Too many new versions?

Discussion in 'polls' started by acr1965, Nov 13, 2011.

?

How do you feel about rapid release of new versions?

  1. I like new versions released only once a year or at major upgrades only

    35 vote(s)
    46.1%
  2. I'm ok with new versions being released quickly, even if it is for only minor upgrades

    37 vote(s)
    48.7%
  3. other : but I will post why I feel this way

    4 vote(s)
    5.3%
  1. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    We have recently seen an increased speed in version release of Firefox and Google Chrome. There may be other programs with similar version release policies as well. But it was not that long ago that a new version came out once a year or longer. Usually, with each new version came a multitude of enhancements, components, new GUI, etc. Now versions seem to come out monthly and it seems many of these new versions have only minor changes noted.

    What's your thought on rapid release of new versions vs. releases for major upgrades only?

    ALSO- this does not have to be restricted to Chrome and Firefox. Some security programs have annual releases (ie version 2011 or 2012) while others have new versions that come with major upgrade releases. On the other side, some security programs skip release versions- such as with Avira or Sophos. What are your thoughts on the policy of version releases?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    In the case of Firefox, we'll need to wait around 18 months to compare with a little bit more objectivity if the new version cycle resulted in less changes than the old standard. But if you think about it, such a comparison will always be flawed some way or other.

    Now, I'm generally favorable to rapid release cycles because I like to get the latest features when they are ready. I don't like when needed ready changes are postponed for years just to make a better single larger release event.

    This of course, was a mentality change for me. I used to think that this way was always the best approach regarding browsers. But Mozilla has to consider the available resources and which public it is mainly designing Firefox for. A strategy that works for Microsoft and IE might not be the ideal for Mozilla and Firefox.
     
  3. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I think some of these vendors have gone overboard with new versions. A new version is fine for a major bugfix or security patch, or even for a new feature if it improves usability. Releases for eye candy changes or just to keep up with someone else that releases a new version every 2 weeks is senseless.

    Using FireFox for an example (which I don't use), they need to stop trying to be like Google and get back to what made them popular to begin with. They got there by listening to their users and giving them what they wanted. I seriously doubt that their users want changes just to keep up with the rate that someone else changes. They've allowed themselves to be suckered onto their competitions playing field, concerned about:
    number of updates per year or season, (meaningless)
    percent change in user numbers, (even more meaningless in a free product)

    To the FireFox developers and others following this pattern:
    Stop playing the big money corporations game. Stop competing on their terms. Remember what got you to where you are and get back to it. Forget about being the most popular or the most often updated or having the newest eye candy. Concentrate on producing good, reliable software that fills the real needs of the users.
     
  4. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I actually rather like the old school way of doing things. For instance, at version 1 if there are minor upgrades, bug fixes, enhancements, etc. just name that release version 1.1 and so on. If there are major components added or the program becomes compatible with a new OS (for instance, an old example, becomes Windows Vista) then have that version go to 2 and so on.
     
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I like having a lot of releases when they're handled properly. I've explained just earlier today why Firefox is having such a hard time adjusting to this new cycle.

    Scheduled releases are important for two reasons:
    1) Deadlines force progress on certain projects.
    2) 3rd party devs need to know when changes will be made. They can look at the dev channel and say "Ok, great, now I know what I need to do so that users can keep using this extension 1 month from now."

    Gradual releases (as opposed to waiting a while and then piling on the features etc) are important because you get more specific info (if you release 3 bugfixes in a week isntead of 20 at the end of the month you get more user feedback on those specific fixes) and it also allows the devs to push out updates as they're ready.


    There are some issues with Firefox's implementation.

    1) 3rd party devs aren't used to it
    2) Firefox had extensions incompatible by default
    3) Updates ask the users. Users hate being bothered.
     
  6. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    And I think it's easy to say "Oh well just release when you actually have something huge to release" but having a deadline saying "Get it done by the end of the month" is important.

    And what most people think is a small release usually isn't. There's often quite a lot going on in the background. I've seen so many "OMG nothing even changed" and if you read the changelog it's a bit short and then if you actually google around you'll realize that the few things in the changelog are actually kinda big background features.
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I dont like the rapid version numbers but dont mind rapid development.
    I will try to explain what i mean. I dont have any issues with web browsers release frequent updates say every 6 weeks but what i hate is the fact every 6 weeks the minor update is marked as a whole new number. why not keep to the system devs have used from the start and mark the minor changes as incremental numbers such as 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.2.2 etc?

    as stated by others it is causing problems with extension developers. users upgrade to the latest version of firefox like they always have but suddenly all there addons are marked as working for version 3 but not 4 so they are all disabled just because of the number change. Opera has stuck with major and minor version numbers.

