Application version support policy and plans
Current Flagfox 4.1.x supports:
- Firefox 3.5 – 7.0a2
- SeaMonkey 2.0 – 2.4a2
The max versions correspond to current Aurora channel builds for both Firefox and the SeaMonkey equivalent. For quite a while now I’ve been using Aurora Firefox myself and have more or less settled on a policy of continuing to keep Flagfox compatible with it. Minefield (now named simply Nightly) is not listed as compatible, however Flagfox does work perfectly with it at the moment.
Why does Flagfox not list compatibility with Minefield if it is?
Minefield is always, well, a minefield. It can blow up at any time. In the past Flagfox would sometimes support it if I were personally using it and during the run up to Firefox 4.0 I moved continued support for all prereleases to the beta channel as compatibility was breaking too often to fix in the main release channel. These days it’s currently somewhat stable but I have no clue when that will change again.
Fortunately for Nightly users, Mozilla has made accommodations for you. Instead of having to set individual compatibility checking override preferences for each version you can set “extensions.checkCompatibility.nightly” to false in about:config to disable compatibility checking in nightlies and keep it off even as the version numbers increment. If you’re using nightlies and wish to use Flagfox this is the suggested route. Just keep in mind that at some point Flagfox or any one of your addons may break, in which case I ask that you please report the problem so it can be addressed. You can report Flagfox compatibility breakages on the forums.
Future application support plans
One of these days I will get around to working on Flagfox 4.2 enough to post an alpha or beta. With that new major version I currently plan to drop support for Gecko 1.9.1, meaning Firefox 3.5 and SeaMonkey 2.0. I dropped support for Gecko 1.9.0, Firefox 3.0 and all Flock versions, with Flagfox 4.1 because supporting such old and obsolete browsers required not only a bunch of hacks but quite a bit of extra testing and futzing. Even then some features were simply not supported under Firefox 3.0 or Flock, namely the drag and drop features in the options dialog (importing/exporting and reordering actions). Firefox 3.5 isn’t that drastically different from Firefox 3.6, however now that the number of major Firefox versions Flagfox supports is up to freakin’ 7, I just can’t conceive of not going insane doing new development and trying to support all the way back that far. On more than one occasion I’ve written something new, tested it fully in the most recent couple browser versions, then tested it in Firefox 3.5 only to find that some quirk breaks something. It’s a mess not worth fighting with. Additionally, Mozilla has recently changed Firefox 3.5.x updating to go straight to Firefox 3.6.x as a minor update and 3.5 is now officially at its end-of-life. It was on borrowed time for many months but they finally dropped support for it and I will too. To summarize:
Current Flagfox 4.2 support plan:
- Firefox 3.6 – 8.0a2
- SeaMonkey 2.1 – 2.5a2
When this will be I don’t know yet. Honestly, I really would like to drop support for Firefox 3.6 too, but there’s simply way too many people still using it to consider such a thing yet. Flagfox 4.3 isn’t even on the drawing board yet but hopefully the usage stats eventually get to a point where I can drop it.
Footnote: There were a few thousand people still using an older version that was still in the development channel. I’ve deleted it from AMO so now all development channel users will now update to the current stable version. At some point when I post a Flagfox 4.2 alpha or beta I will add a first-run page in the current stable version shown only to Firefox/SeaMonkey prerelease users to offer it.