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Firefox: In With the New, Out With the Compatibility

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the beloved-friend-please-take-this-advice dept.

Firefox 366

snydeq writes "Mozilla's 'endless parade' of Firefox updates adds no visible benefit to users but breaks common functions, as numerous add-ons, including the popular open source TinyMCE editor, continually suffer compatibility issues, thanks to Firefox's newly adopted auto-update cycle, writes InfoWorld's Galen Gruman. 'Firefox is a Web browser, and by its very nature the Web is a heterogeneous, uncontrolled collection of resources. Expecting every website that uses TinyMCE to update it whenever an incremental rev comes out is silly and unrealistic, and certainly not just because Mozilla decided compatibility in its parade of new Firefox releases was everyone else's problem. The Web must handle such variablility — especially the browsers used to access it.'"

cancel ×

366 comments

Extended Support Release (5, Informative)

Harshmage (1925730) | about 2 years ago | (#39514361)

Use the ESR version and don't stress about major version changes until November-ish.

Re:Extended Support Release (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514387)

Use another browser and don't stress about major changes ever.

Re:Extended Support Release (-1)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#39514699)

Of course, you don't have to worry about having any features then, either.

Re:Extended Support Release (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514733)

No, look and see! That's the benefit of other browsers! One can find the lack of stress *and* have the features, also!

Re:Extended Support Release (4, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#39514977)

Of course, you don't have to worry about having any features then, either.

Not necessarily. I use Opera as choice 1 and Chromium as choice 2 (both on the Windows laptop at work and the Linux laptop/PCs at home). Both have adequate anti-scripting and ad-blocking support.

Re:Extended Support Release (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#39514851)

I think just about every Chrome user is a former Firefox user.

How long before Safari passes Firefox as well?

Re:Extended Support Release (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#39515041)

I don't think that computes from the market share development.

Re:Extended Support Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514443)

for the google challenged, here is the link -- https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all.html

Re:Extended Support Release (3, Informative)

Moses48 (1849872) | about 2 years ago | (#39514755)

Good solution as their rolling releases will have bugs pop up from time to time. The tinyMCE issue was a BUG in FF and has been resolved in the nightly build. See the source: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=737784 [mozilla.org]

Re:Extended Support Release (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39514831)

I stopped using Firefox and don't stress at all. I want my fucking browser to just work, and since i have no particular emotional investment in it, it got uninstalled, and it is unlikely, unless I start doing a lot of web work again, to ever reappear on my machine.

Re:Extended Support Release (4, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#39514855)

This is /thread right here. I just want my browser to be fast, efficient and mostly stay out of my way. IE8 infuriates me with all the bullshit they want you to setup before you can actually use the damn thing.

Re:Extended Support Release (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39515111)

The ESR version sometimes rants about libertarian issues when I'm trying to browse the web. Is there a Bruce Perens version?

It's a madness (0)

alukin (184606) | about 2 years ago | (#39514381)

Where in the hell they hurry with releases? "Release often, release early" madness continues...

Re:It's a madness (5, Insightful)

msclrhd (1211086) | about 2 years ago | (#39514467)

You mean like Chrome's rapid release cycle?

Re:It's a madness (1)

sirber (891722) | about 2 years ago | (#39514585)

at least chrome doesn't brag about it

Re:It's a madness (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 years ago | (#39514623)

Yes. I hate this rapid-release fad. The downsides far outweigh the upsides for me.

Re:It's a madness (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514631)

a) Chrome have always done it that way.
b) Chrome doesn't fucking break everything every upgrade!

Honestly. Does Firefox still give you a XUL error instead of sensible HTTP error pages if it's upgraded and you haven't restarted it yet?

Re:It's a madness (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39514879)

b) Chrome doesn't fucking break everything every upgrade!

I have to agree with this. Despite Chrome's background updates, I haven't woken up and launched it to find half of my plugins are dead. Nor have I had to turn compatibility check off or any of the other coaxing I've needed to do to get my FF plugins working.

I've been told in the past that a large part of the compatibility breaking is due to add-on developers, not Firefox itself (something about writing the add-on to ignore a version incompatibility), but either way, the net result is the same.

