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The Enterprise Is Wrong, Not Mozilla

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the beam-me-up-snotty dept.

Firefox 599

There's been a lot of noise about Mozilla's new rapid release leading to conflict with Enterprise users. Kethinov found an Ars article that points out that "Now that Mozilla has released Firefox 5, version 4, just three months old, is no longer supported. Enterprise customers aren't very pleased with this decision, and are claiming it makes their testing burden impossible. We're not convinced: we think Mozilla's decision is the right one for the Web itself.'"

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Think of it as 4.0.2 (4, Insightful)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598054)

If the version number were 4.0.2 instead of 5.0 Enterprises wouldn't be getting their panties in a bunch over this.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598084)

Except it's not just enterprises. Tons of average users are getting headaches over this as well when suddenly an unjustified version jump is making it so their plugins get disabled.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598138)

True about the plugins. Mozilla should do something else with their version numbers so that fast, minor updates don't bump the major version and break plugins.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598370)

Why not just use a more traditional numbering convention and then you don't have to worry about it. Only introduce major architectural changes in major releases and only break compatibility then. Do a major release approximately once a year.

I know, its crazy and radical, but I think it just might work.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598170)

What plugins?

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598234)

you actually don't use NoScript and AdBlock Plus? sucks to be you.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598268)

I'm on 5 and my Adblock Plus is working perfectly fine.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598290)

I use AdBlock Plus, and it worked with Firefox 5 just fine, from the moment I upgraded. So again, what plugins don't work? The only one I have not working is one that is a beta version, and it will have a v5 release in days. It's certainly not the end of the world.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (4, Informative)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598524)

you actually don't use NoScript and AdBlock Plus? sucks to be you.

Both worked for me just fine as soon as I upgraded to version 5.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598570)

you actually don't use NoScript and AdBlock Plus? sucks to be you.

Pssh. n00b. Everyone knows you also need to use HideImages, RemoveText, NixContent, ZapProtocols, BlockExtensions (and its accomplice BlockPlugins), CSSWiper, BrowserUninstaller, and ShutdownSystem before you can start pretending you're safe.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598436)

Any add-on that uses a binary module needs to be recompiled for each ABI, and Firefox changes its ABI on every major version.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598508)

It changes its ABI on every version. Perhaps not on purpose but it changes. About the only things you can rely on not changing are the NPAPI and other @frozen interfaces / classes.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598298)

Funny, none of my addons broke going from 4.x to 5.x, and none of them updated automatically either. Same version as before.

Saying addons break going from 4 to 5 is going to require some citations as one aspect of this update was a change in how addon compatibility is handled.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598306)

Unless there was actually some major functionality changes from 4 to 5 which would break plugins, and it's just the version number of the browser which disables the plugin, you could easily just go into the configuration files for the plugin and change the supported version numbers.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598356)

Yeah, because doing that every 6 weeks to meet Mozilla's delusional goal of catching up to Chrome on version numbers is certainly something I feel like doing with my time.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598516)

I'm not saying it's an ideal solution, but until Mozilla gets their act together or publishes an easier way to keep your extensions working, at least you can keep your browser working close to the way you want it. Also note: I may have confused plugins with extensions in my previous post. I'm not actually sure if you can change your plugins to work on newer browser versions.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598124)

Pretty much. And without looking at release notes, I can't even really tell what changed from 4.x. Doesn't feel like anything more than a minor release. And at least my tree-tabs are still working.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598178)

I think it is more like Firefox 3.6.0 after Firefox 3.5.x and no security fixes for Firefox 3.5.x.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598278)

Right, as the article points out, the changelist for Firefox 5 [mozilla.com] is not much more expansive than the changelist for Firefox 3.6 [mozilla.com] .

Some enterprise users have internal apps that they need to test, and some of them are upset about such a 'big' change. In reality they shouldn't be looking at version numbers, they should be looking at a list of potential impacts, to make their testing easier.

