Ok... I got to ask. The curiosity is killing me What is the deal with all the major releases of Firefox (or Thunderbird for that matter). Anyone know?
I think it started with 7.0 then 7.0.1, 8.0 the 8.0.1, same pattern on up to 10.0.1. There doesn't seem to be that many changes (that I can see) between the releases that would justify a major release.
I thought this would be as good a place as any to ask with out having to register on yet another site.
Thanks in advance,
They kind-of adoped Chromes rapid release cycle.
Google and http://blog.mozilla.com/futurereleases/2011/07/19/every-six-weeks/ have more infos.
"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate
I like the accelerated release concept. It's just that I always thought of version numbers as an indicator of the level of change a piece of software underwent. Keep in mind I'm no programer, at all. Things like minor bug fixes would get a bump in the third position (eg. x.x.1 to x.x.2). Minor feature improvements, additions, fixes would get a bump in the second position (eg. x.1.x to x.2.x). A major overhaul would get a bump in the first position (eg. 1.x.x to 2.x.x).
My confusion is more due to the apparent departure from this concept. If every release no matter the level of improvement or change gets a bump in the first position, I'll just have to get use to that. I know have been wondering what the heck the have been doing to Firefox with all these "major releases", I had not seen that much of a difference.
I guess it is all academic though, it could really be number anyway desired. I'm now curious on how this effects people who write extensions.
Thanks for taking the time to answer.
Mozilla have stated that they want to move the version number deeper into the interface, to make it harder to find for people. That's a nice way of saying that they want to remove version numbers eventually, but want to take the first step of making them irrelevant first:
So for apps on a rapid release schedule (Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird and others), forget about the traditional "small features mean a bump in the current minor version, large features mean a bump in the major version" model that you mentioned. It's gone. You are right in saying that Mozilla have departed from this concept. Firefox I think jumped from 4.0.1 to v5.0 at the start of the rapid release cycle - there were no major changes, so previously this would have been a v4.0.2 release instead. v5.0 to v6.0? That would have been a v4.0.3 release. etc etc
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New user features and interface changes aren't the only things that count as major changes worth upgrading to. There's always security to keep in mind, considering exploits can spread like wildfire.
Starting with Firefox 10, Firefox will automatically detect if an add-on is compatible in terms of code, so that problem is resolved.