What Is Happening To Firefox

MozillaFirefox has been my browser of choice for a long time now. One of the good features has been the number of addons which provide a wide choice of specializations.

Recently Firefox released version 4 and a number of the addons no longer worked.

There is now a further new version, version 5 and there will be no further security upgrades to version 4.

Yet more addons do not work.

See http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/network-wifi/3287481/mozilla-retires-firefox-4-from-security-support/?olo=rss

Why is all this happening?

And now version 6. (20110817)

-- JohnFletcher

Because the FF development crew sucks? (CategorySucksBigTime)

Honestly, what possessed these people to crapify the UI the way they did? Why mess with something that was working as well as it was for literally millions of people around the world and make it not work nearly as well? Who told these bumpkins that the new changes were for the better? I've seen a few "reviews" from people that like the new UI, but they're pretty much all Mac users and noobs. (Nearly identical.)

And to crap up the plugin functionality on top of that?!? What is wrong with these people? Plugin developers hated the way the 3.0 changes buggered up their stuff, and now this? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

{Huh? I use FireFox, and I didn't notice. Yeah, the UI changed subtly, but so what? If anything, it gave us a bit more screen space. And why would anyone want plugins?}

To do things which cannot be done without them Example UniversalWikiEditButton.

Blame lazy extension developers. Firefox 5 can run some (most?) of older extension; the problem is that the extensions list explicitly which versions of FF to work with. You can update install.rdf in the .xpi (actually just a zip file): adjust <em:maxVersionNumber> field. Did so with QuakeLive; works with FF5. -- DexenDeVries

Thank you for the helpful comments. I am a user of addons rather than a provider, so I don't know how important it is to the operation of the addon that the version has changed. What has happened is a rapid change of the main version number of Firefox from 3 to 4 and then 5. I hope that the plugin writers are noticing what is happening. -- JohnFletcher

"Lazy extension developers" doesn't explain how it is that plugin registration with FF4 has changed. Just changing the version number in an install script doesn't address this. Firefox is changing behind the curtains, and in a way that isn't so great.

And What About The Memory Leaks?

FF4 was starting to explode on a regular basis when using heavy duty Flash such as Hulu or other intense video streams. FF5 was supposed to fix a bunch of the memory leaks, but what about the constant upswing in memory usage when FF is running with Flash? That hasn't been fixed, and now FF5 croaks my WinXP Pro box regularly. And I mean, it croaks. Won't respond to the three finger salute, nuthin'. End up using the Big Red Paddle to get control of the machine back.

Firefox is really, really pissing me off.

Firefox (version 204 or whatever it's up to now) feels like one of those WindowsVista themes for a WindowManager like IceWm? you used to see. It's obviously aping every interface widget from GoogleChrome, but its core is so old and creaky that it can't even get close. And it's not like FF uses less memory than Chrome either, it's the other way around, even before Firefox starts leaking.
As a retrospective, I think Firefox has been in the swing of things since about version 10; it just took a while to iron out the problems with their rapid release schedule. Plugin compatibility, for example -- Upgrading from Firefox 2.x to 3 certainly didn't boast plugin compatibility, but such a large upgrade only occurred every few years. Now that updates happen in a matter of months, implementing automatic compatibility checking has resolved that problem. I'd say Firefox is better than ever these days. It even uses less memory than Chrome, which seems to have bloated over time.

More change-rants under MozillaFirefox. I short, it appears idiots are now in charge of vetting changes.

BetterThanFirefox is a page where you can tell people the browser that is better. Since users are not in charge of development of a browser, the only way they can show their dis-pleasure with it is to UseSomethingElse? and leave it to others.

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