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Mozilla Ships Firefox 5, Meets Rapid-Release Plan

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the stay-on-target dept.

Firefox 282

CWmike writes "Mozilla delivered on Tuesday the final version of Firefox 5, the first edition under the new faster-release regime it kicked off earlier this year. The company also patched 10 bugs in Firefox 5, including one in the browser's handling of the WebGL 3-D rendering standard that rival Microsoft has called unsafe. Firefox 5 looks identical to its predecessor, Firefox 4, but Mozilla's made changes under the hood. Mozilla has denied copying Google Chrome's upbeat schedule but analysts have noted the similarities and pointed out the need of all browser makers to step up the pace. Because of the shorter development cycle, Mozilla called out relatively few new features in Firefox 5."

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282 comments

faster-release (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516466)

faster-release fp

Re:faster-release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516632)

slower browser. compensate with core i7's then it's 'fast'

More work for plugin developers (5, Insightful)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516488)

It seems this new schedule will create more work for plugin developers. My FF upgraded itself today to FF5 and I have plugins that don't work. FireGestures and VMware are two to start with.

Will this now happen every few months?

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516510)

Simply switch off auto update. Maybe if enough people do so, they will revert to a more sane development cycle. What good is a new browser if nobody uses it?

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516688)

Ok, when I say it upgraded itself, I meant it asked me if I wanted to upgrade, to which I thought 'yeah go on then, why not'.

I'm not complaining about the disabled plugins, just stating that this will be more work for the devs.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517298)

Always assume that most of your plug-ins won't work properly for at least a few days after a new major version release (+0.1 before, +1 now).

I use a fairly exotic translation library for my native language, and usually end up waiting weeks for it to be updated to work properly (from 2 to 3 and every time 3 got a major upgrade).

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516596)

They don't work or got disabled?
This [mozilla.org] should solve it if it's the latter.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516664)

They got disabled so I assumed they didn't work. It wasn't important enough for me to actually investigate yet.

Thanks for the link.

But for this to work for the average Joe who just wants it to work, the plugin developers will have more work to do.

Re:More work for plugin developers (4, Informative)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516642)

+1. I didn't even notice I had been upgraded to FF5 until I found a plugin that wouldn't install. Back in the day, a major version number increase would have come with a couple noticeable new features, but all we get here is a speed increase and a DNT checkbox.

Re:More work for plugin developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516950)

...and CSS3 animations.

FF automatically upgraded itself today? (1)

doperative (1958782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516650)

> My FF upgraded itself today to FF5 and I have plugins that don't work, tom17

Why did you change the "Ask me what to I want to do" setting in Update. The option third down from "Automatically check for updates to:". And just under that is an option "Warn me if this will disable any of my add-ons"

Tools->Options->Advanced->Update ..

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516828)

Yeah, I saw the prompt and my immediate reaction was "The only reason I open FireFox at all instead of Opera is if i need to use FireBug. Why should I break FireBug every two months?"

If Mozilla keeps to this schedule, I may just learn to like Opera's built-in inspector tool instead. I don't have time to be pestered by my browser as if it were a four year old child wanting a cookie.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517048)

You do realize you can turn off all prompts and happily keep using whatever version you currently have installed, right? Know what is annoying as a four year old wanting a cookie? Having features available to make your browser behave exactly how you want it to, and instead of using said features, choosing to complain about it on Slashdot as if there is no way to change the settings.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517192)

This is singularly unhelpful advice because it misses the point. The point is not that it FORCES you to upgrade or that you CAN'T turn off the notices, it's that their philosophy fundamentally conflicts with what browsers are used for.

Web developers can't and won't use new features in browsers released every 2-3 months. And without the devs, all it is, is a broken marketing philosophy dictating product development.

Re:More work for plugin developers (2)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517370)

This is singularly unhelpful advice because it misses the point. The point is not that it FORCES you to upgrade or that you CAN'T turn off the notices, it's that their philosophy fundamentally conflicts with what browsers are used for.

Web developers can't and won't use new features in browsers released every 2-3 months. And without the devs, all it is, is a broken marketing philosophy dictating product development.

