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Mozilla Firefox 24 Moves Ahead With Modest Changes

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  • #16
    Slaves of the Beast of Redmond

    With every new release Firefox looks more like Internet Explorer: can't hide the tab bar, no status bar, "paste & go", "paste & search", etc etc etc.

    What's next from Mozilla, an open source implementations of Mac OS 10 UI?
    Last edited by hoohoo; 09-17-2013, 05:30 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ericg View Post
      oh shutup. release early, release often, thats the open source way. the version numbers are meaningless, theyre completely arbitrary. they don't even effect Enterprise anymore thanks to the LTS releases. The only reason to even have release tags is for marketing and PR-- which despite what some open sourcers seem to think IS actually important.
      All true, but still, on the other hand... the new versioning scheme of Firefox goes against all convention, making it confusing for users, and there's a reason why most software uses the usual major.minor scheme: it gives users some kind of guesstimate about the amount of changes made between releases. This lacks in Firefox's new versioning - you can't tell if the changes between 23 and 24 are more significant than the changes between 22 and 23.

      Another thing, the major.minor scheme allows the use of minor numbers for regular updates, leaving the major numbers for updates that bring really big and revolutionary changes - see: Python 2 vs Python 3, GNOME 2 vs GNOME 3 etc... using a one-number versioning, Mozilla has now abandoned a very simple and clear way to signal to their users that "hey guys, this new version is seriously different, there's seriously very big changes now" - if they at some point do a total revamp of their browser, they will need to use some other kind of branding changes to make the message clear.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by dee. View Post
        All true, but still, on the other hand... the new versioning scheme of Firefox goes against all convention, making it confusing for users, and there's a reason why most software uses the usual major.minor scheme: it gives users some kind of guesstimate about the amount of changes made between releases. This lacks in Firefox's new versioning - you can't tell if the changes between 23 and 24 are more significant than the changes between 22 and 23.

        Another thing, the major.minor scheme allows the use of minor numbers for regular updates, leaving the major numbers for updates that bring really big and revolutionary changes - see: Python 2 vs Python 3, GNOME 2 vs GNOME 3 etc... using a one-number versioning, Mozilla has now abandoned a very simple and clear way to signal to their users that "hey guys, this new version is seriously different, there's seriously very big changes now" - if they at some point do a total revamp of their browser, they will need to use some other kind of branding changes to make the message clear.
        Emphasis mine. I think thats the exact thing they are trying to AVOID though. NOT doing revolutionary updates (Gnome 2 to Gnome 3. KDE 3 to KDE 4) but instead incremental evolutionary updates. I know there some UI changes planned, and instead of stalling the whole project while they were all done, the devs instead to just merge the changes in one by one over time, as they completed. In many ways I think ALL software is starting to head into the direction of 'evolutionary, not revolutionary,' just based off what I've been seeing in various projects lately. And when you have a situation like that, where its just many smaller (on their own) changes over and over, rather than a code-dump of big changes... the version numbers matter even less.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by dee. View Post
          This lacks in Firefox's new versioning - you can't tell if the changes between 23 and 24 are more significant than the changes between 22 and 23.
          Err... Every release is now 6 weeks worth of work. They should all have about the same amount of significant changes in them (as in, not many).

          Mozilla has now abandoned a very simple and clear way to signal to their users that "hey guys, this new version is seriously different, there's seriously very big changes now" - if they at some point do a total revamp of their browser, they will need to use some other kind of branding changes to make the message clear.
          This is somewhat true - but i don't think they are worried about that. They have no plans to go back to a longer release model, and if they do they've shown in the past some ability to market themselves as needed.

          Here's the thing - how many people are complaining about Chrome being on version 29? Almost no one, because no one even knows what version of Chrome they're running. There's no need to. Firefox should (or at least wants) to be in the same position, where nobody even knows what version they are using. It's just whatever the newest version is.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by hoohoo View Post
            With every new release Firefox looks more like Internet Explorer: can't hide the tab bar, no status bar, "paste & go", "paste & search", etc etc etc.

            What's next from Mozilla, an open source implementations of Mac OS 10 UI?
            Well it's good to see that Chrome still offers you that choice while being free and open source.

            Oh wait, it doesn't.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dee. View Post
              This lacks in Firefox's new versioning - you can't tell if the changes between 23 and 24 are more significant than the changes between 22 and 23.
              How exactly do you measure this "significance" for changes? And how much of this unit is needed to justify a major version change?

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              • #22
                Semantic version numbering was there for a reason.

                X.Y.Z

                X, the major release version, signifies BC-breaks or at least disruptive changes; and possibly some large new features.
                Y, the minor release version, signifies feature additions.
                Z, the patch release version, signifies bugfixes, security updates and minor improvements.

                So, when a new major version came out, I knew to take my time and read about the changes.

