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Firefox Mozilla IT Technology

Mozilla Kills Firefox Aurora Channel, Builds Will Move Directly From Nightly To Beta (venturebeat.com) 49

Mozilla said today it is killing the Firefox Aurora channel, six years after it was first introduced in April 2011. The move comes as, Aurora failed to live up to the company's expectations as a "first stabilization channel." Moving forward, the absence of Aurora will help the company streamline its browser's release process and bring stable new features to users and developers faster. From a report: The Firefox Aurora channel sat between the Nightly and Beta channels. Until now, Firefox development started with Nightly, which consists of the latest Firefox code packaged up every night for bleeding-edge testers, and was then followed by Aurora, which includes everything that is labeled as "experimental," then Beta, and then finally the release channel for the broader public. Going forward, builds will move from Nightly to Beta to Release. The Firefox Developer Edition, which the company calls "the first browser created specifically for developers," will be based on the Beta channel instead of Aurora. Developer Edition users should keep their existing profile, themes, tools, preferences, and "should not experience any disruption," Mozilla promises.
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Mozilla Kills Firefox Aurora Channel, Builds Will Move Directly From Nightly To Beta

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because clearly the only reason Mozilla was losing ground is that the builds are coming out too slowly.

    More builds! Faster builds! Eternal update cycles!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The latest Firefox market share stats [caniuse.com] are out, and things are looking pretty bleak. It looks like Firefox is now around only 5% to 6% of the market. It has next to no share of the mobile market (0.03%).

      What's more, there are big changes that are supposed to be coming in Firefox 57. That's when there are plans to switch to the new WebExtensions approach for creating browser extensions. This system basically just imitates Chrome's approach.

      There have already been concerns raised about broken extensions [slashdot.org]. Repor

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The statistics you are quoting are for all platforms, which you do acknowlege briefly. What doesn't come across though is that Firefox still has a larger market share than IE and Edge combined. It is the #2 desktop browser by a non-trivial margin. This speaks more to the dominance that Chrome has these days, than to the failure of Firefox.

        It is completely understandable that Mozilla has moved toward Chrome in terms of UI, features and extensions. If Firefox and Chrome are too different, then any normal

        • It is completely understandable that Mozilla has moved toward Chrome in terms of UI, features and extensions. If Firefox and Chrome are too different, then any normal user trying Firefox after coming from Chrome will be confused, and not stay. This includes ex-Chrome users wanting their favorite Chrome extensions to work in Firefox. This interoperability may help Firefox steal users who have become disenchanted with Chrome. This is their only long-term path for survival.

          Firefox was the defacto browser. It was theirs to lose. Users migrated to Chrome in spite of the UI being significantly different than FF or IE. Since version 4 they've been too busy fucking around with useless shit instead of making it better, and their marketshare follows this trend. Extensions, and unlimited customization was the only reason to keep FF. With every version they make the extensions harder and harder to work. Why keep running a cheap copy (Firefox) instead of the real deal (Chrome)?

      • by brianerst ( 549609 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @04:25PM (#54251759) Homepage

        I love the concern trolling that comes out with every piece of Firefox news. Mozilla has obviously lost the mainstream browser war but a lot of that is due to the fact that Google has deeper pockets and chose a base (WebKit) that was in better shape than the older Gecko was.

        People still rage about Australis but then go on and say they switched to Chrome over it, while simultaneously complaining that Australis was a Chrome clone. Now, people will leave Firefox due to WebExtensions, which is... what Chrome uses. But the Firefox WebExtensions are extended (ExtendedWebExtensions?) to provide more of the functionality of the old extension system within a more modern API.

        And the move to WebExtensions is largely due to the fact that the old extension model would be broken by the multi-process changes that have been taking place. Lack of multi-process tabs being one of the main points previously brought up by all the "Firefox sucks, move to Chrome" apologists.

        The extensions API was going to break anyway as soon as multi-process was fully implemented. Mozilla made the decision to move to an extended WebExtensions API as a nod to the fact that many extension developers are familiar with it from porting to Chrome. But the Firefox version of the API will have abilities that Chrome does not have.

        Firefox is still the only major browser that even nods the head toward respecting your privacy and the open web. It's still a perfectly good browser - it's my primary browser and I really don't have any issues with it aside from an occasional extension conflict. It's weird that so many people reflexively shit on it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Kjella ( 173770 )

          I love the concern trolling that comes out with every piece of Firefox news. Mozilla has obviously lost the mainstream browser war but a lot of that is due to the fact that Google has deeper pockets and chose a base (WebKit) that was in better shape than the older Gecko was.

