Thursday, October 16, 2014

Firefox Users on Linux Deserve Better Downloads

If you download Firefox on a linux machine today what you get from their servers is a pretty unfriendly tarball. What are you supposed to do with this? Maybe you know how to extract a tarball. Maybe you even know what of the many files inside it you're actually supposed to run and how to run it? Maybe.

But does everyone else? Do non-developer users have any clue what they're doing with this thing? They experience is awful.

I want to see that change and followed a ticket that tracks just that. What do you think?


irmen said...

I think you should just get it from your distribution's package manager. 1 click or 1 shell command away; apt-get install firefox

Calvin Spealman said...

I'm sorry but i don't think that's reasonable. People want something they search for it, and they'll find that download page and then they'll be stuck.

Anonymous said...

Any linux user with a modicum of knowledge will obtain Firefox with the method irmen stated.

"People want something they search for it"
Exactly: they use yum search or the apt/zypper equivalent.

irmen said...

Most Linux installs already contain Firefox pre-installed as default web browser (and it updates via the system's package managers update mechanism) so only in rare occasions does a Linux user have to actually search for it and download it...
And *if* you are such a user that you have to do this, isn't it likely that you are savvy enough to deal with a tarball (or know that you should really prefer installing a prebuilt and pretested package for your distro instead)?

Just my $0.02

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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