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Firefox 4, A Day Later 435

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the foxy-lady dept.
Yesterday we noted that Firefox 4 is out in the wild. Since then, the popular browser has been downloaded 6 million times, double the numbers reported for MSIE9. Now the development team is talking about a new development process and what to expect for FF 5 and 6. And unsurprisingly, naysayers proclaim that IE will survive, while Firefox will die.
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Firefox 4, A Day Later

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  • by netsharc (195805) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:43AM (#35587244)

    Is this guy really saying "wow, look, Firefox took forever to release a version which was just 0.5 higher, while Chrome went from 9 to 10 in four weeks."?

    How the FFFFFFFFFUUUUUU- does a moron like this get hired to write a tech column?

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:48AM (#35587342)

      We should blow his mind and claim the true Firefox version number is divided by ten for display so it doesn't harm monitors.

    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:50AM (#35587422)

      How the FFFFFFFFFUUUUUU- does a moron like this get hired to write a tech column?

      He writes articles with inflammatory headlines and gets clicks. He gets it into clueless middle managers' heads that IE is better than Firefox. There are people who will pay well for both of those things.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Yeah, they could at least pick one that is a bit negative yet not utter crap and flamebait - but I guess it drives hits. If you go to news [bbc.co.uk] on BBC it says:

      Millions download latest Firefox
      Mozilla celebrates more than five million downloads of its latest browser, however Firefox's market share is declining.

      The article goes on to say that the 5.5 million downloads is short of the 8 million downloads Firefox 3 saw, that it has gone from a peak of 24% to 21% now etc. Those are at least reasonably supported facts, until the ZDNet crap which in one sentence goes

      It took Google only a bit more than two years to ship Chrome 9 last month, and it was replaced by version 10 just a little over four weeks later.

      then a bit later

      Itâ(TM)s also easy to be skeptical about Mozillaâ(TM)s ambitious roadmap that has them shipping versions 5, 6, and 7 before the end of this year.

      So Google shipping monthly releases, no problem but Firefox shipping quarterly releases

    • My understanding from reading other online articles is that Firefox 4, within the first 24 hours, was downloaded over 7 million times.

    • by balbus000 (1793324) <kmcrandom+slashdot@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:19PM (#35587916)

      According to their roadmap [mozilla.org], Firefox will be up to version 7 by the end of 2011.

      They say that they want to "ship our new technology to users in smaller bundles, more frequently" but personally, I just think they want more cake [slashdot.org].

      • by jez9999 (618189) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:04PM (#35590328) Homepage Journal

        Actually, I don't like this new tactic of a major version number increment every 3 months or so. I think it was helpful to think of the major version number as a really big, API-breaking change that didn't happen very often, with minor version numbers representing significant but not too major evolutions of functionality.

        This new scheme means we'll have Firefox 40 by about 2020. I predict that somewhere before that, they'll either stop the major version increments, or drop the emphasis on major version number altogether and just call it 'Firefox'.

    • by DragonHawk (21256) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:22PM (#35587994) Homepage Journal
      This guy is using precious oxygen that clearly could be going to a more deserving cause. Like helping rust bridges, or something.
    • Every time I change something in my code, I up the version number by one! That must mean my browser is awesome, right?

      That guy is a serious shill. He asks what IE's greatest challenge is then answers it incorrectly. IE's greatest challenge is it's a piece of crap. It's slow, unresponsive, buggy and non-standard.

      I'll use ANY browser (other than IE) because I frankly don't care about all the bells and whistles and don't have a favorite. But if you give me a browser that is so obviously slower (the fact you

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:49PM (#35588460)

      no, he; actually says "Firefox took 2 years to go from version 3.5 to version 4", whereas Microsoft managed to put out a beta and a release candidate in that time - go microsoft devs!

      I suppose he completely forgot about Firefox 3.6 while he was kissing Ballmer's shiny bum, and the 12 (?) beta releases that FF put out, or the 2 release candidates.

