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Google Schedules Chrome 6, 7, and 8 For This Year

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the incrementing-and-iterating dept.

Software 138

An anonymous reader writes "Google said that it will be releasing a new stable version of Chrome every six weeks, which is about twice as fast as the release pace today. The goal is to make new features available when they are done and to make Chrome releases more predictable. Has anyone complained that there were too few new Chrome releases? Mozilla has been releasing a major new browser update twice a year and Microsoft is on an 18-24 month pace. Firefox's 4.0 Beta 2 is scheduled for release soon, and it appears that Mozilla is somewhat paranoid about the Black Hat Conference. 3.6.6 was planned to be the original 'Black Hat release'; now we are at version 3.6.7 and Mozilla has already a build candidate of 3.6.8 that will be released depending on news coming out of Black Hat."

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Speculation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33008596)

Maybe because "Internet Explorer 9" sounds better than "Chrome 5" to some people just because of the version number.

Re:Speculation (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008646)

First post gives the most plausible explanation. Congratulations, AC!

Re:Speculation (3, Interesting)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009004)

If you know the history of browsers it's the most obvious one too. This goes back to IE and Netscape era, where Netscape actually skipped over a version number because IE was "leading" them. Now Google does the same bullshit...

Re:Speculation (2, Informative)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010584)

Well, it's not just big corps; slackware did the same thing.

Re:Speculation (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008848)

Whenever this comes up I say it took them 9 tries to get it right, only took the Firefox guys 4 tries But imo the IE team hasn't quite gotten it right yet

Re:Speculation (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008940)

Firefox, Firebird, Phoenix, Mozilla

Yep, 4 major revisions.

Re:Speculation (2, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009308)

Most of the transitions between those names weren't major revisions - they were re-badging to avoid getting sued. (Phoenix -> Firebird, Firebird -> Firefox)

Firefox 9000 (2, Funny)

supernes (1560323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008864)

Seems like the most logical explaination to me as well. This is Mozilla's golden chance to end the browser war with one fell swoop by rebranding!

Re:Firefox 9000 (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009380)

then google releases chrome over 9000.
(i.e. 9001)

Re:Speculation (5, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008986)

You are exactly right. And it's quite noble of Google they are actually planning to release version 6 to 8 at all. They could take an example of Sierra or Microsoft.

The Larry team at Sierra On-Line felt they were falling behind to King's Quest in the late eightees. King's Quest was already at number 4 in 1988, while a year later Larry only released part 3. To get ahead, the folks at the Larry team decided to skip part 4 altogether and go straight on to Larry 5.

Microsoft played an even worse trick with Word for Windows when they released version 6 in '93 after their previous version 2 from '91. Afterall, WordPerfect was also at version 6, so now Word was up to speed as well.

Re:Speculation (2, Informative)

Chaostrophy (925) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009258)

Don't forget bind, went from 4.9 to 9 in the mid-late 1990s.

Re:Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33010010)

Or Solaris, which decided to drop the integer part. 2.7 became 7.

Or Java. 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, all known as 2, 3, 4, 5.

Re:Speculation (1)

lenwar (1220040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011950)

Wasn't that more like "SunOS 5.8" = Solaris 8?

Re:Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33011040)

almost, there was a lot of 8 inbetween.

Re:Speculation (5, Interesting)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009446)

The Larry team at Sierra On-Line felt they were falling behind to King's Quest in the late eightees. King's Quest was already at number 4 in 1988, while a year later Larry only released part 3. To get ahead, the folks at the Larry team decided to skip part 4 altogether and go straight on to Larry 5.

Except this isn't right. The reason there was no Leisure Suit Larry 4 was, in the words of the creator:

So why did Leisure Suit Larry 5 follow Leisure Suit Larry 3?

Why wasn't Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work named Larry 4?

