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firefox is updating way too often.

Posted

I'm wondering what you guys are playing at, why the need to update so often? this is crazy. only 11 months ago, we were in version 3, now we are in version 7?? what is going on? the software is not that different, to warrant a major version update. I'm merely expressing my shock here at how you have changed it, but on to a more serious concern. that is add-ons. it seems to me that by making a major release, you are making it very difficult for the add-on makers. I have noticed that there is becoming less useful add-ons for firefox and the good ones are getting abandoned because they can't keep up. don't you think you should slow it down a notch? sure, I think development goes on at a normal rate, but see if you can find a way to impliment important security updates without messing up all the add-on codes? and without making a major version update! we went from 6 to 7 and what changed in terms of functionality? I honestly don't know because i saw no real big difference.

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Modified by the-edmeister

Chosen solution

Sorry you are frustrated with the new rapid release schedule, a lot of us have similar feelings. The main part of the new schedule is that version releases are date driven now, vs the previous feature driven releases. If a feature is ready for release, it is included in a new release; if a feature needs more time to "percolate", it is postponed until it is ready - no more postponing a release date because a few features need more development time.

Fewer new features and fewer changes per version release than in the past, with more frequent releases.

A page like this should appear for each new version after it is installed. It's just a matter of reading about "What's New in Firefox" to see what changes the new version has. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/7.0/releasenotes/


As far as add-on developers and the 6 week schedule for new releases, add-ons which are hosted here - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ - aka AMO - are automatically made compatible with each new version of Firefox, as long as they pass a compatibility screening process and "testers" mark them as "compatible" with the Add-0n Compatibility Reporter extension. No need for a developer to do anything if their extension was created properly to begin with and meet the current standard for security. 95% of the most popular add-ons are automatically "bumped". Plus with a specific 6 week Beta testing period developers are assured that they won't need to re-do any fixes they may need to make to their add-ons due to last minute changes in the Beta version, as did happen in the past because of new features that were changed at the "last minute" to try to make the release date.

The Nightly, Aurora, and Firefox Beta testers do much of the "compatibility testing" for add-ons which are hosted at AMO, so the developers have less work to do if their add-on doesn't need any fixes and the "testers" can report specific problems to make it easier to know what a problem is and maybe help the developer work on a "fix".

As far as add-ons that are self-hosted, that's a problem for those add-on developers to figure out for thenselves. They need to re-think self hosting vs using AMO for distributing their add-ons, or they need to find a different line of endeavor if they can't keep up with the rapid release schedule.

IMO, Norton with their Firefox extensions (like secure password storage and anti-phishing) for Firefox 3.0, 3.5, 3.6, and 4.o, were real slugs when it came to new Firefox releases, but as of Firefox 6.0 and 7.0, they had their updated extensions available for their customers within a few hours of Mozilla turning on the upgrade servers for those new Firefox releases. I hate Norton for all the problems their software caused for me over the last 25 years, but I do have to commend them for "stepping up their game" with the new rapid release schedule and meeting the needs of their Firefox using customers by providing "just in time" updates. But they still need to work on their method of delivering those updates in a more automatic method, other than users needing to download and install a "patch" or manually run a Live Update.


That all said, probably with Firefox 10 early next year, there will be a major change with Firefox's handling of perceived add-on compatibility. Currently the add-on has to meet or exceed the Firefox version number which is coded inside the add-on or on the AMO server for the particular add-on, or the add-on is automatically disabled as the new version of Firefox is installed. The new way of handling it will assume that all add-ons are compatible - period. Not to sound overly negative, but if (or when) a user has a problem due to incompatible code in one or more add-ons, it will fall on the user's shoulders to figure out what is causing their problem. I have seen too damn many poorly coded add-ons over that last 9 years of using this browser, which caused all sorts of problems for me, to think otherwise.

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the-edmeister
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3196 solutions 24401 answers

Chosen Solution

Sorry you are frustrated with the new rapid release schedule, a lot of us have similar feelings. The main part of the new schedule is that version releases are date driven now, vs the previous feature driven releases. If a feature is ready for release, it is included in a new release; if a feature needs more time to "percolate", it is postponed until it is ready - no more postponing a release date because a few features need more development time.

Fewer new features and fewer changes per version release than in the past, with more frequent releases.

