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Firefox 7.0 Beta Released

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the another-day-another-version dept.

Firefox 237

An anonymous reader sends word that the first Firefox 7.0 beta has been released. One of the big areas of focus for this version will be performance enhancements. One optimization "Reduces memory use and improves performance areas including responsiveness, startup and page load time, even in complex websites and Web apps." Another addresses one of Firefox users' long-standing gripes: "The JavaScript garbage collector works more frequently to free up memory and improve performance when you have many tabs open or keep Firefox running for a long time."

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237 comments

Inb4 autism (-1, Troll)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144606)

In before autistic people throw a hissy fit as if their toy blocks got messed out of the correct order.

(But yes, the numbering system does seem to have lost its meaning)

Re:Inb4 autism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145094)

We see you trollin', we hatin'
Tryin to catch you postin' dirty

FIrefox 8 Alpha... (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144608)

Next in few mins...Firefox 8 Alpha released and Firefox 9 Preview released... Do we need to clog up the front page with these articles? Gone are the days of version numbers making any sense in FF. We don't report Chrome versions do we?

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144986)

Hey, it's better than more troll-bait Google FUD from Florian Müller!

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145008)

Not for this recoiledsnake character. His account is pure agenda. Read some of his post history and see if you can figure out what said agenda is.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1, Informative)

TheDarkNose (1613701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145038)

Yeah, it's kind of ridiculous... I'm still on FF 3.6

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145174)

Why on such an old version? There's no reason because Firefox is FREE and it's not like they're making soul-sucking changes to the license lately.

Firefox is moving to Chrome's release model. There are no more "versions" just the latest, best product they can make right NOW.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145366)

Why on such an old version?

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS won't upgrade Firefox past 3.6.x, and I like to have the same OS on the development and deployment machines. It took a while for our hosting provider to start offering Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on its dedicated servers.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145530)

As I said in a previous Fx story, not all of us WANT the latest and greatest. Not all of us WANT to be forced to upgrade because we can't turn auto update off.

It should not be up to the developers to dictate how I use software on MY system. Maybe YOU want to be on the bleeding edge and have the bells and whistles, I don't.

For a large group of people who rail against authority and being forced to do something by the government, it's amazing how many bend over and take it from the OSS/Free software community when they force shit down people's throats willy nilly.

Again, rule #1 of IT: Never let a programmer program your application*.

*Rule #2 is never let a web designer design your web site so it would be redundant to use the word design twice.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (2)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37146082)

FF5 didn't upgrade to FF6 automatically on any of my machines. It did tell me that there was an update, but it didn't force anything. Chrome's auto-upgrade can be turned off, they just don't make it easy to the end user because 99% of the time, it shouldn't be. Anyone in IT should easily be able to disable this.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (5, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37146104)

It should not be up to the developers to dictate how I use software on MY system.

Then get the source and do whatever the hell you want. YOU don't get to dictate what THEY do.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (2)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145258)

Ditto. Not upgrading any time soon. The UI needs an overhaul in 4+ and something needs to be done about plugins breaking. Plugins are the only reason I use Firefox over other browsers. While other browsers have some, not all that I use.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1)

Mr. Vage (1084371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145142)

Don't worry, I have a feeling they'll stop when they hit version 10. They are just trying to get there as fast as possible so that they can change the name of the program Firefox X because X makes everything 20% cooler.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145204)

Yeah, we need more space for Bitcoin stories

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (0)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145342)

Come December we will be celebrating Firefox 22. and sometime next year it will be Firefox 42 and we will be left looking for a question.

Re:FIrefox 8 Alpha... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37146002)

The version numbers make perfect sense and do exactly what they're suppose to do... The larger the number, the "newer" it is.

I could care less what kind of numbering system the use, so long as it's incremental.

Aw c'mon (2)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144620)

As a web designer, they're turning my hair white with all these versions. Not so much that we need worry about things becoming incompatible, etc. but it's spreading out the userbase, which is just inherently more difficult to ensure cross-version identicality.

