I've been using Firefox since it's earliest releases (along with IE and various others like Avant Browser). In the early days, extensions tended to be rather "flaky" and the Firefox installers not all that reliable either. For the past year or two, however, the quality of the add-ons (previously called extensions) as well as the ever-increasing range of them have improved out of sight.
The Firefox installation and automatic upgrade process has worked like a charm for me, too -- until today that is. Late last night I got a dialog box indicating that Firefox had automatically installed version 18.104.22.168 and I should restart the browser for the updates to come into effect. Well, I chose instead to close the browser and read the newspapers before heading for the cot.
What a surprise I was in for when I opened Firefox this morning. I discovered that the tabs had been moved from where I like them at the bottom of the window to the top. From several years of experience I automatically looked for the Tab Mix Plus extension's options panel so that I could move the tabs down to the bottom again, but was flummoxed when I couldn't even find the options panel.
Then I discovered that not just Tab Mix Plus but all of the extensions had been deactivated, with the Add-ons manager stating for each of them either "This add-on will be upgraded when Firefox is restarted" or more puzzlingly (since they already were installed) "This add-on will be installed when Firefox is restarted."
To my dismay, restarting the Firefox does not fix the problem. I have enough other IT skills to be concerned with that I definitely don't want to have to learn the inner workings of Firefox too. It's a nice product, and like most users I just want to install and forget without being involved with any of its technical intricacies.
Having been burnt before, I decided to at least skim through the Firefox forums to see if I was alone in having this problem and hopefully find a quick fix for it. Well, it seems that I'm not alone and there's something fairly seriously wrong with the 22.214.171.124 automatic update. Add-ons that were all working perfectly well under version 126.96.36.199 suddenly are entirely non-functional under today's update.
I hope that the Mozilla developers do something about it quickly, and please, please, please don't come back and say "Reinstall Firefox and all of the add-ons" or anything approaching that!
For reference, see mozillaZine - Firefox Bugs at https://forums.mozillazine.org/viewforum.php?f=9
T prove that I'm not the only sufferer, in the Firefox forum already there
are several related posts, such as Unable to install themes or extensions -
https://kb.mozillazine.org/Unable_to_install_themes_or_extensions_-_Firefox as well as Firefox updated to v188.8.131.52 without permission at https://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=594227 and also FF 184.108.40.206 forgets open tabs and toolbars are messed up at https://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=594456
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any quick fix, or even a complicated fix, so despite their best efforts the Firefox team seem to have fumbled something this time around. As I still spend a fair bit of my time designing and developing software, I know how that feels! ... Ideas, anybody?
UPDATE - 23 October 2007: