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Firefox 4 the Last Big Release From Mozilla

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the release-early-release-often dept.

Firefox 236

nk497 writes "Firefox 4 will be the last major browser release from Mozilla, as it looks to mimic Chrome's speedy release schedule — echoing previous statements that Firefox 7 would arrive this year. "What we want to do is get the power into users' hands more quickly," said vice president of products Jay Sullivan. "For example, the video tag was shippable in June — we should have shipped it." That new schedule is also why Firefox 4 has had 12 betas, he said. Mozilla also said future versions of Firefox would feature a stronger "do not follow tool", as the current one is a "non-technical solution"," Sullivan said. "All you're doing is raising your hand and saying 'I don't want to be tracked.' There's no technical teeth.""

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236 comments

Bad Title (3, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339538)

Sounds like Firefox is dying (like BSD).

Re:Bad Title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339568)

... like Firefox.

Re:Bad Title (3, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339592)

They're sure to go the way of Apple, just another one of those failed computer companies that couldn't keep up with the new competition.

Re:Bad Title (3, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339992)

apple makes computers?

Re:Bad Title (3, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340056)

No, they sell an "experience." A "walled-garden" if you will.

Re:Bad Title (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340188)

With shards of broken glass embedded into the top of the wall...
and machine gun nests on the other side of the wall...
surrounded by a moat filled with sharks with FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS IN THEIR HEADS!!!

Re:Bad Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340198)

Of course! How else do you keep out the barbarians at the gate?

Re:Bad Title (1)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340200)

Sounds like Firefox is dying (like BSD).

I don't follow you. Could you please elaborate ? Why is Firefox dying ? And if so, why is it similar to BSD ? What's this "BSD is dying" thing anyway ?
I wish people would write more than just a simple sentence and expect everyone to extract the great depths of meaning from it.

Re:Bad Title (4, Informative)

nicedream (4923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340284)

The OP is saying that the way the headline is phrased makes it sound as though this is the end of the Firefox browser.
"BSD is dying" is a meme that has been floating around for years.

Re:Bad Title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340294)

You must be new here. I would recommend lurking more until you:

1. Gain reading comprehension, by looking at the title of the news headline, then reading the title of his post (the title of his post is Bad Title).
2. Learn that you can't edit/remove your posts so that your naive question stays on the internet for all eternity. <-- this one's easy
3. You see a troll post that is commonly posted on Slashdot about how BSD is dying on every BSD news article, and sometimes is posted outside of BSD.

Re:Bad Title (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340374)

3. You see a troll post that is commonly posted on Slashdot about how BSD is dying on every BSD news article, and sometimes is posted outside of BSD.

How would the GP know now that there aren't many articles on BSD anymore since it's dying. :P

-BSD user (well, former BSD user (actually, I just downloaded, installed, and used it a few times (and by few times, I meant for like 15 minutes)))

Plugin Support (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339540)

I guess I'll have to write a plugin that disables auto-update until all installed plugins are updated to support the newest version of Firefox.

Re:Plugin Support (5, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339670)

You should use the new JetPack API [mozillalabs.com] so you don't need to update your plugin every time a new version of Firefox is released. Better yet, release a plugin that tells all the other plugin developers to use JetPack.

What does Jetpack get you... (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340236)

that I don't already have? Just curious. I've looked at it a little, and it looks like building Plugins with javascript & HTML/CSS instead of pure XUL, but I'm already doing that with the next release of my plugin [mozilla.org]. It's easy enough to use the DOM to load custom HTML and insert it where you want. I've seen lots of these frameworks build up super complex stuff that'd be great if I was writing a complete application, but in the end it's just a plugin...

