“There Is No Free Lunch” – Mozilla

By | August 26, 2011 | 23 Comments


ThereMozilla’s chairwoman Mitchell Baker responded to criticism regarding the rapid release cycle in a recent blog post.

She started by acknowledging the problem and ensured that while the current rapid release cycle is far from perfect, Mozilla is working hard to make it more useful for the majority of its userbase.

However, due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet, Baker believes that it is necessary for the browser to follow this breakneck pace.

If we want the browser to be the interface for the Internet, we need to make it more like the Internet. That means delivering capabilities when they are ready. That means a rapid release process. If we don’t do something like this the browser becomes a limiting factor in what the Internet can do.

Baker’s end thoughts don’t leave much hope that the rapid release process will change in the near future.

There is no free lunch. I know that’s not a perfect answer, and it’s not a promise that we can meet everyone’s needs perfectly. Despite this, I believe the rapid release process is the right direction.


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.

  • Sirnh1

    Can anyone ask why a minor version isn’t possible? Like release a minor version every 6 weeks (so firefox 5 would be firefox 4.1 and firefox 6 would be 4.2, etc…) That way firefox would be happy, because they have a faster release cycle and the version number wouldn’t rise so drastically…

    • Guest

      Exactly! Thats why I moved from Firefox to Chrome, well the sandbox of Chrome is what Firefox doesnt have. I hated when flash killed my whole browser! Mozilla is only trying to copy Chrome now and nothing more! I dont want to use something copied from soewhere else! Sorry Mozilla its time to go, you were too lazy for far too long time! It was good at the begining with Phoenix… I mean Firefox…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRJ32FNCWQPONS46BFZW5TTBJU Jordan

        Except Firefox has had sandboxed plugins before Chrome was even released.

        The real reason you switched to Chrome is because you make unintelligent decisions, and you’re a consumer tool who goes after what the next big Ad on Google.com and Youtube.com tells you when in fact Chrome is an inferior browser.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRJ32FNCWQPONS46BFZW5TTBJU Jordan

        Except Firefox has had sandboxed plugins before Chrome was even released.

        The real reason you switched to Chrome is because you make unintelligent decisions, and you’re a consumer tool who goes after what the next big Ad on Google.com and Youtube.com tells you when in fact Chrome is an inferior browser.

        • Anonymous

          Or just use Opera that doesn’t crash.   sandboxing is a VERY inefficient thing to do with regards to memory use, it involves lots of in-memory duplication.   That’s why Chrome and Firefox are memory hogs.

    • Okmbghmoghmn

      why are you people so fixated on the versioning? does it prevents you in any way in using firefox?
      does it make you spend sleepless nights thinking GOD, OH GOD (wait.. whos god?) WHY DOES FIREFOX BETRAYED ME?

      firefox finally caught up with chrome in delivering new features, and you are complaining like little bitches about verything. firefox is free and no one is forcing you to use, if you cant overcome this great problem with versioning, then you are free to switch

      when chrome came out in 2008 i was using firefox by then, but fx was really slow and didnt support many standards, and chrome was so fast and had a great UI, i switched to it, and used it until firefox 4.0 came out … THEN firefox started catching up with chrome and now they are running side by side

      chrome came out in 2008, but its now at version 15 … why are using chrome then, if its the same as firefox? its no different

      actually im happy with the new release cycle – changes are coming so fast.. its amazing

      • Sirnh1

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind them having a faster release cycle. I just wish they would release them as minor updates and not as major updates. If they would have released firefox 5 as firefox 4.1 and firefox 6 as firefox 4.2 most people wouldn’t have a problem with it. For the simple reasons that all the extensions wouldn’t break every few weeks. They could as well switch to a browser that doesn’t have that problem.

        “why are you people so fixated on the versioning?”
        1) Each time a major version is released, add-ons will stop working and have to be updated. If a users most important add ons aren’t updated, they usually won’t update either.
        2) Most company’s don’t allow an update to a new major version, untill they checked the release to see if it’s still compatible with their other software/plugins/etc… And company’s will keep running firefox 3.6  because their IT department can’t keep up with testing new major firefox releases ( to see if everything still works with their own internal software).

        “firefox finally caught up with chrome in delivering new features”

        A browser shouldn’t be just a copy of other browsers. It should be better then other browsers. 
        New in firefox 5 was… ‘do-not-track header’ and hey look they changed the addressbar in firefox 6 (included in opera, IE, chrome).  And a few fixes. Not really reasons to bring out a major version and certainly not something to get them catch up with any other browser. Otherwise they would at least fixed the fact that installing/enabling/uninstalling an extension or skin wouldn’t still need a restart (did you know that firefox is the only browser that needs a restart everytime you want to try out a skin or install an extension?)

        “had a great UI”
        Depends on what you call ‘great’. I can’t customize chrome at all. So to me it’s everything but a great UI, doesn’t even have an option to give me back my menu bar.

