Sync Broken In Firefox 7.0.1 Release

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2011
Updated • Mar 9, 2015

Life over at Mozilla is surely not as easy-peasy anymore as it was a year or two ago. With Chrome breathing down the browser's neck and Microsoft getting their act together it has become a tough playing field.

The rapid release process should have changed it all, and for the better. Bad news however seem to come in pairs these days. After Mozilla released Firefox 7 the devs became aware of a hidden add-on issue that some users who updated experienced. Some add-ons would simply not be displayed anymore in the browser.

Mozilla had to halt the distribution of the update to rush out an update to Firefox 7.0.1 two days later.

User reports at the official Mozilla Support forum now suggest that the new version has a problem of its own. Firefox Sync, the synchronization service that Firefox users can utilize to sync passwords, bookmarks and other data appears to be broken in the new release.

Many users receive the message "Sync encountered an error while connecting: Service incorrectly configured. Please try again" when they try to sync or configure synchronization in Firefox 7.0.1. Users who try to delete their sync accounts or data cannot do so as well. They get error messages like "We had a problem purging the data from your account. Please try again later." when trying to purge data and the following message when trying to delete the account.

Oh dear.

Looks like one of the dinosaurs escaped again.
We keep them away from the data, so that should be safe.

Please try again later when we've wrestled him back
onto the treadmill.

According to Tom's Guide there are other issues that users reportedly experience under the latest stable version of the browser. These issue include Java incompatibilities, Yahoo Mail errors and incompatible toolbars.

Mozilla has acknowledged the issue on the Mozilla Services page stating that "Sync is currently having intermittent problems due to server overload. Services Operations is working on it". The advice given on the page suggests that "warnings about incorrect passwords or Sync Keys are likely due to the load problems" and to "try syncing again at a later time".

mozilla sync

The Twitter feed indicates that Mozilla is working on the issue.

mozilla sync twitter

The Sync issues shed some new light on the delayed advertised update for Firefox 3.6 users to Firefox 7 that Mozilla decided to postpone yesterday.

Update: Mozilla notes that users are currently having issues with Sync due to server overload issues.


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  1. Anon said on October 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    sta·ble 1 (stbl) adj. sta·bler, sta·blest 1. a. Resistant to change of position or condition; not easily moved or disturbed: a house built on stable ground; a stable platform. b. Not subject to sudden or extreme change or fluctuation: a stable economy; a stable currency. c. Maintaining equilibrium; self-restoring: a stable aircraft. 2. Enduring or permanent: a stable peace. 3. a. Consistently dependable; steadfast of purpose.

    Agree with what Jim mention. What is a stable release? So what if it is bug free but end users still need to put in the effort to keep up with all the changes. A stable release that does not last long. How is that considered STABLE then?

    Mozilla should really just eat their own words and stop the foolishness before they really lose their user base for good. I am sure no one is interested to see a FF 20 by year 2012.

  2. ilev said on October 8, 2011 at 9:29 am

    ” Microsoft getting their act together”

    Microsoft isn’t getting their act together. In a couple of years IE will vanish.

  3. Aname said on October 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    You really have no business writing ‘tech news’ if you can’t differentiate between a server-side problem and a client-side problem.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      It was not clear at the time of writing.

  4. Robert Palmar said on October 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Add-ons are fundamental to Firefox and its
    extensive add-on repository is the only reason
    to use Firefox making it the best at customization.

    The case can be made that Firefox without extensions
    is inferior to Chrome and even IE9. And probably Opera too.

    Firefox management seems to be having an identity crisis
    being worried more about Chrome’s market share growth
    and emulating Chrome rather that building its own
    legacy which defined its growth and success.

    1. Cattleya said on October 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      I think Chrome market share growth too fast because Chrome good at advertising, Google(top 1 Alexa), Youtube(Top 3 Alexa) and so much ad for Chrome.

      But I think Chrome not good as Firefox or Opera, it simply make user “feels” that “Chrome is fast”, but in fact, Chrome load page slower than Firefox and Opera. It load page immediately after click to link but it take a long time to load “Full webpage”.


    2. Robert Palmar said on October 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      “building on”

  5. Credomane said on October 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    “Microsoft getting their act together” how so?
    The more I use ie9 the more and more I find it doesn’t work with html5. I’m working on a html5 website; ie7 and ie8 render it mostly fine outside of some spacing issues but it works atleast. ie9 ignores 100% of the css unless I use the developer tools to change the browser mode to anything but ie9 while Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all display the site as expected, identically and work perfectly.

    I’m constantly getting people coming to my coworkers and I, in the IT department, with websites rendering in a total fubar fashion. Every single time they are using ie9 but /any/ other browser loads the page fine. I swear the IE team decided to make ie9 score nicely on the acid3 test but didn’t give a damn if it worked beyond that.

  6. Manmohan Rajyana said on October 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Ghacks ”” is making fun of we readers

    “Sync Broken In Firefox 7.0.1 Release” i am on ” Firefox 7.0.1″ and nothing was broken

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      Maybe they have fixed most of the problems in the mean time. Are you saying that the official Mozilla site tried to make fun of their users to?

