Okay, why should I (not) update Firefox? Other alternatives?

Okay, a captcha problem mentioned in another thread (and the fact that, left alone for long enough, my browser’s memory use more than doubles, though that may be my fault), has finally gotten me thinking about not using Firefox 3.6.28 anymore.

I’d been reluctant to upgrade because of the release schedule, and hearing that it was leaving a lot of useful plugins behind because of it (although currently, I only use ABP and NoScript).

I’ve come to really like using Firefox, partly because it’s so easy to backup my data (but perhaps it’s true of all browsers these days on Macs).

What do you all think is my best course? Stay where I am? Update Firefox? Some other browser?

Thanks in advance!

The leaving behind of plugins is not an issue anymore. Not only are there ways around it, but most of the currently popular plugins are regularly updated to account for this ridiculous Firefox version numbering. Some of the extensions I use are anticipating as far in the future as version 15. Which admittedly is scheduled for August, but still, the point is they’re covering themselves pretty well.

I would hold off until firefox 2 billion and 7 comes out, which I’m guessing will be next Tuesday.

Unfortunately all of this ridiculous versioning makes it all but impossible to tell when they really have made important changes to firefox. I upgraded to version 10 only so that I could get all of my systems on the same version. They’ve moved buttons and menu choices around, and having different versions on different systems was driving me a bit batty. Since there’s no way for me to tell when they’ve actually made a significant change to firefox, I plan on sticking on version 10 for a while. I have better things to do with my time than upgrade the browser on a dozen different computers every week.

Version 10 does work a lot better than version 3 with respect to speed and memory use (at least on linux). I personally would recommend getting a little more recent with your version, but I don’t see any reason to drive yourself nuts trying to keep up with their hysterical apparently cocaine-fueled hyper-ultrra-manic release schedule. They are basically just throwing minor releases out the door one after the other while calling them major releases.

I just upgrade when the upgrade option pops up and don’t lose much sleep over it. It doesn’t seem like a very big decision. Maybe I’m missing some implications.

15 is already out in alpha, in the Nightly builds.

As of 12 updating will apparently be automatic.

Your add-ons may stop working after the upgrade. Also, if they’ve really wiffed something up (and it wouldn’t be the first time) firefox itself could have problems after the upgrade.

Which isn’t necessarily saying you shouldn’t do what you are doing. There are two schools of thought on upgrades. One is that you want to upgrade whenever possible so that you always have the latest security patches, bug fixes, etc. Automatic updates help with this. The other is that you get the system stable and doing what you want it to do, then don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary.

Neither method is perfect. The first leaves you open to problems caused by upgrades (whenever you change software there’s always a chance you can break something, and it does happen fairly often). The second method makes you more vulnerable to security exploits, and you could be missing out on software that actually does work better in some way.

Google “firefox doesn’t work after update” and you can see some of the types of problems that you could potentially run into.

The two addons mentioned have been updated millions of times and are usually useable immediately upon update. The only addon I have ever had problems with is the semi-official Wikipedia addon, which hasn’t been updated for awhile so I went with another (inferior) option. All-in-one-gestures was lagging for awhile but I think they’re ok.

You could try Chrome, I prefer Firefox. And Safari is annoying. The only thing that took some getting used to in Win Firefox was where they moved the menu bars. And also how the right-click menu swapped the positions of “open in new tab” and “open in new window.”

Yeah, sometimes the add-ons stop working then I live without them. Not a big deal to me. I’m a simple woman.

I finally broke down and updated. I didn’t want to, because it told me that my addons were not compatible.

It is faster.
I had to find similar addons, but it wasn’t too hard to find them.
So far, I’m glad I updated.

The more popular a program is, the more problems you have in upgrades. I try and use browsers that are low priority. They have less bugs, and are not targeted by viruses like mainstream. I usually do not update programs when the pop occurs. I typically wait a month or so, so people can relate their issues and fixes to the patch are done.

I’m a big fan of Chrome myself on my PC. Don’t know about Macs.

It’s threads like this that remind me how it is that Internet criminals can survive.

So let me remind everyone, the most common reason for an update to be released for your browser, is to fix security flaws.

If you use an old unsupported browser, you are going about the Internet with holes straight into your PC which criminals can exploit. This isn’t the 90s anymore, most people who break into systems or write viruses aren’t doing it for fun, they’re criminals doing it for profit.

If they can take over your PC and turn it into a spam bot, they will.

If they can take over your PC and steal any bank information you type in, they will. Fingers crossed they only steal your money to spend on legal things, or you could end up with the police visiting you.

They may even take over your PC and get enough information to just steal your identity.

It is not just shady small websites that host malicious code. Malicious code is often hidden in adverts which can appear on any website, including major mainstream websites. Some you’d have to click on, some you would only have to put your mouse pointer over, and some you wouldn’t have to do a thing.

Okay, you’ve been running old browser X for five years without updating, and you’ve never had any problems. Well congratulations. My mother has been smoking for 50 years and is still healthy, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

You should update your browser.

Well, I have a Mac, and up to now, Firefox has fully supported the browser I’m running security-wise (though granted they are threatening not to soon), so I doubt I’ve been the vector for anyone getting infected.

Still, if Firefox’s difficulties and update-mania aren’t that worrisome, and the functionality is all still there, and I can still easily back up my profile, then I may give it a shot.

To answer your questions:

  1. Because FF is old hat, and it sucks compared to Chrome.
  2. Chrome is the only browser worth using.

Security flaws does not mean viruses, necessarily. Macs can get both, but the former is probably just as possible. For all the talk of PCs getting more viruses, it honestly is very easy to avoid them on any OS if you take simple precautions, like updating your software/AV and not downloading anything suspicious. The only times I ever got viruses, I was asking for it. So keep that browser updated, and your other programs.

And, if we’re talking Chrome, then the OP would be like 15 full versions behind. Google doesn’t seem to understand incremental updates, and Mozilla seems to follow behind.

sigh Okay, fine, I’m biting the goddamn bullet and updating. We’ll see how it goes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm, the CPU use is TONS lower, which is good (though for all I know, that could go right back up again)… But I don’t have the NoScript icon/button in the lower right anymore. How can I put that back? The Customize menu only has options for revoking temp permissions and allowing all on the page; nothing for a generalized NoScript menu like 3.6 ha.

You’re missing the status bar on the bottom, aren’t you? That was eliminated in FF 4.0. There is a plugin you can install, however, called Status-4-Evar that returns that status bar to the bottom and gives you your accustomed place for the NoScript button, progress bar, and other things that went missing. And yes, it’s compatible with all versions of FF above 4.0.