Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blogger and Firefox V3.0

It appears that, in their push to launch (in Draft, mostly) New Blogger June 2008, Blogger overlooked one significant challenge. This month, Mozilla released V3.0 of their popular browser, Firefox.

Various bloggers are reporting odd problems using Blogger, and seem to connect the installation of the new version of Firefox with the start of their problems.

Several bloggers have complained that the links that switch between "Compose", "Edit HTML" , and "Preview" modes are inoperative. Other Bloggers are missing toolbar buttons, or find that some toolbar buttons don't do anything. These are scripting problems, that have been observed from time to time.

Note that Firefox V3.0, like V2.0 before it, was a major update. The Firefox V3.0 install doesn't require any complicated procedures - it just goes right over V2.x. Anybody with any experience with computers - either programming, software support, or user support, knows that installing one version of a program right over another (aka "install in place") isn't always the best policy - even if the software vendor lets you do this.

With Firefox and its extensive add-on library (and most add-ons are produced by third parties, not Mozilla), an install in place is not a good idea for major version upgrades (i.e., from V2.x to V3.0). The extent of the changes made in the base product (Firefox itself) make compatibility problems between the base product and the add-ons a very real problem. Even when neither Mozilla nor the third parties intentionally ignore a problem.

If you do an install in place, and carry over your current Firefox profile, and all add-ons, when upgrading to V3.0, you're going to get some problems. Some add-ons, even though they think that they're compatible with V3.0, may not be so for all applications like Blogger.

If you are seeing any of the above mentioned problems with Blogger, and you just casually upgraded over V2.x (installed in place), that may be why you're here. Try a clean install of Firefox V3.0, while you wait for Blogger to read your problem report - maybe you won't need to file one after all.
  1. If you're running NoScript (which you should be), Export your whitelist.
  2. Save your Firefox Bookmarks file.
  3. From Control Panel - Add or Remove Programs, uninstall Firefox (V2.x, if you're reading this soon enough - or V3.0, if not).
  4. Delete your current Firefox profile.
  5. Install Firefox V3.0.
  6. Test Firefox V3.0 with Blogger.
  7. Install NoScript, and Import your whitelist saved previously.
  8. Add each additional add-on (that's available for V3.0), one at a time. Test Blogger and other high risk applications after each add-on is installed.


The good news is that NoScript V1.7.4 does work with Firefox V3.0 and Blogger. That's a start, and that's the first add-on that you should be installing. Just install it on top of a properly installed Firefox V3.0.

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1 comment:

John Gordon said...

I didn't have any trouble with pre-release versions of Firefox 3, but I'm having terrible line spacing trouble now.

I'm losing carriage returns, and all my text runs together.

It's highly variable, I think Blogger is trying to fix the problem. It also varies between Blogger in draft and Blogger.

I'm now restricting my blogger use to Blogger in Draft with Safari.

No FF 3 for now.

Since FF 3 is heavily used at Google, I'm sure they're fully aware of the problems!

What a mess! Worst muck-up I've seen in the past year.