          And who has been the stewards of Gecko since 2003? The Mozilla foundation. They've had 14 years to fix it instead of pissing away resources on operating systems, programming languages, LBGT-bullshit (not the cause but making a software company into a social program), rebranding (moz://a, only 20 years after /.), piling up a dragon's hoard and so on. They thought ding-dong, the wicked witch (IE6) is dead now we can let our flagship product rot.

          People still rage about Australis but then go on and say they switched to Chrome over it, while simultaneously complaining that Australis was a Chrome clone. Now, people will leave Firefox due to WebExtensions, which is... what Chrome uses.

          Well yes, if you take a pick-up truck and dress it up like a spor

          • They have tons of money and resources they could use to make exactly the browser they want.

            I assume they are making the browser they want. They sure don't seem to have been making the one the users want.

        • Now, people will leave Firefox due to WebExtensions, which is... what Chrome uses.

          If I stop using Firefox (which looks increasingly likely with every announcement Mozilla makes), I will not be switching to Chrome, so that doesn't matter to me.

          What matters to me is that the changes they're planning appears to make it impossible to develop extensions that can do what current extensions can do, and those extensions are currently the only reason I stay with Firefox. Why they're breaking it doesn't matter one bit to me. It's a dealbreaker.

      • Many of the remaining Firefox users are only still using Firefox because of legacy or custom extensions.

        This is the reason I have not already bailed on Firefox. I will certainly stop upgrading when the extension changes come out. If this introduces any serious security issues, then I will stop using Firefox.

    • I agree. What has been making Firefox increasingly painful to use isn't that new features aren't pushed out often enough. In fact, a part of the problem with Firefox is the opposite of that.

      Nothing in this change gives any hint that this will improve any of the fundamental problems.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @03:23PM (#54251169)
    that I should have used Aurora.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 17, 2017 @03:49PM (#54251443)

    Mozilla is shrinking, clearly the question becomes where does it place now that Verizon purchased Yahoo and that potentially Firefox cushy deal with Yahoo search will one day go away. I see the writing on the wall and even if you take away the shrinking market share of Firefox. The facts remain that a once viable browser is barely what it once was. Using Firefox in Linux is truly painful anymore, I quickly use it to install Chrome these days. Then I either uninstall Firefox or simply remove the quick launch icon and place it in the doldrums of semi retirement.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @04:24PM (#54251751) Journal

      Using Firefox in Linux is truly painful anymore, I quickly use it to install Chrome these days.

      I don't use chrome, and am curious why you do.

      1) When an employer's IT guy deployed it as the default browser, a few years back, I stopped using it (and installed Firefox) when a typo brought up a NSFW site - and then I couldn't get Chrome to dump it from the autocomplete (even by following their excuse for online documentation), where it insisted it be the top entry whenever I typed the first keystroke of a site name that started with the same first letter.

      2) Like several appliances, its voice-typing feature forwards the sound samples over the Internet to servers - acting as a room bug. (Even if it doesn't do this all the time - and how do you know it doesn't? - it provides the infrastructure for trivial malware hacks to do so.)

      3) The version on my new Android smartphone has a click-through license that includes an adobe license, which in turn constrains the user - for the rest of his life - to not compete with Adobe's products or work on security matters related to them. Accepting that (on an appliance that is identifiable as mine and no doubt "phones home" with the acceptance) would be a career limiting move.

      So I don't use Chrome, and don't understand why any computer professional would.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Plus it sucks. The extensions suck compared to what is (was?) in firefox.

        Get it through your heads devs: I don't want to sign in to anything.

  • Shouldn't only patches (which proved to be stable in the nightlys) be PORTED to beta? Moving a whole release just moves all the experimental features as well ...

    • by corwin2 ( 680613 )

      Shouldn't only patches (which proved to be stable in the nightlys) be PORTED to beta? Moving a whole release just moves all the experimental features as well ...

      Experimental features are behind feature flags which means that they get disabled with the merge to beta, here is an example from the source code: http://searchfox.org/mozilla-c... [searchfox.org]

  • I used Firefox as my primary browser until they ran Brendan Eich out for supporting a political cause with his own money. I don't get why organizations such as Firefox and Drupal care what people do on their own time or with their own money as long as it is legal and they do not engage in the activity as a representative of the organization. Whatever happened to valuing diversity?

    When I see a company that focuses on causes not related to their core mission it is a sign that they have lost their focus and a

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