Linked by David Adams on Tue 21st Jun 2011 15:32 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mozilla & Gecko clones Mozilla has released the final version of Firefox 5.0 to download webistes ahead of the official announcement of the release. Here some features that are newly available on Firefox 5.0: Improved HTML 5 and CSS3 support, Improved overall performance, Firefox 5.0 Web apps, A Do-Not-Track option.
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Comment by jbicha
by jbicha on Tue 21st Jun 2011 15:45 UTC
jbicha
Member since:
2008-07-10

Firefox 5 does not have a built-in PDF Reader. Perhaps you could link to the real release notes.

https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/5.0/releasenotes/
https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/5.0/whatsnew/

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by jbicha
by OSbunny on Tue 21st Jun 2011 17:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by jbicha"
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Well that what's new page makes absolutely no sense. All three features app tabs, switch tab and panorama are part of FF 4.0. So what's new in FF 5? Looks like its just a bug fix + minor features release. Doesn't deserve the major version number at all.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by jbicha
by jbicha on Tue 21st Jun 2011 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jbicha"
jbicha Member since:
2008-07-10

Yes, you're right, that "what's new" page is worthless for those already using Firefox 4. The user-visible changes are very minimal.

Firefox 5's release cycle was the shortest ever, even Firefox 6 will have a longer time to cook as it's already been in alpha for several weeks. By bumping the version number, it gives Mozilla the opportunity to make bigger changes than they would if they only named these releases 4.1, 4.2 as that implies a certain API & UI stability.

Firefox 5 will be an automatic upgrade for Firefox 4 users similar to how Chrome works. Firefox 4 is no longer getting security updates; Firefox 5 /is/ the security update.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by jbicha
by vodoomoth on Tue 21st Jun 2011 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jbicha"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

So what happens with incompatible add-ons? We just wait until their authors catch up when they've already had to catch up just months ago?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by jbicha
by Kivada on Tue 21st Jun 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by jbicha"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Open up the .xpi in a text editor and change the supported version string to 5.*.*

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by jbicha
by tuma324 on Tue 21st Jun 2011 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jbicha"
tuma324 Member since:
2010-04-09

Well that what's new page makes absolutely no sense. All three features app tabs, switch tab and panorama are part of FF 4.0. So what's new in FF 5? Looks like its just a bug fix + minor features release. Doesn't deserve the major version number at all.


they probably couldn't count up to 4.0.2 so they released 5.0.

Edited 2011-06-21 18:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by jbicha
by smitty on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jbicha"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Well that what's new page makes absolutely no sense. All three features app tabs, switch tab and panorama are part of FF 4.0. So what's new in FF 5? Looks like its just a bug fix + minor features release. Doesn't deserve the major version number at all.

The what's new page is what appears the first time someone opens the browser. As such, they limit it to only UI and other user visible changes since the average user doesn't even know what CSS or HTML is. You're right that they haven't changed the UI much at all in 5.

As far as bumping the major version number - Firefox is moving towards a timed (3 month) release schedule instead of the previous one based on features. The idea is that the version # should stop mattering so much, just like no one really cares that Chrome versions are already in double digits. The plan is to start automatically updating like Chrome does as well, but they need to get the extensions in better shape first.

Reply Score: 2

Incompatibility warning: brilliant
by vodoomoth on Tue 21st Jun 2011 17:28 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

Once again, this release brings the joy of incompatible plugins, sorry, "add-ons".

I am very curious about why add-on compatibility problems arise with each and every release. Can someone provide some info as to those compatibility problems? Unrelated question: are add-ons written in just HTML+CSS+JS or they have more to them?

Two of my currently installed add-ons would have been disabled if I had accepted to update. But luckily, Firefox warned me! And THAT, is a truly great act of consideration on the developers part that I hadn't seen in previous versions. Is it a new "feature"? If yes, it deserves a spot in the what's new list.

Edited 2011-06-21 17:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Can someone provide some info as to those compatibility problems? Unrelated question: are add-ons written in just HTML+CSS+JS or they have more to them?

Chrome's extensions are like that but Firefox's extensions are more integrated and can do more. That also means that when something in Firefox changes you have to update the extension. The jetpack api is a way to protect extensions from these changes but not all extensions can be made to work with jetpack.

Reply Score: 3

Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

open the .xpi in an editor and change the version string to 5.*.*, unless there has been massive changes to the GUI or subsystem it works fine.

When a new version of the addon comes out it'll update as normal.

Reply Score: 1

james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Alternatively, use an add-on that disables compatibility checking -- I use Nightly Testing Tools for this (and other reasons).

Reply Score: 2

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

They're hard coded for version numbers, which is why they "break". You should be somewhat thankful for that considering it's effects. First, it encourages addon devs to keep their code updated instead of being lazy. Second and more importantly it reduces the number of unexpected effects and false bug reports filed due to addons of varying degrees of bork'dness being allowed to silently run with no user warning.

