Firefox 10 Releases Today, Fixes Add-On Compatibility Issuesby Andrew Cunningham on January 31, 2012 12:40 PM EST
Firefox 10 is due to release today, continuing Mozilla's commitment to the six-week release cycle it switched to last year. As usual with these rapid-release browsers, Firefox 10 brings a couple of features you'll probably notice and a few more that you probably won't. The browser is available for Windows XP, Vista, and 7, Intel versions of Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7, and most flavors of Linux.
Firefox 10's banner feature is a tweak designed to fix add-on compatibility - most add-ons compatible with Firefox version 4 and later will now automatically be marked as compatible by the browser without any additional updates from the add-on's developer. This is true both of add-ons downloaded from Mozilla's repository, or add-ons installed from elsewhere on the Internet. This was done to ease the pain of upgrading for heavy add-on users, and to make way for Mozilla's silent Firefox updater, which is tentatively scheduled to land in June with the release of Firefox 13.
Mozilla has also hidden the browser's forward button unless it can actually be used, implemented anti-aliasing for WebGL, added support for CSS3 3D transforms, added full-screen APIs to allow for full-screen web apps (though still no official support for Lion's Full Screen mode), and a few other small feature and bug changes.
FF10 is also the first release of the browser to be offered as an "Extended Support Release" or ESR, which will be offered as a separate download - as we reported earlier this month, the ESRs will be good for a year, and will keep the same major version number and rendering engine while being kept current with security and bug fixes. The ESR is intended to replace Firefox 3.6, which has been patched continuously as Firefoxes 4 through 9 have been end-of-lifed, and is meant to placate enterprise administrators and others upset by the new rapid release cycle. Firefox 3.6 is tentatively scheduled to be discontinued on April 24, so if you've stuck by it for the last year you should begin testing the new version soon.
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zinfamous - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkwell, I hope it fixes my fonts that were completely broken with the auto-update of FF 9, several weeks back (I'm always slow to update). No fix available in FF< and no google-able solution that fixed my problem (all font issues seemed to be FF 3.x related).
My solution: switched to Chrome.
Obsoleet - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkI'm sorry.
ViRGE - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkOh God, not again! It seems like I just updated.
ryedizzel - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkdont get me wrong i value active updates and improvements, but why the complete version changes every time? are the updates REALLY that radical? it feels like i was using v6 a couple months ago which seems no different than v10. it's sort of misleading. they should really append increments instead (ie 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 etc)....
Spivonious - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkI agree. They should just drop the version number altogether if it's going to be meaningless.
Tegeril - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkThey're just doing what Google does with Chrome, and by Firefox 13 you wont know it's happening anymore.
Aloonatic - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkBut Chrome is on version 16, so how will Firefox catch them up and prove that they are better than them by having a higher version number if they get rid of version numbers all together?
Everyone knows that the higher the version number the better the browser.
dcollins - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkThey're just numbers, why do people care so much? The whole point of the new release schedule is to get rid of the notion of "major" versus "minor" releases. The shorter, more predictable release cycle helps the developers deliver a higher quality product because they don't have to rush feature development to hit an arbitrary deadline for a "major" release.
Your expectations of version numbers simply need to change with the times because this style of development is proving superior both for consumers and developers.
inighthawki - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - linkIt used to be a much bigger problem before this release since every major version change breaks addons unless they get updated. This was a huge issue when Mozilla decided that major version numbers would change, despite very little changes, which means small or otherwise unsupported addons would break every few weeks with a new update.
bun77 - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - linkActually each update so far has had huge changes.
Memory usage got cut by like 300%
browser speed has doubled in many areas
and so on
unless for you major version number change means UI change, which would be odd.
Since FF4, FF has actually gotten very good, and that in 6 month time!
With the old schedule you'd still be waiting FF5, and you'd probably get only half the features.