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Lolu chungechunge lwabekwa kunqolobane. Uyacelwa ubuze umbuzo omusha uma udinga usizo.

Is Mozilla under new management in 2011?

  • 16 uphendule
  • 36 zinale nkinga
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu Matt_User

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I can't help but wonder why Mozilla went from a very reliable, logical update structure, which was more concerned with getting things to work RIGHT than to just change things merely for the sake of changing them.

This year, we had a very GOOD 3.x FireFox. I loved them and happy installed their updates. Maybe there were small problems but they were always fixed.

And then came 4. Then 5. Then 6. And now 7 is being beta tested -


And each of these releases has introduced new bugs faster than they have fixed the old.

But enough of my rant about the updates. Right now, in this question, I'm wondering WHY.

Why the radical change in direction from Mozilla? Did they get a new CEO? Did they hire a new marketing team who overrode the development team?

I can't believe competition alone caused this radical paradigm shift in the company. It's as though entirely different mindsets are now in charge.

Anyone have any news about the company which might explain this?

All Replies (16)

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There probably are some blog posts on the change to "rapid release." However, some of the issues in Firefox 4+, such as graphics hardware acceleration glitches, and a stricter parsing engine to support HTML5, would cause the same bugs whether they were released quickly or slowly because Mozilla can't know all the display driver issues and web site coding glitches...


Some reading I turned up in a search: Rapid Release Process | Mitchell's Blog.

Okulungisiwe ngu jscher2000

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Thanks, jscher.

Yes, I have seen blog posts but nothing along these lines. I seem to see most of the blog posts divided into 2 categories:

1) Just trying to say "it's no big deal" and dismissing it as a problem

2) Those complaining about all the bugs in 6.0, or voicing their frustration with the bugginess of the new releases

I have yet to see anyone discussing WHY there was such a rapid change in corporate approach, deeper than just talking about it being "different numbering".

As for your post, I appreciate the comments. I do understand the issues in FF4+ like you described, from HTML5 to driver issues.

Where I find myself disagreeing with the notion "the bugs would be the same whether they were released quickly or slowly", because the OLD version should REMAIN SUPPORTED and the new updates should REMAIN BETA until these issues are better addressed.

What they should NOT be, is put out as auto-update releases to foist the new glitches on everyone who has auto-updates ON.

Realistically speaking, we should have had incremental bug fixes to 4.x, to address the problems 4.0 introduced, while all the NEW factors you mentioned were incrementally introduced as a 5.x BETA, until 5.x was "fully cooked" and ready for a public release.

But.... it still leaves me wondering WHY the company has such a radically different approach from before. Why a company who was so dedicated to a GOOD browser is now out for force-releasing "buggy but new". Something must have changed in Mozilla HQ. I wonder what that IS.

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I found an article mentioning that there was a new CEO for Mozilla in November 2010. Gary Kovacs.

Is he the only new person in the ranks?

I wonder if he's the one responsible for the problems of updates we're now facing.

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I noticed that every update for firefox seems to be matched to a Gecko update so maybe that has something to do with it?

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I noticed that every update for firefox seems to be matched to a Gecko update so maybe that has something to do with it?

Not really as the Gecko version before coincided with the Firefox version in it own way like for example Gecko 2.0 was for Firefox 4.0 and 1.9.2.* was for 3.6.* and 1.9.1.* was for 3.5.* and 1.9.0.* was for 3.0.*, Gecko 1.8.1 was for 2.0.0.*. They just decided to have the number be more in line with Fx version.

Also people complained about supposed bugs in every new release since forever including the 3.6.* that some think is better.

Okulungisiwe ngu James

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Hello RonQ,

The change in direction comes from the development team. They were very frustrated with the release of firefox 4 which was a big fail from their point of view. They do not want to have that experience again. This is not about marketing or a game of who has the highest number. Also you cannot blame the CEO because he was not even around when that happened. It's the developers who benefit the most from the trainmodel. If you're a programmer yourself, you will surely understand that.

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But then why would, if 4 was a "big fail", would they RUSH out a 5.0, then RUSH out a 6.0? How are making the numbers bigger going to erase that failure?

ESPECIALLY when said 6.0 apparently has caused more problems than 4.0 ever did?

Is Kovacs not the current CEO? Didn't he take over in November, 2010? Didn't the rush-to-release start around March 2011?

What exactly are you trying to claim? Seems what you are saying is random and not supported by the facts at hand. Nothing personal. I just don't see your point.

I am an amateur programmer (not a professional developer) but I don't see how making EVERY release a MAJOR release with integer increments, not to mention releasing more "features" faster than bugs are fixed, HELPS.