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

empiricistrob (638862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144730)

I agree that it's annoying, but in practice I don't think this causes any compatibility issues. Before did you worry separately about whether you support 3.5, 3.5.1, ..., 3.6,3.6.1, etc? Probably not. Now you should probably just think of FF4-7 as being essentially the same version until you find out otherwise (just as you likely did previously with the minor version numbers).

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144810)

Yeah, pretty much. I don't expect anything to happen, but it's a lot of changes that bring some percentage of the prior userbase along to the new version. Now we'll have more people spread out among version numbers (albeit arbritrary). It's happening fast enough that a security mistake in one of the many versions gone by between then and now could pop up eventually, meaning we need to (for example) tailor our scripts around one of them.

But again, yeah I hear ya, probably nothing to actually be concerned about.

Re:Aw c'mon (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144848)

Yeah, but the point was you knew right away 3.6 was nearly identical to 3.6.1 (well, should be anyways) and was probably pretty similar to 3.5, but not to 4.0. Now, you have no clue if 7 represents a major change or just a bugfix without actually testing it. Hence, frustration for developers. Mozilla is basically giving them less information about what the release cycles contain, and for no good reason whatsoever. And that is why people complain.

Re:Aw c'mon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145186)

If only they had release notes and a product roadmap to document changes...

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

Kippesoep (712796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145562)

Now, you have no clue if 7 represents a major change or just a bugfix without actually testing it.

Really? What about 5.0.1 and 4.0.1? Bugfix releases still can and do happen. 7 is a feature release, as were 6, 5 and 4 before it. Perhaps the features added aren't alway major news or huge visible changes, I agree. But at least they're coming available much quicker now and can be refined sooner as well.

Hence, frustration for developers.

As a web developer, I am not frustrated by the jump in version numbers. It is, after all, just a number. If anything, it makes it easier to know when new functionality becomes available, even if it comes in bite-sized chunks, rather than wondering whether a point release is just a collection of bugfixes or actually expands functionality. If anything, I thought that they shouldn't have done the out-of-process plugins in the small numerical step from 3.6.3 to 3.6.4... that alone warranted calling it 3.7, imho.

Re:Aw c'mon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144962)

Why do "web designers" insist on "identicality"? I don't give a damn what exact spacing or font you chose; just serve me the content and let my browser render it how I choose.

Re:Aw c'mon (2)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145080)

Because companies that pay us to do these things care an awful lot about how their site looks to the most amount of people. Then again, they hire people for "SEO," so it's not like they know what they're talking about. But who's going to tell them that?

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145098)

Um... I build web apps for a living.... that's what I do day in and day out.... FF's version changes have barely affected what I do. Frankly, if you're doing it right in the first place, this should pretty much be a non-issue.

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145364)

Agreed. Rendering engine changes are what to look out for and even at that I run everything through a check to make sure the feature I'm accessing actually exists before using it. Sure it costs a bit in speed but rarely does anything break. If it does break, it's usually because the error handling needs to be tweaked for when a feature doesn't exist and a hack is used as a backup.

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145608)

As a web designer, they're turning my hair white with all these versions.

Um, you're much more likely to have everybody using the same version now they've added auto-update...

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145924)

For the tens of thousands of visitor to the webpages I work on, Firefox 6 usage has already surpassed Firefox 5 usage. I'm sure by the end of the weekend FF4 and FF5 will be a drop in the bucket.

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

iridium213 (2029192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145842)

Quicktime plugin w/ embedded streaming was broken thanks to the unsolicited Firefox 6 'security' upgrade. First week of classes and lecture videos stop working. Thanks Mozilla. Now we have one more reason to recommend Chrome or Safari..

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145858)

Does Chrome keep you up all night too?

Maybe if you were a plugin developer I'd be concerned, but the way you have to think about these version numbers is to move the decimal point to the left. This isn't a whole new version how coders think of it, it's really just a point release - it's like getting stressed out because Firefox released 3.6 after 3.5 (or whatever was before 3.6). It's practically a non issue.

