Mozilla Firebird 0.8 to be Released on Monday
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004
Zbigniew Braniecki wrote in to tell us that Mozilla Firebird 0.8 will be released on Monday 9th February 2004.
djst: "The reason for the delay has not been related to code issues. More on that after the 0.8 release. Stay tuned."
(Posted: Sat 31st Jan 2004 6:36am Last edited by djst on Mon 2nd Feb 2004 4:20pm; edited 3 times in total)
Yeah isn't it? And I assume Zbigniew Braniecki got this information from my post in the Firebird General forum. It's not a definite release date, it's the target release date! This news item should probably be updated accordingly.
#3 Re: Re: Mysterious note...
by jesse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 12:36 PM
Did Ben tell you it was only a target release date? On Orkut last night, a few hours after you made that Mozillazine forum post, he said "It's Monday February 9 now. This is the first time I've been confident enough to give a date." That sounds like more than a target date.
I think I know the delay reason, and I think that when You'll know it too, You will agree that it has to be "misterious"...
#4 I wonder how many users will be pissed off with it
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 1:03 PM
It's no fun to lose your C:\Program Files folder. Now, I know that it's not very likely to happen, but yet again the 89 users who voted for Bug 228672 probably wouldn't want to take the chance.
#8 Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off wit
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 5:42 PM
so when 0.8 comes out "Monday" and I go to install it... i should take what steps to make sure the bug dosent effect me?
#9 Re: Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 10:43 PM
a) Don't select "custom install"
If you must, then b) Don't select "clean install"
If you must do that too, then c) Don't keep other programs in the same freakin' directory, let firebird have one for its own.
If you must do that as well, then d) Whine all you want :D
If you do either of a, b or c -> you don't lose any data.
#27 Re: Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off
Thursday February 5th, 2004 6:01 PM
Just let it install to the default install location. Or if you select your own install location, Don't select a folder that contians other programs. And for haven's sake DON'T assume that it is not going to install where you tell it to. The people who ran into trouble all thaght that it was going to create a MozillaFirebird folder beneath the folder that they told it to install to and do the actuall instll in this subfolder. Why would they they think this?
B. That is how the zip builds Worked.
So, if you pick a good location to install and assume it is going to install where you tell it, you will not have problems.
#11 Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off wit
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 11:41 PM
Yeah, we'll no doubt see a lot of users get this problem when it's released. Remember that only those who're using nightlies have voted so far. Since the developers chose to not make the installer install to a *subdirectory* under the chosen path (and obviously not touch non-Firebird files) like so many other installers do, this might become a problem now that it's released to the masses.
Of course you don't install Firebird in C:\Program Files to delete it on purpose, the problem occurs when you expect the installer to create a subdirectory.
Even with the current warning "deletes all items in the install folder" might not be enough, since users might think the install folder is a MozillaFirebird folder the installer creates under the path the user has picked. IMHO, first this check box should be removed, then the installer behavior should either be fixed to make a subdirectory, or it should warn the user when trying to install to an existing folder that Firebird might not function properly and give the user the option to clean it (with necessary warnings).
#15 Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off wit
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 4:42 PM
it's dumb when they don't put in a simple fix for bugs like these.
#17 Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off wit
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 6:36 PM
Wow, I really hope Ben changes his mind on this one. This would really suck for the project to get bitten by bad press from this, and you know M$ would try to hype it up behind the scenes. I read a few comments and thought it was mostly BS, but after reading most of the comments it becomes clear that this has effected more than one person independently. I can't see myself selecting Program Files as an install directory, but I can see myself selecting G:\ as a base for it to install, thinking it would create the MozillaFirebird folder for me as many installers do. Next thing I know, FB is the only thing left on G: drive! God that would suck.
I would much rather see FB be delayed another 2 months (like it would take that long) for this fix to get in than see it released in a few days with this bug. Even though I have tried the nightlies and they fscking rock! God this is one of the best programs I've ever used. Just fix the bug so I can recommend it to my family and friends, please! Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it...
#19 Re: Re: I wonder how many users will be pissed off
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 8:47 PM
FYI - this is not a "bug"... it's a design feature. I didn't design it this way, the people that wrote the Seamonkey installer did. The same function exists in the seamonkey installler. Eventually we won't need to do this, hopefully once we get a better extension install system in 0.9.
