> I'll be compiling, responding to, and evaluating the feedback received
> on the ESR proposal, and will provide updates here on the go-forward plan,
> including suggested changes. I hope to be able to provide the project with
> the information it needs to take a decision on the ESR within the next few
> weeks, and would ask for your feedback as soon as possible. If you're not
> comfortable posting to the dev.planning
> group, please also feel free to contact me directly.
Thanks for posting this Kev, I know a ton of work went into this proposal.
I raised this issue last week, but I think it's worthy of broader
My main concern with this is splitting our user base between the two
releases (other than this, I actually think it's a great proposal, but I'm
not sure how to get past this problem). Just as David Ross points out,
there are any number of reasons for individuals to be interested in the LTS
releases (addons that aren't compatible, locales that have dropped off the
train, websites that break when we finally hit Gecko 10 and their crappy UA
sniffing thinks they're talking to a browser from 2004 ...). People who
install Firefox on computers for their friends/families would be more likely
to install the LTS releases so that they don't have to deal with upgrade
issues every 6 weeks. If there is a way for people to slow down, some of
Given a choice between:
1) Old style: Major feature releases every 18 (or so) months, most users are
on the latest version or one version back
2) New style: Smaller releases every 6 weeks, with most users on the latest
version but some relatively small amount spread across the last N versions
(for some N > 1).
3) This proposal, with most of our users on the latest version, some small
amount spread across the last N versions, and a good chunk on the divergent
LTS release that is roughly 6 months old.
I'll let others debate #1 vs #2, but I think #3 is the definitely worst
situation for the Mozilla community. It causes the maximum fragmentation
across versions, slows down the pace at which we can move the web forward
(from delivering new stuff every 6 weeks (at least in theory, there's some
more time here for uptake/etc) to delivering stuff every 6 months),
complicates the testing matrix both for us and for third parties (web devs,
addon authors, etc), makes some trains more equal than others (potentially
leading to pressure to "get stuff in" for a given release since that will
become the LTS release), and doesn't fix any of the pain points of the rapid
In short, I think there's an inverse relationship between how well the LTS
branch aligns with our goals and how many people use it, and that's a really
perverse incentive to have.
In my ideal world, we'd wait on implementing an LTS branch until we've had a
chance to shake out the remaining pain points in the rapid release process,
but I expect the length of time necessary to do that, the need to EOL 3.6,
etc will force our hand before that can happen.
I'm not saying that users will find it if we hide it, more that users will WANT it. Sure, we can make this difficult for them, but is that really what we want?
I think the comparison you want is actually how many people are sticking with Firefox 3.6,4, 5? People who download most of these versions from FTP aren't even tracked in our download numbers but there are obviously people who are fighting our updates.
> 2. The UI and interaction changes should trickle out rather than be
> super in your face like 3.6 -> 4 was. This concern is only mildly
> related to the proposal here and even then only if #1 is unsuccessful
No, it's 100% this proposal. We're offering a way for people to avoid UI/UX/behavior churn; I'd be surprised if they didn't take it if given the choice. If we hide that choice, that's a different story -- but we should recognize that we're deliberately hiding that choice because we think users will want to switch to it and we don't want them to, not that somehow they're preferring the rapid release version because it's a better product.
> 3. Users get angry about updates. Period. We saw complaints about
> 6.0.1, which introduced no changes except a security fix. We saw
> complaints for 3.6 point releases. People complain about Mac and
> Windows updates. We're working on making it less painful, but I doubt
> it will drive people to an ESR, especially if we are successful with
Indeed. People hate updates and now they can avoid some of it. If we make that transition hard/painful, people won't go there but my only point is that if we give them the choice, people are going to take lack of updates over fancy new things (which is what Jonas was arguing).
> 4. Car analogies...yikes ;-)
Sorry. I don't even have a car, but I wanted something that people regard as essential. You're more likely to be upset if something you rely on breaks than something you don't.
Thanks for the work on this - it's a great proposal.
I have two concerns:-
1) Can you clarify what "Public (re)distribution of Mozilla-branded
versions of the ESR will not be permitted." - I assume this means I
can host it on a private FTP Server and install it on Friends & Family
machines from there but can't make it generally available.
2) I'm disappointed the commitment is only for a minimum of 2 ESR
releases, that's not a lot of time in the Corporate world.
Thanks again for bringing some sanity to this mess.