It's not how I'd run the show but really people need to stop whining about these version numbers breaking zomgeverything. Firefox 7 will, from all accounts I've seen, render your web page EXACTLY THE SAME.

90% of users will just get an autoupdated new version anyways.

Re:Aw c'mon (1)

g13n (2441858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145970)

As a web designer, they're turning my hair white with all these versions. Not so much that we need worry about things becoming incompatible, etc. but it's spreading out the userbase, which is just inherently more difficult to ensure cross-version identicality.

If I were you, I would just rely on the YUI Graded Browser chart [yuilibrary.com/yui/docs/tutorials/gbs/] and develop against it, any way there's hardly any difference between these 6, 7, 8, ... versions ;-)

Memory Reporting (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144628)

Not in the summary is an opt in feature that will report your memory use (presumably along with what pages you are on and extentions you are using) back to Mozilla so they can finally put the "but FF using 2 GB of RAM on my machine" bugs to rest, either by fixing them or by dispelling the myth depending on which is the case.

Re:Memory Reporting (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144830)

Not in the summary is an opt in feature that will report your memory use (presumably along with what pages you are on and extentions you are using) back to Mozilla so they can finally put the "but FF using 2 GB of RAM on my machine" bugs to rest, either by fixing them or by dispelling the myth depending on which is the case.

More likely is that they'll continue current practice, and refuse to even look at the bug for anyone who has any plugin installed, and instead assume that it must be the plugins that are at fault.

Re:Memory Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145242)

It only takes me 3-4 days of typical use to get firefox to the point. If need be, I think I could tolerate 3-4 days without plugins just to make a point.

Re:Memory Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145356)

That's no longer current practice; there's a number of filed bugs where extensions and plugins are responsible for the memory leaks, and the Mozilla guys have been contacting the developers and helping them track down the leaks.

An example. [mozilla.org]

Fix the leaks perhaps?? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144636)

"The JavaScript garbage collector works more frequently to free up memory and improve performance when you have many tabs open or keep Firefox running for a long time."

Shouldnt the leaks be fixed, rather than having a garbage collector cleaning them up?

Isnt it like putting a bigger engine on a car with square wheels instead of making the wheels round?

Re:Fix the leaks perhaps?? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144668)

It would be fixed by using a non-GC language. Seeing how JavaScript has become the defacto scripting language of the client-side web, I doubt this is going to change any time soon.

Re:Fix the leaks perhaps?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145380)

Why use a scripting language at all, eh Grandpa?

Re:Fix the leaks perhaps?? (1, Troll)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144674)

Shouldnt the leaks be fixed, rather than having a garbage collector cleaning them up?

You sir just won Slashdot's "Wannabe techie dumb comment of the day."

Re:Fix the leaks perhaps?? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144888)

Shouldnt the leaks be fixed, rather than having a garbage collector cleaning them up?

Welcome to the age of managed code. No, what you do is of course add another abstraction layer to distance yourself from the bugs, and add unit tests for the purpose of validating your code (instead of finding something wrong with it, which once upon a time was the purpose of tests).

Re:Fix the leaks perhaps?? (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145238)

and add unit tests for the purpose of validating your code (instead of finding something wrong with it, which once upon a time was the purpose of tests).

Anyone doing unit tests properly is both validating their code and finding something wrong with it. If you're tests don't do both, you're doing it wrong.

Mozilla version numbering system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144642)

Is that considered a bug or a feature?

Really? What's the point of this version numbering (0)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144680)

If the releases are that close together, just keep it in development until they get in all the bugs and features in. No one likes to upgrade every month.

Re:Really? What's the point of this version number (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145146)

If the releases are that close together, just keep it in development until they get in all the bugs and features in. No one likes to upgrade every month.