If Mozilla wants to handle this PR challenge well, it might help announce that from now on they are going to support they enterprise better (everyone likes to know they are being thought of), then from now on point people to the changelist, or add a 'potential impacts' section to the list. Simple enough, and lets people know they are considered.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598580)

Yuk. Apparently you're giving tacit approval to the practice of writing applications meant to run in a web browser. Why? It just makes no sense. We've already seen what happens when the browser, the email app, and office apps all have hooks deep into the system. It opens the doors to multiple mega exploits!

No thanks, I'll pass. And any corporate IT people with a lick of sense will take a pass as well. Write your app in a real language, not as a half assed addon to a web browser.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598600)

Some enterprise users have internal apps that they need to test, and some of them are upset about such a 'big' change. In reality they shouldn't be looking at version numbers, they should be looking at a list of potential impacts, to make their testing easier.

But that would require thought and effort. They could also use a testing tool like Selenium, set up tests for their applications once, and then just change the browser type as new versions are released/supported. Again that would require some thought and effort from the devs/sysops and backing from management.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (3, Funny)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598418)

I say, to really mess with people, they should swap around their version numbers. So the first number is for minor update and the middle number is for major updates (but this number should go down instead of us). So, if you're at 1.4.0 and a small bug fix comes in, it'll be 2.4.0. Then a major release you're at 2.3.0.

Surely this is a great way to avoid any confusion.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (3, Insightful)

Dunega (901960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598526)

It's not about the version number, it's the "not-supported" part that's the issue.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598596)

So why doesn't the cheapass and lazy corporations support it themselves. The code is there for them to continue to use it as they want.

Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598622)

The problem was the crap that is Firefox development.

Going from 3.5 to 3.6 broke a number of plugins - sure there are replacements, but damn it was a pain for a supposed update.

Going from 3.6 to 4 introduced a bunch of crappy UI mods (no status bar, really? Must Firefox emulate Chrome?), requiring more plugins to get a browser that at least resembles what I had before.

Going from 4 to 5 broke what now? Oh, it broke the tab bar behavior to emulate Chrome again (great if you read tabs left-to-right, but if you go right-to-left, it's an annoying pain, and this time I can't find the option to disable it).

Oh yeah, it also means Google Apps lose support very quickly. Google said they're supported the last 3 major versions. Until 5 came out, that was 3.5, 3.6 and 4. Now with 5, it'll be 3.6, 4 and 5, despite 4 being dead.

Notice that 3.6 still receivs updates from Mozilla. Hell, even Ubuntu still keeps an LTS release every couple of years, good for 3 years since release.

Perhaps it wouldn't be such a pain if Mozilla quits screwing around with the UI so much. 3.5 to 3.6? Well, 3.6 should be 4, really since it broke a bunch of stuff (a number of plugins broke and I had to find new ones that did equivalent). Then 4 could be called 5 and we'd be at 5.0.2 or something because of the new UI.

Some of us like reasonable expectations of when plugins and such might break - going from 2 to 3 is obvious, as owuld 3 to 4 and the like. 3.5 to 3.6? I'd have expected all my plugins to work.

Hell, it's enough to drive me to IE 9 with all the UI messing around. Saving an extra 16 pixels just means I see an extra half a line of text.

No, they aren't. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598064)

No, they aren't. EOLing something after 4 months and breaking tons of user plugins for no reason is not good for users or the Web itself. It's needlessly churn to rapidly inflate version numbers for no gain for anyone.

You may be convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598074)

I don't see any argument as to why though...

Re:You may be convinced (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598166)

"Because they're looking for the best of the best, Sir!"

I think it's the "No Security Updates for 4" (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598080)

Plus, I know for a fact that many organizations have insanely long internal testing cycles, and 3 months ain't gonna cut it with them.

Re:I think it's the "No Security Updates for 4" (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598424)

How do they handle Patch Tuesday then? Are they finally getting MS (read: IE) critical updates from March?

Re:I think it's the "No Security Updates for 4" (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598598)

The whole point was that if they have such a long cycle for a web browser, they're doing it wrong. I agree with that. The web is a fast-moving platform, old browsers are bad.

