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Old 06-21-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
Tharic-Nar
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Default Mozilla Releases First 'Rapid Release' Firefox, 5.0

It's been a mere three months since we all welcomed Firefox 4 with open arms, but the time has come to put that out-dated browser out to pasture and move onto the bigger, better and badder 5! Alright, so this might be a 'major' release given that Mozilla has upped its release schedule to see four new version increments each year, but with these regular releases, we'll never have to wait too long for some of the latest Web technologies to be implemented.


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Old 06-21-2011, 06:51 AM   #2
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At last the death of Firefox!

What makes FF strong? The ability to use 10001 extentions... What messes up those extensions, every (even minor) upgrade of FF...
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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... Only because of the way the extension framework currently works. However, it's been known to many of us that a simple edit on one line of the java file contents is all we usually need to do in order to get one extension to work in the new version, without having to wait for the extension maker to do it herself or himself.

What bothered me instead was why Firefox felt it needed to emulate Chrome rapid release cycle. Where did it ever felt that Chrome development methodology was an advantage over Firefox previous model. This decision killed for good any hope Firefox could ever have of making its way into the corporate environment. It's now for good (and for bad or worse) a "people's browser". And even more damaging, it pitches Firefox toe-to-toe with Google Chrome. And that battle cannot be won. In fact, it was already lost to me, for instance. Just very recently (last week, if you want to know) I put an end to my 5 year relationship with Firefox. 5 years, not 5 months. 5 years is a lot of time. It's the type of time that no one can accuse me of just not knowing what I am doing.

When Firefox team decides to adopt rapid release cycles, Firefox loses the only thing that differentiated it from Chrome. With one aggravation, Firefox is entirely a collaboration project. This makes Firefox much more open to "the user is the tester" philosophy than Chrome will ever be, since, while open source, it is controlled by a small team of developers. Now, I don't feel like beta testing Firefox releases thank you. I want to use my browser and trust it. And with that, I said goodbye. There being no more nothing to differentiate them, it was inevitable I compared them. And Chrome, like it or not, is a far superior browser.

In the end, I'm annoyed. Of course I am. Firefox development model was fine as it was. It fitted nicely in the collaboration model it adopted since the very beginning and it had hopes of entering the corporate market where it could put an end to the IE 6 once and for all. In fact, no other browser impacted more on IE 6 than Firefox. I predict this to be the beginning of the end to Firefox. And they can never claim Chrome was the one doing it. When the Mozilla team made this decision to put both browsers on the same level, Firefox was still king of the hill with a far superior market than Chrome.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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It's humorous that you mention that, Glider, because I use a single extension and it broke with 5.0.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig
However, it's been known to many of us that a simple edit on one line of the java file contents is all we usually need to do in order to get one extension to work in the new version, without having to wait for the extension maker to do it herself or himself.
That kind of thing shouldn't be left up to either the user or developer, though... the design should be better so that extensions don't break with an upgraded version. I assume things are going to have to be changed, because people are going to be annoyed quick if their extensions break four times a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig
here did it ever felt that Chrome development methodology was an advantage over Firefox previous model.
I hate to even assume something so absurd, but it seems to me that it's a battle of numbers. Opera is at version 11, Chrome is at 12, and IE is almost at 10. To the ordinary user, Firefox 4 might not seem so impressive.

One thing I've noticed is that neither Mozilla or Google care much about version numbers though. Google has never had the version number even appear on its Chrome homepage, and I noticed last night that Mozilla has opted to do the same. Neither of them want the regular user to care about version numbers anymore, it seems, but it begs the question, why the focus on major increments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig
Just very recently (last week, if you want to know) I put an end to my 5 year relationship with Firefox. 5 years, not 5 months. 5 years is a lot of time.
I have you beat!

http://techgage.com/news/move_over_f...choose_chrome/

I admit I am back on Firefox and have been since 4.0. I am glad to be "home", but the browser doesn't feel as epic to me as it used to. One thing I -really- liked about Chrome is that its syncing capabilities were near-instant most of the time. Unfortunately, sometimes even if I force a sync on two computers with Firefox, the updates will still take minutes.

