An Open Letter to Mozilla: RE Ubuntu

This morning I noticed a link to this article that caught me off guard: Ubuntu is changing it’s default search selection in Firefox for the next release to Yahoo because they are going to pay more (than Google does).  Now, I don’t much care for Yahoo (especially now that they use Microsoft for search since I REALLY don’t like Microsoft ;) but this is a wakeup call and this needs to be said:

Mozilla needs to make an official repository for Ubuntu.

It can support Debian and all the other DEB-based systems too (that would be awesome), but it NEEDS to be primarily aimed at Ubuntu because that’s the most common distro (I love this graphic from Google)

fedora debian ubuntu suse | opensuse

Ubuntu does a poor job of keeping Firefox current as releases age; Karmic is using the 3.5 series and Jaunty the 3.0 series.  I understand *why* Ubuntu does it that way (ala Debian’s update everything) but internet-facing apps ESPECIALLY the browser should be kept up to the most current stable version and I think that Mozilla would agree.  A stable Thunderbird 3 for Karmic would be nice too!  All of this can be neatly housed in a repository.

Opera and Chrome maintain repositories AND make 64-bit Linux versions for them; its time for Mozilla to do so as well.

As Ubuntu continues to gain popularity, I want to see Mozilla apps getting updated just as fast as on other supported platforms.  Make a repository and people WILL add it to Synaptic.

Update Jan. 29: for now you can add the Firefox Stable PPA to get 3.6, though I did have some issues at first (see comments) and suggest a clean start (backup your bookmarks and then import them).

Update May 25: they also have a Thunderbird Stable PPA.

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20 Responses to “An Open Letter to Mozilla: RE Ubuntu”

  1. Limulus Says:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1392413

  2. Jan Wildeboer Says:

    One of your fundamental arguments is wrong, unfortunately:

    “Ubuntu is changing it’s default search selection in Firefox for the next release to Yahoo because they are going to pay more (than Google does).”

    The Google deal is between Mozilla and Google, so Mozilla gets the money – Ubuntu gets no money from that deal.

    The Yahoo/Canonical deal does not involve Mozilla.

    So the statement of paying more is misleading. You are right – the yahoo deal pays more for Canonical as before it they didn’t get anything.

  3. SilverWave Says:

    I hated the old “Ubuntu Customised” Google start page and always changed it, so no different if its Yahoo!
    I also have my home page set to http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en
    as I find I get better search results than google uk.

    On the Firefox repository thing, well…

    The Firefox New Support Model

    Note that the way Firefox is being built and maintained in Ubuntu is changing.
    As an example, the team are quite far along with reducing dependencies.
    Also installing firefox-3.6 does not now install xulrunner-1.9.2.
    For full details see http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8708092#post8708092

    Oh and this:
    [UPDATE 2010/01/26 Start]
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

    Packages in “Firefox Stable Channel Packages”
    firefox – 3.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu1~mfs~karmic1 (changesfile) asac 2010-01-24 Published Karmic Web

    I haven’t had a chance to reset my system back to Official Firefox Defaults then test this yet so use at your own risk.
    [UPDATE 2010/01/26 End]

  4. SilverWave Says:

    “Mozilla needs to make an official repository for Ubuntu.”

    Oh! Now that would put the cat among the pigeons!

    I only use the ubuntu-mozilla-daily PPA as I want an up-to-date 64bit version and find this to be the easiest way.

  5. Mike Beltzner Says:

    Working on it …

  6. LinuxLover Says:

    Once again, the idiocy of the Ubuntu hypnotized speak… There are no official numbers to use, but let us assume that Distrowatch numbers are remotely correct. The top 5 distros are:

    1 Ubuntu 2268
    2 Fedora 1727
    3 Mint 1548
    4 openSUSE 1391
    5 Mandriva 1151

    So, out of that slice of the pie, it appears as there are more RPM based distro users than Debian based. So, should I suggest that they create an RPM based respoitory and aim that squarely at Fedora users? Now, I know the top 5 isn’t a realistic assessment of the Linux market, but it’s just as stupid of a basis that you want Mozilla to invest their time and resources in creating an Ubuntu-only repository. There are, at least, as many non-Debian users as there are Debian users.

    I’m so sick to my stomach at all the Ubuntu zealots and their indifference to the other Linux users out there that DON’T use Ubuntu.

  7. mtz Says:

    why should mozilla blatantly show favoritism to ubuntu? It is ubuntu and any other distro responsibility to have mozilla packages as soon as possible after mozilla make a new version official

    It is this kind of attitude and thinking that annoys a lot of people who use linux but *buntu .. sheehh

    • Limulus Says:

      “why should mozilla blatantly show favoritism to ubuntu?”

      Q: Why should Mozilla blatantly show favoritism to Windows and MacOS?
      A: Market Share.

      “It is ubuntu and any other distro responsibility to have mozilla packages as soon as possible after mozilla make a new version official”

      It is healthiest for the web to have people using the most up-to-date version of browsers. It has been a persistent source of frustration that Ubuntu sticks with the release branch of Firefox for the supported life of its release EVEN AFTER Mozilla has declared it no longer supported (e.g. by backporting security patches) Dapper (which finally lost support only about half a year ago) was STILL using Firefox 1.5! http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=firefox

  8. Links 28/1/2010: Netflix Petition; KDE SC 4.3.5 Released | Boycott Novell Says:

    [...] An Open Letter to Mozilla: RE Ubuntu This morning I noticed a link to this article that caught me off guard: Ubuntu is changing it’s default search selection in Firefox for the next release to Yahoo because they are going to pay more (than Google does). Now, I don’t much care for Yahoo (especially now that they use Microsoft for search since I REALLY don’t like Microsoft but this is a wakeup call and this needs to be said: [...]

  9. zenwalker Says:

    As in windows, Mozilla should enable the update firefox sub menu under help in linux as well. That way it wud be alot better to easily update to lastest stable than waiting for RPM or deb based packages for each and evey distro. Tis will avoid ny confusions or complains about mis match of update ver.

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