Firefox 5 only months after Firefox 4 release

According to a posting over at Softpedia, it seems Mozilla is going to speed up the pace of Firefox major versions akin to that of Google Chrome, which is currently on developer version 10.x since it became widely available in September 2008.

This means that users could be running Firefox 5.0 only months after the final of Firefox 4.0 is made available. Brendan Eich, co-founder of mozilla.org and the CTO of Mozilla, made the closing remark in the first Weekly Engineering Newsletter.

Eich noted, “Cast a colder eye on your blockers. Some of them can wait for a dot release or Firefox 5 that I do believe will be only months after 4 comes out. We are going to a fast release cycle. It serves our users better. To do that we have to get this touch and go done with Firefox 4.” At the time of writing there are some 90 blockers that need to be resolved before Firefox 4 can be released, which is currently at Beta 9 with pre Beta 10 builds going out daily.

“Some of those blockers are, and I have some, soft in the sense that they're edge cases. We probably can wait on those. We're not going to kick them out yet because if we have the parallel bandwidth of all our great people and the volunteer community too where we have volunteers doing some of this work, we'll take a fix if it's an additive and safe fix.

“But at some point we have to stop that. I think we're past that point and I'm going to treat my bugs accordingly and I encourage everyone here to do that,” Eich added.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0 is expected to release sometime in February 2011.

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43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

And when they say months, they mean MANY months. FF Roadmap has NEVER been close to being on track. Do what I do, download it and use it when it EVENTUALLY ships!!!!

Honestly I would prefer they release versions annually without doing monthly. Rushing things isnt a good sign. Even if chrome is at v20 when firefox release v5, in my opinion firefox>>>Chrome!

Great, mozilla is going to play as childish as Google.

In 2012 the browser version counter will be like:
Google Chrome 15035.1
Mozilla Firefox 13223.9


perfect >.>

schwit said,
Until Chrome has extensions like and as good as adblock and noscript, why change?

Totally agree...among other extensions!

Good. Mozilla really needs to speed up releases. Chrome adds very little between builds, but it gaining market share because of their constant releases... Mozilla should be doing the same.

M_Lyons10 said,
Chrome adds very little between builds, but it gaining market share because of their constant releases...

Yeah, that's totally it.

Glad to see, Mozilla is finally hoping on the train.. I'm a proud FireFox user , I don't care about speed as much as some people if I'm able to properly load in my usual websites and all I'm fine. does the version number really matter? if it makes it stable enough for you to use it who cares? it's not like they're adding the numbers there just for fun. { this is coming from my own standards though

So are we going to have people complaining about what version they call it when it updates like they do with Chrome.

yeah ooook mozilla. they've said this before, im guessing its just to garner some attention towards themselves, because for the first time the tables have been turned and someone is gaining on them, not the other way around. Do they need to speed things up? yes! Will they...doubt it.

I welcome the new fast release cycle. I'm still on 3.6 with no updates. By the time you get to update 10 or so, the browser becomes an unstable mess.

Phantom Phreak said,
I welcome the new fast release cycle. I'm still on 3.6 with no updates. By the time you get to update 10 or so, the browser becomes an unstable mess.

Actually by the time Firefox 3.6 got to 10 it became stable. It was a mess before.

It doesn't matter how fast the updates come. If Mozilla doesn't get its act together and revolutionize their browser, they're as good as dead. Firefox has absolutely nothing going for it anymore.

I checked your username after reading your comment

But, is this coming from someone who hasn't tested/used Firefox 4? To me it seems like an Uneducated idiot guess!

Educated Idiot said,
It doesn't matter how fast the updates come. If Mozilla doesn't get its act together and revolutionize their browser, they're as good as dead. Firefox has absolutely nothing going for it anymore.

Doesn't that apply to everyone?

Neobond said,
I checked your username after reading your comment

But, is this coming from someone who hasn't tested/used Firefox 4? To me it seems like an Uneducated idiot guess!

Wow!!! Seriously, is that your comeback?