        “why are using chrome then, if its the same as firefox? its no different”
        1) I’m not using chrome. My favorite browser is (and always was) … Opera. Every major version is a big improvement and always has big new features (like opera turbo, opera unite, invented speed dial (and still has the best implementation of it), etc…)
        Installing a new skin, dictionary or extension never needs a restart. And it has an actual usable implementation of mouse gestures and still has the most customizable interface… 

        • Okmbghmoghmn

          opera is like linux – they are all about innovation, but no on gives a shit about them, and opera still has many issues to fix, like many webpages displaying incorrectly and the limited amount of extensions available, and the fact that even the available ones work at 5% of what the simplest firefox addon does

          opera has speed and supports modern web starndards, but if it cant resolve simple issues like page rendering on popular webpages like google search and yahoo mail, i can say it has no right to compete with others

          and its no longer about innovation, everyone steals from the guy next to him, ITS ABOUT WHAT DOES THE JOB ,, apple steals from linux for mac os, windows steals from linux and apple but its unconfirmed who exactly steals from who

          google steal for chrome, mozilla steal for firefox .. but i dont give a shit, as long as chrome and firefox are number one and they work, its ok, when they start to get bloated and shitty, ill just find a new number one browser.. be it even opera.. for me its about which one is the best and does the job, im not some blind fanboy of one browser, who will sink with the chip like the captain

          you try to sound like you are not interested in whats going on, but you obviously have feelings for whats going on and you cant overcome them

          it just makes me wonder, why are people so attached to software, as if its a real person or something like that.. thats pathetic

          im sick of writing shit, so imma tell you this last thing

          just use what does the job for you, dont get attached to no shitty software, its lame .. seing people fretting over browser version, like they have intimate relationship with their browser

          and when your browser starts to suck, just change it

          • Sirnh1

            “opera still has many issues to fix, like many webpages displaying incorrectly”
            Every website I visit works like it does in other browsers(including google search, etc..). Once every few months, when I stumble upon a site that doesn’t work completely it’s because of browser sniffing (there is never a good reason to use browser sniffing,). And besides the only ones complaining that opera displays websites wrong are (that is according to my past experiences) firefox and IE fanboys.

            “limited amount of extensions available,”
            Opera doesn’t need extensions as it has almost everything build in. Other browser need more extensions just to copy what opera already has build in. And although opera has many features and the most customizability  it’s still one of the faster browsers.

            “its no longer about innovation, everyone steals from the guy next to him”
            Yes, everyone copies other people good stuff. But if no one innovates, than newer versions of browsers would at one point in time no longer be needed, since everything would have been copied.

            “you try to sound like you are not interested in whats going on, but you obviously have feelings for whats going on and you cant overcome them”
            I never said that I’m not interested in what’s going on. I’m a web developer and I have to say that these rapid firefox releases are big pain, especially since most people don’t upgrade their (firefox) browser for reasons like: most add-ons aren’t compatible (yet), the company’s IT departement can’t keep up . Hence the reason I hate the fact that a new major release gets released every 6 weeks, if they would release those major versions as minor version most problems would already disappear.

            “it just makes me wonder, why are people so attached to software”
            Because most people (including me)  use a browser every day  and is one of the most used piece of software on their computer.

            “just use what does the job for you,”
            indeed :)

            “and when your browser starts to suck, just change it”
            I’m more likely to go to the forums asking for either a new feature or ask for some (minor) change. Or just write a quick extension for myself. :)

          • Mikah

            ” and the limited amount of extensions available, and the fact that even the available ones work at 5% of what the simplest firefox addon does”
            I’ve never found any Firefox extension’s  good enough to replace  the ones already built into Opera ; Speedial ,Mouse Gestures , Notes , Mail etc……..
             Opera does have more problems with sites than other browsers there are a couple I have to open in Chrome or IE ,  Opera recognize the problem and provide the “open with” in the right click context menu & the ability to mask as other browsers in Preferences  I probably use the “open with”  a handful of times a week &  half the time IE or Chrome have the same problem opening the page.

  • Anon

    Fix the breaking of extensions with each new release and nobody will mind the rapid release cycle.

    • Mikah

      Extensions are the biggest problem with a fast release cycle because Firefox relies on them so much for even basic functionality, I guess having a decent Speed dial built in is a step in the right direction.

  • Anonymous

    I think Mitchell Baker is a woman ! Right ? So, should be “she” instead of “he” and “chair person” instead of “chairman”.

    • Everybody

      Just googled her. Her hairstyle looks like Firefox logo 0.o

      • Asknobody

        Like nest for Firefox

    • Everybody

      Just googled her. Her hairstyle looks like Firefox logo 0.o

    • Armin

      You’re right!

    • Armin

      You’re right!

  • Anonymous

    The problem with Moz’s copying of Google is that they didn’t copy them enough.  They’re releasing every 6 weeks, but they aren’t invisibly updating the entire userbase.

    • Anonymous

      In the end, they all just copy Opera anyway.  If you want to use what Chrome or Firefox will be using in 2-3 years time, just use Opera today.