Mozilla To Ditch Firefox Version Number

By | August 17, 2011 | 47 Comments


Mozilla To Ditch Firefox Version Number, Incurs BacklashMozilla’s decision to strip the version number from Firefox’s “About” dialog box has been greeted by a nearly unanimous thumbs down, according to a lengthy, and at times heated, debate on a company discussion list.

The pushback was the second in as many months against Mozilla, which found itself the center of a late June controversy over its apparent lack of interest in enterprise customers. Asa Dotzler, a director of Firefox, explained why Mozilla was dumping the version number in a thread in the mozilla.dev.usability discussion group.

We’re moving to a more Web like convention where it’s simply not important what version you’re using as long as it’s the latest version. We have a goal to make version numbers irrelevant to our consumer audience. – Asa Dotzler, Product Manager for the Firefox

The topic was obviously of interest to many users. As of mid day Wednesday, the thread contained over 240 messages, an enormous number for a Mozilla discussion group.

For the most part, users aren’t happy with the change, with many of them basing their complaints on the fact that for decades virtually all software has identified its version number in an About box.


About (Author Profile)


Being passionate about software, Armin joined FavBrowser.com in early 2011 and has been actively writing ever since. Having accepted the challenge, he also enjoys watching anime, indulging in good books, staying fit and healthy, and trying new things.

Comments (47)

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  1. Guesty Guest says:

    Rather than going to Help > About Firefox you can just go to Help > Troubleshooting Information and that will tell you the version number and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    I can’t believe that this topic is getting more people wound up than the potential removal of the address bar.

    • Asknobody says:

      Potential removing of address bar is like Panorama introduction – it will just increase exodus from Firefox

  2. daPhyre says:

    So, how exactly are we goind to know if we are using the latest Mozilla Firefox version?

    • Asknobody says:

      If FF is slowing down after 5min of using and grabbing more and more memory, then you have the lastest version of FF. If it’s not slow as a world economy recovery then you are using Chrome or Opera with FF skin

      • Anonymous says:

        The latest Firefox beta and alphas are very fast and memory efficient. I rarely see any difference in the performance of Firefox and Chrome. Mozilla have made a lot of improvements under the hood.

        BTW, nice try, troll.

        • Asknobody says:

          “FF is very fast and memory efficient” is like “this year will be desktop Linux year”. Please, just read forums, hundreds of users are complaining about FF being slowly and crashy. Firefox 3.6 was very good (after a year of development since version 3), but version 4 was again very shitty, and Mozilla again will spend a year or more just to make FF efficient again. Maybe its time to stop developing shitty versions? Mozilla is so long in this business and only Chrome devs showed them how to increase development efficiency. Mozilla devs should feel like little kids.. It’s such disgrace to all open source community when a company recieving millions every year, have such poor management. And after recent Asa Dotzler public rants I have to add an arogant one too.

        • Anonymous says:

          I like to object, the difference between FF, Opera and Chrome on warm/cold startup, page rendereing and overall UI responsiveness is staggering. I think it got even slower than 3.6 (which was kinda good).

          And I’m using nightly 8, safe mode and all.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do not accuse the “Asknobody” guy. The trollish behavior eventually has been identified, why they’re doing this. Mainly they’ve really loneliness problems. So, better show them some sympathy and in parallel ignore their strange comments.

          Fx 7 and 8, both going to be pure Diamonds. These versions will send Fx on the top, again. After the major overhaul ( 3.6.x -> 4 ) certainly time is needed to be perfectly optimised. But the time almost came. Splendid performance, memory management, better Hardware Acceleration, Add-on System total control, security overall, new JavaScript engine, more usability, new and complete home-page. Until version 9, probably in the end of this year, or the at the beginning of the next we’ll have the most complete and optimised browser. Fx 7 beta 1 is already out ( not officially ).

          Let them whining about completely meaningless things like this one. The vast majority of Fx’s user base, doesn’t care at all about version numbers. They gonna cry about EVERY single change Fx thinking to make.

          These noisy and annoying trolls, as you see, obviously are Linux Users. Even Apple Fans. You know them.

          P.S. The most important: They will not remove entirely the version numbers and maybe not even from the “About” window. at last.

