back to article Mozilla to shift 12m surfers off 2-year-old Firefox 3.5

Mozilla is planning to shunt 12 million users, who are still surfing the web on its aged Firefox 3.5 browser, over to a more recent version. "We need a plan to obsolete [sic] Firefox 3.5 as we can't support it into perpetuity," said Mozilla. "We have been frustrated with our efforts to move users off of old releases and are …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3.5 is still default on a lot of linux distros (most up to date ones)

    dpkg --status iceweasel | grep -i version

    Version: 3.5.16-7

    aivanov@falkor:~$ cat /etc/debian_version

    6.0.1

    Same for Ubuntu LTS, RHEL, etc

    Yeah, forced update, right... Some other time...

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Yep

      As you say. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS here. The package manager gices a choice of 3.0 and 3.5.

      I'm running Nomoroka 3.6.18 here, somehow. But not from the official depositories.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yep

        This was one of the things that put me off using the major linux distros.

        You seem to have to jump through all sorts of unofficial hoops to keep your applications current because the repositories are woefully out of date. Of course, when you do this, things like GUI integration often start to break down.

        Linux on the desktop, like nuclear fusion, still ain't quite there yet! ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hoops

          Hoops like going to a 3rd party site to download and install software? Uh, horrible, no wonder people stick to Windows.

          Oh wait a minute.

          You're right that there's an issue of old software versions. However, as long as the distribution is supported, they should continue to support the software they use with security updates. One of the great things about open source is that it enables back-porting as an alternative to upgrades. If back-porting doesn't cut it, then they can upgrade the software.

          However, people using Linux distributions really should be prepared to do distribution upgrades rather than expect constant upgrades of individual pieces of software in the distribution.

          I heart repositories.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Linux

            Seriously??

            Can I have some of what you are on?

            "Open the terminal and type:

            sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

            followed by;

            sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

            Done."

            The "average joe" will want to type firefox in google and go and install from there. The "un-average joe" will spend a lot of time finding an few obscure commands to do it for his Linux distro.

            Reality check please!!

            1. tardigrade

              Yes Seriously.

              I was just trying to be helpful. But to address your point....

              The "average Joe", typing firefox into google will get a tar bzipped package for Linux (firefox-4.0.1.tar.bz2) not a nice friendly .deb or .rpm. Typing those two simple lines into the terminal will save you a lot of time and fiddling on an ubuntu 10.04 / 10.10 system.

              However if you are incapable of following simple commands then you should probably go back to Windows. I don't care.

              Your reality check is now complete.

    2. <user />
      Grenade

      title

      Should use Windows then shouldn't you..

      1. Gangsta
        Troll

        If this isn't.

        If this isn't the most troll-baiting on el-reg, I will delete system32.

        :D

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: <user />

        "Should use Windows then shouldn't you.."

        Has Windows started shipping Firefox out of the box? No? So to get FF4 on Windows or Linux you have to download it yourself.

        So umm, where's the advantage?

    3. tardigrade

      Fx 4 on ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10

      There is a Firefox 4, PPA for 10.04 and 10.10

      Open the terminal and type:

      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

      followed by;

      sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

      Done.

  2. Reticulate

    Reasons for not updating.

    It's not necessarily inertia and idleness that stop people updating. I am running 3.5 because its the last one that the -- now unsupported -- Google Notebook plugin will work on. And the plugin wasn't available for any other browser, to the best of my knowledge.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Jobs Horns

      Or having a PPC G4/G5

      Having a pre-2006 Mac, therefore not being allowed to go to FF4.

  3. NoneSuch
    Unhappy

    Fix the plug-ins FIRST

    I have a half dozen plug-ins that I need. None of them work on the new version of FF.

    Force me to upgrade and I will go elsewhere.

    1. The BigYin

      @NoneSuch

      Have you asked the devs of the plug-ins to make them compatible?

      Have you offered to sponsor the work?

      1. pitagora
        Thumb Down

        @The BigYin

        Actually it's the "platform's" responsibility to keep some level of backwards compatibility. If you think about it what would happen if every time you change your windows version ALL your applications stopped working, like it happens in firefox? Lets be honest here, Microsoft has done a very good job keeping Windows backwards compatible. There are incredibly few applications that don't work (even windows 3.1 apps), and those that truly don't are the coders fault, for using undocumented features, that were subject to change.

        I can't say the same about Firefox. I upgraded to FF 4.0 and I'm pissed that some essential plugins for my work no longer function!!! They are essential to me. I have to downgrade, or else.....

        I don't see other options then downgrading, other then perhaps looking for a Chrome plugin that would do the same job I need....

        1. The BigYin

          @pitagora

          If the platform changes its model too much and breaks plugins too often then users will leave as its unstable and developers will quit it as there is too much re-work. If that happens, then the platform will die. Simple.

          If what people are saying here is true, then Mozilla and Firefox should be dying. It does not seem like they are.