There are several reasons:

I always assumed the series would be a trilogy. It just seemed right. I was pleased that people enjoyed Larry 2 enough to convince Sierra that a third installment would be well received. Therefore, I made the ending of Larry 3 air tight: Larry and Patti were together at last; Larry was telling his life story through a computer game; it appeared they would live happily ever after, etc.

While Larry 3 was in "crunch mode," I was working 'round the clock to get it out in time for the 1990 holiday shopping season. I grew tired. And tired of Larry. When Sierra employees asked me about the next Larry, my disgusted response was, "There's not going to be a Larry 4! I'm stopping with three."

When we finally gave up trying to develop a multi-player on-line adventure, I came up with some fun ideas for the fourth game, but I was stuck for a beginning. I couldn't figure out how to start the story because I had left Larry and Patti living happily ever after, remember? How to get them out of Coarsegold?

When my design for the fourth game was well along, one day, in the hallway of Sierra, I ran into an employee I hadn't seen for quite some time. Her first question was, "So what are you working on these days, Al? Larry 4?" And I, in true smart-ass fashion, replied, "No, Larry 5! Of course I'm working on Larry 4!"

A light bulb went off!

Why not? Who says sequels must always be "in order?"

I started bouncing the idea off people. Inevitably, their response was, "Larry 5? What happened to Larry 4?!"

That was exactly what I wanted. Suddenly I was completely freed from the restraints of the Larry 3 ending. I could have the new game begin anywhere. The idea was wacky, silly, dumb in a perfect "Larry-esque" way. And, it solved the "mind share" problem--how to grab people's attention and make them think about the next Larry game and had they missed something?

And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is the whole truth about what happened to Larry 4!

Either that or my dog ate the floppies!

Re:Speculation (1)

StickANeedleInMyEye (1253490) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010722)

Either that or my dog ate the floppies!

my dog ate my versions of Windows 95b and Larry 5 the same year!!

Slackware did it, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009856)

Slackware went from version 4 to version 7 in five short months to match version numbers with another distro, I believe Redhat.

Didn't even bother with a 5 or a 6, just cranked the number up to match somebody else. The "bigger number is better" mentality is too ingrained in many users' minds.

(approval word: 'browbeat'. Slashdot's word choices can be eerie.)

Re:Speculation (3, Informative)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009970)

Microsoft played an even worse trick with Word for Windows when they released version 6 in '93 after their previous version 2 from '91. Afterall, WordPerfect was also at version 6, so now Word was up to speed as well.

Sort of. Microsoft Word for Mac was at version 5.1 at this point, and to synchronize version numbers between the platforms, they decided to call the next version on both Windows and Mac version 6. (This was also the first time the Windows and Mac versions shared siginficant amount of code, much to the detriment of the Mac version. In fact, MS offered free "downgrades" to 5.1 due to all the complaints. Anyway, this code-sharing is probably also responsible for their desire for version-number synchronization.)

Of course, I'm sure looking equal or better next to WordPerfect didn't hurt, either. :)

Re:Speculation (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010796)

Both instances you're citing here are nowhere near as sinister or devious as you make them sound.

Re:Speculation (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012424)

but is it any better? They might start of version 20 at least their intentions are clear. Artificially bumping version numbers incrementally very very very fast to appear as good guys doesn't really inspire more confidence than coming out clean.

Re:Speculation (4, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009076)

So why not go straight to 11? Then it beats OS X too, which has been stuck at Roman Numeral ten for-freaking-ever.

Re:Speculation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009180)

Damned! You beat me to it! The explanation is simple indeed: Google goes all the way to 11.

Re:Speculation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33010098)

Then Apple will be forced to release Mac OS XI.

Re:Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33011424)

that's only because the marketing wizards at apple, as good as they are, have yet to figure out how to spin "OS XI" in advertisements for maximum profit.

Re:Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009192)

I don't know, I think there are a lot of other things that would affect a browser's adoption rate.
Netscape was at version 9 when they quit, and that release was basically a skinned version of Firefox 2, which was vastly more popular than it and its traditional competitor, Internet Explorer, which was at version 7 (I think), when Netscape finally gave up the ghost.