Bullshit. As a web developer, you already know that we do all our coding for the lowest common denominator, which is currently IE 8 for most devs. Firefox can implement all the fancy features it wants, and neither of us can really use it. So your point is moot.

Web browsers are normally used for browsing the web. What you use it for is Firebug. You're making up arguments for the sake of arguing. The normal user isn't going to care, and you shouldn't care because you can just not update and keep using it as you want.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517448)

Hmm. You said

I don't have time to be pestered by my browser as if it were a four year old child wanting a cookie.

I responded by telling you how to stop it from pestering you.
Which apparently is "singularly unhelpful advice".

If you stick with the version you currently have and all the add-ons that work with that version, why do you care how often they are releasing new versions, if you are not planning on updating anyway? Just turn off the prompt to update and pretend like they only release a version every year or two. You state you only use FF for Firebug so if FF and Firebug will keep working if you do not update, what is the problem?

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517072)

Yeah, I saw the prompt and my immediate reaction was "The only reason I open FireFox at all instead of Opera is if i need to use FireBug. Why should I break FireBug every two months?"

If Mozilla keeps to this schedule, I may just learn to like Opera's built-in inspector tool instead. I don't have time to be pestered by my browser as if it were a four year old child wanting a cookie.

If you're only using it for Firebug / development work, than why do you need to upgrade it so often? Turn off autoupdating, turn off the update prompt, and only update when it is affecting your development.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517334)

firebug works here. FF5 on debian sid. Blue cats theme and noscript work too, and all my lolcat links are correctly preserved, for the record.

Re:More work for plugin developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516984)

My Firefox v3.6.17 upgraded itself to v3.6.18 on 15 June. All my plug-ins worked fine afterward.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517378)

Minor upgrades rarely if ever break plug-ins. And yes, I just had the same upgrade a few hours ago myself. It's actually became stupid to upgrade from 3.6.x now because of the new update schedule and 4.0 actually stripping needed features to "chromify" firefox.

Re:More work for plugin developers (2)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517458)

Updates rarely truly break plugins at all. The major hindrance is the version checking Firefox does before allowing plugins to run. There's a way to disable it, but I've forgotten it.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517114)

Wouldn't be an issue if A) plugin developers set compatibility to major versions only and B) firefox devs changes the major version only if the api changes.

Honestly, there is little point to the version numbering otherwise thanks to autoupdates.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1, Insightful)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517408)

Though I didn't say it. This is my point. This is a 4.1 release at best. Making every release a major version number increase rather than the point release it should be means that developers will have to now either re-release their plugin more often or just say to hell with it and set compatibility to *any* future version.

The Major & Minor versioning was great for this. Why did they have to go change it.

Maybe they need a major/minor 'behind the scenes' versioning system and then a fancy 'name' that the public sees, just like MS do with Windows 7 being version 6.1.

Re:More work for plugin developers (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517444)

Before I get called out on the hideous grammar in that post, let it be known that I forgot to proof-read it. Sorry.

Re:More work for plugin developers (2)

Pretzalzz (577309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517372)

There is a configuration option to disable version checking for add-ons. Set extensions.checkCompatibility.<version> to false in about:config. The add-ons generally work. It might also work as just extensions.checkCompatibility set to false for all versions, but I'm not sure.

Do fewer things and do them better? (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516556)

That's an admirable and sensible approach. What would be nice, too, is not to ship a product with all the new stuff defaulted to Enabled, a fault I continue to find with Microsoft and Google - "Hey, we like this new hack, let's foist it on our unsuspecting users and turn a deaf ear to them when they howl."

hey, that's dangerous talk there! We need thousands of new features, right now, and damn the bugs!

Re:Do fewer things and do them better? (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516750)

On the other hand, this release includes essentially zero new features. Calling it a major release and incrementing the primary version number for what is essentially a security update is confusing to the point of making version numbers useless. This release doesn't even deserve a 4.1 IMO.

Re:Do fewer things and do them better? (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516836)

>>Calling it a major release and incrementing the primary version number for what is essentially a security update is confusing to the point of making version numbers useless. This release doesn't even deserve a 4.1 IMO

Agreed.

I think the FF devs are just trying to be like Google, and use major version numbers for every minor update they conduct. Terrible, terrible.

Re:Do fewer things and do them better? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517262)

>>Calling it a major release and incrementing the primary version number for what is essentially a security update is confusing to the point of making version numbers useless. This release doesn't even deserve a 4.1 IMO

Agreed.

I think the FF devs are just trying to be like Google, and use major version numbers for every minor update they conduct. Terrible, terrible.

There is such a thing as modifying the product in ways which improve efficient user interaction and use of system resources. Why shouldn't such an approach be considered a valid Full Release, rather than cramming in more "New" and unwanted/unnecessary "features"?

Re:Do fewer things and do them better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517324)

That drives me nuts too. Maybe I like the 3.6 UI and find it easier to use. Maybe I don't want access to social media in my ADDRESS bar. Maybe I like a status bar. DO NOT CHANGE MY SETTINGS.

Plus, what do they need a new version for some of this stuff for anyway. Just create another extension that gets added by default. And if an extension cannot do it, then add the necessary interface and benefit all the other addon makers as well.

This is getting silly (3, Insightful)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516582)

We're at Firefox 5 already? Doesn't seem like five minutes since Firefox 4. Used to be that an entirely new version number meant it was definitely worth taking the time to upgrade, but at this frequency how do we know which are the important ones?

Re:This is getting silly (0)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516748)

Firefox still has four more version until they catch up with Internet Explorer 9, and seven to even match the version might of Google Chrome 12.0.742.105 (not that you can even tell the Chrome version when you download it... [google.com] ). They have blown right by Lynx 2.8.7 [isc.org] ! The race is on!

Re:This is getting silly (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516754)

I think all software developers in the world are trying to reach version 100 first

Re:This is getting silly (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517018)

Version numbers in the teens may sound cool, but once we get into the 20s (like emacs 23?) the version number starts losing its novelty. At that point you definitely need either animals or desserts in your version names.

Re:This is getting silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517208)

The developers just want another cake from Microsoft

Re:This is getting silly (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517530)

Chrome has a new version every 2 - 3 months. It is pretty standard and it is done automatically so users do not have to worry about it. Plugins are auto updated too which make is very nice with worrying over flash and java vulnerabilities.

Issue of course is corporate users would freak out about an update causing a bug.

I would use Chrome full time if it had a much better interface where I could click to select sites I go to on the address bar. Firefox needs to catch-up up to Chrome in features and security vulnerability. Webkit is far ahead of gecko with html 5 and ram usage.

Translation of meaning: (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516586)

Translation:

Firefox 5 == Firefox 4 Beta 1
Firefox 6 = Firefox 4 Beta 2 ...
Firefox 457 = Firefox 4 RC 1 alpha.

The problem with this retarded change in version numbers is that their target audeince isn't going to be affected by the version number game. We geeks don't give a fuck what the version number is, and we know you're bullshitting with the stupid version number increases. We all still know firefox is just as buggy, bloated and overall broken on 'version 5' as it was on version 4, except now there are a few NEW half implemented features that no one cares about and/or will never be finished properly.

All they are doing is pushing themselves further from the business environment and relegating themselves to more of a geek toy.

Mozilla has become Netscape. It is no longer useful. Just a bunch of over paid douche bags who sit around and write code they want to write rather than actually producing something useful.

Its too bad they didn't do a better job of cleaning house the last time netscape failed, looks like they left enough of the old guard that its happened again.

I don't want to hate Mozilla, but for fucks sake give me a little help here, Mozilla has turned into an example of how not to do it. Its as if their goal is to demonstrate all the wrong things to do when trying to produce a respectable high-end OSS application.

Re:Translation of meaning: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516826)

Geeks may use Firefox incidentally, but their target audience isn't geeks. Their target audience are the parents and grandparents of geeks, along with the non-geek friends of geeks.

"Here, install this. It will auto update and keep you safer than the IE you've been using for the last 10 years. And it might stop some of the free tech support I have to provide."

Re:Translation of meaning: (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517082)

Geeks may use Firefox incidentally, but their target audience isn't geeks. Their target audience are the parents and grandparents of geeks, along with the non-geek friends of geeks.