      Not that I consider a beta or a RC a proper release - they're 'toys' for the early adopters to play with, but regardless of that, you cannot be considered a serious journalist if you don't compare the same way.

      Incidentally, I can say that IE9 will not get a foothold too much - we've just had an email sent out from corporate IT saying "don't install it, it breaks all our lovely enterprise apps". So I could install it, but then I wouldn't be able to fill in my timesheet (I know, the pain) so I guess I'd better do as they say and continue all my usual surfing using FF4. I know my salesman has converted to Chrome and he barely knows what the internet is so I can't say IE9's future is as cheerleader-bright as he thinks it is.

    • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:55PM (#35588560)

      Well, everyone knows that version numbers are a measurement of how many featuritons are included in the product. A featuriton is a fundamental subatomic particle which represents the basic unit of innovation. For every version number, an additional 3.82e26 featuritons is included in the product. So really, the version number is just measuring the total featuriton level and comparing version numbers is a completely valid way to compare the development of two products.

      Let's not bother getting into the quantum developodynamics of it, just take my word for it.

    • by TheRealGrogan (1660825) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:06PM (#35591194)

      Ed Bott is just a pro-Microsoft troll (usually... though he has done a few good pieces). His job is to piss people off, and generate visitor sessions for ZDNet.

      Any "Microsoft App Platform" will be for Windows. Microsoft's definition of targetting code for multiple platforms means multiple versions of Windows. XP, Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit etc.

      Funny how their crap doesn't catch on like it used to. For example, they have resorted to forcing Silverlight on people's computers. If you want MSN Messenger, or anything in the Live Essentials suite you get Silverlight. I have yet to see any content I couldn't view for lack of having silverlight. (That doesn't mean there isn't, just that I haven't encountered it. It's really not that popular). No sane developer is going to put their money on that, and risk alienating visitors. There's a reason that Flash is the most widely used technology today and that is because there's a good chance that most all of your visitors have a Flash plugin available. It's the closest thing to multi platform there is, for media content. Flash Player Square allows pure 64 bit browsers to participate too now. .Net Framework is rubbish. Fragile, hardware intensive rubbish (They work around that now by having services that run all the time to pre-compile byte code) that produces apps chock full of GUI annoyances. Many computers need to have multiple implementations of it too. 1.1, 3.5 (which covers 2.x) and now 4.

      So I think we'll be seeing Firefox survive Internet Explorer 9, or Chrome, or Opera regardless of what nonsense Ed Fucking Bott extrudes from his flabby rectum. With a more level playing field in this day and age, it will remain a viable choice.

  • So one of the major thinsg to expect in FF5 is "UI animation"?
    For some reason, this makes me feel kind of sad....

  • And unsurprisingly, naysayers proclaim that IE will survive, while firefox will die.

    IE has been getting faster, I can't say the same thing about Firefox.

    • by Compholio (770966) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:47AM (#35587322)

      And unsurprisingly, naysayers proclaim that IE will survive, while firefox will die. IE has been getting faster, I can't say the same thing about Firefox.

      People keep saying this, but I just loaded the new Firefox and it feels to me like the interface is much more responsive and flash-intensive pages that used to take forever to load now show up extremely rapidly. I was sticking with FF3 because of the great plugins, but FF4 actually seems to be pretty decent out of the box.

      • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:19PM (#35587912)

        Same here. The performance difference for me is huge. Its so big, its instantly obvious from the second it starts, which even includes a much faster start for all my tabs. Its instantly snappy and I'm an extremely heavy tab user too. Flash sites are slightly more responsive and now I'm even running greasemonkey (didn't before) which should further slow things. And yet, things are definitely faster. I'm even observing a reduce memory footprint, which I didn't expect, of roughly 200M for the same tabs. I'm extremely impressed. Version 4.0, by far, exceeds my expectations.

