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Old 2011-01-29, 04:39   Link #161
monster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post
I would normally be all for the easy interpenetration if it wasn't for the fact that Firefox 5 doesn't even exist yet. No code branch, no concept, no nothing. Combine that with Mozilla's slow release schedule of the past, and you'll see why releasing a major version of in a 'few months' is completely unrealistic and impossible. Beta testing alone takes a few months.

Code:
Firefox 1.0		November 9, 2004
Firefox 1.5 Beta 1	September 9, 2005
Firefox 1.5		November 29, 2005
Firefox 2.0 Beta 1	July 12, 2006
Firefox 2.0		October 24, 2006
Firefox 3.0 Beta 1	November 19, 2007
Firefox 3.0		June 17, 2008
Firefox 3.5 Beta 1	October 14, 2008
Firefox 3.5		June 30, 2009
Firefox 3.6 Beta 1	October 30, 2009
Firefox 3.6		January 21, 2010
Firefox 4.0 Beta 1	July 6, 2010
Firefox 4.0		Hopefully February 2011
You can't magically turn 2-4 years of development time into few months. Just expect something like Firefox 4.1 in a few months which alone would be 4x faster development.
Yeah, that's why I said in my first post that I hope they know what they're doing. Their track record doesn't really inspire confidence.

Although if they were following in Chrome's footsteps, there might not be a lot of new features between 4 and 5. That would certainly make it easier for them.
Quote:
If they decide to rename Firefox 4.1 as Firefox 5 with no new features or design, so be it. A new major version every few months?!?! We would have Firefox 8 by the end of 2011.
Well, it wouldn't be the first time for a rename. I believe 4 used to be 3.7.
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Old 2011-01-29, 05:19   Link #162
cyberbeing
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You're slightly missing the point I was trying to make with my sarcasm.

Quote:
We are going to a fast release cycle. It serves our users better.
This is the only noteworthy piece of information from that quote. A faster release cycle is completely within the realm of reason. Mozilla would only be hurting themselves if they destroyed the significance of major version numbers like 5.0 which historically followed Gecko rendering engine enhancements. The important thing for Mozilla is just getting 4.x class releases out more frequently. That serves users better. Having minor updates renamed as major updates hurts users and Mozilla.
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Old 2011-01-29, 06:35   Link #163
felix
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They may be cutting backward compatibility for the sake of more standards compliance. If they do that, yes they can turn years into months, it would also explain the 4 to 5 comment, as open source projects typically reserve major version numbers for compatibility breaking changes. The "serves our users better" could be interpreted as "we're dumping the age old baggage and support for crap standards" (for the sake of making the web a better place).

That said, I've downloaded the last beta version a few days ago. It's such a shameless copy of opera it's not even funny, and amazingly the font hinting still sucks - what exactly are they using?
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Old 2011-01-29, 07:06   Link #164
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What backward compatibility and standards are you referring to?
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Old 2011-01-29, 08:03   Link #165
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I wasn't referring to any one in particular...
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Old 2011-01-29, 08:33   Link #166
cyberbeing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post
What backward compatibility and standards are you referring to?
I wasn't referring to any one in particular...
So there are many now? I can't think of even one thing in Firefox which fits your description:
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
They may be cutting backward compatibility for the sake of more standards compliance. If they do that, yes they can turn years into months
Please give an example, any example, of a backward compatibility which can be cut from Firefox, which would improve standards compliance, and save Mozilla large amounts of development time at the same time. You must have had something in mind since you posted that.
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Old 2011-01-29, 09:52   Link #167
felix
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Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post
So there are many now?
Man you're really really dense today. As I'm trying to tell you, I'm not talking/thinking of any particular one! as in none! (literally)

They could re-invent their entire user interface system for what its worth, or dump all their -moz- extensions that have no equivalent w3 standard (draft or otherwise) in the idea of better supporting standards and cleaning part of the mess where they share responsibility for. I'm sure after years of development there are plenty of things they would consider "it would have been better if it was designed this way". I refuse to believe they are so special there is not a single thing they would change. The problem is right now anything they change would result in (a lot of) stuff breaking (a good bulk of it being in extensions), hence yours (and others) belief there's nothing better - since god forbid they leap forward too much. As a consequence the only things they've been doing since 1.0 is just adding little things here, and little things there (synchronization, few extra features like personas, spell checking, etc) and the API changes were mostly mandatory changes that did not break much. FF is possibly one of the most passive browsers out there. If we were to ignore their version numbering, and do a independent one based on changes, firefox would be at around 1.6 now.