Admittedly, I can't speak as to the last couple years or so, because starting at Firefox 4, the combination of Flash, two ATI video cards in crossfire, and Firefox has resulted in regular, yet completely unpredictable BSoD's, and everyone I've ever talked to in support has pointed to a fault with one of the other two parties and said there's nothing they can do. Upgrading to 5 didn't help, and upgrading to 6 didn't help as well. That's when I uninstalled Firefox for good. Chrome has never done that, even with Flash, and even with hardware acceleration turned on.

Now that Chrome has AdBlock Plus and ScriptNO and all of the other plugin equivalents I care about, I no longer pine for Firefox.

Re:It's a madness (2)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#39515107)

BSoD's are the video card driver's fault. Nothing that software does on your system should be able to cause the driver to BSoD. Drop your ATI cards and buy Nvidia and your problems will go away instantly.

Re:It's a madness (2)

heypete (60671) | about 2 years ago | (#39514937)

a) Chrome have always done it that way.

b) Chrome doesn't fucking break everything every upgrade!

While I haven't had issues with Firefox breaking add-ons, Chrome also has another advantage[1]: it installs and runs as a user's account, rather than requiring admin rights to install and update. Updates can occur in the background without annoying the user with UAC popups (or their equivalent).

Firefox installs system-wide and requires admin rights to update. This is somewhat annoying.

[1] Some on Slashdot have complained that this is a disadvantage, particularly on managed systems in a workplace, as users shouldn't be able to install programs without administrator rights. In general, I agree. However, for individual users at home (such as my parents) not requiring admin rights is a huge benefit as it means they get to stay up-to-date and patched (including Chrome's built-in Flash and PDF reader) without being interrupted or bothered.

Re:It's a madness (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 2 years ago | (#39515059)

b) Chrome doesn't fucking break everything every upgrade!

That's because Chrome doesn't seem to add any user-facing features in its upgrades, just javascript speedups. You'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Chrome v4 and v18 (just came out) even by USING the damn thing.

Re:It's a madness (3, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39514823)

Some pointless comparisons.

Numbers below are rounded off, does not include beta versions (including pre-1.0). Also, my math is probably off.

Internet Explorer - Averages new version every 21 months
First Version: IE1 - August 1995
Current Version: IE9 - March 2011

Firefox - Averages new version every 9 months (every 1.7 months since version 4.0)
First Version: Fx1 - November 2004
Latest Version: Fx11 - March 2012

Chrome - Averages new version every 2.2 months
First Version: Chrome 1 - December 2008
Latest Version - Chrome 18 - March 2012

Opera - Averages new version every 17.5 months
First Version: Opera 2 - April 1996
Latest Version - Opera 11 - December 2010

Safari - Averages new version every 18 months
First Version: Safari 1 - January 2003
Latest Version: Safari 5 - June 2010

Lynx - Averages new version every year or so
First Version: Lynx 1 - sometime in 1992
Current Version: Lynx 2 - sometime in 1993

I threw Lynx (actually currently on 2.8, June 2010) on there because it's proof version numbers mean nothing anymore.

Re:It's a madness (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514549)

If they still put a static "3" or "4" before the actual version number, so the current version was Firefox 4.11 instead of Firefox 11, nobody would bat an eye. Everyone is losing their shit over Firefox releases when they're really just whining over a numbering scheme.

Re:It's a madness (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#39514607)

They're not whining over a numbering scheme, they're whining over a plugin compatibility scheme.

Re:It's a madness (1)

alukin (184606) | about 2 years ago | (#39514731)

unfortunately, not only plugins, but JS....

Re:It's a madness (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#39514629)

Yeah, it's not like their complaining about plug-ins breaking...oh wait....

Re:It's a madness (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 2 years ago | (#39515089)

I couldn't give a shit about numbers.

I do, however, give a shit about my add-ons not working right. Sure, the blockbuster stuff like NoScript and AdBlock work just fine on Day 1... but I also use a lot of niche stuff (something /.ers can empathize with).

My solution Works most of the time (1, Interesting)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about 2 years ago | (#39514383)

I edit the add-on package (they are easy to download and are just renamed zip files) and change the version number manually and hope that there wasn't some fundamental code change in Firefox that breaks it. Maybe Add-on writers should push it up a few versions and hope it works? I dunno.

Re:My solution Works most of the time (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 2 years ago | (#39514483)

Mozilla is actually changing to an "assume it works" model where addons will be enabled and version compatibility information will be ignored, since most addons will still work fine. They might only enforce it for major updates or something. So you won't have to do this for much longer.

