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Firefox 5 Scheduled For June 21 Release

CmdrTaco posted about 3 years ago | from the don't-rest-on-them-laurels dept.

Firefox 266

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has updated its Firefox 5 release schedule and is apparently upbeat that it can release the browser even earlier than previously anticipated. The release was pulled in by a week to June 21. Mozilla is now also using a Chrome-like versioning system for Firefox — where the final Firefox 5 may be called Firefox 5.6.44.144, for example."

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266 comments

High version numbers (5, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 3 years ago | (#35746890)

Of all the stupid features from Chrome to pick up, the version numbers is, by far, the dumbest. Has anyone considered how stupid a version number in the high double digits might be? Firefox 81 seems kind of clunky, doesn't it?

Re:High version numbers (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 3 years ago | (#35746940)

Of all the stupid features from Chrome to pick up, the version numbers is, by far, the dumbest. Has anyone considered how stupid a version number in the high double digits might be? Firefox 81 seems kind of clunky, doesn't it?

I think that Windows went from 3.x to 90+something and even got up to the low thousands, before coming back down to single digits.

Re:High version numbers (0)

DarkOx (621550) | about 3 years ago | (#35747036)

No they did not. The versions numbers were 3.95 (Windows 95) 4.0 (Windows 95 OSR2) and 4.10 (Windows 98) and so on...

Re:High version numbers (2)

MosX (773406) | about 3 years ago | (#35747178)

It was a joke man.

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747216)

He wasn't even close

http://www.nirmaltv.com/2009/08/17/windows-os-version-numbers/

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747044)

I think that Windows went from 3.x to 90+something and even got up to the low thousands, before coming back down to single digits.

So your argument against something being stupid is that Microsoft did it at one point?

Re:High version numbers (0)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#35747346)

This is off-topic; feel free to moderate me as such. What's with all the Overrated/Underrated moderation happening lately? Your post is currently just +3, without a moderation adjective. Did everyone simultaneously realize that Overrated/Underrated isn't subject to meta-moderation and decided to exploit the system?

Re:High version numbers (3, Informative)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | about 3 years ago | (#35747560)

Posts that have been moderated once don't have a moderation adjective. It's been that way since before the site redesign, so I think it was intentional. A post with an Excellent karma bonus and one +1 mod will be rated +3 Normal.

Re:High version numbers (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 3 years ago | (#35747472)

I think that Windows went from 3.x to 90+something and even got up to the low thousands, before coming back down to single digits.

And just imagine how confusing it is going to be waiting for the next version of Windows when we get to Windows 94! Will they have to come up with a new naming system so they don't repeat 95 again? ;-)

Re:High version numbers (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | about 3 years ago | (#35747642)

I was 11 at the time, and I would always ask my friends "Do you have Windows 95?" They'd often respond with, "No, I have Windows 94."

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35746950)

But BIGGER == BETTER, right?

Re:High version numbers (1)

heptapod (243146) | about 3 years ago | (#35747226)

I disagree. I see a program that's in its 20th iteration and believe it's reliable but lacking anything competitive or exciting being used by new alternatives. Around the 8th iteration they should rebrand and start out at 1 again or hint that it's "beta" making it more attractive to users who can claim eliteness by getting in on the ground floor.

Re:High version numbers (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#35747482)

Also annoying, and you end up with people who just really don't want to keep upgrading every month. I held off upgrading a bunch of PCs from FF2 expecting FF4 "any day now" for months, and did the same for others running 3.5 - I didn't update them to 3.6 expecting to update them to 4.

But if 5 is comig out in a few weeks, it may be best to just hold off until then, no? Having to do the whole update and fix plugins thing gets annoying.

Re:High version numbers (1)

heptapod (243146) | about 3 years ago | (#35748204)

Indeed, I feel like a gigantic idiot for upgrading to FF4 when FF5 is coming out in June. Plus flash on FF4 w/ linux is really awful.

Re:High version numbers (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 3 years ago | (#35747334)

I guess FF people think so. Why else would each version require more and more and MORE memory and CPU time?

I can't even use FF in a multi-tasking environment anymore because it's gotten so big.