Re:What does Jetpack get you... (3, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340270)

From the page I linked to:

The SDK is designed to produce add-ons that will be forwards-compatible with future versions of Firefox, so you won't need to update your add-on every time a new version of Firefox is released. And SDK-based add-ons benefit from a security model that limits the harm that can be caused by a vulnerability in add-on code.

and

Users can install and remove SDK-based add-ons instantly, without a browser restart, making it easier to try add-ons and personalize their browsing experience. They also won't have to worry about add-on compatibility with new versions of Firefox. And SDK-based add-ons will soon load in separate processes, so slow-running add-ons won't slow down Firefox itself.

Re:Plugin Support (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339794)

>>>I'll have to write a plugin that disables auto-update

That option already exists in the Firefox menu. For example I'm sitting at 3.5 now because some of my plugins didn't work with 3.6

Re:Plugin Support (3, Interesting)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339854)

Out of curiousity, what do you plan to do once 3.5 stops getting security updates?

(This is a serious question; I'm trying to understand how users respond to that situation so we can take it into account when we decide how long to keep up security updates.)

Re:Plugin Support (5, Informative)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339886)

Geez, I've been on the FF4 beta for like 5 months now almost. IMO it's much better and stable. Almost all of my extensions work in it too.

If your extension doesn't work with 3.6, edit your install.rdf file and change the MaxVersion to 3.6 (or wildcard)

Re:Plugin Support (1, Interesting)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340138)

Geez, I've been on the FF4 beta for like 5 months now almost.

I've tried to use FF4 beta for like 5 months now almost - instable piece of CPU-abusing, RAM-consuming shite.

Yeah - off topic, but FF4s performance issues really annoys me.

Re:Plugin Support (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340148)

Geez, I've been on the FF4 beta for like 5 months now almost. IMO it's much better and stable. Almost all of my extensions work in it too. If your extension doesn't work with 3.6, edit your install.rdf file and change the MaxVersion to 3.6 (or wildcard)

I've been using it since last march, and aside from some issue with non working extension when they did some big changes it worked fine and it's much faster than ff3

Re:Plugin Support (2)

mallydobb (1785726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340356)

I've tried FF4 twice, both times letting it go in less than a week. It has been faster than 3.6.x but it has this horrible tendency to cause my plugins to stop working. I had a scenario in which I couldn't use Google Chat (in Gmail) to make calls out. It worked under Safari and FF3.6 but it kept telling me to download the plugins. Flash also stopped working and sites like YouTube wouldn't load. When I looked the plugins up via about:plugins nearly all my plugins had failed to be recognized by FF4, where all them were recognized by FF3 and Safari. When 4.0b12 was released I was excited as it seemed to solve the plugin issue, but after a couple of days use it too started to fail at recognizing the plugins. Nothing I could do would get them to work. Until this issue is resolved I can't use FF4, which is a shame as it is a general improvement over FF3.

Re:Plugin Support (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339944)

That option already exists in the Firefox menu.

Yeah, kinda... it will warn you constantly and force you to make a decision on every start up. I'd kind of like something a little less obtrusive - maybe a little icon with an exclamation point or something.

Re:Plugin Support (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340150)

I believe the term you are looking for is extension, since plugins are like the Flash plugin that is an executable file versus say Adblock which is interpreted code. Confusingly, they are both called add-ons.

Yes this distinction matters, because I run sometimes an ARM build of Firefox, so all extensions not Windows or Mac specific still work.

... In a direct reply to your plight though, you could port it yourself to the latest Firefox. It's just javascript and some xml-esque code for interfacing with the menu zipped up, so if you wanted you can port it yourself. Or have you not looked hard enough for an equivalent extension?

I interpreted the headline the wrong way (5, Insightful)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339550)

I thought it meant that Mozilla wouldn't have more releases, period. I'm sure I'm not the only one who read it that way--a much better headline would have been "Mozilla to have faster release schedule following Firefox 4" or somesuch.

Re: Releases (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339600)

All they would have to do is call some of their betas number releases.

This is a trench op on the marketing side, to make pointy heads happy that Firefox can be in version 7 this year and version 10 next year. Apparently something pending about betas exhausted them.