I wonder... (1, Troll)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598086)

Have they addressed the fact that Firefox eats memory like Amy Winehouse smokes crack?

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598316)

I love how many people seem to complain of this, yet I have NEVER had a problem with Firefox using excessive amounts of memory. What are you guys doing to the poor thing?

Re:I wonder... (3, Informative)

edremy (36408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598558)

Using it. Right now I'm running pretty light- I only have 6 tabs open, but when I'm doing serious debugging it can easily be 20+. Some of them have video in them, others have google docs, etc. Right now it's "only" using 900MB, but it's not at all uncommon for FF to take up 2+ GB.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598566)

using plugins that cause this and blaming the browser...

It's like the guys that whine that oil additive XYZ broke their car engine...

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598090)

I guess I'm sold, I'm downloading NobodyGivesAShit 5.0 now.

Mozillacide (4, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598108)

We are witnessing "Mozillacide"

Damn "ordinary users", they don't need plugins that work.
Damn the enterprise, they are not the target market.

The version number is now Mozilla's priority.

Re:Mozillacide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598258)

Feature bloat has long had priority with Firefox/mozilla over things such as reduced memory and cpu usage, stability (of the browser), stability of the interface with 3rd party extensions/plugins, etc. It would be great if some people (who know what they are doing unlike me) could fork it and actually work on those points. I'm sure current developers will cry fowl and say they are working on that stuff but clearly the results dont show or I wouldn't be using 200+MB for 3 tabs w/ no flash or over 10% of my memory. The above can easily sky rocket to 600+MB. They don't call it Firepig for nothing.

Re:Mozillacide (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598270)

The version number is now Mozilla's priority.

Firefox should have just jumped to 11 and been done with it! That would be 2 louder than IE at least.

Re:Mozillacide (2)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598296)

Kind of like how they killed of Seamonkey with FireFox, only this time they're killing FireFox with FireFox?

Re:Mozillacide (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598388)

Seems to be a problem with many big successful projects becoming disconnected from the user. We have Ubuntucide in progress (or is it Canonicalcide?), OpenOfficecide, and it might be worth noting slashdot's godawful web-2.0 UI is attempted slashdot-a-cide.

AAT is golden (1, Troll)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598116)

If the business uses automated acceptance testing, this would is not a big deal. Just run your test suite on the new version and you will know in short order if there is a problem. I think this is really what Mozilla is trying to say: use better development practices and you won't have an issue.

Re:AAT is golden (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598146)

How about they use better development practices such as not breaking plugins for people by bumping a version number for no reason?

Re:AAT is golden (3, Insightful)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598500)

How about they use better development practices such as not breaking plugins for people by bumping a version number for no reason?

Or how about plugin authors using the Beta or, better yet, the Aurora release to get their shit updated for the final release? God forbid the extension/plugin authors actually do anything to alleviate a problem with a simple solution. No, they'd rather bitch about having to update it instead.

Re:AAT is golden (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598302)

Mozilla may be on some kind of moral high ground, but in the end, what-we-would-like is trumped by reality. It's a bitch.

Definitely the right move for Linux IMHO (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598130)

FF 5 on Linux with the latest version of Java works remarkably well, super fast, even in one of the worst Java applications known to man; Kronos Timekeeper. Usually the slowest application I have to use on a regular bases, FF 5 shows marked improvement for Linux.

it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

chiark (36404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598134)

Anyone who uses extensions has also been rather knackered by this move. I use 1password, NoScript and a Garmin uploader plugin. All failed to work with FF5 on the day of release.

I have rolled back to 4.0.1 and will move to 5 once all of those things work.

I'm sure, this being slashdot, it will be pointed out they've been fixed already... Well, apart from the Garmin plugin, and they're closed source so that's therefore inherently evil... But that's not the point, really: FireFox has an ecosystem built around it and you can't just shaft that so quickly. Not trolling, but I see no benefits of 5 if it does not fundamentally deliver the web I want, plugins and all!

