back to article Mozilla insists Firefox 3.1 won't hit bum note for developers

Mozilla Corporation has claimed that the transition to Firefox 3.1 won’t be “a major pain-in-the-ass” and pledged developers will not be hit by “surprises along the way”, after royally hacking off users with the 3.0 launch. The company's platform evangelist Mark Finkle said on his blog that extension developers, who suffered …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Didn't Freud Write About People With Ass Fixations?


  2. Jonathan Hogg


    I'm not cutting edge by any means, but I was easily using the FireFox 3 betas and RCs for 6 months before it finally landed. How can the architectural changes have been any surprise to add-on developers?

  3. Elmer Phud


    As some have said that V3 is a bit of a donkey then maybe the 'coveting thy neighbours ass' is more in line with the object intended as a target. I do wish that the country that gave us 'motherf@#er' would stop confusing things - it's 'arse', which has a better ring to it.

  4. Steve

    Did they not see the betas

    There were beta's for the developers to test against, they would be worse off with MS.

  5. Sam C

    It's a pretty long-standing convention

    Major version number changes mean backwards compatibilty is (likely) broken.

    Minor version numbers are backwards compatible.

    Just because a lot of marketing departments have ignored this in recent years in the name of version inflation, doesn't mean it's no longer used by technical minded people.

  6. Mark
    Gates Horns


    I love opera and its the best.

    PS it doesnt monitor all of the gay porn sites i visit!

  7. John Carney

    mixed messages

    I'm having trouble reconciling "kickass" with "more of a tweak". From the official proposed feature list, I'd say we're looking at an ass-tweak... perhaps a furtive grope.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would use Opera but it does not support Roboform which I use all the time. I love the mouse gestures and the speed is great.

    But I use Firefox for now and was very annoyed about losing all my addons after helping Mozilla create a world record.

  9. V.Srikrishnan

    Seamonkey & E-links

    i find are the best of the lot. The latest opera crashes when i use it for mail, and is horribly slow while loading pages with Flash. I do not understand how people say it is the fastest. FF3.0 is absurd. it crashes randomly and contrary to claims i do not find any improvements in speed. Also, i find the images associated with URLs appearing in the address bar while typing a URL to be irritating. Also, there is no option of asking the user what he wants to do with the file with two fixed options like in seamonkey.......

    of course i dont use stuff like RSS feeds.....

  10. Steve

    New version breaks some 3rd party stuff...

    Um, this sounds a little like the OSS argument as to why Vista is so bad.

    A new major version of the application (or OS) has major security, architecture and GUI changes which has broken a minority of 3rd party extensions (applications) even though there was an extensive beta period.......

    FF 3.1 (Windows 7) is a minor update based on FF 3.0 (Windows 6/Vista) and as such there are no major changes to the architecture rather some new features, bug fixes and other improvements....

  11. Peter Kay

    Firefox vs IE betas

    What's the difference? Firefox, IE, Vista - you name it. They all had betas to test against.

    The developers were warned months in advance of the new APIs. They chose not to fix their apps/addons and then people blame Mozilla/Microsoft...

  12. Fred Goldstein
    Thumb Up

    FF3 is much better on memory

    All previous Netscrape-derived browsers, going back at least to the original Mozilla 1 (codenamed Seamonkey) and I think to the Netscape 4 series, had huge memory leaks. They grabbed memory for pages and kept it forever. If you left it up for a week or two, it would get to 300-400 Mbps of working set and never shrink. Some developers clamied this was a "feature" but it was really annoying. Firefox 3 finally keeps its memory profile well under 200 Mbps. It's faster too. Not bug-free but worth the upgrade.

  13. Jon Green
    Thumb Down

    A bit over-dramatised, no?

    "Mozilla Corporation has [been] royally hacking off users with the 3.0 launch."

    What a drama queen! OK, a few extensions didn't work for a while. Mostly, that was because their developers didn't keep up with the betas; there weren't many surprises for those with their heads up.

    In fact, most of the invalidated extensions could be fixed by any user simply by a blindingly obvious tweak to their install.rdf file. Ten seconds' work with a text editor, once you know to do it, and a Google newbie could find that out easliy enough.

  14. Thaddeus Quay

    I've said it before ...

    If you are on Windows, and if you don't have a major need for some fancy add-on, then K-Meleon is likely the best browser, overall. I've been using it since FF1.x, wanted to go back at FF2.x, and again at FF3.x, but after trying those, decided to stick with K-Meleon. It's that good, people. By the way, CSS ad blocking and Flash blocking come standard, as well as lots of other neat usability features.

    David Williams: K-Meleon also has mouse gestures. Unfortunately, it doesn't yet support FF add-ons, but they're supposed to be working on it. Although, K-Meleon already does everything I need, so I really don't pine for extras, and that's coming from someone who considers themselves somewhere between an ordinary user and a power user. And no, I'm not affiliated with them. I've seriously tried IE, FF, Opera, Safari and Maxthon, each at different versions, with K-Meleon always really standing out as the one that just gets the basic jobs done, day in and day out, without getting in the way.

    Finally, I want to say that pretty much all software is remarkably inferior to just about anything else that's been continuously engineered. It's simply amazing how much work goes into it, and yet so many things break, from one major release to the next. All computer functionality should be in the form of PCMCIA-style cards, that I can buy from vending machines, at 24-hour convenience stores. Or maybe all hardware should be FPGA-based, so that I can simply download some well-tested functionality. In the meantime, I'm sticking with vaccum tubes, because I still don't trust these new-fangled "transistors". My British cat, Mr. Fluffer Wickbidget, III, is licking my screen now, which means that he agrees with at least 90% of what I've said. Good kitty.

  15. Frank

    @Mark re. Opera..