          If one is using a piece of software that *IS* essential, then one should be paying for support. And if not then, to be blunt, one is also part of the problem.

          From my experience, the only add-on to not work is TinyURL Creator. Hardly essential. But that is just my experience.

    2. James Hughes 1

      @None such

      Do the half dozen plugins you need actually run 'elsewhere'?

    3. Graham Wilson
      Flame

      @NoneSuch - Right, imagine the outcry if Windows needed new programs every time it was upgraded?

      Yet even with *POINT* releases of Firefox many of my plugins go belly-up. Moreover, these are not isolated cases, Mozilla has been screwing up plugins/add-ons almost since day one.

      We don't let Microsoft get away with such crap so why should we let Mozilla get away with it?

      In its war with Microsoft, seems we've given the underdog too much of an even break by not criticizing it more, yet all it's done is to bite the user. Some damn reward!

      Mozilla's got a fucking hide to try and force 12 million users to upgrade or do anything for that matter. What the hell does it think it is--Gestapo Mark-II perhaps?

      ---

      P.S.: I'm also getting very pissed off with Mozilla over the 'forced' upgrades. Automatic updates are switched on by default and just one false move or inattentive moment and one's been upgraded before even realising it. Seconds later, none of one's plugins are working, which is a fucking pain in the arse if one's in a hurry or on the move.

    4. mhenriday
      Happy

      None, such, which plugins (addons ?) are they that work on FF 3.5.x,

      but not on 3.6.x ? Myself, I've postponed upgrading to FF 4.0.1 from my current default version, viz, 3.6.10pre, as the Delicious-Bookmarks addon, which I consider indispensable, hadn't been updated since August last year, and was incompatible with FF 4.0. Now, however, the kind folks at AVOS, who have taken over the service from Yahoo, have performed an update (http://blog.delicious.com/) and the addon seems to work well with FF 4.0,despite still being in beta. I'm now considering making FF 4.0.1 my default browser....

      Henri

  4. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Down

    Stop me if I'm missing anything here, but...

    ...am I the only one out here still using FF3.5(.7) because it doesn't suck? I took a crack at 3.5.8 when it came out, and you wouldn't believe how long it took me to pick all the metaphorical shards out of my metaphorical ass.

    Oh, and I like how they brandish that threat of "online attack", too. Looks like Mozilla's been taking lessons from Microsoft. Way to sling that FUD, guys.

    Goddamn' plankers.

  5. SealTeam6
    Thumb Down

    Firefox 4.0.1

    Unfortunately 4.0.1 crashes a lot, even without any plugins. 3.5/3.6 is much more stable....

    1. Combat Wombat
      FAIL

      bollocks.

      I have been running 4.01 since it came out and I have yet to see anything close to a crash on it.

      Methinks your machine has plague

      1. MrCheese
        Megaphone

        Really?

        That's funny, it's just as likely Adobe's fault but I can't run a single page containing flash without a script timeout, the trult mortifying thing is that IE9 is now FASTER by comparison.

        And don't talk to me about FlashBlock, got it, using it, still need Flash somestimes, can't have it on Firefox :(

        I find myself distinctly repeating myself like an angry old man: fix the fekkin product before shoving down people's throats!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Yep...

          ...Flash is totally unusable for me too since the upgrade.

          Ah well, back to IE I go, and this time I won't be returning.

          FF has been digging its own grave for a long time but it looks like they've now lowered the coffin in and are starting to shovel back in.

          1. waldo kitty
            Black Helicopters

            flash is the problem?

            if this is correct, what makes you think that it will work properly in IE??? this is a serious question...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              WTF?

              Err...

              Because this morning pre-upgrade Flash worked fine on FF, then imediately post-upgrade it runs like a dog. Not difficult to work out where the fault lies is it?!

    2. waldo kitty
      Boffin

      you have a problem somewhere...

      ... and it isn't in FF as released by Moz... what OS are you running?

      1. it is possible that you have an infestation that is as yet unknown... i've seen it more than once in my 30+ years in the industry...

      2. there may be some sort of hardware or driver problem... this is another item that has been seen for many many many years... i know of several folk who cannot run the latest ubuntu on their gear due to some weird hardware problem (likely video related)... in the same breath, my father has a new x64 box with Vista and all updates and patches that reboots all the time... near as we can figure, there's some problem with the video driver mess...

      there are many places where the problem may be that are not related to the application having the problems... especially in this day in time with shared libraries and services...

      FWIW: FF4 runs peachy on W2K which isn't touted very much ;)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      File Bug Reports

      Go to about:crashes in your url bar.

      Click on each crash.

      Then if a bug report is not already filed, file one.

      That will get the Devs attention.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    memory consumption

    I still see quite a lot of computers with 1 gig (or even less) of memory, and with firefox 4 regularly consuming that amount and more I can see why some people don't feel the need to upgrade.

    1. Hedley Phillips

      Agree 100%

      We tried FF 4 here but several of our machines just sat at 100% and we couldn't do anything so we rolled back to 3.5.19.

