Update not working properly (by design)

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Mon Mar 7 13:34:05 UTC 2011

In Summer 2009, for a friend, I did a good deed and installed 
Thunderbird. It was 3.0 back then.

Now, by phone, I walked her through configuring a new email address, and 
was confused, because TB didn't find the right config.

I quickly found that she was still using TB 3.0. That already is major 
FAIL. Why's that happening?

Worse, I asked her to go to Help | Update..., it downloaded and 
installed the update. We tried again, it again didn't work. I checked 
the version again, and it was 3.0.10 - a higher version than before 
(3.0.3 or something), but still 3.0!

Why is this broken updater updating to an EOLed release?

First, the user should be on 3.1.9 already without doing anything (other 
than confirming the update). Second, when she *explicitly* requests to 
update, it should always be the newest released version.

I have seen the same for Firefox in my older VMs, and shaked my head 
there. But Firefox being just as broken is not an excuse, just a matter 
of in which component to fix it.

We're leaving users with totally outdated, broken, hole-ridden versions.


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