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26 August 2011, 11:13

Mozilla chair defends Firefox rapid release process

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Mozilla Firefox The Mozilla Project's recently implemented rapid release schedule for the Firefox web browser has met with its share of criticism, from complaints by enterprises to problems with add-on compatibility. However, Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, defends the project's move to the accelerated schedule, acknowledging that "these issues are complex and difficult".

"A browser is the delivery vehicle for the Internet. And the Internet moves very, very quickly. Philosophically, I do not believe a product that moves at the speed of traditional desktop software can be effective at enabling an Internet where things happen in real time. 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," said Baker.

In a post on her blog, Baker says that there is still work to be done to make the new process "smoother and hopefully more useful to more of our userbase". She goes on to note that, before instituting the rapid release process, the project's developers would sometimes have to wait "for nearly a year" before they could deliver new capabilities to users, adding that, "web developers would have to wait that year to be able to make their applications better."

Following a recent proposal to hide Firefox version numbers, Mozilla User Experience Engineer Alex Faaborg has also confirmed that the developers currently have "no plans to adjust the version number". In a post on the Google Group, Faaborg says that, "It will remain in its current place in the about window, and we are going to continue with the current numbering scheme."

The Mozilla Foundation is the non-profit organisation behind the Mozilla Project.

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