No. The product they are selling is the default search engine setting, and their target audience is Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

Re:Translation of meaning: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517204)

That's the reason they want the larger audience of parents, grandparents, and non-geek friends, yes.

Re:Translation of meaning: (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517188)

".... And it might stop some of the free tech support I have to provide."

If people think you'll fix things for free they won't lift a finger to help themselves. I hate to say it but I even charge family a non-trivial amount, just to tip the scales towards them trying to figure the solution out themselves. It's not a great solution but I got sick of spending my whole weekend fixing the same problems over and over and it gives me a bit of beer money.

Re:Translation of meaning: (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516952)

From my understanding, Mozilla Corporation gets most of its funds from Google. I get the sense that Firefox is being setup to fail with Google Chrome being the main beneficiary.

Re:Translation of meaning: (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517232)

So Mozilla gets funds from Google because they have Firefox, therefore they want to sabotage Firefox to stop receiving funds? Great logic.

If Firefox fails, why would Google continue to pay? And if Firefox keeps above Chrome, why would Google stop paying and risk Mozilla changing the default search engine to Bing or DDG?

Re:Translation of meaning: (0)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516990)

Mozilla has become Netscape. It is no longer useful. Just a bunch of over paid douche bags who sit around and write code they want to write rather than actually producing something useful.

Its too bad they didn't do a better job of cleaning house the last time netscape failed, looks like they left enough of the old guard that its happened again.

All of this has happened before and will happen again.

I don't want to hate on them either but that is kind of the vibe they are putting out. Fixing bugs can be boring and tedious but it has to get done to maintain a quality product. I like Firefox and have been using it since it was called Firebird but since 3.6 I think they are starting to lose touch with what users care about and are just copying whatever other people (read: chrome) are doing.

Re:Translation of meaning: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517258)

I'm curious about something you might be able to answer for me; Does pointlessly bitching about everything make nerds feel smarter?

Re:Translation of meaning: (1)

Huckabees (1929306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517168)

Of course Chrome - what I assume to be in your mind the "geek's choice" does everything you raged about in your post. Bugs, pointless versioning, etc.

But it's okay because they're the new kid on the block. Until a new browser comes along that is. Then Google can be the evil company producing a terrible browser that only luddites and non-geeks use.

Re:Translation of meaning: (2)

after.fallout.34t98e (1908288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517534)

I'm sorry, but the rapid release cycle does make a lot of sense. Firefox as a whole is relatively speaking not very buggy. It certainly is less so than IE or Safari (at least I don't hit any noticeable Firefox bugs on a daily basis but Safari regularly crashes [windows] and IE dev tools have so many problems that they are nearly impossible to use).

New features/enhancements/fixes used to be implemented on trunk, with a "bake" time needed to make sure that they didn't degrade the product. Now they are done in their own branches and tested in isolation from each other then merged into trunk (now called mozilla-central) when it is felt that they are ready. This lets the end user (you) get to see new features faster than you would have before, without worrying about bugs from other things which needed to be included before, but had nothing to do with the feature which is finished.

I think the good points of this new development schedule outweigh the bad, and the bad points that have been discovered so far can all be minimized with a bit of effort. Good:
1. Faster features to end users.
2. Less bugs introduced due to being able to decide not to include features right up until the moment something is actually released.
Indifferent:
1. Firefox is just as difficult to manage for a domain's worth of users as it was before this change; the only difference is that it is likely to be major version number increases instead of minor version number increases whenever a new release comes out. However as you pointed out, nobody cares what the difference is.
Bad:
1. Addons need to be managed more by their respective authors to keep them up to date with the latest version of firefox. Last time I checked AMO didn't accept setting the maxver property to a version greater than the current major release. Something might need to be changed here.

Tabs on top still broken (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516606)

They still haven't fixed a glaring bug in how tabs work in the OS X version. Tabs aren't drawn correctly in the title bar in OS X, as Chrome does, but are on their own bar right below it. This results in wasted vertical space and just looks ugly.

Re:Tabs on top still broken (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516646)

Tabs on top being broken is a feature, not a bug.

Re:Tabs on top still broken (1)

DarkVader (121278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516966)

No kidding.

Tabs belong in the tab bar, not the title bar. Chrome looks awful.

