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Firefox 7.0.1 updates to 8.0.1, but 8.0 doesn't?

I found the following question being raised on German newsgroups, but I guess there's more people interested in this:
I found out that on one of my computers Firefox 7.0.1 has been updated to 8.0.1, but on another one there's no update for 8.0, not even when I manually trigger it via "About Firefox". On the Mozilla website, 8.0.1 is also being offered as a download. What's going on there?

Short version:
If you're not using a Mac, switching from 8.0 to 8.0.1 doesn't really help, so we only offer that update for Macs, on all other, 8.0 is just as good, as long as it runs.

Long version:
8.0.1 fixes exactly two things over 8.0:
1) A crash with the newest version of Apple's Java plugin for Mac (the bug is in that new Java version from Apple, but we can work around it with a small patch on our side).
2) On Windows, we're blocking old versions of Roboform that cause 8.0 to crash on startup, we only allow newer versions that don't cause that crash. In case 8.0 is already running, i.e not crashing when starting Firefox, this update doesn't really help anything, and we're avoiding to send people an update when they have no benefit of it, so we don't disturb them. If 8.0 is installed but crashing on startup (because of old Roboform), we don't even get to where an update would be installed. The only thing that helps those people is to manually download 8.0.1 and install it freshly - and actually download a new Roboform version that works with it.
Because of that, 8.0.1 is being offered to all versions (starting with 4.0, incl: 8.0) on Mac OS, but on Windows or Linux only for 4.0-7.0.1, because it doesn't offer any benefit to all the others.

So, in the end, if you're installing a fresh version, 8.0.1 is the right choice, but you don't need to install an update where it's not being offered automatically.

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on November 26th, 2011 17:10 | Tags: CrashKill, Firefox, Mozilla, release | 5 comments | TrackBack




Didn't the last time an update was rolled out to a selected group (I think it was 5.0.1) cause the same confusion? I guess somebody looked at it and decided the complexity was worth not pushing updates to people... Which could make sense, given that silent updates aren't done yet.

I don't know if I had a point ;)
2011-11-27 00:21



The problem is that we are already now seeing a lot of people who are annoyed by "too many updates" and so we want to avoid sending them one when it's not necessary. We will only reconsider once background updates have shipped and people will not be disturbed by updates in their workflow any more (i.e. they at least not cause them to wait for us to launch).
2011-11-27 01:42


from California

The thing that rankled was that the about dialog pretended it was checking for updates and then informed me that Firefox was up to date while the website was offering a newer version. The information in the about dialog should be correct.
2011-11-27 22:57


I noticed while helping my mother to update Firefox on her laptop that Firefox 3.6 is being offered 8.0 (not 8.0.1) as a major update. Is this expected/indented?
2011-11-28 16:52



Florian, that's interesting, we should look at that before offering 3.6 users an advertised update later this week, thanks.
2011-11-28 19:42

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