Re-writing something (don't confuse it with starting from zero) takes substantially less time then it took to create it initially (provided it is done by the same team). Re-writing also makes a lot of things much much simpler, in particular adding new features and fixing/enhancing old ones, since there's no "backwards compatibility" to worry about, as re-writes result in a new major version. Developers also now have a far better overview of the code, so the overall structure of the code is much more elegant and efficient, as well as much more flexible, since there is now a understanding of how the code is used, as well as real world use-cases which can be deduce from the old code base. Personally when I write code (that is not a script) I do a few passes, after I'm finished writing and have put it to use, where I refactor it into better code. This takes very very little of my time but almost always smooths out the bumps from the initial design. Same thing applies for any kind of software on any scale, the bigger the rewrite the bigger the bumps you can smooth out. In addition, development now moves from the re-write forward, so anything that came before doesn't have to be a concern for development anymore, resulting in faster turn-around for the next few versions. It is the same principle as with a house of cards, sometimes you can go higher by starting over and using what you've learned last time, rather then attempting to add to the huge unstable mountain you've created.

With that point, regarding 5 coming really really soon after, it is possible (albeit currently improbable) they might have 4 as the standard upgrade (which supports the old stuff), and 5 as the new rewrite for "firefox", and maintain them both for a while until 5 gets enough momentum (ie. ported extensions, themes, etc), similar to how some other software projects work.

But, I have no intimate knowledge of the mozzila code base and the current roadmap, and from where I'm standing seems you don't either, so everything is just blind guessing at this point, hence why I would prefer we didn't have any such elaborate discussions. Kthxbye.
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Old 2011-01-29, 17:51   Link #168
monster
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Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post
Mozilla would only be hurting themselves if they destroyed the significance of major version numbers like 5.0 which historically followed Gecko rendering engine enhancements. The important thing for Mozilla is just getting 4.x class releases out more frequently. That serves users better. Having minor updates renamed as major updates hurts users and Mozilla.
Maybe so, but it certainly hasn't hurt Chrome. Look, I'm not saying that's what they'll do, it's just one possibility of what they might do if they indeed plan on releasing 5 only months after 4. (And by the way, months here doesn't necessarily mean 2-3, it could be 5-7 or even 9-11, which should still be plenty of time for some significant improvement while still being a faster release.)
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Old 2011-02-03, 07:26   Link #169
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There are now two Microsoft add-ons, one for Firefox and one for Chrome, available on Windows 7 to play H.264-encoded videos on HTML5 pages.
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Old 2011-02-10, 16:02   Link #170
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Microsoft IE9 Build 9.0.8080.16413 Release Candidate:

Download from MS.

New features and overhauls here. (warning: site can be slow to load)

I'll probably dl it once it goes RTW ("release to web", as opposed to "release to manufacturing") just so that I can finally get rid of IE8 (and enjoy better CSS2.1/3 compliance), but it sounds promising. I'm glad they finally decided to give the option to relocate all tabs to a separate row under the address bar, I wasn't really keen on having such a small space reserved for the tabs (I can have up to twenty/thirty of them open when I'm really busy)...but on the other side, I'm not sure I like the removal of the menu bar. Find it unnecessarily complicated, but I actually like having a menu bar right on top of my address bar...but oh wait, there is an option to toggle the menu bar back into existence. Phew. Pinning homepages to the Super/taskbar sounds nice, but I'm not sure I'll use it - the speed dial is already good enough for me; it should btw be noted that IE9 now supports multiple homepage startup loading.

For those who have been bemoaning the withdrawal of h.264 support from other browsers like Chrome, IE9 still supports it out of the box, along with WebM (though...a separate, third-party VP8 codec is required for that).

Performance-wise, MS claims it is now the fastest browser in the SunSpider benchmark, though this, I'm afraid, remains subjective. Benchmarks are influenced by a very good number of technical wildcards (number of add-ons installed, RAM, CPU, antivirus running/not, HDD defragged/not, etc), so I'm sure this claim will be disputed the next day - or confirmed depending on whose side you're on, which PC config you're rocking, etc. Yeah, benchmarking is as flaky as it gets. Just a few stats, though: IE9RC is 35% faster than IE9 Beta and 20 times faster than IE8. Much of this performance can be attributed to the new Chakra engine, which has been tailored to patterns found throughout the most popular sites like Facebook, Gmail, etc. They've paid a lot of attention to JavaScript closures and OOP patterns - to the point that IE9RC can now boast up to 250 JavaScript callbacks-per-second, whereas previous versions like IE7, IE8 or even IE9 Beta could only climb up to 64. Perhaps not very important for some people, but the MS team has also increased the size limit of the Temporary Internet Files folder from 50mb to 250mb.

On the security side, they've introduced one of the first (FF4 will boast it, too, from what I heard through the grapevine) tracking protection lists and the ability to filter ActiveX controls on a site-per-site basis. InPrivate browsing has also been extended to addresses pinned to the taskbar.