The only things that belong in the title bar are the close button, the dock button, and the zoom to max content size button on the left, the window title in the middle, and the toolbar button on the right.

Which dumbass analysts are these? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516610)

"but analysts have noted the similarities and pointed out the need of all browser makers to step up the pace." Uh, why, exactly? Be quicker about fixing bugs, sure, but why do we need whole version number replacements every couple of months?

Re:Which dumbass analysts are these? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516764)

Do note that the first four letters of analysts is anal. Explains everything, no?

Re:Which dumbass analysts are these? (5, Funny)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516892)

Because we need more UI changes for the sake of UI changes. In Firefox 6/Chrome 14 tabs on the side will be the new "thing". Firefox 7 will move the URL window onto the scroll bar to gain another 12 pixels of vertical space, since nobody actually uses the URL bar. By January 2012 Firefox 14 will have moved the Firefox button on top of the minimize/maximize/close buttons since Steve Jobs says nobody runs programs in windows anyway. By March 2014, we will have come in a full circle and both Firefox 65536 and Chrome infinity will both have tabs back below the address bar and old school square IE6 navigation buttons.

Re:Which dumbass analysts are these? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517056)

In a word: marketing.

Re:Which dumbass analysts are these? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517514)

100% Agree - screw the analysts (not literally). I'll take Opera's sane point releases anyday.

Benchmarks.... (-1, Troll)

slashgnome (2292258) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516612)

Firefox 5 finally passes acid3 and improves JS performance [aeonity.com] by 25%

Re:Benchmarks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516742)

My Acid3 test rendering quits t 97/100. Doesn't look like it passes to me.

Re:Benchmarks.... (2)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517086)

Parent post is a goatsex picture. Do not follow. slashgnome, you're an asshole of the proportions in that picture.

Why not 4.1? (4, Insightful)

Retron (577778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516654)

Yes, a few tweaks but it looks largely the same. Beats me why they didn't just call it 4.1!

Re:Why not 4.1? (1)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516722)

Because 5 sounds better than 4.1.

Re:Why not 4.1? (3, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517026)

1. When you buy a new computer Windows is on most pre-installed.
2. When a European, there are some 500 million, starts up a new Windows computer he needs to select a browser from a list.
3. The ~90% of Europeans that don't understand computers will like to get the best and select the browser with the highest number.

4. Conclusion, Mozilla needs to get to a higher release version.

Re:Why not 4.1? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517386)

The idea of a "version" doesn't really fit with fast semi-major changes, just the idea of a "release number", which is only used to distinguish which "release" you're using. Allows for better evolutionary changes to the browser instead of huge changes all at once and several months of debugging. Add a new feature, run it through basic testing, release it on the public, fix bugs as the crop up, move on to the next group of features on the to-do list. Kind of "fine grain" versioning instead of "course grain".

Memory usage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516678)

Have they fixed the memory usage problems? With a few tabs open, FF on OS X can run 2GB+ of RAM on my machine. I've seen it go up to 5/6 GB.

Re:Memory usage? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516862)

There haven't been memory problems with FF for quite while.

Now there are plug-ins that cause memory grabs but that's a different group of developers.

Anyhow you can see for yourself, just type about:memory in the address bar to check where memory is used.

Re:Memory usage? (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517558)

When I type about:memory, all I get returned is No other information available and nothing reported for Value.

Firefox memory leak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516874)

I was wondering when that one would turn up. Type about:config into the address bar and set browser.cache.memory.capacity ..

I will wait (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516684)

I'll be sticking with Firefox 4 for a few more weeks, until I'm sure all my plugins have been updated. Also, I really can't see a good reason for Mozilla to start jumping versions so damn fast. It's not necessary!

WebGL getting worse not better :( (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516686)

The WebGL news is pretty depressing. Found this recently [contextis.co.uk] (explained here [mozilla.org] )

I'm still very excited about having a real drawing API in the browser to work with that's not tied to MS or Adobe. Guess it'll still be a while until this tech is ready for prime time (sigh, been waiting YEARS already).

It's not helping that MS is slinging as much FUD as possible. Claiming that IE is "more secure than Chrome or Firefox" is laughable, but crap like this is not helping our case to the casual observer.

