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.