The Firefox team seem to be feeling a little insecure... ? Opera 11... IE9... Safari 5... Still, at least they can look down on Chrome.

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598190)

Agreed...without Noscript, Adblock, and Greasemonkey, Firefox is pretty much useless to me. If those 3 developers are able to keep up with the release cycles, great, but if they can't, that's a dealbreaker for me.

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598208)

Still, at least they can look down on Chrome.

I'm running Chrome 12. What?

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

chiark (36404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598528)

Aaah, so it's Google's fault. I should have known... "Don't be evil" - pah!

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598216)

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598248)

Yes, because it should be the users job to make sure their plugins continue to work through these pointless version number churn.

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598336)

Well it disables addon checking, so you can run anything.

I'm sure FF should put in a different sort of checking for addon things - especially since the UI might not change, but for now its a good enough fix.

If you notice its marked as valid till FF7 - which is rather interesting - why don't the add-on designers do the same?

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598404)

Because they aren't allowed to, and trying to do so specifically doesn't work.

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598362)

Actually it is, and always has been up to the user to manage their extensions. If you refuse to take advantage of a tool that automates the process, it's no one elses fault. Or you could do the unthinkable thing and wait for a couple of days for the extension authors to update..

Re:it's not just enterprise users... extensions? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598256)

I'm sure, this being slashdot, it will be pointed out they've been fixed already...

Yeah noscript works fine here today. I have no idea about password stealing automation systems or Garmin GPS stuff.

Not trolling, but I see no benefits of 5

Staggeringly faster javascript and much lower battery / fan use. Maybe their idea is people should be doin' all their stuff in JS instead of addons and extensions?

My secondary box at home used to screech the CPU fans at full blast while running JS based web games like the Lacuna Expanse... Since upgrading to 5.0 on Debian (care of mozilla.debian.net, etc), I don't think the fan has even started up, and its objectively about twice as fast at everything.

What the article says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598152)

The article says the Firefox was always enterprise-unfriendly because minor releases included major functional changes, and the change to the version numbering hasn't altered this.

Which is true. And people wonder why enterprises are reluctant to use Linux on the desktop. Stability matters.

A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598154)

It's a browser, Firefox people. It doesn't need many new features. One new release every year or two is enough.

If so many new releases are needed for bug fixes, have longer betas. If the problem is security, beef up the sandbox design so that less of the code is security critical.

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598324)

A lot of this is a marketing issue, and it goes back to the early days of the Internet. Blame AOL for making every minor point release a new version, because other companies felt the need to release "new major versions" to be perceived by the clueless public as releasing an update as often. If Google is releasing new major versions(based on version number) every few months, then Mozilla HAS to, or the clueless masses will think that Firefox is not advancing as quickly.

Now, when it comes to new features, hardware acceleration makes a huge difference, so I'd call that worthy of a release, and doing a UI overhaul may also qualify, just to keep up, and if making it a minor point release doesn't get the attention needed to LOOK like Firefox is staying competitive, then doing a major version change is a valid response.

Most people outside of the technical fields have no idea of the difference between 4.0.0.1, 4.0.1, or 4.1...to THEM, it is still version 4 and won't feel any desire to upgrade. If they see 4 followed by 5, they will be more inclined to do the upgrade. Blame general ignorance and stupidity for decisions that are really marketing driven.

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598414)

Isn't it more "blame Google" for Chrome's release schedule and version numbering?

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598530)

"because other companies felt the need to release "new major versions" to be perceived by the clueless public as releasing an update as often."

And they are right. Here in Slashdot a lot of people used to say that Java is dead and Ruby/Python is the way of the future.

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (1)

lunasee (1766706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598614)

Well they can do a Netscape (v5) and start skipping version numbers to catch up with Chrome. Anymore version numbers don't mean anything. Some products use the year (Windows 2000), a version number that is not true (Windows 7), or a name that doesn't mean anything (Windows Vista).