People should NOT be installling the firebird executable alongside other executables. That's just asking for trouble.
In the case of the seamonkey installer, the dialog is so poorly worded that there's a 50% chance you'll click the wrong button and delete everything. In Firebird I think these chances have been reduced through clearer wording.
No mystery - it's just too hot to handle!
#10 most anticipated mozilla ever?
by ph1nn <email@example.com>
Tuesday February 3rd, 2004 11:14 PM
Well since maybe MozIlla 1.0 at leaste.
I personally cant wait for Firebird 0.8 and wouldnt mind knowing why its been delayed but dont care a whole lot either way. Maybe 0.9 will be out the week after to play catch up ; )
I have been using a nightly build for Linux and I love Firebird 0.8. All my plugins and extensions are working properly and I haven't had a crash in a while. Nice work Firebird developers. Thanx.
#13 The app-suite installer
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 9:51 AM
I have never heard any complaints about the Moz app-suite installer. Why not just clone that installer and solve all the problems?
#14 Re: The app-suite installer
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 3:06 PM
How closely have you been listening? ;-) The Firebird installer is essentially the Seamonkey installer anyway, just with an improved front end.
#16 Re: The app-suite installer
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 5:15 PM
Up until 0.7 Firebird did WITHOUT any installer, why is this suddenly such a big issue? Agreed that when you provide an installer it should act as expected, but how long did we do without any of that?
#18 Re: Re: The app-suite installer
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 6:43 PM
Well, we have passed that point and that's great. Now don't release it with a dataloss bug that is not that hard to fix!
It's like graduating from using swords to having an automatic rifle! Woohoo, great, go win some wars! But watch out, when you're loading a new clip in, and the safety's on, and you have the scope attachment the grenade launcher will fire spontaneously 1 time out of 3. But hey, better than using a sword, right? Yeah, a lot better... ;)
Certainly an extreme metaphor there, but I would probably opt for the sword, because I know it's not going to blow my balls off, along with everyone else in the barracks with me...
#20 Re: Re: Re: The app-suite installer
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 8:51 PM
This dataloss "bug" (I maintain it's not a bug, it's a feature) is being blown way out of proportion. This same problem has been in Seamonkey since day one. SINCE DAY ONE.
If you don't install Firebird alongside other executables, and by that I mean:
C:\Stuff\someapp.exe C:\Stuff\someapp.dll C:\Stuff\ImportantData.doc C:\Stuff\MozillaFirebird.exe <-- Firebird files C:\Stuff\nspr4.dll <-- Firebird files
you will never have a problem. Installing the program files alongside other apps is just wrong. If you installed a newer version of say Tbird next to an older version of Firebird and core files that had since changed overwrote the results could be unpredictable or catastrophic anyway.
The new installer does the best it can to prevent against this.
#21 Re: Re: Re: Re: The app-suite installer
by JohnBooty <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday February 4th, 2004 10:25 PM
"Installing the program files alongside other apps is just wrong. If you installed a newer version of say Tbird next to an older version of Firebird and core files that had since changed overwrote the results could be unpredictable or catastrophic anyway."
You're correct, but that's not the point. Nobody thinks this is a good idea, and nobody's trying to do that. The problem is that people choose "c:\program files\" with the expectation that the installer will create a "c:\programe files\Mozillafirebird" directory underneath. This expectation is fostered by the behavior of the zipped releases, which had everything in a subdirectory so you just had to point them to "c:\program files\" and unzip to there.
I know what's going to happen. 0.8 will be great, great stuff. But a few reviewers are gonna delete their entire "Program Files" directory (or god forbid, and entire drive's worth of files) and Firebird will get some horrible press, instead of the purely rosy reviews that it has (deservedly) gotten so far.
I honestly believe that Firebird's momentum and progress up to this point, and the hard work that's gone with it, are seriously jeopardized by releasing 0.8 with this feature intact. I'm not worried about MY files (I know how to avoid the problem now, obviously) I'm worried about Firebird's standing in the world of software...
