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Firefox 15 Coming With Souped-Up, Faster Debugger

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the catching-up-with-the-lisp-machine dept.

Mozilla 125

StormDriver writes "Firefox 15 has hit the Mozilla pre-beta Aurora channel, and it features a redesigned, built-in debugger." The original weblog post has more. Thanks to improved debugger internals in SpiderMonkey, supposedly code should run just as fast with debugging enabled as without (ever try loading Slashdot with firebug accidentally enabled?). There are also new tools for testing mobile layouts from the comfort of your workstation, and the debugger can attach to remote processes (Something Emacs users have enjoyed for years now, albeit in a hackish manner and without support for mobile Firefox).

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125 comments

So in normal development (0, Redundant)

mwfischer (1919758) | about 2 years ago | (#40613841)

15.0 is like 3.9, right?

Re:So in normal development (-1, Offtopic)

jampola (1994582) | about 2 years ago | (#40613989)

Totally bet me to it! Except I thought v15.0 translates to .000000000000013 Alpha??? Oh wait! I'm wrong, it's really RC1!!! Sorry, easy mistake!

Re:So in normal development (1)

matthiasvegh (1800634) | about 2 years ago | (#40614047)

Well it seems to me that the version numbers increase at the speed of the factorial, so: 15.0 is 3.68024 which is about right too.

Re:So in normal development (1, Offtopic)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40614105)

15.0 is like 3.9, right?

I'm still trying to figure out why I'm posting this with 13.0.1 and it says there are no updates. What is 14 going to have, a new start page and a little dancing animated monkey? Are they already done with it? Why hasn't it been released? Why are they working on 15 already? Why don't they stop releasing versions in rapid succession so my company can actually use firefox?

Re:So in normal development (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614383)

They were releasing versions rapidly before (well, except for that ridiculously long gap between 3.6 and 4.0); they just had another number before the number that changes every time. Whoopee.

Having a feature development branch and a bugfix-release-candidate branch at the same time is nothing new: see Debian stable/unstable/testing, for example.

Re:So in normal development (2)

silanea (1241518) | about 2 years ago | (#40614799)

[...] so my company can actually use firefox?

What is stopping you from doing just that [mozilla.org]?

Re:So in normal development (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40615663)

Constant updates. Unless the user is an adminsitrator, they cannot install them. Their "corporate stable" path is, in short, bullshit. Oh and by the way, group policy can't configure a damn thing in it either.

Re:So in normal development (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#40615507)

I'm still trying to figure out why I'm posting this with 13.0.1 and it says there are no updates. What is 14 going to have, a new start page and a little dancing animated monkey? Are they already done with it? Why hasn't it been released?

Ballmer threatened to sue them...

Re:So in normal development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615999)

They should just do away with version and have a commit number. It would make it easier for people like you to understand.

Re:So in normal development (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#40614127)

Or 23 if you are using chrome

Re:So in normal development (0)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#40615267)

Chrome shields the version number from me. It's not a big deal, and nothing has EVER broken or even become unusable using their stable releases, and I have no clue an update has even happened.

Plus, with Chrome, there seems to be at least one really big feature added to each major release, and I cannot say the same for Firefox. In fact, would someone mind replying with two or three big features Firefox has added since v10?

With firefox, all of that is not true, and most of the time, a great many of my plugins break. Yes, still to this day. And they're mainly the binary plugins that I've paid good money for that I require for my job that used to not have any Chrome equivalents. Know what happened? They almost all have Chrome equivalents now. Why? Because so many complained that Firefox broke them every upgrade that it has compelled so many corps to support Chrome just to keep users. That's how bad the situation is.

Re:So in normal development (2)

bsane (148894) | about 2 years ago | (#40615935)

Under OSX it installs an update deamon without asking. Its separate from Chrome and stays there until you explicitly look for it and remove or disable it. Deleting Chrome has no affect, the update daemon just continues to run sending who knows what back to google every hour.

Want to update for me? Fine, do it in the app, don't start up processes I don't know about that will run forever even if I decide to ditch Chrome.

Finding that was my last experience with Chrome.

Re:So in normal development (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40616919)

21.0.1180.15 beta-m for me... I am even trying the Beta version, I just upgrade a minute ago too...

The difference between Google and Firefox. Is that Google was designed in an environment that correctly supports this version number. There is no In your face, the new version is out. They are spots for very minor patch levels.

