Intent to deprecate: MacOS 10.6-10.8 support

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Benjamin Smedberg

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Mar 10, 2016, 1:04:03 PM3/10/16
to Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform
This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8

The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that
are specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources
on engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the
deployment of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on
MacOS 10.6 that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing
of old MacOS versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate
much paid staff testing support to these platforms. We also have an
increasingly fragile set of old hardware that supports automated tests
on 10.6 and do not intend to replace this.

This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
Here are the specific breakdowns by OS version:

10.6
0.66%
10.7
0.38%
10.8
0.18%

The final timeframe for this deprecation has not been finalized, but the
current proposal is to remove support in Firefox 46. We will try and
update existing users on old MacOS versions to the Firefox 45 ESR
release stream, so that they stay with security update support through
the end of 2016.

Because of the ESR update window, I would like to finalize this decision
by Monday. If you have questions or concerns about this plan, please
reply to the firefox-dev mailing list immediately. Jeff Griffiths will
be working with our communications team to coordinate more public
communications such as post to the Future of Firefox blog.

--BDS


Mike Hommey

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Mar 10, 2016, 5:26:37 PM3/10/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 01:03:43PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
> following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
>
> The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that are
> specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources on
> engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the deployment
> of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on MacOS 10.6
> that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing of old MacOS
> versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate much paid staff
> testing support to these platforms. We also have an increasingly fragile set
> of old hardware that supports automated tests on 10.6 and do not intend to
> replace this.
>
> This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population. Here
> are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
>
> 10.6
> 0.66%
> 10.7
> 0.38%
> 10.8
> 0.18%

It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
Firefox population. What are those percentages relative to the number of
OSX users? ISTR 10.6 represented something like 25% of the OSX users,
which is a totally different story (but maybe I'm mixing things with
Windows XP).

Mike

Nathan Froyd

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Mar 10, 2016, 5:31:20 PM3/10/16
to Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Anthony Jones
I heard much the same thing from the media team when I suggested getting
rid of 10.6 support to make our C++ standard library situation easier.
CC'ing Anthony.

-Nathan

Masatoshi Kimura

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Mar 10, 2016, 5:48:26 PM3/10/16
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 2016/03/11 3:03, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that
> are specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources
> on engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the
> deployment of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on
> MacOS 10.6 that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing
> of old MacOS versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate
> much paid staff testing support to these platforms. We also have an
> increasingly fragile set of old hardware that supports automated tests
> on 10.6 and do not intend to replace this.

Some fullscreen tests are enabled only on 10.6:
https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/source/dom/tests/mochitest/chrome/chrome.ini#40

This proposal will virtually disable the fullscreen tests on OS X.

Ryan VanderMeulen

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Mar 10, 2016, 5:50:58 PM3/10/16
to Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
25% is pretty close for 10.6-10.8 combined. However, the current proposal
includes security patches for nearly a year still (putting them on the
ESR45 train), so construing this as abandoning those users seems like it's
going a bit far.

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 01:03:43PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> > This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
> > following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
> >
> > The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that
> are
> > specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources on
> > engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the
> deployment
> > of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on MacOS 10.6
> > that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing of old MacOS
> > versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate much paid staff
> > testing support to these platforms. We also have an increasingly fragile
> set
> > of old hardware that supports automated tests on 10.6 and do not intend
> to
> > replace this.
> >
> > This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
> Here
> > are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
> >
> > 10.6
> > 0.66%
> > 10.7
> > 0.38%
> > 10.8
> > 0.18%
>
> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
> Firefox population. What are those percentages relative to the number of
> OSX users? ISTR 10.6 represented something like 25% of the OSX users,
> which is a totally different story (but maybe I'm mixing things with
> Windows XP).
>
> Mike
> _______________________________________________
> firefox-dev mailing list
> firef...@mozilla.org
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/firefox-dev
>

Tyler Downer

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:01:22 PM3/10/16
to Ryan VanderMeulen, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go down.
This also provides a decent workaround that our support community can
recommend in documentation and the forums.
--
Tyler Downer
Project Manager, User Advocacy

Ryan VanderMeulen

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:04:53 PM3/10/16
to
On 3/10/2016 5:47 PM, Masatoshi Kimura wrote:
>
> Some fullscreen tests are enabled only on 10.6:
> https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/source/dom/tests/mochitest/chrome/chrome.ini#40
>
> This proposal will virtually disable the fullscreen tests on OS X.
>

|skip-if = os != 'mac' || os_version == '10.6'| reads to me that
they're running on OSX 10.10 and nowhere else. A cursory look at the
Treeherder logs supports my interpretation of that condition.

-Ryan

Adam Roach

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:10:38 PM3/10/16
to Ryan VanderMeulen, Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On 3/10/16 4:50 PM, Ryan VanderMeulen wrote:
> 25% is pretty close for 10.6-10.8 combined. However, the current
> proposal includes security patches for nearly a year still (putting
> them on the ESR45 train), so construing this as abandoning those users
> seems like it's going a bit far.

I'm not sure the difference between "abandoning" and "irreversibly
locking into being abandoned in ~1 year" is all that great. After
initial drop-off, these versions have a pretty stable tail on them.

http://lowendmac.com/2015/the-rise-and-fall-of-mac-os-x-versions-2009-to-2015/

OS X 10.7, in particular, was the first release to leave behind the Core
Duo and Core Solo Intel hardware, which is still pretty capable and
(apparently) still used by some sizable portion of the Mac community
[1]. You'll notice, for example, that 10.6 has many more users than 10.7
or 10.8 does; and, in fact, appears to still account for 1 out of every
10 Mac users.

To be clear: these users _cannot_ upgrade to 10.9 or later. It simply
won't install.

To put this in perspective: we continue to support XP, some 9 years
after after the January 2007 release date of its successor. OS X 10.9
didn't come out until October of 2013, which is only two and a half
years ago.

____
[1] Full disclosure: I have and continue to use such hardware personally.

--
Adam Roach
Principal Platform Engineer
a...@mozilla.com
+1 650 903 0800 x863

Trevor Saunders

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:13:47 PM3/10/16
to Tyler Downer, Jeff Griffiths, Ryan VanderMeulen, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, dev-platform
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 04:01:15PM -0700, Tyler Downer wrote:
> The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
> and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go down.

given they haven't upgraded from 10.6 - 10.8 why do you believe they are
likely to in the future?

