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Author Topic: What is Mozilla trying to do?  (Read 12330 times)
eleman
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« on: June 23, 2011, 06:31:05 AM »

I waited for a while to jump on the bandwagon of Firefox 4, to give some time to add-on authors to adapt to the version change. When I finally made the jump on June 1st, one of the add-ons I use (linkification) was still not updated to work with FF4. I know this is about the developer of the add-on, rather than Mozilla, but the version change did certainly not help.

Now they bumped the version number to 5. Four more add-ons I use will be out of service with this update. Is it worth the change one wonders.

If I preferred to use a browser that changed the major version number every quarter just like Chrome does, I would use Chrome. Wouldn't I?

Why is Mozilla adopting this weird scheme of development, do you have any idea?

I don't need a fresh add-on compatibility nightmare every three months, so I'll not upgrade. Will you?
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p3lb0x
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 06:40:26 AM »

I have upgraded to version 5 and so far I have seen no real difference. I am not a very avid user of plugins so the incompatibility was not a concern for me. I can honestly say that I have no clue what they changed.
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Curt
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 06:50:47 AM »

Linkification was updated for FF4 "long ago". Why Mozilla doesn't reflect this, I don't know. Go to http://yellow5.us/firefox/linkification/ for version 1.3.9
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eleman
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 06:58:54 AM »

Linkification was updated for FF4 "long ago". Why Mozilla doesn't reflect this, I don't know. Go to http://yellow5.us/firefox/linkification/ for version 1.3.9

Yeah, I know about that update, but I made a habit of using only add-ons which had undergone review by Mozilla (if the code is beyond my ability to understand).
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daddydave
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 07:06:15 AM »

Now they bumped the version number to 5. Four more add-ons I use will be out of service with this update. Is it worth the change one wonders

Firefox 4 drove me to Chrome for a while because it broke so many add-ons. Of course, I found Chrome add-ons to be never quite as good as the Firefox ones, so I figured they may as well be broken also. When I came back to Firefox 4, most of the addons were fixed (or I had become less dependent on them.) Don't care about Firefox 5 at the moment.

I am developing a toilet theory of web browsers:

Firefox = the Japanese super toilet of web browsers -- every possible add-on is available
Chrome = the outhouse of web browsers, for those like to just quickly do their business
Internet Explorer = the American Standard toilet, for people who want to stay in their comfort zone and keep the defaults.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 07:08:39 AM by daddydave » Logged
cyberdiva
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 08:23:09 AM »

DaddyDave, I love your toilet theory!  thumbs up

I haven't yet moved to FF5, primarily because of the add-on issue.  But Mozilla is claiming that FF5 corrects security problems in FF4, so perhaps I should upgrade?  I guess I'll wait a bit longer.
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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 09:11:30 AM »

we really need more toilet analogy reviews, daddydave. sums them up perfectly.
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Ath
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 09:35:50 AM »

I moved to FF5, despite not-yet-ported plugins, because there's a config setting to ignore the version 5 check:

  • type "about:config" in the address bar
  • Right-Click/New/Boolean
  • Enter name: "extensions.checkCompatibility.5.0"
  • Select "False"
  • Restart Firefox
(All values to be typed without the quotes shown)
Now the Addons page in FF gives a warning that this 'compatibility setting is enabled, and would you like to disable that' (ignore ofcourse Wink) but all FF4 plugins that didn't work at first now work, except for the Skype plugin I got (but forgot to disable) when installing Skype.

The equivalent setting seems to exist for FF4, and is still usable in FF5
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TheQwerty
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 09:38:24 AM »

If I preferred to use a browser that changed the major version number every quarter just like Chrome does, I would use Chrome. Wouldn't I?

Why is Mozilla adopting this weird scheme of development, do you have any idea?
Well your first statement answers the second, does it not? tongue

The competition is moving to a schedule-driven release cycle to ensure the user is continually getting new features (among other reasons), could Mozilla afford to continue their feature-driven cycle without appearing out-dated, slow, or losing users? After all, Firefox 4 was in beta for almost a full year before it was released and in the time they went from 3.6 to 4.0, Google took Chrome from 4 to 10.


To be honest, I think Mozilla only made this change because they were able to see/understand the merit in Google's decision to change Chrome's release cycle. I don't believe they would have arrived at this on their own (at least not at present).


If you really want to delve into their decisions here's two good reads, also pretty good considerations for general project management:
http://mozilla.github.com...aft/development_overview/
https://docs.google.com/p...iew?id=dg63dpc6_4d7vkk6ch

The first also mentions that the time between 4 and 5 was meant to be short and transition them into their new cycle, so 5 to 6 might not feel as quick.


My take away is that it boils down to establishing a cadence and rhythm, sticking to it so the teams don't lose momentum, and freeing everyone involved from the stress of meeting/missing/setting a release date.
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TheQwerty
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 09:41:42 AM »

What am I doing making duplicates?  embarassed
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 09:43:58 AM by TheQwerty » Logged
rgdot
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 10:07:37 AM »

Google re-invented versioning just because they could, everybody is entitled to agree with what is said in the links TheQwerty provided and I am not exactly qualified to disagree. But to me it's first and foremost google doing things just because they can.