I think Google just wants rapid progress for the sake of rapid progress, thinking that if it goes fast enough they might gain a good edge over their competitors, seeing as how they would be working twice as fast as their fastest competitor, Mozilla.

Re:Speculation (1)

MalHavoc (590724) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010076)

With the way these version numbers are going, I feel as if I'm in a Star Trek episode, getting ready to enter orbit around a browser planet or something. IE is really ramping up the size of its solar system!

Re:Speculation (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010556)

Remember the origin of the name of the company that makes Chrome. They should just jump to Chrome Googol, and skip versioning by numbers as it will be automatically forced to be the last one if its ever connect to internet.

And if Microsoft strikes back with Explorer Infinity, with that they will only recognize that they are lost.

Firefox 4.0? (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008608)

I'm still on 3.0. I see no reason to continue upgrading if what I have works just fine (holds-up copy of Office 97).

Plus upgrades often don't go as planned, like when my CWtv.com player stopped working after I moved from 2.5x to 3.0. And now I hear people are having problems with Youtube Downloaders after they jumped to 3.6.whatever last week. I follow two principles: If it aint broke; dont fix it. And KISS.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009328)

Too bad you lose all the benefits of new releases too: New HTML/Javascript features, faster Javascript, plugins that can't kill your browser as easily, faster rendering, not to mention bugfixes..

Re:Firefox 4.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009480)

And security fixes. 3.0.x has unpatched vulnerabilities.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010112)

Will you be able to completely turn off the ugly Awesomebar, including the resource-hogging constant db queries it generates?

There are legitimate reasons that new releases may be considered worse than older releases. I think Mozilla foundation has hit that point where, because of their past successes, they are trying to force Agendas on their users. I call it "pulling a sony", although they are nowhere near that bad yet.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010842)

What's the "ugly Awesomebar"? You mean how it searches in your bookmarks when you type? Go to about:config and change browser.urlbar.maxRichResults to 0. I'm not sure why you're concerned about SQLite searches though. They take like 10 ms to run. I doubt you type that fast.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012506)

My places.sqlite is 40MB, which is 3 months of history (default setting), when I start it up, it's really slow the first time, sometimes minutes. I can see why that would put people off.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010346)

Posting to undo a bad moderation.

Re:Firefox 4.0? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010626)

How is this modded troll? It is an absolutely legitimate point: If you upgrade often you will eventually get burnt. That's why people who run uber important systems only upgrade if there is a security fix.

huh. (5, Interesting)

igadget78 (1698420) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008614)

So are these all beta's?

Re:huh. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008960)

So are these all beta's?

The beta channel is planned to be updated at the same pace as the stable channel for Chrome, but presumably would be something like a version ahead. Dev channel is expected to continue to get weekly updates.

Re:huh. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009188)

No, it just looks likes the Google Chrome team has discovered agile. If they use two-week sprints and have each feature broken up into three sets of user stories, they could complete and release a new feature every six weeks as planned.

Re:huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33010908)

So are these all beta's?

All Beta's what? And who is this Beta person? [wikipedia.org]

could this be for marketing reasons? (1, Interesting)

boreddotter (1836042) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008622)

the average joe might think the IE 8 is better than Chrome 5 or FF 4... Just a thought

Re:could this be for marketing reasons? (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008656)

What other reason could it be - can they possibly crank out that many major versions and rewrites in this time frame and justify its technical viability, or is it just marketing?

Re:could this be for marketing reasons? (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008938)

What other reason could it be - can they possibly crank out that many major versions and rewrites in this time frame and justify its technical viability

Yes, but that's because Google is (unsurprisingly, as they are one of the companies whose practices are held up as models of lean methods) implementing a lean approach to what a "major version" is: a "major version" just means a stable release that contains anything other than bugfixes. Instead of setting up a system where there are a bucketload of features in each "major release" that all have to get ready together, with long times between major releases, they have lots of major releases, on a regular schedule, with whatever features are ready.