Re:My solution Works most of the time (1)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | about 2 years ago | (#39514627)

Maybe Add-on writers should push it up a few versions and hope it works? I dunno.

Sir (or miss, or ma'am, or droid ... what are you?), you have no business implying that add-on authors should test in the Aurora channel (or even Nightly) to make sure that their add-on continues to work. Clearly, the old Mozilla method in which base versions were allowed to stagnate for months and even years — allowing add-on developers to relax and not worry about things like version updates — must be catered to!

My Solution Works Also (2, Insightful)

raftpeople (844215) | about 2 years ago | (#39514639)

I'm using Chrome now

Re:My solution Works most of the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514933)

You could also toggle a setting in about:config to make firefox ignore the version checks.

Crazy Idea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514389)

Maybe TinyMCE isn't actually as "platform independent" and "cross-platform" as it claims?

Code to standards (with appropriate polyfills) and ye shall prosper.

Re:Crazy Idea (1)

webheaded (997188) | about 2 years ago | (#39514535)

No kidding. If they can do it fine with Chrome then what is the hold up for Firefox exactly?

Re:Crazy Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514583)

Yea, I don't really know shit about TinyMCE, but if they require every site that uses it to update every time TinyMCE needs to change the version string in it's browser plugin, the major problem is with TinyMCE not Firefox. Now, there is definitely an issue with plugins and the Firefox release schedule, but Mozilla is already working to fix that, basically by just assuming things work and caring less about what versions the plugin claims it supports.

Re:Crazy Idea (1)

Xugumad (39311) | about 2 years ago | (#39514815)

The relevant spec ( http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#refsEDITING [whatwg.org] ) was last edited yesterday (28th March 2012). Damn hard to hit a moving target and all that.

Javascript are fagets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514833)

If these shitty javascript pogarmmer would write there software conform to standard this wouldn't be porblem. Fucken fagets cant write in real language so they writing javascripts and they fucken suck at it because there fagets. Worst thing is there not even good at writting javascript and it break when you run it in different browser then them.

Fucken javascript fagets.

Re:Crazy Idea (3, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 2 years ago | (#39515075)

TinyMCE is not a plugin, it's a script library. Like jQuery. The bug is in FireFox, and probably would have been there regardless of the release schedule. IF they don't test releases with TinyMCE, they would not have noticed a regression.

It was confirmed as a bug in FireFox, and the newer versions of TinyMCE work around it. The relevant comment is:

// Wait for iframe onload event on Gecko

I'm pretty sure TinyMCE is cross-platform, as much as it can be when each browser can add bugs (or at least unexpected changes in behavior).

What I haven't searched for is whether the onload event order for iframes is documented in a standard, or by convention. Either way, if you write to the standard and the browser doesn't, your plugin looks broken.

I smell (1, Insightful)

x0d (2506794) | about 2 years ago | (#39514391)

flamebait

switch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514395)

I switched to chrome. Used to love firefox but hot tired after version 700456 broke compatability with 1/2 the web and all of my add-ons

Suppose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514439)

A few years from now after firefox usage will shrink to 5% the chrome fanboys will say - "We won, Chrome is so awesome". Whereas, the other camp will simply reply - "No you din't, we lost on our own".

Too Late (2, Interesting)

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) | about 2 years ago | (#39514447)

I stuck with Mozilla starting with V1.0 in July 2002 but about a month ago the bloat and crashes from Firefox 11.0 got too much for me and I gave Chrome a try.

Chrome is faster with no crashes.

I don't know where Firefox went wrong but I'm not going back.

Re:Too Late (2)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#39514633)

Unfortunately I've found chrome to really drag once you get a whole bunch of tabs open, and all too often I have a LOT of tabs open. Other than that I was pretty impressed with how far it's come, if I could get it to a useable speed with lots of tabs open, I'd use it as my primary browser. Unfortunately until then I'm sticking with firefox.

Re:Too Late (0)

sgage (109086) | about 2 years ago | (#39514719)

I could probably get comfortable with Chrome in terms of functionality, except it's from Google, and puts an unbelievable amount of tentacles into your system. I really want to have as little as possible to do with that company.

Re:Too Late (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#39514943)

puts an unbelievable amount of tentacles into your system

Citation?