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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2011, 01:06:54 PM »

FWIW I find myself using Opera quite a bit more than previously. Especially if I'm in a forum or other site where I'm doing a lot of page hopping or text entry. It just seems faster and lighter than Firefox.

I really don't care for FF4, so I'm hoping Mozilla gets its act together a little bit better for FF5. Because I've already abandoned Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail because of what they did with the latest incarnation. And I'd really hate to also have to go shopping for a new default browser. Especially since, as daddydave mentioned previously, Mozilla's add-ons and extensions do seem to be much better done than anything coming from the competition.

Fingers crossed. huh

« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 01:09:25 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2011, 01:56:26 PM »

After I updated to 5, I found that some incompatible add-ons were not needed because the function was already there in 5. Working with tabs mostly.

This add-on helped me make a more informed decision on what to keep.
It will show you which ones that show as 'incompatible' initially, actually still work.
And that was quite a few that still work.

But you have to add this add-on to see it or FF auto disables them.

https://addons.mozilla.or...ibility-reporter/?src=api

It will give you the choice of disabling the incompatible ones instead of auto killing it.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 04:13:29 PM »

The only difference I see is the way they assign numbers to new versions. Browsers and other applications could be updated quarterly or sooner for years before Chrome started doing it, and we loved it because it meant the software was actively developed, but the software author(s) would (rightly) consider it a minor version upgrade and just go from e.g. 3.6 to 3.7.

Even with Firefox, going from 3.6 to 3.7 could break some of your add-ons, so, again, I don't see any difference between going from 3.6 to 3.7 or from 3.6 to 4.0 or from 4.0 to 5.0 with some add-on compatibility problems. It's all the same to me.

So, to reiterate: As far as I can tell, the only difference I see is that they changed the way the numbers change when they update the browser. Though, to be clear, perhaps I should say that I do think that 3.6 to 4.0 was indeed a major update.
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Shades
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 04:22:55 PM »

Firefox 5 did not break 'NoScript', 'Zotero' and 'DownThemAll' plugins, so it is ok by me.
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Curt
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2011, 05:05:56 AM »

Today I updated my Mozilla Thunderbird to the brand new version 3.1.11, and was surprised to see that version 5 now is available. Even a so-called 5 Final. And here I was waiting for my extensions to be updated for version 4!

https://www.mozilla.org/thunderbird/
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tomos
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2011, 04:47:50 PM »

Today I updated my Mozilla Thunderbird to the brand new version 3.1.11, and was surprised to see that version 5 now is available. Even a so-called 5 Final. And here I was waiting for my extensions to be updated for version 4!

https://www.mozilla.org/thunderbird/

my most wanted extension (attachment extractor) now works with v.5 so I took the leap.
Looks a lot cleaner (different fonts?) and fixed a bug here where selected non-tagged item was invisible i.e. all dark, text didnt go bright
(or maybe that was caused by one of the extensions that werent upgraded...)
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Tom
Curt
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2011, 10:53:29 AM »

Firefox 6.0 Beta 1 is ready
http://www.filehippo.com/download_firefox/10189/

I am new to version 4 - somewhere in my little head I even thinks that version 4 itself is new. And now they are launching version 6? This is going too fast for me!

Edited:

Quote from: Changelog
* The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting
* Streamlined the look of the site identity block
* Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
* Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
* Added support for window.matchMedia
* Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
* Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
* Improved usability of the Web Console
* Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
* Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 11:04:31 AM by Curt; Reason: added Changelog » Logged
rgdot
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2011, 11:16:56 AM »

The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting

 huh
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nudone
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2011, 01:02:56 PM »

I assume they'll slow down with the new numbers when they get to number 10 (or whatever Chrome is at). Then they'll update as often as Chrome does after that. (They aren't chasing anyone else are they?)
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Deozaan
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2011, 01:10:33 PM »

I assume they'll slow down with the new numbers when they get to number 10 (or whatever Chrome is at). Then they'll update as often as Chrome does after that. (They aren't chasing anyone else are they?)

Chrome is at v. 12 now.

But the reason why Chrome's version number doesn't matter is because they don't make big announcements for every update. Chrome just silently updates itself and you have the latest version and if there's a big new feature Chrome will let you know or Google will post a blog about it.

Google doesn't hype the version numbers. They hype new features.

Firefox (and others) hype new version numbers and then list the features.
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nudone
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« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2011, 01:26:52 PM »

Good point. I didn't think of it like that.

In that case; I do find it very annoying and mindless how this version number boasting has become the norm.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2011, 02:48:10 PM »

FF has gone up tiny increments for years - they now look like they are behind with version numbers.

Personally I don't care what the version number is but Mozilla now seem to think changing the version number itself counts for a full version bump. Presumably so they catch up with IE and Google and ....
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phitsc
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2011, 02:02:21 AM »

The main annoying thing about increasing FF version numbers is the plugin compatibility problem.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2011, 02:48:24 AM »

Just bump the version number in the addon manually or use a tool that allows you to install it anyway. I have only ever found a couple of addons that actually didn't work when a FF update is released. If the worst hasppens and it doesn't work you can always disable it until an update appears.
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