          • Asknobody says:

            But it’s just too late. Firefox had their chances and they blew them. It’s all over for IE too. Now it’s no longer matter how good IE or FF could be, Chrome will be pushed from every direction to the top. If Chrome Native client will get at least moderate traction, then FF and IE will be crushed even next year, if not – after several years. Chrome is so much better then FF for average users, than it is insane to recommend FF nowdays. Loyal FF fanboys will try to withstand, but FF, just like Netscape, RIM, Kodak, Nokia wake up too late

          • Anonymous says:

            “Oh noes, the PC marketshare went down by 1% (from 90 to 89%) this year.
            It’s all over for the PC market now and OS X will be pushed to top”
                 /s

            ^Just an analogy to show how dumb your comment was.

            As they say, it’s never too late. Chrome is growing rapidly but the
            major factor responsible for this is the aggressive marketing by Google,
            something which no other browser vendor is capable of.

          • Asknobody says:

            And why FF became so popular? Only because of its aggressive marketing and geeks installing it to every computer they can. Opera was better then FF. Now even if FF will be beter then Chrome, it won’t matter. Inertia. Please save your post ant look at it after 1 year. You will be surprised how misguided it was

  3. Cristian says:

    I don’t like this. I want to know ALWAYS the version number.

  4. Anonymous says:

    this is both stupid and makes sense – everyone whined like little bitches on the new release cycle, now Mozilla decides to remove the version of Firefox, so those pussy whiners could shut the fuck up

    and now the pussies are still whining.. whats the matter with you? is your browser your soulmate or something?! are you so fucking retarded you will stop using it because its not displaying the verison??

    i dont care about release cycle or displaying the version – i use Firefox, because it works, if you dont like it, dont whine like bitches, just move to something else, thats what ill do – ill move to Chrome for as long as its working, then if its screws up, i will move on to something else

    you nerds need to get a live, thats what id say

    • Tiago Sá says:

      Yeah, but many of those nerds are have jobs at being nerds. Being a nerd is life too for many people.

      Anyway…

      mozilla is gonna go down… mozilla is gonna go down… tra la la la la ra!

      • Anonymous says:

        Lots of Firefox haters go on with dumb comments like ‘FF is buggy and slow’ but in reality it isn’t. Esp. the latest Betas and the Nightlies, they are on par with Chrome on my machine, at least.

        • Tiago Sá says:

          I don’t really care about that, nor do they. Firefox has always been about usability. If you have less available add-ons, you have less usability.

          • Anonymous says:

            how come i use UX 8.0 and all the addons work for me?

          • Tiago Sá says:

            “all the addons” huh?

            Fantastic.

          • Anonymous says:

            stfu u stupid nerd troll, if you dont have anything to say, dont say it, it makes me wonder how come stupid people like you gained access to the internet

          • Tiago Sá says:

            You are the gayest person on the planet you dumb idiot! I bet your mam is fat and your dad is gay and you spend all day on the internet looking for people to bully because your balls are the size of dustgrains and you won’t for a minute come outside even to get the pizza because thats all you eat, pizza and gay porn you stupid gay.

            There.

          • Okmbghmoghmn says:

            u mad :D im happy that i made you so damn mad you started talking nonsense .. you know why you are an internet nerdboy and a troll? cuz you are a bigass gangsta on the internet, but if you tell all this shit in my face, the least i will do is break your teeth and legs, just be glad i dont know you and you dont live in my city .. stupid nerd

          • Anonymous says:

            Please reach puberty first before you make empty threats

        • Asknobody says:

          FF flies like Chrome only on FF fanboys PC. Coincidence? :)

    • Anonymous says:

      This guy must get an awful lot of pussy.

      Pussy muncher!

      • Anonymous says:

        dont you?

        • Tiago Sá says:

          Says the anonymous moronic troll who put out wonderful quotes like these:

          “i didnt quite catch that, i was playing World of Warcraft”
          “your outlooks of life are so wrong im wondering how do you even get by in life”
          “[...]i dont make video calls, or normal calls, so i dont care about that… what i do care is how MSN 2011 uses only 4k of the memory”
          “foobar2000 is the best”

          Now now, prove to me that you have no life yourself by looking up MY comments and finding any of the multiple idiotic things I’ve said, to counter your idiotic quotes. I myself have just finished the bulk of a webpage I’m creating for a client, and will take a brake playing a bit on my Epiphone Les Paul, because I still suck and want to get better at legato runs.

          Thank you.

          • Anonymous says:

            This guy must get a lot of client pussy.

            Oh wait…

            Lol.

            This guy must get a lot of the client’s wife’s pussy.