      Ok I know we need new PC's and I am in the process of specing some Core i5, 6Gb Ram, SSD monsters but this is going to be a slow rollout and there are plenty of other browsers in the sea.

    2. BillG Silver badge
      Happy

      re: memory consumption

      I see the same thing - FF4 is a memory hog. I maintain two older computers each with 1G memory. FF4 gobbles up memory like a greedy goldfish. FF 3.5 was the last memory-miser release.

    3. John F***ing Stepp

      AC:In re Memory consumption

      I have 4 gigabytes on this machine; 4 gigabytes.

      What kind of Godzilla class memory leak (not releasing resources on a timely basis) does it require to run through 4 gigabytes?

      Which, by the way, is why I am back on 3.6 for now (and I guess I will be spammed for a while by Mozilla about redoing that -upgrade-).

      Life is just too short to have to kill -9 Firefox three or four times a day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Also profile consumption

        Also the places.sqlite file in 4.x is now 10mb...

        For anyone in a corporate environment with massively locked-down profiles, that means annoying "exceeded profile allocation" messages, and an inability to log-off until places.sqlite is deleted.

        Annoyingly, FF4x also recreates places.sqlite, even if you try to move it elsewhere, and drop a profile-friendly shortcut in it's place.

        WTF is places.sqlite anyway, and why is it now 10mb???

      2. BillG Silver badge
        WTF?

        re: memory consumption

        My daily work laptop has 4GBytes of RAM. FF4 will gobble up to 500MBytes of RAM before I decide to restart it.

        As I understand it, FOR EACH OPEN TAB Firefox 4 keeps in RAM the last eight pages of history - in RAM. This doesn't account for all of it's memory hogging, but it does take a lot of it.

  7. ZimboKraut
    Linux

    I would if I could....

    I would immediatly move over, but the biggest problem that I have, is the fact, that I cannot use the VMWare console plugin in Firefox 3.6+

    The only alternative, that I have is using Internet Exploder, which under Linux poses a bit of a problem....

    Anyone any experience with FF4 and CMWare Server 2.x Console Plugin?

    I know it's not officially supported, but does anyone know of a hack?

    1. defiler Silver badge

      VMWare Server 2?

      I used VMWare GSX -> Server 1.0 for years. It was fantastic. Never got to grips with v2 though. Big bits of it just seemed awfully clunky. Perhaps you should look at "free" ESXi? Of course, I don't know your circumstances, but I'm pretty sure ESXi will do everything Server2 will without having to pay for a license.

      The only real sticking point is hardware support, but so long as you're using mainstream server hardware you're unlikely to hit any real issues there. The biggest thing I had to do was upgrade the firmware on my iSCSI storage. Yes - it exercised my sphincter nicely, thanks for asking...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well this sucks

    If they still have 12 Million users why are they being asshats forcing people out of it?

    I'm using it myself on several machines, it's actually better and ligher than 4.X for many things.

    I just hope the $57 million a year Google pays Mozilla to use them as the default search engine doesn't have anything to do with this.

    That agreement would end this year year and there's not been any news of a renewal yet.

    http://techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/mozilla-extends-lucrative-deal-with-google-for-3-years/

    1. stuff and nonesense

      No it doesn't

      Maintaining many forks of a program costs money, time and focus.

      Firefox is supporting 2 versions, 3.6.x and 4.0.x, and plans to release version 5 due in a few weeks.

      Many people now are using 64 bit. Development should be directed there instead of supporting an outdated version.

      With regard to the add-ons - get in contact with the addon programmers, see if they are going to update your must have extensions.

    2. OrsonX
      Thumb Down

      better and ligher...

      .....exactly!

      Upgrade... it'll be better..... but never is..... whatever the program is, instead of being slicker and faster with all the bugs fixed it's just more bloated and slower, for example: [insert ANY prog here]

      For this reason I have stopped upgrading everything, Firefox included. To be forced to upgrade would be rather (very) annoying!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Status Bar Gone

    The removal of the status bar irritates me in 4.0.x versus 3.6.x as many plugins I use put stuff there and no longer have a place to put their stuff - apparently.

    Also, there are still a shitload of plugins that simply do not work on 4.0.x, some of them I find particularly useful.

    Removing something that worked and was widely used and relied upon and replacing it with nothing is not a way to endear oneself to one's users. I do not buy this "we gotta look like chrome" bullshit.

    Dweeb

    1. Fuzzysteve
      Stop

      use the add on bar

      Or you could go to the view menu and turn on the add-on bar. Which is the replacement for the status bar.

      And if you want it to act like the old style status bar, install status 4 evar [sic].

    2. Piro

      No status bar.. ?

