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Updated: Mozilla Community Contributor Departs Over Bug Handling

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the ways-in-which-mozilla-is-like-a-new-york-apartment dept.

Firefox 334

An anonymous reader writes "A blog post published by Mozilla community contributor Tyler Downer claims the Mozilla Triage QA process is broken, and he believes that the rapid release implementation does not work with their current method of handling bugs. Quoting: 'I understand that change takes time, and there is always a delay between planning a change, and the implementation. But with Triage, time is our enemy. We currently have 2,598 UNCO bugs in Firefox that haven’t been touched in 150 days. That is almost 2600 bugs that have not been touched since Firefox 4 was released. ... In Spring 2010, we hit roughly 13,000 UNCO bugs in the Firefox product on BMO. 13,000!!! We currently have 5,934. While this is an improvement, that is 6,000 bugs in Firefox that could be shipping today, and enhancements that could be making the web better (of course it isn’t that high, but the potential is there). This is several thousand contributors that we have told "Thank you for filing a bug report with us. We don’t really care about it, and we are going to let it sit for 6 months and just ask you to retest when you know it isn’t fixed, but thank you anyway."'" Update: 08/29 19:46 GMT by S : Downer has made another blog post clarifying the bug issue. Updated title and summary to reflect that he was a volunteer, not a Mozilla employee.

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FF was good, then... (5, Insightful)

matt007 (80854) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242288)

Mozilla community is killing Firefox with their super-fast releases. we went from 4 to 7 in no time.. (i'm on the beta channel)
Addons break non stop because of upgrades
Bugs arent being fixed

= Users will leave soon ?

Re:FF was good, then... (3, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242322)

I think Firefox lost "good" long before the rapid releases began. Rapid releases were just a (failed) attempt to fix the suck.

I'm not sure Firefox ever really lost anything, though. It's possible my tolerance for lame cross platform solutions has just gone way, way down.

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242522)

It's possible my tolerance for lame cross platform solutions has just gone way, way down.

This. Windows Firefox was very good, Linux/Mac Firefox not so much. Many users just haven't really had a choice if they want the feature set of Firefox on Linux...

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242378)

I am guessing that's because of lack of resources. Already, Google chrome is ahead of the pack when it comes to implementation of HTML5 specifications, and Firefox is doing a decent job trying to keep up. Unfortunately, it looks like they don't have time to fix the minor bugs while adding various features and improving performance.

You're wrong about addons (1, Informative)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242420)

I upgraded to Aurora last week (Firefox 8 now). It's pretty amazing.

For a product that allegedly has 6000 bugs, I don't encounter very many, and I use Firefox on three different machines every day and I know plenty of others who use it every day. So either they're very esoteric, or very rare. Hmm...fix bugs that bother 0.001% of users, or add features that benefit 1% of users? As a developer, it's a tradeoff.

But my main point is that addons are not broken. I'm using the exact same addons I used in Firefox 3 - I should know because I didn't download new ones. All you have to do is open the xpi in e.g. 7zip or winrar, open the install.rdf in a text editor, search for maxVersion, and change it to match your version. Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

Re:You're wrong about addons (4, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242518)

All you have to do is open the xpi in e.g. 7zip or winrar, open the install.rdf in a text editor, search for maxVersion, and change it to match your version. Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

"All you have to do" fail for 90% of the people we talked into using Firefox a few years back.

Re:You're wrong about addons (0)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242626)

I refuse to believe that 90% of people can't open a zip file, open a text file, and change one number that's easy to find.

For those who can't do basic computer operations, you could even make an automated tool to do it. "drag and drop xpi onto this exe and it will create a new xpi that works with the latest version of Firefox"

Ask your grandmother to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242714)

without assistance.

Re:You're wrong about addons (2)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242730)

"What's xpi? Is that a new Windows?"

Re:You're wrong about addons (4, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242738)

I moved my parents onto Firefox (with a few key addons) so that I wouldn't have to do this kind of shit to keep their computer running. If I'm going to bother with anything, it would be to point them to the Opera or Chrome installer. That's easier than either of your suggestions, both for me and for them.

Re:You're wrong about addons (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242752)

then keep fast in your refusal. your refusal does not change that 90% of users cannot do it. leave aside the fact that there not being any reason for EXPECTING them to do it, by fucking up a software. 'hey we fucked up working stuff - then spend YOUR time to fix these, instead of spending your time on YOUR work you need to do'.

people just switch.

Re:You're wrong about addons (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242822)

You are thinking like a nerd, not a computer user. I did not know this information, so I was one of those 90% people until today. And you would be surprised how many people are using FireFox but could not possibly do this. Yes, even with step by step instructions.

"I refuse to believe that 90% of car owners cannot change their own oil." That statement makes as much sense as yours. Maybe they could, but they won't, and don't think they should.

