In all the edits/revisions of my earlier “Fun and Games with Major Updates” blogpost, somehow I dropped the following by accident:
Disclaimer: for the purposes of simplicity, I intentionally avoided mentioning two edge cases:
- We never make major update offers to a user if they are running on an o.s. that is supported in FF2, but *not* supported in FF3. After all, if the user accepted that major update offer, they would be broken as soon as the upgrade completed! A user on an older unsupported o.s. who does “check for updates” would simply see “no updates available”… which is true for that o.s.! As you would expect, if that FF2 user upgrades their o.s. to something that *is* supported in FF3, then when the user next does “check for updates”, they will see the major update. The numbers are small enough anyway as to not make a significant difference to the discussion, and it would have really complicated the diagrams even further!
- Firefox installations on locked-down machines never check for updates. This is true for both minor updates and major updates. Typically these are machines that are locked down by IT dept, or where the user does not have Admin privileges to install new software updates.Â As we never hear from these users ever, we have no idea how many users this impacts, and they are not included in any of our user counts.
9 thoughts on “Fun and Games with Major Updates (addendum)”
Would it be possible to show a message telling people who specifically check why no update is available? (ie. Unsupported OS or no admin privileges.)
[…] UPDATE: I accidentally dropped some important disclaimers. See this follow-on blogpost for details. Sorry for any confusion. John 06mar2009 […]
I typically browse as a non-administrator, which is generally considered good practice for security reasons, but it means I don’t get any notification of security updates.
I heard of people that have been upgraded to FF3 despite their OS not being supported. I don’t know how this happens or happened, but somehow they did get an update that didn’t work on their system and were somewhat pissed off. Unfortunately, I have no idea how this can happen when we explicitly try to avoid it.
“I heard of people that have been upgraded to FF3 despite their OS not being supported. I donâ€™t know how this happens or happened, but somehow they did get an update that didnâ€™t work on their system and were somewhat pissed off. Unfortunately, I have no idea how this can happen when we explicitly try to avoid it.
Comment by Robert Kaiser”
Is it possible that those people manually downloaded and installed FF3 over FF2, without realizing that their o.s. was unsupported in FF3 until it was too late? Or maybe is it possible that those people were accidentally on the beta channel, getting FF3.0 betas before the release – I think we had a timewindow where people on beta could get FF3betas without the o.s. version check, but that was fixed long before we started doing major update offers, iirc.
If they really did get a Firefox update notification, while running on a de-supported o.s., please do file a bug on this. It would be really bad news, and we’d need to get on it right away.
“I typically browse as a non-administrator, which is generally considered good practice for security reasons, but it means I donâ€™t get any notification of security updates.
Comment by Matthew Wilson”
Matthew: Fair enough. But continuing on the “good practice for security”, you are also periodically logging in as Administrator, and applying all the o.s., Firefox, and other pending security updates, right?
[…] There were lots of comments and questions raised from the last two blog posts  . As some people were asking variations of the same questions, I thought it would be less confusing to summarize the questions and answers all here instead of replying in comment threads. Please let me know if I missed any of the comments, or misunderstood the questions, ok? […]
[…] After the last few blog posts , ,  explaining details of some gotchas, here are a few mechanical ideas which might help. I’m not sure which, if any, make sense to try, but wanted to point out some new options we have available to us now after infrastructure improvements over the last year, and would love to hear what people thought. […]
[…] (For details on race conditions where people dont see the major update dialog box and on the “update fatigue” debate, see: here, here, here, here, and finally here.) 3) Nick Thomas led a bunch of significant cleanup in RelEng infrastructure, so we can now create major updates quite easily and reliably. […]
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