back to article Firefox 6 silently released ahead of official unwrap date

Mozilla isn't officially breaking the seal on Firefox 6 until tomorrow, but the code for the latest iteration of its popular open source browser is already available online. It is currently tucked away on the organisation's FTP server. A blogger over at TechnoBolt spotted that the code has been downloadable since at least …


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  1. Test Man

    This is a UK site, yes?

    So why link to the US versions? Link to the GB versions! :)

  2. SteveBalmer

    Fixed it for ya.

    Firefox 4.02

    1. Annihilator


      "It's a bigger number, so people will think it must be better! We'll call it Firefox 623"

      1. Jim 59


        cf. Word for Windows 1993, jumped from 2.0 to 6.0.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          As Jim 59 said, Word went from 2 to 6.

          NT showed up at version 3.1 (mostly because the Win16 build was at that version).

          A certain large corporation I used to work for would send out a first version as an x.1 release, such that end consumers assumed they were getting a bug-fixed release.

          1. I_am_Chris


            Then went from v6 to v95 (or was it 97).

            Anyways when a product becomes popular version numbers become purely marketing tools.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Firefox 4.02"

      Hush now! They'll never catch up with Internet Explorer or Opera like that.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Or indeed Chrome

        Who started this pissing contest. What are they on now - 13?

  3. Fogcat


    I assume that using a major version number means that all the plugins will start reporting they're not compatible again?

    1. David Neil

      4 simple steps

      1. Install new version of Firefox

      2. Install Add-on Compatibility reporter

      3. ???????

      4. Profit!

      If it isn't flagged as causing a security concern, you can run it

  4. DuncanL

    Expected beter from El Reg

    Joining the horde of crappy "news" sites after a few advertising dollars by being "first" to announce a new release?

    As always, the appearance of a build on the FTP servers does not mean it has been publicly released. The FTP servers aren't load-balanced and are not intended for end users to get release - it the mechanism for pushing the release files to the various international release HTTP servers so that when the release is officially announce they don't have a server meltdown.

    1. Teoh Han Hui

      The real story...


      "we will ship mozilla-release to the desktop beta channel before the weekend to make sure nothing screwed up (should be no content changes but it would be silly not to test what we will ship!)"

      "We will ship the build off mozilla-release to the release channel on 2011-08-16 if no issues are found"

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I'm confused..

      "The FTP servers aren't load-balanced and are not intended for end users to get release"

      So why stick it on there.

      If you don't want people to see it, don't stick it on the internet.

  5. Peter Mount

    Thats weird

    My mac prompted me yesterday morning to upgrade so it's already been running 6 for over a day now. Somehow at one point the update servers must have had it up.

    Saying that this has now broken most of the plugins as they are now reporting incompatible etc :-(

    I'm not sure what this fad about releasing major versions every time is but it's not going to end well at the rate

  6. Andrew Baines Silver badge


    Does this mean that the version 5 I'm running today will no longer be supported tomorrow? Oh good, more reinstalls,

    IE9 looks better every day - if I could just find a decent ad blocker.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      My thoughts exactly

      Its the main thing not working on IE. That and GPG support. I moved to SeaMonkey a few months ago; even experienced 2 updates already.

      And it gives me the same "boring" interface which Netscape has been using for years (this this is 'themable' but I didn't really bother looking).

      But at least I can use Adblock plus, NoScript and Enigmail /without/ having to worry that they'll either stop working or suddenly start to appear in places where I don't want them, while still enjoying a recent software project.

      It takes a little getting used to; but then again the same could be said for switching to IE & Hotmail ("Windows Mail").

    2. Greg J Preece

      Cue Glaswegian accent

      "Does this mean that the version 5 I'm running today will no longer be supported tomorrow? Oh good, more reinstalls,"

      Whut youse talkin' abuut?

    3. Doug Glass

      Using Version 3.6.18 ...

      ... until things settle down and the new-release machine gun goes silent. And to think I used to just live for the next upgrade. My how times change.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The idea is to iterate often and so make the upgrade process appear seamless

    The idea is to iterate often so as to make the version number increase quickly and catch up with Chrome.