Lots of people wiped their parents/friends/neighbors computers because of their inability to understand anything at all, getting viruses and popups and toolbars and whatnot. And they put Firefox on, and said "there, use that, that's the internet." Those people will click any update box, any OK button just to "make the damned thing go away." They will not update a text file inside a zip, or if they try they will not do it correctly.

"Just associate .zip files with WinZip" you say. I wish we had known when we set people up to use Firefox that this was coming, or we might have.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242832)

You've obviously never done tech support before.

"You mean I drop my internet on this EXE? But I've been told that I should never open exe's on the internet."

"I edited the file like you said, but now my Firefox won't open."
"How did you do it?"
"Well, first I opened the file up in Word... That's a text editor, right?" ...ad nauseum.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242884)

90% of users don't know how to use the search function. Do you really believe that the steps you specify are feasible to them?

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242914)

First they have to find the .xpi, then they have to know to open it with 7zip or notepad, then they have to know what to change. Doing so exceeds the technical skills of the vast majority of users. Remember that we are talking about the same users who use "12345" for a password and cannot configure a pre shared key on a wireless network so they turn on WEP or leave it unsecured.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242954)

They already have addons which automate it, and have since like firefox 1.0. Mr Tech's nightly tester tools I think theyre called.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242702)

There is an addon compatibility tool [mozilla.org] that you can use to force addons to be enabled, a lot easier and more user-friendly. It is still more of a tool for people that know what they're doing.

Also pretty sure there's some sort of functionality in the addons.mozilla.org site that will automatically update addons to declare compatibility if they don't use any APIs that were changed, or something like that.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242846)

Sorry, I screwed up moderation...

Re:You're wrong about addons (2)

Skuto (171945) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242556)

For a product that allegedly has 6000 bugs, I don't encounter very many,

Well, 6000 unconfirmed bug reports. As pointed out elsewhere, this includes "my internetz don't work", duplicates, feature requests, and complaints the UX team is on crack.

This is down from 13000.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242768)

Bugs stay in "unconfirmed" status much later than would be expected. Check out https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=672677 [mozilla.org] , for example. A community member (Alice White) went to the trouble of tracking down which nightly build introduced the problem, somebody from Mozilla commented that it was similar to a known issue, yet the bug stays in "unconfirmed" status.

Re:You're wrong about addons (2)

suy (1908306) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242600)

But my main point is that addons are not broken. I'm using the exact same addons I used in Firefox 3 - I should know because I didn't download new ones. All you have to do is open the xpi in e.g. 7zip or winrar, open the install.rdf in a text editor, search for maxVersion, and change it to match your version. Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

Seems quite user friendly. [end of the irony]

Now I hope you can explain me:

  1. Should I really be forced to use the root account to edit /usr/share/xul-ext/{whatever}/install.rdf? Because is where my extensions normally are. I'm not going to do it for all users.
  2. How can I do the same for the translations? Because I'm so tired of having to choose between holding the upgrade of the latest FireFox, or be blessed by the breakage of the translations (not always released/packaged at the same time).

Seriously, release early and often, but 6 months is enough for most people. Or at least do minor and major releases. Then the version X will be the rock solid one, and the X+1-pre1 (or something more appealing coming from marketing) could be for early adopters and enthusiasts.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242700)

Because opening a zip file, opening a text file, and changing a digit are the antithesis of user-friendly. Coming from someone who is using Linux, that's a little bit chuckle-worthy.

BTW, you don't edit the XPI that already exists in /usr. You can go download the XPI from the web into your plain old download folder, edit the file there, and then go through Firefox's Addon Manager and Install Add-on from file.

Re:You're wrong about addons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242612)

Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

What, like 3 weeks?

Re:You're wrong about addons (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242638)

All you have to do is open the xpi in e.g. 7zip or winrar, open the install.rdf in a text editor, search for maxVersion, and change it to match your version. Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

You mean for about a week or two?

Re:You're wrong about addons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242648)

Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

Is two weeks really that long of a time? (sorry, couldn't resist) :D

Re:You're wrong about addons (5, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242678)

All you have to do is open the xpi in e.g. 7zip or winrar, open the install.rdf in a text editor, search for maxVersion, and change it to match your version. Change it to something big, like 10, and you'll be in the clear for a long time.

Holy shit ... I can't believe I just read that. That's not a solution. That's not even close to one. It may work for you and other developers, but for the average user, you might as well have them download another browser.

What someone needs to do is actually fix the add-on code in firefox itself so that users don't have to jump through hoops for every release. This new release schedule is forcing people to avoid upgrading which is the last thing you want.

Re:You're wrong about addons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242804)

Not all the bug reports are real bugs. Some are not valid, some were fixed with other changes, etc. Getting good bug reports from the community and having people to sort through them is difficult for an open source project.