Re:High version numbers (4, Insightful)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | about 3 years ago | (#35747002)

Yeah, I personally don't like the major version number scheme used in this way, especially if there are going to be three or more versions of Firefox per year. I am old-fashioned and prefer the X.Y.Z approach. I could maybe see a YYYY.X approach, such as 2011.1, 2011.2, 2011.3, etc. that would track major versions per year. I never realized how close the new Firefox 4 was to Chrome with respect to the UI until I downloaded and installed Chrome the other day. Firefox seems to be hellbent on ripping off Chrome.

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747644)

lol, who's ripping off who?

Re:High version numbers (3, Funny)

slapout (93640) | about 3 years ago | (#35747820)

Maybe they should just have seasons -- Firefox 4 Summer edition, Firefox 4 Winter edition, etc...

Re:High version numbers (2)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | about 3 years ago | (#35747032)

What's the big deal? Frequent releases are good, it keeps crowd interest in your browser alive. It doesn't matter for me though, I use minefield which I presume will keep getting updated.

pAnd I am sure you don't have to worry about version 81, they will switch to a different version naming scheme, or even just fork off with a different browser name, who knows.

Re:High version numbers (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 3 years ago | (#35748024)

What's the big deal? Frequent releases are good, it keeps crowd interest in your browser alive. It doesn't matter for me though, I use minefield which I presume will keep getting updated.

Yeah, minefield will continue to update every night.

Re:High version numbers (5, Interesting)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | about 3 years ago | (#35747152)

What actual features and improvements could they possibly have added in "8 WEEKS" since the release that they have had time to actually put through an Alpha test, Beta test, and then full release that would warrant a VERSION 5!?!

This seems crazy lame to me. The browser has slowly gotten bloated, now the number? Why?

Re:High version numbers (5, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | about 3 years ago | (#35747366)

Maybe all the features they took out of it from 3.6 to 4 they're putting back and calling 5.

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747746)

Slowly gotten bloated? If anything its less bloated. Older versions would leak memory like a sieve.

I agree with the OP, if there were anything that Firefox could emulate from Chome would be its speed and UI. I don't know or care what version of Chrome I have. Its always current. It downloads and updates itself all the time. The actual current version number or string is irrelevant to me. When IE or Firefox makes an alpha or beta or point release, its news on Slashdot and the world. With Chrome it just does its thing and the little wrench gets a green dot. When I restart the browser, I have the new version. No fanfare, not dialog boxes, actually I rarely if ever notice that its been updated. Some time ago the settings dialogs changed. Hmm...

Re:High version numbers (1)

josgeluk (842109) | about 3 years ago | (#35747754)

What actual features and improvements could they possibly have added in "8 WEEKS" since the release that they have had time to actually put through an Alpha test, Beta test, and then full release that would warrant a VERSION 5!?!

Who says they have just started doing that?

Re:High version numbers (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 years ago | (#35747972)

You don't think it likely that they can work on more than one thing at once?

Chrome and Firefox's Development Process (5, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 3 years ago | (#35747992)

What actual features and improvements could they possibly have added in "8 WEEKS" since the release that they have had time to actually put through an Alpha test, Beta test, and then full release that would warrant a VERSION 5!?! This seems crazy lame to me. The browser has slowly gotten bloated, now the number? Why?

Hi there, I work on Firefox. First thing, we didn't write the article linked to in the summary, and I don't think they gave a totally accurate description. In fact, I don't even think this was interesting enough for a blog post from them.

We are basically going to switch to a development process that is very similar to Google's with Chrome. So everything you say here is valid about their development practices as well - rapidly rising version numbers for no reason, little features in 'major' releases, etc.

Why are we doing it? There is just one reason, it helps get code shipped faster. Code does not get written faster though, in either Chrome or the new Firefox process :) It just gets shipped quicker. But that is important too, and that's why we (and Google) are doing this.

Basically, Chrome and Firefox will release quickly, with small amounts of changes each time. I agree with you 100% that the major version number rising each time is silly! Personally I would either drop the version number entirely, or use something like Ubuntu's versioning scheme (10.10 for 10th month, 2010). But oh well.