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598420)

Its a browser, slashgoon person. It needs many new features. One new release every year or two is not nearly enough.

If so many new releases are required to add such features, have shorter betas. If the problem is security, aggressively add new security technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

I'm really, really sick of people badmouthing firefox for what it's not. This is the browser that beat IE (Yes, it did). This is the browser that saved the web from stagnation. This is the browser that forced Microsoft to clean up their act after they killed Netscape. It thrives on new features and new technologies to enable developers to create whole new applications you haven't' even begun to imagine. They can't do this if the feature set never changes.

Fire fox is not fucking IE6.

It's not some stable interface for your shitty in-house 10 year old intranet application. Maybe, just maybe, using a general purpose browser that one would use to go on the wild internet is not the same thing they should be using for their legacy web apps. Ever considered that?

Download, install run. Enjoy. Embrace change or get shoved aside.

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (4, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598442)

This is exactly my thinking. I don't care about the version numbers, as version systems are entirely arbitrary, but just the drive by Mozilla to subject us to new "features" (like removing established UI elements) constantly.

Browsers are old tech. Browsers are utilitarian. Non-technical people don't want a constantly evolving piece of basic software.

Mainstream browsers are not the place for "cool and cutting edge" development. I want a browser that focuses on security and standards compliance. New features outside that should be addons/plugins until they are so widely adopted, or self-evidently useful, that they get moved into the core of the browser. I call this the Blizzard model because that is the method they follow for World of Warcraft.

Mozilla seem to have adopted We-are-graphic-designers-and-so-know-better-than-you-plebs model that turned "Web 2.0" into a steaming pile of shit.

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598462)

I agree. Mozilla is wrong on this. They're trying to play the numbers game as Chrome is at "version" 12, Opera is at 11, and IE is at 9, so it "looks like" FF is behind. That's stupid. Just jump the version to 10 to address any public perception issue and release a new version every year or two with security updates as needed (every 1-3 months).

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598494)

Actually, as a browser it DOES need features on a consistent basis. Or maybe you'd like HTML 5 some time around 2023?

Re:A release every 6 weeks is really stupid (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598568)

Or maybe you'd like HTML 5 some time around 2023?

The more I learn about HTML5, the less I want it at all.

maybe mozilla can pay for new software versions? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598182)

there is a lot of expensive software that requires a specific web browser version. Cognos springs to mind. if you have a later browser it may not work and you have to buy a later version of the software which is very expensive. and companies use a lot of this type of software. cognos, web logic and lots of others.

No problem (1)

BrokenBeta (1007449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598194)

Don't panic, guys. The browser is FINISHED anyway. There isn't anything left to add to it (that plugins can't do), so version numbers is a nonissue.

Re:No problem (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598320)

except firefox deactivated some of my plugins because of version number changes (and no I haven't even hit five yet).

big issue

Re:No problem (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598434)

On the technical side there is a whole lot of stuff that has changed, that whole HTML5-thing. You know ?

It added a boatload of features and it will add a boatload of features again because no browser is done with implementating all the HTML5- and related specifications.

The HTML5-specification it self isn't even completely done yet.

Just a random example, how about videoï conferencingï:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcwnQW_AnC8 [youtube.com]

Ars proved that it didn't know what it was talking (1)

jra (5600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598196)

about when it said that the 3.0 Linux kernel release was "merely Linus' preference"; it wasn't. While the code didn't rev, the *kernel release practice did*, and it justified the new version number, even to me--and I'm the one who codified traditional version numbering practice in the Wikipedia article of the same name. It's stuck for 2 years now, so I assume I interpreted it properly. :-)

That said, Ars is wrong here, and so's Mozilla: I *was* IT guy, and had 500 seats to deal with, and they'd be pissing me right off if I was still in that position. I can think of no better way to chase medium to enterprise businesses away than to say "we don't give a fuck about you and your problems"... and that market is probably 30-40% of their marketshare.

Owel; someone will tell them "Oh yeah? Well, fork you!", and the problem will go away.

