Unfortunate Findings

Album Cover: The Bends

"All your insides fall to pieces; you just sit there wishing you could still make love."
Radiohead / High and Dry

Posted on June 29, 2004 4:58 PM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I ran into a couple unfortunate findings today. The first is either a bug or a really strange feature in Google's Gmail. Gmail seems to include emails of the same subject in the same "conversation," leading to some strange email threads. For instance, I sent out an email with the subject "Pictures" last night, and this morning my mother happened to send me an email with the same subject line. What did Gmail do? It included the email I wrote last night at the top of the conversation thread, even though it was written to a completely different person and had nothing to do with my mother's email. Odd, to say the least. I'm guessing that any email with the subject "Pictures" from here on out will end up as part of the same thread, unless Google decides that it's a bug and not a feature.

Then, while loading up Firefox today, I noticed an alert box letting me know that an important update was available. That important update happened to be Firefox 0.9.1. Given the recent emergence of the Extension Manager and Update Manager, I suppose my expectations were raised a tad in terms of how Firefox would handle application updates. As it turns out, the update mechanism did nothing more than tell me it was going to close my browser and then launch the website to download the new version from. Not only that, but I read in the user comments on MozillaZine that the safest approach to updating was to remove Firefox 0.9 altogether and then install Firefox 0.9.1. What kind of update mechanism is that?

At first I thought to myself, okay, this isn't antivirus software or something like that...it's an actual web browser. But still, based on the screenshot shown over at Ben Goodger's blog, my expectations don't seem all that outrageous. From that screenshot, it looks to me like Firefox should be handling the entire update process on its own, and the user shouldn't have to worry about closing the browser, uninstalling, or anything else for that matter. Maybe this is still in the works for Firefox 1.0. I sure hope so, anyway.

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