Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird Released

Wednesday November 8th, 2006

Security and Stability updates for Mozilla products based on the Gecko 1.8 branch have been released.

Firefox 1.5.0.x will be maintained with security and stability updates until April 2007. All users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Firefox 2.

For more information, refer to the Mozilla Firefox Release Notes and the Mozilla Thunderbird release notes.

#1 Upgrade to 2.0

by anonym

Thursday November 9th, 2006 6:22 AM

What about the upgrade to 2.0 ? Isn't it automatic ? Many people are asking...

#2 Re: Upgrade to 2.0

by schapel

Thursday November 9th, 2006 6:29 AM

Asa says "we're not going to automatically update every Firefox 1.5 user to 2. Automatic update is for security and stability releases and this is not a security and stability release."

#3 Re: Re: Upgrade to 2.0

by BarkerJr

Thursday November 9th, 2006 8:18 AM

Then I suppose "strongly encouraged" is the wrong term... Maybe "gently reminded" would be more fitting.

#6 Re: Upgrade to 2.0

by mkmelin

Friday November 10th, 2006 2:25 AM

The update to 2.0 will be automatic, just not yet. 1.5 didn't originally have support for major updates, but it been fixed as of I think. So users will get updated to 2.0.1 (or whatever), if I understood it correctly.

#4 Upgrade system confusing

by krissilver

Thursday November 9th, 2006 11:21 AM

Simplicity is what Firefox aims for, and the update system is reaching further from it in this regard if 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0's are going to be out there. If there's a major release with ALL security updates, plus generally securer, anti phishing and more, it should be available within days of that release to new and existing users via the upgrade system. Who deserves an even safer, more stable, better featured, latest Firefox more then the millions of existing users? They're being failed.

We have a situation where there's some users out there still on 1.0 as they never received auto updates, people on 1.5 not knowing there's a 2.0 with the same updates and other better security such as anti phishing, plus more features.

Then for the ones who know Firefox 2 is out, what on earth do they do? It's not made clear how they're supposed to get it. Don't say common sense or anything else as its just not commonplace to have to deal with programs in this way, and in no way is it explained to the average user. Do they have to A) wait B) manually un-install Firefox 1.5 or C) install 2.0 right over 1.5, or D) something else? This is no way is simple, worry free, a clear release and auto update system.

Delaying subtle reminders as if everyone knows already, may help Mozilla severs and serve some other small goals, but far more important is that its confusingly keeping users on older versions, confusing people as to what is up to date/latest, what's not, how they do get the latest, and more. If a latest version is released to the general public then new and existing users via auto update should especially be getting it within days of each other at most. That has to be the goal with auto updating, and is in essence how many other programs work or at least closer to.

#8 Re: Upgrade system confusing

by Racer

Friday November 10th, 2006 7:06 AM

It takes time to coordinate the upgrade of millions of copies of Firefox. If you would read closer, you would recognize that Firefox did not properly support an upgrade to Firefox 2.0. This is partially why was released. Many PCs are still in the process of upgrading to Firefox Once this is complete, the next steps can be taken. You can expect that an option to update to 2.0 will be made available in the coming days or weeks.

P.S. Most users don't have a clue about Firefox "versions". They just install and go. So, delaying a while to update their 1.5.* version to 2.0 will not confuse mom & pop, because they won't even know 2.0 is out. As for the more tech savvy users, they can understand the issue and have the option to manually go to 2.0 if they want.

#5 Sorry state of affairs

by macrist

Thursday November 9th, 2006 6:40 PM

Fully agree with krissilver. Great way to turn off "normal" mom and pop users. Seriously, Netscape Communicator had a better mechanism for handling updates, with byte level code updates and checkpointing on downloads. I know the current Mozilla crew despise the Communicator 4.X spaghetti code, but hey, it sure worked better in this regard.

Cheers, MAC

#7 Happy with Firefox 1.5

by ajpaterson

Friday November 10th, 2006 6:25 AM

If I remember correctly, the original idea of Firefox (back when it was codenamed Phoenix) was to create a lean, mean, minimal browser that would cover the basic functionality without all of the "clutter" that came with nearly all browsers available at that time. It had a powerful extension mechanism so that, if someone wanted additional functionality that was not in the basic browser, they could add it without forcing that function on everyone else using Firefox. Everyone could have their own browser with the functions that they wanted but without a load of functionality that they didn't want or need. Great!

