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mj

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I've had to laugh really loud when I found this in the release notes for Kerio 7.3.0:

New Supported Platforms:
[...]
Firefox 6.0

Suffice it to say that Firefox 6.0 has been obsolete since September 2011 and is no longer supported by Mozilla at all. How is Kerio going to deal with Mozilla's insanity? Obviously, dragging behind is not an option. With FX10 Mozilla is going to introduce ESR with a 54 week support cycle so this would be an option.

Has there been any discussion on this issue?

[Updated on: Fri, 18 November 2011 14:45]

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TorW

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The sane thing to do for Kerio would be to officially end support for Firefox altogether. Releasing crappy software more often does not make it better, and who can follow a release cycle like Mozilla's in an enterprise? We have a customer who insists on using FF on a terminal server, and they're paying an arm and a leg for Mozilla's rapid release cycle.

On the other hand, I'm not sure "obsolete" means what you think it means.
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Howie Isaacks

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What can Kerio do about it? It would be silly to release a new build of Kerio Connect every time Mozilla pushes out another update. I haven't seen anything really interesting about their updates lately. The last update didn't seem much different than the two previous builds. It's really not necessary to update Firefox EVERY time they release an update anyway. Firefox still doesn't support Lion's full screen feature, which is really stupid in my opinion. I think Kerio has done a great job lately with their updates, so I'm content to give them time to develop stable builds. Worrying about Mozilla does is not that important. It's not like Mozilla is Apple Smile
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Pavel Suk (Kerio)

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You can read it as 6.0 "and higher", but it's difficult to predict when FF is going to break compatibility (yeah, the new versioning scheme doesn't give a clue about it), so no promise there.

<rant>
With all respect to FF (yes, it's still my favorite browser, mostly because of plugins/addons I like[d]), they highly underestimated the impact of such a change on their ecosystem. Even geeks who were used to install every new version when it comes (or even beta version) are annoyed by non working plugins. More conservative users don't understand the value of frequent releases at all.
And, on the development side - the cost of retesting everything for each FF release and fixing compatibility issues is enormous. I hope they got the message and understand it now.
</rant>

Anyway, fortunately, we have automated test suite and the webadmin console is periodically tested against new versions. You might try the latest version of FF and it's likely that it will work. Well, and if it doesn't behave correctly, please report it to support or beta forum.

We will not release Connect every time new version of FF is out (it would be an overkill for everyone), but if there is a critical issue, we want to know it. Either to workaround it or at least discourage other customers from upgrading to new FF version.

Pavel Suk
Vice President of Engineering
Kerio Technologies
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mj

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Thanks Pavel. I'm aware that it's impossible to release a new version every time Mozilla throws up and periodically bumps their Firefox's/Thunderbird's major version, and I think everybody is struggling with this nonsense right now. Then again I'm in close contact with Mozilla on certain levels and frankly they don't give a damn. After much protest by the enterprise community they've agreed to release an extended support release with 54 week support starting with FX10 but as for the consumer side, which is going to be their main focus, they even go as far as forcing automated updates down their users' throats by default.

And btw, obsolete means exactly what it says. Where before we've had 3.6, 3.6.1, 3.6.2, 3.6.3, etc. we now have 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. With each new major release the old one becomes unsupported, oudated, and obsolete. There will be no patches for critical security holes or bugs as Mozilla's official statement is that the next major version *IS* the patch that you're looking for, so please go for FX96715 that not only fixes the issue you have, but also brings you this and that amazing new feature (that happens to break something that used to work before but who the f*** cares!). They've also already started bugging users that are not running the latest and greatest, which is confusing in enterprise environments to say the least.

[Updated on: Tue, 22 November 2011 09:42]

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Pavel Suk (Kerio)

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Yeah, we're on the same boat, agreed completely.
Time to look for a new alternative browser. Chrome is gaining momentum - do you see it in your market as well?

Pavel Suk
Vice President of Engineering
Kerio Technologies
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mj

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Absolutely and most certainly not. Chrome is even worse than Firefox in that respect since it by default allows users to bypass all security measures taken in a company by installing itself in the user's home directory. It's fetching updates silently without notifying the users. It's a security mess and therefore absolute no-go in any enterprise environment. What I can see happening right now is that those enterprises running Windows systems, that have successfully switched from IE6 to Firefox 3.x are now turning their back on Mozilla and are returning to IE8/9. On Linux enterprise systems there isn't really much left so we're kinda stuck. Right now I'm really hoping ESR will kick in and bring some reason to this whole 'mine is bigger because I have the higher version number' nonsense.

But to answer your question: no, I don't see Chrome ever gaining momentum anywhere outside the private home-space with no grasp whatsoever on security, privacy and reason. What I can see is a massive loss of support and endorsement for Linux in enterprise environments as Windows-replacement due to Mozilla's braindead decision to copy Google wherever they can and Oracle's demolition of OpenOffice.org. What was once a stronghold of free software is now turning into trench warfare between ideological hardliners/boneheads.

Pavel, have you considered to officially remove support for Firefox and only include Firefox ESR in your list of supported browsers? Would that even be feasible?
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Pavel Suk (Kerio)

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Don't know yet. There are couple things in the proposal that are confusing -
"It is not intended for use by individuals, nor as a method to mitigate compatibility issues with addons or other software."
They still didn't get it - the compatibility is important.

Or - "The ESR release will use the same version number as the version of Firefox".
Will there be an internal number/label that helps webapp to distinguish between these 2 versions, if needed?

Let's see when it comes. I don't want to give up FF, so I hope they wake up and do something that makes sense.

Pavel Suk
Vice President of Engineering
Kerio Technologies
............................................
Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. Securely.
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sedell

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I would have to agree. Firefox is just hurting everyone with this rapid version change BS. The more advanced web sites get, the more they need to ensure specific features are supported by the browser. By the time a site gets to update and add support for the new release, 2 more major versions have come out.

From an enterprise point of view, that's unacceptable. Web apps are constantly broken, and there isn't even sufficient time to test a version in your environment before there's another one or two out.

From an end-user point of view, I'm tired of having sites and services I go to not work because they can't keep pace with a major version change every few weeks. As if that isn't bad enough, I've found FF is becoming rather buggy and unstable.

I've already switched to another browser, but I don't really see much that's suitable as an alternative to IE in an enterprise environment. It's really a shame because FF had so much potential, and seemed to be heading in the right direction, then they did an about face. I couldn't fault anyone for switching away from FireFox, and I couldn't fault sites or services for dropping support for it either. At the rate they're going, you basically never have support for the current version anyway.

Scott
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