Saturday, December 27, 2008

Firefox 2 End-of-Life

Firefox 3 is in widespread use, Firefox 3.1 is now a very bright glow appearing over the horizon, and Mozilla has announced the end of planned updates for Firefox 2. What does all this mean for NASA Night Launch? It means that, given the above, there's a chance I'll be dropping Firefox 2 (and only Firefox 2) support from future versions of NNL. It's still an open question, up in the air but on the radar.

If I do drop support, it'll be because something about Firefox 3.1 makes it impossible to support both it and Firefox 2 at the same time. Firefox developers do take pains to make sure that themes are supported. However, theme technologies (CSS, XBL) are progressing and a lot has changed since Firefox 2 first came out (in October of 2006). You gotta keep up.

Whichever way it works out, people using Firefox 2 will still be able to download and use older versions of NNL by going to the NNL page on AMO, clicking "Older Versions", and installing one of the older versions from there.

There are many very compelling reasons to upgrade to Firefox 3. To name only a few:
  • Mozilla has announced that they will no longer be supporting Firefox 2. If any problems are found in Firefox 2, they will remain unfixed. There will be no more releases. That's because users should upgrade to the superior Firefox 3.
  • Many add-ons and add-on updates available for Firefox 3 are not offered for Firefox 2.
  • Firefox 3, and now 3.1 beta 2, offer vastly-improved performance. Javascript-heavy sites (Digg much?) run a lot faster.
  • The user interface is much improved, with a host of new features.
From Mozilla:
Firefox 2.0.0.x will be maintained with security and stability updates until mid-December, 2008. All users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Firefox 3.
If you're still using Firefox 2 ... why are you? Feel free to post a comment.

Like I said, this change for NNL would apply to Firefox 2 only. Support for Firefox 3 and 3.1 would continue into the far future -- so far in the future that it's pointless even to consider it now.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, easy. If it's gotta go, then it's gotta go!..:) There are a few extensions that make Firefox 3 bearable, for the diehard version 2 fans. For example:

    Old Location Bar ( ), better than "oldbar" in many respects.

    & Awesome Options ( ).

    Stop. Drop. Shut 'em down, open up shop.