I don't agree with Mozilla's new fast release cycle or their upstream policies for patches from operating system projects outside of their big 3 platforms. However, I don't think there are 6000 bugs in Firefox.

Sell the private jet and hire people to tackle this problem Mozilla CEO.

Re:FF was good, then... (2)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242430)

6 weeks is an awful short time between releases. Why not make it 4 or 6 months? That's still 2-3 version numbers a year. Current cycles means Mozilla are releasing over 8 versions a year, too many to keep track of, it seems Bugzilla is finding it hard to keep up too.

I've pretty much given up on Mozilla, I no longer triage bugs for them. There is no time to take bugs seriously, everything is focused on the next version number and the one under-the-hood thing that gets added in the new version.

Re:FF was good, then... (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242526)

I completely fail to see the connection between the actual version numbers in releases, or release frequency, and the bug tracking system, or how they influence each other.

Care to explain?

One thing I could imagine is that it is more likely that the developers will ask you to test something again on the latest release. Not a big change here, I'd guess before they'd have asked you to test on a nightly.

Re:FF was good, then... (5, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242434)

Way to read the article. Tyler specifically mentions in the first 10 sentences that he love Rapid Release, and it has absolutely nothing to do with his departure.

His complaint is the same as the complaints have always been for Firefox-- it takes forever for bugs to get fixed.

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242440)

= Users will leave soon ?

Why would they? I'm just a user and I had no problems with the fast releases. None of the 5-6 add-ons I use has ever stopped working. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of users doesn't even use add-ons. As for the versions, it doesn't make a difference to me, whether it's called 5.1.2 or 6.0.

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242484)

I left because Firefox's performance has gone down the shitter, particularly on mid-age hardware like my five year old laptop.

Re:FF was good, then... (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242566)

Are you kidding? FF 6 starts in half the time of previous releases on my 5-year old laptop.

As for outstanding bugs, many of those UNCO bugs are: "My internet is broken"
Clearly, a lot of people file bugs who just don't know how to get support.

Re:FF was good, then... (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242486)

Why would they? I'm just a user and I had no problems with the fast releases.

Because every new release is increasingly dumbed down and randomly removes user interface components or moves them around so you have to find them again and then remember where they were when you go back to an old version? And your only choice is either 3.6 or the current latest version because they now refuse to support any other versions?

The only thing really keeping me on Firefox now is Noscript.

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242546)

They are up to 7 already?

I will tell you one thing the rapid release thing has done. Now when Firefox hounds me about upgrading to a new version, I decline. What I have now seems stable, and the extensions that I have now seem to work. I have no idea what will happen if I install "6" - what extensions will be broken then? I had to listen to my wife complain after the "google toolbar" was broken by "5". I finally convinced her that she didn't need it. But there are others that I do depend upon.

I suppose what I could do is install the latest FF in a VM and then try and install the extensions that I use to make sure that it all holds together, but that's too much work.

Re:FF was good, then... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242596)

I'm still waiting on a bug to be fixed that dates back to version 4 beta. It's not something trivial, I get a BSoD after about 15-20 minutes of regular use. I've looked online, I've submitted bugs, I've done just about everything they've suggested, save one: 'Turn off Crossfire whenever I use their browser', and frankly, that's in no way a real solution at all. Every other suggestion has been useless and not fixed the problem, and the problem continues to persist with every release...and based on the number of people that reported a similar problem, it's not just a handful of people either.

I used to love Firefox, but they broke it horribly for me. If the problems were fixed in this accelerated release cycle I could care less (provided the handful of plugins I use continued to work, but it seems like add-on developers and Mozilla are pointing fingers at each other as to why they don't) but they aren't. How many more times am I supposed to download a new version of Firefox and test it to see if it still can't handle Crossfire?

Guess I'm stuck using Chrome. Man, I really miss NoScript and GreaseMonkey, though...

Re:FF was good, then... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242664)

I'm still waiting on a bug to be fixed that dates back to version 4 beta. It's not something trivial, I get a BSoD after about 15-20 minutes of regular use. I've looked online, I've submitted bugs, I've done just about everything they've suggested, save one: 'Turn off Crossfire whenever I use their browser', and frankly, that's in no way a real solution at all.

Applications per se won't give you a BSOD, because that generally means something went horribly wrong in kernel mode. Sounds like the ATI drivers have a bug that causes a crash with Crossfire enabled, and Firefox can't rewrite those drivers for you.

Re:FF was good, then... (3, Informative)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242684)

GreaseMonkey scripts can run in Chrome; just drag and drop them into the Chrome window. They can be enabled/disabled in chrome://extensions.

