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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Firefox 6 ships, but we shouldn't really pay attention.

By Peter Bright | Microsoft contributor (hence that explain the title) 

Firefox 6 ships, but we shouldn't really pay attention
The Mozilla organization has shipped Firefox 6, eight weeks after the release of Firefox 5. Just as with Firefox 5, not a lot has visibly changed. The domain name in the address bar is now highlighted, to make phishing more apparent—mimicing a similar feature already found in Internet Explorer—sites with "extended verification" certificates appear slightly differently in the address bar, and Mozilla is claiming that there's some speed improvement. And that's about the extent of it. More substantial improvements are in the pipeline for Firefox 7—most notably a JavaScript engine that uses much less memory—but nothing so substantial is evident in version 6.
This smaller release—bug fixes, behind-the-scenes improvements, but little user-visible difference—is likely to be the norm for future Firefox versions. Bigger features will still arrive from time to time, but for the most part, users will just experience a continuous improvement. Firefox updates should be automatic and essentially invisible. Even articles such as this one, which attach some significance to the new release, are probably not what Mozilla wants—press coverage should focus on features, not version numbers. Mozilla—as with Google—wants developers to cease targeting specific browser versions, and instead target standards; the regular releases are one step towards achieving that goal.
Another key part is downplaying version numbers. Again, Chrome is the obvious example here; if you look at the Chrome download page, for example, there's no indication of which version of Chrome you're going to get. It's just "the latest."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Future of Facebook: Economy

FutureOf Facebook on Jun 30, 2011 - the first in a six part series exploring the relationship between social networks and Society, Technology, Environment, Economy and Politics.