Re:could this be for marketing reasons? (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009120)

>>>the average joe might think the IE 8 is better than Chrome 5 or FF 4.

Well in that case they must think Opera X 10.6 is the bestest browser out there! Are people running over to Opera? (checks). Nope. I suspect the number theory has no relevance to the average joe.

aside -

I don't find Opera as great as its proponents claim. It's okay for casual surfing but as soon as I visit Youtube the memory usage jumps to 500,000 kilobytes..... and my computer slows to a crawl. Meanwhile Firefox hovers around 300,000. Opera 10.0 worked well, but 10.6 appears to be suffering from bloat.

Re:could this be for marketing reasons? (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010464)

I hadn't touched opera in years until today. I was testing a site im working on that does a bunch of ajaxy calls then plots data on a graph. In comparing the major browsers, I was blown away at how much faster opera was. Better than twice as fast as chrome and FF. Internet explorer took about 4 times as long as chrome/ff.

Re:could this be for marketing reasons? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010666)

Opera has always been pretty fast, but the fact that you lumped chrome and ff makes me suspicious of your testing methods. Every benchmark I've seen (including firefox's own) says that ff isn't even in the same league as chrome wrt js.

Why? (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008634)

It gets upgraded automatically anyway, no reason to encourage people there... (yes, I do hope, perhaps in vain, that it doesn't affect the decisions on the level of "I can't use this browser, it has too low number")

Re:Why? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008890)

They keep doing it with Android versions too. It's good because people don't know what software works on there...wait, no. That's not it.

Re:Why? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011906)

Last I checked, Chrome had an update button in the About Chrome page (and had Google Updater), but Chromium lacked that button. My Debian unstable's package (chromium-browser) is getting updated through the repos, but how do the Windows builds of Chromium update (besides reinstalling)?

Who cares (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33008672)

Not me.. I use Opera and .. telnet/curl

Re:Who cares (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009546)

I advanced to wget ages ago -- I heard it was the future of browsing.

version numbers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33008774)

What happens after version 12? Do we go to version 13 or skip that like buildings do with floors?

Anyway Firefox V4.0 is in beta, while 3.7 is still in alpha.

Re:version numbers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009410)

Microsoft Office jumped from 12 to 14.

Idiots (5, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008804)

Anyone that says, "Oh, Internet Explorer 9 is better than Chrome 5" is an idiot.

That's like saying, "Terminator 4 is clearly better than The Godfather, look it's 3 versions newer!"

Re:Idiots (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009042)

There's a reason why the Xbox 360 isn't called the Xbox 2. It's because 360 > 3 (i.e. Playstation 3), and thus, obviously must be better.

Wish I could say you are full of bs ..... but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009312)

... you have no idea how right you are.

Re:Idiots (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009320)

In that case they should just switch to build numbers. Chrome 4750 sounds way more advanced than Internet Explorer 8.. right?

Re:Idiots (2, Interesting)

boreddotter (1836042) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009168)

A lot of people are not as computer literate as slashdotters, many will think exactly that. Have you ever seen the video google made a while back asking people which browser they used? I pretty sure it was just before they released their own browser, many said they used google, they didn't even know what a browser is.

Re:Idiots (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009680)

It doesn't matter if they don't know what a browser is... what matters is that most people do distinguish between two products.

Nobody buys a Chevy S1500 over a BMW 3 because the BMW 3 was clearly inferior due to its "model number."

Computer literacy has nothing to do with this. If they are given the option to download Chrome X vs Internet Explorer X, they probably will chose the one they recognize - brand or program name - not based on comparing the numbers.

Ok, so there are probably some people that do think the proverbially idiotic way, but I doubt it's a very large portion of people. And I doubt those are the people that are even going to be looking at a choice between Chrome vs. IE. They'll just use whatever their computer was set up with.