Trev

> This also provides a decent workaround that our support community can
> recommend in documentation and the forums.
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Ryan VanderMeulen <
> rvande...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
> > 25% is pretty close for 10.6-10.8 combined. However, the current proposal
> > includes security patches for nearly a year still (putting them on the
> > ESR45 train), so construing this as abandoning those users seems like it's
> > going a bit far.
> >
> _______________________________________________
> dev-platform mailing list
> dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-platform

Adam Roach

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:16:02 PM3/10/16
to Trevor Saunders, Tyler Downer, Jeff Griffiths, Ryan VanderMeulen, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, dev-platform
On 3/10/16 5:17 PM, Trevor Saunders wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 04:01:15PM -0700, Tyler Downer wrote:
>> The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
>> and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go down.
> given they haven't upgraded from 10.6 - 10.8 why do you believe they are
> likely to in the future?

Or even can? As I point out in my other message, a lot of the Intel Mac
hardware cannot go past 10.6.

Syd Polk

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:20:50 PM3/10/16
to Trevor Saunders, Jeff Griffiths, Ryan VanderMeulen, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, Tyler Downer, dev-platform
10.6 is the last version with Rosetta. Given how old the machines are that can run 10.6, and given how old 10.6 itself is, it is highly likely that 10.6 customers still have PowerPC apps that they run and they cannot/will not upgrade.

Also, the perception of the Mac community in general is that 10.6 is the most stable release of OS X.

If you have old hardware (esp. if you have Power PC apps), there is very little reason to upgrade off of 10.6 until your hardware dies.

In the past, when these numbers were run, 10.6 was right on up there with the latest one or two OS X releases in Firefox usage, but 10.7 and 10.8 were almost gone.

I do, however, think that supporting 10.6 is a heavy, heavy burden, as its C++ compiler is truly ancient.

Just opinion, no recommendations here.

Syd Polk
sp...@mozilla.com
+1-512-905-9904
irc: sydpolk





> On Mar 10, 2016, at 17:17, Trevor Saunders <tbsa...@tbsaunde.org> wrote:
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 04:01:15PM -0700, Tyler Downer wrote:
>> The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
>> and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go down.
>
> given they haven't upgraded from 10.6 - 10.8 why do you believe they are
> likely to in the future?
>

Mike Hommey

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:26:30 PM3/10/16
to Syd Polk, Jeff Griffiths, Ryan VanderMeulen, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Trevor Saunders, Tyler Downer, dev-platform
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 05:20:41PM -0600, Syd Polk wrote:
> I do, however, think that supporting 10.6 is a heavy, heavy burden, as its C++ compiler is truly ancient.

We build Firefox targetting 10.6 with a development version of clang 3.8
(that is, a clang build from a svn revision during the 3.8 development
cycle). What *is* ancient is its libstdc++.

Mike

Nils Ohlmeier

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:38:16 PM3/10/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev

> On Mar 10, 2016, at 10:03, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us> wrote:
>
> This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8

Excuse my ignorance, but what means “deprecate support” exactly?

I’m only asking because of the opposing reply’s so far. I’m assuming it means we stop testing and building/releasing for these. Would it be a possible alternative to turn of the tests, but continue to build and release unsupported builds?
I know that this only prolongs it and doesn’t help with regards to the C++ problems, but would be interested in the counter arguments for such a “middle ground solution”.

Best regards
Nils Ohlmeier

signature.asc

Ryan VanderMeulen

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Mar 10, 2016, 6:43:15 PM3/10/16
to
On 3/10/2016 6:38 PM, Nils Ohlmeier wrote:
> Excuse my ignorance, but what means “deprecate support” exactly?
>
> I’m only asking because of the opposing reply’s so far. I’m assuming it means we stop testing and building/releasing for these. Would it be a possible alternative to turn of the tests, but continue to build and release unsupported builds?
> I know that this only prolongs it and doesn’t help with regards to the C++ problems, but would be interested in the counter arguments for such a “middle ground solution”.

Past experience suggests that things rapidly break when we aren't
building/testing them in automation. I think the B2G folks can attest to
that most-recently.

Tyler Downer

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Mar 10, 2016, 7:07:43 PM3/10/16
to Ryan VanderMeulen, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
That brings up a point, if a user is on 10.8, gets moved to ESR 45, and
later moves to 10.11, will they be stuck on ESR still?

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 4:01 PM, Tyler Downer <tdo...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
> and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go down.
> This also provides a decent workaround that our support community can
> recommend in documentation and the forums.
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Ryan VanderMeulen <
> rvande...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>
>> 25% is pretty close for 10.6-10.8 combined. However, the current proposal
>> includes security patches for nearly a year still (putting them on the
>> ESR45 train), so construing this as abandoning those users seems like it's
>> going a bit far.
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
>>
>>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 01:03:43PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
>>> > This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
>>> > following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
>>> >

Kyle Huey

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Mar 10, 2016, 7:18:36 PM3/10/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 2:03 AM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
wrote:

> This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
> following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
>
> The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that are
> specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources on
> engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the deployment
> of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on MacOS 10.6
> that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing of old MacOS
> versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate much paid staff
> testing support to these platforms. We also have an increasingly fragile
> set of old hardware that supports automated tests on 10.6 and do not intend
> to replace this.
>
> This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
> Here are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
> 10.6
> 0.66%
> 10.7
> 0.38%
> 10.8
> 0.18%
>
> The final timeframe for this deprecation has not been finalized, but the
> current proposal is to remove support in Firefox 46. We will try and update
> existing users on old MacOS versions to the Firefox 45 ESR release stream,
> so that they stay with security update support through the end of 2016.
>
> Because of the ESR update window, I would like to finalize this decision
> by Monday. If you have questions or concerns about this plan, please reply
> to the firefox-dev mailing list immediately. Jeff Griffiths will be working
> with our communications team to coordinate more public communications such
> as post to the Future of Firefox blog.
>
> --BDS
>

Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.

- Kyle

Mike Hommey

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Mar 10, 2016, 7:53:16 PM3/10/16
to Kyle Huey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
This is actually a sensible option.
A not-quite top-notch but up-to-date Firefox is still better than old
versions of Firefox or other browsers.

Mike

Tyler Downer

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Mar 10, 2016, 8:23:57 PM3/10/16
to Trevor Saunders, Jeff Griffiths, Ryan VanderMeulen, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, dev-platform
I'm not making any claims other than pointing out that the upgrade is
possible for some users, and its a workaround we can give in SUMO. I
have no other irons in this fire, just making sure we know the
workarounds (and how accessible they are) is an important piece of
this decision.

