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Author Topic: Firefox: To upgrade, or not to upgrade
Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2006 13:46      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, so lately Ive been getting a bunch of errors with FF. No clue why. Ive got 1.07.

Should I go to 1.5?

Ive heard lots of things with mem leaks and several other issues. Any truth to this?
Ive noticed also a lot of mem leakage on 1.07 lately, that hasnt happened before. Any ideas if I keep it?

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2006 17:43      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd just upgrade to fix any security issues there might be. But then I haven't really looked into the differences between the two versions. A brief look around the Mozilla website turned up the unofficial changelogs for each release, and the list of security vulnerabilities fixed in each release, both of which might be worth a look if you're that bothered.

EDIT: This is probably the best one to look at for differences between 1.5.x and 1.0.7

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 09:22      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I try to always keep my software update... The kernel, drivers and certian libraries are the only thing I'm ever weary about.

'apt-get update && apt-get upgrade' is your friend. Otherwise if it's a winDOZE box, 'format c:\' is your friend.

I think the security fixes would outweigh any memory leaks... Especially, if your OS is decent at handling them when the application closes.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 17:39            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A hint, Luke: When you upgrade to 1.5, a number of your extensions will disappear! Make sure you have as many as you can upgraded to 1.5-safe versions, and write down a list of the names of every single one installed. If any still disappear, or you can't yet get a 1.5-safe version, you will still have the names of them. From experience, I can say that I have no clue what half of mine are called, and when they vanish, I have to dig around to try find their names. Or, uninstall 1.5! I still run 1.0.7 here as I am putting off the hassle of this faff myself.

Apgrading from 1.5 to 1.5.0.1 would also delete extensions, and this only makes me hide from 1.5 all the more. I ran 1.5 at work and it *is* improved, but Firefox is dust without half a ton of extensions to give it all the features it should have had in the first place.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 18:13      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann:
A hint, Luke: When you upgrade to 1.5, a number of your extensions will disappear! Make sure you have as many as you can upgraded to 1.5-safe versions, and write down a list of the names of every single one installed. If any still disappear, or you can't yet get a 1.5-safe version, you will still have the names of them. From experience, I can say that I have no clue what half of mine are called, and when they vanish, I have to dig around to try find their names. Or, uninstall 1.5! I still run 1.0.7 here as I am putting off the hassle of this faff myself.

Apgrading from 1.5 to 1.5.0.1 would also delete extensions, and this only makes me hide from 1.5 all the more. I ran 1.5 at work and it *is* improved, but Firefox is dust without half a ton of extensions to give it all the features it should have had in the first place.

http://users.blueprintit.co.uk/~dave/web/firefox/buildid/nightly.html

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 18:24            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Extensions that go missing, must be doing it for a reason. I don't want to go poking about with Firefox. It's crap, but very, very stable, and I leave it running for weeks at a time, until it's ground to a halt and needs a reload or I the machine crashes. But Firefox is also very finicky, around the time I installed Live HTTP Headers, Flash stopped loading, and no amount of anything would restore it (but it came back by itself one day, some time after Live HTTP Headers was gone). I don't want to go break something, as the design of Firefox is atrocious and impossible to understand or repair, and you'll only wipe all your settings. It loses my history often enough as it is, and I have long battles trying to recover and restore SessionSaver data to get sessions back when it wipes all of that, too.

I can't even go with a new profile (such as when Flash broke), as someone put in a block that prevents me using my old stored passwords file in a new profile, and I rely on that to save me digging out my (usually incomplete!) passwords list or the e-mail with the password in, if I ever had one to begin with.

If I had a spare box that could run Firefox (say, not Mac OS 9.1) I could go playing with stuff but my run-forever practice and use of tons of tabs means restarting Firefox is a long chore and to be avoided.

In Luke's case, if you upgrade all extensions beforehand to be 1.5 safe, I guess it should work, but I can't say, such as the ones that vanished from 1.5 to 1.5.0.1 on two different boxes (one at home and one at work).

That page is not the answer. The answer is that Mozilla need a frigging clue, and stop making the innards of Firefox and its file storage, so damn complicated!

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 20:00      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Extension writers put one line in their code that says what versions of firefox their extensions are compatible with, and firefox acts accordingly. nightly tester tools allows you to fake that line, and in the vast majority of cases, makes it work fine.
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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 24, 2006 21:09            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
um ... so you need 1.5 installed before you can even run that, it tells me. One day, maybe. When I feel up to screwing with this mess (I will have to sit down and nanny my prefs.js in case half of that disappears as well, Firefox is so very fragile).