Re:Idiots (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010014)

Your reason for their being idiotic is idiotically narrow-minded.

Chrome is my third-most-used browser, and may soon be fourth. (Yes, I have all 4 installed on my home box.)

Firefox gets the most use. Things just all seem to be where they should be and operate as they should. Though the 4.0 beta tabs are a bit unsettling. I switched off the tabs-on-top, because that's just a fucking stupid place to put them, but they still extend all the way to the left border of the browser, instead of to the left border of the webpage pane. When a sidebar is open, it's got 3/4ths of a tab across it. They misassociated the tabs with the browser window instead of the webpage window, and misassociated the sidebars with the webpage window instead of the browser window. Jarring to the logic of the thing.

IE gets the next-most use. I have its security features cranked way up. It doesn't even play Flash now unless I go into the configs and enable the right button. I use it for sites where I suspect risky business.

I recently DL'ed safari, and I use it only to see how it operates in standards tests (http://acid3.acidtests.org/ and http://html5test.com/ [html5test.com] ).

Chrome gets that, plus the occasional check to see if it handles some pages different from IE and FF. But really, it and Safari are curiosities, and IE is a rubber glove, while FF is the actual browser I go to when I go online.

And that makes IE 9 better than Chrome 5.

Re:Idiots (5, Funny)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010358)

On the other hand, Apollo 13 blew the pants off the previous 12 Apollo movies.

Re:Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33011036)

xbox 1 -> xbox 360
ps2 -> ps3
case closed.

Re:Idiots (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011222)

Anyone that says, "Oh, Internet Explorer 9 is better than Chrome 5" is an idiot.

That's like saying, "Terminator 4 is clearly better than The Godfather, look it's 3 versions newer!"

True story: A film titled The Madness of George III was renamed to The Madness of King George [imdb.com] for its US release, because distributors worried that people might pass on it, having missed the first two episodes.

Insert Barnum quote here...

Re:Idiots (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011330)

Yeah, but the world is full of IQ 100...

Re:Idiots (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011336)

The smaller than sign between IQ and 100 got lost...

Re:Idiots (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012384)

Luckily browser makers don't have to worry about catering to idiots. Who needs 90% of the market?

Chrome 999.999.999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33008810)

with integrated goatse speed dial

Has anyone been complaining? Yes (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008836)

Has anyone complained that there were too few new Chrome releases?

Certainly, there have been complaints that features that are stable in the beta channel not being in stable; having more frequent feature releases to stable addresses that.

sleazy PR ploy (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008858)

Just like MS, Google is versioning browser to catch up, not because they do anything new. Google can't even get a product out of beta in less than two years, so why should it be expecting a major upgrade every quarter? Only one reason. To create the impression that the browser is better than Safari 5 (though it uses the same rendering engine) and to reduce the market impression that it is worse than IE 8.

As it is, Chrome 2.0 should have been the 1.0 RTM, with everything before being a 0.x public release candidate(probably 0.5 onward). 3.0 simply added initial support for HTML 5 and improved code, a point release. 4.0 seems pretty real, so that might be have been a 2.0 in traditional terms. Probably by the upcoming version is a credible for real 3.0.

Version numbering really does not matter, but to assert that releasing a version every six weeks is necessary to release features more often is silly. What Google is in fact saying is that Chrome is a very immature browser with a very immature feature set, and they are wiling to sacrifice everything else that once made Chrome a legitimate browser in an effort to make it buzzword compliant.

Re:sleazy PR ploy (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009016)

Frankly, I've never heard of people thinking one product is less than a different product just by comparing version numbers. I don't doubt they exist, but I really don't think that would ultimately work if the implementation isn't up to par.

Re:sleazy PR ploy (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009132)

Version numbering really does not matter, but to assert that releasing a version every six weeks is necessary to release features more often is silly.

Uh, no, its true.

Its impossible to release new features more often without releasing versions of the software more often.

