update a version number and re-release, install the Nightly Tester Tools and turn off compatibility checking.

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Some incompatible add-ons

Well, one of those would be the private browsing add-on that no longer has a purpose now that the function is built into the browser. It isn't quite the same as the "erase history on exit" option. Private browsing doesn't store any history in the first place.

I'm using 3.5 now, seems fast, no problems, works with NoScript. Mind you, I am still using XP. Some things you really don't want to "upgrade".

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Firefox 3.5 is not in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

Which is supported until April 2011 (and doesn't suffer from KDE4 either...)

Took me a long time to ditch Firefox 2. You could type a filename into an <input type="file"> form element in to it without it insisting on popping up a frickin' dialog box. The upgrade from 2 to 3 broke enough so I'm not in any rush to go to 3.5 even if it is better for porn...

Another downside of this enforced upgrade is that it's a real headache for developers who want multiple versions of the same browser on their desktop.

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WTF?

Re: Ooooh , private browsing , la de da!

> That'll be the same as Tools -> Clear Private Data then.

Guess what? No it isn't. Maybe you should check your facts before spouting nonsense.

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my wife doesn't like it

I have FF3.5.2 on my laptop but she refuses to upgrade. Says she can't tell what tab she's on in the new version whereas it's obvious in FF3.0.x

She doesn't care about speed, will happily sit there while Vista thinks about maybe doing something, what she does care about is not knowing which tab she's on.

I have to say from my experience that FF3.5 is no faster than FF3.0, if it is I can't tell.

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wherezat?

I went to look for 3.5 yesterday.

It's available for windows, mac and linux, but there's nothing for the rest of us.

Bah, Humbug.

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Anonymous Coward

Because people are too smart to upgrade otherwise?

I know that Mozilla has always added some neat new things to their latest broswers - often in lieu of actually fixing bugs, but whatever - but the whole experience has usually turned out to be a step backwards each time I've "upgraded." Frankly, I'm glad I run Ubuntu, where I can keep using the browser I want to use for a while longer. Maybe Mozilla will actually decide to fix bugs instead of adding shininess in the meantime.

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@anon coward

"On my computer, and on certain web pages, Firefox 3.5 causes a memory corruption error so severe that the system freezes. It can only be restarted after turning off the computer's master switch (pressing reset merely hangs the system). There then follows a three hour wait, while my RAID1 array rebuilds itself."

I would suggest your system has bigger problems than a dodgy browser. No application should cause an OS crash at all, never mind one that bad unless theres a problem with the OS itself or the hardware.

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Silver badge

Behind the curve

Like others, I'm waiting for my Linux distro to put 3.5.2 in the update feed, although they may choose to say I need to upgrade to a newer version of the distro even though my current one is still supported. I have rolled my own version before now, but then I always have to think harder about upgrades. Given that I run two different distributions, that would be double the work. I've put 3.5.2 on the Windows machine here and it's fine - I'm not seeing any of the issues reported by others so I guess I'm lucky this time.

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WTF?

Makes MS look good...

...Firefox 3.0 have until January 2010 to move over to version 3.5 of the browser, when Mozilla plans to end creation of security patches for the older version.....

Even the crappy i.e6 is supported longer than this!

Oh hail the new virus carrier....

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Gold badge

Don't do it!

I've used Firefox 3.5 and it's been fine for me. I think "twice as fast" is hype but the *Javascript* engine is faster, it is noticeably faster on pages that chew through a lot of Javascript. But Mozilla foundation -- don't be like Microsoft! If someone says "never", that DOES NOT mean remind again in a few months!

I haven't seen this notice on any machine yet -- I suspect Ubuntu will patch firefox so it doesn't show this message; since they don't have a package for 3.5 (except in backports I assume), it won't make sense to tell people to upgrade when the upgraded version isn't available.

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FAIL

No thanks.

I dumped FF3/3.5 entirely and went back to Konqueror.

Why?

Simple, it's fast, it's clean and no, I don't need 1,001 different addons to get the job done. The only useful thing I've ever seen on FF is AdBlock - no wait, that's in Konqueror too.

FF promised to be a decent browser, but the usual curse of bloat has struck in successive releases. I saw no speed difference in 3.5.2, and compared to simpler browsers like Arora, it's bloody embarrassing to watch FF3.x start up.

Hey, Mozilla, sorry guys, you dropped the ball.

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Mozilla Vista...

...well, it could be if pesky trademarks didn't get in the way. For me, 3.5.* is just not going to happen on any machine under my control again. I'd rather go Opera than having that piece of bloatware in my house one more time. Or maybe it's time to take another look at Lynx - don't need the bling anyway...

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Sim
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still on v 2.0.0

tried firefox 3 did not like -uninstalled it -not yet tempted by 3.5

The awful bar is my biggest hate.

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FAIL

3.0.12 for me thanks

3.5 has DNS issues with certain firewalls and routers. Why would I give up 3.0.12, which works, for 3.5, which doesn't?

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Pint

It is so relaxing ...

It is so relaxing to have jumped off the "constant upgrade" cycle.

As I can still get Windows 98SE to do exactly what I want, that means that Mozilla cut me out of their upgrade loop last time round; I'm still on Firefox 2. And you know what? It still works! It still lets me comment on ElReg.