Mozilla is wrong, not the Enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598206)

IMO, Mozilla needs to satisfy the needs of all customers. The users of their software have to be kept central, it would be a strange move to leave out enterprise users.

Dear enterprise users: (1, Troll)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598210)

If you find that testing that it is cheaper if you all put some money together to found a small foundation which has the purpose of continuing another development branch, just do so.

I imagine if it takes that 50% people *more* to test it, then just use 25% of these people and put them in this foundation to bug fix and security fix old versions.

Nobody is stopping you from this (at least no the licenses).

Re:Dear enterprise users: (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598354)

Well, no.

You know what's even cheaper for enterprise? Continuing to use IE6.

And that doesn't require some kind of odd closest-Fortune-500-equivalent of the United Nations to get together.

If a big corporation can keep doing exactly what it's been doing without spending any money that it's not already been spending, it almost always will.

Re:Dear enterprise users: (2)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598450)

It's exactly that attitude that keeps firefox from being accepted in the Enterprise to begin with, and as several active IT admins have commented already on the last firefox story, many of them are deploying Chrome because of firefox's new release schedule.

Re:Dear enterprise users: (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598460)

Better idea - we'll just use something else. Shave off several more percentage points of marketshare (and the ad revenue from Google that goes with it).

- Sincerely, the Enterprise.

Dear Mozilla (4, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598232)

This is the reason IE continues to stay strong in enterprise.

Yes, corporate users are small-minded, and you're incurring in the same error.

Fix, stabilize, make a 'corporate version'. You don't need many resources for that.

Basically, sell a way for them to use Mozilla.

You're making IT people that root for you look bad. And making the dolts that only know IE look good.

Re:Dear Mozilla (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598546)

This is the reason IE 6 continues to stay strong in enterprise.

Don't think your argument has the intended effect you want it to...

Broken Plugins (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598264)

When I used Firefox regularly, it bothered me that almost every update 'broke' a plugin that had specified a maximum version number that wasn't actually accurate. They would set the value thinking that they could update it later if it turned out to work.

Just the other day I was just reading a message posted by Linux Torvalds where he said that version numbers should be used for kludges that hack issue in old kernels, instead of trying to predict the future. In that post, his point was that if the kernel version number can't be read, it should be assumed that the normal way of doing things will just work, and to try it instead of explicitly denying things when you aren't sure.

I see this situation the same way. Until a plugin developer has tried the plugin and found it fails on a new version of the browser, the future should be wide-open.

Every time Firefox released a new version, the first thing I would do is force all my plugins enabled. And they almost always worked.

test more (1)

aahpandasrun (948239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598274)

This makes a lot of sense. The amount of code being changed in Firefox source has remained constant over time, but the version numbering system has been changed. Enterprises have assumed that "minor updates" do not need to be tested. The move from Firefox 3.6.3 to 3.6.4 brought bigger changes with out of process plugins than 4.0 to 5.0, which just brought performance and security updates. Besides, upgrading to a new version of a web browser is nothing like upgrading an entire department to Office 2010 or Windows 7. The web is a constantly changing place, with websites redesigning themselves without warning. Maybe enterprises need a more rapid web browser deployment system that can keep up with Firefox, Chrome, and IE's upcoming rapid release system.

Sigh... (1)

ChromeBallz (1976216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598326)

Chrome suddenly got a huge share of the market and the only thing Mozilla could think of was to make their release schedule mirror Chrome's.

Simple solution:

Mozilla should remain Mozilla. They're neither Google nor Microsoft. Whoever's running Mozilla should get their heads out of their arses and focus on making the best browser, not on getting to the highest version number.

You think they're kidding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598358)

When companies say that the test burden is impossible they're not just pulling this out of their butts. We recently looked at our estimates for full testing of a new browser version and found that it exceeded the release cycle time for Chrome. Obviously this is a problem. We are contractually obligated to support the last two major versions of our supported browsers. This literally puts us in an impossible situation.

