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Firefox 5 In Aurora Channel 161

Posted by timothy
from the versioning's-tough dept.
blair1q writes "Mozilla.org has added a new intermediate development state, Aurora, to its Firefox development chain. Coming between Nightly-Build and Beta, it adds a fourth sense to the meaning of 'the current version of Firefox' (the Release version fills out the trope). And now they have populated the Aurora channel with what will eventually become Firefox 5. The intent is to reduce release-version cycle times by allowing more live testing of new features before the integrated code gets into a Beta version. The inaugural Aurora drop includes 'performance, security and stability improvements.' Firefox 5 is scheduled to enter Beta on May 17, and Release on June 21. Downloads of all of the active channels are available from the Firefox channels webpage."
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Firefox 5 In Aurora Channel

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  • I have Chrome 10!!!

    • I have IE 10
      • by fukapon (469402)
        Don't foget biggest one, Opera 11!
        • by Omestes (471991)

          I forked Firefox just to add larger version numbers!

          Firefork changelog:

          200.0.1: Changed version number to 200.0.1
          80: New feature! Version number now 80!
          63: Bug fix: new version number!
          7: New feature, dynamic version numbering geared for competitive synergy, current version number updated to show immensity of new versioning social media.
          6: New and improved version number! Now renders about the same as other browsers. OpenGL support (only for version number on about pane at this time).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Luckyo (1726890)

      I have 3.6, and it seems I'll be sticking to it until this "my version number is bigger then yours" insanity finally ejaculates and comes back to being a quality release rather then "lookie how fast we can release miniscule updates" like a premature ejaculator competition.

      • Eventually they will all switch to a YYYYMMDD release number. Until someone first gets the idea to use a Unix timestamp instead.

      • by Jugalator (259273) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:41AM (#35826294) Journal

        Won't happen. What *is* insanity today, however, is sticking to a yearly or bi-yearly release cycle when the HTML standards evolve faster than that. Shorter cycles implies less features indeed, but this also means that there's not as much to test before each release, so the risks of following the evolution of the web better isn't increased despite following it better.

        This is basically a very simplified version of the Chromium dev's motivation to move to this.

        But it's of course more fun to think it's a version number game. However, just wait 'til Chrome 27 and you'll see that version numbers will lose their meaning soon enough, just like Google and others intended.

        • What *is* insanity today, however, is sticking to a yearly or bi-yearly release cycle when the HTML standards evolve faster than that

          Seriously? We are still waiting for CSS3 to be finalised 12 years after the first draft was released. The precursor to HTML5 began its life in 2004 and HTML5 itself had its first draft release in 2008.

          As a web developer, I wouldn't want to create a site that relied on people using a browser that was only a couple of months old. Sure it might work for Firefox and Chrome users, but what about the smaller browsers that can't keep up or the ones in embedded devices and phones.

          On the other side of the coin, as a

        • by blair1q (305137)

          If the standard is evolving at a faster rate than the implementation, then the standard is not really a standard.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        So you missed Firefox 4.0, the last major release then ;-)

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Worth noting that I haven't "missed it", it's just that like many other who mainly want a stable browser where all their add-ons "just work" and a familiar look and feel, upgrading to latest version is an exercise of epic stupidity. Half of your add-ons won't work, there are no well documented ways to remove the new UI crap that firefox people seem to think we all get horny over and so on.

          Personally, I'm not even touching FF4 until there is an easy way to revert all UI changes with minimal hassle. Most of m

          • by thegarbz (1787294)

            So what you want is the major versions to disappear and any major changes too? *rolleyes*

            Some people are hard to please. Thanks but FF4 seems to be the best release thus far and not one of my 15 plugins isn't working. As for the UI changes ... clicking "Firefox" > "Options" > "Menubar" is too hard?

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              Sorry, last time a major change occured (awesomebar), there was no way outside about:config editing to disable the damn thing.

              In the end, I ended up just getting an add-on because it was easy.