In any case, since you asked what will ship in Firefox 5, I can tell you about stuff I know about (which is platform/backend stuff, not frontend). We have several improvements to performance that should be very useful, in both JavaScript and graphics. In particular WebGL should be faster on some cool demos on Linux, which I am very happy about.

Re:High version numbers (2)

Jugalator (259273) | about 3 years ago | (#35748084)

What actual features and improvements could they possibly have added in "8 WEEKS" since the release that they have had time to actually put through an Alpha test, Beta test, and then full release that would warrant a VERSION 5!?!

It's not about "warranting" stuff anymore. Forget all about what you learnt about that, like you did with Chrome. The releases are now time-based - period. Not feature-based. Read these version numbers more like "milestones". "Version number" has too many assumptions associated with them nowadays, so maybe we'd be better off to just call them milestones like I know many Chromium devs already do internally today.

So what Firefox 5 will be released with simply depends on how many features Mozilla has finished by June 21.

As for that question... Many features and fixes has already been checked into the Firefox trunk that were too risky to be included in Firefox 4. I don't think Mozilla will have too many problems in "warranting" an update this coming summer.

Re:High version numbers (1)

devent (1627873) | about 3 years ago | (#35748280)

Totally agree. Chromium is now with version 11 and I still can't use the browser, because I can't change the fonts. Finally I can change the minium font size (I think that was with version 11) but I still can't fix the font. I really don't like TimesNewRoman or Arial. For me Chrome is still like a 0.11

Re:High version numbers (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | about 3 years ago | (#35748288)

it's called (grabs the brown paper bag and barfs) marketting...

or as a famous ex-intel design engineer puts it "Blue Crystals (R)"

and... mozilla was *always* a bloaty program, it's just got more re-engineered (sic) in it's bloatiness...

(used to build the first MPR as a machine burn in lolz)

Maybe i'll not live to see Firefox XP or Vista if i'm lucky...

After fixing stuff for a friend so he can have a familiar browser (he updated to 4.0) i'm becoming more and more a convert to chrome...

Andy

Re:High version numbers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747426)

I'm trying to find an older version of Linux to use on a really old computer. Does anybody know where I can find Slackware 6? I can't seem to find it anywhere! It's like it doesn't even exist!

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747430)

no, this will not promote that. Each set of numbers has a different meaning. It will still be firefox 6 etc. at about the same rate, just the subversion will be different.

Re:High version numbers (1)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#35747434)

It's getting ridiculous. Chrome came out in 2008, and the development version is already up to 12. At this rate, Chrome will be at version 22.0 in the next two years. This is the same kind of stupid marketing reasoning that brought us the "Xbox 360." There's no reason Firefox 5 couldn't just be called 4.1.

Re:High version numbers (2)

dhammond (953711) | about 3 years ago | (#35747460)

I think what they're moving towards is a time when end users don't care about version numbers at all, just like they don't care about the version numbers of websites. I'm sure many websites attach version numbers to development milestones as a way of organizing development. I do this for some websites I work on, but when we launch new features, we never broadcast to the world, "Check out version 8.1 of mysite.com!" If there is an announcement at all, it is focused on the actual features that were added.

Chrome updates automatically and without fanfare, similar to a website. I have lost track of the version number of my version of Chrome, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

Re:High version numbers (1)

BagOBones (574735) | about 3 years ago | (#35747562)

What if we put a leading 0. on it so it is 0.81.0 then it would follow the naming standard of a bunch of open source projects that almost never seem to get to or past version 1.0

Re:High version numbers (1)

IB4Student (1885914) | about 3 years ago | (#35747718)

Yes, after 30 years, they are still going to be called Firefox and using the same numbering scheme.

Re:High version numbers (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 3 years ago | (#35748206)

Yes, after 30 years, they are still going to be called Firefox and using the same numbering scheme.

"As of March 2011, the latest stable release of GNU Emacs is version 23.3." (Wikipedia)

Possible, at least.

CC.

Re:High version numbers (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about 3 years ago | (#35747738)

I wouldn't call the version number a feature.