      Right click toolbar > Add-on bar

      It's not exactly the same, granted, but it gives somewhere for plugins to spew their icons just like before

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, sort of

      The 'Add-on bar' (and poss.. Status-4-Evar extension) mostly recovers the status bar - though it is still a bit of a pita. What finally pigged me off most is the Add-Ons bar reorganisation like the way checking for updates is now clear as mud, but most of all by far no longer being able to change xpinstall.enabled to false to stop plug-ins being added with no user consultation whatsoever. I had FF4 installed on one or two systems for testing but have uninstalled it and will not be trying it again.

      Similarly no longer even being able to use a registry hack to put the menu bar top in IE9, even though in Windows 7 I 'uninstall' Internet Explorer, I did have it updated to 9, but have now reverted to 8 and will not be going back.

      No, I don't like the Chrome look at all. But even if I did I wouldn't use Google for browsing, ffs! Meanwhile I've been trying Opera for years but have never once liked it.

      I suppose the way Mozilla looks now is it's true colours and the way so many of us have thought of them as being on 'our' side for so long is a consequence of a misapprehension along the lines of thinking of Bill Gates as some kind of hippy, presumably just 'cos he went to college.

    4. paulf Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Status Bar Gone

      Completely agree - v4 is not much of an upgrade. Removing the status bar is crap, and it took a while to remove the bookmarks button that came turned on by default and was occupying most of my bookmarks toolbar IIRC.

      I was running 3.6.17 on Windows and Mac and since the Mac isn't my main machine I decided it would be the FF 4.x testing ground. It spends more time on the spinning beach ball than 3.6.x ever did. Its got an i7 proc so its not short of resources. Funnily enough the Win machines will stay on 3.6.x for now!

      Exactly what did Mozilla do between 3.6 and 4 that took them so long?

    5. Brian Morrison
      WTF?

      It's called the add-on bar...

      ....and ctrl+/ brings it up.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      There's an Add-on Bar in Nightly 6.0a1 - guess it'll be back

      I'm using Minefield Nightly 6.0a1 64bit now and there's an Add-on bar where the Status bar should be.

      It seems the Mozilla people realized the dumb thing they done and they're somehow getting back a crippled version of it.

  10. The Unexpected Bill
    Coat

    Why I'm (mostly) on Firefox 3.5 even today...

    First of all...to those who are crashing out of Fx 4...you have a bad extension, corrupted profile or faulty operating system/underlying computer hardware. You can downvote the comment, but I'll guarantee to you that one of those things is the problem and not the browser itself. And no, I'm not a Firefox "fanboi" or any sort of apologist. I have no affilation whatsoever with the Mozilla organization.

    The good news is that Firefox 4 does in fact run on Windows 2000, and it runs quite well. So if you "have" to upgrade a computer running an older (Windows family, at least) operating system, you can, as long as that computer has enough RAM and processor capability to run the newer browser. A reasonably fast Pentium 3 (866MHz+) will still pull it off.

    Otherwise...I'm less than totally impressed with Fx4. Call me cranky, say I need to take my pills...but I want my status bar back. (Yes, I've got a status bar extension installed, but something so close to the core of the browser's UI should be a selectable option.) I'm not thrilled about the relocation of the stop/load button to the address bar and don't care for the fact that the Add Ons manager is no longer in a small window of its own. In fact, the only thing I've really liked so far about Fx4 is the ability to highlight a URL in text and have contextually appropriate options (open in new window/tab) appear when I right click said text.

    Beyond that...I'm probably going to stay on Firefox 3.6 (or 3.5) with the majority of my systems. (And for those who are wondering why I might be sticking with Fx3.5, I'll tell you. There was this really, really useful little "Image Properties" window available in the contextual menu when right-clicking any image on a web page. It bought the farm in Fx3.6, only to be replaced by a window that seemingly has to process every image on a page before it'll do anything.)

    Yes, I could probably figure out how to develop an extension that restores these capabilities.

    @ZimboKraut -- it's been a while since I've had anything to do with the inner workings of a Firefox extension, so this is worth what you paid to hear it. (Hopefully not much.) Furthermore, it may well send your browser down in flames, throw all your furniture in the trash, tell the world your darkest secrets, insult your mother or worse--so consider yourself warned. If you look at the package that makes up your VMware extension, there is a declaration within one of the files making up the extension that tells Firefox which versions may safely use it. You may try bumping this value out to something that is greater than whatever it is currently set to. I can't recall exactly where this lives, but some quick Giggling ought to turn it up.

    I'll get my coat.

  11. David Dawson
    Happy

    Firefox 4

    I like it.

    Everything I want it to do, it does. I'm a happy non paying customer.

  12. Jades
    Linux

    At least they're not binning 3.6.x yet

    While our main family machine (an 'experienced' Pentium D 3.4GHz) is happily running Firefox 4.01 on Lucid Puppy 5.25, the same machine running XP SP3 is still stuck on Firefox 3.6.17 as ZoneAlarm apparently isn't compatible with Firefox 4 at the moment.

    Meanwhile, the main browser I use on my reconditioned AMD K6 2 500 is Opera 11 on Lucid Puppy 5.11 - it's a considerable improvement over IE6 on Win98 which is the other main OS on that machine.

