Firefox 10 & Woes

I just upgraded from Firefox 9.0.1, because apparently Firefox 10 came out Feburary 1st (where was I when this happened..?). Anyways, it never told me there was an update, but I found out that it had coinsidentally while googling a problem I’ve been having since Firefox 7.

But before I tell you about the problem I’ve been having, I should probably talk about Firefox 10.

It’s Firefox 9 with a new number. Excited? I wasn’t either. Yeah okay there was some small crap hardly anyone will care about, like a forward button that will only appear if you’ve gone back, and only appears using the regular size icons. I don’t even know about any of that crap since mine doesn’t use it. I guess I’m using a custom theme or something. And I guess Firefox Sync is easier now, and Firefox 10 has support for a year now, multi-touch gesture support for the mobile version, and anti-aliasing in webGL. I’m pretty sure I keep webGL disabled because of that horrendous security concern that could melt your computer if someone exploited it – which, by the way, was never fixed.

Oh. There were two things I liked. “Firefox 10 assumes that extensions are compatible, even if they haven’t been specifically updated for it. The browser will only reject extensions that have been specficially marked as incompatible.” and “Add-ons can now hotfix update themselves to address minor issues.” These two things seem useful. Extension incompatibility with all of these rapid releases was a major pain in the ass. I actually had to manually edit the versions on some of them to make them keep working.

Anywho… onto my problem.

Bug 702748. Such a cute little name, isn’t it? No? Not really? Well lemme tell ya, it’s a major pain in my ass. Here’s a little explanation of the problem. But lemme break it down for ya…

“Save Image As” keeps changing directories on a per site/server basis, rather than staying consistent until I change it.

Let’s say I’m just browsing some image boards, blogs or forums with images, and I’m saving images – something I’ve done since the dawn of time, and I’m sure a lot of others have done too. Well, it seems that starting in Firefox 7, a new “feature” was introduced that changes the download directory per server. So when you have one link like “i32.site.com” then another on “m22.site.com” that these pictures are being fetched from, guess what? The next time you get a picture from either of those servers, it’s going to remember the last directory you saved to for that server. Stay with me here. Let’s say we’re browsing something about kittens, we save a bunch of pictures. Then later, maybe we’re looking at pictures of rabbits. We have our folders very organized like “Pictures/Animals/Cats/Kittens”, “Pictures/Animals/Rabbits”, and what have you. So we start saving the rabbit pictures and then suddenly we realize that some of them (not even all of them, just some) are going to the Kittens folder. No, what’s worse is that some are going to maybe Giraffes, or Whales, Sharks, Lions, or who the fuck knows what! This is really fucking stupid, man. Whoever made this “feature” deserves a nice good ass chewing, I can tell you that much.

No… Since we’ve had it now for what, 5 months now? And we’re going to have it for another… 1? At least? This guy deserves to get his ass kicked. No permanent damage or anything, just a nice good old fashioned playground ass kicking. Fucking idiots, I swear to the flying spaghetti monster

Anyways…

  • Intentional change: Bug 536503 – Last downloaded-to directory should be remembered on a site-by-site basis
    • and note also Bug 693153 – “arbitrary” selection of download directory in multiple tabs (tabs with different server name)

Firefox 11 will fix this issue by adding a pref browser.download.lastdir.savePerSite

  • Bug 702748 – Use a pref for disabling per-site remembering of download directory

Unfortunately, if you check their release schedule… it isn’t planned to be released until March-something. What’s 6 weeks from Feb 1? March 7th? So March 7th I guess.

Anyways, when Firefox 11 rolls around you’re going to have to go to about:config then create a new bool entry: browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite, and set that to false. Till then, I hope some asshole makes an extension that hotfixes this, cause it’s really fucking shit up. I don’t even know where my pictures are anymore…

Someone suggested just downgrading to Firefox 6.0.2 until we get the fix, and I dunno if I’m gonna do that. I’m considering using another browser for a month possibly though. Eh, if I can find add-ons for it.

If you wanna downgrade, here it is from the official Mozilla FTP: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/6.0.2/

Here’s some English specific links:
Win-32 Eng-US
Mac En-US
Linux i686 En-US
Linux x86-64 En-US

But from what I hear, there are security problems to worry about. So it’s better to go for the 3.6.x branch which is kept updated instead, since it’s still supported. The 6.x.x branch isn’t.

Here’s 3.6.9, I don’t know if it fixes this or not or if it’s the latest on the 3.6.x branch, but here’s a link: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.6.9/; Now, someone did report that 3.6.3 didn’t have the issue and that was 3 weeks ago, so if 3.6.9 doesn’t work, then here’s a link to 3.6.3: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.6.3/

Update#1
It seems there’s a temporary fix for this. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Select Tools | Option and choose Privacy tab
  2. Click on “clear your recent history”
  3. Time range to clear : choose Everything (last option in the listbox)
  4. Click on Details if necessary
  5. **Uncheck** all options **except** Site Preferences (thus only Site Preferences is checked at the end).
  6. And apply with Clear Now !

The folder proposed by Save Image As should now be the session’s last downloaded-to folder (no longer the site’s).

Now where does the magic come from ? Starting indeed with FF 7, someone has decided that “Last downloaded-to directory should be remembered on a site-by-site basis” (as noted here by John99. It’s in bug#536503).

And… it was added. Ugh…

And documented in Using_content_preferences (look for the table entitled “Build-in site-specific preferences”, the preference browser.download.lastDir is stamped “New in Firefox 7”). As a techie can see there, the information is stored in a file named content-prefs.sqlite (a database file stored in your profile — a brutal workaround would be to delete or rename this file, but I discourage such manipulation while FF is running)(BTW if you delete it when FF is not running, the file is recreated when FF is launched).

The workaround I propose simply resets the content preferences, meaning that you will get rid of current site-download folder mappings (good news !) but also of upload site-folder mappings and site-zoom preferences. Which may be a problem depending on your needs…

If someone could find a javascript snippet that could remove only site-download folder mappings from the content preference database, that would really fix all these problems.

What I’ve been doing in the meantime is just copying the full path to the folder I want to be saving to and pasting it up in the top part before I save. It’s inconvenient at best, but it works and it’s better than manually browsing to the right folder again.

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