I've seen no evidence (nor even claims, before yours) of this.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39515083)

Chromium then?

(Typing in Opera, because I like having mail and IRC clients built in)

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514795)

The development tools in Firefox are still superior. About the only thing Chrome has over FF is a built in Javascript profiler. But then, you can't even change the default font. Meh.

Boo Hoo (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 2 years ago | (#39514449)

Tons of websites, including those with advanced features work perfectly with updated versions of firefox.

So what's wrong with this particular feature? And why is it that FF is getting the blame?

Re:Boo Hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514493)

Because of the variables that might cause the breakage, Firefox is the only common one?

Because none of the other browsers seem to have this problem?

Because tons of websites with advanced features work perfectly with Internet Explorer 6, too?

Re:Boo Hoo (1, Insightful)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 years ago | (#39514569)

Because FF is the only one that has developed the compatibility problem.

From my point of view, it's not a question of "blame". It's a question of "does this tool meet my needs"? And for FF, the answer is increasingly "no" due in no small part to these kinds of issues. Is that the fault of FF? It doesn't matter. If FF doesn't work, it doesn't work, regardless of the reasons.

Re:Boo Hoo (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 2 years ago | (#39514641)

And the new features being added to Firefox of course are no reason to keep updating it.

Technology always moves forward. Should we pause all advancements to ensure that everything stays compatible? And why is it that this library (not sure what to call it) is the one with the problems? If firefox updates are breaking it, then something must be broken with the library itself. I use tons of different websites every day, so far I haven't seen any which have been broken by firefox (I'm using Aurora). So this seems to be a very rare occurance - I'm pretty sure where we can place the blame.

Re:Boo Hoo (2)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 years ago | (#39514867)

And the new features being added to Firefox of course are no reason to keep updating it.

For me, no, the new features are not compelling (and I wish many of them would cease to exist).

This is one of my main issues with the rapid-release stuff, that it's impossible to get bug fixes without getting unwanted new features.

Technology always moves forward. Should we pause all advancements to ensure that everything stays compatible?

No, but on the other hand, advancements come with a cost. Depending on the user's needs, it can be that the cost isn't worth it to them. In the case of FF, the cost is nowhere near worth it for me. I cannot even imagine a new browser feature that would be so compelling that I'm willing to sacrifice compatibility for it, although that's probably due to my own lack of imagination.

And why is it that this library (not sure what to call it) is the one with the problems? If firefox updates are breaking it, then something must be broken with the library itself.

As I commented above, for me this isn't about blame. This is about the usefulness of the tool, and FF is becoming less useful (for me) over time. Whether this is the fault of FF or not is irrelevant. If FF can't do what I need, for any reason, then it can't do what I need.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39514923)

how did you fail to notice that tinymce doesn't need to be updated when chrome, safari, internet exploder, and every other browser are updated? that's right, internet exploder.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39514691)

Dealing with new updates every week is very annoying. I went the Chrome route on Windows too. On linux its not so bad so I still use ff there.

Re:Boo Hoo (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#39514759)

With most browser extension APIs (Chrome, Safari, etc.), the browser vendors promise API backwards compatibility and their development teams go to great lengths to avoid making changes that would break that compatibility. By contrast, the Firefox extension API makes no such promises, and as far as I can tell, requires each extension to provide a minimum and maximum compatible version that is hard-coded into the extension itself. When the browser changes versions, if the maximum version in the extension is less than the browser version, the extension stops loading even if the extension would have worked perfectly otherwise.

The way I look at it, if an extension breaks because of an incompatible API change, that's a bug in the browser, not in the extension; all the other browser vendors manage to maintain backwards compatibility. Why can't Firefox? And even if you feel that occasional backwards-incompatible changes are acceptable, if an extension breaks, it breaks. That's life. Kill it and move on. However, artificially breaking *every* extension merely because of a change that *might* break *some* extensions is just plain asinine. Yet this is what Firefox does. Firefox is getting blamed for good reason. Their extension architecture is fundamentally broken by design.

Mod Article.... Flamebait (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514453)

Mod Article.... Flamebait

Mozilla, completely incapable of understanding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514457)

.. what the point of an API is since forever.

Maybe they will learn when their company dies and comes about for the 3rd time.
It is the 3rd, right? Or did they pull a Matrix on us and it is much older than we initially thought?