              Before that, we had nice flat menus that for some reason lost 3d effect. Apparently "microsoft's fault". Strange considering no other programs, nor previous versions of firefox had any problems but whatever.

              Fixed with an add-on.

              Before that...

              P.S. Still can't disable personas completely. Ended up removing all personas-r

      • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Friday April 15, 2011 @06:35AM (#35826774)

        I have 3.6, and it seems I'll be sticking to it until this "my version number is bigger then yours" insanity finally ejaculates

        <Sigh> Just close your eyes really tight, and say "It's version 3.8! It's version 3.8! It's version 3.8!" and click download. And then stop whining about something that was completely arbitrary to begin with.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          I would, but I, personally, can't stand Firefox4... ahem... 3.8. They added bloat (the new tab system... panorama, or whatnot), they removed a feature I liked (ability to modify previously clicked links). The GUI is ugly as sin, trying to compete with Chrome/Chromium but completely failing (why the hell does the menu button hover above everything, wasting space?). Why look like Chrome, there should be some variation out there. The interface still feels clunky and slow compared to even the newest iterati

          • I would, but I, personally, can't stand Firefox4... ahem... 3.8.

            FF4 would be 3.7, FF5 would be 3.8.

            They [did bad things]

            The OP was acting as if all those things were somehow caused by the change from N.n versioning to N versioning. I was trying to point out that the previous versioning system was completely arbitrary, and the new versioning system is completely arbitrary. Calling it version 5, or 4.1, or 3.8, or 1.12.2, doesn't make the slightest difference to the actual product.

            willing to sacrifice their original base users (techies and geeks) for greater popularity among normal users.

            Gasp! The monsters!

            • by Elbereth (58257)

              Yeah, we all understand that version numbers are arbitrary. However, there are certain problems with the current system:

              1) It's not internally consistent. This bothers some people. It doesn't bother others. I would guess that some people were using version numbers to decide when to update, for example, and this kind of versioning system doesn't really lend itself to such things, since every minor update to the browser is now a major release. Personally, I think it's a bit silly, but it doesn't offend m

              • by Omestes (471991)

                If I wasn't posted, I'd mod you insightful. You pretty much summed up most of my thoughts and opinions on the matter, but so much better than I've been doing. Good job!

                Average consumers won't care.

                You over-estimate "average consumers", I'm afraid. In a lot of people's minds "bigger number = better". This is at least true with the non-geeks I personally know.

            • by Omestes (471991)

              Gasp! The monsters!

              And my point was; this is pointless.

              What do they get for having millions of grandmothers use their browser that they didn't get for hundreds of thousands of geeks using it?

              Also, alienate the geeks at your own risk, the only reason that Firefox is so widespread now is that these hundreds of thousands of geeks stuck it on their grandmothers' computers. Geeks could as easily jump ship and start spreading Opera or Chrome, or even suggesting using IE9 (doubtful, but possible since IE9 isn't... erm... bad).

              My ex

              • And my point was; this is pointless.

                And my point was; refusing to upgrade because of the version number is the sort of retarded obsessive geek stupidity that hurts open source projects.

                You want innovation, then scream every time they move a fucking button. When a browser has the sort of market share of Firefox, nothing the devs do will be respected. Especially because it's popular with geeks. Make it easier to use, and they scream about dumbing it down "for Grandmothers". Remove the menubar by default, and the same fucktards whine about havin

      • You'll be waiting a very long time...did you look at the average computer user in the last time? Most are believing that 64Bit will double the performance...becuase it is twice as much as 32Bit...
      • 4.0 is a major upgrade from 3.6, not a miniscule update. I suggest you download it. There are significant perf improvements, in the JS engine and elsewhere.

        • I agree that 4.0 was big news, and I followed the betas for 4.0 because I wanted an early warning of "the state of things to come".

          However since these 3 month releases are indeed more like minor point versions, I'll likely go back to the style I use for MS Op Systems, and only use about every second-third one.