  13. jasonp80
    Go

    @Dweeb

    Does the add-on bar not cater for you?

  14. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Only thing I still use Firefox for

    LiveHttpHeaders plugin, for those times when you cba to run Wireshark. Everything else is done better, with less memory usage, less cpu usage, by using Chrome.

    I had been using Firefox through two previous name changes (Phoenix -> Firebird -> Firefox). Mozilla don't seem to take on board that their browser, rendering engine, and javascript engine all leak obscene amounts of memory and get clogged up trying to handle it all.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try Pale Moon, just another choice.

    I have been trying Pale Moon 4.01. I find it less annoying and quicker than Firefox 4. I use both and find myself opening Pale Moon more than Firefox.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Mozilla reaping the 'add features before fixing the old bugs' issues now?

    Like others, I truly, madly, deeply hate the Mozilla Developers for always racing ahead with new versions of FireFox before they have finished the current (now older) versions.

    OK, some progress is necessary and maybe even 'good' - but not the mad dash that is the current FF

    (and by all accounts, with the new development cycle it's going to get even more insane 'soon')

    EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeek, time to swap browsers!

    Please, please, please just stop making new releases (new functionality) and go back and fix (ie make work, stable, and usable) the previous versions, and only then think about a new version. Please.

    Dear FireFox management, if you force me to u/g, I'll not stay with you - Safari is looking much nicer now :-)

  17. Chris_Maresca
    FAIL

    Problem is FF4 doesn't work

    FF4 uses 30-50% CPU and over a gig of memory. It needs to be restarted constantly. FF3.5 never had these problems. Until they get FF4 working right, there should be no forced upgrade.

    It's so bad I'm actually thinking of downgrading.

    1. Brian Morrison
      WTF?

      Well, I have to say....

      ....that FF4 does not of these things for me on any platform I used it on. No gig of memory, no need to restart it (currently one instance has been up for 4 weeks with constant daytime use) and CPU usage is low enough not to be noticeable.

      It never fails to amaze me the wide range of different experiences that other people have.

    2. F Seiler

      oh, a title

      >>It's so bad I'm actually thinking of downgrading.

      i LOLed a little. It makes downgrading sound like a severe offence.

      Often enough can't be arsed to even update if stuff already works. After all i don't find it a particular pleasure to update every software every forthnight.

    3. Kevin 6

      Agree to an extent

      I've had a PLE of isues with FF4 like random browser crashes, plugins crashing (that never crashed in 3.5), some pages not loading right, issues setting where I want files saved. Took me 40 minutes to find out how to not auto open every file even after I told it to prompt me on actions. I ended up having to delete file associations to get it working semi properly...

      Been tempted to go back seeing I'm not enjoying the FF4 experience.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      FF sucks

      Just got the enforced upgrade and now Flash is unusable.

      1. waldo kitty
        Boffin

        if flash is unusable since the upgrade then...

        you have a problem in flash... not FF... this isn't rocket science, people :?

  18. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I'm waiting for the upgrade to FF4

    Then we can all queue up to install plugins to put back things FF4 took away, like the bottom status bar, and hunt for the tick box that puts the button bar back above the tabs, where it should be...

    Oh, and somehow Ubuntu 10.04 LTS has provided me with FF3.6.17... not sure where 3.5 comes from as mentioned upstream.

    1. K.o.R
      Boffin

      eltiT

      Right click on the toolbar, "Tabs on top". Done!

      1. Chris 2

        ooooh

        Thanks - wasn't bothering me enough to go trying to find out how to change it, but now it's been pointed out...

        Much better :)

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    My consultancy invoice is in the post.

    "We need a plan to obsolete [sic] Firefox 3.5 as we can't support it into perpetuity," said Mozilla.

    Here's your plan --> You make an update freely available.

    Done that? OK, you're are hereby absolved of any moral responsibility to support 3.5. Kindly stop worrying your little heads about people who choose to run 3.5 even after you've offered an upgrade. You can't force them, and trying to do so will simply make them (and you) unhappy.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    add on management?

    Am I the only one that finds per user add ons under the home directory (or profile) difficult to manage?

    It is almost as bad as allowing users to install their own software as they see fit.

  21. Andy 73

    Is this...

    Is this more about forcing people (including website maintainers) to adopt 4.0, which is perhaps not as loved as the 3.x stream? I'm still noticing sites that don't seem very happy with 4.x and really wasn't too bothered with the new version.

    That contrasts with 3.x which was the must-have tool for web developers everywhere, not least due to Firebug.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Royal Bank of Scotland stopped working after my mum upgraded.

    She contacted them and they said they only support IE.

    She has a Mac.

    Of course if a site stops working after security updates to a browser, it says something about the design of the site.

    Also, if Mozilla are so keen to get people off older versions, why did they drop support for Tiger and PowerPC? (Fortunately someone has ported it and called it tenfourfox.)

