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Mozilla Plans to Drop Version Numbers from Firefox

By - Source: Bugzilla | B 59 comments
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Perhaps it is just me, but does Mozilla have odd ideas these days?

The latest twist from the Firefox maker: hide the version numbers of the browser.

Product manager Asa Dotzler argues that there is no need for a version number anymore. What counts is the fact that a user knows when the browser checked for an update and that the browser is up to date. No need to confuse him with any additional information.

I can't say that I agree with Dotzler and would say that dropping the version number from the About window would confuse Firefox users, especially during a rapid release cycle. So, if you are waiting for a certain feature that is supposed to arrive in a certain version how would you know that your browser is already supporting it - since those automated updates don't always become available right away for everybody? Dotzler says you can simply consult the hidden about:support window, but I find this to be rather silly. Especially developers and IT manager need to know the version number and making it more difficult for them to find the version numbers is an unnecessary move.

There was no information which version of Firefox will be dropping the version number first.

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Top Comments
  • 47 Hide
    _Cubase_ , August 16, 2011 5:16 AM
    I can imagine their creative meetings:

    Guy 1: "Let's rapidly update version numbers!"
    Guy 2: "That may be hard to keep track of"
    Guy 1: "Good point, we'll remove them all together"
    Guy 2: "Then how are people going to know what version they are using?"
    Guy 1: "We will name them after Animals!"
    Guy 2: "Like Apple?"
    Guy 1: "That's a fruit, dumbass!"
    Guy 2: *facepalm*
  • 28 Hide
    soccerdocks , August 16, 2011 4:48 AM
    This is WAY worse than their marketing scheme of quickly updating version numbers. I agree that they needed to move to a faster update schedule. But call it FF4.1 not FF5.
  • 26 Hide
    killerclick , August 16, 2011 6:05 AM
    Wow, Firefox just keeps screwing up. Hide the status bar, hide cache options, hide version numbers, what next - the address bar? Idiots.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    soccerdocks , August 16, 2011 4:48 AM
    This is WAY worse than their marketing scheme of quickly updating version numbers. I agree that they needed to move to a faster update schedule. But call it FF4.1 not FF5.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2011 4:56 AM
    firefox has jumped the shark
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2011 5:15 AM
    Glad I don't use Firefox any more. They've lost the plot.
  • 47 Hide
    _Cubase_ , August 16, 2011 5:16 AM
    I can imagine their creative meetings:

    Guy 1: "Let's rapidly update version numbers!"
    Guy 2: "That may be hard to keep track of"
    Guy 1: "Good point, we'll remove them all together"
    Guy 2: "Then how are people going to know what version they are using?"
    Guy 1: "We will name them after Animals!"
    Guy 2: "Like Apple?"
    Guy 1: "That's a fruit, dumbass!"
    Guy 2: *facepalm*
  • 26 Hide
    killerclick , August 16, 2011 6:05 AM
    Wow, Firefox just keeps screwing up. Hide the status bar, hide cache options, hide version numbers, what next - the address bar? Idiots.
  • 12 Hide
    robertito , August 16, 2011 6:12 AM
    Mozilla's really been screwin' the pooch as of late.
  • 14 Hide
    bison88 , August 16, 2011 6:25 AM
    This is just as if not even more stupid than doing the Google Chrome thing adding a version number every 6 weeks. Goddamn, what the hell is wrong with you people? Who are you hiring as product manager because they need fired.
  • -8 Hide
    Vampyrbyte , August 16, 2011 6:34 AM
    Am I the only person who thinks this makes sense?
    If Firefox is going to have a fast release cycle, why keep incrementing the numbers everywhere. Why not just have the three versions like they do, and use the release date as a version number.
  • 5 Hide
    dogofwars , August 16, 2011 6:39 AM
    A big FU from a tech support guy... FU Firefox you just make ours life a lot more harder dumb ass!!!
  • -6 Hide
    TunaSoda , August 16, 2011 6:44 AM
    I agree they should drop the version numbers if they plan on releasing a ton of updates, would you want a company like AVG to have a version number for each virus def update? same thing no? Maybe they should call it FF2011 ;) 
  • -3 Hide
    Pyroflea , August 16, 2011 6:58 AM
    Big deal. It makes sense for numerous releases. You can just go off of the date of the release anyways. Won't be any different.
  • -3 Hide
    Benihana , August 16, 2011 7:00 AM
    They could just give a release date for certain features instead of a specific version. Of course, this will mean that they'd have to keep things running on schedule. But it could work!
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , August 16, 2011 7:13 AM
    Sigh. I'll give them one more "version" before it's time to dump them. If they don't bring er' down to a 50 meg foot print like I get with IE then so sad panda....
  • -3 Hide
    walter87 , August 16, 2011 7:20 AM
    Firefox 3.6 is still running smooth for me.
    As an added measure incase I never need to reinstall my OS, I'm keeping a backup of the v3.6 install file.

    I got a feeling Mozila will eventualy remove it all together and force people into using their latest...if thats the case I guess Chrome or IE would be my new browser.
  • 2 Hide
    Djhg2000 , August 16, 2011 7:33 AM
    These days Firefox is harder to keep track of than a salmon in a river...
  • -9 Hide
    delazaren , August 16, 2011 7:35 AM
    This is a brilliant idea. For people who update all the time and have the latest version of FF it make no difference if it is called 4.1, 5, 2012, XIX or whatever. All it matters is that you have FF and its latest version.
  • -2 Hide
    randomizer , August 16, 2011 7:42 AM
    killerclickwhat next - the address bar? Idiots.

    I thought that idea was Google's?

    walter87I got a feeling Mozila will eventualy remove it all together and force people into using their latest...if thats the case I guess Chrome or IE would be my new browser.


    Er... Chrome already does this, and has for a long time.

    Personally I don't think this change is necessary. Most people don't really know what version they're running until they get hit with one of those first run web pages that tell them all the latest gimmicks with their newly updated browser.
  • -2 Hide
    enterco , August 16, 2011 8:38 AM
    If removal of the version numbers help using extensions and no longer breaks compatibility, it a good idea. Otherwise, not.
  • 0 Hide
    cheesemon , August 16, 2011 8:50 AM
    Personally, I'm all for "Super Firefox Turbo"
  • 3 Hide
    malphas , August 16, 2011 10:56 AM
    I'm still perfectly happy with how Firefox behaves, the GUI changes (after I've tweaked them heavily), etc. What's most annoying is this insecure design to keep up with Chrome by using artificially large version number jumps, which would otherwise just be routine point releases, and now hiding them from the about dialogue is just asinine.
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