|Summary:||Use the alternatives system to handle the link to the firefox executable|
|Product:||[Fedora] Fedora||Reporter:||George Notaras <gnot>|
|Component:||firefox||Assignee:||Gecko Maintainer <gecko-bugs-nobody>|
|Status:||CLOSED NOTABUG||QA Contact:||Fedora Extras Quality Assurance <extras-qa>|
|Fixed In Version:||Doc Type:||Bug Fix|
|Doc Text:||Story Points:||---|
|Last Closed:||2008-06-18 20:15:42 UTC||Type:||---|
|oVirt Team:||---||RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:|
|Cloudforms Team:||---||Target Upstream Version:|
Description George Notaras 2008-06-18 01:08:49 UTC
This is not actually a bug report, but an enhancement request. At the moment, users are somehow tied to use the default firefox version that comes with fedora, which usually is old. There is no easy way to switch to a version downloaded from mozilla.org without having to modify the paths in the various launchers, menu entries, "prefered applications" preferences etc. I think that a more generic link, like /usr/bin/web-browser, should be used and have the alternatives system handle the symlinks to the actual application executables, like it happens with some cli text editors. This will make life easier for those who want to use a firefox version other than the one supplied by fedora as the system default. I don't think it will cause any confusion or any other kind of problem to the rest of the users.
Comment 1 Matěj Cepl 2008-06-18 20:15:42 UTC
This is soundly NOTABUG. Read update-alternatives(8), use its option --install and do whatever you want to do with it.
Comment 2 George Notaras 2008-06-19 00:26:56 UTC
First of all, if you read my initial message, you will see that this was reported as a feature request and not as a bug. I already use the alternatives system and I even have documented what a user currently needs to do in order to switch (system-wide) to a custom firefox release in this tutorial: http://www.g-loaded.eu/2008/06/18/use-the-alternatives-system-to-switch-to-a-custom-firefox-release/ Just in case I had not expressed myself correctly in the previous message, I rephrase my request: It would be more convenient for the end user if fedora already provided the firefox executable through the alternatives system and not force the user to configure the "firefox alternatives" from scratch in order to use a custom firefox version (which is probably what the majority of the fedora users want). What causes some trouble when the user tries to configure the alternatives for firefox is the fact that the path '/usr/bin/firefox' is already occupied by the firefox launcher script. This of course can be overridden by making the alternatives system create the master firefox link in /usr/local/bin/, but, in my opinion, this adds unnecessary complexity to what should be a simple task. To sum it up, I suggest that: * The firefox launcher script (/usr/bin/firefox) should be renamed during the RPM creation process to something else, for example: /usr/bin/firefox.fedora * The symbolic link '/usr/bin/firefox' should be created by the alternatives system and should initially point to /usr/bin/firefox.fedora By making the above simple modifications, what an end-user, who wishes to use a custom firefox build, needs to do is simply add the path to the custom firefox executable as a second alternative and switch to it. For instance: /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/bin/firefox firefox /opt/customff/firefox 100 /usr/sbin/alternatives --set firefox /opt/customff/firefox In the previous post I mentioned a more generic name for the link to the browser executable (/usr/bin/web-browser), but, after a second thought, I guess it is unnecessary. '/usr/bin/firefox' is just fine. So, if you have _soundly_ closed the bug as invalid, I soundly say that you should give it a second thought. The suggested modifications will not cause any problems to fedora. The benefits of these modifications will be obvious if you try to configure a fedora system to use a custom firefox version through the alternatives system. Finally, I repeat that I have resolved my problem, I have documented the workaround so that others can use it to resolve their similar problems and I have voluntarily spent my time to report my suggestions here. I think I have done my part 100% regarding this issue.
Comment 3 Matěj Cepl 2008-06-19 20:09:22 UTC
Sorry, about that "soundly", I should make myself more clear why I thought (and I still think) this shouldn't be made part of Fedora itself. First of all, update-alternatives in Fedora (and in Debian as well, where this whole concept originates from) is meant for two different Fedora packages providing the same functionality (e.g., firefox, galeon, and epiphany are proper candidates for this). There doesn't seem to be much legitimate reason why to use upstream binary for normal user (i.e., only so sick souls as me who need to test obscure features) and quite certainly use of the upstream binary is not supported as normal operation on Fedora (moreover, with inclusion of nspluginwrapper and making it confined by SELinux, upstream binary doesn't work in many situations where our firefox just works). Second, frankly, based on our experience with our users, I don't believe there are that many users who would use both our and upstream binary of firefox. And those would like to use upstream binary are more than capable to make their own arrangement. For both of these reasons, I still believe this bug should stand as NOTABUG (or WONTFIX if you wish).
Comment 4 George Notaras 2008-06-20 05:14:15 UTC
All the above suggestions were based on the fact that Fedora's firefox package did not catch up with the firefox 3.0 release candidates during the last month, so it was assumed that we would get along with the beta5 version. Apparently, this proved not to be true, as firefox 3.0 final has been made available to fedora users through YUM. So, I apologize for all the waste of time :) I understand your points and you are right.