What Firefox did was lame, they just kinda blindly copied what Google did because they thought it was cool. Now people don't know how far behind they are in versions, because every minor fix is a major version number.

Re:So in normal development (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40614263)

I felt the same way, but then realized that "Firefox" is now the main version number much like OSX is more or less stuck at 10 forever.

Re:So in normal development (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40616963)

We had a similar problem with Solaris. Solaris 2.5.5 then Solaris 2.5.6 then Solaris 7, Solaris 8...
Where they were 2.5.7 and 2.5.8....

Re:So in normal development (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40617847)

I love how when you login you get the SunOS version. uname also reports the SunOS version. Then you do a cat /etc/release and you get the Solaris version. Then isainfo -kv if you want to find out what architecture you are on.

Now that's a hot mess.

Re:So in normal development (2)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#40614265)

Well, if it makes you happy, what about you just put the number after the three, so you don't have to worry about those things?

Lets call this one 3.15.0.

Re:So in normal development (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614313)

That would defeat the purpose of being worried about something that makes perfect sense just because the number changes too much, and then you can't use that as an excuse to ridicule Firefox on every new release post while totally ignoring the fact that Chrome started the trend in the first place because it just makes sense.

So no, you can't ask mwfisher not to be a totally retarded fuckerlord. That would be against his soul's purpose.

Re:So in normal development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614879)

Because point releases don't disable plugins at the drop of a hat!

wait isnt it firefox 150 ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40613861)

im lost what are they up to now...?
stopped using it around 6, when they started the weekly new browser affair....
and to think i helped the universe ( one of 60 guys that helped ge t the communicator code) to get this screwed up....
only plus is browsers are free....

Re:wait isnt it firefox 150 ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614157)

Quit whining and just use the ESR release

Re:wait isnt it firefox 150 ? (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#40614447)

Are mere mortals already allowed to use it? Last time I checked, they required some sort of registration.

Though from what I was reading up on it, the ESR doesn't make much sense: a random FireFox release is given the "ESR" moniker with purpose of providing only security fixes for it. If the random FireFox version happens to be totally borked and unusable, security fixes alone wouldn't help much.

Re:wait isnt it firefox 150 ? (0)

t0y (700664) | about 2 years ago | (#40616419)

You can always use IE6. It's still getting securty fixes and it's as usable as ever.

ever try loading Slashdot without firebug enabled? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40613869)

Honestly, "Web 2.0" transforms so much otherwise perfectly functional hardware into environmentally-unfriendly junk that you might as well just stick your dick in an endangered species.

The web ten years ago was fine: people programmed for content and efficiency. Why can't we stay that way, with the advancement being in quality and quantity of /content/?

Re:ever try loading Slashdot without firebug enabl (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#40614289)

because none of us want a website like that jacob nielson, people actually want pretty things and unfortunately it costs time, money and bandwidth....

Re:ever try loading Slashdot without firebug enabl (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40614379)

"Web 2.0" transforms so much otherwise perfectly functional hardware into environmentally-unfriendly junk

Find me a "web 2.0" site that requires anything newer than a decade and get back to me. "web 2.0" is meaningless marketing not a tech spec anyway.

Like many (most?) /.ers I have multiple machines on my desk and the experience on my oldest "secondary" box is basically identical to my newest. So it boots and starts chrome slower, who cares, once chrome starts I can't tell the difference.

I'll drop CSS prefixes the instant browsers do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615199)

So when will that be? In Firefox it'll be version 16 [paulrouget.com] so the 28th of August, in 7 weeks (and another 6 weeks if I really care about ESR users)

For fun, here's [constellation7.org] a site that forgot to unprefix their javascript from .MozOpacity to .opacity when it was unprefixed 8 years ago in Firefox before version 1.0, then the author filed a bug [mozilla.org] asking "why was this SUDDENLY DONE in June 2012?" and plans to invoice Mozilla for the work he does updating his site.

Re:ever try loading Slashdot without firebug enabl (5, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#40614701)

The web 10 years ago was not fine. People were still supporting Netscape 4, which in practical terms meant that everybody was stuck with inaccessible, inefficient, inflexible table layouts that had to transmit style information for every page load. Mobile websites were practically nonexistent; where they did exist, it was a severely cut-back version. Using a single responsive design to cater to desktop and mobile uses would have been impractical even assuming today's mobile hardware. Lots of JavaScript was essentially written twice - once for Netscape and once for Internet Explorer, because the various DHTML and layout methods were different and incompatible. Netscape transcoded from CSS to JSSS internally, and lots of websites only supported Internet Explorer on Windows - a single browser on a single platform, both by the same corporation.