        As for plugins and add-ons, everything I use is already available for 4.0 so I'm pretty pleased. The only gotcha I've run into is the default linux release is 32-bit and you have to dig to find the 64-bit download. If any cares, you download the 64-bit linux release here. [mozilla.org]

        Oh ya, am observing an extremely annoying issue with 4.0 and slashdot in that entry fields get pushed past the bottom of the screen when making posts, with the new slashdot interface abomination, truly a pain in the ass. Yet another reason to continue to use the old interface. Works great with the old interface. New interface is broken with 4.0.

        • by Compholio (770966)

          The only gotcha I've run into is the default linux release is 32-bit and you have to dig to find the 64-bit download. If any cares, you download the 64-bit linux release here. [mozilla.org]

          If you're running Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10 there's a PPA (for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions):
          Firefox 4 PPA for Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 users [omgubuntu.co.uk]

    • IE has been dying faster.
    • Yeah, no. As someone who runs FF everywhere, the recent speed increase and extra snappiness is real useful on my lower end machines.
    • by Buggz (1187173)
      IE certainly couldn't get any slower, so a comparison in terms of speed increase between versions isn't worth much.
  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:43AM (#35587260) Homepage

    The "IE will survive/firefox will die" article:
    Firefox will die because it ONLY has extensions. It doesn't have an app ecosystem, and is therefore not buzzword compliant.

    Erm, yeah.

  • I'm not sure about anyone else, but I downloaded FF4 yesterday on my work machine. It seems like it takes longer to resolve any given url than FF3.whatever did. Once a page loads, then it zips through the page pretty snappily, but it definitely takes a bit longer to resolve the url in the first place.

    That said, does anyone know how to change the loading icon in the upper left corner of a tab that is loading a page? Personally I don't want a damn thing on my computer to remind me of the Windows OS eye can
    • by silanea (1241518)
      Does disabling the "Block reported $evilstuff" options under Security in the options make any difference with regard to name resolution?
  • Maybe Firefox 4 is being downloaded more then IE9 because FF is a [b]release[/b] version and IE9 is a [b]release candidate[/b] version?

    Not that I use either (Opera here), but if you want to compare the two, lets compare them right...

  • by SethThresher (1958152) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:50AM (#35587408)
    To be honest, I'm not really sure what any of this article said, because I was too busy being mesmerized by the blinky lights on the Firefox download stats page [mozilla.org].
    • by acomj (20611)

      I love that page. I've been watching it for the past day. You can tell where daylight is by the download rates.

        Even Europe slows down at night, but those europians seem to be up at all hours....

      I love it when a pacific island lights up.

      • That site drags Firefox 4 to a halt on my machine. It works fine in Chromium. Which is really too bad, because I prefer Firefox due to the UI and a couple of awesome plugins.

        64-bit Debian on Intel Core 2 Dual E7500 @3GHz, 4GB RAM - 1GB still free, using nVidia binary driver.

      • by grcumb (781340)

        I love it when a pacific island lights up.

        Sorry, that was me. I've been upgrading some of the desktops at the University of the South Pacific campus here in Vanuatu.

    • For added lulz, download it multiple times while cycling through public proxies. Try to catch your blinky lights.
    • There goes any productivity I might have had today.... :P
  • The rest of us who value our extensions (add-ons, whatever) will continue to hang out here with the most recent 3.x until said extensions become supported in FF4. I'm not saying this is Mozilla's fault by any stretch, either. I just want to make sure I still have gestures, web developer, firebug, and so many more well-tested and confirmed working before I make the jump.
    • The rest of us who value our extensions (add-ons, whatever) will continue to hang out here with the most recent 3.x until said extensions become supported in FF4. I'm not saying this is Mozilla's fault by any stretch, either. I just want to make sure I still have gestures, web developer, firebug, and so many more well-tested and confirmed working before I make the jump.

      The three you listed have been working since the beta versions. But point taken, not everyone is or should be an early adopter.

