"Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical - 1.0" doesn't make sense

Bug #418203 reported by Matthew Paul Thomas on 2009-08-24
This bug affects 12 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Firefox 3.5.2, Ubuntu Karmic alpha 4
Firefox 37.0.2, Ubuntu 14.04

1. From the "Help" menu, choose "About".

What you see:
* "Firefox version 3.5.2" or similar
* "Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical - 1.0"

What's wrong with this:
* "canonical" is not capitalized.
* There's no such thing as "Ubuntu canonical".
* It uses a hyphen where, if the text even made sense, it should use a dash.
* It's unclear what "1.0" refers to in contrast with the Firefox version number.

What you should see:
* "Firefox 3.5.2", "Firefox 37.0.2", or similar
* "Canonical customizations 1.0" or similar.

Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Thank you for reporting this to Ubuntu. There is enough information here for a developer to start work on this issue. Please report any other issues you may find.

Changed in firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Tomasz Chrzczonowicz (tch) wrote :

Still here in Lucid

Sam Illingworth (mazz0) wrote :

Still here in Natty alpha 2 (with Firefox 4.0b11)

Julian Alarcon (julian-alarcon) wrote :

Hey, now on Natty and the problem is still there.

description: updated
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2011-10-04
affects: firefox-3.5 (Ubuntu) → firefox (Ubuntu)
affects: firefox (Ubuntu) → ubufox (Ubuntu)
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

This is absolutely nothing to do with ubufox. It should also be forwarded upstream

affects: ubufox (Ubuntu) → firefox (Ubuntu)
Juan Pablo (juanps90) wrote :

Still present, Ubuntu 12.04, Firefox 13.0.1

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Can you please stop going through bugs and leaving comments reminding us that they aren't fixed? We're already well aware that this isn't fixed. The bug status gives this away already.

Tae-Wong SEO (seotaewong40) wrote :

Fix this bug... it happens in all versions.

Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Well, it requires an upstream UI change. It's not something we're going to be changing

Tae-Wong SEO (seotaewong40) wrote :

You want to fix this bug. There is an upstream UI change.

Gao Shichao (xgdgsc) wrote :

Still in 13.10. Is the string provided by upstream firefox, or it is a ubuntu patch that cause this? Any upstream bug reports yet?

description: updated
daniel CURTIS (anoda) wrote :


"Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical - 1.0" (checked via "Help" menu and "About Firefox") issue is still not fixed:

✗ Firefox: v60.0 (32-bit)
✗ Ubuntu: 16.04.4 LTS

Thanks, best regards.

Neal McBurnett (nealmcb) wrote :

Still here 9 years later in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver

For those of you asking us not to keep commenting on this bug, please give us a way to help get it fixed. In the meantime, as so clearly expressed over 9(!) years ago, this causes anyone who runs across the Firefox "about" button to get some very confusing and problematic claims, and waste time and effort when reporting Firefox issues.

What is the upstream change that is reportedly necessary?

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

This "canonical - 1.0" string comes from /usr/lib/firefox/distribution/distribution.ini. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Distribution_INI_File.

And this is where these fields are used for the about dialog: https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/file/tip/browser/base/content/aboutDialog.js.

This could easily be patched by changing the value of distroIdField.hidden to true in https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/file/tip/browser/components/preferences/in-content/main.js#l503.

But as pointed out by Chris, this decision is better left for upstream. Please file a bug at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi#h=dupes%7CFirefox to request for this field to be hidden by default, or to provide distributors with a preference to hide it.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Thanks for the links. Maybe Mozilla wouldn’t mind us hiding the distribution info altogether, though I doubt it. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for them to require an easy way for users to distinguish customized versions of Firefox.

Fortunately, it’s a mistake to suggest that hiding it is the only solution to this problem. It certainly isn’t the solution I suggested nine years ago. The problem is not the visibility of the data, it’s the contents of the data.

I don’t know where our current distribution.ini is (it doesn’t seem to be linked anywhere from <https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox>). But if I read the upstream code correctly, the only part of this bug that’s blameable on upstream is the hyphen.

Olivier Tilloy (osomon) wrote :

I didn't mean to imply hiding the field was the only solution, and I agree that it's reasonable for Mozilla to enforce an easy way to distinguish customized versions of Firefox.

Our current distribution.ini can be seen there: https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~mozillateam/firefox/firefox.cosmic/view/head:/debian/distribution.ini

@mpt: what would you suggest as an alternative to the "{id} - {version}" string?

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Ok, I guessed wrong: more than one of the issues do require changes in aboutDialog.js.

    distroField.style.display = "block";

This fixes the second of the four issues I identified originally: it no longer displays “Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu” and “canonical - 1.0” as a single line.

I would still change our “about=Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu” to “about=Customized for Ubuntu” or similar. Saying that it’s from Mozilla is redundant with the sentence two lines below, and saying that it’s Firefox is redundant with the main heading two lines above.

    var distroId = Services.prefs.getCharPref("distribution.id", "");
    if (distroId) {
      var distroString = distroId;

      var distroVersion = Services.prefs.getCharPref("distribution.version", "");
      if (distroVersion) {
        distroString += " - " + distroVersion;

      var distroIdField = document.getElementById("distributionId");
      distroIdField.value = distroString;

So the first issue, “canonical” not being capitalized, could be fixed in three ways:
A. changing our “id=canonical” to “id=Canonical” (though that might break things elsewhere); or
B. changing our “app.distributor=canonical” to “app.distributor=Canonical”, and changing the distroString code to use “app.distributor” rather than “id”; or
C. changing the format of the string in aboutDialog.js so that it isn’t presenting id as a standalone word, for example “distroString = "(" + distroString + "/" + distroVersion + ")”.

The third issue, the hyphen, could be fixed by C above, or by changing it to a dash.

The fourth issue, the 1.0, could be fixed by C above, or by dropping the “version=1.0” from our .ini file *and also* A or B above (so we don’t end up with “canonical” on a line by itself).

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