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Why Rapid Releases Can Improve Stability

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Why Rapid Releases Can Improve Stability

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2011-08-18 23:02


Shorter paragraphs, please!
I didn't read most of that, if it had shorter paragraphs I probably would have :(

Oh, the "accept our policy" checkbox on comments is really obnoxious. Even worse is the fact that you click on it, then hit "preview" and it gets *cleared*, so then when you hit "send" it says "you have to accept our policy" even though you already did. Argh.

Oh, for heaven's sake, you have to answer a new captcha arithmetic question every time you hit "preview" as well?
2011-08-27 05:17


njn: Shorter Paragraphs

who are you that you cannot read some sentences in a row? Maybe you should start reading a novel to get some practice. Books are these books with letters only, no pictures.

2011-08-27 06:37


You need at least two versions
While answering to non I complete forgot to post my comments to kairos statements...


the problem is that HTML5 by itself is changing and changes between HTML4 and HTML5 need to be implemented. This means that for enterprise users a 6 week cycle simply does not work. So, Asa's ways is consistent when he only focuses on the end user. But you have to be aware to lose enterprise users. Simple as that.

Further moving from the current API to Jetpack also needs a lot of changes for extension developers and a lot of frustration for the user when every six week a now popup shows up saying that extension XYZ does not work anymore. Even when three days later this extension is working again.

Bottomline: When you want to go along with the rapid release cycle, you need a stable version with almost the same UI as a backup. The UI (hopefully!!!) does not change every six weeks.

I can completely understand that the new process streamlines the release process but paying that with losing enterprises and extensions seems for me too expensive.
2011-08-27 06:51


from South Africa

Why Rapid releases is a fail
I just think that Mozilla just does not get it. I am a user. I don't use any any add-on except the dictionary. I have been a Firefox user since Firefox 1.0.

I am about to stop using Firefox. You want to know why? Because the end user experience have become really painful.

Here are a couple of examples:

Apptab: Love the concept, but, since I have grouped with sub menus, I use the open all tabs feature a lot. Well, do that in an apptab and you get your bookmarks, rather than your apptab. Open a single bookmark, it jumps to a new tab, keeping your apptab. Stupid? Do you know how many times that happen? Solution, don't bother with apptabs.

Opening multiple tabs at once, the browser freezes for a couple of seconds.

Open a Facebook game, all tabs froze for a couple of seconds.

Since Firefox 4 I have much more complete Firefox crashes. Firefox simply quit. Restarting is also painful as Firefox try to stumble back to life.

One of the cool features of Firefox 3 was asking to save your tabs when exiting. Now it is gone without a easy tickbox setting to get it back.

These are just some of the reasons why I dislike Firefox 4 and beyond. Rapid release have done little to improve my Firefox experience. In the end, end users don't care about all the cool tech or cutting edge HTML5. They just want a smooth and great user experience. Firefox 4, 5 or 6 is it not.

So you want me to stick around, stop wasting time about defending stupid version numbers or rapid releases. Just built me a browser that works, where the driving force is the end user experience, security and stability.
2011-08-27 18:46


from California

I agree that the rapid release can improve code quality (Although I wonder if having more versions in the pipe causes some confusion for developers when jumping between release, beta, alpha, & nightly; "is that change in this version?!?") But a sane versioning system has to come back or some designers (whose work I have mostly been impressed by) need to leave. Watching the disdain for user opinion in some controversial bugs has led me personally not to bother searching for/filing a bug because its tied to lower rights win xp accounts and administrated/business needs firefox bugs seem unwelcome.

Sorry for the rant but some of us who have helped spread Firefox and are not so close to the development see a lot of regular users turning against the product for small irritations. Ironically, I believe the underlying code has improved greatly. I hope the people doing the work on this project understand that we critics are trying to sound a warning, not trying to stop all change. Hopefully I have communicated that without offending.

Since you are the go to guy for Firefox stats now, perhaps you could add a "rage index" stat connected to a RAGE button in the UI! Yeah, probably not.
2011-08-27 21:29

Tony Mechelynck

from Brussels, Belgium

to njn: Captcha and checkbox
Know what? As long as you are only previewing, you can do away with the arithmetic captcha and the "I accept the policy" checkbox. It's only when clicking "Send" that they have to be set "the only right way". (And I just tested it now by previewing with the captcha box empty and the checkbox unchecked: my comment appeared in preview as it was before I added this parenthese.)
2011-08-27 23:24



I will not answer things about the general release process here, I am neither a release manager/driver nor a product manager nor something similar for Firefox and I don't think I will be any time soon (though I have learned to be careful with such words).

I'm only doing crash analysis and working with others to improve our instruments for said analysis, and all this blog post is doing is to shed a light on the rapid release process from that point of view.
2011-08-28 03:23


well Kairo, they have spoken (i'm referring to Pete & Thinus being critical of the mozilla rapid release process). those two may want to direct their complaints about the rapid release process to the Mozilla Support site.

fortunately for me, I DONT have to upgrade to newer versions of Firefox & Seamonkey every 6 weeks. there's no need for me to. at least I HAVE A CHOICE. turned off automatic updating for both FF & SM on all my machines so they won't install the newer versions every six weeks.

I'll just consider upgrading Firefox & Seamonkey to every other new version, meaning if I have FF5 on my machines, I'll skip FF6 and wait for FF7 to come out and upgrade to that one and ditto for SM, upgrade SM 2.2 to 2.4 and skip SM 2.3.
again, I HAVE A CHOICE, which Mozilla can't take away from me.
2011-08-29 19:11


although I like Wladimir Palant's idea on how mozilla's rapid release process should work. he blogged about it on the Ad Block plus web site recently:
2011-08-29 19:24

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