  • CSS3 Animations (Score:3, Informative)

    by ablaze (222561) on Friday April 15, 2011 @02:29AM (#35825812) Journal
    and it has -moz-animation and @-moz-keyframes support. Works great! Special thanks to David Baron for his work on this.
  • Current version (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Malc (1751) on Friday April 15, 2011 @02:38AM (#35825856)

    it adds a fourth sense to the meaning of 'the current version of Firefox'

    No it doesn't, most of us aren't testers. If you want to use the latest development build, alpha build, beta build or release candidate, do so, but don't pretend it's a release. That's just hyperbole at best. Me? I'll wait for the next release, and thanks to all you folks who are prepared to run intermediate builds in the form of mass QA.

    • by lwsimon (724555)

      I'll usually download a Beta and try it out a bit, and will install and move to RC1 when ti goes live. I figure that, as a "power user", I can at least give intelligible bug reports when something breaks. It's the least I can do in return for a free, awesome browser.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I didn't pretend it's a release. There's a release channel that lets you download versions called "Release" so that this mistake won't happen.

      It is a version, however. At any one time, there's a current Release version, a current Beta version, a current Aurora version, and a current Nightly Build version. I list them here in the order by which they get "more current" as you go down the list. The first three are downloadable by anyone in the public to use. Beta and Aurora come with feedback features ena

  • by DeusExInfernus (2041722) on Friday April 15, 2011 @02:44AM (#35825876)
    I'm getting rather tired of everyone paying more attention to release dates, version numbers, and now the names of production and testing phases than the quality of the actual product/program.
    • by rvw (755107)

      I'm getting rather tired of everyone paying more attention to release dates, version numbers, and now the names of production and testing phases than the quality of the actual product/program.

      I think this is a pretty useful one - for developers at least. Now it's much easier to keep two copies of Firefox next to eachother. One is the normal release, stable, like FF4 now. The other is in alpha or beta, and shows where it's going. Firefox developers can use and test it, website developers can see how their site looks in the upcoming release.

      There is only one problem that I see, you cannot run them next to eachother, and that is because they both have the same process name (I suppose). I have Firef

      • by BZ (40346)

        > Now it's much easier to keep two copies of Firefox
        > next to eachother.

        This was always just as easy as now. Nothing has changed in this regard.

        > There is only one problem that I see, you cannot run
        > them next to eachother

        Sure you can; just have them use different profiles. See http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Managing%20profiles [mozilla.com]

  • "it adds a fourth sense to the meaning..."

    Is that like a fourth state of matter? What are the other three senses of the 'the current version of Firefox' anyway?

    ----
    Sorry, you're foreign.

    • I think I've become too desensitized to BS; I didn't even wonder about that...
    • Senses of meaning, i.e.:

      "Something or other is meant in the sense that..."

    • by blair1q (305137)

      There was a link to them. And descriptions of them in the summary and in TFA.

      Do we have to start licensing computer users now?

      Actually, I think I know what happened. You don't know the meaning of the word "trope", so you didn't understand that the sentence containing it was closing the meme for you. Pay attention in school in your next life.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <(mojo) (at) (world3.net)> on Friday April 15, 2011 @03:06AM (#35825946) Homepage

    So they want to have two months between major versions, and expect all add-on developers to update and test, all web developers to check their layouts, web site and magazine editors to update their tutorials, useful forum posts to be obsolete, people get used to the new UI...

    WTF is this shit?

