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FIXED - Disappearing subject lines on old Mozilla / Firefox - 03/06/07

From: Email Guy
Subject:       FIXED - Disappearing subject lines on old Mozilla / Firefox
Date: March 6, 2007 4:43 PM
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(Ed. note - several users have asked about this problem in Ask Email Guy, so I posted the answer here rather than publish the individual questions)

After the release of Web Mail 5.13 on Monday 3/5, a few users reported that the subject lines in Web Mail would disappear or not be clickable. As far as we have been able to determine, this problem is confined to old versions of Mozilla browsers and old versions of Firefox browsers. In every case the issue is fixed by updating to a newer version.

Update Firefox here:

The problem never occurs on Firefox 2.0. We have a few rare reports of it on Firefox 1.5 if the user has a lot of messages in the Inbox. But if you still have a really old 1.0.x version of Firefox or Mozilla, we can no longer support it, and unfortunately you'll need to get a newer version. We do still fix bugs related to Firefox 1.5, and we will continue to test on it for a while. But we recommend that you update to version 2.0 at the web site above.


Posted by: ann   |   March 6, 2007 7:00 PM    |   (1)

I dont have the newest version of firefox but it isnt a real old version either, and my email is still doing wierd things.. the subject heading disappears, and i cannot click on it.
i am not sure if this happens in explorer, but i think it is.... also on explorer, i am getting "error" messages when i try to open the email

Posted by: McClish   |   March 7, 2007 4:29 PM    |   (2)

It has been two days and we have updated the firefox and we STILL can not get our emails to open. This is getting a little frustrating since this is the main way we communicate with our chilren's teachers! When can we get a resolution to this problem?

Posted by: Andrew   |   March 8, 2007 9:54 AM    |   (3)

EarthLink's decision to stop supporting "old" versions of Mozilla browsers in Web Mail is intellectually lazy and dishonest. I have been using the Mozilla series of browsers to manage my Web Mail just fine, at least until Web Mail 5.13 was released around March 4, thus making access impossible. Mozilla 1.7.6, my current version, has a copyright date of 2005, making it just two years old. Since when is two years "old", even in the world of software? Even Firefox, released just a month ago, no longer works reliably with Web Mail. I think the Web Mail team needs to carefully rethink the direction in which it is headed. It's regrettable, but after being with EarthLink for 9 years, I must admit that the company no longer cares about its customers.

Andrew - there was no decision to not support older Mozilla browsers. It is just that due to the many browsers available (dozens), we can only routinely test on the ones used by most of our user base. We test very carefully and thoroughly on the top 4 (IE6, IE7, Firefox 2.0, Safari 2.0), and we sanity test several others. None of those top four were broken by the recent release. But browsers that are used by only a fraction of 1% of our users are not normally tested. If those browsers don't follow the same standards as the newer, more popular browsers, then sometimes they will break. This is unfortunate, but in a browser universe without a set of common standards being adhered to by the browser makers, it is going to happen sometimes. This is the risk you take by using a browser that is used by less than 1% of the Internet population. I'm not trying to make excuses, this is just reality.

We are trying to fix the problem now that we know about it, and hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Email Guy

Posted by: Eric   |   March 8, 2007 12:43 PM    |   (4)

We use the latest version of Netscape 8.1.2 which uses the latest version of Mozilla. Until the recent update of the Webmail 5.13 we have NEVER had a problem. Now, like many others, you can't click to open the message link, subject line are blank or jumbled. Will there be a fix that will be compatable with any older versions?

Posted by: Robert Meintzer   |   March 9, 2007 12:03 AM    |   (5)

Same here..on latest versions of Netscape and of Internet Explorer. What to do?

Posted by: Robert Meintzer   |   March 9, 2007 1:08 AM    |   (6)

The problem does still exist, but it does depend on browser used. No problem now on IE7. If using Netscape 8.1.2 you have to set it to dispaly like Internet Explorer. If it is set to display as Firefox, the subject lines disappear randomly and you can't access the message or even use the movement of going back and forth in email..and the side slider doesn't work properly. With such problems, I would not consider the recent upgrade as being very robust and poorly backwards compatible. You need to do a better job of testing before presenting to the public.

Thanks for the Netscape tip. I've posted more information here, including your tip. We are still investigating the problem.

Email Guy

Posted by: Kathleen   |   March 9, 2007 4:43 AM    |   (7)

The problem is also not fixed for those of us who use netscape.

Posted by: Email Guy   |   March 10, 2007 11:49 AM    |   (8)

I've put updated information about the disappearing subject line problem here, including some suggestions for working around the problem.

We are actively investigating it and hope to have a fix soon.

Email Guy

Posted by: hauksdottir   |   March 27, 2007 4:17 AM    |   (9)

Many of us haven't commented yet, but waited as patiently as cats for this problem to get fixed. It is a pain. And we've waited for weeks now.

Clicking the plus/minus toggle next to INBOX in the left panel a couple of times might resolve it long enough to retrieve a message, but then the problem is back. When there are voids, the 'move messages to another folder' pulldown menu won't work, but spam can get deleted.

I've just downloaded Firefox 2. I hate upgrading, because something else always goes wrong, but I'm so tired of waiting.

The problems that were introduced on 3/7 should be resolved this week. Thanks for your patience.

Email Guy

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