Firefox - Updates and channels

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Macboatmaster

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As a result of investigating an apparent problem with Firefox update I established the following.


Mozilla Firefox Version 8.0.1 was available to Release channel users on the 21 November 2011.
v.8.0.1, offered to release channel users on November 21st, 2011

However, it seems to me, that this is a rather confusing statement by Mozilla. as users on the Release channel (see below) with Firefox version 8.0 , with Windows are not offered that new version.

Clicking on the Help tab on the menu bar, and then on About Firefox, automatically checks for updates. Version 8.0 will report that "Firefox is up to date"

Unless users are aware, that the update will not be offered, they may well believe that something is wrong.
The full information from Firefox, which is not easily found, is:-
Quote
As a Windows user,


  • you do not need the update, unless you have crashing issues caused by an old version of Roboform.
  • Firefox 8.0.1 addresses no security issues; it only addresses crash issues in 2 cases.
  • Fixed Mac OS X crash that occurred in certain instances when a Java Applet is loaded with Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_29 installed.
  • Fixed Windows startup crash caused by RoboForm versions older than 7.6.2.
  • Only the Mac users will get the idle/manual update from 8.0 to 8.0.1 patch.
    • That means only Mac users will get updates through Help > About Firefox > Check for updates
  • For the time being, the only way for users other than Mac to update, is to download the complete installer for version 8.0.1 and install over the top of Firefox 8.0.




CHANNELS

There are NOW four channels for Firefox.
Most users will be on the release channel - the channel for "stable" version updates.
To establish which channel you are on - Help - About Firefox


The four channels are
NIGHTLY
AURORA - established April 2011
BETA
RELEASE

The details of the channels are:-

  • Nightly test builds – Includes features not tested by Mozilla QA
  • Aurora test the latest features and innovations. Users can expect an increase in polish from the raw, cutting edge features in our nightly builds. Aurora releases may not be as stable as beta or final releases.
  • Beta – Broadly test the stability of new features and improvements in the next version of Firefox
  • Release – Delivers the polished and stable features in Firefox to hundreds of millions of users
A user who finds they are on other THAN the Release channel, will continue to receive downloads appropriate to that channel.

Depending on their particular installation and configuration.
They may have this add-on

Update channel Selector 1.5
- note many problems reported in its use.
https://addons.mozil...annel-selector/

It cannot be used on Firefox v 8.0

Without that add-on there is now no way to change channel, without downloading and installing another version.
The facility to change channel using HELP - About Firefox has been withdrawn due to a bug being discovered.

The SAFE and simple way to change channel to the RELEASE channel is to download and install the latest stable version.
 
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Most users will surely only want the latest official & stable release anyway?
I know I would. I'm not interested in exposing my Windows installation to any other type of release, be it Firefox or anything else.
 

Macboatmaster

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A user who finds they are on other THAN the Release channel, will continue to receive downloads appropriate to that channel.
My point exactly - The release channel is the stable and tested version.

Therefore
The SAFE and simple way to change channel to the RELEASE channel is to download and install the latest stable version.
But a user aware of the release of Firefox 8.0.1. - and on the release channel may not realise why it is NOT updated to 8.0.1. from 8.0
However, it seems to me, that this is a rather confusing statement by Mozilla. as users on the Release channel (see below) with Firefox version 8.0 , with Windows are not offered that new version.
 
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