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Subject: Firefox 29 rss

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J J
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For those who haven't already had their machine update FF to version 29 - don't do it.

If it is too late, and you're still fighting the new version (this was very much a case of developers deciding on change just because they could, and to hell with users), you need an add-on called Classic Theme Restorer.

But it's just better to lock it at version 28 for now.
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Ed Rozmiarek
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Too late. I came home and Firefox had crashed. When I restarted it I got the new version.
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kSwingrÜber
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JasonJ0 wrote:
... FF 29 ... very much a case of developers deciding on change just because they could, and to hell with users...

Yup. They sure took a page out of Bill Gates' book! gulp
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Pieter
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Which means: don't check your About menu item for which version you have -- because it will automatically install the new version.

Thanks for the warning. The add-on allowed me to return to the usual configuration in a few minutes time.
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I don't know...I installed the update, and I don't find it to be a big deal. My tabs are still there. My menu is still there. My bookmark toolbar is still there. There's a few extra buttons, and the tabs look different, but so what?
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Pieter
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Hey, if you are happy with the new version, good for you.

I am more rusted in my ways of working. I already configured the previous version of Firefox in different ways, and all these ways were undone with the new version.

Besides, I am someone who gets annoyed even about a color change. I still have Windows 7 configured to look like 95.
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I tend to be that type, too. I still have my "Classic desktop" on Windows 7. When I have to install anew, I tend to spend a lot of time trying to move my settings, or replicate them.

Still, with the Firefox upgrade, I expected a lot worse than what I actually got. Maybe I was lucky, and my most important customizations happened to be portable to the new UI.
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Chris
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I'm pretty sure you can either download an older version of FF and install over. Worst case, you can export your bookmarks (if you're not using XMarks and Siphon) and uninstall your new version of FF and just install a fresh older version.

I deactivated my auto-update and I'm still using FF21, because I think FF22 was an AWFUL upgrade. At some point, I may see if the newer versions addressed my concerns, but I always keep the version of FF that works, so I can use it, as need be....
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M B
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time to move to chrome...
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As a IT professional, I STRONGLY recommend against using an outdated browser. Switch to another browser if you don't like the new one, but use an outdated browser only on a machine securely disconnected from the internet (which kinda defeats the purpose).
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Mark Hamzy
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Sesh, I've been using version 26.0! Thanks for the upgrade.
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Chris
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Asperamanca wrote:
As a IT professional, I STRONGLY recommend against using an outdated browser. Switch to another browser if you don't like the new one, but use an outdated browser only on a machine securely disconnected from the internet (which kinda defeats the purpose).



The problem with FF, specifically, is that they're pushing new updates every week, it seems. In fact, IIRC, FF22 only came out last October; now they're up to 29.

And, if you rely on the browser's extensions ... that can be problematic, since they're changing so frequently the developers barely have a chance to keep up.

I like FF21 quite well -- it's stable, and it plays nice with the extensions - I'll check out the newer one soon, since I hope they fixed the issues; but I can't imagine another browser giving me the same experience.

I would agree to not use a obsoleted browser though -- like FF 4.0 or something like that; but do you think there are *that* many risks when the browsers are changing every week? That seems like an awful big problem to push to the end-user. (although, again, I - obviously - use separate anti-virus and spyware software).
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It's hard to know exactly how risky using an old browser is, unless you are more intimate with browser development (which I am not). Sometimes big shit hits the fan (e.g. currently for the Internet Explorer), and then you read about it in the news.

But I understand that security fixes are a routine part of every version upgrade. And anti-virus and anti-spyware can only do so much - there are holes in a browser they cannot compensate for (e.g. if the browser somehow allows a remote website access to information that should only be used locally, like your passwords).

You might take a look at the Firefox Extended Service Releases
They are intended for larger organizations however, I do not know how convenient they are to use for end-users (and I haven't tried).
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Brandon
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Every time any commonly used software changes its interface, people get up in arms about it. Then things settle down. Then people get comfortable. Then they look at the old interface and scoff/laugh at its antiquated appearance. Then, the interface is changed again and the cycle continues. See: Firefox, Facebook, MS Office, MS Windows, GNOME (GNU/Linux), Unity (GNU/Linux (Ubuntu)), GMail, etc.

On the one hand, I don't begrudge developers for wanting to push their software forwards. On the other hand, I do lament the insurgance of designers in the software development field. I want my interfaces minimalistic, fugly, and just a bit clunky (as long as I have good keyboard shortcuts available, I don't care). All the extra chrome and obfuscation of menus behind abstract hamburger icons just gets in my way. The problem is that, just like in any other art, design follows trends. Right now the trend is to put everything behind a hamburger menu and generally ape the Chrome design. So, naturally, Firefox had to follow suit lest it look antiquated in comparison. Without professional designers, this trend following would have hopefully been slower and more aimless and also less pretentious, the way Zod intended.

