August 11, 2009
…and yet, Firefox 4 has only been out for just coming to three months now, and has only had one update – 4.0.1 – which was less than two months ago.
Follow this with ongoing rumours claiming that Mozilla intend to reach Firefox 7 by the end of the year, and one question must be asked: Does anyone think Mozilla is advancing too quickly with Firefox development? To me, this is only going to make it difficult for regular users to keep themselves up-to-date, as well as cause a nightmare for plug-in developers who will need to upgrade their plug-ins continually to keep them useful.
The thing is, I can understand why Firefox want to do such a quick release schedule – they want to add tons of essential new features to the browser, but don't want just one to slow down adding in the rest, so they're trying to release new versions with a few of the features in; add some of the rest in the next release, and so on. The problem is, Major Version numbers are supposed to show how many times a MAJOR change has been done to the browser. To me, this means changes were the core functionality or usage of the software has changed – which certainly DID happen between Firefox 2 and 3 and even more so between 3 and 4 – or where there are just too many changes to warrant it being called "3.7" or "4.1" or whatever.
So, how many changes and/or new features in Firefox 5, according to the current release notes? Seven, and one of those is basically just moving a button. Admittedly the others are pretty decent – here's the full list:
- Added support for CSS animations
- Added support for switching Firefox development channels
- The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability
- Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
- Improved spell checking for some locales
- Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users
…but to me, it's not enough to warrant dropping Firefox 4 so soon after release AND upping it to Firefox 5. To me, it's almost like Firefox is trying to become Google Chrome.
What do you guys think? Is Mozilla being too fast, or do you think they have a good strategy here, or maybe something else?
I'm also interested to hear from those who've actually download and participated in Beta Testing of Firefox 5. What are your thoughts on it so far?
The Living Spirit said:
To me, it's almost like Firefox is trying to become Google Chrome.
That's exactly it! Mozilla saw the faster release cycle, and how it enabled them to add features (and security, stability updates) en masse, and decided that they wanted that too.
August 11, 2009
I knew it! Mozilla has no originality any more.
So that's that question answered then. But I'm still interested in hearing other's opinions; as well as finding out what those who have beta-tested Firefox 5 actually think about it.
Mozilla still needs to improve the overall speed of the browser, in my opinion. I still get many lags and freezes despite the fact that FF4 is supposed faster (but still not fast enough). I feel nowadays Mozilla is kinda lagging behind, and is trying very hard just to keep up with the other browsers (including the version number too apparently).
Well, at least it still doesn't install a bunch of crap like Chrome does with its update thing, and actually allows its users to choose where to install the browser to.
August 11, 2009
That's one reason why I still prefer Firefox to Chrome. I agree with every one of your points, Jyo.
They also need to reduce its memory footprint, and prevent it leaking after continued usage. That's something they still haven't managed to get right… I've even installed AFOM and it's not helping that much.
Try SRWare Iron. It's chrome except without the privacy issues, and doesn't install google update – you have to manually update. The only drawback is that the version updates do not come out as often as chrome, but I'm okay with that. It's my default browser now (all chrome extensions work too), and I highly recommend it. See for yourself.
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