Talk:Support/Firefox Features/Clean install

From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The installer is not a good option

There are several ways that Firefox itself could do this across all platforms. As long as you try to tie this into the installer itself this won't be available for platforms other than Windows and on Windows the account performing the installation can be a different account than the one used with Firefox which makes it impossible for the installer to work with the profile. : Robert Strong 07:04, 27 April 2011 (PDT)

Further clarification:

  • We already lock down almost everything in the installation directory so there should be very few files that can be added that would affect the application. I may be mistaken but I believe the only problem area is the plugins directory at this time.
    • False. We also had a major problem a few versions ago where half-installed files from old installations caused Firefox to not start. I agree this isn't the elegant option, it's the nuclear option, but it lets users recover from anything rather than having to have us account for all the possible problems.
      • That specific problem appears to have been addressed (do you have bug numbers?) and using it as a justification for this approach doesn't justify the approach as I see it. : Robert Strong 19:08, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
  • I have had conversations with people that have stated that deleting the installation directory fixes problems but they haven't taken the time to identify the file(s) that caused the problem. If there are things we should be locking down that we aren't then we should definitely identify them and lock them down.
    • Why? I'll admit that we've been trying to fix the problem rather than ID the file causing the problem but again, it seems rather than keeping a blacklist of third party files or whatever else, we just complicate the problem.
      • One very compelling reason is that understanding the cause of the problem can prevent the problem vs. having the user experience the problem and then have to perform steps to remedy the problem. : Robert Strong 19:08, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
        • How does this prevent us from diagnosing problems?
          • You have added this feature presumably because it is a serious problem yet there are no bug reports I know of for this problem and there is no diagnosis from the SUMO team to try to pinpoint the problem. : Robert Strong 13:54, 28 April 2011 (PDT)
  • Locking down the installation directory prevents the user from experiencing problems whereas what is outlined in this feature is a method to solve problems AFTER the user is already experiencing problems. Out of those two options, making it so the user doesn't experience problems should be a MUCH higher priority as I see it.
    • I agree that locking down the installation directory is a good thing to do. That said, if we're doing that anyway, what's the harm in deleting files that aren't being used anyway.
      • The harm is that adding this will take limited resources away from other work that has value vs. performing work for a problem where the root cause has not been identified. : Robert Strong 19:08, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
        • There will always be problems, Firefox isn't ever going to be perfect. Somewhere someone will write a virus that breaks Firefox or there will be bitrot or some computer will crap out at just the wrong time during install. I agree Firefox should be hardier but I think it's naive to believe that we'll be able to fix every Firefox install folder problem by locking it down. That said, is there a major technical issue with putting this in the installer that I'm not aware of that is causing you to balk at this suggestion?
          • Yes, there will always be problems, there will always be new features to implement, and so on and so on. If you think this will fix viruses then you are mistaken. Viruses have gotten to the point where they are outside of our install directory and just attach to our process. Yes, some computers crap out during the install and though we could do better there I have seen no evidence over the past 6+ years of being the installer component owner that this is a serious problem. I never said we will be able to fix every problem (please cite where I did). As for major issues with deleting files one would be that someone (read as you and not me... I don't have anywhere near the time) to make it so extensions aren't available from the app dir so people performing and installation aren't caught by surprise when performing an install that does things without them opting into it. The same goes for plugins and possibly others as well. Even without this one issue of users not opting into this behavior I stand by that the other issues are more important and enough to not implement this. : Robert Strong 13:54, 28 April 2011 (PDT)
  • The current feature outline leverages the Windows installer which will only work on Windows whereas by locking down the installation directory further than it already is will provide benefit to all platforms.
    • On Mac, this already happens. When you drag a newly downloaded Firefox into the Applications folder, it replaces the existing one. On linux, I think the same is true, if you untar our folder into another one, it replaces everything.
      • True for Mac but not true for Linux. Also, locking down will work all of the time (e.g. during an app update or an install).  : Robert Strong 19:09, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
  • In the future we will have both a Windows NSIS installer and a Windows MSI installer so implementing this in the installer will require two separate implementations.
    • Ok.

Recent sampling of issues solved by a clean install

Can't Update Firefox (500 reports)

Can't open Firefox (344 reports)

XULRunner error messages

Entry point not found

Crash on startup

Live Chat (14 reports)