Speaking only for myself, I only like to upgrade when there (a) are compelling reasons, and (b) it's feasible.
I use a plugin which is security related and thus signed, and there will never be a new version available at the day of the launch. If there isn't a new version before the next release, it means that in order to upgrade, I will have to hunt down the new version in archives, and install it that way.
With other companies having release cycles of 6 months or a year, there's no way they can keep up with Firefox. So Asa D. has pretty much forced many of us to look elsewhere.

Yes, I see the upgrade popup for Firefox, but I have to ignore it because upgrading will break my plugins. It's only a source of irritation.
The supported distro I am on is at version 3.6.18, and there is no newer version. So why do I get the irritating pop-up at all?
In Windows (in a VM), I am at FF5, and get a pop-up telling me that I should go to version 6. Sorry, I can't, until the plugins I need are signed for FF6. So why do I get a pop-up? Just to irritate me?

I'm using other browsers more and more now, because the direction Mozilla is going in now is best described as the direction of the divine wind. Sorry, I don't plan to be aboard.

Re:Really? What's the point of this version number (3, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145424)

You could use the super-secret Mozilla Add-on SDK [mozilla.org]

QUOTE: help ensure your add-on continues to work as new versions of Firefox are released.

Nobody seems to be mentioning this solution. Not even Mozilla.

Re:Really? What's the point of this version number (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37146038)

You could use the super-secret Mozilla Add-on SDK

QUOTE: help ensure your add-on continues to work as new versions of Firefox are released.

Nobody seems to be mentioning this solution. Not even Mozilla.

At least in part because having Firefox auto-update the xpi to mark it compatible for a new version breaks when modules are signed.
So for those, the developer has to release a new package. And if your release cycle is 6 months (fairly common), and Firefox' release cycle is 6 weeks, there is going to be Problems.
Both users and developers aren't going to put up with it, and will leave. Which is exactly what we see happening now - it wasn't rocket science to predict this outcome.

Re:Really? What's the point of this version number (3, Interesting)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145690)

What do you use instead? That's been my big problem - the plugin libraries of other browsers are no where near as extensive and a lot of the functionality I use daily just isn't there.

Plugins used daily:

- Snap Links Plus ---- a few upgrades and this should replace traditional highlighting in a browser
- QuickDrag ---- removes the need to do ctrl+click to open in a new tab
- Adblock Plus ---- simply hiding ads isn't enough for ABP, it must stop them from downloading to preserve the precious 20gb of data transfer/month I have
- Element Hiding Helper ---- for those few pesky ads you can't block from downloading
- Modify Headers ---- this one is gold
- FireFTP
- Canadian English Dictionary
- IE Tab Plus ---- for those pesky active x controls (not used daily but useful)
- Morning Coffee ---- how else would I open all my favourite sites at once? certainly not with the "dialpad" or whatever that monstrosity is called
- Chatzilla
- about a dozen different web development tools from Firebug to Live HTTP headers to MeasureIt... just too many to mension

There's just no option that does all that... at best I might be able to do it across 4-5 different programs if I dropped some of them. Slowly though they are no longer supporting 3.6 and I won't upgrade due to the numerous issues from their release model to their UI and so on... eventually I'll have switch to another browser because neither 3.6 nor 7+ will be worth using.

It was good while it lasted.

enough already with the version bloat! (0)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144714)

Really? The beta for 7 comes out the same week as 6 is released? This version nonsense has got to stop. You know those periods are there for a reason... Hint: Big number for major changes that might affect reverse compatibility, 1st decimal for minor changes, 2nd decimal for bug fixes

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144738)

They are already working to remove the version numbering [slashdot.org] , whether it's for better or for worse.

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145108)

At least once they remove the version numbering, we won't have to put up with a new release announcement every week.

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (5, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144964)

It's more that the beta for 7 comes out pretty much the instant 6 is released. One of the more interesting aspects of the Mozilla development process is that they essentially have a pipeline of four "releases" going on at once: Current (stable stuff, now 6), Beta (code being stabilized, now 7), Aurora (testing and major bugfixes, now 8) and Nightly (new feature work, now 9). When it comes time to do a new release, Current gets booted out, Beta and Aurora get promoted, and Nightly coughs up a build that becomes the new Aurora. It would actually be a pretty good system, except for the part where they forgot about maintenance releases and long-term support.