Now waiting for the RTW (which apparently is extremely close) - I'm still using Opera, but whenever I have to code HTML pages, I still use IE as benchmark/testbed, even if it means having to make CSS concessions and/or further JavaScript/AJAX tailoring.
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Last edited by Renegade334; 2011-02-10 at 16:47.
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Old 2011-02-10, 16:32   Link #171
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Some initial Tracking Protection Lists for IE9 RC.
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Old 2011-02-10, 18:33   Link #172
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Quote:
Yeah, benchmarking is as flaky as it gets.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

All browsers are pretty "fast enough" already; to the point your internet connection and the servers you're connecting–to make a load more difference — your cache as well. Most sites that load slow, just load slow, it's not the browser rendering them slow, it's your internet sucking — and ok probably the site's creator trying to suck your internet dry. ¶ People obsess too much over this marketing nonsense, they just need to work dammit! work with everything! I'm sure half the articles on this will just read IE9 +30% faster blah-blah — basically meaning pages load 100 miliseconds faster, which to put into perspective, is 1/3rd the time it takes one to blink. And — even if — there was this magical rendering problem, it's not like hardware improvements isn't just going to slowly chip away at it anyhow. Oh if only hardware could munch away at our standards problem too…
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Old 2011-02-11, 00:01   Link #173
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Wait, Chrome is like a spyware?! How so? I might have to switch back to Firefox...
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Old 2011-02-11, 01:50   Link #174
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Chrome isn't spyware, but it does collect anonymous data about searches done through Chrome. It also forcibly installs an auto-update service which is always running in the background on your computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post
If they decide to rename Firefox 4.1 as Firefox 5 with no new features or design, so be it. A new major version every few months?!?! We would have Firefox 8 by the end of 2011.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft Firefox Roadmap


Ongoing discussion about this on mozillazine.

Now an Ars Technica article as well
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Old 2011-03-04, 02:55   Link #175
Renegade334
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Just a few news in the browser world...

- Microsoft India apparently (and inadvertently, to boot) tweeted that IE9 will go RTW on March 24, which is good news since the RC is solid enough as it is (at this point, pretty much everything under the hood is squared away). On my rig it's even more stable than the latest Opera build, which makes it a good, snappy alternative.

- Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" (yes, they just realized giving code names was a cool thing to do) just entered alpha stage, boasting an evolved speed dial system which is actually comparable to IE9's in that it displays the most frequently typed URLs in the address bar rather than the usual list of user-defined shortcuts. For my part, it seems I'm struggling with some stability issues, probably caused by Flash. Crashes aren't frequent but they do happen every once in a while, much to my annoyance (the thing freezes upon opening a new page, then I'm greeted by that thrice-accursed bug report window...which ALWAYS keeps telling me that there is no fix or documentation for the bug I've just encountered).

- Mozilla Firefox 4.0 just went live with Beta 12, which should be the last installment before the RC build and then the final version. Latest changes include stability fixes and hardware acceleration optimization for plugins such as Flash.
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Last edited by Renegade334; 2011-03-04 at 03:13.
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Old 2011-03-04, 05:19   Link #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade334 View Post
- Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" (yes, they just realized giving code names was a cool thing to do) just entered alpha stage, boasting an evolved speed dial system which is actually comparable to IE9's in that it displays the most frequently typed URLs in the address bar rather than the usual list of user-defined shortcuts.
I don't get it. What's the difference compared to 11.01?
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Old 2011-03-04, 06:45   Link #177
Renegade334
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It should be obvious - in 11.01 you can customize the speed dial and set the shortcuts yourself. In 11.10 Opera collects your most visited webpages and offers shortcuts to these addresses all by itself.
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Old 2011-03-04, 07:20   Link #178
felix
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Wasn't the speed dial customized thingy based on a older build?
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Old 2011-03-04, 08:24   Link #179
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Originally Posted by Renegade334 View Post
It should be obvious - in 11.01 you can customize the speed dial and set the shortcuts yourself. In 11.10 Opera collects your most visited webpages and offers shortcuts to these addresses all by itself.
When I click on an empty speed dial short cut it already offers me my most visited sites. Or do you mean that the speed dial will automatically fill empty speed dial fields? And what does this have to do with the address bar?
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Old 2011-03-04, 10:49   Link #180
Renegade334
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It will fill it in automatically.

As for the address bar, that's where it gets the said 'most visited' URLs - whether you manually type in a new one or open an existing one straight from a bookmark.

IE9 does the opposite of what Opera 11 does right now:
- Opera offers user-defined shortcuts. You manually configure the speed dial by selecting URLs that already figure in your bookmarks, currently open tabs or recently visited pages. It does nothing on its own.
- IE9 automatically creates a speed dial based on the pages you've been noted to visit quite frequently. You cannot edit it, unless you want to manually delete one of IE9's recommendations.
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