Re:FF was good, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242836)

I remember some problems in the past, maybe at the time of FF 3.x but which addons are breaking now because of updates? I'm using (from config:addons) Adblock Plus + Element Hiding Helper, Aviary, Better Privacy, Firebug + Firecookie, Grease Monkey, Live HTTP Headers, No Script, Remote XUL Manager, Stylish, Web Developer. They survived the update from FF4 to FF5 and to FF6. Maybe I'm just lucky, I'm using mainstream and well managed addons.

About bugs, yes sometimes Mozilla can be very slow at fixing them. Just check this one https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=312156 (css3 ellipsis, reported in 2005) or this other one on Linux Thunderbird https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=377621 (drag and drop of attachments to folders, reported in 2007).

No wonder why my Firefox always crashes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242302)

End of message

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242304)

Took them years to fix the damn memory leaks.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242724)

Took years NOT to fix it.

Don't worry... (0)

DeeEff (2370332) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242312)

This implementation will be changed over when we get to version 26, in approximately six months.

Oh, and feel free to submit a bug report about submitting bug reports. We are glad to oblige.

Re:Don't worry... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242414)

Ha ha, a Firefox version number joke. I'm cracking up here, it's so original.

Zarro boogs found (5, Interesting)

johnwbyrd (251699) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242326)

Oh how the times have changed. For info about QA for Netscape 4.0, see this short refresher course:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarro_boogs [wikipedia.org]

--- cut here --

The following comment is provided in the Bugzilla source code to developers who may be confused by this behaviour:
Zarro Boogs Found
This is just a goofy way of saying that there were no bugs found matching your query. When asked to explain this message, Terry Weissman (an early Bugzilla developer) had the following to say:
I've been asked to explain this ... way back when, when Netscape released version 4.0 of its browser, we had a release party. Naturally, there had been a big push to try and fix every known bug before the release. Naturally, that hadn't actually happened. (This is not unique to Netscape or to 4.0; the same thing has happened with every software project I've ever seen.) Anyway, at the release party, T-shirts were handed out that said something like "Netscape 4.0: Zarro Boogs". Just like the software, the T-shirt had no known bugs. Uh-huh. So, when you query for a list of bugs, and it gets no results, you can think of this as a friendly reminder. Of *course* there are bugs matching your query, they just aren't in the bugsystem yet...
--Terry Weissman

Re:Zarro boogs found (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242478)

Yes, because Netscape 4 was so totally awesome or something.... uhhhhh...

Re:Zarro boogs found (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242632)

It was awesome, remember it was competing with the POS known as I.E. 4.

Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (5, Interesting)

Gerv (15179) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242330)

Mozilla has no such position as "Community Lead". Tyler was/is (he is still engaged in constructive discussion) a valued volunteer member of the Mozilla QA and triage community, but he does not have the title "Community Lead".

There are several things which Mozilla's new more rapid release process has made a bit rocky, as Johnathan Nightingale, the Firefox development manager, noted in a recent blog post [johnath.com] (syndicated at the Future of Firefox blog [mozilla.com] ). This is one of them.

And, of course, when Tyler says we have told bug reporters we don't care about their bug reports, that's not actually true. He is suggesting that this is what it might seem like. And clearly, it's not great when a bug report is filed and just sits there for months. Mozilla's success has made this a perennial problem for the last decade. We've cracked it, to a degree, before and I'm sure we can do it again.

Re:Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242516)

In the capacity I read Slashdot I am just a home user but I support very large enterprises as part of my day job and I'm currently seeing an interesting shift, this situation in concert with the rapid release cycle is causing a lot of churn. We were pushing FF as an alternative to IE and found a great push behind adoption at home when it was introduced into the work place, now we are cycling back toward IE and many users at home are also jumping back toward IE to maintain consistency.

I applaud Mozilla for working like they have and I have been a Firefox supporter for many years although I see at least some segments of the user base fading away with the new change. I hope others fill the void but I suspect unless Mozilla drops version numbers completely or rolls back to the older cycle (the only way to pickup some segments currently being lost) the users will continue to struggle to figure out what is going on.

Re:Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242576)

we have told bug reporters we don't care about their bug reports, that's not actually true. He is suggesting that this is what it might seem like.

As a longtime Firefox and Thunderbird bug submitter, let me assure you that this is in fact what it does seem like, and so it is effectively true. I've had some bugs open for 7 or 8 years; I recently saw a bug report complaining that it'd been open for 11. This doesn't cover those odd, irreproducible cases users will always submit - these were just plain bugs.

I would guess that only about 20% my of reported bugs ever got fixed.