As has been stated in this thread already, not all these users can
update, not all will, but they likely are some that just haven't
gotten around to it where upgrading is a good workaround.

On 3/10/16, Trevor Saunders <tbsa...@tbsaunde.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 04:01:15PM -0700, Tyler Downer wrote:
>> The other thing to note is many of those users can still update to 10.11,
>> and I imagine that over the next year that number will continue to go
>> down.
>
> given they haven't upgraded from 10.6 - 10.8 why do you believe they are
> likely to in the future?
>
> Trev
>
>> This also provides a decent workaround that our support community can
>> recommend in documentation and the forums.
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Ryan VanderMeulen <
>> rvande...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>>
>> > 25% is pretty close for 10.6-10.8 combined. However, the current
>> > proposal
>> > includes security patches for nearly a year still (putting them on the
>> > ESR45 train), so construing this as abandoning those users seems like
>> > it's
>> > going a bit far.
>> >
>> > On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
>> >
>> >> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
>> >> Firefox population. What are those percentages relative to the number
>> >> of
>> >> OSX users? ISTR 10.6 represented something like 25% of the OSX users,
>> >> which is a totally different story (but maybe I'm mixing things with
>> >> Windows XP).
>> >>
>> >> Mike
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> firefox-dev mailing list
>> >> firef...@mozilla.org
>> >> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/firefox-dev
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > firefox-dev mailing list
>> > firef...@mozilla.org
>> > https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/firefox-dev
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> Tyler Downer
>> Project Manager, User Advocacy
>> _______________________________________________
>> dev-platform mailing list
>> dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-platform
>


Hubert Figuière

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Mar 10, 2016, 10:37:54 PM3/10/16
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 10/03/16 06:17 PM, Trevor Saunders wrote:
> given they haven't upgraded from 10.6 - 10.8 why do you believe they are
> likely to in the future?

1. their machine can die and they'll replace it with a new one that will
come with the latest MacOS, and restore their data from a Time Machine
backup.

2. they have some software that is important that require an update so
they will update - and since only updating to that latest OS is easy,
that's what they'll pick.

Hub

Benjamin Smedberg

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Mar 11, 2016, 12:21:06 PM3/11/16
to Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev


On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
>
> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
> Firefox population.

Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of
our limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters
is the total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.

Dolske answered with more details about the numbers.

On 3/10/2016 6:38 PM, Nils Ohlmeier wrote:
> Excuse my ignorance, but what means “deprecate support” exactly?
>
> I’m only asking because of the opposing reply’s so far. I’m assuming it means we stop testing and building/releasing for these. Would it be a possible alternative to turn of the tests, but continue to build and release unsupported builds?
We intend to do the following things:

* add version checking to the builds so that they refuse to run on these
versions of MacOS
* stop doing any software testing on these versions of MacOS
* stop automated testing on Mac 10.6

As soon as we stop testing, we are going to break things. We shouldn't
be willing to call things "Firefox" that we aren't proud of, which
includes real testing.



On 3/10/2016 6:49 PM, Kyle Huey wrote:
>
> Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
> populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.

We did explicitly consider this option and ultimately rejected it. It
would potentially buy us at least one more ESR cycle until next January.
After that point we want e10s to be the only configuration. It comes at
the cost of ignoring known issues already as well as a nontrivial amount
of testing. Ultimately we don't believe this is the right tradeoff. It
also prevents us making progress on other areas such non-universal builds.

--BDS

Mike Hommey

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Mar 11, 2016, 6:29:54 PM3/11/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 12:20:30PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> We intend to do the following things:
>
> * add version checking to the builds so that they refuse to run on these
> versions of MacOS

If we change the macos target version, that's not possible. The
resulting binaries can't even be loaded by the dynamic linker on 10.6.

Mike

Terrence Cole

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Mar 11, 2016, 7:36:11 PM3/11/16
to dev-platform, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
We've had this conversation several times in the last few years and I think
I've finally figured out why it has always felt subtly wrong.

Our share of users on older platforms is disproportionally high compared to
the market in general because of our decline in market share. People who
don't want to upgrade their OS generally don't want to "upgrade" their
browser to the shiny new "chrome" thing the kids are talking about either.
It is a symptom of a larger problem and it seems like we are continually
hiding from that problem instead of tackling it head-on.

We should be aggressively cutting support for niche markets and spending
that effort to increase our market share where it counts: where it's
growing rather than rapidly shrinking. Telling 1.2% of our (admittedly
small) market share to, effectively, GTFO, is pretty scary; however, I
think the alternative is to simply fail as a project as we chase our
users-by-default into more and more niche markets. If we can't use our
resources to re-capture 1.2% of the market among people who have modern
computers and no obligation to love us, then maybe we've already failed.

We need to drop support for OSX 10.8 and Windows Vista yesterday, not next
year. We need to cut our losses and ship E10S while we're still relevant.
We need to be the browser that works best on Android and Windows 10, not
the browser that happens to already be installed.

My 2 cents,
:terrence


On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
wrote:

>
>
> On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
>
>>
>> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
>> Firefox population.
>>
>
> Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of our
> limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters is the
> total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.
>
> Dolske answered with more details about the numbers.
>
> On 3/10/2016 6:38 PM, Nils Ohlmeier wrote:
>
>> Excuse my ignorance, but what means “deprecate support” exactly?
>>
>> I’m only asking because of the opposing reply’s so far. I’m assuming it
>> means we stop testing and building/releasing for these. Would it be a
>> possible alternative to turn of the tests, but continue to build and
>> release unsupported builds?
>>
> We intend to do the following things:
>
> * add version checking to the builds so that they refuse to run on these
> versions of MacOS
> * stop doing any software testing on these versions of MacOS
> * stop automated testing on Mac 10.6
>
> As soon as we stop testing, we are going to break things. We shouldn't be
> willing to call things "Firefox" that we aren't proud of, which includes
> real testing.
>
>
>
> On 3/10/2016 6:49 PM, Kyle Huey wrote:
>
>>
>> Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
>> populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.
>>
>
> We did explicitly consider this option and ultimately rejected it. It
> would potentially buy us at least one more ESR cycle until next January.
> After that point we want e10s to be the only configuration. It comes at the
> cost of ignoring known issues already as well as a nontrivial amount of
> testing. Ultimately we don't believe this is the right tradeoff. It also
> prevents us making progress on other areas such non-universal builds.
>
> --BDS
>
>

Jonas Sicking

unread,
Mar 11, 2016, 9:29:16 PM3/11/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Mike Hommey, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM, Benjamin Smedberg
<benj...@smedbergs.us> wrote:
> On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
>> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
>> Firefox population.
>
> Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of our
> limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters is the
> total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.