  7. Harvey said on October 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Well, I think I will opt out of the ‘release update channel’. And keep ‘old’ versions for awhile.

  8. Cattleya said on October 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Add-ons, extensions are very important, not onle important, without add-on Firefox is nothing with Chrome, Opera.

    >90% Firefox user are using add-on:

    Rapid release make add-on incompatibility, but Mozilla can fix it if them revert back “extensions.checkCompatibility” value in about:config, almost add-on problem fixed.
    No need to add extensions.checkCompatibility.5.0
    After update Firefox anymore.

    I afraid of Firefox “new suck feature” than rapid release, like tab detach animation break almost Tab add-on like Tab Mix Plus, Tab Ultilities, Multi Tab Handler…

    They add a very small, useless feature, but break so much add-on. All they want are become a 2nd Chrome, tab animations suit with Chrome because it a multi-process browser, its UI much repondess than Firefox. But animation with Firefox sucks, it may hang, freeze Firefox on slow computer.
    Chrome is a good browser, but Firefox copy Chrome so much, and all copied feature not make Firefox better at all. Firefox 4.0 with so much animations when close/open tab make Firefox run very slow on my notebook, I must disable this feature. But Firefox 8.0 tab animation don’t leave me a option to disable : (

    1. Swapnil said on October 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

      “without add-on Firefox is nothing with Chrome, Opera.”

      Firefox is almost nothing without add-ons. And Mozilla is breaking add-ons only with even it’s smallest updates, the .0.1 updates.

  9. HTML5 said on October 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Add-ons/extensions ARE NOT IMPORTANT. Look at the Firefox 3.6 retarded uses aka the new IE6, you’re hurting the Internet because developers have to support your outdated browser instead of being able to deploy HTML5 websites. You can see yourself here.

    Firefox 7.0 313
    Firefox 3.6.18 179

    As for the person with 30 years software development experience, your opinion is irrelevant. The more experience one has, the more stubborn and unwilling the person is to adopt change because it breaks out of their comfort zone.

    Rapid release works and it shows. No 4+ months of delay like Firefox 4.0 was.

  10. JimT said on October 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    “According to Tom’s Guide there are other issues that users reportedly experience under the latest stable version of the browser. These issue include Java incompatibilities, Yahoo Mail errors and incompatible toolbars.”

    In addition to the Sync problem, the above issues are directly related to the rapid release process. RR places tremendous strain on both the development programming staff, as well as the testing staff. There is simply insufficient time for proper testing, especially regression testing.

    As a senior programmer with 30+ years experience, I believe that software should be released when it works, not when the calendar says.

    These problems will only get worse when Firefox switches to silent updates.

  11. Reader said on October 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    It was’s not a problem with 7.0.1.

    I had the issue and now it’s fine (7.0.1)

    Was probably a sync server issue.

  12. Quality said on October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Kindly don’t be like Tom’s Guide and post misinformation.

    Rapid release works, if you compare to Firefox 4 on the old development methodology where it was delayed over 4 months and still shipped with numerous bugs vs 3 successful rapid releases with only minor issues, it shows that rapid release works.

    1. Jim said on October 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      I think you’re using faulty logic there. Just because they had a couple of releases with low bug rates does not mean the methodology works. It could be due to any number of reasons, even just plain luck. Got any data to back up your statement?

      There are benefits to a rapid release cycle, but I’m not convinced they outweigh the negatives. My company is on the verge of dropping support for FF because of the constant churn. They don’t have the resources to validate the constant releases. Sure, there is a suggestion out there for a business channel, but I’m afraid the damage is done. It may be too late.

      Then there is the issue it causes with the add-ons. Most of the more popular add-ons have adjusted to this, but not all have. It just results in more user hassle.

      Which brings us to the crux of the whole issue, inconvenience to users. They don’t like to be bothered with constant updates. It’s just more overhead for them. They have better things to do. For example, it created a lot of work for me. I have about 6 computers I use regularly. Add in the virtual machines and that amount triples. Each of those has a FF browser that has to kept updated. It used to not be a big deal keeping them up to date. Now it is. That’s a lot of extra work. The end result is the majority are currently out of date with all the hazards that comes with that situation. That’s not good any way you slice it.

      It’s obvious Mozilla failed to look at this from the users’ perspective before they implemented this change. The evidence is clear in the falling statistics. I find it very disappointing because I’ve been using it since v0.9. If they implement the slow business channel I’ll probably move to it and leave the churn behind.

      1. Anonymous said on October 8, 2011 at 3:26 am

        Well said.

  13. pd said on October 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    “The rapid release process should have changed it all, and for the better.”

    Why? Hassling developers to release several versions of a program on much more frequent basis is going to help how exactly?

    1. Sandy said on October 12, 2011 at 6:06 am

      Except that very few developers have had to make any changes at all and most of those who did only had to do small adjustments to do. Also, next time you read someone whining about “half their add-ons” breaking, know that they’re probably just trolling.

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