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Installing older versions (4&6) of firefox for compatability testing

Posted

I need to install older versions of FF in order to do compatibility testing against a web app.

When I look at the index of versions available at http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/ I see nothing for version 4 of firefox. What gives? Where can I find the files to install that version. Ditto for version 6

I need to install older versions of FF in order to do compatibility testing against a web app. When I look at the index of versions available at http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/ I see nothing for version 4 of firefox. What gives? Where can I find the files to install that version. Ditto for version 6

Modified by Chuckvdl

Chosen solution

With the new rapid release model, each new major version is considered a direct update to the previous, with no support for old versions. As such, Firefox 4, 5, & 6, are not supported anymore, while 7 is current and 3.6 is still supported. When the new extended support release plan is set up, there will be a new major version supported along-side the regular releases with minor updates in the way 3.6 is right now. That's why Firefox 4, 5, & 6 aren't on releases.mozilla.org, though there is a folder for 5.0.1 without the binaries in it for some strange reason. The releases.mozilla.org domain has mirrors for handling the high load needed for current versions to be downloaded. Everything else is on ftp.mozilla.org and the note for http://ftp.mozilla.org/ asks people to link to the other server when possible for bandwidth reasons.

As to why you couldn't access the FTP server, it is accessed over FTP instead of HTTP, so you might have something blocking that. Just a guess though.

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Dave G 15 solutions 95 answers

Helpful Reply

releases.mozilla.org generally just has the most recent updates to each major release; ftp.mozilla.org has every version ever released:

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/

releases.mozilla.org generally just has the most recent updates to each major release; ftp.mozilla.org has every version ever released: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/

Question owner

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Modified by Chuckvdl

Question owner

Firstly thanks for the rapid response. I had tried that site but could not get it to open from the Mac that is currently hosting the VM's (either from a browser on the mac itself, or from within the VM.. no idea why and I'm new to mac's so no clue how to troubleshoot that. (otoh it opened just fine from my PC, go figure..)

I had expected the 'releases.mozilla.org' to have as you said "the most recent update to each major release". and that's exactly what I want to test against, hence why I tried that resource to get what I need.. I guess I'm confused how it is that FF4 and FF6 are not considered major releases (and yet there's 'dot' releases in there for 3, etc.)

It just seems very inconsistent, what exactly is the criteria for a 'major release' if it isn't the first (leftmost) digit of the version number?

Anyway, off to bang my head against the 'mac way' of doing things and see if can figure out why the PC has no difficulty at all browsing to the FTP site but a browser on the mac refuses to do so. (I really want to like the mac, but stuff like this drives me nuts)

Firstly thanks for the rapid response. I had tried that site but could not get it to open from the Mac that is currently hosting the VM's (either from a browser on the mac itself, or from within the VM.. no idea why and I'm new to mac's so no clue how to troubleshoot that. (otoh it opened just fine from my PC, go figure..) I had expected the 'releases.mozilla.org' to have as you said "the most recent update to each major release". and that's exactly what I want to test against, hence why I tried that resource to get what I need.. I guess I'm confused how it is that FF4 and FF6 are not considered major releases (and yet there's 'dot' releases in there for 3, etc.) It just seems very inconsistent, what exactly is the criteria for a 'major release' if it isn't the first (leftmost) digit of the version number? Anyway, off to bang my head against the 'mac way' of doing things and see if can figure out why the PC has no difficulty at all browsing to the FTP site but a browser on the mac refuses to do so. (I really want to like the mac, but stuff like this drives me nuts)
Dave G 15 solutions 95 answers

Chosen Solution

With the new rapid release model, each new major version is considered a direct update to the previous, with no support for old versions. As such, Firefox 4, 5, & 6, are not supported anymore, while 7 is current and 3.6 is still supported. When the new extended support release plan is set up, there will be a new major version supported along-side the regular releases with minor updates in the way 3.6 is right now. That's why Firefox 4, 5, & 6 aren't on releases.mozilla.org, though there is a folder for 5.0.1 without the binaries in it for some strange reason. The releases.mozilla.org domain has mirrors for handling the high load needed for current versions to be downloaded. Everything else is on ftp.mozilla.org and the note for http://ftp.mozilla.org/ asks people to link to the other server when possible for bandwidth reasons.

As to why you couldn't access the FTP server, it is accessed over FTP instead of HTTP, so you might have something blocking that. Just a guess though.