I agree that looking at the total number of users is the correct way
to think about this.

There is some risk from a PR perspective though. I.e. headlines that
say "Firefox drops 25% of Mac users" would be unfortunate.

> On 3/10/2016 6:49 PM, Kyle Huey wrote:
>> Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
>> populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.
>
> We did explicitly consider this option and ultimately rejected it. It would
> potentially buy us at least one more ESR cycle until next January. After
> that point we want e10s to be the only configuration. It comes at the cost
> of ignoring known issues already as well as a nontrivial amount of testing.
> Ultimately we don't believe this is the right tradeoff. It also prevents us
> making progress on other areas such non-universal builds.

My impression is that non-e10s is certainly something that we'll want
to get rid of, but that we are not certain on what timeline it'll be
possible. Experience shows that big undertakings like that more often
take longer than expected, than go quicker than expected.

If we can support these users for another year, then that's certainly
a non-trivial benefit in and of itself. And it might also give users
time to migrate to more modern hardware.

Obviously, if don't think that we can support these users anyway, due
to already existing issues, then it could still be worth dropping
them. However "we're going to drop non e10s support in a year anyway"
doesn't seem like a reason to drop these users now.

/ Jonas

Chris Hofmann

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 1:15:06 AM3/12/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Mike Hommey, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
wrote:

>
>
> On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
>
>>
>> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
>> Firefox population.
>>
>
> Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of our
> limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters is the
> total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.
>

The reason for considering benefits of populations relative to their own OS
are because there are two kinds of things we get out of platform support.

One is greater impact resulting from a higher overall number of users.

The other is other strategic benefits we get out of platform support like
on Linux where user numbers are low, but gecko and firefox tootling and
testing developer contributions are relatively high.

For Mac there is a possible web dev connection that's of possible strategic
value with higher concentration of web devs on that platfor that help keep
sites working well for large numbers of others.



>
> Dolske answered with more details about the numbers.
>


Dolske showed some numbers that reflects where in the decline in previous
Mac cycles that we removed support, but that could or could not be related
to our current problem of trying to find ways to stablize and stop the
decline of users.

Keeping these releases supported around just a bit longer than google gives
people incentive to come back and try firefox. Just the thing we want to
happen.

If I look a a view of the numbers relative to all current Mac users it
looks like 10.8 has the highest value (15% of all current Mac Users) for
keeping around just a bit longer if their is any possible way to do that.
The others are in the noise.

Some one should check these numbers and see if they look right.

Version % of all current Mac users as of back in Nov. which is the
latest data I can easily get my hands on to play with.

Mac10.8.0 0.1500

Mac10.7.0 0.0004
Mac10.7.4 0.0001
Mac10.7.1 0.0001
Mac10.7.3 0.0001

Mac10.6.0 0.0003




>
> On 3/10/2016 6:38 PM, Nils Ohlmeier wrote:
>
>> Excuse my ignorance, but what means “deprecate support” exactly?
>>
>> I’m only asking because of the opposing reply’s so far. I’m assuming it
>> means we stop testing and building/releasing for these. Would it be a
>> possible alternative to turn of the tests, but continue to build and
>> release unsupported builds?
>>
> We intend to do the following things:
>
> * add version checking to the builds so that they refuse to run on these
> versions of MacOS
> * stop doing any software testing on these versions of MacOS
> * stop automated testing on Mac 10.6
>
> As soon as we stop testing, we are going to break things. We shouldn't be
> willing to call things "Firefox" that we aren't proud of, which includes
> real testing.
>
>
>
> On 3/10/2016 6:49 PM, Kyle Huey wrote:
>
>>
>> Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
>> populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.
>>
>
> We did explicitly consider this option and ultimately rejected it. It
> would potentially buy us at least one more ESR cycle until next January.
> After that point we want e10s to be the only configuration. It comes at the
> cost of ignoring known issues already as well as a nontrivial amount of
> testing. Ultimately we don't believe this is the right tradeoff. It also
> prevents us making progress on other areas such non-universal builds.
>
> --BDS

Bobby Holley

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 11:59:20 AM3/12/16
to Terrence Cole, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 4:28 PM, Terrence Cole <tc...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> We've had this conversation several times in the last few years and I think
> I've finally figured out why it has always felt subtly wrong.
>
> Our share of users on older platforms is disproportionally high compared to
> the market in general because of our decline in market share. People who
> don't want to upgrade their OS generally don't want to "upgrade" their
> browser to the shiny new "chrome" thing the kids are talking about either.
> It is a symptom of a larger problem and it seems like we are continually
> hiding from that problem instead of tackling it head-on.
>
> We should be aggressively cutting support for niche markets and spending
> that effort to increase our market share where it counts: where it's
> growing rather than rapidly shrinking. Telling 1.2% of our (admittedly
> small) market share to, effectively, GTFO, is pretty scary; however, I
> think the alternative is to simply fail as a project as we chase our
> users-by-default into more and more niche markets. If we can't use our
> resources to re-capture 1.2% of the market among people who have modern
> computers and no obligation to love us, then maybe we've already failed.
>

I don't think it's quite that simple.

I agree that it's important to recognize that users on older OSes have
lower long-term value to us, because we'll _eventually_ need to stop
supporting them, and there's no guarantee they'll reinstall Firefox if they
move to a new machine.

However, they _do_ have short-term value, in that their continued use of
Firefox makes the Web better for every other Firefox user. The number of
f***s web developers give about the experience of Firefox users is directly
proportional to the number of Firefox users visiting their sites. The lower
that number goes, the bigger our disadvantage, and the more engineering
heroics we'll need to do to compensate. By the time Opera/Presto went
under, rumor has it that almost all of their resources were going to
web-compat.

Its a regressive game that favors monopolists, but there you go. Ditching
1.2% of our users makes it materially more difficult to attract new ones.
So we should only do it if the benefits really outweigh the costs.

