Firefox/Feature Brainstorming:Software Update

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« Firefox/Feature Brainstorming

Automatic updates

  • Provide some sort of framework for corporations to internalize a private Mozilla product update system, provide client side specification of internal/private update server at install time, be able to control client check-in time thresholds, have clients auto-update when new patches are authorized in the update manager. Not sure re: security ramifications, maybe allow console push function to configured clients???
  • For those who opt out of auto-update, provide a "remind me later" feature
  • Allow users to select type of updates they want (security? feature?)
  • Allow users to revert to previous version
  • Better background downloading support (i.e. background downloads using idle bandwidth, easy on Windows with native pieces, harder elsewhere afaik)
  • Enable users to "bundle" extensions, bookmarks and other profile preferences into a package which can be deployed on multiple systems easily.
  • Make an option to run the Add-on-Update without the annoying boxes offering the update and confirming the update
  • Add-On updates should have an option to provide information on what changes are made from the update
  • Make automatic updates work on Windows without need for logging in as administrator — automatic updates service or scheduler task.
  • Allow a non-root user to update (if a root password is needed, ask for it). In the current version, a non-root user doesn't even get notified that an update is available.
  • Make the automatic updates feature optional at build time. Some users would prefer their system's package manager to handle software updates.
  • A popup option after updating to restart Firefox along with a countdown of automatically restarting. (If no windows are open, skip the prompt/countdown and just restart.)
  • Ability to set local network install location (for corporate environments)
  • This is a no-brainer. When I launch Firefox, I want it to launch even if some of my extensions have updates. Therefore I propose that if I launch Firefox and there happens to be an update, that the screen that prompts me to install these updates *time out* after, let's say 90 seconds. With this feature, imagine that Firefox is in my Startup group. I boot my computer and step away. After it finishes booting I expect to see Firefox loaded with my home page(s) up. Unfortunately, if even just one of my extensions has a minor update, I must click continue and then wait for Firefox to finish loading. A time out would be an ideal and elegant DEFAULT behavior of the application. If it times out, the updates to the extensions are not installed. One other thought. If I was away from my computer during this time-out and I did miss the updates, Firefox could load fully and then display a small reminder at the top (similar to the pop-up blocking notification) that some extensions now have updates and one could manually updated them at that time if desired. What do you all think?
    • An alternative to this (maybe both approaches could coexist and be selected by the user as an option) could be that the user could set FF to auto update the extensions (without even my confirmation) whenever there are *important* updates (during the start up). If minor updates exist, then FF should start right away, and then give me the corresponding notification (Update Notifier style). That way, I could choose to get the update and restart FF if I'm really concerned about the extension update.
  • The ability to know what add-ons might no longer function when Firefox is updated. The simplest way this could be implemented would be for the add-on developers to include FF version compatibility info in their extensions, which could be visible in the Tools > Add-Ons list. If it would just list the maximum version compatibility next to the add-on version number, I could quickly see if updating FF is something I should do now - or wait a few more weeks for the add-on developers to catch up with. Details about this suggestion...
  • bug 303595
  • Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE)
  • If the user install a plug-in after a question can share it via torrent, and is it possible to search torrent-plug-ins using a search torrent-plug-in firefox menu. So is it very strange to limit plug-ins distribution.

Firefox Update

  • Integrate Firefox update with apple LaunchDaemon:*.plist

both downloading and installing, in order to have always newest version, without notification or maybe small info cloud/label that firefox is already in newest version

  • I think that this would easy process of update for firefox

Maybe integration with cron at linux boxes, and hmm.... task scheduler at windows :} moreover it would be nice to have in preferences option update to version

    • stable (including minor releases x.x.X, and after new release update to (X.x.x)
    • testing
    • unstable (minefield) for those who wants always newest soft
  • like in debian, after new release it would still download new beta version or unstable

(hint, or alert when clicking testing, or unstable, that this releases are not for production environment, and may sometimes crash)

Manual updates

  • Regarding the "Help" -> "Check for updates" function: When no updates are available, Firefox tells the user that it may check periodically for new updates without giving any clues or functions on how the user can tune this functionality. I suggest to implement a UI regarding the setup of the update policy here so that the user right there in the dialogue box can tune the update policy without needing to open the Options dialogue box.
  • Make manual updates work on Windows (and possibly other platforms) without the need for logging in as administrator - possibly by using the above mentioned automatic updates service


  • The update system should notify users about features implemented in the new versions.
    • Security updates: when some flaw(s) is(are) no longer kept in secret, the updater must display the list of threats, color-coded severity, etc.
    • Major updates: display the list of new features.

General tasks

  • Improve UE for automatic updates so it is less instrusive/shocking
  • Improve UI for updates so it's easier to understand what you will be getting
  • Clean up major/incompatable update UI