Firefox Download Evening

Download Day

Happy Firefox Download Day — or rather, Firefox Download Evening!

It turns out that the “day” in question has been defined as a 24-hour period starting at 10am Pacific Time; rather than compensating for the effects of timezones around the world, they’ve just picked an arbitrary 24-hour period.

That’s 6pm in Irish time, for example. At least I’m not one of the 57,000 Japanese pledgers, who’d be waiting up until 2am to kick off their download. It seems a little bizarre that there’s little leeway provided for non-US downloaders, who are right now twiddling their thumbs, waiting, while their “day” passes.

Annoyingly, the main world record page simply says ‘the official date for the launch of Firefox 3 is June 17, 2008’ — no mention of a starting time or official timezone at all!

This is the top thread on their forum right now — in addition to the omission of an entire continent ;)

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  1. Posted June 17, 2008 at 13:12 | Permalink

    But those Japanese pledgers have 24 hours, so they can download it when they wake up and still be counted. :) I suspect they did it that way because otherwise they’d need to do some kind of geo-ip based accounting which is extra work and less accurate…

  2. jasonmicron
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 16:42 | Permalink

    You’re… you’re not being serious, are you?

    You have 24 fucking hours. Goddamn. You don’t have to race to your computer at 2 AM to get the stupid thing.

  3. Zero Hour
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:07 | Permalink

    It’s just another example of the US-centric view of the world, with a particularly West Coast lack of attention to detail. Tuesday started at 00:00 GMT, not “when I manage to get my Starbuck’s and wander into the office at around 10 am”.

    Not to mention that the countdown is from Pacific Daylight Time, rather than PST which just makes it even more difficult to figure out when the show actually starts.


  4. Chelloveck
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:22 | Permalink

    Yeah, how dare a US-based organization take a US-centric view of the world? The gall of those west-coast guys to start a 24-hour period when it’s convenient for them! To think, they all want to be awake and caffeinated when they open the floodgates and their servers melt down into a smoking crater. How inconsiderate!


  5. Jake
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:30 | Permalink

    “little leeway provided for non-US downloaders,”

    They are giving you an ENTIRE DAY.

    Plus, it’s just a browser.

  6. Jake
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:31 | Permalink


    There, for all you impatient english speaking people.

  7. Jake
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:35 | Permalink

    Zomg they are going to run out of firefoxes must download RIGHT NAO

  8. bonus
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:43 | Permalink

    Interesting that you make such a big deal of the starting times when on earth a day usually last 24 hours. In any timezone.

  9. goosie
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 17:55 | Permalink

    But the point is everyone’s been told that the download day is 17th June. They turn up at the download site to do their bit for the record – and there’s nothing to download. They’re not going to spend time searching forums and blogs to find out what’s going on – they’re going to leave and maybe come back later – tomorrow – the weekend – next week.

    It just makes a mess of the record attempt.

  10. Banana Man
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:08 | Permalink

    Well, at least the server is still up.

    Oh wait….

  11. Mike Diack
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:08 | Permalink

    It’s just been a bad joke – and has backfired badly. Here at 6pm UK time, in theory the build should be out (since its now 10am in West Coast USA), but unsurprisingly the server’s are DOS’ed and unreachable and much of the world that could’ve been downloading (i.e. East of the UK) are now asleep.

    Really badly organised Mozilla. Why on earth didn’t you publish what time (and time zone) it’d be available in.


  12. Thomas
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:10 | Permalink

    I think they should have used a more eastern time zone. So that there would be a wave over the world. Now everyone is sitting right now on the computer and try to download the software and the record failed because the server is down.

  13. Clinton Pierce
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:14 | Permalink

    Instead of 7am GMT to allow everyone to participate on the 17th and spread the load around the entire clock…

    Mozilla decides on 10am PDT which causes East-Coast-US’ers to all jump on it at the same time having waited all morning, West-Coast-US’ers to add to the crush at the start of their workday, and Europe to miss out entirely for the 17th (Have fun participating a day late!).

    And oh look, they’ve been buried already. No surprise.

    Nice going, Mozilla.

  14. MacPaddy
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:20 | Permalink

    Clinton Pierce obviously has not been a sysadmin. It simply does not work that way, old boy. Not in real life.

  15. JP
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:21 | Permalink

    All worldwide event times should use Australia’s Northern Territory Time zone just to have the added half-hour disagreement with (almost) every other time zone in the world.

  16. drathos
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:25 | Permalink

    “Tuesday started at 00:00 GMT”

    Um.. No it didn’t. Tuesday started at 12:00 GMT on Monday. Ever hear of a thing called the International Date Line?

  17. Aaargh!
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:33 | Permalink

    “Yeah, how dare a US-based organization take a US-centric view of the world?”

    And here is me thinking Firefox was a global, opensource, effort. How silly of me.

  18. Paul
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 18:55 | Permalink

    Does it really matter, anyone who’s pledged for it will get an email telling them to download it, so it’s not a case of them turning up, seeing it’s not there and waiting til next week. They’d come back if an email tells them that it’s definitely available.