So now each version will only have some three features and a few bug fixes. That's about the same as the jump from version 3 to 4 which all told, tackled a whole lot.

Re: Releases (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340536)

All they would have to do is call some of their betas number releases.

No. A beta release is (in general) bug fixes and improvements to existing code. They generally don't introduce swaths of new features, that's what the FIRST beta did, the rest are fixing problems with those features. The fact that they have had more than 11 betas of Firefox 4 is proof that what they are trying to do is necessary. They made 4.0 too big.

This is a trench op on the marketing side, to make pointy heads happy that Firefox can be in version 7 this year and version 10 next year. Apparently something pending about betas exhausted them.

They are going for more releases BECAUSE the betas exhausted them, and that's a good decision. What they are trying to do is go to a smaller, more focused release on a smaller number of changes at a given time, and get that version out as the regular version more regularly. It allows them to keep their release and development codebases closer together, meaning less effort for security backfixes into the release version. It allows them to manage the complexity of their changes so a new version of Firefox doesn't feel like a new version of Windows - something that comes out maybe twice in a decade and is so different from what you had before that it's basically unrecognizable.

They've been trying to bite off too much at each new major release, and as a result they've fallen victim to BPS (Perpetual Beta Syndrome) because the scope of changes they are trying to do simultaneously exceeds their development capacity. It's a nasty, unrewarding cycle to get into, and it makes support hard and expensive, and it makes the project stagnate and stagger under its own weight.

In order to dig yourself out of that cycle you need to pick smaller targets and set out to accomplish them, rather than taking on the world with insufficient resources and ending up with a version so buggy and unwieldy that you need a dozen or more betas to get to something you're comfortable won't actually find a way to kill your users, much less work correctly every time. So you'll see a pattern of smaller releases focused on smaller sets of new functionality.

Having said that, I've been using 4.0beta(latest) for a few months, and I find it pretty solid. But the point remains - if they had focused on one task at a time and released that feature, we'd probably be about where we are today, without the vast chasm between "production" and "beta" releases being so huge that a lot of people are going to resist moving to 4.0 for a long time (and keeping the development teams working on two very different codebases for bug fixes).

The bigger you make your changes, and the less often you release, the harder it is for your users to upgrade. And the harder it is for you to maintain two stable and increasingly-different codebases (one development, one stable).

Firefox should have taken 1/3 of the changes they wanted for 4.0, called them 3.7 or 4.0, and released them for beta quickly. Then taken the next 1/3 and made them 3.8 or 5.0. Then the final third and 3.9 or 6.0 (which numbering depends on whether you're in development or marketing, pretty much, but it really doesn't matter).

Instead, we're stuck with two Firefoxes - one that's a year old and is showing its age, and one that's so vastly utterly different in terms of UI and underlying infrastructure that you'll have people resisting the upgrade for at least six months.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339606)

For sure, "headline trolling" comes to mind...

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339692)

But that's boring and informative (and correct) and certainly doesn't get you to go "wtf?" and click the story. Or comment on it and generate more traffic. It certainly doesn't lead immediately to insightful discussion by developers on release schedules, development cycles, and that sort of thing. You know, news for nerds. Stuff that matters.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (5, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339842)

>>>"Mozilla to have faster release schedule"

Even AFTER I understood the headline the thought, 'Mozilla is imploding like Netscape did, with stupid browser decisions,' was still running through my head. - BTW this article is a dupe. I read about Mozilla doing rapid FF5, FF6, FF7 updates around three weeks ago.

I don't want my browser going through a bunch of revisions so that I'm always fucking with my computer software/updates, instead of doing actual work (or play). I can't help thinking this is just Mozilla panicking because Chrome is challenging their #2 position, and it will end up being a major PITA for the user.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340102)

I don't want my browser going through a bunch of revisions so that I'm always fucking with my computer software/updates, instead of doing actual work (or play). I can't help thinking this is just Mozilla panicking because Chrome is challenging their #2 position, and it will end up being a major PITA for the user.