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (0)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145010)

I agree, at this point i think it a game on all their parts to force us to stop putting faith in version numbers, and just blindly keep getting the updates ...aka..latest version....

This to me is such a fail, as most web devs need to be sure of the versions they are compatible with...and this will just make it impossible to tell...

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145298)

Write to the HTML5 spec, validate, and don't worry about the other stuff. HTML was never designed to be "pixel perfect". That's a limitation that has been in the first page of the spec manual since forever.

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145452)

Write to the HTML5 spec

I agree with you as for web pages. But write Firefox add-ons to what spec?

HTML was never designed to be "pixel perfect".

It also wasn't designed to look completely unusable when a user's web browser supports only half of the CSS selectors and properties that your page uses, was it?

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (1)

asa (33102) | more than 2 years ago | (#37146072)

"I agree with you as for web pages. But write Firefox add-ons to what spec?"

The Add-ons SDK. Write to that and your add-ons won't break with updates. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/developers/builder [mozilla.org] Yeah. It's that easy. Write to the stable APIs of the Web and the stable APIs of Firefox. When you do that, things shouldn't break and when they do, they're very rare and can be pinned on Firefox as legitimate bugs.

Re:enough already with the version bloat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145362)

Perhaps first you should read up on the Firefox release cycle. When a new version is released, the beta is incremented by one. This isn't random or a coincidence.

It starting to be funny (1)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144732)

We might as well link the third article on Slashdot to an RSS feed or Mozilla releases. Its starting to get an article every 5 days or so.

Radical idea: Fix the plugin api! (0)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37144790)

I have an idea... how about stabilizing the plugin API so that all my plugins don't break with every single bloody release? I always thought Apple was bad regarding forced obsolescence , but Mozilla now makes Apple look like a granite pillar of stability.

Chrome pumps out releases like there is no tomorrow, yet they don't seem to have this problem. Heck, Chrome could have updated this morning, and I wouldn't have even noticed.

I already have enough to do without having to worry about my browser setup getting mangled every couple of weeks.

Re:Radical idea: Fix the plugin api! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145320)

You don't mean plugins; you mean extensions.

Re:Radical idea: Fix the plugin api! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145578)

Firefox extensions have a lot of access to the browser, so when features change, so does the extension API. Mozilla is working on a project called the Add-on SDK [mozilla.org] which has a stable API and provides less intrusive access to the browser. It allows for addons that work a lot like Chrome extensions. A lot of current popular extensions can probably be rewritten for this platform (though some of course still need low-level access and will have to stay extensions).

I'm beta testing... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144798)

I'm posting this from Firefox 120945324-alpha-beta-pi-release-42.

This version seems stable... oops - not any more. I took too many seconds to type this.

Firefox 7! 8! 9! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144916)

The version number inflation with Firefox doesn't bother me at all, because I don't use Firefox anymore.

Master race reporting in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144944)

>2011
>Not using Nightly 9.0 master race.

minimum tab width (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37144966)

Are they going to fix the minimum tab width? I can type about:config,, but I use chrome instead of trying to learn enough about xml to figure out how to fix the config file to adjust the minimum tab width. Still very disappointed that the FF team made FF less usable than IE.

Re:minimum tab width (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145234)

Are they going to fix the minimum tab width? I can type about:config,, but I use chrome instead of trying to learn enough about xml to figure out how to fix the config file to adjust the minimum tab width. Still very disappointed that the FF team made FF less usable than IE.

For 3.6.x, I use the following tweaks. Are these still available in 7.0? I got off the Fx "upgrade" train with 4.0. What did they fuck up this time?

browser.tabs.tabMinWidth 0 # Yes, I really *do* want 30+ tiny square tabs. browser.tabs.closebuttons 3 # ...and one close button that doesn't move

I use closebuttons=3 not just so that I can hover a mouse cursor over a static "X" icon and just click (because that's what ^W is for), but because I really *do* want 30+ tiny square tabs when I'm waist-deep in some forum with forced pagination. The less horizontal space taken up by the tabs, the better.