Version Numbers not following API features (4, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#39514459)

The real annoyance for me is the version numbering / compatibility scheme. There are add-ins that are still relevant, and still work perfectly, but you have to go through a song and dance to install them every time the version numbers change, the song and dance being unpacking them, editing the version numbers in their metadata, and repacking them, or finding the add-in in your profile from an older version and editing it there.

If they could fix this, that would be much better. Instead of add-ins declaring which versions they are compatible with, it should be possible to compute which APIs they access, and whether their behaviour has changed.

In the case of TinyMCE, I'm not sure what the issue is, unless people are packaging it as an add-in - my only encounters with it are as something embedded in a web page, so it would naturally have to cope with a wide variety of browsers by default.

Re:Version Numbers not following API features (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 2 years ago | (#39514485)

Except they did since version 10.

Re:Version Numbers not following API features (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#39514901)

They did? I just fired up version 11 for the first time in ages (because now I use Chromium most of the time), and it's add-on compatibility checker just switched off my favourite add-on for the 8th time. I guess it's because it has an explicitly defined upper version number which I've been raising (but I didn't know you could leave the upper end off).

Re:Version Numbers not following API features (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 2 years ago | (#39514503)

There was an easier method to fix that - involved installing an addon called the Add-on Compatibility reporter. No need to unpack and change.

But now if I remember correctly stuff will just work unless the creator marks it otherwise.

Re:Version Numbers not following API features (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 years ago | (#39514999)

The real annoyance for me is the version numbering / compatibility scheme.

I agree. The problem isn't numbering per se, but more the fact that the version number changes triggers a bunch of notifications and may disable add-ons. Chrome has gotten away with fast full-number version changes because the changes are basically transparent.

Did you know that Chrome is on verions 23 right now? Well actually it's probably not. I have no idea what version number Chrome is on, and there is no real reason for me to know. They could be on version 15 or 30 for all I know. I just know that it was v12 the last time I checked, which is a while ago, so it must be higher than that.

But I know Firefox is on v11. Something popped up when it upgraded, I think, and whatever it was it prompted me to think, "Wait, it's v11 now?" I remember the same thing happened at v10 and v9.

works for me (4, Informative)

Pretzalzz (577309) | about 2 years ago | (#39514515)

None of the extensions I use break with 'every' revision. Most I don't even think have needed to be upgraded from 8.0 to the current 13.0a2[Aurora], and it updates Firefox essentially every time I restart Firefox. It makes me think TinyMCE are the one's doing something wrong.

Article is misleading (5, Insightful)

asquithea (630068) | about 2 years ago | (#39514525)

TinyMCE is not an addon - the article seems to be talking about a Firefox bug, but doesn't provide a bug ID.

Addons are now up-issued automatically where possible; I have found fewer addons breaking compared with the sweeping changes made using the old model of major releases.

The article also misses the benefits from regular releases: features and improvements get in front of users more quickly, and changes are incremental, rather than jarringly abrupt. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Firefox_(Rapid_release_development_cycle) [wikipedia.org] for a list of changes since Firefox 4.

Firefox bug id enclosed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39515129)

It's probably this one: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=736952, which is fixed in the nightlies.

Check box fix (1)

Whiteox (919863) | about 2 years ago | (#39514531)

There is a little check box in the options somewhere to stop nagging for updates. Trying to keep FF 9 because of addon compatibility.

Use ckeditor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514545)

It is free and has way better support. Bugs are fixed a lot faster.

Thinking of moving on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514559)

Having been a devout follower and promoter of Mozilla Firefox since the very very beginning, I have to say that over the last few months I have slowly been bracing myself for the inevitable realization that it is over, and time to move on. I will admit that other browsers briefly caught my eye at times through the years, and although I may have strayed momentarily here or there to others, it was more curiosity than anything else. I always came back home to FF with the knowledge that it was the best for me.

It saddens me deeply, the direction that they have chosen. I really don't want to have to move on and change the way I interact with the web, but the situation is purely intolerable. I can only hope that there is refuge to be found elsewhere...

Updating Add-Ons (2)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about 2 years ago | (#39514563)

On a few occasions, I have been presented with an updated version of the Add-On a few days after the new Firefox disabled it. But it is increasingly annoying to have functionality I have come to rely upon disabled. It's very difficult to work with tools that keep mutating and supporting the concept of Add-On functionality becomes pointless when everyone has to run like the Red Queen just to stay even.