Try using an OS with a centralized package manager. You can even automate the updating with a cron script, no user intervention required.

If you choose to use Windows because some things about it are advantageous for you, man up and accept that other things about it will be a nuisance like no package manager and every app having to chase its own updates.

Then you can quit whining about browser innovation as though it were Mozilla's fault that frequent updates would ever require any work from you.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340368)

Way to miss the point.

The point isn't to automate the updates, it's to avoid the constant change/break/fixes in all the updates.

#2 position-- mulit-core scaling (3, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340300)

all they have to do is make firefox scale to multiple cores. There's no reason the UI from the current webpage I'm browsing should grind to a halt because I loaded 5 slashdot discussions in the background using middle-click. Both Chrome and Opera 11 have no problem handling this.

And before someone chimes in and posts this [mozilla.org] saying that they're working on it, take a look again, that page hasn't been updated since May 2010.

At the moment I couldn't care any less about javascript benchmark speed. I just want multicore scaling from Firefox and then I'll be happy.

Re:#2 position-- mulit-core scaling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340526)

You have to be kidding. Firefox is faster and kicks the other browsers asses. This whole speed thing must have something to do with non-GNU/Linux platforms cause I'm just not seeing it go slow. A browser shouldn't need additional cores to run fast. This sounds like "me too" thinking. While it might improve certain things I'm extremely sceptical. Video is already being accelerated and having 10 tabs open is not something that slows Firefox down. Maybe you are on MS Windows and that has something to do with it.

Re:#2 position-- mulit-core scaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340584)

I run Mint as my main OS on my desktop and firefox is just slow. I have the same problems as described. Too late Mozilla, I have moved to Chrome.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (1)

Bardez (915334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339896)

There is also that the summary started to lead in the direction of bowing to Chrome at first. I was caught off guard for a while there.

Re:I interpreted the headline the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339928)

Yeah, this story was basically bulls*** for that.

Duke Nukem Forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339566)

Stop talking and start releasing. Firefox is becoming a joke.

At least for Firefox...it's functional (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339580)

"Firefox 4 will be the last major browser release from Mozilla, as it looks to mimic Chrome's speedy release schedule â" echoing previous statements that Firefox 7 would arrive this year. "What we want to do is get the power into users' hands more quickly,"

I welcome all efforts put into Firefox. What I would not want Firefox to copy from Google's Chrome browser is the 'removal' of basic functionality from the application.

Here's why: -
Even after all these betas, Chrome does not have a functional print preview to date! Wait...Google Docs lack this function too!

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339640)

Why would Docs have it? Every browser is going to print a little differently, there's no way for Docs to know what exactly to display.

As for Google, I agree that it is taking annoyingly long (there is a feature hidden behind a flag but last I checked it didn't do anything) but they may be trying to get it to work properly with Google Cloud Print, which would add a nice layer of complexity onto it.

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339722)

The last time I used Google Docs, it generated a PDF when I printed the document. Why wouldn't every browser display and print the PDF the same way?

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339966)

Isn't print preview a feature that lets you preview the print out without wasting paper in case it's wrong?

If Google Docs just generates a PDF then that would also be the preview and therefore Google Docs doesn't need a print preview so the original poster is a pooface.

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340176)

Even after all these betas, Chrome does not have a functional print preview to date! Wait...Google Docs lack this function too!

Google docs does have a print preview (File -> Print preview). It uses the Google PDF viewer.

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340218)

Does this mean I am not the only one who prints stuff out of firefox and ends up with a document that prints in mini-me mode?

Re:At least for Firefox...it's functional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340540)

I print things from firefox in mini-me mode to save paper. 50% usually does it. There is nothing to read in the can around here, so I take some material myself and want to fit the most on each page.