I'll go and have a beer to celebrate.

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Linux

I've got 3.52 ...

on Ubuntu (not as shiretoko either) and the Help/Check for updates option works too.

On a not entirely unrelated note, however, its buggy as hell and I'm rapidly growing sick and tired of Mozilla's antics, crap flaws, speed issues and bloating size.

I usually like Epiphany in preference. Much lighter, subjectively faster (its an illusion I know) and it doesn't crash when I maximize iPlayer windows.

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Silver badge

Still on 2 as well

And all this moaning is not inciting me to upgrade to 3.x

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Joke

Why upgrade?

I'm still using Win98SE at home and NT4 at work too.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Thumb Up

Closing last tab

@Chris W

First enter about:config in the location bar and click through the warning that comes up

Enter browser.tabs in the search box and then find and double click closeWindowWithLastTab so that it shows as false.

Then, find your mozilla directory, it should be under Documents and Settings/Application Data if you're using Windows, ~/.mozilla if Linux.

Find the firefox directory, then the profile which will either be a name if you specifically start a profile or a alphanumeric string followed by .default if you don't. Go into that directory, then the chrome sub-directory. Copy userChrome-example.css to userChrome.css, edit it and after the @namespace line paste in:

.tabbrowser-tabs[closebuttons="alltabs"] > .tabbrowser-tab > .tab-close-button {

display: -moz-box !important;

}

.tabbrowser-tabs:not([closebuttons="noclose"]):not([closebuttons="closeatend"]) > .tabbrowser-tab[selected="true"] > .tab-close-button {

display: -moz-box !important;

}

Then restart FF and you should have the old behaviour back with a close button on the last tab.

After that lot, I almost thought I ought to post as AC!

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Ubuntu

Ubuntu only has a 6 month upgrade cycle and they typically don't make major version changes within a particular release. I generally see this as a good thing because it is less likely to cause grief for less technically adept users. If you want 3.5 on Ubuntu then go ahead and install Shiretoko by all means but for the less technically inclined users out there it is better that they keep 3.0 to ensure full compatibility with their existing suite of apps and plugins.

This also applies to the LTS release which has a longer support cycle. The fact that it is supported for a few extra years does not mean you will get all the latest and greatest versions of every app at all. It means you get the stability of a feature locked OS plus any bug and security fixes that come along. If it gave you the latest release of every new app that came along then it would be exactly the same as running the non LTS releases, no?

If you want the latest and greatest then don't run the LTS versions past the initial 6 month period from their release. Upgrade to the latest supported version (Jaunty) or if you are really keen, move onto Karmic and really fly by the seat of your pants, just don't blame anyone if something gets broken somewhere along the way.

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@Zid

agree just like with 3.0 and the damn awful bar how hard would it have been to add DO NOT USE AWFUL BAR check box in the configuration but noooo had to download a addon and go set settings manually in the about:config

some people like that POS bar trying to auto fillin your stuff I cant stand it. occasionally FF freezes due to the damn auto complete. and I always wanted to know why when I type ebay.com google.com pops up as a auto completed URL...

mozillas main rant on the planet is about giving people browser options but ironically their browsers now giving us less options in allowing us to disable things and instead forcing what they think is cool onto the users almost like microsoft and IE...

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Coat

Just use a better browser instead...

I have never really jumped on the FF bandwagon - I never saw what the fuss was about. It has more security vulnerabilities than IE these days and is r-e-a-l-l-y slow to even open. Use Opera as my main browser (Each version gets better and better), Chrome when I just need to look up something quickly (It's the fastest browser to open and get me on the web by a long shot) and IE when a page is just not written properly.

Mine's the one with the FF flames on it...

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Thumb Up

Re: Closing last tab

Brian, thanks for your effort and time but quite honestly I'm not going to go through all that for every user. Now if there'd been a tickbox on the tabs menu I could have lived with it.

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Worse Interface

They've removed the progress wheel from the main bar which means having to search through all my many tabs to see which one is loading. I have used their customising option to add the progress wheel back on the main bar. Having the big (x) on each tab means having to re-open tabs which I've closed by accident because the tabs are too narrow to accommodate the (x) and the title text and I occasionally click on the wrong part of the tab - which immediately closes. I don't think there is a way of removing the (x) though. Anybody?

Maybe I should not have so many tabs open?

At least you can still remove the Google search window, unlike Safari.

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Anonymous Coward

Is the Honeymoon Over?

From all the negative comments I'd guess that it is.

Personally, I upgraded to FF3.5 (beta) at the same time as I installed Windows 7 beta. I found that it was a lot faster but I have no way of knowing whether that was down to FF3.5, W7 or just a clean install. On this PC I have no problems with FF3.5 at all.

Now ...

On another PC, Windows XP (SP3) that hasn't been reinstalled for two+ years of hard use, FF2 and FF3.5 regularly cause the PC to reboot on graphics heavy sites. The same sites in IE 8 cause no problem. The reboot is likely down to an underlying hardware issue (memory probably) but the fact that FF triggers it when IE doesn't suggests something about the way FF uses memory.

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