Re:Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (3, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242802)

Problems with bug triage and inflation aren't just a Firefox problem. Gentoo's bugzilla reports 1557 bugs in state UNCONFIRMED and over 5k NEW bugs. RHEL5 has 2276 bugs in state NEW. Ubuntu has over 50k bugs in state NEW across all releases. Microsoft once let slip that Windows 2000 had over 63k known bugs. Bugs languishing in an open state for a long time is a recognised problem, but nobody really has a good answer. Ubuntu's automated periodic "is this fixed yet?" posts and followup bug closures on no response is one way to do it, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Re:Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (1)

geogob (569250) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242896)

Although he may not have that official title, some people get this title naturally. In every project, some people will shine above the others with natural leadership which might lead them to be recognized as community leaders. For outsiders or newcomers, the distinction might be hard to make. Maybe the wording is simply inappropriately chosen here, presenting it as an official position.

Re:Important Points; But Not a "Community Lead" (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242898)

And, of course, when Tyler says we have told bug reporters we don't care about their bug reports, that's not actually true. He is suggesting that this is what it might seem like.

This is actually worse. If you're not going to act like you care about bug reports, don't tell people you do care about bug reports.

I suspect that after this announcement... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242334)

Mozilla will revert the whole-number version scheme. Major_version.minor_version.bug_patch, or even Major_version.bug_patch, was not a bad arrangement at all, why reinvent the wheel?

Re:I suspect that after this announcement... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242634)

why reinvent the wheel?

Because after long enough time, there's always someone who's irked about the performance of the wheel and wants to replace it with conveyor belts or robot legs. Sometimes even square wheels. And because we've done round wheels for so long, old lessons have faded or been deemed outdated and so we try it. Then it turns out it's not that great except for very limited use cases, but we're too deep invested and stubborn so we'll try fixing it. After a lot of fighting against windmills, we slowly reinvent and rediscover the reasons why we used a wheel in the first place. Then the cycle starts over. Same with most NIH projects, they start out as being radically different and then end up looking much the same after tackling the same challenges.

Before the flames begin... (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242336)

Just to clear some things up and possibly prevent irrelevant posts...

This has nothing to do with the rapid-release; he states in the 2nd paragraph that

First off, I did not leave because of rapid release. I love the idea of rapid release, and I think the recent spurt of posts to the planet on how Rapid Release will be beneficial in the long run does a great job of explaining it.

His issue is that Triage isnt good enough for rapid release-- not that rapid-release doesnt work with Triage (but thanks for stirring the muck, anonymous reader / soulskill).

But Id like a clarification-- if there were 13,000 bugs 15 months ago, and now there are 6000, doesnt that speak to massive improvement? Why not leave back in spring 2010?

Re:Before the flames begin... (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242450)

But Id like a clarification-- if there were 13,000 bugs 15 months ago, and now there are 6000, doesnt that speak to massive improvement? Why not leave back in spring 2010?

Well, IIRC, unconfirmed bug reports (UNCO) are where every bug submission goes before it gets triaged. These bug reports run the gamut of "My internets not working with Firefox" to "Firefox dumps core with gtk+-2.0.3-foobar". It sounds like a lot of bugs, but UNCO is the large gaping pit where every bug report goes before it becomes confirmed. It takes no technical knowlege to issue an UNCO so many of these could just be PEBCAK bugs.

What is UNCO? (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242474)

I tried googling but all I get are hits about a college. No one ever defines what UNCO is. I even found INCO, but no definition for that either.

Re:What is UNCO? (1)

aitan (948581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242510)

UNCOmmented, no one else has replied anything on that bug, so the reporter might feel that no one cares about it.

Re:What is UNCO? (1)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242514)

I believe UNCO is the code they use for 'unconfirmed' bugs; mostly cases where a bug report has been submitted but it has not been looked at yet by a member of the Mozilla team.

Guess.... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242528)

I would guess that it meight stand for UNCOrrected.

Re:What is UNCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242542)

I would guess "nfirmed" and "mplete".

Re:What is UNCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242548)

It means "unconfirmed". I.e., nobody has checked whether there is indeed a bug, or whether it's a case of PEBKAC.

...nfirmed (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242562)

The last time I searched Bugzilla, its search results displayed the first four characters of a bug's status and resolution type. These are usually UNCO(nfirmed), NEW, RESO(lved) DUPL(icate), etc. I'd provide more detailed instructions, but there appears not to be an way to click through to a search result on bugzilla.mozilla.org that doesn't involve typing. (Ook!)

Re:What is UNCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242620)

I believe this will be "unconfirmed". Have a look at http://www.bugzilla.org/docs/4.0/en/html/lifecycle.html

Re:What is UNCO? (5, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242628)

I tried googling but all I get are hits about a college. No one ever defines what UNCO is. I even found INCO, but no definition for that either.

UNCO is short for UNCONFIRMED, the state a bug is in between being filed and being rejected because its asking for something a general user would want.

Rapid release not the same as version inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242490)

A rapid release cycle is one thing, but inflating version numbers is quite another thing. How about a rapid release cycle that goes 4.0 > 4.1 > 4.2 > 4.3 > 4.4 > 4.5 > 5.0 instead of 4.0 > 5.0 > 6.0 > 7.0 > 8.0.