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Title of my post: "Incompatibility warning: brilliant"
Excerpt from the post:

And THAT, is a truly great act of consideration on the developers part that I hadn't seen in previous versions. Is it a new "feature"? If yes, it deserves a spot in the what's new list.


I can't see how much more thankful I can sound.

Thanks for the explanations.

Reply Score: 2

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I am very curious about why add-on compatibility problems arise with each and every release. Can someone provide some info as to those compatibility problems? Unrelated question: are add-ons written in just HTML+CSS+JS or they have more to them?

Currently extensions can plug directly into the guts of Firefox. That means they can break from release to release, which is why Firefox has a versioning system and all the extensions are required to say what versions they support. The vast majority of incompatibilities can be solved by updating a single line in the extension files - supportedversion = 4.0.x to 5.0.x, but Mozilla can't guarantee that will always work yet. Something like Firebug needs really deep integration and would break.

The plan is to create a new more manageable system, called Jetpack, that limits them to standard HTML/CSS/JS and a certain API, which should allow them to be much more compatible between versions. It will also allow all sorts of nice features, like updating extensions without needing to restart the browser.

Edited 2011-06-22 02:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Depending on browser version was never a good idea. You should always depend on features, not versions.

It's funny because web developers have been chanting this mantra for Javascript on web pages for years, but Mozilla still insists on requiring no more complex dependency checking than "version number".

Now with the faster development cycle it gets worse. Do I think the feature I depend on might break in Firefox 6? What about Firefox 8? If I don't want to have to update my little part-time hobby extension every 3 months I had better bump that supported version number up a few and just hope everything keeps working.

Reply Score: 2

slower than 4
by panzi on Tue 21st Jun 2011 21:35 UTC
panzi
Member since:
2006-01-22

I Tried the latest 5.0 nigthly (because there is no final for Linux x86_64) and it is actually slower in some chrome experiments (normal mapping, voronoi). Also the JavaScript MP3 decoding did not work for me ans the GUI looks partially a bit broken (less well integrated into my KDE). So I can't see how this should be a bugfix release either.

Reply Score: 2

RE: slower than 4
by jbicha on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 06:44 UTC in reply to "slower than 4"
jbicha Member since:
2008-07-10

There /is/ a final release of Firefox 5 for 64-bit Linux. Ubuntu in fact already has it available for 11.04 users which is impressively quick. I expect other distros already have it ready or will soon.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: slower than 4
by aaronb on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: slower than 4"
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised when I received Firefox 5 via update manager today.

Edited 2011-06-22 17:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: slower than 4
by aaronb on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 18:03 UTC in reply to "slower than 4"
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

JavaScript MP3 decoding works well in FF5.:

http://jsmad.org/

Reply Score: 2

Official Release Announcement
by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 01:00 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I think Mozilla have now put up the download page for the official Firefox 5.0 release.

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/

and the welcome page & release notes:
https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/5.0/whatsnew/
https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/5.0/releasenotes/

Changes for this release (with a focus on Ubuntu) are discussed here:
http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2011/06/firefox-5-released-with-improved...
and here:
http://hacks.mozilla.org/2011/06/firefox5/

•Added support for CSS animations.
•The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability
•Tuned HTTP idle connection logic for increased performance
•Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance
•Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
•Improved spell checking for some locales
•Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users
•WebGL content can no longer load cross-domain textures
•Background tabs have setTimeout and setInterval clamped to 1000ms to improve performance
•Fixed several stability issues
•Fixed several security issues
•New updated Firefox Add-on SDK
•New web based Firefox Add-on builder (Beta)

Most of these are under-the-hood improvements which will not be very visible to the users.

Early rumours of this update including a PDF reader were false, it does not include a PDF reader.

Help on upgrading (with a focus on Windows users) is here:
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/common-questions-after-updating...

Firefox add-ons use XUL, which is more powerful than the HTML+Javascript style of add-ons used by Chrome, but which does have the disadvantage of requiring add-ons to be upgraded with each new Firefox version.

A Mozilla FAQ on this particular issue is here:
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Add-ons%20are%20disable...

Edited 2011-06-22 01:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Browser share by version
by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 01:29 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Firefox 4 is currently the second most-used browser version, and it has only recently overtaken Firefox 3.6, Chrome 12 and Chrome 11.

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-monthly-201106-201106...

In coming weeks and months it might be interesting to compare the uptake rate of Firefox 5 compared to that of Firefox 4 and Chrome 12.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Browser share by version
by Calipso on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 02:14 UTC in reply to "Browser share by version"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

I think ver 4 users will be automatically upgraded to ver 5 so I would expect the uptake numbers to be the same at least as 4.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Browser share by version
by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Browser share by version"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I think ver 4 users will be automatically upgraded to ver 5 so I would expect the uptake numbers to be the same at least as 4.