From a content point of view, it was still difficult to produce and manage content. Anything beyond basic stuff usually involved a very limited CMS and writing code. The "WYSIWYG" editors generated terrible, inefficient code that often only worked in one browser. Security was far worse than it is now, developers were largely clueless about even the most basic vulnerabilities, and things like the PCI standard weren't put in place yet.

These days, people are paying more and more attention to content because the technology is largely at a point where they can. Consider YouTube, Wordpress or Facebook - people generating content at phenomenal rates. Efficiency is still a prime concern due to mobile browsing, and techniques such as CSS, caching and CDNs have improved efficiency immensely. User-empowering features such as user stylesheets, user JavaScript and add-ons have grown into a thriving ecosystem, and accessibility support continues to grow.

Ten years ago was a really low point for the web. It lacked the client diversity that came before it, it was rife with incompatibilities and the inefficient designs necessary to compensate for them, and it lacked the compatibility and accessibility that mostly came afterwards. In all of the history of the web, that is probably the one point I'd least like to be stuck in.

Isn't it a browser ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40613901)

So why not focus on faster browsing rather than debugging ?!?

Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsing (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#40613991)

So why not focus on faster browsing rather than debugging ?!?

As a web developing, most browsers (yes, even IE) have gotten to the sub millisecond rendering ranges. I mean, we're getting to the point where the browser is negligible compared to your network. Yes, you have broadband and it should be lightning fast but there are even little unavoidable delays for each GET or POST. So the next best thing is to empower developers who write the JavaScript code to be able to find out where their delays are. As debugging improves, we can even breakdown the experience and display that to the developer in the browser for each resource (images, CSS, JS, etc) on a page and then the developer can think about turning all those images into a spritesheet or improving some code. I mean, this is actually making the browsing experience faster for everybody by putting the right tools in the developer's hands. You can spend forever optimizing the backend but it doesn't mean jack squat when you're querying for 99 separate little images when the user first hits the page.

Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (4, Insightful)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 2 years ago | (#40614841)

From my (totally unscientific) observation, most of the page load time is due to every page requesting crap from 10 different ad networks and trackers, which are inevitably overloaded. You can optimize the pages you serve all you want, but this may be a case where developers need to adjust the attitude of the commercial people involved instead.

Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615223)

That's half the story. The other is that most pages are dynamically generated, slowly. There was a comment thread a couple of weeks about the blindingly fast D forums [dlang.org]. Note that they are fast because the server is generating the pages very quickly.

Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (1)

jeti (105266) | about 2 years ago | (#40615647)

The crap from different domains can often be loaded in parallel to the rest. More relevant to load time are the cases where resource C only gets requested after the browser processes resource B, which is included by resource A.

Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (1)

DusterBar (881355) | about 2 years ago | (#40615381)

I wish that were the case. As web pages make use of more complex layout and dynamic data, the browsers have become key to not just rendering speed but debugging. Firebug was, for a long time now, key reason to use firefox.

Take a look at http://sinz.org/Maze/ [sinz.org] for what turned into an interesting benchmark of layout and js/dom manipulation. (It was not the intent but it sure shows significant differences). Since I did that page, Firefox actually got much slower than it was but it still beats IE but loses badly to Chrome.

Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615567)

As a web developing, most browsers (yes, even IE) have gotten to the sub millisecond rendering ranges.

We're talking about firefox though, not a browser thats fast like IE, Safari or Chrome. Its cute how you're trying to blame Firefox's shitty performance on something else.

--BitZtream

Re:Isn't it a browser ? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 2 years ago | (#40615123)

So why not focus on faster browsing rather than debugging ?!?

They're turning it into an OS. This is trickle down.

Firebug or Built in Web Console? (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#40613909)

(ever try loading Slashdot with firebug accidentally enabled?)

