upgrading firefox

The Firefox team has released yet another version (1.0.3) but I have one major complaint. Every time I upgrade, I have to reinstall all the extensions. This has made me give up on having a lot of extensions, because I have three computers that I use on a regular basis. I used to have about 5 extensions installed, and having to install them 3 times became too time consuming, especially given that a new update appears every few months.

That’s one of the reasons I really like Opera, because I don’t have any extensions to mess with, although it’s a two-edged sword. One of the great things about Firefox is that there are so many people writing extensions to do all sorts of things. One solution would be to only change the API for the extensions on major releases, so that previously installed extensions would still work after upgrading to minor security and bug fix releases.


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  1. Dan, are you sure about this?

    As I remember in the pre-v1 era, yes, you had to reinstall your extensions after upgrading.

    But during all my upgrades in the post-v1 era (from 1.0 to 1.0.1, then to 1.0.2 – haven’t upgraded to 1.0.3), I didn’t have to re-install the extensions. I just uninstalled Firefox, installed the new version, and the extensions were already there (and working).

    Comment by Konstantinos on April 20, 2005 @ 3:04 pm
  2. Konstantinos: I fear I may have spoken too soon. I upgraded to 1.0.3 on one machine and none of the extensions worked. However, I just upgraded on another machine and the extensions were there (with the exception of the spellbound extension). I guess they’ve already done what I had suggested (except for the spellbound extension).

    It looks like I should retract my original complaint.

    Comment by dan on April 20, 2005 @ 3:25 pm
  3. OK, glad I was (kinda) right.

    (BTW: I shall expect your Opera 8 review. As you know I’ve quit Opera some months ago, but I’m still interested in it, and wish it goes well.)

    Comment by Konstantinos on April 20, 2005 @ 3:45 pm
  4. I’ve been using the beta for a while now, but I want to use the stable release for a while before writing a review.

    Comment by dan on April 20, 2005 @ 4:13 pm
  5. D – I’ve upgraded my 3 computers lately and didn’t need to update any of my extensions. I noticed that Linky & TabBrowser Prefs had updates around the same time and updated them. I also have weatherfox, link toolbar, adblock, user agent switcher and a few others installed. Are there some specific plugins that have problems?

    Comment by Jason Lowry on April 20, 2005 @ 8:09 pm
  6. Jason: Spellbound is the main one because the libraries and dictionary are installed into the directory that is removed in upgrades.

    For some reason I also lost Forecast Fox, Google PageRank and Bandwidth Tester. I’ll reinstall and see what happens next time I upgrade.

    Comment by dan on April 20, 2005 @ 9:09 pm
  7. I upgraded using the auto update thing and not only did my extensions not work, but FF didn’t work. I start it and nothing on any of the menus are active. The only thing that works is the check for upgrade button – how ironic.

    Comment by TL on April 22, 2005 @ 5:48 pm
  8. Try Mass Installer. Make this your first add-in on a new install.


    NOTE: You have to prepare a text file listing the URLs for each extension, but that’s probably a good idea anyway. Install and use ListZilla BEFORE doing your new install.


    Comment by Billso on May 2, 2005 @ 12:19 pm
  9. Billso: Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give it a try.

    Comment by dan on May 2, 2005 @ 12:26 pm

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