Re:Before the flames begin... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242558)

Depends, were there 13k bugs or was that 13k bug reports. Often times you can nominally reduce the number significantly by going through and merging or closing duplicate reports and get a seemingly significant reduction in bugs without changing any code.

Also, many of them may have been related to code which is no longer present in Firefox.

Re:Before the flames begin... (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242668)

13k unconfirmed bug reports.

Almost certainly fewer than 13k bugs in those.

Re:Before the flames begin... (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242912)

But Id like a clarification-- if there were 13,000 bugs 15 months ago, and now there are 6000, doesnt that speak to massive improvement? Why not leave back in spring 2010?

IIRC, most of the decrease was because they automatically closed old, unconfirmed (UNCO) bugs that weren't being worked on. Which sent the same message to the people who took the time to file the reports that Tyler Downer decries: "Thank you for filing a bug report with us. We donâ(TM)t really care about it" or about your time.

Re:Before the flames begin... (2)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242930)

But Id like a clarification-- if there were 13,000 bugs 15 months ago, and now there are 6000, doesnt that speak to massive improvement? Why not leave back in spring 2010?

Number like that mean absolutely NOTHING. It MAY be that 7000 bugs have been solved in a proper way by one or more developers who has either committed a fix or closed the bug if it objectively does not indicate a problem with Firefox. Unfortunately, it is just as likely that the 7000 bugs have been closed by bug triagers obsessing over their number of closed bugs count. That means bugs closed because a new minor release is out and the original reporter can't be assed to retest the bug on each and every new version, bugs closed because even though it was well-written, the triager doesn't comprehend the problem, bugs closed because the root cause is in another product (well ok, but it still crashes firefox), bugs closed because the triager doesn't think the problem is that severe, or my favourite, because the bug report is to old. That destroys a massive amount of work that went into writing those bug reports, some of which actually describes real problems with the product.

I've had to keep a certain bug report alive in Launchpad about lvm2 for several years that causes your computer to become unbootable when you upgrade by basically shouting at triagers not to close it. Every three to four months someone wants to close it because a new Linux kernel version is out and the triager hopes that that will fix the problem (it doesn't). No real fix in sight though. Which I don't lament because people that work for free are hard to come by. But please don't close unfixed bug reports!

Re:Before the flames begin... (4, Insightful)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242936)

You are on a rapid release - we are NOT. Which means we are dropping FF support both internally and from supported browsers for our products. You made traditional QA impossible and support too expensive.

FF developers ignoring their customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242352)

"This is several thousand contributors that we have told "Thank you for filing a bug report with us. We don’t really care about it, and we are going to let it sit for 6 months and just ask you to retest when you know it isn’t fixed, but thank you anyway.""

yup. That sounds just about right. I was there for the MNG/JNG debate, and that's exactly what the attitude was, sucks that it hasn't changed any.

Bug reports (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242356)

that is exactly why I don't bother wasting my time with them, firefox is not the only one, but many many many OSS projects is like that. So why bother helping you if your not even going to look at it ?

Re:Bug reports (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242878)

that is exactly why I don't bother wasting my time with them, firefox is not the only one, but many many many OSS projects is like that. So why bother helping you if your not even going to look at it ?

Theoretically you feel better if you file a bug. Even if its not really a valid issue or no one ever looks at it.

Focusing on metrics instead of code results in project failure. Have I run into any of the 13000 or 6000 or 2500 or whatever bugs? As far as I know, no. Would increasing or decreasing those numbers by two orders of magnitude have any effect on the bean counters? Oh Heck Yeah. Would changing meaningless numbers on a report that I won't read have any effect on my user experience? Heck no, it'll keep right on working like it always has. Don't waste dev time on something that obviously has no impact. Have an intern from marketing scrub the numbers to meet any arbitrary numerical goal marketing requires for their own internal plans. If you have to look at a bug count report instead of using the software to know how you feel about your user experience, you're doing it wrong.

Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242362)

What a drama queen. First he pens a GBCW post refusing to explain why he's leaving the project, and then when that gets him his highly craved attention, he follows it up with a rambling, self-pitying post about Mozilla no longer being "community" driven. Wahhhh...

Not just Mozilla's problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242374)

This is a very common problem with many open-source projects.

It's always more fun to design and write new features than to actually fix bugs and make things work properly. Take Ubuntu for instance - it still can't reliably handle take-for-granted simple things like auto-mounting USB drives with a multi-user desktop. No progress has been made on this for years, yet they keep releasing new versions with more fancy interfaces and just as many show-stopping bugs, including ones from 2006.

Firefox is not much different.