Solution: API version apart from FF version (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#39514565)

This is so obvious, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Users see the Firefox version. Plugin developers see the plugin API version. So if FF 10, 11, 12 ,13 all have the same API, then they are automatically compatible. New features added to the browser can be tested for. Removing features causes a API rev.

ffs, just do it and stop with all the noise!
-d

Re:Solution: API version apart from FF version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514877)

This is how it should be done. Every time plugins want to use an old version of the API it's there, but it adapts to the newer 'actual' code. Take old APIs out after a certain number of major versions. Gives developers plenty of notice to update.

Re:Solution: API version apart from FF version (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 2 years ago | (#39514935)

I'm with you. There's no reason to depend on one version number for everything.

compatibility or vulnerability. choose one. (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#39514591)

You have to find a balance somewhere.

Re:compatibility or vulnerability. choose one. (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 years ago | (#39514675)

I choose compatibility. Vulnerability can be addressed in other ways.

Firefox and Adblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514593)

I stay with Firefox because of its superior adblock abilities (via adblock plus). As soon as another browser is equally capable Firefox is GONE. I suspect others will be too.

Firefox is the new IE! (1)

jmb1990 (1979110) | about 2 years ago | (#39514611)

I still use Firefox but I mainly use chrome/opera these days. Firefox was good until about 2 years ago, whatever happened around that time sure has f*cked up a once good web browser.

Also a big problem for testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514649)

I am doing automating testing for several companies and it is not easy to support so many browsers versions (and multiply it by 3 OS)

damned if you do, damned if you don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514673)

people bitched that there add-ons were getting disabled for no reason due to version compatibility checking, so they removed it. Now people are bitching that there add-ons are breaking?! How it this mozilla's fault? you got what you wanted! It is the add-on developers responsibility to either enable compatibility checking, or test there add-on before each new version.

besides, why would you even need an add-on like tinymce? If your website requires a Firefox add-on for full functionality then YOUR SITE is broken. Don't blame the add-on, and definitely don't blame the browser when things go wrong. Joomla and wikipedia can do it without problems! do it right or STFU

Re:damned if you do, damned if you don't (1)

leonardluen (211265) | about 2 years ago | (#39514961)

it is mozilla's fault! Mozilla doesn't provide an API version that the add-ons can test against to see if they will work in the new browser version. previously when FF had a major/minor versioning scheme that sort of, but not entirely, took the place of the API versioning. now with the fast release schedule the add-ons have no way to tell if they are compatible with the new version or if they will fail horribly because mozilla decided to remove something.

that is all the developers want is a method to know if mozilla is making any changes that could break their add-ons. publishing an API version that the add-ons could check against would solve this.

Why is there a compatibility problem? (4, Informative)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 years ago | (#39514689)

The only reason there would be a compatibility problem is if programs/scripts/modules/whatever are using user-agent identification to determine what features are available. This is (and always has been) a very bad practice - You check to see if the functions (or alternatives) are available, rather than checking against UA. That way you don't have to continually update scripts to maintain compatibility with the latest versions. When when browsers start supporting new functions coded in, those functions just work. When deprecated functionality is removed, the check for that particular function fails and the code moves on to another branch.

For example, rather than the following:

function getXMLHTTP() {
if (navigator.appName == 'Microsoft Internet Explorer')
{
var ua = navigator.userAgent;
var re = new RegExp("MSIE ([0-9]{1,}[\.0-9]{0,})");
if (re.exec(ua) != null)
rv = parseFloat( RegExp.$1 );
if (rv try { return new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP.6.0"); }
catch (e) {}
try { return new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP.3.0"); }
catch (e) {}
try { return new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"); }
catch (e) {}
} else
return XMLHTTPRequest;
} else
return XMLHTTPRequest;
}

Which uses nasty browser detection to try and cope with IE 8 and below, you should use:

function getXMLHTTP() {
if (XMLHTTPRequest) return XMLHTTPRequest;
if (ActiveXObject) {
try { return new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP.6.0"); }
catch (e) {}
try { return new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP.3.0"); }
catch (e) {}
try { return new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"); }
catch (e) {}
}
throw new Error("This browser does not support XMLHttpRequest.");
}

Which nicely checks to see both if the newer/proper XMLHTTPRequest Javascript object exists, and if not, tries to use the latest ActiveX object (Necessary for IE 8 and below), while only using the "ActiveXObject" function if it is available. It also means that if MS put out a version of IE that falls back to the ActiveX Object route, this code will still work with it, whereas the first will not. It's a minor example, true, but it's an example nonetheless.