I'm happy to be more aggressive about ignoring 10.6-only regressions,
reducing testing, etc. If it keeps the costs manageable, I think it's
preferable to ship a possibly-sub-par experience to 10.6 users than to
jettison them entirely.

bholley


> We need to drop support for OSX 10.8 and Windows Vista yesterday, not next
> year. We need to cut our losses and ship E10S while we're still relevant.
> We need to be the browser that works best on Android and Windows 10, not
> the browser that happens to already be installed.
>
> My 2 cents,
> :terrence
>
>
> On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
> >> Firefox population.
> >>
> >
> > Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of our
> > limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters is
> the
> > total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.
> >
> > Dolske answered with more details about the numbers.
> >

Bobby Holley

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 12:59:34 PM3/12/16
to Terrence Cole, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
Though actually, I think the reality is worse than that, because the curve
is probably non-linear. There's probably some relatively-discrete point
(which we can't easily predict) at which declaring Firefox an "unsupported
browser" becomes a sensible business decision for large, enterprise-y sites
that operate that way.

We should try very hard to stay above that threshold. I don't know how much
closer to it this proposal will bring us, but it's definitely more than
1.2%.

Kyle Huey

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 4:46:24 PM3/12/16
to Terrence Cole, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 4:28 PM, Terrence Cole <tc...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> We need to drop support for OSX 10.8 and Windows Vista yesterday, not next
> year. We need to cut our losses and ship E10S while we're still relevant.
> We need to be the browser that works best on Android and Windows 10, not
> the browser that happens to already be installed.
>

You do realize that you're talking about throwing away nearly 20% of our
user base, right?

- Kyle

Bobby Holley

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 5:10:13 PM3/12/16
to Chris Hofmann, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 10:51 AM, Chris Hofmann <chof...@mozilla.com>
wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > On 3/10/2016 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
> >> Firefox population.
> >>
> >
> > Why do you think this is unfair? This is about making the best use of our
> > limited engineering/testing/QA resources, and so what really matters is
> the
> > total impact, not just the impact relative to the mac population.
> >
>
> The reason for considering benefits of populations relative to their own OS
> are because there are two kinds of things we get out of platform support.
>
> One is greater impact resulting from a higher overall number of users.
>
> The other is other strategic benefits we get out of platform support like
> on Linux where user numbers are low, but gecko and firefox tootling and
> testing developer contributions are relatively high.
>
> For Mac there is a possible web dev connection that's of possible strategic
> value with higher concentration of web devs on that platfor that help keep
> sites working well for large numbers of others.
>
>
>
> >
> > Dolske answered with more details about the numbers.
> >
>
>
> Dolske showed some numbers that reflects where in the decline in previous
> Mac cycles that we removed support, but that could or could not be related
> to our current problem of trying to find ways to stablize and stop the
> decline of users.
>
> Keeping these releases supported around just a bit longer than google gives
> people incentive to come back and try firefox. Just the thing we want to
> happen.
>
> If I look a a view of the numbers relative to all current Mac users it
> looks like 10.8 has the highest value (15% of all current Mac Users) for
> keeping around just a bit longer if their is any possible way to do that.
> The others are in the noise.
>
> Some one should check these numbers and see if they look right.
>
> Version % of all current Mac users as of back in Nov. which is the
> latest data I can easily get my hands on to play with.
>
> Mac10.8.0 0.1500
>
> Mac10.7.0 0.0004
> Mac10.7.4 0.0001
> Mac10.7.1 0.0001
> Mac10.7.3 0.0001
>
> Mac10.6.0 0.0003
>

This does not jive with the data bsmedberg provided in the OP, which shows
the 10.6 userbase being equal to that of 10.7 and 10.8 combined.

It's also worth considering what value we could unlock by dropping 10.6 and
keeping 10.7 and above. IIUC most of the pain on the engineering side (c++
standard library, TLS for rust, etc) is related to 10.6 specifically.
Things might be different in the releng world though.

Lawrence Mandel

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 8:09:35 PM3/12/16
to Kyle Huey, Terrence Cole, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, dev-platform
If the concern for user base is marketshare (as I've read and heard some
people claim, although maybe not Kyle), I'm not sure this argument holds
water for two reasons:

1. If we stop supporting an OS version today, all of the users on that
version will not immediately switch to an alternative.
2. In the case of older OSes, if there are no other browsers shipping
updates, there is really no alternative that is more attractive than the
browser that you've already picked.

Lawrence

Gabor Krizsanits

unread,
Mar 12, 2016, 9:17:34 PM3/12/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:03 PM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
wrote:

> This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
> Here are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
>
>
Seems like a tough decision for such a short time... There were some great
points on both sides so far, but I'm missing the math. To evaluate the
cost/benefit for a decision like this we should be able to estimate how
much engineering time does it take for us to gain 1.2% new users and how
much does it cost to keep the support. My personal estimation for the first
is pretty high :(

We also might miss the opportunity to gain new users on these systems, and
we risk a bad press as well, but I'm a little less concerned about these. I
just feel like there should be some other way to save engineering time that
costs less users but without the metrics I can only guess.

- Gabor

Anthony Jones

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 8:37:04 AM3/14/16
to Nathan Froyd, Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
My understanding is that the reason people stick to 10.6 is because of Rosetta[1] which offers PowerPC compatibility.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_(software)

Chrome is dropping support for these platforms so it seems like an opportunity to pick up some of their discarded users. I'd rather have a 1% gain in market share than a 1% loss. The question is whether supporting 10.6 costs us more than 1% of our resources.

Some people may upgrade from 10.7 or 10.8 but last time I looked at the graph I saw 10.6 was on very slow decay path probably inline with hardware replacement.

10.6 has been more effort to support in the past (i.e. getting decoders working) but I don't think it costs us more to maintain.

Anthony

On 11/03/2016 11:31, Nathan Froyd wrote:
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 01:03:43PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population. Here
> are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
>
> 10.6
>       0.66%
> 10.7
>       0.38%
> 10.8
>       0.18%

It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
Firefox population. What are those percentages relative to the number of
OSX users? ISTR 10.6 represented something like 25% of the OSX users,
which is a totally different story (but maybe I'm mixing things with
Windows XP).

I heard much the same thing from the media team when I suggested getting rid of 10.6 support to make our C++ standard library situation easier.  CC'ing Anthony.

-Nathan

Dao Gottwald

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 8:37:16 AM3/14/16
to m...@glandium.org, jgrif...@mozilla.com, benj...@smedbergs.us, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org, firef...@mozilla.org
Mike Hommey wrote on 11.03.2016 01:52:

>> Why can't we just not ship e10s to these users? We have a number of other
>> populations we're not shipping to, at least for now.
>
> This is actually a sensible option.
> A not-quite top-notch but up-to-date Firefox is still better than old
> versions of Firefox or other browsers.