Now to be counter to the complaints, our solution is to change how we support rapid release browsers. Since "major" versions of rapid release browsers are much smaller revisions we feel safe saying we will only support the latest version, even if it changes in the middle of our testing. We're looking at redefining the version support part of our contract in light of the changing definition of a major version. If all goes well, supporting Chrome will actually be easier as we only test one version at a time instead of two.

But there is a key point here: Chrome auto-updates. You have to go out of your way to make it not auto-update. If Firefox doesn't do the same thing, it will be literally impossible to fully support it, and we will drop support.

This is about consumer-facing support though. If we were talking internal support, I think the solution would be simple. Pick the current version Firefox and fix that version as the supported version. Do all testing with that. When it's time to test again, pick the current version of Firefox and call that the supported version.

But going back to my starting point, do not dismiss enterprise complaints so easily. They're really not joking when they say providing the same kind of support for Firefox's new model that they did for the old model is literally impossible. They will have to adapt, but they cannot provide the same kind of support for the new model that they did for the old. Where Firefox needs to be careful is that if it is too much of a burden even after trying to adapt to the new model, companies will drop support for Firefox.

Re:You think they're kidding? (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598538)

Chrome is auto-updating, but what versions do actually get security updates ? I think it is just the lastest one.

And updates can be on daily or hourly basis, so how do you handle that ?

Sounds like you are obviously always behind.

Soon it may not even matter. (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598382)

Firefox's usage share has been slowly declining since quite some time. They introduced the rather universally hated moron-bar, and paid no attention to the feedback. Then they introduced the unwelcome changes in the UI with Firefox 4, and paid no attention to the feedback. Now they decided to piss off the plugin authors and enterprise customers. In the end, they may become a niche browser, and even Google could decide that their money is better spent elsewhere, than on a bunch of idiots.

I disagree strongly.... (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598408)

I honestly don't understand that insane schedule the Firefox is taking. Patches for a softwareare fine, even if they occur often as long as they don't impact handling or functionality.

But it is my impression, that the new Firefox versions come out just for the sake of new versions. With the speed webmasters are adopting new technology, a one version every year would be fine.

You don't update any software in the enterprise twice a year (or more often). This is just too expensive. It may be the right choice for the Firefox team ego, but it is 100% wong for an enterprise.

Yours, Martin

How about a car analogy...sure why not. (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598430)

"...claiming it makes their testing burden impossible. We're not convinced: we think Mozilla's decision is the right one for the Web itself.'"

Really? You think it's the right decision, huh?

Tell you what, how about I go around and change all unleaded gas over to leaded gas tomorrow, and YOU can work with your various manufacturers to figure out why YOUR make and model of car doesn't run right.

This is EXACTLY what Mozilla has done with their upgrade path (i.e. leaded gas). They've basically chosen to not give a shit about the very developers and coders(i.e. the car manufacturers) that have written thousands of plugins that helped put Firefox on the map and establish Mozilla.

Keep it up Mozilla. I don't care who you try and convince here, perception is reality, and right now the perception that your upgrade path WILL break the very features that make you rather unique in the browser world, will ultimately be your demise.

I've dealt with enough FF upgrades to know to research plugin compatibility before I upgrade, but it's still a pain in the ass even when I have to do it once every six months. I'll quit using FF altogether if that nightmare becomes a monthly battle.

stupid new numbering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598444)

* bad for remembering ... works wirh browser version 23? 45? 86?
* breaks plugins more easily (especially when the administrator is far away)
* more GUI changes are noticeable to the user and not always the best
* security updates yes, however I don't want new features all the time

I am a "long long" time private Mozilla user and I really think this new numbering system is the wrong way!

Standards might help (2)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598446)

If you have correctly followed commonly agreed upon standards how much of your application is really going to break? and like everyone else has said previous, they are small incremental changes not akin to the old paradigm of huge versions. you could also use a test suite and automate those tests. just some thoughts.

Enterprise is wrong. (3, Insightful)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598488)

If a web-browser change causes a "mission-critical web app" to break, one of the words in "mission-critical web app" is a lie.