If you listen to the Chrome people, they will say the version number is interesting only from a engineering or technical point of view and don't expect their users to pay attention to it. I think it's working because you rarely hear talk about Chrome 10 whereas Firefox users often state a version number (like Firefox 4).

If Firefox continues to release frequent updates, by the time version 81 rolls around, nobody will be quoting version numbers any more. It will just be Firefox.

Re:High version numbers (1)

kingbilly (993754) | about 3 years ago | (#35747790)

The latest "That's What I Call Music!" is now at 37.

Imagine "That's what I call a browser 22!"

Re:High version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747810)

One other annoying aspect of Chrome's version numbers, now (apparently) to be copied by Mozilla, is that, if one includes a version number in a post on Facebook, FB thinks it's an IP address, and tries to make it into a link. Where the link points, if anywhere, will be an exciting surprise for anyone who clicks on it. (I grant that FB is guilty of contributory stupidity here.)

Re:High version numbers (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 3 years ago | (#35747868)

> Of all the stupid features from Chrome to pick up,
> the version numbers is, by far, the dumbest.

I disagree. I think that's relatively harmless. Users won't even notice.

The dumbest has got to be either the stupid idiotic moronic "tabs on top" or the completely insane lack of menubar (pioneered by IE7, granted, but Chrome has had it for a good while now too). I can't decide which is worse. (Yeah, I know, you can turn them both off and get a more or less normal UI. For now. That will change in a future version, mark my words.)

Meh. Firefox 5? I don't even like Firefox 3. Version 2 was the best so far. Okay, page loading was a little slow, and version 3 improved that. But performance has never been as important to me as stability (by which I mean not crashing and even more importantly not losing data), and Firefox 2 is a great deal better in that regard. If the new CSS features in recent versions of Gecko could be backported into Firefox 2, I'd be pleased as punch.

Re:High version numbers (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 3 years ago | (#35747978)

Of all the stupid features from Chrome to pick up, the version numbers is, by far, the dumbest. Has anyone considered how stupid a version number in the high double digits might be? Firefox 81 seems kind of clunky, doesn't it?

Far less ridiculous than "0.12.6-12ubuntu3" (apachetop) or even just "0.48.1" (inkscape) - presumably because those packages aren't at "1.0" quality yet, whatever that means.

If you're making user-facing tools, using decimal numbers is confusing at best. "Did you say install 2.3.1 or 2.1.3?" Simple, whole-number revisions make it much easier to manage.

Re:High version numbers (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 3 years ago | (#35747988)

Of all the stupid features from Chrome to pick up, the version numbers is, by far, the dumbest. Has anyone considered how stupid a version number in the high double digits might be? Firefox 81 seems kind of clunky, doesn't it?

Only because you/we are not used to it. Who cares? By Chrome 26 and Firefox 12 we won't really look at version numbers like we've done in the past (or look at them at all...), and only see two web browsers that are releasing time-based releases as opposed to feature-based releases where the point won't be to market by features and version numbers, but by following the latest web standards and web browsing trends well.

AFAIK, Firefox is also moving to silent updates, yet a move aimed to remove the old "launch party" thing with new releases that were once released as rarely as once per year, with long, long QA phases at the end to test the huge beasts of new features, bogging everything down before the developers could pick up speed again.

Re:High version numbers (1)

ifrag (984323) | about 3 years ago | (#35748268)

Just look at NVidia. Their driver package is up to version 270.51.

I've started to like 3 part version numbers lately, although only if proper change significance is applied. The standard GNU version numbering with major.minor.revision seems useful and appropriate.

Why..? (2)

elfguy (22889) | about 3 years ago | (#35746990)

It used to be versions were about feature sets. If you added a small feature to a program you'd increment the minor version, if you added big features you'd release a major update. The idea of having versions increase on specific dates seem weird.

Re:Why..? (0)

wisty (1335733) | about 3 years ago | (#35747138)

It's a management technique. Developers better have their patches aboard, or it will ship without them.