I install Firefox from the application repositories of my Linux distribution(s).

There is no purely automatic upgrade via this means of Firefox installation. The repository maintainers have to make a new version, and/or the users have to enable a new repository for such an upgrade to occur.

For Ubuntu/Kubuntu users, for example, the steps required are here:
http://www.ubuntubuzz.com/2011/06/download-install-firefox-50-for-u...
Install Firefox 5.0 via PPA
Firefox 5 is also available in the Mozilla Security PPA (for Ubuntu 11.04), for ubuntu user it's better to perform this step, if you have install firefox 4.0 you can simply upgrade to Firefox 5.0. do following command to install firefox 5.0 via PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Browser share by version
by Elv13 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Browser share by version"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Automatic update work fine in Linux, you just have to use the real Firefox and not some applications from the repositories. They should not even be called Firefox.

Just put firefox in your ~/.mozilla or anywhere else and automatic update will work as fine as in Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Browser share by version
by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Browser share by version"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Automatic update work fine in Linux, you just have to use the real Firefox and not some applications from the repositories. They should not even be called Firefox. Just put firefox in your ~/.mozilla or anywhere else and automatic update will work as fine as in Windows.


If you put firefox under your own user's home directory, it won't be available for all users.

If you put firefox somewhere where it is available for all users, such as under /opt or installed via the distribution repository, then it won't auto-update if you, as a normal user, are running it.

On my Linux systems, I run Firefox English (British) compiled for x86_64. I can't download such a binary directly from Mozilla:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html

For all these reasons, Firefox does not upgrade automatically on any of the Linux installations of mine.

PS: Kubuntu/Ubuntu has negotiated with Mozilla to be allowed to call the binary that it distributes (even the 64-bit binary) Firefox. Debian has not.

Edited 2011-06-22 04:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Browser share by version
by jbicha on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 06:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Browser share by version"
jbicha Member since:
2008-07-10

Try here: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest-5.0/... or https://www.mozilla.com/en-GB/products/download.html?product=firefox...

Notice that Firefox does make an official 64-bit build for Linux. But I recommend you use the version packaged for you in the Linux repositories.

I believe the Debian Iceweasel thing was mostly due to a restrictive trademark policy and the fact that Debian likes to backport security updates to ancient, no-longer-supported-by-Mozilla versions of Firefox.

Edited 2011-06-22 07:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Browser share by version
by Calipso on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 10:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Browser share by version"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

well when it comes to Linux distros, most users if not all upgrade to new version of whatever distro they're using as the current one goes unsupported. When they install new distro, that distro will have firefox 5. So it may not use the auto-upgrade feature of firefox itself, but its still an upgrade that will be done for people without them making a conscience decision about whether or not they want 5 or stay on 4. Same thing probably happened with the upgrade fro 3.6 to 4. Upgraded distro came with new firefox.

On Windows machines the auto upgrade will upgrade 4 to 5. So I still think overall the uptake numbers should be very close to being the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Browser share by version
by lemur2 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Browser share by version"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

well when it comes to Linux distros, most users if not all upgrade to new version of whatever distro they're using as the current one goes unsupported. When they install new distro, that distro will have firefox 5. So it may not use the auto-upgrade feature of firefox itself, but its still an upgrade that will be done for people without them making a conscience decision about whether or not they want 5 or stay on 4. Same thing probably happened with the upgrade fro 3.6 to 4. Upgraded distro came with new firefox.

On Windows machines the auto upgrade will upgrade 4 to 5. So I still think overall the uptake numbers should be very close to being the same.


Windows users represent the majority of Firefox users, so most Firefox users will indeed get auto-upgraded.

This can perhaps best be seen by looking at the browser version distribution trends over the last six months.

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-monthly-201012-201105

In Feb 2011, Firefox 3.6 was the latest version of Firefox. A decline in usage of that version began in March 2011 when Firefox 3.6 was no longer the latest version, and so those users who liked to use "the latest version", and those who were auto-upgraded, began to switch to Firefox 4. After Firefox 4 had been around for a month or so the update rate began to accelerate as auto-upgrade began.

On current trends, Firefox 3.6 will be almost gone by the end of August.

Reply Score: 2

New FF major every 2 months.
by dsmogor on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 10:46 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

With potential web site incompatibilities.
Web devs rejoice ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: New FF major every 2 months.
by aaronb on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 17:47 UTC in reply to "New FF major every 2 months."
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

It is time to start coding to the web standards instead of trying to support IE6. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Final ?
by Neolander on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 20:06 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I'll consider this release final once it'll stop considering the latest version of Linux flash player as outdated. There are limits to what should be done in the name of HTML5 advocacy ;)

Reply Score: 1