Is it? Are you confident that quality and stability of an up-to-date Firefox won't go downwards over time on those old platforms? It's not quite clear to me that it will perform better than ESR half a year or a year from now.

dao

Richard Z

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 8:38:26 AM3/14/16
to Terrence Cole, Mike Hommey, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev, Jeff Griffiths
On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 04:28:50PM -0800, Terrence Cole wrote:
> We've had this conversation several times in the last few years and I think
> I've finally figured out why it has always felt subtly wrong.
>
> Our share of users on older platforms is disproportionally high compared to
> the market in general because of our decline in market share. People who
> don't want to upgrade their OS generally don't want to "upgrade" their
> browser to the shiny new "chrome" thing the kids are talking about either.

here is the problem. Firefox has a different userbase than chrome.
In my perceprion it is people who are cautious, prefer stable interfaces,
not attracted to blingbling and more focused on stability, privacy and
security.

Much of the blingbling features which some developers die for are
a plain nuisance for a significant share of users.
It took 4 years to fix the autoplay bug at least partially?
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=659285

This is what is driving away users.

Firefox won't win the blingbling race with Google and Co, maybe if it
focuses on its traditional userbase and their demands it would do
better.


Richard

--
Name and OpenPGP keys available from pgp key servers

Justin Dolske

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 8:39:29 AM3/14/16
to Mike Hommey, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
I don't think it's entirely unfair -- both sets of numbers have their
place. OS X is an important platform, but it's also true that these older
OS X releases represent a tiny portion of our overall userbase.

For a few more data points...

Back in Firefox 16 when we dropped 10.5 -- another long-lived and popular
release -- those users represented 17% of our OS X users (or 0.78% of
overall userbase). Dropping 10.6 - 10.8 is about 1.5x the impact
(percentage wise), and so we should think carefully about that, but it's
not significantly out of character for what we've done before.
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/mozilla.dev.platform/aT7hy7YDdqA/j2O0bUnuYMEJ

When we dropped 10.4 (early in the Firefox 4.0 cycle, about a year before
release), it represented 25% of 3.5 users and 17% of 3.6 users. (I don't
see a overall userbase number in the thread.)
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/mozilla.dev.planning/fTpkdYa6uZM/9aPn58hvVa8J

And waaaay back when we dropped 10.3 (for FF3.0), it represented 16.5% of
OS X users, 0.69% of total user base.
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/msg/c19ecb46e27dbf91
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/msg/4bd908b72a5e0759

One thing all of these threads show is that there's a lot of noise and
handwringing and doomsayers when we broach the topic of dropping support
for an OS X release. :)

Justin

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 2:25 PM, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 01:03:43PM -0500, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> > This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
> > following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
> >
> > The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that
> are
> > specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources on
> > engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the
> deployment
> > of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on MacOS 10.6
> > that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing of old MacOS
> > versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate much paid staff
> > testing support to these platforms. We also have an increasingly fragile
> set
> > of old hardware that supports automated tests on 10.6 and do not intend
> to
> > replace this.
> >
> > This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
> Here
> > are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
> >
> > 10.6
> > 0.66%
> > 10.7
> > 0.38%
> > 10.8
> > 0.18%
>
> It's unfair to mention those populations by percentage of the global
> Firefox population. What are those percentages relative to the number of
> OSX users? ISTR 10.6 represented something like 25% of the OSX users,
> which is a totally different story (but maybe I'm mixing things with
> Windows XP).
>
> Mike

Kartikaya Gupta

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 9:52:26 AM3/14/16
to Anthony Jones, Jeff Griffiths, Benjamin Smedberg, Nathan Froyd, Firefox Dev, Mike Hommey, dev-platform
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 5:45 PM, Anthony Jones <ajo...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> My understanding is that the reason people stick to 10.6 is because of
> Rosetta[1] which offers PowerPC compatibility.

I have a laptop on 10.6. The hardware can theoretically support newer
OS X versions, and I've upgraded it, but newer OS X versions are
severely unstable on it, causing hangs and spontaneous OS reboots. So
I downgraded back to 10.6. I don't know if this is a common scenario
but given Apple's hardware uniformity I'm probably not the only one
who has experienced this. Just saying Rosetta isn't the only reason
people stay on 10.6 :)

kats

Benjamin Smedberg

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 4:26:47 PM3/14/16
to dev-platform

On 3/12/2016 7:19 PM, Gabor Krizsanits wrote:
>
> Seems like a tough decision for such a short time... There were some great
> points on both sides so far, but I'm missing the math. To evaluate the
> cost/benefit for a decision like this we should be able to estimate how
> much engineering time does it take for us to gain 1.2% new users and how
> much does it cost to keep the support. My personal estimation for the first
> is pretty high :(

The math is pretty striking: the problem is not so much about user
acquisition but about retention and user engagement. We have no problem
getting new Firefox users: we still have amazingly high brand
recognition and get many downloads. In terms of retention, what kind of
engineering effort do we need to do to keep users one, two, four, eight
weeks after they've tried Firefox? In terms of ongoing engagement, the
Firefox product strategy has us measuring and optimizing how many days
(per week) Firefox users use Firefox.

Our basic product strategy is that by focusing our engineering efforts
on engagement/retention of new users, we'll end up in a much better
spot, both in terms of overall product quality and our position in the
market, than if we focus on keeping small cohorts of existing users.
That tradeoff of existing users for new-user engagement is driving our
strategy with e10s, extensions, and other engineering priorities, and is
the basis for this decision.

--BDS

Gabor Krizsanits

unread,
Mar 14, 2016, 5:44:36 PM3/14/16
to Benjamin Smedberg, Jeff Griffiths, dev-platform, Firefox Dev
On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 8:51 PM, Benjamin Smedberg <benj...@smedbergs.us>
wrote:

>
>
Thanks for the explanation that makes perfect sense to me. By the way since
the questions is never if we drop support for a system but when do we do
it, would it make sense to track / measure of how much work went into
maintaining a particular system in the last x month (or will be in the next
month like in the e10s case)? I guess that data would help to make this
decision easier and with less debates (although there are ofc always
exceptional cases for fundamental releases like e10s).

- Gabor

yuhong...@hotmail.com

unread,
Mar 18, 2016, 7:08:22 PM3/18/16
to
Though in this case, the main competitor (Chrome) would also be dropping support. In fact they are even worse in that they are dropping all pre-Win7 platforms while I proposed dropping support for only XP SP2.