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Badgers

      Re: RBS

      I use a Mac.

      I also use NatWest whict us also part of the RBS Group.

      The support Mac's as well as Windows.

      FF3 & FF4 works fine with the Natwest site. This also includes their security software.

      Perhaps she should move to Natwest?

      Perhaps the RBS IT dept might like to learn a lesson from their NatWest pals?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Perhaps she should move to Natwest?

        I already suggested Lloyds. (which even works with Netsurf).

    2. Chris 2

      Mac-specific problem?

      RBS site is working fine here on Windows (XP and 7, 32 and 64 bit) with FF4. Although I haven't installed the Rapport "security" thing - maybe it's that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Mac-specific problem?

        possibly, safari does the same, not got her to try opera or chrome yet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I know it's crap

      ... to say "we only support IE" but... I've been using the RBS internet banking service for *years* in Firefox, both on Win XP and Ubuntu 10.04

      I had a glitch, maybe five or six years back, when they changed their site and it stopped working. I called them, and they said, give us a few days. I used Google, changed something called (I think) the agent string, and go it working right away. As promised, it soon worked without FF having to pretend it was something else.

  23. corrodedmonkee

    I imagine...

    This is about the time when half the geek community goes into Firefox, about:config and sets app.update.enabled to false.

    I have Firefox 4 installed, but I still have old versions installed for browser testing so it's handy to have updates disabled in case Firefox gets fiesty.

  24. Anonymous John

    "We need a plan to obsolete [sic] Firefox 3.5"

    My dictionary says it can be a verb. Although I will admit to not liking it.

    1. nyelvmark
      Headmaster

      sic?

      I agree. Merriam Webster (the most comprehensive and professional online English dictionary I know of) recognises "obsolete" as a verb, and gives an example from 1993. See:

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsolete?show=1&t=1305640892

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        English?

        It's an American dictionary, isn't it?

        Oh wait... Mozilla... It's an American Company, I guess.

        So that's all right then :)

  25. mrmond

    Zonealarm ?

    @Jades - huh ? I've been using FF4 with Zonealarm since the release candidates and no problems at all.

    Working fine here on Win7 and XP with ZA installed.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    blah

    My problem: v4 isn't 64-bit compatible (no, I'm not going to install a pre-beta version thanks). Yes, it's free, but I don't like being forced to do things. Colour me unimpressed.

    1. Burch

      Yes it is

      I mean it plays perfectly well with 64 bit OSs. There's not a 64-bit version for Windows, but it works fine.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I upgraded...

    ... to Chrome.

    Firefox 3.6 and every release after, including 4x, was a *big* disappointment in terms of speed and reliability - at least, for me. Other experiences may differ.

    Mozilla also lost me when they overhauled the interface in 4x - I hate it and can't be arsed to hack it the way I want it - much easier to just switch.

    It's sad, because I had been using Firefox as my main browser since 0.9 - 2004 ?

    The switch to Chrome hasn't been without pain, but now I'm settled in, what a difference - I still crank up firefox for web dev stuff, but my primary browser allegiance has switched.

    Sorry Mozilla, you lost the plot ...

  28. dajames Silver badge

    Don't annoy the user!

    I upgraded one of my boxes to 4 without thinking ... it works, but it's annoying that it looks different from 3.x and will therefore require a degree of relearning. I get tired of having to spend time reacquainting myself with once-familiar software every time the developers think they need to make it more "cool". I haven't got time for this nonsense.

    To the Mozilla developers I would say this: if you want to encourage people to upgrade then make sure that the new version looks and works like the old one by default, If you want to put in new features that will change the UI make them options, so that people can enable them only if/when they need to. If you don't do this people will change to other packages out of spite, which is not in your interest (and probably not in theirs).

  29. Gabor Laszlo
    Thumb Up

    If only

    Microsoft would do the same thing for IE (but a giant blinky on Google for users of old versions I mean).

  30. s. pam
    Flame

    FF B.S.

    They're smoking crack again El Reg and you must have taken a puff! They DROPPED support for older PowerPC Macs when 4.0.1 came out, as I had to downgrade the Facebook Disposable Mac after discovering it was not compatible!

    Check your sources, unless I'm very much mistaken, when they released they dropped.

    Nice they warned us of the DROP....WTF Team Firefox?

  31. E 2
    Thumb Down

    Fail

    FF 3.5 is more functional than FF 4. If I could get a traditional status bar in FF 4 then it would be a more acceptable browser.

  32. Antoinette Lacroix

    Nieder mit dem Überschriftenzwang

    I don't use FF, so I can't comment. But most of my FF4 using clients have problems with animated GIFs, Html5 video and CSS. Especially videos seem to be problematic as they sometimes freeze the whole thing. Common question: Why does it all work in Opera ? My answer: Don't ask, just use it.

  33. RoyalHeart
    Linux

    My wife and I use Seamonkey...

    ...on OpenSuse and love it.