I couldn't agree more with you on most of your points though, I've felt the exact same way for a while; hence moving away from Firefox at all. Sadly, as I am not "attached" to it even now, I am sure I will be giving Chrome another good test in another few versions.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:30 PM   #5
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I've been using Chrome steady for quite a while. I don't see any reason to switch back to Firefox, really. I am curious as to how it's doing these days, though.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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I still haven't used Chrome but I am seriously thinking about it. I am getting sick of the memory issue with FF.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:23 AM   #7
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As long as FF takes longer to start then my desktop takes to boot, FF is a nono for me anyway... I use Chrome, and won't turn back to FF anytime soon
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
That kind of thing shouldn't be left up to either the user or developer, though... the design should be better so that extensions don't break with an upgraded version. I assume things are going to have to be changed, because people are going to be annoyed quick if their extensions break four times a year.
Absolutely. They are bound to change. One just can't have a version-bound extension framework with rapid release cycles. Especially when FF extension base is so vast and varied.

Quote:
One thing I've noticed is that neither Mozilla or Google care much about version numbers though. Google has never had the version number even appear on its Chrome homepage, and I noticed last night that Mozilla has opted to do the same. Neither of them want the regular user to care about version numbers anymore, it seems, but it begs the question, why the focus on major increments?
Personally I think it's marketing cave-in to user demands.
I've been noting an increase in users demands for faster and more updates. The rapid release cycle of some popular projects (including Chrome) has given the impression to some people that they get faster and more updates to their software than with more traditional development methods. On the other hand they associate this type of release cycles to faster bug resolution.

Under most cases, they couldn't be further from the truth. Programmers don't just work faster under "release early" models. What happens is that releases are essentially partitioned into smaller parts and those parts make their way into the public. All things being equal, at the end of the day, you get the same number of fixes and the same number of new functionality. Only one gives them incrementally, while the other lumps everything into a major/minor release.

The RERO (Release Early and Release Often) methodology has, in my opinion, been taken entirely out of the original context by too many a developer team, through the years. Moreover, it isn't necessarily something one should wish applied to all sorts of projects or for all sorts of users (the corporate market segment is an example of one market that isn't sympathetic at all to RERO). But more damaging, this methodology is today being brandished more and more as a marketing tool that tries to give users the idea that they get more and better in less time. And users easily buy that notion, being that consumer greed (and a certain dose of naiveté, I'm afraid) is unfortunately widespread in our societies.

Truth however is that you get essentially the same during the same period of time. And it's usually only after a lengthy period of time that you can eventually know if you got any better. The fact is that RERO removes testing time. The burden is put almost entirely on the shoulders of beta testers and final users (being that beta testing cycles are them too shortened). So the possibility of introducing more bugs into public releases is there, is very real, and is very common.

Now, if you are coding an API, some sort of programming framework, or an operating system kernel, or a MMO game, or any other type of project where there is a tangible, very real, benefit to rapid release cycles that's when you want to do it. Similarly if you have a small, dedicated, competent and well organized team of developers. And that is what Eric S. Raymond was referring to when he first coined it. He never meant to say this is the best way to do it. He was saying this was the best way to do it if you are doing anything that can draw some real benefit from it and if you meet the conditions to do it.

And the most annoying bit about all this marketing hype response to consumer demands, is that in fact the full phrase is "Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers." You notice the "And". It's because the former doesn't work at all if you don't do the latter. That's in fact the whole point of doing it. And has Mozilla been known for listening to its user base?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
As long as FF takes longer to start then my desktop takes to boot, FF is a nono for me anyway... I use Chrome, and won't turn back to FF anytime soon
That's the type of argument that is at the core of all that is wrong with software today. That was never a reason why FF bothered me and I cannot understand why people get so worked up about software taking even 10 seconds to load up.

If we settled down a bit, took a deep breath, and stopped wanting to be everywhere, every time, and as fast as possible, maybe just maybe we wouldn't put the wrong pressure on development teams to solve non-issues and the software we use today would have less bugs, be better constructed and have more functionality.

Just saying.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
I hate to even assume something so absurd, but it seems to me that it's a battle of numbers. Opera is at version 11, Chrome is at 12, and IE is almost at 10. To the ordinary user, Firefox 4 might not seem so impressive.
Maybe, but I think that's too simple of an explanation. And Opera never did play the numbers game. The only time they change the number is when something drastically changes the browser in a very visible or functional way to the end user. Even then they primarily do incremental .01 style updates for security fixes, and .1 for functionality or feature adds. Opera 11.11 is the current version...

Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig View Post
Personally I think it's marketing cave-in to user demands.
I 100% agree with you. Either that, or they were getting desperate to find new ways to pull new users in. Probably both. Either way, it sure doesn't help my opinion of their software any...
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