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      That, and the extensions or well documented ways of disabling all that new and fancy crap and revert my browser to look like it's supposed to look.

      Did it with the redesigned address bar, did it with personas and much of the other extra crap that went into v3. Going to do it with the retarded (imho) new look of v4. The first thing to fix is essentially to revert v4 to look like a browser in a PC with a large screen, and not a flashy portable device where every vertical line counts.

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:10PM (#35587782)

      I just want to make sure ... firebug ... well-tested and confirmed working before I make the jump.

      Don't know about "well-tested" (well tested like "a two year Debian release cycle" ?) but I can certainly confirm firebug is working or at least it hasn't failed yet.

      Also working:

      Adblock plus
      flashblock
      ghostery
      noscript
      xmarks

      Not working:

      Remove it permanently (I can survive without it, but its nice)
      Microsoft .net framework assistant 1.2.1 (WTF is this anyway?)

      Immediately upon installation:
      Right click on that wee little down triangle in the address bar. Uncheck "Tabs on Top" then breathe a sigh of relief as your eyes stop bleeding. Then de-turd the toolbar by right click on the same triangle and select "Customize..." and then rip out the search bar (useless), the home button (so 1993), the stop button (again, so 1993), rearrange the refresh/reload button where god intended it to be, ditto the spinner. Basically just clean it up a bit. Should have come preconfigured this way.

      I don't like the weird new forward / reverse buttons. I have muscle memory from FF3 to move back to the start of history in a tab, which no longer seems to work, epic UI fail to screw the user that way. That's the only UI problem I haven't been able to work around yet.

      So with about five minutes of amount of work, upgrade results in only two dead (admittedly useless) addons, and one UI fail that'll only strike me about 50 times a day no big deal. I've seen worse dot-zero releases.

      I have a clunky many years old desktop and on both FF3 and FF4 everything comes up in "blink of eye" speed, I don't even know how to test if its slower or faster because everywhere I go is faster than my visual cognition (and thats fast, I'm a very fast reader). Its hardly orders of magnitude different, anyway.

  • Why does this have to be some us versus them again.

    How many people upgraded to Chrome 10?...who cares because the version don't really mean as much.

    Firefox probably popped up and said 4 is available and people clicked okay.

    IE won't do that for various reasons. Most windows client admins want this behavior because they want to control the rollout. That is part of the diversity...in some sense IE is a better option in large corporate environments and a worse one for individuals at home...aside from the standa

    • by Shados (741919)

      IE won't do that for various reasons. Most windows client admins want this behavior because they want to control the rollout. That is part of the diversity...in some sense IE is a better option in large corporate environments and a worse one for individuals at home...aside from the standards stuff...from the purse install\app standpoint. If you don't work as a client admin for a firm of 10,000+ you might not get this and even if you do you won't want to admit it :).

      Chrome is starting to go that way too. Its

  • > IE will survive, while firefox will die.

    Probably. IE will live on at 30 -- 40% penetration solely due to being bundled with Windows, old fogies and unsophisticated users continuing to believe that IE is "the internet".

    Firefox will probably go away at some point when Mozilla changes the name again.

    There. Prediction confirmed.

  • by Kynde (324134) <kynde AT iki DOT fi> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:57AM (#35587554)

    "Ed Bott's Microsoft Report" predicts that IE will survive and Firefox will die.

    In other news a VCR said that VHS ain't going nowhere...

    (And what's worse, the fkuc up is making arguments based on major version number delta over time. Such uncanny insight is rare!)

  • But when you think about this development process and naming convention that Chrome uses and FF is going to use, are we eventually going to be comparing Chrome 65 to Firefox 48? And eventually Chrome 138 and Firefox 172? Putting aside software engineering and release cycle concerns, it would seem incrementing the number on each release might be a bad idea.
  • "When Can I Use?" (http://www.caniuse.com/) updated right away that the current version Firefox is 4. Must be database driven to update everything so fast. Anyway, with "All" features selected, the final Summary lists current Firefox only 3% behind current Chrome and 10% ahead of current Safari. Of course, "When Can I Use?" is supported by Google to highlight Chrome's strengths in new technologies.

    It's kinda sad, isn't it? Apple contributed WebKit to open source, Google used it to get a quick presence in
  • Firefox 3 came with the totally worthless "awesomebar" that suggests all kinds of things that are not the least relevant to the url you start to type. Has this been fixed in FF4, or have they perhaps ruined more things?
    • by Microlith (54737)

      As has happened in other threads, you can go install "oldbar" to get the gimp autocomplete-only URL bar if you really want it.

      The rest of us who enjoy having the ability to pull up a page even if the URL doesn't begin in www or we forget the URL completely will continue to use the Awesomebar.

      • As has happened in other threads, you can go install "oldbar" to get the gimp autocomplete-only URL bar if you really want it.

        The rest of us who enjoy having the ability to pull up a page even if the URL doesn't begin in www or we forget the URL completely will continue to use the Awesomebar.

        I suspect the folks who hate the Awesomebar don't adapt well to change of any kind. Still, everyone has their own preferences and that's ultimately the value proposition for Firefox. You can make it work just about any damn way you please.

      • by Zedrick (764028)
        Oldbar has never worked for me, think I read somewhere that it conflicts with some other addon I use.

        > enjoy having the ability to pull up a page even if the URL > doesn't begin in www

        Sorry, what? What does the www subdomain have to do with anything? I never type it in unless there's some site with no content on the sld. My problem is that if I for example type "forum", then I expect to get forum.paradoxplaza.com as first suggestion, since that site is the forum*-site I usually visit. Instead I
  • FF4 behaves like it went on a diet, fast and snappy like it used to be.

    I approve.

  • "ie will survive, firefox will die" -> that possibility went out of the window by eu commissions mandating of the browser ballot box in europe.
  • I want my tabs just where they are now.

  • I'm pretty sure that MSIE is only available for one of the four operating systems I use every day.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:18PM (#35587906) Homepage

    Google is able to turn out new browsers quickly because it uses WebKit to render its pages. MSIE 9 uses Trident (MS's own) and Firefox uses Gecko (Mozilla's own).

    Microsoft did not update Trident "over night." It has been going on for a very long time.

    For Ed to assert that Google and Microsoft took a similar route on anything is simply inaccurate.

    All this nonsense about "faster browsers" is already out the window due to this movement to hardware acceleration. Now different browsers will perform differently based on the hardware present, the level of support for the hardware and more. Linux is still the red-headed stepchild where hardware support is concerned. This is especially the case where graphics drivers are concerned. Microsoft does not have to worry about this because it controls the platform it supports. Google and Mozilla and more write for more than Windows and operate against the APIs which are known and documented.

    Despite all of Microsoft's tremendous resources and programming talent, they are still not producing a standards compliant browser on par with Chrome or Firefox. I can't believe it is due to a lack of talent or resources. It must be for some other reason and I suspect it has to do with backward compatibility and possibly even maintaining the appearance that "all other browsers are broken" as users seem to perceive.

  • Also E. Coli and HIV will. While Leonardo, Bach and Einstein already died.
  • by Danse (1026) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @02:26PM (#35589860)

    So far I'm liking FF4. Everything seems to work well. I'm getting used to the little popup preview of links in the bottom right corner. The sync functionality looks cool and I'm planning to try it out to sync with my Android phone. The only real issue I've encountered is related to the interaction between the Tab Groups feature (aka Panorama) and the Tree Style Tabs plugin, which I consider an absolute necessity anymore.

    If I switch to a tab group, and then try to go back to my full display with all tabs shown, the tabs get all scrambled, lose their hierarchical positions, and some seem to disappear completely. I really hope there's a way to fix that, although it'll probably be up to the TST developer to do it. For now I think I'll just have to avoid using Tab Groups.

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