Mozilla takes Firefox version numbers to the next level… by removing them

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by zfactor, Aug 16, 2011.

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  1. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    A great collective gasp issued from tuned-in Firefox fans when Mozilla announced that it was switching to a Chrome-like release schedule for its browser. The goal was to make Firefox more adaptable and to keep pace — though not with Chrome specifically, but rather with the rapidly-evolving web.

    One side effect of a rapid release schedule is skyrocketing version numbers, something both Google and Mozilla want users to ignore. But that’s a tricky proposition when users have been raised on slowly-climbing digits trailing the names of their favorite apps. Rather than cling to traditional versioning ideas, companies are now pushing channels — constantly updated snapshots of the different development stages of a program. Both Chrome and Firefox now offer stable, beta, and bleeding-edge versions to suit a user’s wants.

    Mozilla, though, wants to make sure that version numbers are buried deep with its browser where only developers, enthusiasts, and sniffing code can call them up. Over on Bugzilla, the always outspoken Asa Dotzler has posted Bug 678775 to get the ball rolling. As Dotzler states, it’s just another step in a process that is already “well under way.”

    The bug has sparked some rather intense discussion — more than you might expect for something as seemingly minor as hiding the version number on the About Firefox window. Functionally, the window is “about” letting you know whether or not an update is available and to download that update if one is available but hasn’t been pulled down automatically. While the version number is displayed, it’s certainly not a critical element. The proposed tweak would remove the number and instead display a line about when the last update was applied and whether or not your install is current.

    But suppose you had to call for assistance with a critically important web app like online banking or webmail. Where would you turn to look up version information if the support analyst asked you to do so? Firefox also offers the about:support page which provides much more detailed version information for troubleshooting purposes.

    While that means you can still find the version number when you need to, it flies in the face of what’s long been accepted as a standard practice. As developer Dave Garrett points out, Help > About is where just about every program under the sun shows its version number. Mozilla has never been afraid to blaze trails and it certainly doesn’t have to follow suit, but the change is still a somewhat curious one for a foundation that is all about standards.


    http://www.extremetech.com/internet...firefox-version-number-removal-a-step-further
     
  2. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Copy/Paste is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

    The relevant portion of the article:

    The title of the story and your thread: "Mozilla takes Firefox version numbers to the next level… by removing them".

    You can't speak for ExtremeTech, but you can sure speak for yourself.
    Do you not see any disconnect between the relevant line in the article and the title you've chosen (er . . 'copied & pasted', that is) for your thread?
     
  3. Trooper

    Trooper Registered Member

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    Interesting nonetheless but I still question why they would do this?
     
  4. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I knew Mozilla were getting a little nuts, now they've lost their freakin' minds.
     
  5. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

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    It's sad to say but you are right. Mozilla has officially jumped the shark. They don't know how to compete with Chrome. Instead of doing everything that made them successful in the first place they are aping Chrome and making many of their users unhappy.
     
  6. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    The only thing Mozilla is really doing "wrong", is speeding up releases too much. Take for instance the time between the now released v6, and the future v12 in December..that's a lot, basically 6 releases in 4 months or so, regardless of whether they are complete overhauls or not. Quick release schedules are here to stay, but there has to be some room for development/bug checking, and I just don't see there being proper time for it if Mozilla turns on the afterburners this much.

    Maybe they can do it, I'm not them, I don't know what they are capable of in a certain amount of time.
     
  7. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Idiocy!! If I was @ FF version 2.8.815, I would be just as happy as at FF 6.0. As long as it's safe, looks decent and handy to use, I am good.

    But I want to know what version I am running without having to dig for it! Versioning helps to keep things orderly. Taking it away creates chaos.
     
  8. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    What's idiocy is the complaints turning towards taking away version numbers...I hope people realize there's this thing in all browsers called "About"..you know..where you find out if you're up to date or not? :rolleyes:
     
  9. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    I agree o_O It's pretty weird behavior and totally unnecessary. And I wonder why.

    May it be that they want to be on the same version number as Chrome, if that's it then they need to speed up even more. :D
     
  10. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

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    Different strokes...what works for you may not work for someone else.
     
  11. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Point made, but I'll ask anyway..what other way does anyone normally check their version? It's not like a big page comes up saying "You're on Version *insert number*!" every time you open a browser. So in this case, what works for me and someone else isn't the issue, it simply is the way it works. Which is why I find complaints about it a bit weird.
     
  12. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

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    I just think its silly for them to do this. Most other software I download I can see right up front what version it is. It's just a personal preference thing.
     
  13. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    the title is as they have posted and yes it is indeed copied and i added the link to it whats the difference? right now its purposed as a tweak and if they do this as a perm change......
     
  14. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Anyway, no one seems too happy about the proposed change.
     
  15. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Just curious ... do you find anything at all positive about Firefox/Mozilla?
     
  16. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    What the world really, really needs is a browser that keeps everyone pleased!
     
  17. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Now, that really would be something! ;)
     
  18. CJsDad

    CJsDad Registered Member

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    And they would find a way to complain about that one too o_O
     
  19. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I rarely complain about freeware, OK, maybe Opera's an exception ... :D ;)
     
  20. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Opera made its own bed, now it has to lay in it.
     
  21. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I bet it has (bed) bugs ... ;)
     
  22. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    How true. That's one easy way to feel superior. Just say something isn't as good as it can be :D
     
  23. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I'm not sure I understand completely how it's going to work. I got the impression from the article that one won't know what version it is until it's installed. The problem I have is if they do away with version numbers, how will that effect sites like FileHippo? Say you want to revert back to an earlier version. How will you know which one to download and will other version even still be available? If they plan to do this in a way that still allows users to pick and choose which version they want, fine. Otherwise Firefox is history for me.
     
  24. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Mozilla seem to be pushing this as a way to ensure users are secure. Instead of a version number, Help>About will display "secure" or "unsecure". The version number will still be available at Help>Troubleshooting Information.

    But it seems to me this could potentially lull people into a false sense of security and make them think their browser is keeping them secure and therefore they don't need antivirus software. The only way for a browser to replace antivirus software would be to have it built in. Antivirus protection updates two or three times a day and I know of no browser that can compete with that. People shouldn't rely on a browser for security anyway.
     
  25. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    This seems that Mozilla made a bad choice jumping on the rapid versioning model, and now tries to hide that fact by removing the version number from the About menu. Why? It's really not like anyone would look at the About on daily basis anyway.

    Dudes, just use the old versioning, with visible numbers, and everything will be fine!
     
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