    • by syockit (1480393)
      It worked with Google Chrome. So why not?
      • by delinear (991444) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:47AM (#35826310)
        For most sites Firefox traffic is much higher than Chrome traffic. Add to that the fact that Chrome is using Webkit anyway so will benefit from prior testing and development for Safari and it's far less risky to churn out major releases. At the moment Firefox is in a sweet spot where it's stable enough and with a big enough user base that I can justify supporting it to clients. If we get to the point where I'm having to support 3 or 4 versions of it with the later ones potentially breaking stuff that was working previously it's going to be a lot more difficult for me to make that case. Besides, Chrome has always pitched itself as leading the way on the experimental side of things (see Chrome experiments), while Firefox is meant to be the stable, open source alternative to IE. I expect things to occasionally break in Chrome but I'm always surprised when they break in FF.
    • No. Instead, they want developers to do the same thing they're doing with Chrome now, which is to develop for the current version of the browser, which adheres to the most accurate specification of HTML. That specification is improved constantly, and you wouldn't want to use a browser that implements HTML incorrectly.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Constantly? I'm sorry, but that's incredibly stupid, having to release a browser ever few months because neither the web developers nor the W3C can figure out how to branch revisions or handle updates gratefully is hardly a reasonable thing to have to work around.

    • by gertin (1063236)
      Shorter release cycles also means less radical changes from release to release. So, add-on developers should in theory have to do less work with each new version as compared to 3->4. The same goes for web developers, I doubt any radical changes will be done to Gecko in release cycles as short as 6 weeks.
    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Less testing to be done since each update will bring with it less changes...
      You won't need to do more testing, you will need to do less testing more often.

    • by BZ (40346)

      1) There will be work going into handling add-on compatibility more smoothly than before. There are plans to bump the compat version on AMO-hosted add-ons automatically, unless they're flagged as possibly being broken. In the latter case the add-on developer will be asked to update it, of course.

      2) There should be much less in the way of churn between versions for web developers, reducing the need to check layouts.

      3) There should be much less in the way of UI churn between versions, reducing the need f

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        We will have to wait and see I guess. Historically Mozilla likes to break^H^H^H^H^H improve the UI with every major version. If they are no longer doing that and the changes will be more minor then all they have achieved is version number inflation.

        I think this is what people can't understand. Either they plan to carry on with similarly big changes with each major version number (bad) or they are just inflating the version number for some inexplicable reason (pointless). I stand by my original question: WTF

        • by BZ (40346)

          > If they are no longer doing that and the changes
          > will be more minor then all they have achieved is
          > version number inflation.

          No. What they have achieved is getting web features into users' hands quicker. Please don't confuse web features and UI features.

          As a simple example, WebM support was done in July 2010 or so, but didn't end up in a final release until March 2011. That's 8 extra months of having to watch Youtube via Flash for users. There are lots and lots of web-facing features which d

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            Why not just include WebM in a point update then? In fact that would be a better solution IMHO because it would allow backend stuff like WebM to be introduced quickly and still allow plenty of time to beta test UI changes. Look at how many betas FF4 went through and how much the user interface stuff was revised.

            • by BZ (40346)

              Because the old promise for point updates was that they did not significantly change internal APIs (not true for the way WebM was integrated) and were generally limited to security and stability fixes (something that WebM clearly is not).

              All that's happened is that this promise is gone. There is no more "minor" vs "major" update distinction. Updates are just updates. They add features, or not, if none are ready; in that case the update will just have security patches. Updates can always change internal

              • by AmiMoJo (196126)

                Which brings me back to my original point: The release cycle is too fast to get UI changes properly debated and tested. FF4 was bad enough.

                • by BZ (40346)

                  There's quite a bit of discussion about how to do UI changes in this setup, yes. I don't think anyone is planning to roll out sweeping UI changes within a single 18-week cycle; they would land on mozilla-central, get disabled after the aurora merge, and keep getting disabled until people are happy with them on mozilla-central. Just like any other big feature, by the way; just because something is in mozilla-central doesn't mean it ends up in the next final release.

                  Chrome has so far sidestepped this issue

  • by Spad (470073)

    Firefox today took another step towards ripping off Chrome completely by adding another release channel.

  • by scragz (654271) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:33AM (#35826272) Homepage

    I've been with Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox from the beginning; custom builds, bug reports, tech evangelism, extensions/userscripts; I have made more than one offline XUL application for personal use (JS application programming before it was cool!); the whole ten meters. It had been so good for so long.

