Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Woe and Wow of Mozilla Firefox 4 Downgrade

When I got into work today (yes I still have a day job), I read an advisory that we should not yet upgrade to the newest Firefox 4 web browser. I looked into this and found it was because of Selenium, the PHP application testing goes quirky, it works, but there were some functionalities that just doesn't work as expected (our OS is <gasp!> Windows 7 Professional).

I enjoyed using the Panorama feature of Firefox 4. I think it's the most important feature of the release, making it easier to organize tons of tabs I use to browse the websites I keep an eye on everyday.
With a hint of frown on my face I looked for, downloaded and installed Firefox 3.6.16, the last version of Firefox 3.6.x series.

To my surprise, it kept using my installed Firefox 4 extensions (Firebug, Echofon, Personas and Sauce Labs Sauce Builder). Not only that, it also remembered the tabs of the websites I keep, making transition back an easy process. I have to uninstall FireQuery (it complained of requiring to add another item or package) but aside from that, the downgrade was smooth.

The upgrade from my previous Firefox 3.6.x version to Firefox 4, was in comparison, a rough experience because it didn't store and keep record of my kept browser tabs, so I have to re-browse the websites and re-enter the web accounts I recall off the top of my head. I hope upgrade from previous to latest Firefox version would be also seamlessly smooth in the future.

For serious web development, I also highly recommend you also have Google Chrome, Opera and, if you're on MS Windows environment, use the latest Internet Explorer (IE) version, and if you need to verify against previous IE versions, you can check how your website renders in older IE versions using IE Netrenderer.

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