Re:Not just Mozilla's problem (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242424)

I was recently pissed off again by Gedit refusing to load my text file because it contains a control character, and when I checked the Gnome bugzilla I discovered that had been logged as a bug in 2004 and still isn't fixed. Given that it's incredibly dumb and should just require an option to _not_ refuse to a load a file just because it contains control characters, I'm amazed that it's been able to sit there for seven years without someone fixing the damn thing.

Then again, there's Gnome 3. So maybe I shouldn't be that surprised.

Bug bounty (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242594)

That's a bug not necessarily in Gedit as much as in Bugzilla. If Bugzilla supported payment processing, then users could vote with their dollars/euros toward fixing a specific bug, and whoever uploaded the accepted patch would receive the bounty.

Re:Not just Mozilla's problem (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242610)

I'd be curious to see what the numbers are for bug fixes submitted by people being paid to fix bugs and those being submitted by people that just want to make the OS better. And really for various open source projects.

Chances are good that most bugs are being fixed by programmers that are annoyed by the bugs or are being paid to do it. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with it, bug fixing can be incredibly time consuming and ultimately most users probably won't notice. Chances are that if they do notice, the initial QA was completely inept.

This problem has infected so many FOSS projects (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242442)

Firefox gets personas, syncs, tab groups, etc. instead of bug fixes.

GNOME3.

Unity.

Version number treadmills.

Ad nauseam.

Change for the sake of change. Bleeding edge bullet points for the bloggers instead of bugfixes for the users.

How about returning to our roots and building software which runs faster with less bugs. There are plenty of commercial options for those who want the glassy artwork and UI equivalent of smooth jazz.

How about software for people who need to get things done.

Remember when we took pride in something like Apache being vastly superior to IIS? Now the community seems to hang its head in shame that Mac has spiffier icons and a hipper dock or Chrome gets new version numbers on a faster schedule.

A gift to Microsoft or Google? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242448)

Has anybody told Captain Smith there's an iceberg ahead?

I guess Firefox has chosen to hand it's considerable market share back over to MS. Many users who left IE over the countless bugs and security issues. The benefit of switching to Mozilla/Firefox is quickly evaporating with each half-assed bug filled release. Plug in hell. Run away memory usage. Unpleasant GUI changes. Change for the sake of change.

So will users flee to Chrome or will gravity pull them back to IE?

Most likely Google (1)

kervin (64171) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242794)

Sad, but for the first time since the mid-nineties when I started using Netscape, I'm considering switching. That includes the Netscape6, pre 1.0 Mozilla days.

None of my plugins work and I'm asked to install and upgrade major versions every few weeks it seems.

Microsoft has the nasty habit of tying their Browser releases to their OS sales. That's why you won't be able to install IE 10 to Vista, or IE 9 to XP. Also, they don't backport the render engine as a middle ground. How about an IE 8.5 that has much better HTML5 support but leaves out the Vista+ reliant features?

This leaves Google Chrome. They too have a rapid release schedule but if they can manage to not piss off their user base *and* and at the same time ignore the user constant complaints I think we may have a winner.

Mozilla not listening to users? No surprise here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242466)

I mean does this really surprise anyone? They have done numerous ignoring of what people wanted. Examples include removing the prompt to sanitize on close option; the changing of the UI and removal of status bar; rapid release cycle; hiding of version numbers; etc. I am absolutely not surprised that they do it on the bugs either.

So long, Debbie (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242470)

We currently have 2,598 UNCO bugs in Firefox that haven’t been touched in 150 days. That is almost 2600 bugs that have not been touched since Firefox 4 was released. ... In Spring 2010, we hit roughly 13,000 UNCO bugs in the Firefox product on BMO. 13,000!!! We currently have 5,934.

In a related story, from this point forward "Debbie Downer" is no longer the correct pseudonym for an overtly depressing person. Hereafter, that person shall be cited as "Tyler Downer".

All hail our new horribly sad overlord.

Re:So long, Debbie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242682)

I don't know what "UNCO" and "BMO" mean, so I am not depressed yet.

Maybe we know why (2)

aglider (2435074) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242492)

As 13 years are not enough to handle a major bug [mozilla.org] .
They are focusing on HTML5 (which is not a standard but a draft) and leave HTML4 implementation with all existing bugs.
They think that all web pages will be rewritten in HTML5 as soon as it will land as real standard. It will instead take years.

Re:Maybe we know why (2)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242726)

The problem with that bug is that the HTML 4 requirement in question is not really consistent with the CSS layout model.

So you can have that HTML feature or you can have CSS applying to your HTML, but not both. Your pick. Most people seem to have picked CSS.

6 months is nothing (1)

Windows Breaker G4 (939734) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242572)

I've been following a bug that has been open for something like 5 years. Some dev looked at it the other day and went wtf how is this old ass bug still open?

