Browser

Is it Firefox or FireFIX?


I've been a big fan of the Firefox brower. I've used it on Windows,

Linux, and OS/2 since back when it was called Firebird. Even at version

.6, it had features that Microsoft has yet to add to Internet Explorer.

I probably use Firefox more than IE on a daily basis if I stopped to

think about it.  This post is actually being written in Firefox.


I must admit I'm starting to get a little bit irritated however. In the

past few months, Mozilla.org has been releasing update after update to

Firefox. Just this past week, Mozilla.org - in almost Microsoft

Tradition - had to release a fix that fixed a fix.


In and of itself, that's not a bad thing. It's great that they're

keeping up with security threats and fixing problems as soon as they're

encountered. And face it, no matter what you think about Open Source

software, anything that's designed by humans is going to have problems

- no matter how talented and philanthropic they may be by devoting to

their talents to such a project.


What's really irksome about the process is, there's no easy way to

update the browser when there's a fix. If you want to get the latest

update, no matter how small, you've got to download and reinstall the

entire browser. Oh sure, there's a little bit of help with the Update

feature, but even so, it's a complete reinstall.


For most IT Professionals on their own machines, that's not a big deal.

But what do you do when you have dozens or hundreds of workstations

that you need to keep updated?  Pushing out an entire new browser

every week wastes time, bandwidth, and simply is not a solution. 

Not to mention, reinstalling the entire browser can sometimes result in

conflicts with add-ons or bookmarks. In a corporate environment, IT

just doesn't have time to put out all of these additional fires.


Firefox 1.1 is due

sometime this month with 1.5 at some point in the future. Software

updates are supposed to be part of that release. Here's hoping it works

correctly when it finally ships. Of course, when the new version ships,

that also means doing a complete reinstall again.

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