If you are even considering migrating your business to Firefox, I strongly recommend you read two recent blog posts by consultant Mike Kaply.
Kaply, whose consulting company specializes in customizing Firefox for enterprises, calls the new rapid-release policy “a really bad idea
.” The worst part is that with each new release, Mozilla is completely dropping support for the previous one.
Unlike consumers, who are thrilled at the chance to install new code every six weeks, enterprises crave stability:
Companies simply can’t turn around major browser updates in six weeks (and each one of these is a major update). With security releases, there was a reasonable expectation that web applications wouldn’t break as a result of changes. With these releases, there is no such expectation. So a full test cycle needs to be run with every release. By the time this cycle is completed and the browser is piloted and deployed, another version of Firefox would already be released so they’d already be behind.
In a follow-up post
, Kaply quotes two fellow enterprise admins who are extremely worried about their ability to support Firefox.
So, has Mozilla reached out to Kaply to reassure him that they’ve got his back? No. In fact, Firefox evangelist Asa Dotzler
showed up in the comments of Kaply’s post to tell him, bluntly, that he can expect zero support
Mike, you do realize that we get about 2 million Firefox downloads per day from regular user types, right? Your “big numbers” here are really just a drop in the bucket, fractions of fractions of a percent of our user base. Enterprise has never been (and I’ll argue, shouldn’t be) a focus of ours. Until we run out of people who don’t have sysadmins and enterprise deployment teams looking out for them, I can’t imagine why we’d focus at all on the kinds of environments you care so much about.
Some 14 hours later, after Kaply argues
that Mozilla should “throw a few resources at [the problem] and try to solve it,” Dotzler doubles down
You hear that, enterprise admins? You don’t count, and Mozilla has no intention of supporting your extensive investments in testing browser releases before deployment. A minute spent making a corporate user happy can better be spent making many regular users happy. I’d much rather Mozilla spending its limited resources looking out for the billions of users that don’t have enterprise support systems already taking care of them.
And if you think that’s just a misunderstanding, Dotzler wants to make it very, very clear that Mozilla is serious
As for John’s concern, “By the time I validate Firefox 5, what guarantee would I have that Firefox 5 won’t go EOL [end of life] when Firefox 6 is released?”
He has the opposite of guarantees that won’t happen. He has my promise that it will happen. Firefox 6 will be the EOL of Firefox 5. And Firefox 7 will be the EOL for Firefox 6.
Back in March, when Firefox 4 was released, I looked at the browser space
and concluded that Microsoft and Google were in a superb position to squeeze Firefox into irrelevance.
I didn’t count on Mozilla actively participating in its own annihilation.