    In 2008 a few things happened. 1. The extremely sensible and welcome features added in the 2.x release cycle, coupled with the unique browser landscape, ended up derailing the original goals of the project (streamlined browser, minimal yet viable for mainstream use, with robust extension capabilities for anything else anyone could want) back into some ridiculous browser arms race; 2. I switched to OSX and I think the memory problems are even worse there; and 3. Chrome started shaping up to be everything I wanted technically, with its new extension and built-in userscript support (even if it was inferior), its sandboxing, and its sort of remotely sane memory usage, even if it didn't have the warm fuzzy feeling I had from my closeness to the Mozilla project.

    I am still so guilty about my switch to Chrome but I spend so much of my life in a browser window that I really had to go the practical route.

    And since then it's just been getting worse and worse, with all resources going into either JS performance to keep up in benchmarks or features to be able to add some more bullet points to a release announcement. All anyone wants is better memory management, and then tab sandboxing would be nice after that since Flash/Silverlight can really bring down an embedding process. Give us some core improvements that aren't marketing driven and move all the AWESOMENESS into extensions that can be disabled after install! That's all anyone (on /.) wants.

    • Completely agree. FF 4 has jumped the shark.

      - Took forever to address the memory leak; devs constantly ignored it in 1.x and 2.x. (Hello, a web browser should NOT consume 1.5 gigs when no tabs are open when it has been runing for a month.)
      - Keep breaking plugins/extensions. Useful extensions like SunCult (shows Moon Phases) is broken 3.6. (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/sun-cult/)
      - The UI team can't focus on _useful_ tab management, such as giving me a list of ALL tabs across ALL windows,

    • by BZ (40346)

      Flash is already sandboxed in its own process in Firefox; not sure about Silverlight.

    • by Shin-LaC (1333529)
      I also use Chrome on OS X, and the big feature that enabled me to switch was Keychain integration. I used Safari before, and the ability to share passwords between the two browsers has been invaluable. This feature has been requested for Firefox years ago, but never delivered. Until it is, I can't consider it a serious contender on OS X.
  • Easier to just get rid of version numbers and use a rolling release system.
  • by Co0Ps (1539395) on Friday April 15, 2011 @05:10AM (#35826410)

    What the fuck Mozilla... Firefox 4 is crashing 20 times a day for me. I'm not even joking, here's a copy paste from the 7 last entries of my about:crashes

    bp-... 2011-04-14 20:01
    bp-... 2011-04-14 19:59
    bp-... 2011-04-14 19:05
    bp-... 2011-04-14 19:05
    bp-... 2011-04-14 19:00
    bp-... 2011-04-14 19:00
    bp-... 2011-04-14 18:31

    Basically I've switched to chrome now to be able to to my work. Your new strategy is fucking ridiculous. Build a quality browser instead of jumping onto the "we must increment the major version number faster than the others" bandwagon. Once upon a time the major version number was only incremented when you restarted a project from scratch. Nowadays that number doesn't mean anything anymore - to anyone. I don't know what major version number chrome is and I don't care either - and I don't think most people don't know or care.

    You can start plan new features when you've fixed all the bugs. Planning for version 5 when your browser can't even run 10 minutes without crashing is ridiculous.

    • From the article: 'performance, security and stability improvements' Where did you get the idea that Firefox 5 wouldn't focus on stability?
      • from his experience with ff4.
        incidentally, i'm facing the same problem. leave open ff4 for ~90 min, crash. this was not happening in any of the beta builds. dunno why now.
        posting from ie9, which is rock-solid, fast but not customizable at all.

    • by Inda (580031)
      In the name of clarity, I will post my about:crashes log from my new FF4 install below.
    • Are you able to post a link to one (or more) of your crashes on the crash stats web page?