Re:Why..? (1)

Kpt Kill (649374) | about 3 years ago | (#35747276)

Maybe to catch up to IE 9? Nine is higher than four, so regular users think that IE must be more mature and feature complete. We'll see what happens when Microsoft decides to change to IE XP or some other version identifier that Mozilla won't be able to copy.

Re:Why..? (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | about 3 years ago | (#35747370)

Then Opera is in the lead at version 11 Of the major browsers, only IE and Opera should legitimately have high version numbers due to how long they've been around. I know Firefox comes from Netscape stock, but Firefox is a different beast than Netscape. I do understand Firefox not wanting to look like they are behind due to their version number being small, but I'd have more respect and understanding if they went to a different versioning scheme altogether instead of inflating minor releases with major version numbers.

Re:Why..? (1)

Grygus (1143095) | about 3 years ago | (#35747424)

I question whether computer illiterate users actually think that way. Ask one what version of Office they are running, and they will reply, "Microsoft." I think that whole premise is deeply flawed.

Re:Why..? (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | about 3 years ago | (#35748184)

That was my thought too. When I worked tech support for an ISP back in 2002, often the answer I got to "What version of Windows are you using?" was something on the order of "I think it's AOL 8.0"—and no, the ISP wasn't AOL.

Re:Why..? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 3 years ago | (#35748058)

It's actually always been pretty arbitrary. There's no committee that defines standard version number practices; and as such they're all over the board. From the countless 0-dot releases of open source projects, to Chrome's "major" release number. In the end, it doesn't really matter to anyone except developers. In reality each release contains changes from the prior release. Some releases introduce incompatibilities - but those are documented anyway, and don't gain much by using a special numbering to indicate it. (Especially because no two project can agree on that numbering scheme.) By using whole numbers, you're reducing confusion from the typical major/minor/minorer*/minorest* pattern. A version is a release of the software - end of story.

*poetic license #312002110033121

Re:Why..? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 3 years ago | (#35748170)

It used to be versions were about feature sets. If you added a small feature to a program you'd increment the minor version, if you added big features you'd release a major update. The idea of having versions increase on specific dates seem weird.

It's for many reasons - especially to cut down on the QA wind-down time that keep stalling the trunk (less features at a time means less time spent winding down and testing - a long time doing that means web standards will race ahead before you've even tested the version you were working on... the other extreme causes the "Internet Explorer effect" - often outdated before it's done, and not because the devs suck, but because the releases are too rare which causes a crapload of testing requirements for each release).

So this is a more "organic" model that should be able to follow new web standards better, and the needs and wants of Mozilla's user base.

Google explained all this pretty well too when they also moved to this model:

http://blog.chromium.org/2010/07/release-early-release-often.html [chromium.org]

Wordperfect vs Word (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747154)

This just reminds me of when Microsoft Word for Windows jumped from version 2.0 to 6.0 just to appear competitive with WordPerfect. This will make version numbers irrelevant and nigh pointless.

Re:Wordperfect vs Word (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 3 years ago | (#35747496)

An even better example is the Watcom C/C++ compiler, where the initial release (in 1988) was v6.0, to suggest it was competitive with compilers from MS and Borland (which it was--more than). Version numbers have been irrelevant and nigh pointless for decades. For an interesting example of the opposite effect, where the version numbers are much lower than one might expect, consider the Linux kernel, which still hasn't reached v3.0 after nearly 20 years. How long ago was Win3.0 released? (And how long was the period between Win1.0 and Win3.0?) Or consider the X Window System, which made it up to v11 fairly quickly, but has stalled out there for longer than Linux has even existed.

I guess my point is that if you're trying to derive any sort of useful information from version numbers, without investigating how a particular project uses version numbers, you're simply wasting your time.

Color versioning! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747192)

Firefox Red/Blue, Firefox Yellow, Firefox Gold/Silver!

or maybe Gemstone based versioning like Firefox Ruby/Sapphire!