With the new rapid release model, each new major version is considered a direct update to the previous, with no support for old versions. As such, Firefox 4, 5, & 6, are not supported anymore, while 7 is current and 3.6 is still supported. When the new extended support release plan is set up, there will be a new major version supported along-side the regular releases with minor updates in the way 3.6 is right now. That's why Firefox 4, 5, & 6 aren't on releases.mozilla.org, though there is a folder for 5.0.1 without the binaries in it for some strange reason. The releases.mozilla.org domain has mirrors for handling the high load needed for current versions to be downloaded. Everything else is on ftp.mozilla.org and the note for http://ftp.mozilla.org/ asks people to link to the other server when possible for bandwidth reasons. As to why you couldn't access the FTP server, it is accessed over FTP instead of HTTP, so you might have something blocking that. Just a guess though.
Ripley2010 0 solutions 3 answers

My issue is similar and yet different but I found no discussion that applies...

I am in online college. I have never had issues with Firefox and school when suddenly, 7.01 is released and we're told by the school that it is incompatible and in fact I confirmed that. They are asking us to back up to version 6.02 which I did. Immediately when this older version starts the first time, it prompts me stating it is looking for updates to ALL of these plug-ins (which as you know, are necessary for many things online) It states it could not find any updates but will keep checking periodically.

Now because I no longer have compatible plugins, I'm having issues all over the place except in that school environment. I could resolve this by either trying to find older versions of these plugins (which are plenty) or I could even use a different browser which my school's tech support suggests. If I do that, I'll lose all the goodies that Firefox holds on to for me, like passwords, usernames, drop-down menu history, probably some cookies that I actually do want to keep, ect...

So I'm stuck! I can't use 7 because it won't work in my classroom and backing up has proven disastrous.

First of all... I'm a bit ignorant about this type of thing but it would seem to me that every time a new version is released, they wouldn't take away what makes up an older version because they know already that it works and the new version (other than beta versions) might well need some plugin or add-on updates but surely not it's basic compatibility with a website that has never had compatibility issues. Am i completely wrong about that? Also, is it Mozilla that's responsible for this incompatibility or our school not keeping up with the times. I ask because they never point out issues with any other browser out there so how can they miraculously stay compatible with IE, Chrome, ect, but not Firefox?

My issue is similar and yet different but I found no discussion that applies... I am in online college. I have never had issues with Firefox and school when suddenly, 7.01 is released and we're told by the school that it is incompatible and in fact I confirmed that. They are asking us to back up to version 6.02 which I did. Immediately when this older version starts the first time, it prompts me stating it is looking for updates to ALL of these plug-ins (which as you know, are necessary for many things online) It states it could not find any updates but will keep checking periodically. Now because I no longer have compatible plugins, I'm having issues all over the place except in that school environment. I could resolve this by either trying to find older versions of these plugins (which are plenty) or I could even use a different browser which my school's tech support suggests. If I do that, I'll lose all the goodies that Firefox holds on to for me, like passwords, usernames, drop-down menu history, probably some cookies that I actually do want to keep, ect... So I'm stuck! I can't use 7 because it won't work in my classroom and backing up has proven disastrous. First of all... I'm a bit ignorant about this type of thing but it would seem to me that every time a new version is released, they wouldn't take away what makes up an older version because they know already that it works and the new version (other than beta versions) might well need some plugin or add-on updates but surely not it's basic compatibility with a website that has never had compatibility issues. Am i completely wrong about that? Also, is it Mozilla that's responsible for this incompatibility or our school not keeping up with the times. I ask because they never point out issues with any other browser out there so how can they miraculously stay compatible with IE, Chrome, ect, but not Firefox?
the-edmeister
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5398 solutions 40147 answers

Helpful Reply

@Ripley2010

My advice is to install Firefox Portable Edition 3.6.23 to your hard drive to deal with that school website, and other web sites like it. The Portable version won't affect your current installation, which you should update back to Firefox 7.0.1.
http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable/localization#legacy36

Four things that are wrong and can put some average users in a bind with this Fast Release schedule.

