19 December, 2008

Farewell to Firefox 2.0?

Unlike most folks out there, I've decided not to upgrade to Firefox v3.0 ("FF3.0")just yet. You see, there are a couple of add-ons (aka extensions) that I really rely upon, and they're incompatible with FF3.0, which means that if I upgrade, I they won't be able to function anymore. So for the time being, I'm stuck with Firefox v2.0 ("FF2.0").

The other day (I think it was Monday this week), my FF2.0 was updated to version 2.0.0.19. A message came up on the "Firefox Updated" page that that was going to be the LAST FF 2.0 release, and the further support for FF2.0 would thereby cease. In fact, here's the quote from that page:

You’ve been updated to the latest version of Firefox 2.

This is the last planned update for Firefox 2.

That’s it for Firefox 2… Update to Firefox 3 Today!

Mozilla is not planning any further security & stability updates for Firefox 2, and recommends that you upgrade to Firefox 3 as soon as possible. It’s free, and your settings and bookmarks will be preserved.

Also, the Phishing Protection service will no longer be available for Firefox 2 users. Firefox 3 offers a free Phishing and Malware Protection service, which will continue to protect you from online scams and attacks.

Just now (about 3:00am EST on 19 December 2008), Firefox just downloaded, verified, and installed version 2.0.0.20, which pretty much left me in stitches, given the message that I just quote above. And upon coming to the "Firefox Updated" page, I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Here's the text from that page:

You’ve been updated to the latest version of Firefox 2.

This is the last planned update for Firefox 2.

That’s it for Firefox 2… Update to Firefox 3 Today!

Mozilla is not planning any further security & stability updates for Firefox 2, and recommends that you upgrade to Firefox 3 as soon as possible. It’s free, and your settings and bookmarks will be preserved.

Also, the Phishing Protection service will no longer be available for Firefox 2 users. Firefox 3 offers a free Phishing and Malware Protection service, which will continue to protect you from online scams and attacks.

For those of you without text-comparison programs, you will note that this is the same exact text, despite the fact that these are two entirely different web pages, and two different versions of FF2.0 (the first quote is from a page at http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/2.0.0.19/whatsnew/ and the second quote is from a page at http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/2.0.0.20/whatsnew/ ).

Obviously, what happened is that they had planned on releasing one last version but then found a few (possibly serious) bugs in that version, and brought out a new, final version a few days later.

Even though the situation is a bit hilarious (to me, anyway), at least it shows that with FOSS (Free, Open-Source Software), it's possible that a project might never truly die out....

For now, at least, I'll continue using my FF2.0, until the add-ons I rely upon are updated to be compatible with FF3.0, or until their functionality is brought into a future version of Firefox (which actually happened between Firefox v1.5 and v2.0 -- I was able to get rid of a few extensions during that upgrade due to increased functionality).

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