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Author Topic: Fast Dial Warning for FF  (Read 7352 times)
cmpm
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« on: January 08, 2009, 09:34:51 AM »

http://www.ghacks.net/200...omatic-extension-updates/

Never liked that one anyway.
I prefer Speed Dial.

https://addons.mozilla.or.../en-US/firefox/addon/4810

The auto update of add ons should be monitored by the user closely though,imo.
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Lashiec
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 01:19:54 PM »

I'm surprised it took so long to make something like this, but sooner or later it was going to happen. I wonder what the Mozilla guys are going to do to prevent it from happening in the future.
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housetier
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 05:23:18 PM »

That makes me think about this automatic update feature...

Maybe the proposed updates by the authors need to be checked as carefully their initial submission when they first put it on AMO.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 10:30:25 PM »

Mozilla has rather stringent checks on new addons but after determining them to be safe, updates seem to be unchecked.

What irritates me is that everyone just expects Mozilla to police every update for every addon for their browser. That's like asking Microsoft to police every program for Windows (on muuuuuch less of a budget). Granted Microsoft doesn't offer Windows applications from their own website, but really, who wouldn't go for that? Seems like Mozilla is now being penalized for offering a service as a convenience for users. It's really a shame this had to happen, the author should be responsible here, not Mozilla.

Ehtyar.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 01:20:31 AM »

I installed that update the other day. The interface itself looked horrible! The tab bar triple in height. I uninstalled it and instead installed Speed Dial.

For the record, my default search engine was NOT changed, my home page did not change either. I cannot say whether or not the first three windows of the Fast Dial thing changed as I uninstalled it before I even looked at it.

So was the add-on screwed up? Definitely! Did it make malware-like changes on my computer? Nope. Not a one. Just lucky, I guess!

Thanks!

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 01:45:09 AM »

OK - I see what he did with the search engine. He added the site "User Logos" to the search locations. The Firefox search bar allows you to add more search engines. The one he added was to get logos for sites added to Fast Dial that don’t have a favicon associated. Though he did not make that search location the default, he just added it as a location. No harm, but he should have asked!

Jim
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cmpm
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 02:57:26 AM »

Yes, true, Mozilla is not at fault here.
Clearly it's the add on developer.
Perhaps this will wake them up, and the rest.
If this kind of thing be offered or considered by others.

I've had my FF set to notify of updates.
But not to auto install them.
Although usually I'll update.
Maybe I'll wait a few days and check their forums.
And other sources that I can find as well.

Most have been compatibility updates.
But this news makes updating a real task now.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 03:00:17 AM by cmpm » Logged
J-Mac
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 11:58:08 AM »

The extension Speed Dial is comparable and has no such pitfalls AFAICT.

Jim
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Deozaan
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 10:33:19 PM »

I downloaded this through the automatic update and then I realized it broke everything I liked about it, so I also made the switch to Speed Dial.

It's a pity, since I'd been very happy with Fast Dial for quite a number of months until these past two updates that occurred within days of each other.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 11:59:32 PM »

I downloaded this through the automatic update and then I realized it broke everything I liked about it, so I also made the switch to Speed Dial.

It's a pity, since I'd been very happy with Fast Dial for quite a number of months until these past two updates that occurred within days of each other.

Trust no one, Scully!

Jim
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cmpm
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 01:37:27 PM »

The apology and reasoning from the author.

https://addons.mozilla.or.../en-US/firefox/addon/5721

Figure he deserves to be heard since I posted the warning on the GREATEST Site I know of.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 01:54:35 PM »

That's good to know, but what's done is done.

I'm already on Speed Dial and probably won't go back to Fast Dial anytime soon.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 07:48:32 PM »

That's hardly an explanation. He was trying to make money by spamming people's browsers without their consent. Unacceptable.

Ehtyar.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 11:01:56 PM »

That's hardly an explanation. He was trying to make money by spamming people's browsers without their consent. Unacceptable.

Ehtyar.

Agreed. Some things are simply not forgivable in this business. (At least by me)

Jim
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raybeere
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 05:02:10 PM »

I agree the developer is at fault, and never should have done what he did without warning. If someone tells me first that I have to accept ads / spam, I may or may not decide it's worth it. If they don't warn me first, I'll never trust them again.

What I find foolish is the folks blaming Mozilla. How are they supposed to check every little update that comes along? I think some of the responsibility lies with the users. I mean, even when developers act in good faith, sometimes they make changes you aren't happy with. If you just blindly allow everything to be updated automatically, you're taking some risk you'll be unhappy with the result. In this case, the developer was also at fault, no question. But users need to pay attention to what is happening on their systems (unless they want to be one of those guys who just accepts whatever comes up on their screen - and then I think they'll be getting some nasty surprises pretty quickly).