Google is just saying "we're releasing stable versions of Chrome every six weeks from now on. They'll include whatever features are ready for a stable release at the time we do the release. The
major version number' -- as, AFAIK, it always has with Chrome -- will simply be the sequential number of the stable feature release, because version numbers really don't matter, so wasting time determining whether the feature set ready at the time of any particular release warrants a new major version number or not is a waste of effort that could be devoted to something more productive, like evaluating features to include in the next release.

What Google is in fact saying is that Chrome is a very immature browser with a very immature feature set, and they are wiling to sacrifice everything else that once made Chrome a legitimate browser in an effort to make it buzzword compliant.

No, what Google is, in fact, saying is that they are very serious about continuing to push out new features in Chrome rapidly for the forseeable future (not because Chrome is an "immature browser", but because technology advances rapidly and Chrome is committed to staying at the front) and aren't going to let piddly concerns about version numbers get in the way of that -- Chrome users will get the new features that are ready for public consumption every six weeks. Sometimes those might be big packs of new features. Sometimes they might be small packs. Whatever, its ready, it ships.

Anyone whose read or heard anything about lean methods should recognize the strategy. And should be unsurprised that Google would adopt it.

Re:sleazy PR ploy (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009212)

Just like MS, Google is versioning browser to catch up, not because they do anything new. Google can't even get a product out of beta in less than two years, so why should it be expecting a major upgrade every quarter?

Its not "expecting" a "major upgrade" every quarter.

It is scheduling a stable feature release of Chrome every six weeks (a little bit more than twice a quarter) with whatever features are ready for a stable release at the time.

Since the feature releases will have whatever features are ready, (and since Chrome has always, AFAIK, used stable feature releases as the basis for "major" version numbers, not any other measure of significance), each such release will get a new "major" version number, no matter how significant the new features are or are not.

The goal is to have a predictable release schedule, get features out to users as quickly as possible when they are ready, and to avoid high-stakes "major releases" that have to be delayed because one feature isn't quite ready.

Re:sleazy PR ploy (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009414)

What Google is in fact saying is that Chrome is a very immature browser with a very immature feature set, and they are wiling to sacrifice everything else that once made Chrome a legitimate browser in an effort to make it buzzword compliant.

So Chrome is an immature browser with an immature feature set and yet a legitimate browser. But if they want to increase the maturity of the feature set "to make it buzzword compliant" that will be sacrificing everything? Does this compute to anybody?

Sometimes new features are just bloat, and they end up bad. That doesn't mean that new features are automatically bad, and it surely doesn't mean that their versioning scheme has anything at all to do with its quality.

Chrome is "legitimate" (whatever that means) or not on its own merits, not how often they release or what version number they attach to such releases. And frankly, if it's a "sleazy PR ploy" the only reason for it is that it works. If people truly believe Chrome is worse than Safari 5 or IE 8 just because of the version number why is it "sleazy" to take that excuse away and force people to actually evaluate the browser on its merits?

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33010000)

Version numbers mean nothing - only features matter. Real news for nerds would be when Chrome feature development outpaces its rivals. It shouldn't be terribly difficult. Start by fully supporting the open standards that are already available, like SVG, XForms, WebDAV and CalDAV, for example. Version numbers - meh, who gives a shit?

Emacs - ahead of its time again (2, Funny)

benjto (1175995) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008906)

I always thought using Emacs 23 to browse the web was at least 4 years ahead of its time.

Not going to help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33008916)

...when half of the great features are fired behind a stupid launching flag and a large chunk of them end up going unnoticed by most people, resulting in them appearing to be unpopular and getting canned. Yes, even in the DEVELOPER versions, where it is pretty pointless.

Even an external program to add the flags would be much better, then you would be able to give all the flags power of 2 IDs so they can be combined easily, instead of stupidly long lists of flags that have rather redundant names...
C:\chrome-win32\chrome.exe --enable-webgl --in-process-webgl --enable-apps --enable-vertical-tabs
That's just not nice. Phantom tabs was there till it was killed recently.
If it isn't going to be added back in via flags or options, at least allow an extension to kill a process so we can get tab idle timers and "pause all but this tab" options or similar.