Unfortunately, I get the impression that more and more of the functionality previously available as extensions is being incorporated directly into the browser so I get it whether I want it or not. I upgraded to FF1.5 because I considered the additional functionality over FF1.0 to be important enough to persuade me to upgrade but I found that FF1.5 was slower than its predecessor on all of the different machines that I installed it on. With FF2.0, I see very little that makes me want to upgrade. In fact, there are a few (admittedly small) things in 2.0 that I consider to be a retrograde step. (Personally, I feel that it would have been better to keep the some of the new functionality as extensions but offer them on installation in a similar way to the DOM Inspector.)

Please don't get me wrong - I think that the developers have done a fantastic job and I use Firefox for all my browsing at home and at work (I only use IE for Windows Update). It is just that I am happy with FF1.5 for now so please do not force me to upgrade to FF2.0 until either I am happy to do so or FF1.5 becomes unmaintainable.

#14 Re: Happy with Firefox 1.5

by ogman

Thursday November 16th, 2006 4:43 AM

Very well said. I was just thinking the same thing this morning and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one. Thanks for saying it so well.

#16 Re: Re: Happy with Firefox 1.5

by Lyx

Saturday November 18th, 2006 12:24 AM

i as well will stay with 1.5 for the same reasons. However, maybe FX3 will be interesting to me because of cairo. I just hope that FX3 wont feel like feature-creep when compared with 1.5.

#9 Latest version

by krissilver

Friday November 10th, 2006 10:21 AM

Well fair point and very well put racer. Regardless of circumstances its not ideal is it. Absolutely no users should be faced with the complicated picture that is; Firefox has auto updating, yet I'm on 1.5 and 2.0 has been out for 2 weeks now. That first of all is true, and is pretty bad. If wasn't able to update to 2.0 in the way wanted, well then that's bad planning, it should. The answer is not to crack on with issues, its to put the release date back to ensure everything including that is possible and compatible.

If Firefox truly has a simple auto update system to ensure users are on the same latest versions (both build, security, feature wise and more) then within days of a major release current users ESPECIALLY should be on it. I stand by that, and that some users are faced with; Do I have to A) wait fir auto update to eventually update me to latest version B) manually un-install Firefox 1.5 or C) install 2.0 right over 1.5, or D) something else? Simply not good.

Ajpaterson, what one deems basic functionality is opinion, and what one deems basic functionality that helps users and doesn't harm others, is opinion. Mozilla have the job of serving the majority, its build, feature set are tested on many, based on research in terms of what features actually benefit users and dont harm others, and they've done well. Anti phishing is essential protection, better tab controls very fundamental, spell checking helpful functionality that doesnt harm others. So rants on features you don't want as if they somehow harm you are deemed nearly 100% irrelevent, these features aren't harming you, and if you can't cope with a developing web and with it developing web browsers then hack away all those features if you insist. Firefox is safer, more stable, and takes little to nothing away to what 1.5 had. So in this regard I highly applaud Mozilla and a great release and developing a great browser for a developing web.

#11 Re: Latest version

by ajpaterson

Sunday November 12th, 2006 1:02 PM

Krissilver wrote: "Ajpaterson, what one deems basic functionality is opinion" ... "So rants on features you don't want as if they somehow harm you are deemed nearly 100% irrelevent"

I was merely expressing my "opinion" and I am sorry that you saw it as a rant - it was not intended to be. (I had hoped that my final paragraph would have indicated that but obviously not!) I certainly never said that extending the functionality was in some way "harmful" - just that it seemed to be slowing the browser down. Surely you are not claiming that it is possible to add significant functionality into the core browser without increasing the memory footprint and/or affecting the performance? To take spellchecking as an example (since you mention it): to do fast spell-checking, you need to hold the dictionary in memory (increased memory consumption required) - the alternative of leaving the dictionary on disk will slow down the processing. This ignores the extra code and processing involved in the spell-checking itself.

I used Netscape Navigator since I bought version 1.2 (it wasn't free then) right up to version 4.72, Mozilla since Milestone 8 (before it even had a version number as such) and then Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox. I even contributed Mozilla bug reports to Bugzilla in the milestone days so I think that I can "cope with ... developing Web browsers"! (grin!)

