Jack

Level 85
Verified
Staff member
A great collective gasp issued from tuned-in Firefox fans when Mozilla announced that it was switching to a Chrome-like release schedule for its browser. The goal was to make Firefox more adaptable and to keep pace — though not with Chrome specifically, but rather with the rapidly-evolving web.

One side effect of a rapid release schedule is skyrocketing version numbers, something both Google and Mozilla want users to ignore. But that’s a tricky proposition when users have been raised on slowly-climbing digits trailing the names of their favorite apps. Rather than cling to traditional versioning ideas, companies are now pushing channels — constantly updated snapshots of the different development stages of a program. Both Chrome and Firefox now offer stable, beta, and bleeding-edge versions to suit a user’s wants.

Mozilla, though, wants to make sure that version numbers are buried deep with its browser where only developers, enthusiasts, and sniffing code can call them up. Over on Bugzilla, the always outspoken Asa Dotzler has posted Bug 678775 to get the ball rolling. As Dotzler states, it’s just another step in a process that is already “well under way.”

The bug has sparked some rather intense discussion — more than you might expect for something as seemingly minor as hiding the version number on the About Firefox window. Functionally, the window is “about” letting you know whether or not an update is available and to download that update if one is available but hasn’t been pulled down automatically. While the version number is displayed, it’s certainly not a critical element. The proposed tweak would remove the number and instead display a line about when the last update was applied and whether or not your install is current.



UPDATE : To clarify, Mozilla will only remove the version number from the about Firefox window, not from other locations, like the Troubleshooting Information page.

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HeffeD

New Member
If the numbers don't matter, then why are they doing the stupid rapid release numbering system?
 

Ramblin

New Member
Updating Firefox would bother me if I had to do clean install every
time that a new numbered version was out but yesterday, I did
the update using the internal updater. Easy and perfect.
I don't care what the number is, all I care is that FF keeps working
as good as its does.

I hope they leave the option to see the version number in " About
Firefox".

Bo
 

NathanF1

Level 2
Verified
They've changed their mind and decided to keep displaying the version number in the About dialog.

From ZDNet

Mozilla has abandoned plans remove the Firefox version number from the ‘About Firefox’ window.

You might remember that a little over a week ago the news that Mozilla wanted to remove the Firefox from the ‘About Firefox’ window and bury it on the about:support page. This didn’t go down well with members of Mozilla’s Bugzilla forum. Well, following this outcry it seems that Mozilla has seen sense and abandoned plans to hide the version number.

This by Alex Faaborg, Principal Designer on Firefox:

Just in case this got lost amongst the many threads in progress: there are no plans to adjust the version number. It will remain in its current place in the about window, and we are going to continue with the current numbering scheme.

An attribute of working entirely in the open is that we sometimes create significant confusion as we discuss design work that is in progress. However the bright side is that there is never a shortage of feedback :)
 

Ramblin

New Member
NathanF1 said:
They've changed their mind and decided to keep displaying the version number in the About dialog:
Its nice to know they keeping things as they are with respect the About
Firefox thing. Its even nicer to know that YOUR browser listen to users.
Thanks for posting the good news, Nathan1.

Bo
 

bogdan

New Member
Yes, the bug is marked as "Resolved Invalid", this means that they won't make the change. Anyway, it was just a suggestion that got rejected. In my opinion, the about box is the usual place where you can see the version number in every piece of software I can think of.
 

jamescv7

Level 61
Verified
Trusted
Good decision by Mozilla at least its not to late. Version number is very essential information at all.