What are WebExtensions and why do we need them? In mid-2015 Mozilla announced a big change to Firefox add-ons. This marked the start of the transition to WebExtensions - a new API (Application Programming Interface) for extension authors. The plan ...
Find out more
Firefox Focus - a new take on private browsing This is a new kind of mobile browser. It’s for people that are conscious about privacy and security on the web. There’s been a lot of talk about these issues in the past - corporations ...
Find out more
Firefox 57 becomes Firefox Quantum For a long time Quantum was the code name for the upcoming revolutionary version 57, but the name Firefox 57 just doesn’t do justice to the momentous changes that are coming in November. So, ...
Find out more
Firefox 56 released. Find out what’s new! Version 56 of our favorite browser is live. It is the last version before the revolutionary version 57 which will bring all sorts of performance improvements and a clean break to web extensions. ...
Find out more

Firefox 3.6 Won't Be Updated Past April 2012

After a little more than a year from Firefox 4's release on March 22nd, 2011, Firefox 3.6 will cease to be updated anymore. Some users still hold on to this version in protest of Mozilla's interface changes and rapid release cycles as well as extension breakages. While the "interface changes" issue is highly subjective and can be resolved in one minute with a theme, the other two issues are becoming less and less relevant as time goes by.

The problem was that before 4.0, add-on developers expected major Firefox releases every one or two years and planned their development accordingly, tying their add-ons to specific versions. When major releases started coming every 6 weeks, there were a few months when a lot of extensions broke. Mozilla was reasonably quick to step in and create an internal tool that would automatically analyze extensions and mark them as compatible with newer versions if that would be the case.

Additionally, Mozilla has released the Add-on builder and the Add-on SDK to help developers create restartless extensions that would work with any new Firefox version without issues.

Introducing Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release)

This release caters to enterprise users and users adverse to change in general. Starting with version 10, Mozilla will support a version for 9 releases (54 weeks). This means that while that version doesn't get any new features, it will get the latest bug fixes and security patches. Every 7 releases, a new ESR version will be created, so the next one will be v17. Two successive ESR releases will overlap for 12 weeks, allowing users to test and upgrade their systems to the newer version.

Community response has been mixed. While most welcome the ESR, some say that it's still not enough. Corporate users usually expect a product to be supported for 3 to 5 years because that's how long the hardware is expected to last and don't want to bother to upgrade the software sooner.

While this is understandable from a cost perspective, it's why web developers had to struggle for the last years to offer support for Internet Explorer 6 (a browser from 2001). This need for support held back development and adoption of modern web technologies for much too long.