      It sounds like you're having an unusual experience, hopefully somebody will look at your crash reports. I run 4 all day, all night, and have for months. I haven't had a crash since beta 8 or so (and that was OOM related)

    • by Fnkmaster (89084)

      I agree, this is fucking ridiculous. The rule with browsers has always been "wait for the point release or the 0.5 release for stability". Now Mozilla has done away with those niceties - so FF4 is a steaming pile of instability still and they are going to call the bugfix release FF5. This is retarded. It's Firefox 4.1. I fear this new naming convention is going to drive everybody away. The only way I can be won back right now is a stabilized version of FF4. I still love Firefox 3.6, and am still runn

    • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 15, 2011 @08:08AM (#35827174)

      This is my entire crash log dating back to when I originally installed FF on my current work laptop:

      11-04-2011 09:19
      21-03-2011 14:18
      23-12-2010 09:09
      29-11-2010 09:34
      09-11-2010 12:29
      09-11-2010 12:28
      08-11-2010 11:25
      03-11-2010 09:51
      22-09-2010 12:48
      22-09-2010 12:48
      28-07-2010 16:00
      23-07-2010 04:44
      29-06-2010 13:49
      29-06-2010 13:49
      27-11-2009 14:47
      01-09-2009 14:21
      19-08-2009 11:14
      27-07-2009 15:33
      24-06-2009 10:07
      15-05-2009 14:53
      26-03-2009 12:53
      29-07-2008 09:41
      20-06-2008 08:57
      02-06-2008 10:33
      21-05-2008 10:46

      25 crashes in a span of 3 years and I use plenty of extensions. You must be doing something very wrong.

    • by BZ (40346)

      > bp-... 2011-04-14 20:01

      Mind including the whole crash id, or even just the link? I'd love to fix your crash, but I sort of need to know what the crash is to do that...

  • The Firefox I used to know was a focused, speedy and stable little browser that did its job really well and could be extended to do even more. But how time changes things now when I want a fast speedy and stable browsing experience I load up Chrome when I'm working in Linux and gasp IE9 overtook Firefox as the browser of choice for speed and stability when working under Windows 7. I tried FF4 since the early betas, and yes the speed is good at first but since the fonts are out of wack on my system with FF4
    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's not Firefox's fault, it's most likely the drivers on your system. I don't have any trouble with fonts, and a lot of other people don't. Just run the grafxbot that you can find in the addons page and it'll tell them what's going wrong.

      Unfortunately videocard drivers vary wildly across the numerous combination of OSes and vendors.

  • I physically wince at that. I frequently use the home button to pull myself to my homepage on multiple different tabs (it has links leading off to various places). The first thing that needs to happen here is an extension restoring the Home button. They could just hide it instead of removing it. The UX team has basically taken over at Mozilla, and they like changing stuff to suit their whims.

  • Well, let's see. Now we have stable release, beta release, aurora release and nightly release, right? Which is similar to --but not the same as-- the former stable release, beta release, alpha/Minefield/nightly. I guess we'll get used to the new status quo. Nitpick: the icons for nightly and aurora make sense, but the icon for beta is the same as the icon for stable. Also, I was using Minefield 4.2a1 and 2 updates ago it digi-evolved to Nighly 6.0a1 + new icon. Surprising. Then I found out about the new ve
  • Wasn't "Aurora" the name of the prototype sidebar-like-thing (or maybe it was a sidebar on steroids, or the original RDF reader?) that was intended to go into Netscape Communicator 5? How is it that the name comes back two app-series later (with Mozilla/Seamonkey in between) just in time for Firefox version 5?

    (The original version was in the original Netscape open-source codedrop and was abandoned with the switch to nglayout and XUL, which became Mozilla/Seamonkey and Netscape 6).

    • Darn, I was hoping this article would prove the Aurora existed. Of course browsing the web in a military airplane seems dangerous.

      Aurora [wikipedia.org] is the name of a top secret airplane that has been denied for a decade and a half although it did show up on a budget line item once.

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