Let's not forget the lack of any advanced options, outside of the recent-ish content blocking page. (and i doubt anyone would class Under The Bonnet as advanced)
Would it kill to have an about:config page for the more advanced features, instead of hiding them behind flags or not even having them at all?
After all, wasn't Chromium supposed to be dynamic? Why so static?

Also, hopefully they fix the compacted menu, it is a bit messy and hides away some of the more useful features, like, oh, i dunno, EXTENSIONS.
Making a UI usually sticks to certain standards, but hiding extensions behind a child menu is nonsense, you are wanting people to get in to extensions remember.

And to wrap it all up, whoever added vertical tabs, i raise my fist to you, you are awesome.
I'd prefer the titlebar wasn't there, or the whole toolbar section became the new titlebar, it feels wrong seeing that up there with only 3 useful things on it...

Not nearly enough updates! (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008924)

I won't be happy until my browser updates every time I launch it and at least once an hour while I'm browsing. And the updates should force an automatic restart.

Re:Not nearly enough updates! (1)

boreddotter (1836042) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009348)

insightful?

Fear not (1)

twoears (1514043) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009786)

In related news, Microsoft just announced they will be pushing out new versions of Windows on a daily basis. Today you're running Windows 7, but by year's end you'll be on Windows 168. There, fixed that for you.

Re:Not nearly enough updates! (1)

dl748 (570930) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009898)

Why stop there? It should force an automatic reboot, to make sure windows is fast enough to work with their faster than lightning browser.

Firefox 3.6.8 just released - Chemspill (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 4 years ago | (#33008978)

Mozilla has just released Firefox 3.6.8, a 'chemspill' release to fix a regression that could allow exploitability. If anything is found at Black Hat, they'll release Firefox 3.6.9.

Re:Firefox 3.6.8 just released - Chemspill (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011928)

And? These are bugfixes. You aren't getting much in the way of new features in the 0.0.x releases. What Google's doing is tossing everything that's "ready" into a new version number every few weeks. Not entirely unlike a sped-up version of Debian's new release cycle, actually...

agile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009114)

The 'release often' methodology is typical for agile. It generally comes down from management as a way of trying to ultimately improve the bottom line. Whether it does or not is debatable, however that is irrelevant once management is convinced and has paid big bucks for agile consulting so need to get returns.

We are currently going through these pains at our place of work - it remains to be seen how the developers accept it and how well it works. Posting as AC.

Re:agile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33010812)

Posting as AC

me too!

Too agile to be true! (1)

null8 (1395293) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009196)

Google:
We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:

Spying on Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Chinese market over freedom of speech
Rehashed Programming languages over some new ideas
Rush jobs over tested software?... dunno, well see...

That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.

Release Early & often..... (3, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009310)

is not always good. If you are talking about changes like Safari 4 to 5 where nothing changed much in terms of interface and user interaction, it's just a version number. But if you start monkeying around with the UI and changing things that quickly. You make people mad.

  As an example I'll use Blender 3D. I used to work as the IT guy in a post production shop that mostly used Lightwave about a decade ago. I got to learn some of the basics, but 3D was a hobby along with video editing. I did some work on the side with FCP, but all the 3D work I did was pure fun & hobby. I was no where near talented enough to do it pro and the $2000 price tag of Lightwave made it a bit pricey (especially given the rendering times). Blender became usable for my goals in the 2.3x series and best of all I could get relatively cheap distributed rendering. I forget the exact details, but it was something like $50 per month unlimited frames of Blender. And I could do it month to month. So basically I'd create my scenes. That usually would take 3 - 5 months to get a few minutes of video. Once I had enough scenes to render about 5 minutes worth of animation, I'd buy a month subscription to the service and render away with multiple passes, etc..