                Now, I have no idea where the difference between Chrome 22 and 28 is. It isn't a huge problem, but I also can't see the value in this numbering scheme, apart from marketing reasons.
                I'm theorising all other major browsers are now playing catch-up with Chrome in the version number department, or something like that. Even Opera is in the v17 (18??) beta now, after half a decade of staying with minor releases of v12, they suddenly jumped 6 major version numbers. It's irritating.

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                • #23
                  It could be argued that since FF breaks the UI for people every version, every version is thus disruptive

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by demonkoryu View Post
                    Semantic version numbering was there for a reason.

                    X.Y.Z

                    X, the major release version, signifies BC-breaks or at least disruptive changes; and possibly some large new features.
                    Y, the minor release version, signifies feature additions.
                    Z, the patch release version, signifies bugfixes, security updates and minor improvements.

                    So, when a new major version came out, I knew to take my time and read about the changes.

                    Now, I have no idea where the difference between Chrome 22 and 28 is. It isn't a huge problem, but I also can't see the value in this numbering scheme, apart from marketing reasons.
                    I'm theorising all other major browsers are now playing catch-up with Chrome in the version number department, or something like that. Even Opera is in the v17 (18??) beta now, after half a decade of staying with minor releases of v12, they suddenly jumped 6 major version numbers. It's irritating.
                    2 points:

                    1) New versioning is a "Don't think about it" versioning system. What browser version you are running shouldn't matter since the web isn't about the browser, its about the content. (Chrome and Firefox got it right by doing auto-updates on everything except Linux. Linux its handled for you with updates via package management. Only people who get screwed is basically Debian who locks versions, but even then they MIGHT load new versions in Backports-- Im not sure)

                    The goal isn't for you to be "Thinking" about updates like you said above, its for you to just keep consuming the content on the web and for the web to just get gradually better.

                    (Point 2 ill do when I come back. gotta run)

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                      2 points:

                      1) New versioning is a "Don't think about it" versioning system. What browser version you are running shouldn't matter since the web isn't about the browser, its about the content. (Chrome and Firefox got it right by doing auto-updates on everything except Linux. Linux its handled for you with updates via package management. Only people who get screwed is basically Debian who locks versions, but even then they MIGHT load new versions in Backports-- Im not sure)

                      The goal isn't for you to be "Thinking" about updates like you said above, its for you to just keep consuming the content on the web and for the web to just get gradually better.

                      (Point 2 ill do when I come back. gotta run)
                      2) As I said above... Marketing does matter. Version numbers are an easy, off the hand way to judge a compare the maturity of two differing solutions. The uninformed user would see Firefox 4 (for example) and see Chrome 12 (random version # I picked, no idea if Chrome was at 12 when FF4 was out) and assume that Chrome was a more established, more mature browser and that Firefox was the 'young up and comer' not the other way around. I have no doubt that Opera bumped its version just so that it could be on the same playing field marketing wise as Chrome and Firefox.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                        2) As I said above... Marketing does matter. Version numbers are an easy, off the hand way to judge a compare the maturity of two differing solutions. The uninformed user would see Firefox 4 (for example) and see Chrome 12 (random version # I picked, no idea if Chrome was at 12 when FF4 was out) and assume that Chrome was a more established, more mature browser and that Firefox was the 'young up and comer' not the other way around. I have no doubt that Opera bumped its version just so that it could be on the same playing field marketing wise as Chrome and Firefox.
                        Read release notes prior to installation of a new version and shut it.

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                        • #27
                          I do not understand all these compliants about the version numbering I think it's a good way to force the average Joe to keep his firefox browser up to date nowadays in a malware infected cyber world

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                            Err... Every release is now 6 weeks worth of work. They should all have about the same amount of significant changes in them (as in, not many).
                            That's not really true in practice. It's easy to say "there's 6 weeks worth of work" but in actual fact it doesn't always happen that way, what with git branches that are kept separate for multiple release cycles, merged later, etc.

                            Not every new feature is designed in 6 weeks time total.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by dee. View Post
                              That's not really true in practice. It's easy to say "there's 6 weeks worth of work" but in actual fact it doesn't always happen that way, what with git branches that are kept separate for multiple release cycles, merged later, etc.

                              Not every new feature is designed in 6 weeks time total.
                              But on average, the same number of those external branches get merged every 6 weeks. There may be 1 or 2 extra 1 merge cycle, or 1 or 2 less, but it's small enough there is rarely much of a difference.

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                              • #30
                                Is anyone running Fedora 19, Fedora Rawhide or Fedora 20 in this thread?? Just got the firefox 24 update on my system but about:config --> search "media" doesn't return any media.* results for "media.gstreamer.enabled." Can anyone else confirm they are missing a key value named as such?

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