Yeah, it takes forever. But what is much faster is using the built in Web Console in the tools menu in newer versions of Firefox [mozilla.org]. I forget what version it was that started natively supporting debugging but it got a lot better (4 I think?). I'm very excited to see these improvements but my JavaScript has to support versions of Firefox all the way back to 3.6 so I'm still using Firebug and I'm still super grateful that Firebug came around. It literally revolutionized debugging web applications for me. There could have been tools before it but, man, that was the final nail on IE's coffin for support from us. Hell, even Chrome's built in debugging is way better than anything I can find on IE. I know the latest IE versions have gotten better but it's my strong opinion that every single person who uses the internet should be thankful for Chrome, Mozilla, Venkman and these debugging tools. They made the web experience a hell of a lot better and open by empowering developers.

Re:Firebug or Built in Web Console? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40615835)

IMO, IE 9's built-in debugging, ignoring the occasional (by which I mean frequent) long stall or crash, is way better than what is built into current release versions of Firefox if you don't install Firebug. IE still sucks, but at least they've made it a bit easier to debug when (not if) it bursts into flames. Firebug puts the two roughly on par with one another and with Chrome/Safari.

Re:Firebug or Built in Web Console? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615923)

Hell, even Chrome's built in debugging is way better than anything I can find on IE.

Visual Studio for a very long time has allowed you to debug JavaScript running in IE. Just have to turn off the setting in IE that disables debugging.

Re:Firebug or Built in Web Console? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 2 years ago | (#40617835)

Who cares about the bloody web console? They've ruined the UI by turning it into a copy of Chrome. They are forcing users to use "tabs on top". For me that's the final nail in the coffin. I'm switching to using a combination of Chrome and Seamonkey.

The Muzzies are coming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40613971)

The Muzzies are coming, The Muzzies are coming
Everyone keep calm
They're violent and they're evil
And they mean to do us harm

Um... (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40613977)

Um... Isn't this why Firefox was created to prevent the bloat of Netscape and make a browser that just... browsed? Why not make this a plugin?

Why can't someone make a better browser than Firefox but make it as customizable? I've tried using Chrome and found that even basic options don't exist. And Opera really isn't that much better than Firefox.

Re:Um... (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40614225)

While you may be right when it comes to a lot of other features few people need, I think an efficient, deeply integrated debugger isn't really something you can easily separate from the Javascript engine.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614295)

Um... Isn't this why Firefox was created to prevent the bloat of Netscape and make a browser that just... browsed? Why not make this a plugin?

Because web browsers need to execute JavaScript as part of browsing.
Executing JavaScript requires a JavaScript engine.
JavaScript Engines need debugging logic built-in so people can code for it (and fix their program when it doesn't work for obscure reasons).
Gluing a UI on top of functionality that is already there does not add much to the code base.

Also, Web Inspector functionality is standard now. And also useful. Deleting elements out of a page when it layouts wrong or injecting new JS when it craps up is quite useful.

Re:Um... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40616091)

Why can't someone make a better browser than Firefox but make it as customizable?

That's an excellent idea. A tiny lightweight browser should rise from the ashes of the bloated monster that spawned it.

We could call it Phoenix!

That sounds really cool, but I think that name might be taken already.

How about Firebird?

That also sounds pretty cool, but it seems to be taken as well.

Hmm. What name should we try next...?

bloated RAM usage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614035)

Did Mozilla fix the ram usage yet? Until then I am sticking with Chrome as it doesn't use 2 gigs of ram like Firefox does

Re:bloated RAM usage (3, Insightful)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#40614221)

Yes they did. There was a benchmark story in slasdot a little while ago. It is as good as or better then chrome

Re:bloated RAM usage (-1, Troll)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#40614311)

except in the real world, that isn't true, just in somebodies "benchmark" but I used firefox on a daily basis and I switched to chrome and my computer is faster, has free memory 90% of the time and doesn't slow my computer to a crawl, the only pain I've suffered so far is I miss firephp and I think firebug is better than chromes debugging interface.

but no, in the real world, firefox is not "as good or better" as it's much much worse...

Re:bloated RAM usage (3, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40615573)

except in the real world, that isn't true, just in somebodies "benchmark"

Except in the real world, Firefox has been running for three weeks on this machine with about 20 tabs open and it's using a whole 320MB of RAM. That still seems a lot, but it's a tiny fraction of the available RAM.

Re:bloated RAM usage (1)

losinggeneration (797436) | about 2 years ago | (#40619385)

I'm at just over 59 hours, and it's at about 400MB* on a 64 bit Arch Linux desktop. That goes out the window when Firebug is on. It seems to leaks memory like crazy. It can easily climb over 1.5GB* in only a few hours of debugging/development.