  34. windywoo
    Thumb Up

    FF4 working fine.

    Working better than 3.6.x on an Athlon XP 3000 with 1gb ram. Works even better in Ubuntu than XP ofc. I got fed up with some sites (Facebook mainly) not working properly in chrome so ff4 was a big relief.

  35. Head

    Dear Mozilla

    Could you please adjust FireFox to include a separate Stop and Reload buttons, customisable to be located near the Back, Forwards, Home and (optional) download buttons?

    I love everything about FF 4 except for the locations of those (interchangeable) buttons

    1. waldo kitty
      WTF?

      i gotta be missing something...

      @Head: my FF4.0.1 has separate stop and reload buttons... at least on one of my machines, it does (w2k)... my vista laptop, on the other hand, does not (yet)... both are running in their "default" configuration that they came up with when they were installed over FF 3.6.18 (or whatever the latest version was a few days ago)...

    2. K.o.R
      Boffin

      eltiT eltiT

      Right-click toolbar, "Customise..." The stop and reload buttons amalgamate into the address box if they are directly to its right. Drag them to the left and they become separate buttons again. A lot of the UI changes can be removed, it's just not very obvious that you *can*.

  36. James Pickett

    Age

    "many people still connect to the internet via computers that were released in the pre-iPad age"

    Some of have computers that were released in the pre-iPod age...

  37. tempemeaty
    Grenade

    The Immoral abuse of users with opression by Big Brother

    Forcing people to do anything is immoral. It's a persons OWN personal business what they browse with and what software they use. In other words Mozilla, Stay the %$# out of messing with peoples PERSONAL computers. They pull this kind of Oppression BS I'm going to stop using FF and campaign against them HARD.

  38. Glyn 2
    Alien

    pah

    After much time and downloading of add-ons, I've got FF4 looking and acting like FF3, except for the damnable "close last tab, closes the browser" function. I know it's what happens in chrome which is why IE and FF have decided to appropriate the method, but I can't see why anyone would want it.

    FF 3.x, close last tab, new blank tab opens with speed dial, homepage, whatever in, perfectly reasonable (after fighting to get a close button on the last tab in later 3.x iterations). Instead of that one button click I now have to open a tab, switch to the original and close it. Surely replacing a single, simple action with a sequence of longer ones to achieve the same effect is a backwards step!

    It also means the last tab's close button has a different effect than the others in the program, close the browser, not an element within the browser. It's the only close button on tab in any program that closes that program. You don't close the last tab in visual studio, for example and studio shuts down.

    Consistency of the UI has to exist between programs running on the same system as well as within the system.

    P.S. I have the setting browser.tabs.closewindowwithlasttab set to false and it still takes no notice.

  39. Anteaus
    Thumb Down

    Update popups themselves are the biggest threat

    Far more malware relies on spoofed update-prompts than relies on complex exploits. If users are accustomed to seeing repeated prompts to update software -especially on unrelated sites- then they will be conditioned to respond 'yes' without thinking to any such prompt which appears. The next 'update' they encounter will of course be a keylogger, spambot or fake antivirus.

    Therefore, a bad idea. It may even lead to numerous reports that Google has been compromised by a update-spoofing exploit.

  40. CK Lee
    Unhappy

    I would be happy to use the newer Firefox if they allow lower versions of Java to run

    According to the Java website:

    http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/firefox_newplugin.xml

    Starting with Firefox 3.6, Java-based applications will NOT work unless you are running Java version 6 Update 10 or newer.

    This is a major problem for my Enterprise application which depends on JDK 1.5.

    BTW, the Enterprise application comes from the owner of Java.

    1. Mark Boothroyd

      Java versions

      Can't you just install multiple versions of Java? They all install to separate locations, so can run along side each other. The only issue I've had is that Java puts a copy in the system32 folder, and I believe this is always from the last Java you installed, so becomes the default version used by apps.

      I have various apps, some need 1.4, 1.5 and some 1.6, so I've got JREs 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 all installed on the same box (Win XP 32bit). So fixefox is happy, and any apps that need a specific JRE are just pointed to that version.

      All of the corporate apps I've used so far have either reference the Java exe (usually javaw.exe) in the shortcut used to launch the program, an internal setting within the app itself, or in a batch file used to launch the program from. (Or sometimes in more than one place!)

      I just replace any references to "java.exe" or "javaw.exe" with the full path, i.e. replace "javaw.exe" with "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_13\bin\javaw.exe", or whatever your real path is.

      Works for me anyway!

  41. Doug Glass
    Go

    Sounds Like Microsoft

    "We need a plan to obsolete [sic] Firefox 3.5 as we can't support it into perpetuity," said Mozilla.

    Kill switch? Forced upgrade against someone's will? Cease support? Yeah, threats always work against [inherently] rebellious computer users who shunned IE and stepped off the well worn sheep's path to common computer usage.