A page like this should appear for each new version after it is installed. It's just a matter of reading about "What's New in Firefox" to see what changes the new version has. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/7.0/releasenotes/


As far as add-on developers and the 6 week schedule for new releases, add-ons which are hosted here - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ - aka AMO - are automatically made compatible with each new version of Firefox, as long as they pass a compatibility screening process and "testers" mark them as "compatible" with the Add-0n Compatibility Reporter extension. No need for a developer to do anything if their extension was created properly to begin with and meet the current standard for security. 95% of the most popular add-ons are automatically "bumped". Plus with a specific 6 week Beta testing period developers are assured that they won't need to re-do any fixes they may need to make to their add-ons due to last minute changes in the Beta version, as did happen in the past because of new features that were changed at the "last minute" to try to make the release date.

The Nightly, Aurora, and Firefox Beta testers do much of the "compatibility testing" for add-ons which are hosted at AMO, so the developers have less work to do if their add-on doesn't need any fixes and the "testers" can report specific problems to make it easier to know what a problem is and maybe help the developer work on a "fix".

As far as add-ons that are self-hosted, that's a problem for those add-on developers to figure out for thenselves. They need to re-think self hosting vs using AMO for distributing their add-ons, or they need to find a different line of endeavor if they can't keep up with the rapid release schedule.

IMO, Norton with their Firefox extensions (like secure password storage and anti-phishing) for Firefox 3.0, 3.5, 3.6, and 4.o, were real slugs when it came to new Firefox releases, but as of Firefox 6.0 and 7.0, they had their updated extensions available for their customers within a few hours of Mozilla turning on the upgrade servers for those new Firefox releases. I hate Norton for all the problems their software caused for me over the last 25 years, but I do have to commend them for "stepping up their game" with the new rapid release schedule and meeting the needs of their Firefox using customers by providing "just in time" updates. But they still need to work on their method of delivering those updates in a more automatic method, other than users needing to download and install a "patch" or manually run a Live Update.


That all said, probably with Firefox 10 early next year, there will be a major change with Firefox's handling of perceived add-on compatibility. Currently the add-on has to meet or exceed the Firefox version number which is coded inside the add-on or on the AMO server for the particular add-on, or the add-on is automatically disabled as the new version of Firefox is installed. The new way of handling it will assume that all add-ons are compatible - period. Not to sound overly negative, but if (or when) a user has a problem due to incompatible code in one or more add-ons, it will fall on the user's shoulders to figure out what is causing their problem. I have seen too damn many poorly coded add-ons over that last 9 years of using this browser, which caused all sorts of problems for me, to think otherwise.

Question owner

thank you. that is one heck of an answer! wow...

i guess the one developer I had issues with must just be a bad developer. it is true that before the issue i experienced, the addons never seemed to have any problem. I am surprised at the version numbers of firefox though. here is a suggestion, to make sense to end users, maybe you can attribute codes to the end of each monthly release to annotate the fact that it is a new version, but do not change the version number until a significant number of feature changes or improvements or additions?

so instead of going from firefox 7 to firefox 8, you would stay as version 7 and as each minor update is released you go from 7.1.1111 thru 7.9.9999 or something like that.

the-edmeister
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Hell, Google Chrome's version numbering system almost needs a calculator to decipher and Opera isn't much better when you consider the "build number" along with a somewhat logical version number, Mozilla is just joining the nonsensical pack.

Some modifications to the version numbering system to give it more meaning have been discussed preliminarily, but nothing firm has been decided yet. But the basics of 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - etc coming out at 6 week intervals isn't going to be changed, just talk about including some type of "date" designation. Or, it might turn out to be similar to what Chrome uses (the Chrome-envy just oozes from the halls of Mozilla these days - I wonder if that ooze can be detected with a blacklight like a CSI might use at a crime scene - lol). And that I guess is supposed to compensate for the loss of a "build date" in the User Agent string that disappeared with Firefox 4 back in January, and is now locked at 20100101 for all the Release versions.

Firefox is still getting the #.0.# security / stability fixes as with 7.0.1, but the days of 1.0 followed by 1.5 and 3.0, followed by 3.5, followed by 3.6 are gone forever.

And even more confusing is going to be the ESR - Extended Support Release version for "enterprise" users, which might come as early as Firefox 9.0, or maybe Firefox 10.0, but that is probably going skip major version numbers and be parallel to the official Firefox versions. As I recall from the preliminary planning, ESR Firefox 8.0 would have been released at the same time as the official Firefox 8, but as ESR 8.0.1 came out 6 weeks later the official Firefox 9/0 would be released - and with an ESR version to be released at 42 week intervals. So the version numbers would only be the same like every 7 official release versions. IOW, as Firefox 15.0 would come out, the ESR number would jump from ESR 8.0.7 up to ESR 15.0.

