Mozilla: Firefox 5 coming on June 21, Firefox 6 on August 18

Emil

Posts: 152   +0

Mozilla has further detailed its new development model for Firefox. The current draft says Firefox 5 will arrive on June 21, 2011 and Firefox 6 will be released on August 18, 2011. These dates may change, but they're what the company is currently aiming for.

All changes to Firefox source code are initially integrated in the mozilla-central Mercurial repository. At scheduled intervals (typically 6 weeks), the changes are imported from mozilla-central to one of three other channels (larger features and projects are usually initially developed in other repositories which track mozilla-central). In addition to mozilla-central (currently referred to as nightly), there will also be firefox-experimental, firefox-beta, and Firefox (release), each backed by its own Mercurial repository. These names are currently placeholders and Mozilla may still change them.

The firefox-experimental channel will get new features at regular intervals, but some of them might be disabled if they look like they need more work. The beta channel receives only new features that are slated for the next Firefox release. New features are never directly added to the firefox-experimental or firefox-beta channels. In general, each stage of the process (and activity pertaining to a particular version) will last for 6 weeks, but because of the development overlap, we can expect a new version every 6 to 12 weeks.

Firefox 5 (pictured above) will be slightly different from future releases due to the lack of a development overlap with Firefox 4. Mozilla announced last month that Firefox 4, Firefox 5, Firefox 6, and Firefox 7 would all ship in 2011. That looked nearly impossible after the delays of Firefox 4, but with this new schedule, the company may manage after all.

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lawfer

Posts: 1,268   +90
Haha, Mozilla is trollin'...

I love Firefox, don't get me wrong, but I find it hard to believe they'll commit to this. They are a perfectionist team, that puts a lot of effort into their releases. I find hard to believe they are willing to give that up for faster releases.

I could be wrong...
 

Det

Posts: 84   +1
They want to do what Google does with Chrome.

As a lot of people have said that the Chrome dev channel is even more stable than Firefox 4.0 (the stable one) that wouldn't be an entirely non-justifiable decision.

It's better to not have a single major release containing new features when you can add those new features - and fix them up - whenever you wish. Theoretically, this also prevents burning out.
 
G

Guest

i'm still thinking they're doing all these releases in quick succession for the free cake Microsoft's IE team sends :p
 

Rick

Posts: 4,512   +66
I'm pretty sure the only thing changing here is Mozilla's concept of what major *versions* should be, not the speed at which major *changes* occur. So once this begins, what used to be FF 3.2 may have been 4.0 and so on...

They are in effect lowering their standard for what constitutes a major version change. I am also pretty sure the only reason they are doing this is to follow in the foot steps of Chrome.

Google's idea is that version numbers are 'meaningless'. Web pages don't have version numbers because they are updated in real time and they want that experience for Chrome. I can see that type of thinking.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,856   +1,790
TechSpot Elite
Firefox 6 for my birthday, nice :). I was losing hope with the Firefox 4 betas and in the middle of switching to Chrome entirely but the final version of Firefox 4 actually feels as solid as they come.

> Completely agree with Rick though.
 
G

Guest

Opera has been doing this recently, too.
I don't like it - the practice trivialises version numbers, which should really be reserved for major enhancements and/or rewrites. From what I can imagine, these are simply incremental builds. (eg Fx 4.1) There's nothing wrong with that - just call a spade a spade and be done with it. Generating hype for minimal improvement is just annoying.

Don't they know that version numbers stop being sexy around 15 or so? How does Firefox 27 sound to everyone?
 

Archean

Posts: 5,646   +98
+1 Rick about version numbers.

I believe 'only inclusion of reasonable number of major features' should compel a software maker to give its product a full release number; but Google has simply muddied the water with their unusual version number scheming.

@Guest
At certain point in time version numbers will become meaningless, e.g. just look at nvidia's drivers, last time I checked they were something like 270.xx (quoting just for the sake of understanding); I wonder if they can 'name' each individual release, e.g. 'Firefox Green' (because green is very much in with economentalists ;) ).
 

Lurker101

Posts: 850   +386
Guest said:
Don't they know that version numbers stop being sexy around 15 or so? How does Firefox 27 sound to everyone?

There's something very paedophillic about that statement. Anyway, I think this is just Mozillas glory grabbing way of being able to release Firefox 8 for Windows 8.
 
G

Guest

@Lurker101 Fair point - very poor choice of words. (Apologies. @Mod, feel free to change wording to 'catchy'!)

I just meant that they are rushing 'progress' for short term marketing gain. I was thinking Opera 11, Windows 7, Mac OSX, firefox 4...

I'm going to shut up now.
 

spydercanopus

Posts: 885   +153
That's ridiculous. They're all loosey goosey with those version numbers because the token fat guy won't work without a cake each month?
 

avoidz

Posts: 461   +59
I'd rather they stick with the first number change for major versions (which could be once a year), and just keep the 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc. numbering convention which makes it easier to follow the program development process and installed versions.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,567   +7,419
I'd rather they stick with the first number change for major versions (which could be once a year), and just keep the 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc. numbering convention which makes it easier to follow the program development process and installed versions.
Google won't let them.
 

fpsgamerJR62

Posts: 489   +0
I hope they incorporate small incremental improvements to the browser, at the very least, if they intend to have only short intervals between version changes.
 

Greg S

Posts: 1,607   +442
I hate this idea. Its just to try and get people to upgrade right away. I think it would be better to just stick with 4.1.10, 4.2.10, 4.2.25, you get the idea.
 

Rick

Posts: 4,512   +66
I hope they incorporate small incremental improvements to the browser, at the very least, if they intend to have only short intervals between version changes.

Some news from a couple of months ago suggested that they'll be focusing on bringing big changes in a piecemeal way. Rather than make many improvements and stuff them all in a single major release, Mozilla will be releasing some of those features/improvements along the way.

Overall we'll probably see the same amount of change over the course of a year, but those changes will happen gradually throughout the year.
 

pmshah

Posts: 179   +43
I downloaded Firefox 4.0. When I installed it I was horrified at the interface. It was like a whole new learning process. Practically none of the addons were functional and except for may be 2 or 3 no compatibles ones available. I quickly uninstalled it and went back to 3.6.16

I will now seriously consider Chrome as alternative !
 
G

Guest

Switch to something else if you wish.
The way I have my FF4 set up I see very little difference from FF3. A bit more streamlined and 68 of my addons were working the only two that didn't and still don't are the ones from my AntiVirus which I never used anyway.
There is virtually no learning curve. Maybe, I can only guess, you tried out an earlier version. I didn't switch until the final release so I really have had no problems with any of it.