There must be a cleaner way to make a plugin API that doesn't break with every plugin's screw up (and Firefox only uses JavaScript, so it's not even the hard stuff), and that doesn't keep changing every five minutes.

I mean, you can take Apple Movie Player 2.5 (going way back) and it still runs modern codecs! Must be about the only time anyone did plugins properly. Or else QuickTime Player 6 is extremely out of date!

Do we know if Firefox 1.5.x is actually stable yet? I had no problems with 1.5 at work (where I didn't tax it very hard) but it was reportedly unstable, and, with one main exception, 1.0.x is extremely stable, and that is at least welcoming.

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angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 06:04      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just my 0.02 USD:

I've been using Firefox since it was Firebird and I have never had an issue with upgrading. I've done it on Windows, Linux, and OS X and it's always gone rather smoothly [with some exceptions early on under Linux]. My bookmarks, preferences, themes and extensions have usually followed right along perfectly fine. I'm not saying I haven't lost themes and extensions, just that I generally don't have an issue when upgrading. I also have a tendency to go through the entire Firefox extension page every so often to see what's new, so I upgrade, discard, and add as needed.

Of course, YMMV, IANAL, YAG, etc., etc.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 07:56      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The only problem I ever had stepping forward is that paths changed in the Debianized version and so I had to resetup Thunderbird to read links in FireFox, and FireFox to open mailto's with Thunderbird. I did also lose my extentions that time but that was because I useed FF's site instead of debianized versions. More Extentions need to be debianized... :/

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NULL
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 08:24      Profile for NULL         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1.5 is a lot faster than Firefox 1.0, that lumbering beast.

Don't use the installer, but use the files from the .zip that way it won't mess you round. Back up if you're worried

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 08:36      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by NULL:
1.5 is a lot faster than Firefox 1.0, that lumbering beast.

Don't use the installer, but use the files from the .zip that way it won't mess you round. Back up if you're worried

The .zip builds were discontinued with Fx1.5. The installer is just fine. uilleann's just complaining for the sake of idealism. All the extensions I use work fine in 1.5...but I believe he uses a few more arcane extensions than I do. For the few that don't /officially/ work, because of version numbers, Nightly Tester Tools is a great extension to have around. Mind you, if the extension really gets 'hidden,' it is a PITA to enable - one has to muck around with .ini files...but that'll only happen once (using NTT will stop it from being an issue in the future).

FWIW, someone close to Firefox complained about this situation, recognizing some of these very issues - the versioning system w.r.t. the extension API is rather stupid.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 09:17            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bullshit, dman. 1.0.6 to 1.0.7 wiped out all my SessionSaver data (not sure I even recovered that, and I use my open tabs as an extension of my memory and a to-do list), and various other upgrades have wiped settings. I don't like upgrading Firefox, it's very flaky. I even took an extension .jar, unzipped it, made a trivial change to one line, rezipped it and Firefox fell to bits on reload. Greasemonkey also caused Firefox to crash like a maniac and I had to remove it.

I've had a lot of grief with extensions and upgrades...

Gecko is stable (and fast, even on my old Mac it beats the pants off iCab 2, 3 and Mac IE) but Firefox and XUL/JS is a mess. The less I have to change anything, the better.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 10:17      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is it possible U, that Firefox is so unstable with you because of the large quantity of extensions you have added? I know you are in general ill disposed to upgrades, having been one of the last people left clinging on to the wreckage of OS 9, possibly because having tinkered and tweeked everything until it is to your liking, and peeked and peered until you know the thing backwards, one does not want to start all over again.

I run Firefox with just three extensions and a theme and a hack that makes it less butt ugly under OSX, and have not had problems you enumerate. It was well worth upgrading to v 1.5 as it is faster, and I think more stable, though that was not a big problem for me. I use both it and Safari about equally, though if I had to choose I'd stick with Safari.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 10:58            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't run that many. Nine, although make that eight as I've just told Magpie to go away (it's horribly broken). SessionSaver is the only complex one, and it may be that it itself is broken, but it typically only has oopsies with my data when I upgrade Firefox, sounds like a signalling problem in Firefox that causes SessionSaver to go dump data or to not read its data in. Other ones are simple like lget, FLST and undoclosetab. I could do with unifying all of those into TabMix but SessionSaver is the best session saver I've seen -- saves form data as well, brings back e-mails I'm typing when Firefox or Windows crash. SessionSaver is awesome, and I hate to have to implicate it as the cause of problems as I can't live without that now! (But from what I have read, it has huge numbers of bugs. They just don't appear to affect me)

What makes it keep losing my history, I don't know, it's sodding annoying as I use the history for various purposes like making sense of the Cy/VOS wiki ("did I post that page under User or Plan..?") It also threw away all my saved passwords once as well, I think.

