Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Dreck Is In The [E]Mail, Or
Firefox 41.0 Kills My Webmail Service

For about a decade I've used a commercial email hosting service at everyone.net, a service and a company reliable enough that I can forget it for months at a time, which is certainly more than I could say about my previous service. The change to everyone.net was relatively painless and was, as it turns out, a good decision. I recommend this service to any individual or company requiring exceptionally great reliability in email to and from customers (in my case, contract IT clients). everyone.net delivers what it advertises, and I am grateful for that.

everyone.net includes in its service an excellent webmail site, good enough that I long ago switched to it for all my email management needs, in preference to (say) Mozilla Thunderbird, which gave me lots of grief for the few years I relied on it. That's right: I use no client-side email software on any of my computers; this webmail fulfills all my email needs. (Pro forma, I have Thunderbird installed, but I seldom use it.)

But every ointment has its resident fly, and this is no exception. Last week, Mozilla released Firefox 41.0, distributed (at least in the Linux world) through the usual software update service which your distro (I use Ubuntu) provides with the OS. It was automatic, seldom gave any trouble and required virtually no individual attention to install the patches. So Firefox 40.0.3 (I think) was seamlessly replaced with Firefox 41.0, no muss, no fuss...

... until I tried the everyone.net webmail and found it completely dysfunctional under FF 41.0 .

Fortunately, the webmail continued to work under the latest Google Chrome, so I was not completely dead in the water. But I had a lot of my personally valuable links stored in Firefox, and not all of them were replicated in Google Chrome. So I opened a trouble ticket with everyone.net, explaining that although I understood the problem likely was not in their software, the most direct route to a solution probably involved their efforts testing their own product on FF 41.0, and indeed that proved to be the case. They determined that the problem is NOT just a Linux matter: it occurs on every OS on which FF 41.0 runs and which everyone.net supports.

As those of you who blog probably know, if you use a webmail service, you often must do your email work and your browsing for the web material on which you base your blog content on the very same browser... i.e., all on Firefox or all on Google Chrome or Chromium or (Dog forbid) MSIE. It's not an absolute requirement, but it can be truly inconvenient to switch browsers 10 times in developing a simple 3-paragraph post. So I am now getting used to Google Chrome as my new single browser, at least until everyone.net resolves its problems with Firefox.

Now... wasn't that exciting? NOOOO... but if things look a bit shaky on the YDDV blog for a while, at least you know why.


  1. Firefox has become increasingly unusable over the past few years. I've switched to Chrome 100% in the past year. Note that Chrome *can* import the Firefox bookmarks, and I suggest doing that (Google if if you don't know how, heh).

    1. BadTux, thanks; I discovered that feature and ported everything to Google Chrome. Google Chrome also has all the features I came to depend on in FF, e.g., I take occasional snapshots of all tabs one or more times a day, a practice which has saved my assets (ahem) more than once. Does Google Chrome have such a feature? You betcha, as Sarah Palin always says. I regret the gradual decline of FF, but you are right: it's gone downhill for a couple of years now, and this latest failure pushed me over the edge.

      Besides, now all the gummint security agencies have easier access to my stuff... [/twisted]



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