    FF4 is OK but nothing to cheer about. Some things I like, some things I dislike and methinks I'll keep 3.6.## until they tell me it has to go too. Then keep it a bit longer. May machine and all that. Frakk

    em!

  42. Anteaus
    Unhappy

    Reinvent wheel yet again

    Was just taking a look at FF4 with a view to deploying it. Didn't expect any major issues.. but immediately noticed that the greprefs folder no longer exists. Since we use a modified all.js to stop unwanted plugins loading, that meant I had to waste a load of time googling to see why this change had been made, and where the file is now. Apparently the file is now inside a jar, making any kind of scripted update very difficult. Ugh. So, any resolution is likely to be complex and time-consuming.

    Think this highlights a problem all IT guys suffer from these days -that of spending 95% of our time reinventing the wheel over and over, instead of doing productive work. We make near-zero progress in providing new services to our users, because we're too busy trying to keep-up with the willy-nilly changes that developers make to how things work, and finding workarounds for all the incompatibilities these create.

    Worst example ever was of course the switch from XP to Vista, which was reinventing the wheel triangular. Though, opensource projects seem to developed the wheel-reinvention craze of late.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox

    The bigger the version number, the shitter the experience.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Addo-ons

    WTF does the Add-ons window now have to become another tabbed web page?

    When did the world become so moronic that it can only cope with stuff if it's in a web page?

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Wallyb132
    FAIL

    So i guess...

    So i guess if they're throwing a fit about 3.5 users and trying to force them to upgrade, they must really be having a cow about people like me still using FF3.0.19...

    Dear Mozilla,

    You missed the fucking bus, in a big way, FF4 fucking sucks monkey balls! I've used it on other peoples computers and i see no compelling reason to downgrade my browser to FF4 from FF3.0.19. Please fire the fucking idiot who designed it. thank you that is all...

    PS, thank you for ruining an otherwise good browser... Give me back my fucking status bar! you inbred pieces of shit...

  47. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    The dreaded "New look"

    When I started paying attention to FF4 (at some point prior to the official release, I think during the beta cycle), the first thing I noticed was the "New look!" tag line Mozilla slapped up on http://mozilla.org/firefox.

    I looked no further. I don't want to change a tool I know for one with different controls in different places, unless there's a really compelling advantage to the new design. And having used various Mozilla products, I'm pretty sure they don't have any competent user-experience design process going on there.

    And even if they do, I'm not likely to agree with its results, since apparently most computer users are idiots^W people who have different UI preferences than mine.

    Eventually I'll probably have to upgrade to FF4 for one reason or another. Maybe I'll finally be annoyed enough to grab the source and fix the damn thing myself; maybe not. (Doing it through extensions generally isn't worth the additional effort.)

  48. Cameron Colley

    Did anyone think to pay Mozilla?

    I mean, since Microsoft almost support Windows XP all these years after perhaps, if the 3.5 holdouts all pay Mozilla $20 or so they'll keep supporting it. Worth a shot?

    Heck, I moan about free and/or GNU software all the time but expecting an organisation to provide a number of versions of a free application seems a little needy.

  49. Allan 1
    Thumb Down

    Um no

    I tried ff4.0 for all of 1 day.

    Lost the status bar, hated the add-bar and would rather NOT rely on a 3rd party addon for such a core feature.

    Hated the loss of the "loading" bar, they converted it into a "throbber" instead.

    Hated the relocation of the reload and stop buttons.

    Wheres my "https padlock" gone? Oh, they removed it as they thought it was pointless... mmmhk.

    Ugh. Give me back the seperate addons window.

    OK, downgraded back to 3.6.

    I would really rather NOT have to waste time "relearning" a browser I've used for years, just because some mozilla designer had an epeen and wanted to change it all around.

  50. Captain Thyratron

    Yeah, I'll upgrade...

    ...when Firefox stops getting slower and buggier with every release. Remember back when Firefox was getting popular because it was fast and reliable? I think it was back before version 2 came out.

  51. Caoilte

    ff4 was painful

    It might be because it attempted to migrate my profile (I remember that being why firefox 3.0 was so painful).

    Anyway, it slowed all of our computers (mac + linux) down too much.

    Much happier back on ff3.6.17.

  52. Jon Smit
    WTF?

    Works on my computer that I don't need to replace

    Is it necessary for us to tell Mozilla that a lot of people are still running computers that are several years old. They don't have the resources necessary to run FireFox 4 - in fact my newish pc isn't too happy with v4. I've got 8 windows open and it's costing me 300mb. And that's after thinning out my addons and extensions, to the point that compared to what was running on 3.5, I've got a combover of Charlton propertions.

  53. ddiggity04
    Stop

    Firefox...

    Losing customers? They are trying to make a better browser. In fact, if it weren't for them, we'd probably still be using IE6. They have been working on Aurora since April (http://www.softwarecrew.com/2011/04/firefox-aurora-release-heralds-new-development-cycle-for-firefox/ ) in an effort to come out with faster development cycles.

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