Re:Color versioning! (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | about 3 years ago | (#35747336)

Firefox Black/White would cause a lot of racism complaints though, so I'm not sure it would work out in the long run... Oh, and you forgot Firefox Green, the codename for the Beta versions ;)

Re:Color versioning! (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | about 3 years ago | (#35748102)

Huh? Red and Green were the versions that were released in Japan, Blue was the replacement for Green in the US.

host 5.6.44.144 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747348)

Host 144.44.6.5.in-addr.arpa. not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

Hopefully that will change when they release that browser version :P

Well (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 3 years ago | (#35747354)

I hope it's better than 4.

They just don't get it... (1)

plastick (1607981) | about 3 years ago | (#35747578)

I hope it's better than 4.

I couldn't agree more! I wish they would fix the bloat and listen to their user base instead of adding more features we don't want (what a crazy idea).

Re:They just don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35748160)

Sometimes I wonder if this might make a good vetting process for things like this. If you can cite what class of users wants Feature X (not what class can use it, which is different; you have to cite what class wants it or it doesn't count), then you can go ahead and put it in the core. Otherwise, put it in an extension.

Note that I'm not suggesting that any numbers or thresholds be crossed here. I'm only suggesting that there be some verification that Feature X is a solution to a problem, not a solution in search of a problem.

What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747392)

Why are minefield builds numbered 4.2 pre alpha then?

Re:What?! (1)

IB4Student (1885914) | about 3 years ago | (#35747636)

They do not have any of the features of Fx 5 implemented in them, yet. Right now they are mostly just bugfixes and improvements that are going to be released in a few weeks with the minor Fx 4 update. And 4.1 is taken by mobile. And minefield build numbering is automated so you probably should not base anything off of them (e.g. Fx 4 RC was always labeled beta 13pre in the nightlies).

It's Official. Firefox has jumped the shark! (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about 3 years ago | (#35747452)

After many years of Firefox being a solid, well performing browser, it appears it's going to end in bloat just like Netscape did...

And, history is set to repeat itself again with MSIE 9 having more to offer than Firefox just like MSIE did back years ago when people dumped Netscape in droves.

I'm sticking with Firefox 3.6x for as long as I can, and then when push comes to shove, just like back in the Netscape days, will likely switch to MSIE 9 unless a decent fork of Firefox comes along before then - a decent fork probably already exists, but not aware of what they are.

Many people just want a fast, compact, featured (Chrome falls short in that regard; privacy issues) browser - Firefox offered that - shame to see it becoming buggy bloatware.

Ron

Re:It's Official. Firefox has jumped the shark! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 years ago | (#35747646)

Run the open source build of chrome - chromium, need not worry about privacy issues then.

I wonder how many gigs of ram I'll need (1)

plastick (1607981) | about 3 years ago | (#35747778)

I really do hope they fork the code. The developers seem too arrogant to listen to the myriads of cries from the people who actually use their browser.

The new version 4 already was taking almost 400 megs of ram. That's acceptable?? Hello?

Re:I wonder how many gigs of ram I'll need (1)

dr. chuck bunsen (762090) | about 3 years ago | (#35747996)

I'm not doubting you, but just wanted to point out that, at least on 64bit Linux, I've never seen FF4 get much over 200MB. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

Re:I wonder how many gigs of ram I'll need (1)

BinarySolo (1951210) | about 3 years ago | (#35748326)

Give Pale Moon a try (http://www.palemoon.org/). It's a fork that's basically like an optimized Firefox (note: only for Windows). I only found it a couple days ago but so far it seems to be a lot better with memory than Firefox 4.

Re:It's Official. Firefox has jumped the shark! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 3 years ago | (#35748212)

After many years of Firefox being a solid, well performing browser, it appears it's going to end in bloat just like Netscape did...

Why do you think this? More frequent updates != more bloat. The updates are also spent on fixing bugs. You can't say this before you've seen what Firefox 5 will end up covering. Sure, if it'll become much slower and crashy, I don't question you, but we've so far seen no indication that this more frequent schedule of releasing bug fixes and now less features at a time will lead to that...

Re:It's Official. Firefox has jumped the shark! (1)

edmicman (830206) | about 3 years ago | (#35748220)

What does IE9 offer that FF4 does not, and over Chrome for that matter? From what I've read it loses out in at least extensibility and speed compared to the others.