Re:Why is there a compatibility problem? (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 2 years ago | (#39514987)

Man, I am SO happy I got out of web programming. What a nightmare to have to deal with shit like this.

You're right, by the way. :)

I've been using the Nightly version since v7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514695)

It's on v14 now and Almost every addon I try still works. You just have to disable the nightly compatability check.

Sounds like a management problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514697)

Version numbers aside, they are not important.
First they remove the statusbar and I need an extension to restore it (had nobody made that, I would be screwed).
Now they break image viewing and yet again I need an extension to fix it.

Whoever is approving such changes is the problem.

Auto Update/Version Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514723)

Would it still auto update if the IP or entire range were to be blocked? ...$ nano etc/hosts [127.0.0.1 Offending IP] or firewall?

never heard of tinymce (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#39514757)

Is this something people actually use?

Apparently it's the WordPress WYSIWYG editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514847)

What's wrong with just falling back to a fucking <textarea>?

Re:never heard of tinymce (1)

BKDotCom (542787) | about 2 years ago | (#39514947)

Yes.
it's javascript used by websites to create a rich-text editor with formatting and whatnot.

calling it a browser add on is like calling jQuery.js and slashdot.org browser add-ons

Re:never heard of tinymce (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#39514967)

You might not have heard of it, but if you've ever typed a comment on a site with a richtext editor, you've probably used it (it or CKEditor)

Re:never heard of tinymce (1)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#39515145)

Every place I've been uses CK.

Re:never heard of tinymce (1)

TigerTime (626140) | about 2 years ago | (#39514969)

We use it at my company. It's just a full featured WYSIWYG editor. You need editors like this because, customers want to be able to create "Word-like" documents on the web. This is fairly commonplace nowdays. Most forums have WYSIWYG editors, as well as most web email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc).

And TinyMCE is nice in that it is extensible so you can create custom buttons that do custom actions on the area.

Firefox team needs to get a clue about versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514793)

Organizations need to test external software (such as web browsers) before they allow their workers and customers to use it with their apps and web pages. Each major version of a web browser counts as another item in the test matrix: so the following

Firefox 6.x
Firefox 7.x
Firefox 8.x
Firefox 9.x
Firefox 10.x
Firefox 11.x

would be approximately 6 times as costly for organizations to support than:

Firefox 3.x

What often happens instead is that the webmaster picks one version of Firefox (probably the most recent at the time of the in-house rollout), and requires everyone to upgrade to that. So what, you might say, the FF version upgrade happens automatically on the desktop. Yes, but if a new major release of FF comes out, the webmaster won't add that to the supported browsers list until it's been fully vetted by QA. When that happens, the site no longer supports FF as far as many of its visitors are concerned. Whose fault is that? I'd say it's the FF team, for forcing each site to spend scarce resources re-testing their browser for compatibility every few months.

Re:Firefox team needs to get a clue about versions (1)

supremebob (574732) | about 2 years ago | (#39514981)

Yeah... I can't exactly certify my software on the latest version of Firefox when we're doing new releases every 5 months on average and Firefox is doing a new release every 5 WEEKS.

Instead, we're certifying on the ESR release version. Sure, our stuff will probably work on the newer releases, but we can't guarantee it.

Is that to say the MS had it right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39514835)

When they made the browser work with site regardless of whether or not it confirmed to standards? Some one is looking awfully kettle-ish right now.

Since When (1)

BKDotCom (542787) | about 2 years ago | (#39514919)

TinyMCE is an Add-On or Extension?

TinyMCE is an "add-on" in the same sense that Slashdot.org and jQuery.js are.

Gruman again?! (2)

nman64 (912054) | about 2 years ago | (#39515057)

How is it that this asshat's "stories" continue to reach the front page?

edit the install.rdf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39515143)

... files so that the max supported version of firefox is 99.*. may be problems at some future point, but at least for now, add-ons continue to work after updates.

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