*Rough estimates based on top

No more bloated RAM usage (unlike Chrome) (2)

anared (2599669) | about 2 years ago | (#40614949)

Firefox RAM usage is a lot lower than Chromes actually, theyve done a good job making the browser more efficient. Firefox is faster as well, except for some hiccups here and there. Soon they will go ahead of Chrome, I dont know what changed, maybe its the new release cycle everyone is whining about on this page, but theyve done a good job with it.

Re:No more bloated RAM usage (unlike Chrome) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618505)

It's sad that so many "smart" people are using Chrome that has so many privacy concerns. The following information is from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] but you can find this information all over [microsoft-watch.com]. Google fanboys need not reply.

1) Suggest - All text, searches, and URLs typed into the address bar are sent to Google

2) Downloads - Chrome sends the URL and IP of the host and other meta data, such as the file’s hash and binary size, to Google when downloading files

3) Page not found - All URLs and text typed into the address bar (Upon receiving "Server not found" response) are sent to Google

4) Google Update (Windows) - Information about how often Chrome is used, details about the OS and Chrome version.

5) Bug tracker - Details about crashes and failures (including information about the machine and software being used)

6) clientID - Unique identifier along with logs of usage metrics and crashes.

7) Installation - Randomly generated token included in installer. Used to measure success rate of Google Chrome once at installation.

8) RLZ identifier - Encoded string, according to Google (if you trust Google), contains non-identifying information how Chrome was downloaded and its install week, and is used to measure promotional campaigns. Google provides the source code to decode this string.

This is the reason for products such as SRWare Iron [srware.net] that remove all the privacy concerns from Chromium:

"Google's Web browser Chrome thrilled with an extremely fast site rendering, a sleek design and innovative features. But it also gets critic from data protection specialists , for reasons such as creating a unique user ID or the submission of entries to Google to generate suggestions. SRWare Iron is a real alternative. The browser is based on the Chromium-source and offers the same features as Chrome - but without the critical points that the privacy concern.

We could therefore create a browser with which you can now use the innovative features without worrying about your privacy."

To me, it's just disappointed at the sheer number of sheeple who couldn't care less if Google tracks everything they do on the internet. Which also gives support to them tracking everyone else - including their own family members. Oh wait... but Google can be totally trusted, right? I mean, they would never do anything evil with all that data since they are an advertising corporation who's sole purpose is to make money. Ya, sure.

Re:bloated RAM usage (1)

losinggeneration (797436) | about 2 years ago | (#40619447)

If you're up to 2GB you're likely seeing a leaky plugin. Firebug, for me, seems to leak. In short, if you're seeing consistent ram usage > 500MB, you should try with all plugins disabled or in safe mode.

Firefox? (-1, Troll)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#40614095)

Who uses FireFox anymore anyway?

Seriously though, I was sort of mystified when their versioning started incrementing whole numbers with each release. I liked the old versioning system but I guess if I think about it, it really doesn't matter.

They should've just called it "The New FireFox"!

Re:Firefox? (2)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#40614267)

It makes a lot of sense actually. New features are actually getting MORE testing and are getting released to the public SOONER.

Re:Firefox? (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#40615373)

Sorry if it wasn't clear that I was speaking to versioning in general, and how some companies have given it up altogether(Think Apple with "The New Ipad"). Not at all trolling =\

I personally like minor/major release schedules, but that is my preference. When we get to firefox 40, or 50, they'll probably stop and re-think this choice again.

debugger, mobile layout testing, emacs...?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614139)

In addition to the messed up version numbering, let me know when you can post an announcement with the terms "debugger", "testing" and "emacs" (yes the comparison of a web browser to Emacs is beyond my n00bish level of comprehension.

Until then, I will stick to Opera or may be move to Chrome when Opera is acquired by facebook...

Re:debugger, mobile layout testing, emacs...?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614171)

typo
wanted to say WITHOUT the terms "debugger", "testing" and "emacs"

release it already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614161)

if this is feature is ready why is not pushed to users already. why do we have to sit around waiting for months a new version with new features. If mozilla truely believed in opensource they would learn to release early and often.

(on a serious note, I wish projects like gimp had a release cycle like firefox)

Oh shut up already. (4, Insightful)

nashv (1479253) | about 2 years ago | (#40614205)

Can all these noobish people with their issue with version numbers get over it? Every Slashdot post has these idiots cribbing.

