Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Blastfrog

What's up with Firefox version numbers?

Recommended Posts

I've noticed that Mozilla has been releasing whole new version numbers much more quickly than they used to, despite being (seemingly) minor changes, just like when they spent more time on single versions. I mean shit, 4 was barely that long ago at ALL, and now we're at 8?

Is there a good reason for speeding up how fast whole new versions are introduced?

4 doesn't seem very different than 8 (on the surface anyway), whereas the transition from 3 to 4 was pretty big.

Share this post


Link to post

They decided to go on a constant 6-month major release cycle sometime after 4.0

Share this post


Link to post

SODAHOLIC'S IGNORANCE OF WHAT'S GOING ON ON THE INTERNETS IS QUITE BAD!! SERIOUSLY!!!

Share this post


Link to post

When they reach Firefox 64, will it become a Nintendo-exclusive browser?

Share this post


Link to post

Meanwhile I have Chromium 15 installed, which sounds just as bad. The rapid release schedule is desirable for progress of web technologies. Keeping traditional versioning schemes doesn't really work with that. Otherwise it'll be 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, etc... until what? 4.32? By then 4.32 might seem like a big enough step from 4.0 to have warranted several "major" version bumps, even though teh change will seem minor compared to 4.31, and that minor compared to 4.30, and so on. (Emacs predates the browsers... it skipped from version 1.12 to version 13 when the authors realized they may never leave 1.x otherwise, essentally that first number became meaningless)

To both Google and Mozilla's credit, they have seriously downplayed the prevalance of the version number. What matters now is that users are up to date, and by most common installation modes, that happens fairly automatic for both of them. How many people can really tell that they're on Firefox 8 without having to open Help>About, or that they're on Chrome/Chromium 15 without opening its about dialog? Probably not many.

Share this post


Link to post

Why does Mozilla feel the need to emulate Google in it's numbering scheme? Why not just act independently?

Snakes said:

What's up with all of the Sodaholic and GoatLord threads lately?

What do you mean? Is it that we've been posting more threads lately, or that you find something wrong with the threads/posters themselves? Don't feel afraid to tell me if it's the latter, I prefer to know if people have a problem with me than not knowing at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Sodaholic said:

What do you mean? Is it that we've been posting more threads lately, or that you find something wrong with the threads/posters themselves? Don't feel afraid to tell me if it's the latter, I prefer to know if people have a problem with me than not knowing at all.


Personally, I just find it amusing. Goatlord keeps posting these weird philosophical threads about what we think will happen in the future and whatnot whilst you post threads about your opinions, strange observations, or just somewhat weird questions.

Just my opinion though, and I'm not even sure if I'm even stating my opinion correctly.

...IGNORE MEH.

Share this post


Link to post

Pretty much that ^

I was kind of amused at the amount if "What's going on with such n such" theme all of these threads seem to have. Can't recall such an abundance of like-titled threads since the short-lived "Ask me about being" meme popped up in blogs.

Share this post


Link to post
I'myourtarget said:

or just somewhat weird questions.

In your opinion, what is the weirdest question I have ever asked on these forums?

Share this post


Link to post

So is it getting better, or just more bloated? I'm still at 3.0.18 (but hardly ever use it).

Share this post


Link to post
Sodaholic said:

Why does Mozilla feel the need to emulate Google in it's numbering scheme? Why not just act independently?

If you think an idea is good, why not borrow it?

Share this post


Link to post
xepop said:

3.x was last good one. Then they fucked up.

Tried v3.6 now, I can't go back to it from version 8. v3.6 is slower than molasses.

Share this post


Link to post

agreed, 2.x and 3.x were slower than iceberg drift and oh god the memory leaks.

Share this post


Link to post
Sodaholic said:

In your opinion, what is the weirdest question I have ever asked on these forums?


That one.

Hell, I don't know. There have been a few, but I can't recall any specifics.

Share this post


Link to post
tempun said:

If you think an idea is good, why not borrow it?

How on earth is making versions with large gaps in numbering, when in fact they're only rather minor updates in any way a good idea? It's exaggerated, and way too much as well.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought I explained it in my post -- the frequent release schedule doesn't lend itself well to the traditional version numbers. Rather than essentially having the browser in feature freeze for 1 or 2 years until the next major version, Mozilla is just rolling out new features as they're ready (well, to the tune of 3 months, but it's much better). All of these releases are going to seem "minor" compared to the old concepts of what a major version number was -- if the old system was stuck to, we'd never leave the 4.x series, and the "4." part would essentially become meaningless; all Mozilla has really done, is get rid of the useless part of a version number, there's only going to be one number that gets updated frequently anyway.

Share this post


Link to post

Many major projects come to the conclusion of dropping the major version number. One early example that comes to mind is Java which despite being at version 1.7 is commonly referred to as Java 7.

Another recent example is the Linux kernel where the major version number was also dropped since it would indefinitely be in 2.6.X. Linus just decided to make the major number arbitrary and move the X to the minor position. Hence why we have Linux 3.0, 3.2, etc.

Chungy explained it quite well I think. They aren't really copying anyone, the traditional version scheme just doesn't work anymore. These days you see two dominant formats. One is to drop the idea of major/minor. The other is to version by date (Ubuntu style). If the rapid version number increases bother you, just tack a 4. in front of it (so Firefox 4.8.0) since that's really all that happened.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm on 3.6.20 and refuse to update. I did try out 4 which was nearly immediately updated to 5 and I was like what? Strange problems I had with a couple of sites I did not experience before and the performance/CPU usage seemed to be worse. As a side effect I can't upload files to MediaFire anymore because they use some shitty new interface method that isn't compatible with my version of FF so I have to use another one to bypass it.

I wish everything would just stop downgrading itself. Just about every program I've ever used has had a horrible recent revision. And what gets me even more is you are forced to update whether you like it or not (unless you disable updates but this does not apply to all applications) and whatever didn't need fixing before winds up getting broken in the new version. Hideous mess some of these browser/software have become.

Share this post


Link to post

4 was a decent update IMO. 3.x was as slow as shit. TBH FF still has it's ups and downs, but still deserves an internet medal for sinking IE.

Share this post


Link to post

I guess that the rapidly-incrementing version numbers make sense if that's just how things are done nowadays. It annoys me a little bit, though, because I've been conditioned to associate version number increases with major improvements, but the only change I've noticed is that I'm actually having more issues with Firefox eating memory than I used to.

I just noticed that Skulltag is also doing things Google's way. The latest update is simply "98b."

Share this post


Link to post

Imagine where Internet Explorer would be if every security patch and hotfix was accompanied by a new version number?

Share this post


Link to post
GreyGhost said:

Imagine where Internet Explorer would be if every security patch and hotfix was accompanied by a new version number?

"Windows is downloading system update: Internet Explorer 982"

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×