    That said, I’m downloading it now and haven’t gotten an email

  19. Peter
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:02 | Permalink

    I really have to agree that this shows rather a lack of foresight. The sad thing is, it will likely mean more traffic hitting the site at the same time… so it’ll go slower for everyone and possible kill it altogether.

    Myself, I’m going to wait a few days now. Why should I put myself out just for someone else’s ill thought out PR stunt?

  20. Loopback
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:11 | Permalink

    Really, ANY time/date you might pick is arbitrary. You’re all getting riled up over the fact that some people chose a point relative to an arbitrarily-placed latitude line (that is anything but consistent, mind you) that designates where the “day” starts. Realize, folks, a “day” starts in the middle of the night – that is Tuesday, June 17th started when the international date line crossed the point at which it is equidistant from the point it would be directly under the star we call Sol (the sun).

    If you are thinking right now that I am being pretty trivial, then I am getting my point across. The TIME that it’s released is VERY trivial. “Firefox Download Day” is a 24-hour period starting on June 17th, 10:00 AM Pacific. Any argument with that is futile.

    If you don’t like it, I’m sure the release team would welcome your comments. Otherwise, deal with it.

  21. Oliver
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:11 | Permalink

    Yes, at least they could have written the starting time on As European user, I checked there today after lunch and noticed it still looks the same as a week ago, even though it clearly says June 17th on my phone. It looked a bit as if they silently postponed the release and forgot to update the page :-)

  22. Junivers Girsang
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:15 | Permalink

    I’m downloading the damned thing right now, been holding back from all BETA and RC releases; I dont want to download twice (or thrice..?) for any software. Here, and btw I’m Indonesian, the clock says 01:05.

    I feel bad for the server tho’, although my internet connection sucks I never thought it’ll come down to an average 2.4 KB per second.

    Ah.. at least I can watch two exciting EURO Cup matches on TV.

  23. Reid
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:16 | Permalink

    You people are way too uptight about this. It’s a 24 hour period. Who cares? Anyway, why would a “global wave of downloads” be desirable when starting downloads at the obscure time of 10am PST still caused a meltdown?

    As a sysadmin, I want my disasters to occur when I’m awake.

  24. Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:25 | Permalink

    I agree the entire Download Day idea was not planned well – at all. Yes, it should have started at GMT as an International Event! That would have made it a late-night event for much of USA and by the time the Tuesday business day arrived, demand might be much less. The later you stay up, the easier it would’ve been to connect!

    And why not have everybody, such as Google, pitch in to help with demand?

    Trying to get everyone to download it from ONE server only insured that it would go down (and stay down) that much sooner. WHY? The chat room at was a disaster too! ONE idiot (Dutch I think) tried to ruin it for everybody else there and with NO moderator available to kick him off, he succeeded. Why was nobody there to moderate? That was very unfortunate!

  25. Peter
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:56 | Permalink

    I would have thought as a sysadmin you would want to spread the load not concentrate it all in the first few hours of a 24 hour period.

    Sure picking 10am on the west cost of the US annoys me a little because of the anti Americanism I have picked up over the last few years but it also seems like an awful idea at a practical level and piss poor communication. I may download it tomorrow when the servers calm down or may not as I’m on a day off and might not get around to it before the window closes.

  26. Posted June 17, 2008 at 19:57 | Permalink

    BEWARE: The link that Jake posted above (June 17, 2008 @ 5:31 pm) is for Release Candidate 3 – NOT Final 3.0!

    If you now have RC2, it’s the Exact same thing (only Mac version changed).

  27. Posted June 17, 2008 at 20:00 | Permalink

    BEWARE: The link that Jake posted (June 17, 2008 @ 5:31 pm) is actually for RC3 (Release Candidate 3) – NOT v3.0 Final!

    If you have RC2, it’s the EXACT same thing you now have (only Mac version was changed).

  28. Jesus Climent
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 20:11 | Permalink

    Someone has not done his homework:

    [email protected]:~/bin$ md5sum firefox-3.0* 751315746f0ed480bae753a55a1acbd4 firefox-3.0rc2.tar.bz2 751315746f0ed480bae753a55a1acbd4 firefox-3.0.tar.bz2 [email protected]:~/bin$ ls -la firefox-3.0* -rw-r–r– 1 data data 8861824 2008-06-06 00:28 firefox-3.0rc2.tar.bz2 -rw-r–r– 1 data data 8861824 2008-06-17 20:01 firefox-3.0.tar.bz2


  29. Jake
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 21:05 | Permalink

    Oh noes! The firefoxen are going to run out! Must download FIRST

  30. ben
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 21:13 | Permalink

    I am less than impressed by all this, myself.

    $ sudo yum update firefox

    Setting up Update Process

    Could not find update match for firefox

    No Packages marked for Update

  31. Rob
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 23:29 | Permalink

    @ben: I think they’re only counting direct downloads from their server — not other means of distribution (e.g., not the built-in update mechanism in FF, and not via an intermediary like various linux repositories).