And because I prefer to use tabs like a stack, not a thread, I also go with:

browser.tabs.selectOwnerOnClose false browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent false

Whats the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145016)

I've said this since version 3.

Firefox 1.0 was great but it was built upon a horrible engine among other things. (Comparing it to Opera at the time)

We are now at Version 7, not much has changed, they are basically polishing a turd unfortunately.

They should have scraped Firefox at version 3 and started new, they know how to make some great features but they seem to spend their entire dev time on fixing firefox performance issues.

make the update notifications more annoying please (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145102)

It used to be a tiny little box that would slide up in the corner of the screen. It would stay there for exactly as long as it took for your brain to register the presence of the link, and then slide away. Unless you were a ninja and/or sniper you had no hope of hitting the link.

Now a big, huge window flops up onto the middle of the screen WHILE I'M WATCHING A GODDAMN VIDEO. Half an acre of gray emptiness with two buttons and a line of text about the new version.

I hope with future versions that the entire screen will be blacked-out, mariachi music will begin to play in the background along with the sound of 5 or 6 crying babies, and a 5 minute marketing video plays while the new version downloads and installs. Oh! And I hope they start forcing the icon onto the desktop with each update, Adobe style; that would rock.

Anger at version number games. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145134)

What was called FireFox 4.0 should have been called FireFox 3.7, and we should still be in 3.7.x phase. These version number games make me have the very real inclination to punch the people responsible in the face repeatedly. They are doing no less than turning FireFox, which once had reverence, into an object of ridicule.

Re:Anger at version number games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145844)

Er ... really? Firefox 4 was a *major* update from 3.6. It added tons of new features and performance changes (I'm hesitant to say "improvements" because that doesn't seem to be the case for most people). It made total sense to call it Firefox 4, as it was easily as much a change from 3.6 as version 3 was from 2.

It's version 5 that, according to the old numbering scheme, should really be something like 4.1. But now that they've changed their numbering scheme, it makes sense to call it Firefox 5. Because Mozilla is the developer, and they can number their products however they'd like.

By the way, it's not called FireFox. It's Firefox.

They're ALL Betas (5, Informative)

Jonathan C. Patschke (8016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145166)

From the big Bugzilla thread [mozilla.org] about version numbers earlier this week:

Users cannot sit on Firefox 4.x They will be updated to the latest version when they open the About dialog (or sooner) because all* but the current Firefox release are unsupported versions in the new rapid release cycle. Those not current versions do not not get critical security updates except via the current version. Firefox users will not be spread across Firefox 4, 5, 6, etc. They will be on the latest version or they will be about to be on the latest version.

Effective expiration, lack of bugfixes, and rapidly replaced by newer versions with bugfixes? By any practical definition, there is no stable version. They're all betas from here onwards. The whole notion of a release isn't that it's bug-free, but that it's supported for a reasonably-long period of time.

There ain't no-one for to give you no pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145514)

"Those not current versions do not not get critical security updates except via the current version."
Nice to see Asa's been working on the clarity of his communiques.

Whinedot - News For Complainers Stuff That Annoys (-1, Troll)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145190)

Shouldn't there be some statute of limitations on how long people are allowed to grouse about the Firefox version number thing?

Firefox is free, customizable, and is pretty awesome as a web browser. Did I mention that it's free?

There's also a post complaining about memory usage. It's always nice to spice things up with the last super-popular Firefox complaint.

Sigh.

Re:Whinedot - News For Complainers Stuff That Anno (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145306)

So what if it's free. How does that make it above criticism? That's got to be one of the lamest excuses for trying to stifle criticism of something. If you're just going to whine and complain when your users complain about stuff, then why even release something for users anyway? Why not just keep it as some internal tool so the devs can circle jerk in peace? That seems to be what Mozilla wants now.

