The problem with this approach to Firefox...

Story: Mozilla Proposes Half-Hearted Extended Release Cycle for EnterprisesTotal Replies: 11
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Sep 23, 2011
3:26 PM EDT that the enterprise is where Linux has enjoyed success in the server room and where it is making slow inroads on the desktop due to cost and due to the specialized needs of some departments. Enterprise desktop support has to include a browser. Firefox doesn't seem to care if they are that browser.

The problem here is that this will either become a reason not to adopt Linux or to use a closed browser like Opera or Chrome. Either way, FOSS loses in the enterprise.

As for the home desktop, people will only consider Linux if it's widely preloaded, as we saw with early netbooks, or if it's what they use at work. Linux desktop adoption in general was slow enough. This really hurts the chances for real progress, however small they might seem.

Bad move, Mozilla. Maybe it's good for your share of the browser market on Windows and Mac. It's lousy for the FOSS community you claim to be a part of.

Sep 23, 2011
3:34 PM EDT
I'm not so sure I agree with you here,... What Firefox needs for enterprise adoption is to have a decent toolkit available to build infrastructure tools on it... What keeps IE6 around is that many enterprise users have built web portal tools using it, and are unwilling to update their work for newer browsers. It's bad for M$ too, since using IE6 means an XPee workstation implementation (not a shiny, new Win7 or Win8 one). If Mozilla were to actively court web tool developers, porting those old IE6 tools to Firefox, THAT would make the big difference. An extend release cycle is actually a good thing with enterprise web tool developers, because they don't have to worry about changes breaking too many things.

Sep 23, 2011
3:38 PM EDT
It also needs a proper machine-wide settings management tool. You can lock down pretty much every setting available in IE via group policy. Firefox it's pretty much make sure the default user profile has the right settings, and maybe mark the settings file(s) read-only if you can find it/them.


Sep 23, 2011
3:55 PM EDT
I agree with techiem2.

JaseP, you are also ignoring another problem with the new, super speedy release cycle. Mozilla keeps breaking things. Take my mobile phone provider. I pay my monthly bill online on their website. Works great in Firefox 3.x, 4.x, 5. Broken in 6.

Enterprise customers and business IT in general loathe rapid change. The Red Hat business model is so successful because if combines stability with long term support. Ubuntu has made few inroads into the enterprise, server or desktop, precisely because it changes and breaks things quickly. The LTS releases haven't been the answer. First, Canonical doesn't backport additional hardware support the way Red Hat and SUSE do. The net result is the support for the OS is there on older hardware but it just may not work on the new boxes coming in the door and suddenly you are forced back to the six month, rapid release, often broken Ubuntu. That is completely unacceptable to business customers. The less IT work they have to do, the lower the cost. Rapid changes are an anathema to corporate IT and that is what Firefox is delivering on what has become a major piece of any desktop.

Like I said, maybe good for Mozilla. Really bad for Linux adoption.

In the long run, if businesses stop using Firefox people will switch at home too. I personally see this as really a short sighted decision.

(Edited for typos.)

Sep 23, 2011
4:08 PM EDT
Not to mention all the plugins that break on every release because the authors mark them for max version of the current release when they made it or maybe the current beta release when they made it. Some of course work fine if you just change the file manually (yeah, most users aren't gonna do that), some of course are just plain broken due to changes in the browser architecture between releases. Both cases meaning that for most users they have to either go without the plugin until the author fixes it or stay with the newest release that all their plugins still work with (and how would you know unless you check every plugin each release to see if it will work, since Firefox doesn't check that itself until after install).

Which brings up the main issue with upgrades and plugins: The installer should check your plugin compatibility before installing, not on first run after installing.

Sep 23, 2011
4:49 PM EDT
> The accelerated Firefox release cycle may be great for many users... > Like I said, maybe good for Mozilla. Really bad for Linux adoption.

I question whether this rapid version change is good for anyone. I'm still using 3.6 on most of my machines. I simply have no desire to step on the upgrade treadmill.

Sep 23, 2011
5:40 PM EDT
I agree with jdixon. It kinda seems like they are doing fast releases just to do fast releases to get higher version numbers.

It used to be we would know that a point release meant bug fixes and maybe some minor changes, while a full version release meant major bug fixes and major changes. But with this rapid release? Who knows. It makes the versioning basically pointless.


Sep 23, 2011
7:28 PM EDT
The rapid release cycle is a good thing. Remember, IE is at version 9 now, and Opera is at version 11! Firefox is way, way behind at only 6. Why would anyone want to use Firefox 6 when they can use something that's 3 or 5 versions newer and better? That would be like using a guitar amp that only goes up to 10, when you can get one that goes up to 11 instead!

Sep 24, 2011
2:45 AM EDT
Hey, my amp only goes to 10. Where can I get one that goes up to 11? Need it bad...


Sep 24, 2011
12:33 PM EDT
Quoting:Hey, my amp only goes to 10. Where can I get one that goes up to 11? Need it bad

I think you've been running your amp at 10 for too long, the damage is done and irreversible. lol.


Sep 24, 2011
3:54 PM EDT
jdixon wrote:I'm still using 3.6 on most of my machines.

You're missing out by not using Firefox 6, and using Firefox 3 instead. 6 is double 3, so the new version is twice as good. Or, you could use IE9, which is 3 times as good. Then if someone tries to say that FF is somehow better than IE9, you can tell them "but this one goes up to 9!".

Sep 26, 2011
7:30 PM EDT
They should just pull a Slackware and skip a few numbers if that's the reason.

The increased release schedule also hurts for websites that tell me that their site will not work with FF6 and advise me to download the latest version. Interestingly, FF in Linux still doesn't work on eCollege, but Chromium does.

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