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The big "fail" with Firefox 4 wasn't Firefox itself, but rather how delayed was from when it was originally planned for release - like almost 5 months. Too many new features, too little time to create and perfect them - as it turned out. IIRC, Firefox 3.6 was only supposed to "run" like 9 months as the latest version before Firefox was to be released, but it ended being 14 months.

With the fast release schedule, whatever features are ready for release will be released on a specific time schedule in a new version, rather than specific features actually be in a specific new version. A release won't be delayed even a week waiting for the new feature to be completed, the release will be made without that feature because it didn't make the "cut" for the Beta version.

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In Firefox 4 some features were cancelled at the last moment, and also some features were added without decent testing. All because of time pressure from the release date which was delayed all the time. This is not good for developers. With the new trainmodel (Mozilla calls it rapid release model), features are added only when ready and tested. That is a huge improvement.

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RonQ, addressing one of your other questions/issues. What are the exact bugs that you are seeing in Firefox 6? Knowing them would be really helpful to be aware of them and push to fix them.

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I still don't see how a "fast release program" is going to help CUT bugs.

Also this stupid numbering system occludes just what kind of bugs are being fixed. It was such a NICE system, before, and now we're seeing releases which, we're essentially being told, MEAN NOTHING.

In other words, whether it's a small minor tweak or whether it's a major overhaul, when the date comes for a new release number, we get a new release.

As I said before - BAD MARKETING PLOY.

Fair enough to ask what the problems were. Most of them are well documented in other posts. The worst of them are:

- Performance problems (slower, huge memory hog) - Plug-in incompatibility - Bugs with some of the buttons - Funky fonts on some pages

Worst, of course, is the memory hog and speed issue. That's one reason I loved FF all this time. Now, because of the rush-to-release program, that is apparently being compromised.

Okulungisiwe ngu RonQ

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Hi Ron!

Thanks for the clarification. Let me be positive here:

  • Performance: Firefox 7 comes with a huge improvement in this sense. I'm using it on Beta and the boost is amazing (I'm not a big fan of using big words). Wait until its launch or move to Beta to try it.
  • Plug in incompatibility: To put it on perspective, they are only a handful 3rd party add-ons that aren't working, but they are really popular. We missed to measure the importance of some of them when moved to the new release model. This is being worked on and it's a high priority.
  • Bugs with buttons and Funky fonts: I need more clarifications here.

In any case, as Edmeister mentioned, the model change was a leap to a better way of working. Changes are never easy and of course, they are not instantaneous. All the nuances that haven't been tackled yet are being polished and we expect to solve them in the upcoming months. Bear with us during the trip.

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Thanks for the reply, ibai.

It would, indeed, be nice if 7 fixed the problems of 6 (and some of the leftover problems from 4).

I still fail to see how some arbitrary date numbering system is "better". It seems like it removes SOME sense of understanding of "these are big fixes, these are little - you DO want these, you DON'T want these", with some time-managed system where you can go 3-4 integer releases with minor changes and then 1 can be a HUGE makeover.

I confess, I don't like this, at all.

It also leaves me not trusting the releases as being as stable and secure; something I feel compounded by the problems in 4 and then 6, after a very LONG time of STABLE releases from 2.0 - 3.x, which is when I came to know FF.

I'm not just trying to be a sourpuss, here. I'm trying to pose that this is a real concern. If there's some underlying logic that makes sense, I'd like to learn, but it still is unfortunate, since it will be harder for the public to track changes, and most people will just be skeptical WITHOUT wanting to look deeper.

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Also this stupid numbering system occludes just what kind of bugs are being fixed.

Those lists have always been a little tricky to locate. For reference:

Firefox 6 Release Notes (highlights), Bugs fixed in Version 6 (long list)

Firefox 5 Release Notes (highlights), Bugs fixed in Firefox 5 (long list)

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With every release, there is a nice splash page announcing how this version of Firefox is so much faster than the previous one. However, I went back to 3.6 from version 6 and I find 3.6 a LOT faster.

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Same observation here. Previous versions (3.x) and prior were very fast to load, and generally reliable. Most everything since then has gone downhill. Versions 8 and 9 are ridden with glitches -- things not loading properly, etc., even when they're simple HTML pages or pdfs -- things that even the older versions IE can do quickly and accurately! (gasp!) And, just to check, I downloaded FireFox 3.6.6 today and it easily loads pages twice as fast as v 7, 8, or 9.

Looks like what is happening is a 'complexity catastrophe.' Please, stop rolling out new versions that don't work. Go back to what did work, and start anew. Keep the code streamlined . . . .

Okulungisiwe ngu Matt_User