They rush 3.6 and you can see how bad that has turned out. Most of the updates to 3.6+ has been to fix bugs form the last release .1,.2 etc.

Mozilla needs to slow down and start caring more. Firefox 3.6 almost made me switch to Chrome. Only reason I haven't is because 4 is coming. Firefox 3.6 is the worst browser ever from Mozilla.

Randall_Lind said,
They rush 3.6 and you can see how bad that has turned out. Most of the updates to 3.6+ has been to fix bugs form the last release .1,.2 etc.
Most of the releases were to fix security updates and introduce OOPP. While some of them may have introduced issues, it's better than doing nothing.

Kirkburn said,
Most of the releases were to fix security updates and introduce OOPP. While some of them may have introduced issues, it's better than doing nothing.

For the first couple ones had flash issue cause by 3.6. Then they introduce a new database feature or whatever it is called so it doesn't shutdown correctly. I can't tell you how many times I have to go in to task manger to close Firefox so I can restart it due to a add on or updated to an add on and Firefox closes but never stops running in processes.

(Can't start Firefox because it is already running UGH!) Mozilla knows of this but it not high on their list to fix. This alone has made me start using Chrome with the idea of dumping Firefox but holding out for 4.

Randall_Lind said,
Then they introduce a new database feature or whatever it is called so it doesn't shutdown correctly.
Are you talking about OOPP which isn't a database feature. It's directly related to the Flash issues you mentioned. So, those are really one thing.

The difference here though is the way Mozilla has done updates in the past. dot releases have usually been minor where as a jump from 4-5 would normally be seen as a major update. Chrome approaches it differently I feel with version numbers. Is Mozilla hinting that they will speed up major releases here or just changing the way they do version numbers?

scorpio_on_blue_moon said,
OK, but where is Firefox 4 ???


Didn't know we were past _february_ yet :>

Btw as a Firefox Fanatic I find the thought of jumping version numbers pathetic. Why can't new features be added with a +0.1 and maybe security updates +0.0.1. I just hope they don't go from 4 to 5 for anything minor.

I hope they will be able to implement e10s (electrolysis) in time for the next version. I'm guessing it will be implemented in parts.

Ugh, if they do that, it will only anger their addon developers. It forces them all to update their addons to enable them on future releases a little too often.

ScottDaMan said,
Ugh, if they do that, it will only anger their addon developers. It forces them all to update their addons to enable them on future releases a little too often.

If the change isn't big enough to break them, they can be enabled from the addon website in their control panel.

ScottDaMan said,
Ugh, if they do that, it will only anger their addon developers. It forces them all to update their addons to enable them on future releases a little too often.

Yeah. Can't agree more. Google chrome may do this because they don't have as many add ons as Firefox. But the comment above, can be a wise choice.

It also says "dot release OR Firefox 5"...
I think it's much more likely that we will be seeing them labeled Firefox 4.1, 4.2, etc. if they indeed go for the faster release pace.

Cast a colder eye on your blockers. Some of them can wait for a dot release or Firefox 5 that I do believe will be only months after 4 comes out.

The way I read into it, is that, some bugs will go to a dot release, and others into Firefox 5.0. It's pretty clear wording to me

Chasethebase said,
They say months, they don't say how many. It could be 18 upwards.

One way of speeding it up though is to soften up the users to accept that not all the blockers will be fixed before it will be released. I had thought that a blocker, hard or soft, was just that a "blocker". If that blocker could be pushed to a point release then it couldn't have been.

Chasethebase said,
They say months, they don't say how many. It could be 18 upwards.
They're talking about speeding up he release cycle. It could be 18 months ... but the *point* is that they're trying to avoid that.

Chasethebase said,
They say months, they don't say how many. It could be 18 upwards.

"Mozilla is going to speed up the pace of Firefox major versions akin to that of Google Chrome"
probably a month or two looking at the release cycle of chrome...
It would be interesting to see comments from firefox users who bitched about chrome's version number.