I mean, malware authors all deserve a good kick in the head, and nothing absolves them of the responsibility for spreading their crap. But, hate it or not, it does exist. If you just press "Yes" whenever a box pops up on your screen, or you set your system to automatically accept whatever updates are pushed at it, sooner or later, you're going to wind up with junk on your hard drive you never put there and don't want there.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 05:05:11 PM by raybeere » Logged
TheQwerty
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 09:52:09 PM »

What I find foolish is the folks blaming Mozilla. How are they supposed to check every little update that comes along? I think some of the responsibility lies with the users.
Ultimately I'd say that all the blame lies on the users for being too trusting of the extension developers, but part of the problem is Mozilla encourages the users to trust these possibly nefarious developers.  Sure they warn you about the dangers, but I think the majority of people would agree that a big part of why they use and stick with Firefox is because of the extensions.  You hear this quite often from people evaluating Opera or Chrome.. "I like it - but until it has extensions...."


My criticism of Mozilla, is that the system (like so many others) is set up to alert you that there's a new version, but it doesn't really provide the means of showing/viewing a change log or release notes.  Their own dialog for upgrading Firefox is a little better with providing a link to such information, but it could still be improved.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 11:04:39 PM »

What I find foolish is the folks blaming Mozilla. How are they supposed to check every little update that comes along? I think some of the responsibility lies with the users. I mean, even when developers act in good faith, sometimes they make changes you aren't happy with. If you just blindly allow everything to be updated automatically, you're taking some risk you'll be unhappy with the result. In this case, the developer was also at fault, no question. But users need to pay attention to what is happening on their systems (unless they want to be one of those guys who just accepts whatever comes up on their screen - and then I think they'll be getting some nasty surprises pretty quickly).


Well, you are correct to a very fine point, but while I generally don’t throw blame at anyone for any bad stuff I end up foolishly downloading there is a bit of responsibility that lies with Mozilla. After all they push their browser based on its extensibility as well as its other advantages. They also shut down the Add-ons web site for a while so they could redesign it and setup a system that allows them to review all proposed extensions and requires the authors to submit their work to them for review prior to its being added to that site.

Now that still doesn’t absolve the user of any responsibility in being careful with their Firefox-related downloads. But it probably gave a lot of users a false sense of security - a feeling that if the Mozilla Add-ons group was monitoring all extensions and themes carefully that any posted at the Add-ons site would be safe. Here's the reviewing guidelines that the AMO editors use. Again, I am not suggesting that users are not ultimately responsible for their own browsing safety, but obviously none of the editors at AMO took a look at this extension's updates at all or they would never have allowed it to be posted at AMO.

Jim
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Lashiec
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2009, 01:02:45 PM »

Now that still doesn’t absolve the user of any responsibility in being careful with their Firefox-related downloads. But it probably gave a lot of users a false sense of security - a feeling that if the Mozilla Add-ons group was monitoring all extensions and themes carefully that any posted at the Add-ons site would be safe. Here's the reviewing guidelines that the AMO editors use. Again, I am not suggesting that users are not ultimately responsible for their own browsing safety, but obviously none of the editors at AMO took a look at this extension's updates at all or they would never have allowed it to be posted at AMO.

So, do AMO editors also check updated extensions or just new submissions? Because the thing changes depending on the approach.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2009, 01:18:54 PM »

Supposed to - see the reviewing guidelines I linked to in my last post, Section 2.4.6. But I don't know if they're adequately staffed to do a very good job at it.

Jim 
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Lashiec
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2009, 01:28:40 PM »

I see. So the whole issue is more of a slip on part of the reviewing team than simply a glaring hole in the system, which makes everything more forgivable. Anyone makes a mistake every now and then, so probably the guy who approved the update will be questioned and punished accordingly, and the reviewing guidelines revised. But nothing really serious, which still does not mean some client-side measures should be in place, like Martin proposes.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2009, 01:43:11 PM »

I see. So the whole issue is more of a slip on part of the reviewing team than simply a glaring hole in the system, which makes everything more forgivable. Anyone makes a mistake every now and then, so probably the guy who approved the update will be questioned and punished accordingly, and the reviewing guidelines revised. But nothing really serious, which still does not mean some client-side measures should be in place, like Martin proposes.

Right, and I'm not saying that they should be. but I thought I would mention that Mozilla does indeed claim to review all extensions listed on their Add-ons site. I don’t think it is widely known.   smiley

Thanks!

Jim
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