Well, then things started to change with the 2.4x version where it seemed like just as I got used to the new interface, boom, everything suddenly changed and I'd spent the next month trying to figure out where all the old buttons went and what the new ones did. Then the physics engine changed and all the previous scenes I had with particles effects would have to be redone and this continued it seemed like every 6 months. As someone who got to use the program a few hours a week, it seemed like every 6 months I was trying to relearn a program I had been using since 2000.

Meanwhile, in the last couple years if I had used Lightwave, I would have had to upgrade once between Lightwave 8 and 9. And frankly, the interface hasn't changed that much since I started using the application in 1999 with version 5.6. A few things have moved, a bunch of features have been added, but basically I can load up the demo of 9 and within a weekend have my first scene ready to render. The overall style of the interface hasn't changed that much.

Re:Release Early & often..... (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009384)

But if you start monkeying around with the UI and changing things that quickly. You make people mad.

Google hasn't said they plan to increase the number of UI changes Chrome experience per unit time. They just said they plan on releasing on a frequent and regular schedule, and releasing whatever features are ready for a stable release at each release.

Re:Release Early & often..... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012482)

yep, they just want to make version numbers more confusing to people.

Re:Release Early & often..... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011944)

To quote Wikipedia:

All of Blender's ".blend" files are forward, backward, and cross-platform compatible with other versions of blender.

If the old versions of Blender were working fine for you, why upgrade? Your rendering shouldn't be affected.

Re:Release Early & often..... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012486)

Yea, and all of Words files are forward, backward, and cross-platform compatible ... to an extent.

Its impossible to have a file made with a new feature or new system work in the old software.

You and the blender team have a fucked up idea of what forward and backward compatibility mean.

Forward compatibility is common and usually not that hard. Backwards compatibility is entirely different.

If he said he had to redo his particle effects and other things between versions that should be a clear sign to you that the statement you quoted is entirely untrue.

Firefox 3.6.8 is out (1)

ffohwx (1434637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009356)

Firefox just prompted me to update to 3.6.8, for the record. I'm sure more people have or will be seeing this.

Am I missing a version? (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009486)

People talk about Google missing out a version number so that they can keep up with IE. Not only is this argument petty and absurd, its not true. Chrome versions 1-6 have been showing up on my statistics for a while now.

Re:Am I missing a version? (1)

deep9x (1068252) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010262)

The current dev channel version is 6.0.472.0. And is stable enough for everyday use - I'm using it in every OS I have.

Chrome has been weak lately (1)

AtlanticCarbon (760109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33009554)

Chrome has been sucking for me lately. Slow displaying Yahoo Mail and has problems displaying pdfs with the adobe plugin.

Re:Chrome has been weak lately (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33009728)

WTF are you doing using the Adobe PDF plugin???

Version Number Games - HWGA! (2, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010360)

Here we go again with version number games! Gotta get to a big number quickly so people think your browser is at least as good as your competitor's.

Chrome 3? Why would I use Chrome 3? Internet Explorer is at 8! EIGHT!!!

8 is old and stale. Or at best bloated (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33010422)

What's wrong with 5? Or 3 for that matter.

I'm still missing some of the layout in Firefox 2. A high number does nothing on its own.

Publicity without visibility? (2, Insightful)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#33011918)

So far everyone seems to be saying that the version number is a publicity thing; but I've been using chrome for about 6 months and have no idea what my version number is. What sort of publicity stunt hides in the background only visible to people who go out of their way to check the "about" menu?

Re:Publicity without visibility? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012078)

The kind that they announce on their web page constantly when you visit it from another browser.

The kind that makes it to slashdot and other news outlets.

Its not to get people already using chrome to do anything, its for people not using chrome to switch to chrome.

SOP for Open Source (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012510)

"Release early, release often" - Linus Torvalds. As long as they are properly tested and this hyperactive release schedule doesn't push them into buggy releases, go for it.

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