Although the reasoning for the cleanup is definitely sound, I agree with the parent post that its implementation is dangerous. If you're up to some constructive criticism, I do have a couple suggestions:
One way to mitigate mistakes could be to automatically append "/MozillaFirebird" to the directory path the user selects from the tree in the Custom dialog. It would however require that the Folder: textbox display the full path instead of just the name of the selected folder. That should make it more clear the intention of the installer, but would still allow the user to manually set the full path by editing the textbox directly. I've seen this done in the EZ CD Creator installer.
One other mostly "inexpensive" safety feature would be a check on the directory path once the user presses the Next > button on the Install Folder dialog. If the path does not yet already exist or is empty, then proceed to create it/install as normal. If the path contains files or subdirectories, create a pop-up warning with a message saying "Warning: All files and directories under <install dir> will be deleted before Mozilla Firebird is installed. Other user preferences and bookmarks will not be affected."
Now that I have been using the recent nightlies I cannot see how anyone could recommend another browser over Mozilla Firebird. I see these possible extra measures as a type of "insurance" that the 0.8 release will not be tainted by the fear of data loss, especially in the media.
#23 Re: Re: The app-suite installer
Thursday February 5th, 2004 8:14 AM
I must say that I agree with the leading post. Whatever can be done to ensure nothing goes wrong should be. A "half-baked" solution that leaves *easily* avoidable problems is an extremely DANGEROUS and unnecessary risk to take. All possible effort possible should be expended to avoid the risk because, at this time, Firebird and Mozilla are both running entirely on their reputations. ONE catastrophe, especially one that the developer could have better assisted the user to avoid, can potentially cause irreparable damage or setback a great deal of accumulated goodwill.
Please, do not take chances with your reputation. I am an example of a user for whom reputation is an important factor in decision making. Bad repuation --> avoidance. Consider yourself warned and counseled.
#25 Re: Re: The app-suite installer
Thursday February 5th, 2004 2:55 PM
Yes - an explicit "all files will be deleted" pop-up would be (as near as is possible to) foolproof. Even a computer novice knows that "all files deleted" is bad.
At the moment, the installer seems to remember my last chosen install directory (C:\Program Files\Mozilla\Firebird - I assume this isn't the default), so this is really a new-users-only, one-time problem.
Are there any plans to add "create shortcuts?" checkboxes (on Windows)? If so, I suggest Desktop and Start/Programs Menu be checked, and Quick Launch unchecked by default. I think this is generally the norm among (the better) Windows installers.
#24 Re: The app-suite installer
Thursday February 5th, 2004 9:35 AM
> This dataloss "bug" (I maintain it's not a bug, it's a feature) is being blown way out of proportion.
I totally agree with you, I've installed the mozilla apps so many times without any problem. The only way to make any application Fool-Proof is to not release it.
#26 I beg you, sir, consider you could be mistaken.
by hank <email@example.com>
Thursday February 5th, 2004 5:42 PM
This has not _yet_ been blown way out of proportion.
Should you go ahead and release an installer that does erase files when used by naive people -- without _carefully_ flagging the problem, _then_ it's going to be blown way out of proportion.
This "feature" is an advanced feature. It should have a safety latch on it.
"What kind of madman would give a loaded revolver to an idiot?" to quote a great old story.
Packaging it so when used naively, it deletes files when installed to /Programs, hits the brand new users -- my neighbors -- schoolteachers, kids, retired people -- who this week have been reading how this wonderful application Mozilla has grown up, is now usable by ordinary people, is safer than Microsoft's Explorer.
And meanwhile their Windows machines have been clogging up and choking on crap.
The curtain's going up, the spotlights are going to go on, and the microphone is LIVE right now -- and a great many people are being told to look into what you're about to show the world.
People are -- this week -- in need of a good, clean, reliable browser, and the public pointers are all pointing at Mozilla. None of us can successfully run out ahead of you waving the red flag, if you do decide to release the package without providing a clear warning before the new and naive user makes the default unZIP into /Programs.
My God, man, do you really think most of the people who WOULD be hurt by this are backed up properly?
Have pity, please, sir, I pray you -- consider that you may possibly be mistaken.
And after that, think how your decision will read if PGN writes about you in comp.risks.
Does this mean that mozilla-users are smarter than firebird-users?