  • Wasn't publicized enough or for long enough before it was implemented, and too many web developers and other software developers were caught by surprise, as they were used to the 12 to 14 months between major version releases of Firefox as the usual interval.
  • Too damn many developers don't use modern testing to verify compatibility of their software with the various web browsers. The don't really "test", they want to "dick-around" for 6 months, stumble across problems and then fix their crap.
  • "Money" is involved too often, they don't want to actually fix their software until the next school year is set to start, so they can get paid for their work at fixing their stuff and then label it as an "update".
  • Last but not least, I don't think Mozilla thought this fast release scheme through thoroughly enough. They forgot about "enterprise support", as in long term support for mass installations, like at major corporations - which I feel is somewhat related to the software used at many online portals for schools. It took Mozilla like 7 months after the fast release schedule was announced to come with plans for an ESR (extended support release) version for "enterprise users"; and now we'll have to wait and see if they can come with that release before the end of the year as now planned. (Initially it was going to coincide with Firefox 8, which is 3 weeks away, but that ain't gonna happen; maybe by Firefox 10, 15 weeks from now.) Plus the "extended" is for only 42 weeks, which I don't thing is really long enough.
@Ripley2010 My advice is to install Firefox Portable Edition 3.6.23 to your hard drive to deal with that school website, and other web sites like it. The Portable version won't affect your current installation, ''which you should update back to Firefox 7.0.1''. <br /> http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable/localization#legacy36 Four things that are wrong and can put some average users in a bind with this Fast Release schedule. <br /> * Wasn't publicized enough or for long enough before it was implemented, and too many web developers and other software developers were caught by surprise, as they were used to the 12 to 14 months between major version releases of Firefox as the usual interval. * Too damn many developers don't use modern testing to verify compatibility of their software with the various web browsers. The don't really "test", they want to "dick-around" for 6 months, stumble across problems and then fix their crap. * "Money" is involved too often, they don't want to actually fix their software until the next school year is set to start, so they can get paid for their work at fixing their stuff and then label it as an "update". * Last but not least, I don't think Mozilla thought this fast release scheme through thoroughly enough. They forgot about "enterprise support", as in long term support for mass installations, like at major corporations - which I feel is somewhat related to the software used at many online portals for schools. It took Mozilla like 7 months after the fast release schedule was announced to come with ''plans'' for an ESR (extended support release) version for "enterprise users"; and now we'll have to wait and see if they can come with that release before the end of the year as now planned. ''(Initially it was going to coincide with Firefox 8, which is 3 weeks away, but that ain't gonna happen; maybe by Firefox 10, 15 weeks from now.)'' Plus the "extended" is for only 42 weeks, which I don't thing is really long enough.

Question owner

@Riply2010,

 Nothing says you can't have two or three different brand browsers installed, or run a browser from a different source.

If the school stuff does not work with FF, there's always Chrome or IE. Continue to use FF for other stuff, but fire up one of those for your school stuff.

Edmeister,

while as a tester I will agree that there are a lot of devs that don't do good testing, Don't use TDD, etc, when it comes to an issue like an add-on that worked with version X but is then broken by the release of later version Y, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to blame that developer (who may have moved onto something else) for their plug-in being broken. Not unless you want to equip them with a time machine so they can go forward in time and test against versions of browsers that do not exist at the time they create their app.

This is one area where Open Source is at a disadvantage due to the resources available to do compatability testing. against existing solutions that were developed for a prior platform. Someone like MS has entire testing groups dedicated to doing app-compat testing, and large libaries of software to test against. (yeah they still might miss some stuff, but they spend a lot of resources making sure stuff stays working, and that break as few things as possible when new versions come out..

This is an area where Mozilla can stand to improve things, perhaps some program to contact all the developers of plug-ins and some easy means for them to test their stuff and report back if it's working or broken by the new version.

There are good aspects to the rapid release program, but the pace at which it is breaking stuff that used to work, and that is driving corporate IT depts to say things I like I heard today "we're about to stop supporting firefox".. and it's causing users not to update. [updated: I had mis-remembered these numbers, they are now correct] I was just today looking at metrics for the website where I work, the most used browser version against the site was F3.6, followed by IE8, Chrome, and then FF6. IE9 and finally FF7. The number still using 3.6 was surprisingly large and the share for FF7 was only about 1.5% above Safari. FF has far many more 'holdouts' than the other browsers (at least for folks hitting our site) Especially compared to IE7, older versions of Chrome, etc. Chrome users in particular were far better than the others at staying current, the fraction that were on a version other than the most current one was miniscule. But Even IE9 has better adoption among IE users than the new versions of FF have..

For our site, IE9 numbers are about 60% of IE8, and IE7 is about 30% of IE8. For FF, 71% of FF users were on 3.6.. That means that combined, all other versions of FF put together total less than 30% (and less than 50% of the FF3.6 numbers. This also means that as a tester, my TOP priority is to ensure our stuff works on FF3.6, and testing against FF7 takes 6th place and is only just above testing on Safari.. because that's what browsers my users are hitting our site with.

That many holdbacks is a dead giveaway of a big problem.

