Friday, June 12, 2009

HOWTO: Download Older Versions of NNL from AMO

These are instructions for downloading older versions of NASA Night Launch from AMO, the Mozilla add-ons site. This may be useful if you're running a version of Firefox no longer supported by NNL, or if you're using some Mozilla app other than Firefox.

This is different from installing straight into Firefox -- instead, this will get you a copy on your hard drive.

Here's how:
  1. Go to the "See All Versions" page for NNL on AMO
  2. For whichever older version you want (all are listed) click the "Add to Firefox" button to take you to the license page
  3. On the license page, right-click the "Add to Firefox" button
  4. From the right-click menu, pick "Save Link As..." and save the Jar file to your hard drive.
That should do it.

... with one possible exception: sometimes, if as we do here you want to download instead of installing straight into Firefox, you need to first disable Javascript and reload the AMO page with Javascript disabled. If your first try didn't work, try the following instead.
  1. Open the Firefox Options window (Menubar > Tools > Options...)
  2. In the Options window, pick the Content view
  3. UNcheck "Allow Javascript", so that you temporarily disable Javascript (if it's not disallowed already)
  4. Say "OK" to close the Options window
  5. Go to (or reload) the "See All Versions" page for NNL on AMO
  6. Click the "Download Now" button on the AMO page, which takes you to the license page
  7. On the license page, right-click the "Download Now" button, then save the Jar file with "Save Link As..." to your hard drive
  8. Go back to the Firefox Options window and allow Javascript (if you already had it allowed before).
This will get you a copy of NNL to keep. Once it's on your hard drive, you could then install it by dragging and dropping the downloaded Jar file onto your open Firefox Add-ons Manager window.

A Fond Farewell to Firefox 2

Well, Firefox-loving friends and NASA Night Launch neighbors, the time has come to say goodbye to an old friend - Firefox 2. NNL version 0.6.20090524, already released, will be the last NNL version to support Firefox 2. The next NNL release will drop support for Firefox 2, while continuing to support Firefox versions 3.0 and up.

NASA Night Launch has supported Firefox 2 since the first NNL release (over two years ago). However, time has passed, technology has progressed, and the focus of Mozilla's development has now moved on to Firefox 3.5, 3.6, and beyond. Firefox is now a very different and much more advanced kind of browser. Mozilla itself has already said goodbye to Firefox 2, and now we do too.

Future NNL versions will no longer be tested with Fx2; nor will they be marked as installable with Fx2, meaning that Fx2 users will no longer receive updates through the automatic Firefox add-on update mechanism.

Installing an Older NNL Version with Firefox 2

If you're one of the 25,000-or-so people still using NNL on Firefox 2, you'll still be able to go to the AMO "See All Versions" page for NNL and install NNL version 0.6.20090524. However, just be aware that this version, which is code-frozen and no longer changing to adapt to other add-ons and their changes, will fall further and further out of sync with your other add-ons over time.


It's been a great run with Firefox 2, but the future is calling, and it wants you to use a modern browser. Get Firefox 3.5.