FF == the next Netscape? (0)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339620)

Too bad for Firefox. It would seem that FF is becoming a 'me-too' browser trying to keep up with Chrome. Who cares about version numbers? Fix your massive memory leaks. I still run FF at work, but after running the beta, I'll be switching over. Too bad, too; I ran Firefox for years and it was a great browser before it became massively bloated. Here's hoping that the devs can turn the ship around. Otherwise, it'll just go the way of Netscape before it was resurrected as Mozilla. The irony hurts.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339664)

Are you sure you're seeing leaks? Firefox will use a certain % of free memory for cache. Just because memory goes up and doesn't come back down immediately doesn't mean the application is leaking. Mozilla's position would seem to be, and I entirely agree, that as long as you have the memory you might as well put it to good use instead of letting it waste away as free memory.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339714)

I wish I could find a better link to the story but just the other day, they released a fix for one of their memory leak problems: http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2011/02/mozilla-firefox-4-beta-12-fixe.html [internetnews.com] I've always had problems with FF's memory management in windows. I agree that if you have ram, you might as well use it, but I've found that FF has problems giving that memory up to more important tasks.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339778)

Certainly every browser has memory leaks, and browser releases fix memory leaks all the time. The question is -- do the memory leaks leak enough memory to cause problems? In Firefox's case, the answer seems to be "no", because Firefox uses less memory than other browsers when performing common tasks [dotnetperls.com]. If you think you have found a bad memory leak in Firefox, you're welcome to write up a benchmark that will demonstrate Firefox using more memory than other browsers.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339958)

Certainly every browser has memory leaks

Certainly?
Web pages have a nice tree structure. Even if you take into account that e.g. the same image may be used twice, you still get a DAG. It should be trivial to get memory management right.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (0)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340036)

I think web browsers are far more complicated than you realize. They're large, complex C++ programs. Of course they have memory leaks. They have buffer overflow problems, crashes, and security problems, too. All of them.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (2, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339816)

^^ Join the club.
In my case it's usually memory leaks related to having previously handled large amounts of images and also some addons.
Once Firefox has reached a critical mass between 1 and 1.5 GB it always finds ways to crash. Granted, it's a way of freeing up memory, but I'd prefer ones that don't include possible loss of data in open tabs.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340136)

When you run a 32-bit browser on a 64-bit operating system, and the browser hits the 2GB wall (usually my Firefox crashes around 1.5GB), you have some pretty massive memory leaks. Either launch a fully supported 64 bit browser with the same leaks and some wrappers for the 32bit plugins (flash), or do it like chrome - for every 10 FF crashes, I have 1 from chrome.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340214)

I'm not sure if this is indicative of a leak or not, but when firefox runs for days on my computer and the memory usage climbs (around 500 MB or so) I end up seeing significant lag in the browser. I almost always have at least 1.5 GB of free memory as well. This leads me to believe that using more RAM isn't always benign, even with a good amount still free. I've switched to chrome recently anyway. I got sick of waiting for the FF4 RC after all of the delays and decided to try the beta. I really don't like where they're heading. The tabs are on top, technically, but not in the title bar like in chrome. They decided to go with the huge bright menu button in the top corner like office 2010 which I find extremely distracting. The new tab management system (panorama) seems like pointless bloat. After switching to chrome I realized that I should have done it much sooner.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340570)

How about letting ME decide what I want to use the memory for. There's no reason why, with 3G of RAM, that I should have to shut down Firefox to launch mplayer full screen.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339780)

Ditching Firefox for Opera has saved me hundreds of dollars.

My old laptop is a P3 1 GHz with the memory maxed out at 512 MB. Firefox made that laptop unusable. Switching to Opera makes that laptop run the way it did when new, and I am not buying a new laptop for a while.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1, Troll)

MiniMax333 (885543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339984)

Erm, forgive me but I think it's time you bite the bullet and get a new lappy if that's your main. Your saying that after 10 years, you still haven't been able to scrape together enough cash for a relatively modern second-hand computer? I don't believe it's "saved you hundreds of dollars" but actually cost you in everything else, including time.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340262)

If I give you a PO Box to where you can send the check, I will.

