Okay now this is a ranting post … Mozilla decides that their development process for Firefox is too slow since Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer are eating their lunch …
So they made what I consider the dumbest experiment any software organization can do, copy a model and use it. I do not have a problem with the process just that:
- Increasing version numbers every 6 weeks – come on we had Firefox 3.6 at the beginning of the year and now we are at 9, at this rate we shall have FF 25 by the end of 2012. Remember with Chrome, the version numbers are not important at all
- Breaking extensions at each update. Firefox’s strength is with extensions, if they are unusable at each update WTF?
- Large update – 8MB for an upgrade from 8 to 9, what is in the update?
My advice for Mozilla is to use the approach followed by all other software development organizations, open source or not.
- Have a major release, maybe every year – this is where you introduce major features and can even break backwards compatibility
- Have minor releases every 6 weeks, this is okay, but make the update process seamless
- Simplify the update process – make it seamless so that we users are not expose to the vagaries of the browser versions …
- Ensure all our extensions work all the time, break them once a year but not once a week
I am still fighting to love Firefox, but Mozilla is making it hard and Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are improving fast ….