Consumers can opt for fewer Firefox releases

But Mozilla won't market slower tempo schedule to users

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

"There's no way for them to physically limit ESR to enterprises," Mike Kaply, a consultant who specializes in writing Firefox add-ons and in customizing the browser for corporate clients, countered in an interview last week. Kaply was one of those who criticized the six-week release scheme as unworkable for enterprises.

To keep most users on the six-week plan, Mozilla will downplay ESR by not overtly advertising the longer release schedule.

"Some might [adopt ESR]," said Johnathan Nightingale, director of Firefox engineering, on the discussion thread. "We won't market it, and our experience with old versions (like 3.6 today) shows that the vast majority of people won't."

According to the proposal, the ESR edition will only be mentioned on the Mozilla wiki page dedicated to enterprises.

Others at Mozilla were confident that few non-enterprise users would move to ESR.

"Firefox 3.6 is out there, supported, on mozilla.org, and doesn't have the update rage or add-on pain," said Christian Legnitto, who leads the Firefox release team. "We don't see people opting into it. This is a non-issue if we get out in front of it, and likely a non-issue in general."

At the same time, developers seemed to grow frustrated at the way the conversation went on the discussion forum, and several times reminded users that ESR was not to be interpreted as a reversal of Firefox's rapid release scheme.

"This proposal is not a proxy for moving away from the new release process," said Legnitto. "Please, please stop treating it as such."

As part of the ESR plan, Mozilla will drop support for Firefox 3.6, the early-2010 edition it continues to maintain, 12 weeks after it kicks off the enterprise edition. Mozilla could issue the first Firefox ESR build as early as Nov. 8.

More information about the ESR proposal can be found on Mozilla's website.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more articles by Gregg Keizer.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon