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Firefox 5 Scheduled For June 21 Release 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-rest-on-them-laurels dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has updated its Firefox 5 release schedule and is apparently upbeat that it can release the browser even earlier than previously anticipated. The release was pulled in by a week to June 21. Mozilla is now also using a Chrome-like versioning system for Firefox — where the final Firefox 5 may be called Firefox, for example."
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Firefox 5 Scheduled For June 21 Release

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  • by _0xd0ad (1974778) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @01:39PM (#35747560) Journal

    Posts that have been moderated once don't have a moderation adjective. It's been that way since before the site redesign, so I think it was intentional. A post with an Excellent karma bonus and one +1 mod will be rated +3 Normal.

  • by kripkenstein (913150) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @01:59PM (#35747992) Homepage

    What actual features and improvements could they possibly have added in "8 WEEKS" since the release that they have had time to actually put through an Alpha test, Beta test, and then full release that would warrant a VERSION 5!?! This seems crazy lame to me. The browser has slowly gotten bloated, now the number? Why?

    Hi there, I work on Firefox. First thing, we didn't write the article linked to in the summary, and I don't think they gave a totally accurate description. In fact, I don't even think this was interesting enough for a blog post from them.

    We are basically going to switch to a development process that is very similar to Google's with Chrome. So everything you say here is valid about their development practices as well - rapidly rising version numbers for no reason, little features in 'major' releases, etc.

    Why are we doing it? There is just one reason, it helps get code shipped faster. Code does not get written faster though, in either Chrome or the new Firefox process :) It just gets shipped quicker. But that is important too, and that's why we (and Google) are doing this.

    Basically, Chrome and Firefox will release quickly, with small amounts of changes each time. I agree with you 100% that the major version number rising each time is silly! Personally I would either drop the version number entirely, or use something like Ubuntu's versioning scheme (10.10 for 10th month, 2010). But oh well.

    In any case, since you asked what will ship in Firefox 5, I can tell you about stuff I know about (which is platform/backend stuff, not frontend). We have several improvements to performance that should be very useful, in both JavaScript and graphics. In particular WebGL should be faster on some cool demos on Linux, which I am very happy about.

  • Re:Why..? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jonadab (583620) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @02:24PM (#35748478) Homepage Journal

    That's debatable, especially if you take into account the amount of development that took place from one version to the next. Firefox 2 was arguably a more mature release, with a larger number of major releases preceding it, than IE7. (Opera I'll grant, though. It's been continuously maintained since the days of Trumpet Winsock, so big version numbers are warranted there.)

    IE basically skipped versions 1 and 2 (they were minor feature-incomplete dev milestones; normal users never saw them), and even versions 3 and 4 were not feature-complete compared to other browsers of the time (notably Netscape). They just pumped the number up real fast so people would *think* it was equivalent to Netscape 4. Granted, 5.5 could arguably be considered worthy of major-version-number status. Still, being *very* generous, major IE releases are 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and now 9.0, for a total of eight, max. A less magnanimous assessment might peg it at more like six without being completely unfair.

    Meanwhile, when development on the Mozilla codebase (that eventually became Firefox) started, IE was only about three or four years old. Then after the release of 6.0 the IE team at Microsoft was completely disbanded and NO significant development was done for several years (until finally it was so antequated that Microsoft was legitimately concerned they might lose ALL of their browser userbase if they didn't get off their tails and make IE look somewhat less like using stone knives and bear skins). If you throw out the years when browser development at Microsoft had completely ceased, I'm not at all sure that the IE codebase has been developed for more years than the Mozilla codebase.

    That brings up another point: the codebase that gave rise to what we now call Firefox has changed version number schemes and application names repeatedly, but starting from around Mozilla 0.8 or so it was essentially feature-complete and stable (compared to the other browsers available at the time, particularly IE). If you count from there, major releases with significant new features include Mozilla 0.9, 0.9.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0, then Phoenix 0.something, a couple of Firebird releases, and then there were a couple of Firefox releases *before* 1.0...

    Firefox 2 was a MUCH more mature release than IE7, with I would say a larger history of preceding major releases. Okay, the UI got a big overhaul in the aviary move, but for that matter the IE7 UI doesn't look much like IE6, either. The rendering engine is built on the same codebase in both cases, so I would argue that it's basically a contiguous development history.

    Granted, there haven't been a lot of improvements *since* Firefox 2. A small handful of new CSS features (of which about three are any practical use) and a couple of perf improvements -- and a whole raft of seriously undesirable "let's screw up the UI for no good reason until nobody can stand it anymore, then let's do it some more" nonsense, plus a couple of major new stability bugs. Meh.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:15PM (#35749220)

    And Chrome copied Opera's UI design.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.