Opt-in not "good news" from the Web developer point of view, because
giving users choice means they'll scatter across more versions. (But
yeah, I realize it would be bad for some user-side scenarios for this
not to be opt-in.)
>>> Firefox 4 is close to what we consider "dead" and dropping.
>> What I'm hearing from my Web developer friends is that their customers
>> still expect QA with Firefox 4 and 5, because we aren't doing good
>> enough a job at making old releases disappear from circulation. That
>> is, Web developers don't consider Firefox 4 "dead", yet. While moving
>> the platform forward rapidly is nice for Web developers, having a
>> scattered tail of non-latest releases in use is not nice for Web
> I think this is an education problem rather than a numbers problem.
Education problem in the sense of educating users or educating Web
developers? It's a numbers problem in the sense that as long as a
Firefox version shows up in StatCounter's top 12 browser version list
globally or for the Web developer's country, the version isn't
considered "dead" yet.
> Web developers should in general see no difference except for new features and
> fixes between Firefox 4/5/6 (they are doing feature detection, right?).
The thing is that the developers or their customers aren't confident
enough in this that they'd skip testing older releases. Even if
feature detection is used, having to (i.e. feeling to having to) test
with a bunch of releases is causing unhappiness. After all, you don't
know for *sure* there's no difference before you've done the testing.
The 3.6.x update experience is what it is. No amount of work on
silent updates on mozilla-central will make 3.6 updates any more
silent; we buy nothing by waiting.
There's a lot of . . . disappointment . . . for the route that firefox has taken and I believe that some public relations work need to be done. A good start is explaining why the rapid release, when you already had a good, solid product used by many. How are you working with add-on/extension developers to ensure that their products are not invalidated with each new release. Explain about websites that used to work with firefox, that are now broken, is there anything being done about this, or is there a process to call attention to these problems to get them fixed.
As much as I like firefox for what it was, these new release cycles have discouraged me for the future of firefox.
Do you realize that Mozilla is an *open* project? As in, actually
open. Discussion happens in the open. That doesn't make it anything
more than that --- discussion.