Re:Whinedot - News For Complainers Stuff That Anno (0)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145468)

Stifle criticism? Mozilla releases a beta version of their immensely popular web browser. I read the story on one of the most influential tech-blogs on the internet and instead of a discussion of the features of this new release there are a dozen uninformed posts about how changing the version number from 6 to 7 is a travesty!

It breaks my pluginses, my precious!

Re:Whinedot - News For Complainers Stuff That Anno (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145554)

Stifle criticism?

Did you not read the bugzilla thread where Asa Dotzler was getting butthurt and trying to stifle debate because people *gasp* dared to question his supposed "bug"?

Once again, if you don't want anyone criticizing something. DON'T FUCKING RELEASE IT TO THE PUBLIC. Mozilla seems to want to turn Firefox into a circle jerk fest. That's fine, just keep it to yourselves and circle jerk away.

6.0 reporting here (2)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145314)

My FireFox has updated itself to 6.0 now and my humble plugin-requirements still work. I use NoScript, AdBlock+, BetterPrivacy and DownloadHelper. So you will at least be able to surf the web with reasonable security. As soon as the plugins starts breaking, I'm going straight for Chrome. I don't know much about Chrome these days, I last used it 3 years ago. How is the stance with plugins on Chrome now ? If there are still no plugins, do you at least have the equivalent functions of the plugins i mentioned above?

Re:6.0 reporting here (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145420)

Chrome's addins don't break because they have much less access to the browser then FF extensions (which can use internal APIs and that's why they break more often). For example there's no true equivalent to FlashBlock on Chrome because the API makes it impossible. The closest thing just hides Flash, but it's still running.

Who put the 'fox' in Firefox? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145370)

Next up: Mozilla becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fox News empire after Google and other funding sources dry up.

Re:Who put the 'fox' in Firefox? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145642)

Next up: Mozilla becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fox News empire after Google and other funding sources dry up.

I love that pseudorumor so much I am going to start spreading it.

performance enhancements? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145448)

Okay, so Major versions mean "new feature that may be buggy, so avoid .0 releases", Minor versions mean "okay, no new features, let's just concentrate on enhancing performance and security of the features we do have". And FF7's major claim to fame will be performance enhancements and a widget to tell MOZILLA about webpage memory usage. So not only is Firefox 7 breaking the traditional model, it's reporting things to Mozilla that it won't even report to the user. Screw this, if I want phone-home enabled browsers, I'll go with the ones I already KNOW phone home, IE and Chrome.

Firefox 100 in 2015 (1)

wreakyhavoc (1045750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145454)

Something tells me they started feeling penis envy when FF was only 3.x.x and "theirs goes to 11". Add to that a fear that Avg Joe might think that FF technology is inferior due to the lower number.

Will they be content to lay off this number madness when they reach parity with IE? Or will we be seeing version 24 in 2012, and Firefox 100 in 2015? At the current pace of releases, that may be a conservative number.

Why should I care? (5, Insightful)

kbrannen (581293) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145540)

Really, why should I care about FF any more? They're killing us and themselves with all of these major version releases. As many others have pointed out, it's painful when dealing with web development, plugin usage, or even just to know what version is "latest". And that doesn't count all the pain with the major bugs that just languish while the UI is endlessly tweaked for no good reason (exactly why was the status bar removed?).

I'm sorry FF, but I'm sticking to the 3.6 series. As soon as that doesn't work anymore because of 1 OS upgrade too many, I'll stop using FF. If you can get things fixed and find sanity again before then, I'll stay. Otherwise, it's been a good 8 years we've had together.

Re:Why should I care? (2)

wreakyhavoc (1045750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37145732)

Agreed. I need interface consistency. I want my muscle memory to work for me, not search around endlessly for some functionality that is now on the other side of the window or completely invisible now.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37145604)

There was a Firefox 6? I just upgraded to 4 a month ago and then to 5 last week. Both times, it was the latest available. :P

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