    If you don't want to have a 'trail' or 'data' left stored on your PC, use 'sandboxie' from

    It's a neat little sandbox and it's free :) You can set up a number of differently named sandbox areas in a dedicated disk directory, then auto-wipe them as required after you've finished doing whatever you do with any program.

    After the wipe, it's as if you never did whatever it was that you did, as far as your hard drive contents are concerned.

  16. Chris Ovenden
    Thumb Down


    I find it amazing how hard people are prepared to look to find something to grumble about. Firefox 3 is so obviously an improvement on its predecessor, and as many have already pointed out, was in test for a good long time before its launch. As all but one of the dozen or so extensions I use regularly had already been updated, I made the switch several months ago.

    But you have to complain about some obscure add-ons that weren't updated during this barn door of opportunity while conveniently forgetting the aeons which passed after FF2's launch before key extensions like TabMixPlus got updated.

    I'm not sure what these extensions were that caused people trouble, but developers of complex extensions such as Firebug seem to have taken the API changes in their stride. The one that I gave up waiting for was a certain toolbar, developed by a certain sponsor of and contributor to Firefox: yep, Google. Dunno if they've got their act together yet, but Googlebar Lite does what I need and works fine on FF3.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seeing as FF3.0 is rather buggy and takes special attention to get it working on older Linux kernels with their attendant older libraries, I'd rather the Asszillas worked toward two things. Rather obviously, these would be a bugfix release, and a "works for all" Linux version. The slogan could be "Better than a new donkey".

    @Steve re: New version breaks some 3rd party stuff...

    FOSS advocates don't like Vista's DRM, insecurity, bloatedness, etc. The lack of backwards compatibility, is usually hailed as a good thing (if hailed at all), because it shows that the developers were actually concentrating about how to improve the features, rather than the typical gratuitous backwardness of most MS efforts.

  18. David Wilkinson

    A lot of small developers will skip betas

    I am not surprised if a lot of developers waited until the final version.

    You code for one beta release, only to have to change for the next and in the end you do a lot of unnecessary rework.

    Now if there were real money to be made, maybe then people would rush to learn the new platform as well as possible as soon as possible to get a competitive edge.

  19. the enemies of god

    Opera supports OS X 10.3.9

    if ff 3.1 picks back up my OS i'll try it again, but without it it's Opera for me. (tho for those of you who don't own the latest and greatest and were wondering which developers gave a damn about you, the latest SeaMonkey also works, it's just slower than Opera ...)


  20. the enemies of god

    version numbers and attitude

    that the new version breaks OS X 10.3.9 but not 10.4 is indicative, i think. it says something about the mindset of the developers and project managers for this particular group as opposed to other open source projects, say the Linux kernel and quite a bit of linux open software ....

    there is something antithetic to the idea of open source when the developer community doesn't work to keep the software up for its user base, and *not* do like the commercial vendors generally do, break it for a lot of people who stood up for it to begin with

    it smells like betrayal, and it feels like betrayal, too

  21. yeah, right.


    Yea, sure, Opera. Take what they give you and no more. The company that fought tooth and nail against advertising blocking (thanks AdBlock), and still didn't get it right the last time I tried it (4 months ago). The organization that, as far as I could tell during my short trial won't let me turn off javascript on a per-page basis (thanks NoScript). The browser that doesn't last 4 minutes on my system before crashing.

    Firefox might suck and have a long way to go, but at least it has a well developed add-on mechanism to get me over the sucky bits. I feel sorry for the few developers who got stymied by the new version, but most of the stuff I use worked right away so it seems to have been possible to do it right at least.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Juha Meriluoto
    Black Helicopters

    FF3 a disappointment

    I tried FF3, and it was a... well, I just could not see any speed improvements, plus it was quite unstable. Some quite mysterious behavior, too. And lots of broken addons. After a day or so I decided to upgrade to, which of course wasn't all that easy... Mozilla is beginning to look a lot like open source equivalent of M$.

  24. Spearbox
    Paris Hilton

    What on earth are you lot doing?

    You complain about browser crashes, instability, unreliability, usability issues, and customisation problems.

    I use my browser to browse the net, and I happily can do it safely with a vanilla version of Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox without it ever crashing. Without it ever lagging. Without it ever doing something I do not ask it to do. I've even had around 30 tabs open just cos I could. No problems.

    Eight years it's been with no viruses. No trojans. No adware. No spyware. I've got Antivirus and it sits there laughing at me because it has nothing to do. I pay for it to be renewed every year. My firewall sits there and laughs at me for paying and renewing the license to run it and that has nothing to do. Adaware laughs at me for paying and renewing the license for that and it never has to do anything.

    What on earth are you lot doing to warrant all this need for addons, these complaints about the browser crashing? Come on, and I'm not a techy whizz!!! If I can use the net, build sites, and all that malarky, so surely you can too?!

    If you're so insecure use a virtual OS and browse in just that if you've so many issues and can't do something as simple as browse the net without getting bent over by the software you so apparently love. At least when it crashes and breaks everything it'd be isolated...

    Paris, cos she knows how to get screwed by doing something she shouldn't be.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again

    I am sick and bloody tired of Firefox updates, I'm seriously considering going back to Internet Explorer.

  26. ryan

    The inevitable mozilla backlash.

    Popularity is proportional to how rubbish random internet commenters deem a piece of software is. It's as if Pavlov's dog had been forced to use Internet Explorer.

    Firefox has become very popular and pretty much mainstream? now it's very rubbish, insecure, and developed by greedy capitalist pigs. and probably evil to boot.

    If Opera were to gain more than 5% browser share it would quickly be announced on The Internet that every install triggers the electrocution and ultimately death of a tiny fluffy baby panda.

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