Re:WebGL getting worse not better :( (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516834)

There is a reason why IE was so "underdeveloped" for all those years and that Apple recently discontinued development of their web editor and that Safari development is also pretty stagnant. The "web applications" are not the answer, native networks connected apps are.

Re:WebGL getting worse not better :( (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517306)

I could see many games and tools for making games running in a web browser. Having done both - native apps and web dev, I have to disagree.

The text handling capabilities alone put the browser WAY ahead of the alternatives. Not to mention you can make the flat parts of your UI in HTML, SVG, whatever. It's a handy environment with a lot of facilities that make app dev simpler.

As long as upgrading is easy... (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516696)

Frankly, I don't care what numbers they use for each release, I just make them to make it simple to keep up-to-date. What's good about Chrome is not the frequent releases, but the fact that I don't have to worry about upgrades in spite of the frequent releases.

One thing that is quite annoying is the calls I get from users who are being prompted to upgrade Flash, Adobe Reader, or Java. It makes it harder to train users not to install stuff and to take any system prompts seriously when they are frequently presented with these prompts. Another good thing about Chrome is that it includes Flash so that gets taken care of automatically too.

One of the worst offenders, I'm afraid to say, is VLC. I think VLC is great, but their upgrade process is very awkward.

5 FINAL??? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516700)

Damnit, we need to get rid of this "rapid release" BS.

I've finally gotten 4 configured the way I like; and prior to that, I completely skipped over v3.

People don't want cutting edge web browsers. They want them to work, and they want them to look and feel the same for years at a time. Add support for new media types, tweak the rendering engine, but leave everything else alone!.

And that doesn't even consider how this crap breaks plugins... Literally half the plugins I currently run, I had to edit the install.rdf just to get around the damned version check (after which, they all work just fine of course).

Re:5 FINAL??? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516912)

And that doesn't even consider how this crap breaks plugins... Literally half the plugins I currently run, I had to edit the install.rdf just to get around the damned version check (after which, they all work just fine of course).

And that's because Mozilla requires a max version in the addon .rdf file, and they also say this:

This number needs to be less than or equal to an announced version of Firefox [mozilla.org] .

At the moment, the highest on that page is Firefox 7.

How about a version 4 that people like? (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516708)

Preliminary for june 2010-2011 here [statcounter.com] . Changes from May:

Chrome: +1.08%
IE: -0.25%
Firefox: -0.79%

After six months in the lead in Europe, Firefox is now again behind IE. They're backing on every continent except Africa (+0.2%). I don't think rapid-fire will work any better if you don't have the bullets.

Woot! (1)

Dyablos (1968864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516718)

So they release a new version of Firefox and are are changing to a rapid release format? I say good for them, they step up production thus forcing all others to follow suit. Firefox has ruled and continue to rules the internetz.

Seriously, a computerworld link? (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516720)

WTF slashdot? We get a link to a computerworld writeup about the new release, instead of the release notes and download link?

Versionism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516780)

Anyone else keep all those check boxes unchecked? One time I updated Firefox and my plugins wanted an update. The update lost me features, like a weather app that only lists the current temperature in a tiny area of the screen.

Here I am using Firefox 3 - I must qualify as a cynic by now.

Rapid release schedule != better software (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516816)

I can't believe this rubbish. All this is doing is confusing users, causing more work for admins and developers - and for what? To keep up with the Jones' release schedule?

Software is made better by working hard, testing, bugfixing, testing, bugfixing, testing... not by artificially increasing version numbers because time has passed.

Debian, please, please, please, don't *ever* adopt this type of release schedule. I feel like you're the last honest software development team out there I can depend on to *know* that software is stable when you actually release it.

Re:Rapid release schedule != better software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516902)

But keep in mind this version is just a bunch of bug fixes - I hardly see how that's a bad thing. However, I don't see how this warrants going from v.4 to v.5 ...

Re:Rapid release schedule != better software (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516914)

Shit. Nevermind, I guess I blocked their new 2-year release cycle out of my head. =(

How about an LTS version? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516860)

Ubuntu has long term support versions alongside with the rapid twice a year releases. Any way we can see something like that in browsers? Like FF 4LTS, supported for a couple of years with no new features except bugfixes and security updates.