Ars Technica and Peter Bright... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598504)

Ars Technica and Peter Bright are entitled to their opinion.
Keep in mind that the Enterprise IT managers are getting hammered on both ends: Keeping up to date with the rapid development of new programs and simultaneously ensuring that everything works as it should. I suppose what's good for the "Web itself" is not necessarily good for the Enterprise.

Solution: Just ask the Enterprise to go away??? (2)

mikery1 (142621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598512)

From the article:

Corporate users who can't update their browsers because of some persnickety internal application they have to use, but who then go and use that same browser on the public Internet. By unleashing these obsolete browsers on the world at large, these corporate users make the Web worse for everyone. Web developers have to target the lowest common denominator, and the corporations are making that lowest common denominator that much lower.

And the best way to resolve that is to alienate the enterprise even more . . .???

At least at the end of the article, the author discusses having enterprise releases and internal updates. But the kiddies running this show need to realize that the big boy adults (i.e. the enterprise) are going to be the ones that drive the significant majority of sites/work on the web. Just saying, "oh go away I don't want to deal with you" only leads us right back to supporting IE6.

In Summary: (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598520)

"We disagree that Mozilla has stopped caring about the enterprise. They never cared about the enterprise."

This is so slow release (1)

handsonsites (2318216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598536)

Chrome is now entering a popular stage while Firefox getting low level popular in this web world. So Firefox have to take more improvement to stand in a standard position.

I'll wait for the next version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598560)

I think I'll wait till version 7 in a few weeks time, or maybe version 8, or perhaps I should wait for version 9 which won't be long after that. Sod it, forget Firefox, I'm going to look for a more stable browser instead - both in version numbers and code.

IE 6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36598604)

I thought The Enterprise (at least in the US) was stuck on IE6 primarily for this reason?

No, Mozilla is wrong. (4, Interesting)

gamrillen (1972402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598608)

I worked for a large corporation on a team that deployed software to ~50,000 desktops and ~10,000 servers. Whenever we wanted to deploy a new software package (Via Microsoft SCCM or Group Policies) it was a huge undertaking, even for the simpler applications. At minimum, it takes at least a month to develop a plan for and deploy an application, and that was just on our end. If it was something that involved websites, and/or browser plugins (Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, etc) then it would take even longer because testing would have to be done on every internal web based application. That alone took several months and a dedicated project team. Once the software change was ready for deployment, it took a week to develop the scripting and deployment policies. After that, it was deployed to a pilot group for two weeks, and then a test group for a week. After that, it could be put into production. However, if there was the slightest hitch along the way, it could set us back several weeks. Enterprises move VERY slowly on their software deployments. If Mozilla is interested at all in keeping Firefox in the enterprise world, they're going to have to slow down, or at least release an "Enterprise" version so that deployment teams can keep up. Six week release cycles are just going to cause folks like me, who manage software deployments, to stop deploying it at all.

Need an LTS version (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598624)

Ubuntu has it right: have a version that is bringing in through new features and tries new stuff but has a short lifetime, and also a long-time support version that provides stability for those who need it.

No, Mozilla's delusional (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36598628)

This is not good for the Enterprise. It's not good for Firefox or Mozilla, which is already losing marketshare and isn't going to benefit from pissing off very large users. It's not even good for "the web" despite their nebulous and poorly supported claim that it is.

In reality this is some blowhards like Asa making poor decisions and then trying to defend them when people point out that it's a poor decision. Normal users don't particularly benefit from more big downloads that break things more often and will sometimes get a new gee-whiz HTML 5 feature out the door a bit sooner (which then won't be adopted by any websites until a couple of versions of FF later because of the lag time required to, you know, develop stuff). Enterprise users clearly suffer because keeping up with this requires throwing testing out the window and will effectively just reinforce the idea that you should stick with IE (where Microsoft actually wants your business and doesn't give you a middle finger).

If driving people away from Firefox is "good for the web", then I guess this is good for the web. But here in reality it's good for IE and Chrome.

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