Firefox fans who are turned off by frequent browser updates aren’t alone, as a former Mozilla developer says he shares their pain. Via Neowin.net, former Mozilla developer Jono DiCarlo on his own personal blog goes into detail about why he thinks his ex-employer’s strategy of pushing out rapid updates to the Firefox browser has been a major mistake.
Initially, DiCarlo says he approved of pushing out updates every six weeks or so because it showed users that Mozilla developers were always working to improve the browser and were being diligent about fixing bugs. But at some point he says Mozilla began simply pushing out updates for the sake of having updates, which started to really grate on the browser’s core user base.
“Ironically, by doing rapid releases poorly, we just made Firefox look like an inferior version of Chrome,” he writes. “And by pushing a never-ending stream of updates on people who didn’t want them, we drove a lot of those people to Chrome; exactly what we were trying to prevent.”
DiCarlo says that while users loved Firefox as a browser, they found the constant request for updates to be invasive, especially since Mozilla implemented them using “intrusive dialog boxes” rather than coming up with a system to install them automatically and without interrupting users’ experience with the browser as Google Chrome has done.
“[R]eleasing an update is practically an act of aggression against your users,” he says. “The developer perspective is ‘You guys are going to love this new update we’ve been working on!’ The user perspective is ‘Oh god here comes another update, is there any way I can postpone the agony for a few more days?’ “