    As for security software I dont like the yearly versions since most of the time they change the GUI for the sake of change and add a new year on it. One of the problems for all software including Operating systems is that most users dont have a clue about the "under the hood changes" and all they see is the flashy new GUI and think its not worth upgrading. Try explaining to an XP user that vista has some major changes and isnt just a flash new GUI.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  8. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Like I said, I think what users consider "Major" and what devs consider "Major" are two different things.
     
  9. guest

    guest Guest

    What makes you think that they are changing it just for the sake of changing? I guess you don't even care to read changelogs.
     
  10. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Being told there's an update or upgrade to your favorite app or browser is a little like when I was a kid and the mailman told me that my Lone Ranger decoder ring had arrived. There's a moment of anticipation just before you get it, even though it's followed by a little disappointment in how small the ring is. :D
     
  11. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    I have no problems with version number increases or rapid release if the release is a delta (a differential). I don't want to download the entire program just for a possibly tiny change.

    LibreOffice had me downloading the whole ball of wax.

    While Chrome on Windows does the Courgette thing, one has to download the whole .deb on Linux.
    http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2011/10/stable-channel-update_26.html

    That came within a couple of days after v15 stable (original) was released :D

    Again, Mozilla's Arora updates differentially on Windows. When I used to do so some months ago, the updates were small. On Linux, each update is a full download.
     
  12. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    That may change. Linux is, unfortunately (opinion) getting a lot more attention from Chrome because of ChromeOS.
     
  13. guest

    guest Guest

  14. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    That's not an option for me. I use Calc, the spreadsheet thing, pretty heavily and with a lot of customization. So I'm hooked to LibreOffice. Of course, I could always turn down the offer to update/upgrade but I figure if people complain enough, they, the LibreOffice devs, may do something.
     
  15. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I don't really care if it's fast or slow release as long as they improve. But i would prefer like 1 version a year at most or when they are going to do big things :D
     
  16. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    To those saying Firefox shouldn't be trying to keep up with Chrome, what else should they do, stagnate and sit on their hands? The rapid release decision was simply smart business, nothing more. They knew they'd piss some people off, but they also knew that if they didn't do what they did at the time, they would have been denounced in the media as stagnating, and they would have pissed off people anyway.

    Firefox is coming back around now, a lot of thanks due to Chrome doing absolutely nothing these days but tweaking their Javascript and toying around with features that may or may not be there next release or a few releases after. Google got comfy, and perhaps cocky. If they don't watch themselves, they could fall back again below newer Firefox releases and the upcoming IE 10.
     
  17. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Stick with IE is all I can tell you, lol.
     
  18. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    Whether or not it's true in all cases, I generally view rapid releases as necessary security changes, and I'm very glad that they are happening.
    Which is not to say that I don't see what I think are releases meant only to keep the dust off the product and to give the appearance of improvement. But I don't have those softwares on my machines... often due in part to that very tendency by the developer to push out new releases without any substance. Chrome, I'm happy with their release rate. :)

    I voted Other, because I would have liked to see a category for "I'm ok with new versions being released quickly, when they appear to be more than only minor upgrades".
     
  19. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    It depends: for security applications I like frequent new versions: to fix bugs and to offer new or enhanced features.
     
  20. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I believe they are trying to give a false sense of maturity to a product by jumping rapidly in version numbers. "Oh, it's a bigger number, it must be better." It doesn't make the product better to increment the version number instead of going with point release numbers. And it has been a nightmare to keep addons working.
     
  21. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Luckily for Chrome the market always swings a bit late. IE is a strong example of this. For years the "nerds" were saying "IE is slow and insecure" and it took a long time for people to start hearing them.

    If Chrome really starts stagnating we'll see the nerds talking about it while the market continues to rise and then a year later the people will catch on.
     
  22. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Naah, i'll keep Chrome/Chromium :D
     
  23. Trooper

    Trooper Registered Member

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    Hey is that bug still in Chromium? Was wanting to compare it to Google Chrome.

    Thanks.
     
  24. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Haven't tried the latest release but i'll do it when i come back from work :D
     
  25. Trooper

    Trooper Registered Member

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    Thank you I appreciate it. :D
     
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