    But who's to blame: Firefox for following the lead, or stupid users who believe that no matter what products you compare, the one with the highest version number is the best.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging Chrome either.

  8. Mark 78

    UK Version

    is here:

  9. shawnfromnh

    Still needs a little work

    I used it for a few days and half the links I hit would just not load.

    You would sit there and then click stop then refresh then it might load or partly load.

    Worst part was this website was one that was the hardest to load and I finally switched back to version 5 when I realized if a new BOFH was posted I would miss it.

    This version still has plenty of bugs and they should wait till it is as good as 5 loading pages before releasing it.

  10. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Up

    Mozilla haven't quite got it on marketing, have they?

    Surely the idea is to get a load of sweaty geeks queuing outside a store at 2am, ready to walk off with the merchandise!

    (Oh, sorry, that was ten days' ago...)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't be so hasty!

      That is planned for Firefox 9. Then they will offer a support plan which allows you to continue using your current version /with/ full support for updates.

      All the others which won't license their browser will just have to upgrade to version 10 when it comes out.

  11. Kurgan

    I suggest...

    I happen to know a little about the history of pinball machines (a friend of mine is one of the bigger pinball collectors in Italy). In the fifties, pinball machines had scores that advanced by one when you hit some target. In the sixties, they advanced by ten. In the seventies, by one hundred. The latest ones, by thousands. I call this the "score inflation". It's psychologically pleasing for the player to score "1 billion, 234 millions and 9 thousands" points instead of "12.349" points. But if you look at the pinball machine code (or mechanical relays, depending on the year) you will see that the two scores need the same effort to be reached.

    Now, it seems a little silly, but I believe that later on we will see version numbers increase by ten, then by a hundred, and so on.

    Now we have Firefox 6. In 6 months we will have firefox 12, then Opera could switch from 12 to 22 to play "catch up" with Firefox, and IE from 9 to 19... then Firefox will release version 23, and Opera version 40 (to make it even, they will jump over version 32), and eventually Firefox vill release version 100, and so on.

    I suppose I will see somebrowers release "345K" (as in 345.000) before I die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Funhouse FTW! :-)

    2. Martin Maloney

      Version number inflation


      345K = 345 * 1024 = 353280. Therefore, it would be version 353.280.

      (Do I win the silly prize?)

  12. Harry
    Thumb Up

    "In 6 months we will have firefox 12"

    How about Firefox 201204 ? That way you can have a major release every month without resorting to decimals and everybody will know precisely what it means and how old it is.

  13. Chris Evans

    #How about Firefox 201204

    No decimals! You need to specify to a day minumum then and the hour in case you had to rush out another update 20120815... 1514?.

    Most 'users' don't understand Multiple decimal points and they should not be used by anything Non SysAdmin/Programer only!

  14. kain preacher


    Most 'users' don't understand Multiple decimal points and they should not be used by anything Non SysAdmin/Programer only!

    Real men do. I'm using FF

  15. HMB

    Chrome Ignorance

    So chrome does major updates constantly? What of it, they don't blow a trumpet, call a press release or even push dialogues to the user (unless you don't shut down chrome for days). To most users it's the most awesome update model ever.

    It never bugs you.

    Except when the Google monster decides to make a UI change you don't like! Then it's a horrible case of update rape.

  16. FrankAlphaXII

    FFS, You do realize....

    That the same codebase was released awhile ago as Firefox 6 beta 5. Its not exactly brand new. If you're on the Beta Channel you've been running the same build as the release-version Firefox 6 for nearly two weeks. Nothing major's landed since.

    And Doug, you might want to upgrade, there are several trunk level vulns, most of which have PoC code, that the 3.x branch hasn't fixed and may not be able to without blocking further release on that branch.

  17. keithpeter Silver badge

    Debian update brings Iceweasel 6.0

    Debian 'backported' mozilla updated this morning so now I have Iceweasel 6.0. No fuss, no reinstalling, so it must just be a renumbered minor update.

    I like the older TeX update numbering, 3, 3.1, 3.14, 3.141 and so on...

  18. davemcwish

    And by version 31, currently codenamed "MiG"

    you'll need a neuralink and the ability to think in Russian.

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