My browser is now out of date, or so says my WordPress blog installation. Other places tell me that as well, on occasion. I am running the equivalent of Firefox 9. I am learning that for branding reasons, and because my Firefox was an “unofficial build” (I “built” it from source without really changing anything, but I understand the logic), they call a Firefox installation which anyone installs themselves “Aurora”. Kind of like the original stripped-down (read crippled) incantation of Firefox that came with Debian, which they had to call “Iceweasel”. I was not at all happy with Iceweasel, and glad I got rid of it.
But installing Firefox (the real one, from binary) had its own issues. It kept complaining that it “couldn’t load xpcom” and nothing seemed to fix it. This seems to be a very popular error over the Internet, and there seems to be varying sources for the error, such as an unclean uninstall of old firefox versions, or not adding /usr/lib to your $LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable.
Using the source and installing Aurora got rid of all that nonsense, without needing to uninstall Iceweasel at all. But it seems that now, in order to update Aurora, I need to recompile another source bundle, and remove the previous install. Sucky.
The compile finished an hour before the turkey, and the result is a kind of “good news/bad news” affair. The good news is that the turkey went quite well, and the stuffing was out of this world. Firefox ran, too, and I was even able to sync my bookmarks with my laptop.
The bad news is, is that even though the source tarball clearly says “firefox-9.0.1.source.tar.bz2” as its filename, I seemed to have compiled Aurora, which is an alpha version of Firefox. It certainly explains the odd bit of weird behaviour. Other than that, it walks, talks, and looks like Firefox but for its icon and trademarks. 9.0.1, however, is running on this browser I’m using, and it was from a binary install. This one is called “firefox”.
I have downloaded an earlier version to see if it suffers from the same problem, a version 8. There doesn’t seem to be any clues to me as to what to expect after the two or so hour compile. After I do a “make install”, what do I get? I look in the README.txt, some source files, I don’t see anything outright that would betray its identity. Not much of help on their community portals either. The only thing I can think of is that maybe all source is labelled as “aurora” source. The version 9.0.1 source had been kept, and so had the binary. But we shall see once version 8.0 is compiled.
Then, I discovered a version 3.6.25, compiled only two weeks ago. But after hunting around on the net as to this anomaly, I find that this is due to Firefox’s rapid release cycles (they have moved up 6 full version increments in one year), and that there are still people using version 3.x on their computers. So, I am likely doing the right thing by hovering with 8.0 and 9.0 versions. It’s just that I appear to be getting the beta source. And indeed, the proof being in the running, version 8 is indeed called Aurora also.