I still won't use your crappy browser, though.

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340230)

Why not make yourself a few dollars even - sell your laptop on eBay and go use a free computer at the local library!

They don't do Opera on Macs, do they? Jeez, imagine one of *THOSE* as a fanboi!

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339900)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1974946&cid=35066742 [slashdot.org]

https://addons.mozilla.org/af/firefox/addon/configuration-mania-4420/ [mozilla.org]

Install this addon.

Click Edit for Mac/Linux or Tools for Windows, Configuration Mania, which should be under preferences.

Make sure Browser is highlighted on the top row, if not click it. Click Browser Cache on the Left Column. Press Disabled under Max Number of Pages Stored in Memory.

It keeps closed pages all in RAM, and decides based on your total RAM how much it will save. There are almost no leaks, just dumb decisions (developers) and judgments (users).

I'll just copy and paste this here. This was discussed on a previous Firefox 4 topic, and is quite relevant even if it's sycophantic.

(But they did fix memory leaks from the last build. Which, for a beta product, memory leaks can be randomly added.)

Re:Memory Leak (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340088)

Beta 12 was supposed to be the one that fixed a bunch of memory leak problems. Are you still having them on Beta 12?

Re:Memory Leak (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340112)

So far it's been a little better...it seems to have found harmony at around 350MB with six tabs open and AdBlock and NoScript enabled. It has locked up a few times this morning though...

Re:FF == the next Netscape? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340274)

I ran Firefox for years and it was a great browser before it became massively bloated.

I don't think you know what bloated means or could defend your comment if you needed to.

Ridiculous. (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339638)

So they can't release certain functions unless they call the browser FireFox 14 or 82 or 198? Does it really matter what "version" it is, as long as you've given the functionality you're adding or the tweaks you're making considerable thought and testing? This sounds an awful lot like "they're on version 13, so we have to catch up in version numbers so people won't think we're a much older out of date product!".

As it stands, we've been getting a new major point version every 12-24 months. What's wrong with that?

I've seen no reason to go with Chrome, but it sounds like Firefox might be trying to find ways to convince me that there's nothing special to stick around for.

Re:Ridiculous. (5, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339904)

> What's wrong with that?

It makes the lag to shipping new web-facing features and performance improvements too long. As a result you end up with situations like the current one, where Firefox 3.6 is significantly worse than the already-shipping competition (except IE8) in various performance and standards-compliance metrics... while the builds as of June of 2010, say, were much better than 3.6.

This isn't about version numbers; it's about getting new features into the hands of users faster and not gating feature A, which is completely done, on feature B, which might get done sometime.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340412)

Is the browser war on again? Why would you worry about "lag to shipping new web-facing features"? Do you think that if you had shipped <video> last June, there would be even one additional website using it for more than demonstrational purposes? Fucking IE6 is still alive and well in some markets. How many versions of a non-standard do you think web developers are going to develop against? Oooh, Mozilla shipped Firefox 23, let's make another branch of the code for our web site which needs to be maintained and tested... Despite all the HTML5 brouhaha, none of it can be used in production web sites because it's too much of a moving target. It's like you haven't learned anything from the first browser war. Speed of deployment doesn't matter at all. What matters is reliable interfaces and breadth of deployment. IE6, the bane of web developers everywhere, turns out to be one of the most reliable development targets, because you twits think that adding new features to your browser every few weeks is not going to bring back "best viewed with..." FFS!

What about stability and known-working releases? (4, Insightful)

dougsyo (84601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339704)

Rapid-update philosophy sounds good for early adopters and hobbyist users (does Chrome have much traction in the corporate environment?)