            Better.

          • Anonymous says:

            nerd on the internet, trying to be cool .. ON THE INTERNET .. so sad .. nerd with the nerds

            if you achieve coolness on the internet, how will this be of any use in real life?

            oh wait..

            lol.

            you dont have a life unless you stare at the screen trying to find somebody to argue with on some comment section

            better.

          • Anonymous says:

            Wow. What a sad excuse for a human beiing you turned out to be.

            Your only aim is life is to stare at the screen trying to find somebody to argue with.

            Go back to your cave.

            Troll!

          • Anonymous says:

            nice job spending time in an useless way looking trough a “moronic troll”s posts in a desperate attempt to prove his point.. nerdboy

            and dont lie to yourself, i have stuff to do in real life far more important than looking at some comment section molester’s comments, thanks, but no, thanks

          • Tiago Sá says:

            Uhuh, indeed, I hear you. I bet you are a very important businessman with loads of influence worldwide and all that.

            Tell me more.

          • Okmbghmoghmn says:

            the only thing you need to be told is to go buy yourself a life

        • Anonymous says:

          ^_^

  5. Xerxes says:

    Mozilla should release a new version (Firefox 8) for this change in about box. hahaha…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Firefox v. ∞ (Infinity)

  7. Guesty Guest says:

    I have never had a problem with any version of Firefox. I have used it since 3.5 and I am now on 6. I have never had any add-ons installed, the PCs I have had it installed on have always been very well maintained and virus and clutter free e.g. I don’t have lots of pointless rubbish installed that I never use.

    I have run Firefox on 3 different PCs/laptops, one is XP, one Vista and one Windows 7. I have since version 4 instructed Firefox to NOT remember my browsing history as in the last 7 years I have looked back through my history about 3 times in total, so I figured there is no point saving all that info for no reason. I have also set it up to clear the Cache and “Offline Website Data” every time I exit the browser. The only area I can see Firefox lagging in at the moment is on the time it takes to start up initially, but on my newest Win 7 laptop, the difference between Firefox and Chrome starting up is less than a second and once they are up and running, I can’t tell the difference.

    The more I read about other people’s problems with Firefox the more I am convinced they are either “Mom & Pop” users that barely understand what they are doing, or they are some kind of supposed super-geek with about 12 add-ons running the whole time which crash and consume memory, on a machine with little RAM and a hard drive clogged full of crap that hasn’t been defragged or scanned in any way for a long time.

    I think the use of add-ons has a lot to answer for as far as performance is concerned.

    There are also plenty of obvious haters out there that will make negative statements but offer little in the way of evidence.

    Then there are the people who do notice that Firefox is marginally slower than Chrome and that’s enough to make them switch. Fair enough. Firefox still offers me a bunch of features that I really like, enough that very slight slowness doesn’t bother me and isn’t going to send me running to Chrome.

    Firefox 6 was never going to be a big release, as far as I can see it’s web developer tools, a slight change in the address bar and some good changes if you use panorama, but the rest is under the hood. It’s version 7 onward that Mozilla really need to start delivering on. Out of everything I have read so far, version 8 sounds like it’s the one promising to deliver the most as far as noticeable changes for the end user is concerned.

  8. DM says:

    this will be the straw that breaks the camels back

    iv had enough of things being randomly changed for no good reason

    want to report a problem with your browser well you cant because noone will know what version it is
    want to login to your bank, well you cant because theres no version

    even chrome has a version number in the about box and i thought that was their new “inspiration” these days the big problem with that is chrome is less alien now and much faster at everything so theres no longer any point putting up with these insanities from asa and his cronies

    by the time the mythical low memory use firefox hits stable release everyone will be on chrome

  9. Guesty Guest says:

    Firefox 7 Beta version 1 has been released and can be downloaded here – http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/channel/

    Firefox 8 hasn’t yet made it to the Aurora channel but should be there by early next week.

  10. Greg says:

    Hi you guys want to try a little knockoff of what the new Firefox8 tabs/ UI would look like try this theme

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/australis/

  11. Guesty Guest says:

    This bug has now been closed. Doesn’t look like this change will now be going ahead. This story was barely newsworthy, it’s
    just annoying as hell. It makes me wonder if Asa Dotzler is doing this to
    generate more publicity for Firefox as there is no such thing as bad
    publicity. If you can get people talking about your product that’s half
    the battle.

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=678775#c206

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