But please, don't use Chrome. Google has enough of your data already. And it's not measurably any better these days like it was in the beginning. The competition that it ignited has led to a vast improvement in Firefox as well and, unlike Google, Mozilla is vastly more interested in protecting your right to privacy. And now, the two browsers even look alike. If you really must, use Chromium, the project on which Chrome is based. It's presumably less Googlized.

Anyway, for me it's all moot because I use Conkeror anyway: all the benefits of Firefox under the hood, with none of that annoying user interface to get in my way.

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Pieter
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Well, I don't mind developers changing the interface of their products. But I do not understand why they often explicitly exclude the possibility of using the old interface.

I mean, I am sufficiently computer-savvy to get to work with these programs in different ways. But my father who is in his eighties needed months (if not years) to get comfortable with the interface of his computer, his word processor, his email program, and his browser. And when his computer needed an upgrade (which I postponed as long as possible), he had to go through the whole process of relearning everything again. He has no interest in relearning anything. He was able to work with his computer just fine. Maybe not in the most speedy, modern way, but it did the job for him. And it took a long time before his new computer was able to support him in the same way as his old one did.

And even though I have no problems picking up new ways of working, I hate the fact that I am forced to spend a couple of hours getting fluent with a redesigned program interface. I know, designers say that once you get over the initial hurdle, you actually gain time. But that is not my experience.

The weird thing is that all these new programs actually are easy to configure to anyone's liking. The interfaces are sufficiently flexible to support multiple views. But you only get one, and you have to resort to third-party add-ons to get the interface to work to your liking.

Design philosophies changed a lot over the years. I remember the time where Microsoft prescribed a specific way of creating interfaces, so that all applications would be handled in the same way. That's actually pretty smart, because it means you only need to learn interfaces once. Then came the internet and suddenly all webpages had their own interface. Then computers became more a toy than a tool and everything had to be sparkly and fresh and different and not aimed at efficient working in the first place.

I remember that Bill Gates once said: "If you can't make it good, make it look good." Evidently most software designers are now thinking that making it look good is goal number 1.

*** This ends your grumbling grandpa rant for the day. Tune in tomorrow when grandpa is going to rant about young people today. ***
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Brandon
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Well, I don't mind developers changing the interface of their products. But I do not understand why they often explicitly exclude the possibility of using the old interface.


Simple: maintaining multiple interfaces means dealing with multiple sources of bugs. If they don't have the manpower to put into continuing to maintain the old interface/options/whatever, they'll remove it rather than suffer the consequences of falling behind in fixing all the bugs that invariably pop up.

Flyboy Connor wrote:
I remember that Bill Gates once said: "If you can't make it good, make it look good." Evidently most software designers are now thinking that making it look good is goal number 1.


Yep, we've had an influx of designers into the software world (thanks largely to Apple for starting that trend, but also web design -> web "apps" is partly responsible). The idea of trying to implement form over function in the most flexible tool in the history of mankind is absurd. Why limit the functionality of the tool in the interest of ease-of-use or purrrrty shininess? When it comes to computers, give me function over form any day.
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Mark Hamzy
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Well, I don't mind developers changing the interface of their products. But I do not understand why they often explicitly exclude the possibility of using the old interface.


Two different code paths means twice as much work and the possibility of inconsistency.
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My Firefox automatically updated to 29 and I barely even noticed the change. Actually, I kinda like the new menu system better than the old one - having everything in one spot, with recognizable icons, is really handy.
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braveheart101 wrote:
My Firefox automatically updated to 29 and I barely even noticed the change. Actually, I kinda like the new menu system better than the old one - having everything in one spot, with recognizable icons, is really handy.


I didn't even notice that button. My menu looks just as it did before - only the colors changed.
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
*long rant*


I can sympathize from personal experience. My father used a Palm for all his appointments, phone numbers, etc. When he developed dementia, he could still use that device. When it finally broke, there was no way he would learn to use a new one - he lost a bit of control over his own life that day.

Even so...although I agree that there should be pretty good reasons to change something that is proven and works, I would equally argue against the mantra "never change anything".
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Mike Norris
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I am not happy about the change but I learned to deal with it and work it back to kind of how my firefox use to be.

However, I will NOT forgive Mozilla for changing my wife's version to 29!!!! Because now I have to listen to her complaining about how she hates it. Does anyone have their # so she can call them and complain to them instead of me?
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Pieter
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hamzy wrote:
Two different code paths means twice as much work and the possibility of inconsistency.

True, but the interfaces are created flexible. They are already designed in such a way that everything can be moved. The only problem is that the functions to do so are often hidden and the designers do not implement a simple function that activates the old interface again.

Take the "new" Microsoft Office interfaces. You know, those AWFUL ribbons that have replaced the menus. With a free third-party macro, you can restore the original menu and remove the ribbon. It's all still there! But you need an outside source to allow you access.

Same with the new Firefox. The third-party plug-in more or less restores the regular interface -- just by tweaking some settings. It's part of the product. But giving it to us? Noooooo.

If you ask me, the reason is simply that they do not want everyone to immediately turn on the old, reliable interface again, because then their product looks ANCIENT. It's not what the users want, it is how their design is displayed.
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