We last updated you on our progress with WebExtensions when Firefox 45 landed in Developer Edition (Aurora), and today we have an update for Firefox 46, which landed in Developer Edition last week.
Today we shared a number of decisions around Firefox OS along with changes to Marketplace, foxfooding, and the Product Innovation Process. Below is the full email that was sent out.
For the past few years Mozilla has been on a solid six week cadence for shipping new Firefox releases while for the remainder of the releases in 2016 they are tweaking that schedule slightly.
Firefox releases will now be on a variable six-to-eight week release cycle while still delivering the same number of releases each year. This ensures that there is at least six weeks for every release and the cycles are adjusted for emerging user/market needs.
Mozilla is making some changes to the Firefox schedule, and it looks like they are going to give more time to developers between releases.
One of the biggest changes for Firefox was the switch to a train model, which meant a lot more flexibility This happened four years ago, and the last version was 3.5 back then. Now we're at Firefox 44, and they keep on going with this crazy schedule. The main difference is that they are no longer tied to a six-week release schedule.
The Opera developers have released a new update for the development branch 36, and they are saying it is going to be the last one.
Opera continues to push forward, and the developers just launched a new major stable version of the Internet browser, and now they are preparing to wrap things up with this development branch. It's not a big update, but at least, it's here.
Firefox OS is open source, so in theory community work could continue, but without the backing of a major sponsor it is unlikely.
The barriers to entry in the smartphone market are huge, so Mozilla's retreat was perhaps inevitable. Nevertheless, it is a sad moment for those in search of an open smartphone platform.
The thinking behind Firefox OS was to have a smartphone operating system based on browser technology, so that web apps would port easily and that everything would be built with open standards. Low-priced smartphones using the OS have been released by vendors including Alcatel OneTouch, LG, ZTE and Huawei.
GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0.
Born in Pakistan and raised in Canada, Karim received his Ph.D. in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he also serves as Principal Investigator for the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
Mozilla is a proud supporter of research carried out by Caribou Digital, the UK-based think tank dedicated to building sustainable digital economies in emerging markets.