@Riply2010, Nothing says you can't have two or three different brand browsers installed, or run a browser from a different source. If the school stuff does not work with FF, there's always Chrome or IE. Continue to use FF for other stuff, but fire up one of those for your school stuff. Edmeister, while as a tester I will agree that there are a lot of devs that don't do good testing, Don't use TDD, etc, when it comes to an issue like an add-on that worked with version X but is then broken by the release of later version Y, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to blame that developer (who may have moved onto something else) for their plug-in being broken. Not unless you want to equip them with a time machine so they can go forward in time and test against versions of browsers that do not exist at the time they create their app. This is one area where Open Source is at a disadvantage due to the resources available to do compatability testing. against existing solutions that were developed for a prior platform. Someone like MS has entire testing groups dedicated to doing app-compat testing, and large libaries of software to test against. (yeah they still might miss some stuff, but they spend a lot of resources making sure stuff stays working, and that break as few things as possible when new versions come out.. This is an area where Mozilla can stand to improve things, perhaps some program to contact all the developers of plug-ins and some easy means for them to test their stuff and report back if it's working or broken by the new version. There are good aspects to the rapid release program, but the pace at which it is breaking stuff that used to work, and that is driving corporate IT depts to say things I like I heard today "we're about to stop supporting firefox".. and it's causing users not to update. [updated: I had mis-remembered these numbers, they are now correct] I was just today looking at metrics for the website where I work, the most used browser version against the site was F3.6, followed by IE8, Chrome, and then FF6. IE9 and finally FF7. The number still using 3.6 was surprisingly large and the share for FF7 was only about 1.5% above Safari. FF has far many more 'holdouts' than the other browsers (at least for folks hitting our site) Especially compared to IE7, older versions of Chrome, etc. Chrome users in particular were far better than the others at staying current, the fraction that were on a version other than the most current one was miniscule. But Even IE9 has better adoption among IE users than the new versions of FF have.. For our site, IE9 numbers are about 60% of IE8, and IE7 is about 30% of IE8. For FF, 71% of FF users were on 3.6.. That means that combined, all other versions of FF put together total less than 30% (and less than 50% of the FF3.6 numbers. This also means that as a tester, my TOP priority is to ensure our stuff works on FF3.6, and testing against FF7 takes 6th place and is only just above testing on Safari.. because that's what browsers my users are hitting our site with. That many holdbacks is a dead giveaway of a big problem.

Modified by Chuckvdl

Ripley2010 0 solutions 3 answers

I actually came to that same idea so it will be FF and Chrome. Before I go, anyone of you know how to prevent automatic update in FF? I can't seem to keep 6.02 installed without it installing 7.01 all over again.

I love FF and have used it since it's inception so it's really going to irritate me if I end up having to use IE which I definitely do not like.

I've heard some good things about Chrome so that's where I'll check next but I do need to address this automatic update stuff.

I actually came to that same idea so it will be FF and Chrome. Before I go, anyone of you know how to prevent automatic update in FF? I can't seem to keep 6.02 installed without it installing 7.01 all over again. I love FF and have used it since it's inception so it's really going to irritate me if I end up having to use IE which I definitely do not like. I've heard some good things about Chrome so that's where I'll check next but I do need to address this automatic update stuff.

Question owner

Might be best to do a bit of searching here for phrases like update, automatic update, autoupdate, disable auto-update etc.. If you cant' find an answer, I'd post a new question on it. However I have to think it's a common question so a search is likely to turn something up.

The downside of disabling updates that is that you will not being getting security updates and that can make you vulnerable to security exploits. (FF, good as it is, has fallen before in hacker challenges like PWN2OWN (where a fully patched and current system is owned just by going to a website with an exploit on it.) So staying current is important pretty much no matter what browser/platform you use.

Might be best to do a bit of searching here for phrases like update, automatic update, autoupdate, disable auto-update etc.. If you cant' find an answer, I'd post a new question on it. However I have to think it's a common question so a search is likely to turn something up. The downside of disabling updates that is that you will not being getting security updates and that can make you vulnerable to security exploits. (FF, good as it is, has fallen before in hacker challenges like PWN2OWN (where a fully patched and current system is owned just by going to a website with an exploit on it.) So staying current is important pretty much no matter what browser/platform you use.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers
Ripley2010 * [[Options window - Advanced panel#w_update-tab]]_update-tab
manunited 0 solutions 1 answers

Firefox 7 is a problem for me.Some web pages load half of images others i cant close as cursor freezes when i click on close button.All my plugins are up to date and working.Add on all working okay.Some times 7 takes ages to load. Reinstalled version 3.1 problem solved.Any advice why version 7 is doing this.I previously used version 6 and this one worked like a bomb.Now i cant find it.

Firefox 7 is a problem for me.Some web pages load half of images others i cant close as cursor freezes when i click on close button.All my plugins are up to date and working.Add on all working okay.Some times 7 takes ages to load. Reinstalled version 3.1 problem solved.Any advice why version 7 is doing this.I previously used version 6 and this one worked like a bomb.Now i cant find it.