Ralph Giles

unread,
Mar 24, 2016, 12:51:54 PM3/24/16
to dev-platform
Discussion seems to have wound down. Is there a decision on this?

-r

cece...@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 1, 2016, 11:48:08 AM4/1/16
to
On Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:04:03 PM UTC-6, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> This is notice of an intent to deprecate support within Firefox for the
> following old versions of MacOS: 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8
>
> The motivation for this change is that we have continued failures that
> are specific to these old operating systems and don't have the resources
> on engineering teams to prioritize these bugs. Especially with the
> deployment of e10s we're seeing intermittent and permanently failures on
> MacOS 10.6 that we are not seeing elsewhere. We get very little testing
> of old MacOS versions from our prerelease testers and cannot dedicate
> much paid staff testing support to these platforms. We also have an
> increasingly fragile set of old hardware that supports automated tests
> on 10.6 and do not intend to replace this.
>
> This will affect approximately 1.2% of our current release population.
> Here are the specific breakdowns by OS version:
>
> 10.6
> 0.66%
> 10.7
> 0.38%
> 10.8
> 0.18%
>
> The final timeframe for this deprecation has not been finalized, but the
> current proposal is to remove support in Firefox 46. We will try and
> update existing users on old MacOS versions to the Firefox 45 ESR
> release stream, so that they stay with security update support through
> the end of 2016.
>
> Because of the ESR update window, I would like to finalize this decision
> by Monday. If you have questions or concerns about this plan, please
> reply to the firefox-dev mailing list immediately. Jeff Griffiths will
> be working with our communications team to coordinate more public
> communications such as post to the Future of Firefox blog.
>
> --BDS

I am on 10.6.8 with no plan to upgrade soon. Every beta version beyond v 44.0b9 causes screen freezes and very slow operation for me. Where do I find the ESR update?

Lawrence Mandel

unread,
Apr 1, 2016, 12:28:38 PM4/1/16
to cece...@gmail.com, Sreckovic, Milan, dev-platform
Before you update, can I introduce you to Milan, who leads our graphics
team, so that he might be able to work with you to get some diagnostic
information that can help us identify the cuase of the freezes and slowness?

When you're ready,

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/

Lawrence

cece...@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 4, 2016, 12:05:57 PM4/4/16
to Lawrence Mandel, Sreckovic, Milan, dev-platform
Hello,

What information do you want, Milan?

Christine

From: Lawrence Mandel <lma...@mozilla.com>
Date: Friday, Apr 1, 2016 11:05 AM
To: C Reed <cece...@gmail.com>
Cc: dev-platform <dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org>, "Sreckovic, Milan"
<msrec...@mozilla.com>
Subject: Re: Intent to deprecate: MacOS 10.6-10.8 support

On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 11:48 AM, <cece...@gmail.com> wrote:

Nathan Froyd

unread,
Apr 4, 2016, 1:12:19 PM4/4/16
to dev-platform, Benjamin Smedberg
Re-ping on this thread. It would be really useful to have a decision
one way or the other for figuring out exactly how a C++11 STL on OS X
is going to work.

-Nathan

On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:51 PM, Ralph Giles <gi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Discussion seems to have wound down. Is there a decision on this?
>
> -r

ad...@imgland.xyz

unread,
Apr 4, 2016, 1:34:35 PM4/4/16
to Nathan Froyd, dev-platform, Benjamin Smedberg
Doesn't hombrew provide a version of g++ that includes c++11

04.04.2016, 18:12, "Nathan Froyd" <nfr...@mozilla.com>:
> Re-ping on this thread. It would be really useful to have a decision
> one way or the other for figuring out exactly how a C++11 STL on OS X
> is going to work.
>
> -Nathan
>
> On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:51 PM, Ralph Giles <gi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>>  Discussion seems to have wound down. Is there a decision on this?
>>
>>   -r

Anthony Hughes

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Apr 9, 2016, 3:29:48 PM4/9/16
to cece...@gmail.com, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Hi Christine,

I'm not sure if you got help yet for the performance issue you're
experiencing. If not I may be able to offer some assistance starting on
Monday.

Please email me back.

--
Anthony Hughes
Sr. Quality Engineer, Platform (GFX)
Mozilla Coroporation

Nicolas Silva

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Apr 19, 2016, 12:02:36 PM4/19/16
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Re-re-ping.
Being able to use a more recent standard library would simplify a lot of
things on our end. For example updating 3rd party libraries such as
skia, which depends on a modern stl, is a pain, and there are plenty of
other examples.

Cheers,

Nical

On Mon, Apr 4, 2016, at 07:33 PM, ad...@imgland.xyz wrote:
> Doesn't hombrew provide a version of g++ that includes c++11
>
> 04.04.2016, 18:12, "Nathan Froyd" <nfr...@mozilla.com>:
> > Re-ping on this thread. It would be really useful to have a decision
> > one way or the other for figuring out exactly how a C++11 STL on OS X
> > is going to work.
> >
> > -Nathan
> >
> > On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:51 PM, Ralph Giles <gi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> >>  Discussion seems to have wound down. Is there a decision on this?
> >>
> >>   -r

Milan Sreckovic

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Apr 19, 2016, 12:06:29 PM4/19/16
to Nicolas Silva, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Release engineering is working on this decision, stay tuned.

- Milan



> On Apr 19, 2016, at 12:02 , Nicolas Silva <nical...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Re-re-ping.
> Being able to use a more recent standard library would simplify a lot of
> things on our end. For example updating 3rd party libraries such as
> skia, which depends on a modern stl, is a pain, and there are plenty of
> other examples.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Nical
>
> On Mon, Apr 4, 2016, at 07:33 PM, ad...@imgland.xyz wrote:
>> Doesn't hombrew provide a version of g++ that includes c++11
>>
>> 04.04.2016, 18:12, "Nathan Froyd" <nfr...@mozilla.com>:
>>> Re-ping on this thread. It would be really useful to have a decision
>>> one way or the other for figuring out exactly how a C++11 STL on OS X
>>> is going to work.
>>>
>>> -Nathan
>>>
>>> On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 12:51 PM, Ralph Giles <gi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>>>> Discussion seems to have wound down. Is there a decision on this?
>>>>
>>>> -r

Kohei Yoshino

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Apr 30, 2016, 12:38:44 AM4/30/16
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Today's announcement from Mozilla:
https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2016/04/29/update-on-firefox-support-for-os-x/

The decision is fine but why don't they update this thread? (I know, Mozilla is very bad at communication.)