For one, they'll be pressure from developers to output new products that are actually better from usability standpoint (quicker startup, smaller footprint, less clutter), since they'll be competing with their own earlier attempts.

Google Apps Support (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516898)

Firefox 4 hasn't been out long and if Google keeps with the browser support schedule [blogspot.com] . Starting August 1st they won't support Firefox 3.6 anymore. I am all for getting people to upgrade but it seems like they'll be dropping support for Firefox versions pretty fast if Mozilla can keep up with their rapid release schedule.

Re:Google Apps Support (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517526)

It will be a sad day on august 1st then, but in the end, I suspect that many will stick to 3.6 anyway.

Why didn't they just call it Firefox 14? (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516946)

Since the version numbering scheme is total nonsense anyway (this is hardly a major change over 4, it's more like 4.1) why not just leapfrog over everyone and call it Firefox 14? Then Chrome will have to play catchup!

Slackware 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36516958)

Remember when Slackware jumped from release 4 to 7? I believe it was so they were on the same number as RedHat or something silly. Apparently some believe a higher version number actually means a more advanced product.

Critical addons (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516970)

If they break adblock and noscript- I'm moving to another browser.

I'm sure there are critical addons for other people.

I also must have a portable app version.

I went to FF4 on one browser at home and it BROKE my F5 plugin required for work.
No update yet.

Re:Critical addons (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517496)

I'd suggest using palemoon [palemoon.org] it's a FF3/4 spinoff, but sadly it's windows only. But since that's all I use it works for me.

Why? (0)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36516992)

Mozilla has denied copying Google Chrome's upbeat schedule but analysts have noted the similarities and pointed out the need of all browser makers to step up the pace.

The faster release cycle is ridiculous. The last time it happened, the major browsers got too buggy to use and I had to switch to Opera.

SSL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517040)

... still broken, reused serial, anyone...?

Are they replacing "dot" releases with full ones ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517054)

I mean, are they just changing their numbering scheme, or actually doing more work ?

'coz if numbers magically become features, windows 2000 becomes much better than WIndows 7 ?

Re:Are they replacing "dot" releases with full one (2)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517210)

They changed their numbering scheme.

Firefox 5 is basically just Firefox 4.1

I believe they plan to have Firefox 6 out by the end of the year as well. Three "major" versions per year.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517244)

IE6 users = Luddites, get the torches and pitchforks!
FF5 = Hurr Durr, I'm not upgrading because I don't like big numbers, version numbers are teh stupid.

IE9 will not be able to keep up with Chrome's pace. FF has to follow suit, if it wants to stay relevant, because Chrome is picking them off one by one. If FF stays behind, it can go and sit next to IE9 on the "soon to be irrelevant" bench. Chrome changed the game, and the rest wasn't paying attention when it happened.

Rapid Software Development = More bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517284)

Are there any browsers out there not on this accelerated release schedule? I'd like to know so I can change over to something a little more secure.

Still waiting... (1)

cedgray (1883160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517302)

Damnit - I'm still waiting for the release of Fox Force Five!

WebGL problems for ATI 57XX HD (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517354)

The WebGL is buggy and most of Mozilla's demo's wont run [mozilla.org] and the aquarium webGL [googlecode.com] experiment does not render properly.

I downgraded back to Firefox 4.01 and the problems went away. I have an ATI 5750 with the latest drivers under Windows 7.

The good news is Microsoft's IE fishtank demo topped 60 fps just like IE 9 with DirectWrite enabled. I am going to wait until 5.01 before I upgrade.

Replacement for version numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36517404)

I say replace the version numbers with version names:

Firefox "Just Polish"
Firefox "Bitter Tears"
Firefox "Just Chrome Inside"
Firefox "Are we bigger than 9 yet?"

Time to find a new browser... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517434)

Firefox is starting to prove more and more recently that they're too focused on trying to "win" and copying all the latest trends.
This is not why I picked up firefox.

Suggestions on good alternatives? (other than IE and chrome)

No, it doesn't. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36517574)

Where is the promised x64 version for Windows?

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