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Mozilla Firefox To Provide Extended Support Release

 6:34 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mozilla Firefox To Provide Extended Support Release [blog.mozilla.com]
We are pleased to announce that the proposal for an Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox is now a plan of action. The ESR version of Firefox is for use by enterprises, public institutions, universities and other organizations that centrally manage their Firefox deployments. Releases of the ESR will occur once a year, providing these organizations with a version of Firefox that receives security updates but does not make changes to the Web or Firefox Add-ons platform. We have worked with many organizations to ensure that the ESR balances their need for the latest security updates with the desire to have a lighter application certification burden.



 7:56 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is it me or doesn't it seem coincidental to their reaching version 9, the same as the current release of Internet Explorer?


 11:18 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

adding back doors and remote tracking and call home features in the name of improved security is a self defeating proposition.

"This browser is safer because it keeps prying eyes off your computer, besides ours, trust us"

On the bright side I don't think Mozilla is nearly as bad as say a Google or Microsoft in data mining of personal information.

As life speeds up it's not a horrible thing to shift gears and step back, life would be just fine without you being online ever day. Go to the zoo or a show today instead! (and don't worry, big companies will still find ways of gathering your information, not using the net just makes it harder)

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 11:21 pm (utc) on Jan 11, 2012]

JAB Creations

 11:21 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

This must infer that not everyone over at Mozilla is on drugs because their rapid release policy can't be explained for any other reason.

I love the bleeding edge but the six week rapid release policy proves that the people in charge at Mozilla need to not only be fired but blacklisted from anything more tech than hammer and nails. One release had added support for a single CSS3 property (word-wrap related, very miscellaneous) and a proprietary Microsoft JScript method that treats code as plain text without involving eval (using that or innerHTML means you doom yourself to below application-level programming)...and sadly there have been many releases that were absolutely totally and utterly worthless adding no value to anyone and doing nothing more than artificially inflating the version number (Firefox is at about 5.0 right now for those who appreciate integrity).

I don't like it as an end-user, breaks extensions for no reason and I've manually hacked my extensions and set the maxVersion to over 9000 (and not for the sake of humor).

I don't like it as a web designer/web developer, adds lots of versions with little difference to test.

I further hate it as a web designer/web developer as their "channel" setups make maintaining profiles a complete pain...and every 6 weeks/42 days.

I don't like it as a web enthusiast, ****if**** there is an exciting feature it gets added alone and that's not worth blogging about.

I don't like it as a techie, almost half the people I've helped have had (minimally) modest complaints if they weren't outright angry.

So I'll be sticking with the enterprise edition and I'll set that up for my clients, family and friends who can't get comfortable with Opera (which requires the least out-of-box customization to make humanly usable out of all the browsers).

I highly recommend everyone moving to the extended release edition. I'll switch over from 8.0 when it is released.

That or switch over to Opera, Opera 12 will be the only browser with cross-platform hardware acceleration. It absolutely slaughters the competition in my testing and they've been fixing a lot of the issues that have concerned me.

- John


 5:18 am on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

My take on this is that they did it because Google does it, and then found that lots of their user base does not like it.

Personally, I have had no problems so far: my extensions all seem to work, bar one which has not been maintained for a while. I was initially a bit sceptical, and I still dislike the system on principle, but in practice it has worked well.

What exactly are channels? I thought they were just designations for differentiating between nightly, experimental, beta and stable versions? How do they affect profiles? I just let it update from the repos, and so use whatever Ubuntu updates to.

I do not use multiple profiles (never saw what use they were either).

JAB Creations

 3:58 pm on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

graeme_p, Mozilla has stable, aurora, beta and nightly channels (to mirror Chrome's stable, beta and developer channels). When a new version comes out on your channel you're automatically upgraded unless you disable the auto-upgrade feature.

It's extremely undesirable as I keep separate profiles for each version of Firefox as I test older versions especially with people staying on older versions (I myself I am sticking with 8.0 until 10.0 enterprise comes out). Mozilla is on crack if they think I'm going to completely rebuild two profiles every 42 days for about an hour or two of my time, complete waste since there isn't anything worth upgrading for!

- John


 9:28 am on Jan 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Could you not keep old versions in VMs with auto-updates turned off just for testing? That is what I used to do for IE. Keep a copy of the VM just after each upgrade, and on the next upgrade it becomes your previous version VM.

Usage of every FF version except the current stable, the last stable, and 3.6 seems very low, and with minor differences you surely will not need to do a lot of testing of each version.

Having an extended support release should help, as people who do not want updates will use that, while those who you the latest stable will probably enable upgrades - so almost everyone should be using either the latest stable version or the extended support version.

It will be interesting to see which Linux distros decide to go with as the default, especially if, like Ubuntu, they have their own extended support and frequently upgraded versions as well.

JAB Creations

 11:22 pm on Jan 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

graeme_p, and create a new VM every 42 days?! You need to do profile management which requires disabling auto-update. I'll message you further details.

- John

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