But what about corporate environments that require software to stay stable and on fixed known-working versions? For example, Firefox 3.6 broke compatibility with a plugin that we have widely distributed at our site, and the solution to this issue requires another mass deployment. We've had similar issues with Java's auto-updater breaking compatibility with some applications (and no, we're not an IE6 shop).

Doug

Re:What about stability and known-working releases (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339844)

(and no, we're not an IE6 shop).

Of course not. IE6 shops tend to have no problems with Firefox breaking plugin compatibility. :-)

Re:What about stability and known-working releases (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339936)

Chrome doesn't have much corporate traction because until very recently it didn't have any good way to centrally manage the application setup. Chrome wasn't even worth CONSIDERING in the enterprise until a couple months ago, when it got a special "enterprise" MSI-based installer that installs for all users on a machine. I don't think the rapid-update philosophy has anything to do with it--if an enterprise wants to stay with an old stable Chrome release, they don't push out the updates, just like those staying with IE6.

Re:What about stability and known-working releases (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340224)

First of all, kudos to Google for finally going with MSI. It's like providing an RPM and makes everyone's life easier.

Now, that said, the situation with respect to delayed updates is fundamentally different because Chrome hasn't provide security updates for older versions. You're essentially running snapshots all the time. Any IT department would have be bonkers to follow that model.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340202)

Corporate software vendors need to consider the statement in the subject. Firefox has lost an edge to other software vendors who seem stuck on this constant string of self-deployed updates. Most corporate environments use some sort of centralized updating scheme and yet all adobe software, java, chrome etc will enable self-deployed updates often with no real way of disabling. The other day I even discovered that my corporate desktop had windows updates enabled, and I'm suspecting that an office 2007 update flipped this switch; it was off for a reason I don't enjoy babysitting my software settings.

I've yet to see any corporate environment that uses Chrome, and with good reason. There's no reason to run it in place of firefox or IE, it violates update policies, and the privacy policy is outright scary. Most of this could also be said of adobe reader, and the JRE, but unlike chrome there are legitimate needs for these software packages.

Re:What about stability and known-working releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340228)

When they heard that, Debian announced they would release Wheezy by July '11.

...

Sigh.. (4, Insightful)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339708)

As if having to support 3 major browsers wasnt a web design nightmare enough..now to support multiple versions of each..yay. I can hear it now.. well.. it looks ok to me, but I got a support email that it looked like (random crap) for this person, looked like (wierd problem) to my other friend and this (random thing) didnt work for one of my friends at work.. see about that will you? Oh.. they all said they used FireFox if that helps.

Re:Sigh.. (2)

LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339790)

If you develop with standards in mind, this shouldn't be an issue. Most of the updates to the browsers will be feature updates, not major rewrites of the rendering engines. If those change at all, it'll be to better support standards, not to drastically change the way things currently work.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339878)

I know.. and agree.. it is still a support nightmare when there are multiple flavors of the same browser running around.. Im just whining I guess.. I am just so tired of designing and developing for multiple browsers.. the web dev nightmare since Netscape/IE.. I was there...and I wasnt amused then..and Im still not.

Re:Sigh.. (2)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340052)

It only gets worse when you consider that HTML will become a 'living standard', so you'll be shooting for a moving target (HTML spec) through a moving foreground (rapidly evolving browser)

I'll gladly develop for standards, but which standards should I shoot for? Yesterdays standard, last weeks standard, last months standard? Should I shoot for a specific browser implementation of a particular standard?

This is going to suck.

Re:Sigh.. (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340216)

I doubt it will be that bad. The history is one of divergent platforms, but html5 goes to some length to eliminate lots of those problems, so the problems where IE6 supports completely different stuff than Firefox and Chrome will be much reduced, and pages that look good in browser version X should look about the same in browser version X+3.