You can disable automatic updates. Why are you whining? You don't like something called 15? Write a Greasemonkey script to display the correct version number however you want.

All version numbers as supposed to say is which distribution came first and which came later. 15 > 14. That is all you need to know from a version number.

Re:Oh shut up already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614259)

I can't speak for everyone, but /I'm/ whining because this retarded version race shows that firefox is trying to "beat" the competition, as opposed to doing what made them great: ignoring everyone else and just doing their best to make a great browser.
Now all the major browsers are in a race to see who can hit version 1000 first, and quite frankly, it's annoying.

Re:Oh shut up already. (3, Informative)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#40614513)

Like always Opera did it first (full disclosure, I used to be a major Opera fanboy). I don't think Firefox is trying to beat anyone. Once Opera got to 10 and worked out the bugs for everyone (stupid websites were only looking at a single digit of the version number at that time, so Opera coded the UA to say something like 9.6), everyone is doing it. For some reason, the Firefox team finds this versioning best for their development process, and so be it. It doesn't really matter what the version numbers are. Web browsers are constantly being updated, regardless of version number.

Re:Oh shut up already. (1)

BenJury (977929) | about 2 years ago | (#40614817)

This could be true if it were being advertised as 'Firefox 15'. But its not. It's just 'Firefox', the only place the number appears is in tiny text on the help-about screen.

Now riddle me this Batman, if you've got to check if a visitor's browser is compliant with a given feature which is easier, comparing an integer or something like '3.5.16b'?

Re:Oh shut up already. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614571)

Version numbers are also supposed to inform about possible compatibility problems.
One would normally expect anything that works in version 1.2.3 to also work in version 1.2.4 with no adjustments whatsoever, while an upgrade to version 2.0 might entail a great deal of extra work to adapt custom scipts and plug-ins.

Firefox ESR (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40614647)

You can disable automatic updates.

Right. Plus, you could try the Firefox ESR [mozilla.org] (Extended Support Release) version, which is supported for the not quite long-term period of one year. It won't shut up the high-version numbers but it would allow you to skip from, say, version 10 to 15+ or whatever version comes a year after the initial release of the current ESR.

It's not hard to figure out.. then again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614833)

With a version exactly every 6 weeks, then 8 versions take 48 weeks, so it's 4 weeks shy of a year and would be version 18.

Except it's not.

For some inexplicable reason they chose version 17 as the next ESR, so long-term is now considered less than 10 months.

Re:Oh shut up already. (2, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#40614661)

Why are you whining?

Because every minor FireFox update gets to the /. front page.

Many people do not care. Most ex-FireFox users are still pissed that Mozilla has abandoned them. Throw in here Chrome users who dropped by to mock FireFox for being a copycat - and you have ideal mix for a minor flamewar.

You don't like something called 15?

You miss the point of software having the version number at all. FireFox version numbers are useless, because it is a rolling release strategy. And for example I personally do not like being an alpha tester for a piece of software which I use mostly for business purposes.

That is all you need to know from a version number.

Let me tell you an old story. Long long time ago, when Facebook was called MySpace and Google was still good, version numbers were also used to indicate stability of the software. E.g. version 2.2 was literally the same as version 2.1, but with less bugs. People could, for example, wait for software to stabilize sufficiently, for relevant bugs to be fixed, and then use it, expecting no nasty surprises at every possible turn.

Re:Oh shut up already. (-1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40615321)

> You miss the point of software having the version number at all. FireFox version numbers are useless

The ONLY point of version numbering is to IDENTIFY THE BUILD

Your BIZARRE FREAKAZOID psychological disturbance about a sequence of characters is PATHOLOGICAL

> version numbers were also used to indicate stability of the software.

Are you talking about the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" reality or perhaps the "Quentin Tarentino" realiity because that was NEVER true in THIS reality.

Re:Oh shut up already. (2, Funny)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#40615909)

The ONLY point of version numbering is to IDENTIFY THE BUILD

If you happen to be a software developer, then I pity your customers. Amen.

Or you are one of those types who deliver "guaranteed bug free" (c)(tm) software?

Re:Oh shut up already. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40618737)

The ONLY point of version numbering is to IDENTIFY THE BUILD

While arguably true for Chrome and post-3.x Firefox, the traditional multi-number schemes provide a little immediately recognizable information on compatibility and gross change between builds. In this context, "stability" does not so much equate to "bug-free" as it does to "consistent".

