Jono DiCarlo, a former Mozilla developer, has criticized rapid release program of Firefox, and his original blog post and follow-up have raised some valid points. DiCarlo believes that Rapid releases killed Firefox’s reputation and I also think the same. Although, Mozilla has successfully implemented silent background updates similar to Google Chrome which automatically updates Firefox to its latest version, but it was too late. I think that Mozilla jumped into “faster updates” race without implementing proper automatic updates.
If you take a look on release history of Firefox, you will notice that Firefox team had to release updates too frequently – sometimes within one week of the major release.
Apart from annoying users, frequent updates brought another issue in the past. Before Firefox 10, Mozilla had a policy to disable add-ons which were not marked compatible with the latest version by their developers. Due to this, many add-ons including few popular ones broke with every new update. Thankfully, Mozilla has now changed this policy. Now, All add-ons hosted on AMO are tested automatically for any possible issue and remain compatible with the future versions unless any issue is detected.
Mozilla is now on the right track and faster update is the requirement of the time. How can browser vendors leave their users waiting for the new features?