So it goes from a nightmare of supporting multiple browsers to a problem of deciding when such and such a feature has wide enough support.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340578)

It is Not so bad unless you have to support ie as well. Firefox 4 and Chrome and opera behave pretty equal if you dont go for the latest whiz bang stuff which is not yet finally specified.
It used to be way worse.

Its just fashion (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339742)

Major release numbers are the new minor release numbers. Its just fashion, and will probably go back the other way when we are on firefox 72 and chrome 84

Re:Its just fashion (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339890)

Either that or they have found new ways of fucking up the UI which are so bad, each one deserves its own major release number?
Turning it into a Chrome-lookalike and requiring an addon for the status bar while useless animated bling is included by default is certainly a successful start in that direction

I'm paranoid about privacy, but... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339766)

It's damned Orwellian to visit a site and do a search for something (last time it was tents), then have ads for camping gear following me around every site I visit.

It gets worse than that. (3, Interesting)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35339952)

Try searching online for a very special necklace for your wife's 40th birthday and then have THAT still following you around when she is around a few hours later. Cue some very fast bull-shitting excuses and a very quick close-down and cache/cookie clear as soon as she left again.

Everyone just move to Year.Month model (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35339852)

That way we can avoid this "you have a higher number than me" syndrome. Ubuntu 10.10, Office 2010, Windows 98, etc.

End this nonsense.

Re:Everyone just move to Year.Month model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340334)

Yeah. And just so we are all on the same page, 2010 > 98 > 10.10, right?

Release early, release often (2, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340030)

ESR described the most efficient way to release/produce free/libre/open_source software long ago.

Mozilla seems to be late to the game in realizing that the cathedral approach is not the best way to manage software releases when you are actually participants in the bazaar.

Quite ironic, actually, since Netscape was the first publicly visible software product to embrace to "open source" philosophy back in the day. The release of the Netscape source code was quite shocking and simultaneously gratifying at the time. I was quite gratified personally to be able to compile a Netscape browser from source and surf the web back then. Thank you, ESR.

Don't Follow Me, Bro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340038)

It's like raising your hand and saying "Don't Taze Me, Bro" but the cop tazes you anyway.

Good for them (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340090)

Of course they promised a less stagnant release schedule when they were pushing 3.0 out, so I'm not holding my breath for Firefox 5.

CPU leaks (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340160)

My Firefox has a CPU leak. I have to kill it and start over every couple of weeks because the CPU usage slowly rises until it hits 100%. This, of course, may be an extension or plugin that's doing it.

I would like the various browsers to have some way of controlling the CPU usage of plugins and web pages running Javascript.

I know what to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340174)

Firefox++

Problem solved.

Release early, release often. (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340286)

Who would'a thought?!

Also, misleading semi-troll topic to garner attention is misleading semi-troll topic to garner attention.

Re:Release early, release often. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340378)

Played the fuck out meme is played the fuck out.

Scour the internet for some new memes to use, since you obviously lack the imagination to come up with something yourself.

Dick.

Speed is great, but not a fair comparison (1)

mcmire (1152897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340542)

I think releasing earlier, faster is great -- execution is everything. I don't know if Mozilla needs to be afraid that Google is somehow getting ahead of them, though. I mean, yes, in terms of speed and simplicity, Chrome wins hands down. Considering how fast JagerMonkey is getting better, it doesn't seem that's as much of an issue to me (or at least, they're on the right track). But in terms of how much each company is churning out, I think Mozilla is keeping up just fine. Think about what they've talking about for the past year: Panorama, maybe a new privacy UI, Jetpack, application tabs, "HTML5" features -- this shows that they're actually thinking about the future of the browser. What has Google produced in the past year? Chrome jumped from v4 to v8 (and now v9, and soon v10). Extensions, HTML5 stuff, WebM, GPU-accelerated compositing, page prerendering. How much of this work was put toward Webkit, though? And why do you think they added all of this? To catch up with IE and Firefox. I just don't think it's a fair comparison.
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