Only with a computer software version numbering systems would that make any sense at all! I still recall all the questions that arose when Firefox 1.5.0.9 went to Firefox 1.5.0.10 - it doesn't make mathematical sense, even for persons algorithmically inclined!

Question owner

wow, that is all so complicated... @_@

I guess they are up to their eyeballs in it then ^_^;


I don't understand it all, but thanks very much for taking the time to type all that out :D I understand that there is a lot of politics and other confusing systems surrounding this development.

enjourni 0 solutions 2 answers

Helpful Reply

Help for clueless firefox programmers:

1.0 update = major release, new functionality

0.1 update = serious bugfixes, slight functionality tweaks/corrections

0.0.1 update = minor bugfixes

A first year collage programmer knows this schema. Don't make it complicated- if firefox needs more mid-cycle updates just do for example 5.12 or even "firefox 5 version 34". But all these 1.0 updates are just nonsense.

Modified by enjourni

exit151 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply

I don't often create accounts just to post, so in my doing so here please take it as seriously as you can. "enjourni" has it dead on. Enough so that I'm going to quote them even though their post is directly above mine:

Help for clueless firefox programmers:

1.0 update = major release, new functionality

0.1 update = serious bugfixes, slight functionality tweaks/corrections

0.0.1 update = minor bugfixes

I have used firefox for years. I don't know what developmental team assertained that this "version releases are date driven now" idea, but they need to be fired, or certainly kicked off the decision making team. I'm going to make an assumption here that one of your competitors in the browser-making world does it the same way. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but I can only assume that's why you would make just an annoying decision. Let me be clearer than the previous poster. You are irritating your core group "THE USERS". We don't like it. We don't like it at all. It's annoying, it's frustrating and it's irritating. And it leaves us with necessary/required at times 3rd party apps that are constantly being shut down because every time you major rev Firefox, it blocks/locks their add-on from working. Just one of the 100 examples I could post.

If you continue down this road, you WILL lose me as a user. I have 5 PC's here, already FF has been removed from the mots used 3, just because I'm tired and fed up. Major releases should indicate major changes, updates to the code. They SHOULD NOT be just because it's Wednesday and my gosh - No major release has happened in the last 65 days. The only reason 2 of my PC's have FF on them at this time is because they are linux systems and I've not found a replacement that I like. If I had, there would be NO firefox in my house.

eggaweb 0 solutions 1 answers

At this rate we will be up to Firefox version 120 by 2020.

Here is my suggestion:

  1. Make a 0.1 upgrade every 6 weeks.
  2. In between, if there is an urgent bug fix, make it a 0.01 upgrade.
  3. Make a 1.0 at the start of each year.

Simpler for users to comprehend, simpler to implement...

the-edmeister
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3196 solutions 24401 answers

Don't worry, users aren't going to be burdened by version numbers for too much longer, they are slated to be removed from the user interface within the next 2 or 3 months.

decktrio 0 solutions 2 answers

You do understand that this change was really made just to compete with Chrome, right?

It's all about competitive marketing. Go down to "Partly Google's Fault"

ebsi 0 solutions 1 answers

I want you to know that after years of recommending Firefox to all my online learning students and everyone else for that matter I have had to stop supporting firefox because your stupid version numbers just made my courses inaccessible on firefox browsers. Well done guys keep up the bad work.

I fully agree with Exit151 and enjourni - 1.0 update = major release, new functionality

0.1 update = serious bugfixes, slight functionality tweaks/corrections

0.0.1 update = minor bugfixes

Its standard practice in software coding and its clear with this date based crap that its just to try being competitive with other browsers.

Now your browser wont work on my course materials and you have stuck me with the task of changing 210 courses to fix the god damn problem.

Therefore I am switching to another browser - since Firefox version xx wont work for me or my 26,000 users any more.

Thomas Smith eBSI Export Academy www.ebsi.ie

robyrob 0 solutions 19 answers

every new update seems to break EVERYTHING - websites, add-ons, java, etc. - I am getting tired of uninstalling and reinstalling older versions, disabling extensions, and spending more time trying to fix Firefox on all of our computers than time spent actually USING FIREFOX.

3.6 was perfect - it was stable and had all the features you could ever need; all this BS about trying to make Firefox more like Chrome is just driving more users to Chrome.

philipp
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2043 solutions 8894 answers

maybe the ESR release would be a better option for you, although it's mainly tailored for enterprises - apart from security updates it has an update cycle of 52 weeks -

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.../faq/ http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.../all.html