Phoenix (Firefox) when it came out was a revelation! It stripped the browser down to its bare essentials and there was nothing that could match it for speed. I am just disappointed that, since then, it seems to be getting larger and (in my experience) slower with each release. Of course, some of this may be a necessary penalty for adding extra security to the browser and, if so, I do not have a problem with it. I freely admit that new features like spell-checking in forms are of no interest to me but they are obviously useful to others - that is why I was asking if they could not have been implemented as optional extensions.

krissilver also wrote: "Firefox (2) is safer, more stable, and takes little to nothing away to what 1.5 had".

Since I believe that the code that attempts to reject third-party cookies is still in Firefox 2 and they have just removed the setting (Allow cookies from originating Web site only) from Options, that is probably true. However, the developers have now admitted that this important security feature does not work very well (if at all) but, despite the fact that this feature is available in other browsers, the bug has been marked as WONTFIX! As you brought up the subject of "harm", I have to say that I believe that the fact that this feature does not work is potentially damaging to my security and, if a developer who could have fixed this spent time instead on implementing some non-security feature that was simply a nice-to-have, then you could say that implementing that feature has "harmed" me.

Although you will have to take my word on it, I am totally calm as I write this so, once again, this is not (intended to be) a rant. Also, I repeat that I think that Firefox is an excellent browser and, apart from using IE for Windows Update, I use nothing else. Just because I do not want to upgrade immediately does not mean that I do not appreciate the work of the Mozilla developers so I also "highly applaud Mozilla and a great release and developing a great browser for a developing web".

#12 Re: Re: Latest version

by Zaccix

Wednesday November 15th, 2006 12:07 PM

I agree with ajpaterson that spell-checking should've been an optional extension. Not everyone wants spell-checking in their browser (I certainly don't) and it's not really an "essential" feature, just one that the Mozilla Foundation can use as a "selling point" against other browsers. I also agree that the option to reject third-party cookies should be fixed and implemented in Firefox 2; from a practical standpoint, the ability to reject cookies outside of the site you're currently on is of much greater value than spell-checking!

#10 Re: Latest Version

by scuac

Saturday November 11th, 2006 8:43 AM

"Do I have to A) wait fir auto update to eventually update me to latest version B) manually uninstall Firefox 1.5 or C) install 2.0 right over 1.5, or D) something else?"

Exactly. After 2.0 came out I waited for a few days for the auto-update of my 1.5, which never happened. I then decided to download 2.0 and went ahead with option C) which to me is the most natural. Everything installed fine, but when I went to check the list of installed software, BOTH 1.5 and 2.0 where listed. So I clicked on uninstall 1.5. Well, it turns out that that action uninstalled everything, 1.5 AND 2.0, so I had to reinstall 2.0.

I'm with you krissilver, the handling of this release (not the release itself) was poor.


by leafdigital

Thursday November 16th, 2006 2:45 AM

Sorry for shouting :) But schapel links to the blog entry in the very first response here, and there is a comment in there which explains it. It states that an automatic update to Firefox 2 will become available. It will be an optional update because there is no requirement for users to upgrade (as Firefox 1.5 is still receiving security patches until April). Presumably, 1.5..8 adds the facilility to offer these optional updates, so there is a need to wait for a little while until people have got that version, before offering Ff 2.

There was definitely a problem with the system because especially if I do check for updates manually, I damn well expect it to offer me the update. But it sounds like that problem is being fixed and it is not intentional behaviour. So there's not much point arguing about it. (Unless you really think everybody should be forced to use Ff 2 immediately with no option, in which case, you're crazy, so move along now.)


#15 Archiving Mail in Thunderbird

by gartley

Thursday November 16th, 2006 3:51 PM

Is there a utility or plans to add the ability to Archive old mail messages in Thunderbird?

#17 Firefox store?

by SomeGuy

Sunday November 19th, 2006 7:08 AM

So why is the Firefox store still selling CDs of

Actually why don't they have Firefox 2?! I want an official Firefox 2 CD!!

#18 Well, it's certainly ...

by iva

Wednesday November 29th, 2006 4:44 PM

... good to hear that, although it's true that I am using Firefox 2.0 for quite some time now. I am curious though when Thunderbird will be updated to version 2.0 too.

best regards, Ivan Tadej, Slovenija, Europe (my website)

#19 Why'd They Change The Tabs?

by perkoff

Friday December 1st, 2006 5:57 PM

You can't get as many tabs on screen as before, now you have to scroll over with an arrow, why did they do this?

#20 "strongly encouraged to upgrade to Firefox 2.0"

by ed_welch

Wednesday December 20th, 2006 2:56 PM

Fat chance of that happening. Firefox 2.0 is bug-city