Quick - what level of consistency can you expect between Firefox 11 and 13? Now ask yourself the same question about Linux kernel 2.6.20 and 2.6.30, or about PostgreSQL 8.3 and 9.0. Version numbers can be (and usually are) used for more than mere build identification.

And before you assert that most end users don't care anything about any of that, I'll just go ahead and agree - the typical end user doesn't care whether the next version is denoted "15", "4.3" or "wascally wabbit". However, for those who *do* care, the traditional numbering schemes are useful.

Are you talking about the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" reality or perhaps the "Quentin Tarentino" realiity because that was NEVER true in THIS reality.

Come on, 0.x numbering has often been used to indicate unstable early development builds, though certainly not for all projects. How new are you to software development that you've never heard things like "When can we call it a 1.0?" tossed around? It's reasonable to disagree with that approach to versioning, but it's not reasonable to attempt to rewrite history.

Your BIZARRE FREAKAZOID psychological disturbance about a sequence of characters is PATHOLOGICAL

Also, you might want to consider switching to decaf.

- T

Re:Oh shut up already. (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40615363)

> And for example I personally do not like being an alpha tester for a piece of software which I use mostly for business purposes.

Remind me again HOW MUCH YOU PAID FOR THIS FINE PRODUCT and then tell us more about your DEMANDS

Re:Oh shut up already. (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#40615871)

Remind me again HOW MUCH YOU PAID FOR THIS FINE PRODUCT and then tell us more about your DEMANDS

I paid for it by seeing the Google Ads all over the internet.

You of course know that Mozilla is not community project anymore - it is bankrolled by Google?

Re:Oh shut up already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614983)

They can disable automatic updates and you can disable your goddamn whining. No one is forcing you to continue reading the posts OR respond to them.

Child.

Re:Oh shut up already. (3, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#40615031)

> All version numbers as supposed to say is which distribution came first and which came later.

Actually, you're missing the point. I can tell you have never had to support an existing corporate infrastructure that just can not upgrade to the "latest bleeding edge" because they don't have the resources to test everything possible code path to tell what broke, what works, etc.

The current numbering schema in FF is a "revision" number. Originally Version numbers conveyed EXTRA information. It lets users know about compatibility / bugs because it denotes which branch the code is in. Let's give a practical example using a fictional language 'Gem'.

If I'm working with Gem v5.x I can (reasonably) expect those features (and bugs) to be relatively consistent no matter if I'm with 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc. If I switch to Gem 6.x the developer may have switched to a completely different (source control code) branch which may also be a completely different implementation. As an user, I may not like it, but I can stick with the old (stable) version until the new version gets the kinks worked out AND when I have the time and resources to properly test the new version before deploying it.

If the developer instead has used a relative numbering schema, aka, revisions, like
* rev 4
* rev 5
* rev 6
* rev 7
* rev 8
* rev 9
* rev 10

How do I *easily* tell when

a) features were added? and,
b) features deprecated? and
c) features removed?

Yes, you still can tell this with a relative revision number but it is easier to manage the complexity with the traditional hybrid version.revision numbers.

The Mozilla team switching their focus to hyper-inflate their version number because they are trying to play some marketing game with Chrome tells me that they are no longer focused on building a great product -- their priorities are all fucked up. i.e. How many more versions do we have to go before they _finally_ fix the dam memory leak??

Re:Oh shut up already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615633)

All version numbers as supposed to say is which distribution came first and which came later. 15 > 14. That is all you need to know from a version numb

Do you have any idea how ironic it is that you call people noobs ... then make an ignorant statement like that?

Version numbers convey meaning about what the update is, major or minor, bug fix or feature inclusion/improvement.

The only noob here is you, apparently. The people bitching about version numbers seem to know far more about it than you do, noob.

You know at one point, the intelligent geeks on slashdot outnumbered you guys and we didn't have nearly as many retarded statements getting ranked so high.

How about you do everyone a favor and take your own advice, you'll embarrass yourself less that way.

--BitZtream

Big fucking deal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614305)

Firefux is the prime example as to why and how communist open-sores doesn't work. Firefux is so fucking bloated it takes 1/2 GB memory for just one fucking tab showing a text file. The firefux team refuses to fix it because it is a "Feature" and if someone wants it removed then they must code themselves. NOT EVERYONE CAN CODE YOU COMMUNIST, NIGGER LOVERS!!! No thanks I'll stick with Internet Explorer, at least Microsoft is listening to their customers moreso than the communists such as RMS Titanic AKA Stallman, the firefux team, etc.