I've collected too many bugs though ... I've caught 1.5 for X showing all the address bar history in all Chinese characters (?), and seen the tooltips for the search box menu (the various plugins) all read "Go back one page". This is on Tiger with at most one or two extensions loaded, just AdBlock Plus I think (invaluable for fixing broken sites) as it's not my account. I think I had installed one or two more but 1.5 made them all disappear (that was back when that profile was under Windows, I moved it to the Tiger machine!)

I am dreaming of a time when programs all just work...

I will install 1.5 one day, but just when I feel brave and/or stupid. Moreover, when I feel like giving myself some pain.

For the record, we have a Tiger box here (iMac G4 400), so I am quite familiar with how X feels, and it's not welcoming. I would be happy if the fucking thing let everyone have their own volume level (not everyone here has a clue how to change the sound volume in X or any hope of remembering, but I will need to mute it sometimes!) Mac OS 9 still feels homely and lovable, I don't know why but it does.

I have no problems with upgrades per se, I am running the latest gaim beta for example instead of sticking to 1.5 -- I jumped on gaim 2 b1 as soon as I found out about it. It's always a question of benefits vs setbacks. gaim 2 beta series is broken but it's worth it for some of the improvements. Firefox, though, tends to break so much with each upgrade, and Mac OS X requires me spend money on a new Mac when I have no need nor desire for a new one, and I can't stand Mac OS X, never could, it's the only GUI aside from KDE 3 that made me want to scream with frustration at how crap it was at the simplest of operation, and that scares me. And for the record, I will state that Mac OS 9 is also a broken GUI on many levels. I just never had any major problems with it. Except programs with no open windows disappearing but eating a huge hole in the memory map (in System 7, before you had a taskbar of any kind) and the system "running out of memeory" (thanks to the primitive memory map fencing off unused RAM for each process)

But anyway.

(oh, and I like Safari for some reason and that is what I run in X, not Firefox. Please shoot me)

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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 18:29      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm getting a lot more memory leaks on this thing than I was before.

If I open say 6 tabs in quick succession it just crashes.

At the same time, i'm running windows and the whole system has finally decide it sucks AND blows.

OS X + Shiny New iMac here I come!

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2006 23:49            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hm, odd. As opening 6 successive tabs, with SessionSaver installed, would cause insta-death on every reload. That one is new on me in 1.5... I doubt 1.5 could take more RAM than 1.0.7 does though [Smile]

FWIW, apparently 1.0.7 is full of security holes, so watch out. Allegedly, for Ubuntu users at least, there is a 1.0.8, but my Firefox won't find me any updates at all (not even 1.5 -- what are they afraid of?!)

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Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 06:42      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann:
... but my Firefox won't find me any updates at all (not even 1.5 -- what are they afraid of?!)

Yeah, mine wouldn't find it either. I had to go to the Firefox website to download it myself.
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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 09:35            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, I know, it does that to everyone, but apparently it's done on purpose, to prevent people automatically updating, and I am just concerned as to why.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 09:56      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1.5.0.1 -> 1.5.0.2 worked perfectly for me via Automatic Update.

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Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 13:39      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
1.5.0.1 -> 1.5.0.2 worked perfectly for me via Automatic Update.

But not from 1.0.7 to 1.5.0.whatever.
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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 19:34      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think that version of firefox had a working autoupdate system [Smile]
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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 19:38      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure it did, at least on Debian... It's called apt ... *ducks*

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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2006 20:18      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
Sure it did, at least on Debian... It's called apt ... *ducks*

I'd rather install GoatseOS than ever use Debian.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2006 06:51      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jordanv:
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
Sure it did, at least on Debian... It's called apt ... *ducks*

I'd rather install GoatseOS than ever use Debian.
That's your own damned fault. [Wink]
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