    Regarding the ranting — relax. We all have 24 hours, and I really doubt anyone has been frantically hitting reload all day here in Europe waiting for the right links to show up. I’m in France; I checked once this morning (nope, not up yet), then sometime this evening I read the email and pulled down a copy for each computer in the house. No hiccups, and speedy download times. Maybe I’m just unusual, but I didn’t even bother checking blogs, etc. to see what had “gone wrong”… it didn’t matter to me. And I guess I never got around to being offended by the pro-Americanism?

    And I highly doubt any Japanese pledgers waited up specifically to download a new browser version. Though who knows — apparently some people do get pretty panicky over a simple publicity effort. Because… apparently everything’s ruined if they are overwhelmed for 20 minutes?

    Even if they were offline for the entire 24-hour period, would it really matter? The record itself serves no purpose. They’d probably still get press coverage about how they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in getting tons of download attempts and were completely overwhelmed — and hey, that’s almost exactly the same publicity as they wanted from getting a record.

  32. The Gnome Secretary
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 23:54 | Permalink

    This has been rather badly mis-managed. The US users alone (who’re the only ones that understand what time/date this thing starts) are not enough to make the record.

    If this fails, it will be due to this problem, and not informing people of the date/time beforehand.

  33. Martin
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 01:13 | Permalink

    It won’t fail, because there is NO EXISTING RECORD TO BE BEATEN ANYWAY. So the whole thing is, frankly, stupid.

  34. Joe User
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 04:24 | Permalink

    Most of the time, I’m just Joe User, but I thought it was cool that Mozilla was going for the download record to promote the release of FF 3.0.

    I think I heard about it on Slashdot or something, but in any case, when I went to the web site, it basically said “We don’t know when it will be, but it’ll be in June”. Well, fuck! So now I have to set a reminder on my calendar to check every few days to see if they’ve actually set a date. Took them a while to figure it out, but eventually, lo and behold, a date! Relief. Now I can let my friends know when to do their downloads.

    I happen to log in to moznet last night, only to discover, fuck #2, it won’t be available on Download DAY all DAY, as I’ve basically implied to my friends, who, like me, assume that if a time isn’t given, and a day is mentioned, then it is implied that any time during the day is acceptable.

    So, okay, mental note, 10 PDT is noon CDT. So I can do my first download at lunch (Windows), and grab another when I get home (Linux). So, I grab lunch, and come back to my desk. Probably 12:20 or so. Go to the stupid record breaking page. Surely they’ll have a convenient link. No, of course not. Think I gave up and went to some other sites I expected to have it, like or One of them eventually got me to what looked like the right place: Bam! Fuck #3, page won’t load, server is overloaded. Guess they never could have anticipated that, given that they were trying to set a download record, huh? Idiots.

    Keep trying…… I’ve only got an hour for lunch. Oh wait, it loaded. WTF? Firefox 2? They said it would be ready at 10 PDT; it’s now like 10:40 PDT. Keep trying……. It’s a good thing they were ready on time, so they didn’t get a lot of people constantly reloading the page… Oh look, I got through, and it says Firefox 3.

    Click. Done.

    So, I get home and decide to download from there, too. The download is for Linux, this time, but I don’t have the space, so I opt to just get the Windows version for the time being. Shit! I notice the “other versions” or whatever button on the menu, so that looks promising, but when I get there, I don’t see anything about other versions, I see something about “Localized Versions”. Is that what I want? I don’t know. Am I going to bother to read the page, fuck no. I know what I want: Firefox 3.0 for Windows in English (probably some .exe file). “Localized Versions” sounds like some kind of fancy custom version that I don’t need. Eventually, though, I realize that fully localized version, or whatever=shiny, new, highly polished release. Why they hide that behind jargon, I don’t know. Click. 10 seconds. Done.

    Why the fuck did I have to put up with all that shit for a low-investment opportunity (chance to be part of a record)? Five fucking strikes! You’re lucky I like you, or I wouldn’t have bothered. You also made me look stupid to my friends, and I resent it.

    Your product rocks, but your execution SUCKS ROCKS!!!!!

    Get your act together. Just because it’s now “Download Day” and the peons are all happy, doesn’t mean you only have to make the download complete quickly. You wouldn’t have had a prayer if I hadn’t been pretty invested in the outcome.

  35. william
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 06:46 | Permalink

    Wait. The international dateline — whose ubiquity is the result of European Imperialism — is not being respected by some folks?

    Why those arrogant, ungrateful cads! Do they even know how inconvenient this is for those used to benefiting from Britain’s authority! How dare they think of their own convenience instead of yours?!

  36. Ben
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 07:28 | Permalink

    I would have happy if they just mentioned the timezone in the announcement, since a good chunk of the world was already the 18th when “Download Day” started, including me.

  37. Phil
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 11:06 | Permalink
    1. There should have been a countdown timer on all qualifying download pages.
    2. The download time should have started in the East, naturally following the day as it passes over earth.

    Good job Mozilla don’t brew their own beer, cos they couldn’t organise a piss up with it.