Re:It's Official. Firefox has jumped the shark! (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 3 years ago | (#35748296)

Seriously. The last thing FF needs is more features. They should be optimizing the features that are in there already, instead they're wasting time on useless crap like Twitter and Digg integration.

Mozilla and Google, why so dumb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35747488)

Fine, I agree that version numbers are becoming irrelevant, just update the product in the background, period. The only people that care about build numbers are developers.

Using whole number upgrades for seemingly monthly updates is plain retarded.

Of course you can go the route of Apple and use point upgrades to indicate whole OS updates. Apple has been on OS X for 10 years.

Please no (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#35747512)

That's just horrible.

Its easy nowadays - "You use Firefox 3.6 or 4.0" ?
I'm NOT remembering a string of numbers.

If they want large numbers, maybe they should take a tip from ubuntu.

You could get "Firefox 11.6" out in 5 months. See? Big number.

Re:Please no (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 3 years ago | (#35748242)

That's kind of the point (at least as far as I'm concerned - not that I'm following the internals of this, just applying logic). Why should users have to worry about x.y at all? I'm on version 6. You're on version 8. End of story.

Re:Please no (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 3 years ago | (#35748252)

Why would you need to remember all numbers?

I don't need to remember that I'm using Chrome 10.0.648.204 stable. Chrome 10 is often more than enough. Usually "Chrome since the last year" suffice to give a good idea of the web standards it's supporting, for someone who follows the latest standards developments like a webmaster.

Very impressive (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | about 3 years ago | (#35747554)

As much as I dislike uselessly high version numbers, their release plan looks rather impressive. If you didn't bother to click the article link, the development for each new version of Firefox will occur in a rather "layered" fashion [conceivablytech.com] . After initial development on Firefox 5 is finished in mozilla-central, work begins on the initial development for Firefox 6, and after that, 7. At the same time as 6 and 7 are being worked on in mozilla-central, Firefox 5 and 6, respectively, are moved to mozilla-experimental and worked on. While experimental work is being done on 6 and 7, Firefox is moved into "Beta" and Beta work begins on 5 and 6, respectively. It's much easier to understand if you look at the image I linked to, and it certainly looks impressive, though I am not quite sure how it will work out in the long run. Only time will tell, I guess.

Re:Very impressive (1)

Cloudgatherer (216427) | about 3 years ago | (#35747840)

It is the ever so popular release train model. It sounds really good on paper, and management usually jumps on the bandwagon, however this type of release model is suited towards web deployments, NOT desktop applications. The scheduling looks very slick, doesn't it? It does until you realize you are just doing costly releases at regular intervals while the big ticket items usually end up getting delayed to future versions, and what you release is of low quality because everyone is in a hurry to "make the train" so they can jump to the next iteration. The pretty charts and graphs have schedules, but no features on them, and that's the issue. A release should be planned to deliver a set of features, not planned to release on day X regardless of what is in it (maybe nothing!).

For a web app, it works fairly well. For desktop software (which all browsers are), it is a bad idea.

Why release early? (1)

Tolkien (664315) | about 3 years ago | (#35747588)

Take the time to fix bugs and release something even better.

Re:Why release early? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35748188)

Competition... If you spend to much time fixing bugs; your user will perceive the product as stagnant.

Patrick Volkerding should be in charge (5, Insightful)

slackzilly (2033012) | about 3 years ago | (#35747708)

Then the latest Firefox would be realeased when it's ready to be released. Come to think of it, he should run the world.

Just wait and see (1)

zugurudumba (1009301) | about 3 years ago | (#35747904)

I really hope they'll make the auto-updates more aggressive, like Chrome does. Otherwise, the Firefox market share will become excessively fragmented.

Firefox 4 is so bloated! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35748052)

1. Install FF4
2. Install 37 addons, including some from warez sites
3. Install 48 skins
4. Complain FF is bloated.

doh!

Firefox becoming more Chrome-like? Oh crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35748094)

I just hope they don't decide to keep the tabs location fixed on top of the address bar for good.

Add-ons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35748266)

So now we call add-ons "a new version"?

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