Memory leaks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614429)

What about the outrageous memory leaks?

My firefox process grows to 1.5GB in 24 to 48 hours. Closing all but one of the windows and attempting to free memory via about:memory does nothing.

Re:Memory leaks? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40615599)

My firefox process grows to 1.5GB in 24 to 48 hours. Closing all but one of the windows and attempting to free memory via about:memory does nothing.

Maybe you should remove the addons that are leaking RAM. As I mentioned above, my Firefox has grown to 320MB after three weeks.

Re:Memory leaks? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40618847)

Yep

Until I posted this story last week with real RAM usage [slashdot.org] in a browser showdown, the lie will keep being repeated and modded up by moderators.

I just got tired of seeing the same comments over and over again which were valid with FF 3.0 and certainly 4.0 and 5.0, but not true anymore. I am glad to see moderators now mod down these comments. I would suggest the grandparent upgrade beyond 3.6 to ESR 10 which has memory improvements or use IE if he is at work and has only 1 gig of ram on his work machine.

I have never seen these memory leaks. At least not recently but I admit I only just started warming up to FF again after 4 came out. It had a lot of issues all last year.

Love firebug, hate firebug (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#40614721)

Firebug just works but I have always had the feeling that it is hard on my browser.
If chrome would get a better debugger then bye bye firefox though.

Feature better targeted at Seamonkey (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40614837)

Really, if developers are the audience why not just farm out this feature to the Seamonkey [seamonkey-project.org] communication suite, the direct descendant of the Mozilla kitchensink browser + email client + HTML editor, etc. Wasn't the goal of Firefox to become the original speed browser by throwing out all the non-web features of the Mozilla dinosaur?

Re:Feature better targeted at Seamonkey (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#40614971)

This is all true as far as it goes, but a large part of the point of a browser is to run code (in this case HTML, CSS, and JavaScript). Any environment that runs code is, at some point, going to have code written for it: this is, after all, the point of the exercise.

The people writing that code need tools to debug it, and so including said tools does not constitute bloat: there's a bona fide need here.

F-15 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40614887)

I look forward to debugging an F-15.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40615193)

Great, now FF will tell me that the Flash plug-in has crashed in a fraction of the time it does now...

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40619127)

as it should. mozilla does not make flash - adobe does

Websocket support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40617233)

Hi

I have not seen any Websocket support? It would be nice to see Websocket messages like normal http request in the debugger.

Please

I primarily use Safari on Windows (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 2 years ago | (#40617529)

Why? Because it's the only browser that doesn't use Microsoft's screwy font rendering. I know I could run gdi++ to get that system wide, but I prefer hooking OS calls as little as necessary. DirectWrite rendering is better due to subpixel glyph positioning, but it's still too aggressive in hammering the glyphs to the pixel grid for my taste.

Yes, I put up with the other Safari annoyances because the me, the most important function of a web browser is displaying comfortably-readable text, and for me Apple's algorithm wins out big over Microsoft's. Even on a 109dpi screen, Safari is easier on my eyes. Looking forward to high-DPI screens, when I hope that hinted rendering will eventually die out as screen resolution approaches that of the printed page.

Firefox has gotten a lot better over the years, however. Been running Nightly since right around the time when they changed their development schedule, and I'm happy with how the performance and memory usage has improved over that time. If they'd offer options to disable hinted fonts (even if it caused a slight performance hit due to not using accelerated font rendering), I'd switch back completely.

Re:I primarily use Safari on Windows (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40618899)

Which version of Windows do you run? I set FF and Chrome to use Windows fonts because I like how IE 9 looked and hated the fact the fonts do not look as good as Windows apps. Exact opposite.

Did you enable GPU acceleration? I do that with Chrome and FF so maybe this will turn on or off the directwrite portion as FF does only partial hardware acceleration.

Yay? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40618309)

... run just as fast with debugging enabled as without ... and the debugger can attach to remote processes ...

Yay Firefox 15! With two new better things that I and most people will never use. And that attaching to a remote process thing - wow. Always never wanted to do *that*. No security worries there.

I just hope its CPU usage is better (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#40619399)

FF13 is constantly using 60% or more CPU on all my machines, even with just an about:blank open.
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