-Kohei

Lawrence Mandel

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Apr 30, 2016, 1:01:29 AM4/30/16
to Kohei Yoshino, dev-platform
Hi Kohei,

I had planned to update the thread after the post went live so that I had
the link. Thank you for posting it.

Lawrence

On Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 12:38 AM, Kohei Yoshino <kohei....@gmail.com>
wrote:

Mike Hommey

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Apr 30, 2016, 1:37:58 AM4/30/16
to Kohei Yoshino, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 12:38:37AM -0400, Kohei Yoshino wrote:
> Today's announcement from Mozilla:
> https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2016/04/29/update-on-firefox-support-for-os-x/
>
> The decision is fine but why don't they update this thread? (I know, Mozilla is very bad at communication.)

So we're telling users that they can ... downgrade Firefox (since they
just received an upgrade)? How is that fine?

Mike

Lawrence Mandel

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Apr 30, 2016, 1:49:35 AM4/30/16
to Mike Hommey, Kohei Yoshino, dev-platform
> I assume you mean that ESR is still supported. If so, that message is
there to head off any questions about whether Mozilla has changed support
for ESR mid cycle. It is certainly plausible that OSX 10.6-10.8 users will
want to move to ESR to continue receiving sec updates for the next ~year.
Should we have made this decision and announced it before the 46 release? I
would have liked that. The timing certainly seems better. Should we
continue supporting OSX 10.6-10.8 in Firefox until mid 2017 because we
didn't make this decision a few months ago? I don't think so.

Lawrence

Ralph Giles

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May 2, 2016, 2:28:31 PM5/2/16
to Lawrence Mandel, dev-platform
On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Lawrence Mandel <lma...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> I had planned to update the thread after the post went live so that I had
> the link. Thank you for posting it.

The blog post just says "August 2016". Firefox 48 is scheduled for
release August 2. Can you confirm that means we can start removing
10.6-10.8 support in mozilla-central now, which will be Firefox 49?

-r

Lawrence Mandel

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May 2, 2016, 6:52:21 PM5/2/16
to Ralph Giles, dev-platform
Yes. Confirmed.

Lawrence

Gregory Szorc

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May 2, 2016, 7:17:06 PM5/2/16
to Lawrence Mandel, Ralph Giles, dev-platform
\o/

So this presumably means we can turn off automation running on 10.6-10.8 on
mozilla-central? I believe that will drastically increase our OS X
automation capacity...

So where does that leave us on Universal OS X builds? IIRC our blocker is
the need to support 32-bit Silverlight in the plugin container so various
streaming services using it don't break. Where are we on that front?
(Reminder: killing Universal OS X packages will make automation builds
significantly faster and will reduce the DMG size by almost half.)

Ralph Giles

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May 2, 2016, 8:08:01 PM5/2/16
to Gregory Szorc, dev-platform, Lawrence Mandel
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:10 PM, Gregory Szorc <g...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> So this presumably means we can turn off automation running on 10.6-10.8 on
> mozilla-central? I believe that will drastically increase our OS X
> automation capacity...

Yes, please. We can't take advantage of any of the engineering
benefits until we stop gating builds on tests passing on 10.6.

> So where does that leave us on Universal OS X builds? IIRC our blocker is
> the need to support 32-bit Silverlight in the plugin container so various
> streaming services using it don't break. Where are we on that front?

Mac has EME-based support for DMCA-protected video starting in Firefox
47[1], so there's an alternative to Silverlight for those sites. There
are other uses of course, but we have previously announced an end to
native NPAPI plugins at the end of 2016[2] so I think that's the
timeframe for dropping 32-bit mac support. If we want to make progress
in the meantime we should start doing separate 64-bit only builds, and
use the update process to transition users on Mac > 10.6 who don't
have 32-bit plugins to the new 64-bit builds.

[1] https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2016/04/08/mozilla-to-test-widevine-cdm-in-firefox-nightly/
[2] https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2015/10/08/npapi-plugins-in-firefox/

Gregory Szorc

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May 2, 2016, 8:11:54 PM5/2/16
to Gregory Szorc, Ralph Giles, dev-platform, Lawrence Mandel
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:10 PM, Gregory Szorc <g...@mozilla.com> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 3:51 PM, Lawrence Mandel <lma...@mozilla.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 2:28 PM, Ralph Giles <gi...@mozilla.com> wrote:
>>
>> > On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Lawrence Mandel <lma...@mozilla.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > I had planned to update the thread after the post went live so that I
>> had
>> > > the link. Thank you for posting it.
>> >
>> > The blog post just says "August 2016". Firefox 48 is scheduled for
>> > release August 2. Can you confirm that means we can start removing
>> > 10.6-10.8 support in mozilla-central now, which will be Firefox 49?
>> >
>>
>> Yes. Confirmed.
>>
>
> \o/
>
> So this presumably means we can turn off automation running on 10.6-10.8
> on mozilla-central? I believe that will drastically increase our OS X
> automation capacity...
>

I filed bug 1269542 to remove 10.6-10.8 jobs from tier-1 and bug 1269543 to
remove the jobs from automation scheduling.


>
> So where does that leave us on Universal OS X builds? IIRC our blocker is
> the need to support 32-bit Silverlight in the plugin container so various
> streaming services using it don't break. Where are we on that front?

Chris Peterson

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May 2, 2016, 8:12:07 PM5/2/16
to
On 5/2/16 4:10 PM, Gregory Szorc wrote:
> So where does that leave us on Universal OS X builds? IIRC our blocker is
> the need to support 32-bit Silverlight in the plugin container so various
> streaming services using it don't break. Where are we on that front?
> (Reminder: killing Universal OS X packages will make automation builds
> significantly faster and will reduce the DMG size by almost half.)

I don't know the status of 32-bit Silverlight on OS X, but we're
shipping Widevine support in Firefox 47 (for Windows 7+ and OS X 10.6+).
Streaming services will have an easy migration path from Silverlight to
their existing Widevine player code.

That said, I don't expect the long-tail of streaming services to
complete this transition before the end of 2016, when we already plan to
drop NPAPI plugins.

Gregory Szorc

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May 2, 2016, 8:18:58 PM5/2/16
to Chris Peterson, dev-platform
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:12 PM, Chris Peterson <cpet...@mozilla.com>
wrote:
Fair enough.

So what's the last Firefox release to support NPAPI plugins? 50? 51?

Chris Peterson

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May 2, 2016, 8:26:56 PM5/2/16