I'm still getting updates 6 years later... (1)

rtilghman (736281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242640)

While not directly related to Firefox, I submitted a bug for Thunderbird's import mechanism about 6-12 months post launch. Every year or so I get someone else posting to this still outstanding issue...

Bug fixes/support, the achilles heal of FOSS. Where are these folks who want to maintain existing software? Paging all autistic OCD programmers!

-rt

Re:I'm still getting updates 6 years later... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242850)

It's not just a FOSS issue. There are bugs throughout commercial software that never get fixed. They usually promise that it will be fixed with the next release, though often it never does, but you've paid $6k a seat, so you build a workaround.

Re:I'm still getting updates 6 years later... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242942)

So true, there are major issue that can be found in every single version of windows from 95 to 7 (and maybe even before, I have not checked).

Yes. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242710)

firefox 6 was pushed on top of my working firefox 5 on ubuntu to end up fucking my bookmarks (leave aside all bookmarks being gone, i cant import any bookmarks from json or html), and fucking up something with the fonts - now on google, there is quite a queer color for the fonts used, and fonts also look different. i wasnt able to weed out the reason, and instead of fucking my productivity by working on the shit the 'fast release hype' of mozilla group produced, i switched to chrome and spent that time to my actual paid work.

really. instead of shelling out shit with concepts like 'fast release cycle' -> 'hey we are dropping version numbers', you should release things that work. if i have to fix your software's bugs in order to be able to do MY work, i use another browser.

No Fun = No Code (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242744)

It is only natural that with open source bugs gather less volunteer enthusiasm. Ask any programmer and I doubt they enjoy squashing bugs over implementing new features. Debugging is the grunge work, or rather, the toilet cleaning of coding, yet it can also be the hardest part, requiring your very best resources.

With that said, IE sucks the worse. Just imagine how many bugs IE would have if they had the same bug reporting system? "Our software has bugs, we don't care, and we are sitting on billions of dollars."

For mozilla to lag on fixes is forgivable, and their openness is truly commendable. And for someone to be able to come out and speak up like this is a testament to why the model is so much better than closed source.

But honestly, you'd think Microsoft would do a better job. It's as if they intentionally want every web developer to hate IE. That is a lot of people that hate you, and for a fairly good reason. And with browsers being the #1 application everyone uses, you'd think someone high in the ranks would think of making it a priority.

Either that, or this proves you cannot just throw money at code.

Firefox is too buggy anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37242868)

Firefox crashes so much anymore, I've switched it IE. It is a sad day when I switch to a Microsoft product for increased quality. Try using Yahoo mail. That seems to be what always crashes it.

Some Clarification. (5, Informative)

Tyler Downer (2449322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242886)

First off, I never intended my post to be taken in the way that it was. Simply because there are 6000 UNCO bugs in the Firefox product does not mean that Firefox has 6000 bugs in it. Out of all those bugs, the majority are going to be duplicates of other bugs, they are going to be user error, they are going to be bugs caused by a misbehaving extension that a user installed on Firefox, and so on. Out of all those 6000 bugs, I'd estimate at most there are 1000 REAL bugs in Firefox, and that is an extremely high guess. What I was trying to say is that without going through and triaging all those bugs, we have no way of knowing which are real and should be taken seriously, and which are not real bugs. If you read https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=fields.html#status [mozilla.org] , you will see: "This bug has recently been added to the database. Nobody has validated that this bug is true. Users who have the "canconfirm" permission set may confirm this bug, changing its state to NEW. Or, it may be directly resolved and marked RESOLVED. " An UNCO bug has not be confirmed yet, it needs to be marked as NEW before it is considered a real bug. So it isn't fair to say that Firefox shipped with 6000 bugs, but more that there are roughly 2600 bugs that haven't been touched in 150 days, which is far more worrisome to me. We will never be able to have 0 bugs, but we may at least have a quick response to the bugs we do get. That is what my whole blog post was about, quick responses, and treating our reporters fairly. Unfortunately, Conceivably Tech was too eager to get a shocking headline, and so misconstrued my points. If you come back to re-read my blog in a day or two, I'll post more clarifications.

I gave up on Firefox due to constant crashes (1)

CasaDelGato (701438) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242890)

After the release of FireFox a few weeks ago, it started crashing. A LOT. While browsing my morning web comics, about 1/4 of the sites would cause it to crash. I tried disabling most of my plugins/addons - didn't help. I just gave up on it. FF has been getting slower and buggier with each release.

What? (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242908)

>In Spring 2010, we hit roughly 13,000 UNCO bugs in the Firefox product on BMO.

Don't blame this shit on me.

--
BMO

So true (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242924)

There are bugs that where introduced back when I was still in high school like 5-6 years ago that I am still waiting on.

firefox seems feature complete (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242934)

so quit adding new features and focus only on fixing the bugs, put all your resources on the bug fixing
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