Thursday, March 15th 2012

Mozilla Countering Firefox Update Fatigue with Silent Updates, Add-on Compatibility

Throughout 2011, Firefox users have seen their browser's major version number go up very 6 weeks or so, something that was unheard of, in the years before, when it could take years for a major version number increase. Mozilla was obviously inflating version numbers for better market placement with other browsers that have crossed version 9x (such as Chrome, MSIE, and Opera). With Firefox already at version 11, Mozilla wants to slow down with the version number game, which caused "update fatigue" among users. Apart from keeping track of their browser's version number, users that have important add-ons installed, stay away from updates because major version number changes break the add-ons.

Mozilla wants to counter update fatigue with a two pronged approach. Firstly, it will change the way browser version numbers affect add-on compatibility. With Firefox 11, any add-on that's compatible with Firefox 4+ will just run, without compatibility issues. Add-ons disabled by older versions of the browser will now resume working. Next up, Mozilla will introduce completely silent updates, which get downloaded in the background, and don't notify you about restarting the browser to apply updates. You'll never notice when your Firefox reaches version 9001.Sources: TheNextWeb Insider, Mozilla
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17 Comments on Mozilla Countering Firefox Update Fatigue with Silent Updates, Add-on Compatibility

#2
johnspack
Meanwhile my 64bit firefox continues to climb....:
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#3
RejZoR
I hope silent updates will at least include notification like "Your Firefox has just updated to version X". So you'd know it has updated. Other than that, i don't mind it since i update it regularly anyway.
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#4
eidairaman1
id rather still be notified that there is a update/newer version instead of automatically downloading anything
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#5
Depth
by: eidairaman1
id rather still be notified that there is a update/newer version instead of automatically downloading anything
You mean using the little "Check for updates" ticker instead of using "Automatically install" in the Update tab of the Advanced section in the Firefox options menu?

Yeah I really wish we had that because clearly we've looked for it several times.
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#6
sclera
Wow finally, welcome to 2007 Mozilla.
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#7
RejZoR
It was about time they fixed extensions. They jumped the Chrome version numbering bandwagon not taking into account their addons system which isn't like the one in Chrome.
Now i'm just waiting for them to make the damn 64bit version... I know there is Waterfox but no one really supports (specifically avast!'s additional features for browsers) it because it's not widely used.
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#8
micropage7
interesting
its been a while firefox like to chasing chrome with number and it goes pretty sick every couple weeks you hit newer version that still feel the same
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#9
johnspack
Check above, I am running the 64bit version..... nightly is it!
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#10
faramir
Meh, I'm still on 3.6.x.

They should revert their idiotic numbering scheme back and call the most recent version what it is - 4.11.0.
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#11
ironwolf
by: btarunr
You'll never notice when your Firefox reaches version 9001.
...which will be out by the end of the year. :laugh:
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#12
Arctucas
by: btarunr
Next up, Mozilla will introduce completely silent updates, which get downloaded in the background, and don't notify you about restarting the browser to apply updates. You'll never notice when your Firefox reaches version 9001.

Sources: TheNextWeb Insider, Mozilla
With no option to opt-out of the 'automatic updates'?
Posted on Reply
#13
BUCK NASTY
F@H Mod & 4P Enthusiust
I know it's an exaggeration, but it seems that every time I open FF, there was an update being applied:shadedshu. I have since disabled auto-update since.
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#14
Red_Machine
by: Arctucas
With no option to opt-out of the 'automatic updates'?
Yes, there is. Open the options box, click on Advanced and go to the Updates tab. From there, you can specify how you'd like to receive your updates.
Posted on Reply
#15
Arctucas
by: Red_Machine
Yes, there is. Open the options box, click on Advanced and go to the Updates tab. From there, you can specify how you'd like to receive your updates.
I must have misunderstood; I thought that the article meant that any and all updates would be silently downloaded and installed, regardless of user preferences.

And, has that not always been an option?
Posted on Reply
#17
bmaverick
I'm already dizzy from all of these update notices. Just went to FF-10 last week. Already FF-11 pops up asking to be install. What-the-hay!
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