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Firefox 12.0

If you’ve just restarted Firefox on your Mac, you may have noticed that the Web browser updated itself to the new version 12 without any action on your part. This automatic update has been commonplace for Firefox on the Mac since the introduction of version 4 (remember that Mozilla now increments Firefox’s major version number for every bug fix release, so version 12 would be roughly 4.8 in a sensible system), but Windows users had to hurdle the User Access Control (UAC) prompt in order to give Firefox elevated filesystem privileges for installation of any new update (according to Ars Technica). Firefox 12 adds the silent update capability for Windows users, though an initial UAC approval is still required. Meanwhile, back to what you likely care about, the Mac version of Firefox 12 gains little, most notably centered on search results from Find in Page and security fixes. It now also downloads URLs pasted into the Download Manager window. Mozilla touts 85 improvements to Firefox’s developer tools, including the addition of Find and Jump to Line commands in the Scratchpad and taking away the requirement to reload a page to view messages in the Web Console. (Free, 30.1 MB, release notes)


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Comments about Firefox 12.0
(Comments are closed.)

View Source in Firefox 12 is enriched with line numbers. But despite this new richness View Source is worth nothing because it shows less source.
PHP changes to the HTML of a page are not visible in View Source. In Firefox 12 View Source only shows the initial HTML of the page. The downgrade installs without warning about this issue. I reverted to Firefox 11, and turned off automatic updates.
To my surprise the actual version of Chrome also seems to that think less is more.
(I can't believe this is only on my Mac. And I couldn't quickly find a way to communicate the issue to Mozilla.)
Nicholas Barnard  2012-04-28 00:19
Err, PHP or Javascript? I'ven't met PHP that changes a page after its been loaded...

I've also posted my comment on another site and there as well reactions are all about my wording and not about the bug.

I'm talking PHP. I'm talking $_GET. And what I see in Fx 12 View Source is the HTML of the page before it reloaded. In Fx prior to version 12 I see the new HTML.
Nicholas Barnard  2012-05-03 15:27
Jan, Interesting and odd. Do you have an example you could point me toward?

We're setting up this page (it hasn't got all the content yet):

After clicking one of the first two categories, the HTML in View Source in Fx 12, is still the HTML of the white start page, View Source doesn't display the category items (nor some other stuff).
Odd? Yes, but apparently not too odd, because the actual version of Chrome (also 'enriched' with line numbers) makes the same mistake. View Source in the actual versions of Safari and Opera act like Fx prior to version 12 and show the new HTML: clicking on a category shows the category items.
Nicholas Barnard  2012-05-05 01:21
Jan, you're doing some weird things on that page.

Yes, View Source in Fx 12 is borked in this instance. I'm guessing you've fallen upon a weird edge case, and you may wish to file a bug report with Mozilla and Google.

My initial statement of not having seen PHP that changes a page after it is loaded is correct. What your page is doing is requesting a URL such as which then redirects back to and serves a different page. Therefore the PHP isn't changing the page after its loaded, its loading a new page with the same URL.

From what I can see you're torturing HTTP and browser behavior to keep the url in the header at There are simpler ways to do this that . I'd recommend a frame taking up the whole screen with then loading other documents within the main frame..

This all being said, we're well off the topic here. I'd be happy to continue cooresponding via email. If you'd like to please email me from:
Mac Carter  2012-04-30 16:10
I've been using Firefox as my primary browser up to version 11. At that point, I started having constant issues to the point where I could not use it. So, I've migrated to Google Chrome. It's faster, has great extensions and I see no reason to turn back.

By the way, FF 12.0 shows up as 77.5 MB on my MacBook Pro, not 30 MB.
This version works fine for me like most of the previous ones, except that it has decided to stop remembering the positions of my windows on quit (I work with two screens); or, rather, it remembers them differently. Also, strangely, it won't open this very Post Comment window – I'm having to use Safari.
John Baxter  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2012-05-01 14:17
For me, the update was anything but automatic. (I run in normal user accounts, not Admin accounts, and Firefox has long had trouble with this.)

So I logged out and logged into my main Admin account (I by habit keep a second Admin account is case the main one self-destructs, which hasn't happened since 10.1).

And the update was not automatic, but the About Firefox window had an active Apply Update button, who function was to restart Firefox leaving version 11 in place.

So I downloaded Firefox 12, and the drag into Applications led to this Admin account being unable to replace the existing Firefox despite my providing the admin password when asked. I dragged Firefox out of Applications by hand (providing the Admin password, of course), and then the drag of the new Firefox to Applications succeeded.

In 5 weeks or so, I can discover how the automatic upgrade to Firefox 13 goes.

[Note: for me, a switch to Chrome as my little used secondary browser isn't going a happen due to distrust of Google.]

On my other (main) Mac, the Firefox 11 to 12 update happened automatically, seemingly as the Mozilla folks intended. So few of you may see the situation I describe above.
"due to distrust of Google"... Absolutely!