Firefox Rapid Release numbering

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Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Milan-9
Although I do not fully understand exactly how the rapid release
system is going to work out, I am still all for getting out more
stable releases as soon as possible. After many, many years of
Firefox, we are up to version 4. I honestly wouldn't like to see
Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 be released in less time than it took to go
from Fx3 to Fx4.
My main concern is the numbering of the releases. Why was Firefox 5
chosen instead of Firefox 4.1? If there was some major overhaul then
it would be more understandable. But again, jumping from 4.0 to 4.1
doesn't mean hugely new features can't land; even if that were the
case, a jump to 4.2 or 4.5 would be fine.

tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
should remain how it always has been.
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

SmauG-2
On 04/23/2011 06:48 PM, Milan wrote:

> Although I do not fully understand exactly how the rapid release
> system is going to work out, I am still all for getting out more
> stable releases as soon as possible. After many, many years of
> Firefox, we are up to version 4. I honestly wouldn't like to see
> Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 be released in less time than it took to go
> from Fx3 to Fx4.
> My main concern is the numbering of the releases. Why was Firefox 5
> chosen instead of Firefox 4.1? If there was some major overhaul then
> it would be more understandable. But again, jumping from 4.0 to 4.1
> doesn't mean hugely new features can't land; even if that were the
> case, a jump to 4.2 or 4.5 would be fine.
>
> tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
> should remain how it always has been.

Does the version numbering really matter?
I hope we'll eventually get to version-number-less
browsers. Web sites should detect each feature
they need separately and end user should
get automatic updates to the latest version of the browser.
For bug reporting and such browsers could just have some
build id (probably not available to web sites).

We haven't been consistent in numbering anyway.
Fx 1.5 and Fx 2.0 were pretty similar, at least
on platform level.
Update to Fx3.0 was a big one.
so was Fx3.5 (it was the first one to include JS JIT), and
Fx3.5 could have been Fx4.
Fx3.6 wasn't perhaps huge step from Fx3.5, but Fx3.6.4 was
a significant update (out-of-process plugins).

-Olli




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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Prescience500 (Bugzilla)
In reply to this post by Milan-9
On 04/23/2011 10:48 AM, Milan wrote:

> Although I do not fully understand exactly how the rapid release
> system is going to work out, I am still all for getting out more
> stable releases as soon as possible. After many, many years of
> Firefox, we are up to version 4. I honestly wouldn't like to see
> Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 be released in less time than it took to go
> from Fx3 to Fx4.
> My main concern is the numbering of the releases. Why was Firefox 5
> chosen instead of Firefox 4.1? If there was some major overhaul then
> it would be more understandable. But again, jumping from 4.0 to 4.1
> doesn't mean hugely new features can't land; even if that were the
> case, a jump to 4.2 or 4.5 would be fine.
>
> tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
> should remain how it always has been.

I'm concerned about what happens years down the road when we reach
Firefx 35 or Firefox 135. It just won't sound right when marketing it.
Also, too many full-version change releases might make marketing harder
because people will be less enthusiastic and excited about each release.
Chrome can get away with it because Google has deep pockets to buy
advertising to compensate. Firefox doesn't have that.
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Asa Dotzler-2
On 4/23/2011 5:21 PM, Michael B. wrote:
> On 04/23/2011 10:48 AM, Milan wrote:
>> tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
>> should remain how it always has been.
>
> I'm concerned about what happens years down the road when we reach
> Firefx 35 or Firefox 135. It just won't sound right when marketing it.

Then you'll be pleased to know that Mozilla's Engagement team
(responsible for, among other things, marketing Firefox) aren't at all
worried. So, save yourself the fretting and instead look for something
productive to do :-)

- A
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Ron Hunter
In reply to this post by Prescience500 (Bugzilla)
On 4/23/2011 7:21 PM, Michael B. wrote:

> On 04/23/2011 10:48 AM, Milan wrote:
>> Although I do not fully understand exactly how the rapid release
>> system is going to work out, I am still all for getting out more
>> stable releases as soon as possible. After many, many years of
>> Firefox, we are up to version 4. I honestly wouldn't like to see
>> Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 be released in less time than it took to go
>> from Fx3 to Fx4.
>> My main concern is the numbering of the releases. Why was Firefox 5
>> chosen instead of Firefox 4.1? If there was some major overhaul then
>> it would be more understandable. But again, jumping from 4.0 to 4.1
>> doesn't mean hugely new features can't land; even if that were the
>> case, a jump to 4.2 or 4.5 would be fine.
>>
>> tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
>> should remain how it always has been.
>
> I'm concerned about what happens years down the road when we reach
> Firefx 35 or Firefox 135. It just won't sound right when marketing it.
> Also, too many full-version change releases might make marketing harder
> because people will be less enthusiastic and excited about each release.
> Chrome can get away with it because Google has deep pockets to buy
> advertising to compensate. Firefox doesn't have that.

Huh?  When was the last time you saw an ad on TV, or anywhere else, for
Google Chrome?

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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

timeless-3
On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Ron Hunter <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Huh?  When was the last time you saw an ad on TV, or anywhere else, for
> Google Chrome?

Google has run roadside billboard ads in at least England, and I've
only visited!

They also have had them in various airports.

As for tv ads,
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/google-chrome-ads-on-tv.html
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

WLS (CompTIA A+ Certified - Retired)
In reply to this post by Ron Hunter
Ron Hunter wrote:

> On 4/23/2011 7:21 PM, Michael B. wrote:
>> On 04/23/2011 10:48 AM, Milan wrote:
>>> Although I do not fully understand exactly how the rapid release
>>> system is going to work out, I am still all for getting out more
>>> stable releases as soon as possible. After many, many years of
>>> Firefox, we are up to version 4. I honestly wouldn't like to see
>>> Firefox 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 be released in less time than it took to go
>>> from Fx3 to Fx4.
>>> My main concern is the numbering of the releases. Why was Firefox 5
>>> chosen instead of Firefox 4.1? If there was some major overhaul then
>>> it would be more understandable. But again, jumping from 4.0 to 4.1
>>> doesn't mean hugely new features can't land; even if that were the
>>> case, a jump to 4.2 or 4.5 would be fine.
>>>
>>> tl;dr The rapid release system is cool, but the version numbering
>>> should remain how it always has been.
>>
>> I'm concerned about what happens years down the road when we reach
>> Firefx 35 or Firefox 135. It just won't sound right when marketing it.
>> Also, too many full-version change releases might make marketing harder
>> because people will be less enthusiastic and excited about each release.
>> Chrome can get away with it because Google has deep pockets to buy
>> advertising to compensate. Firefox doesn't have that.
>
> Huh? When was the last time you saw an ad on TV, or anywhere else, for
> Google Chrome?
>

I saw some while watching TV shows on Hulu last year.

--

openSUSE 11.3(x86_64) - Gnome2.30 - SeaMonkey 2.1b3
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Milan-9
Back to topic...could anyone give a viable explanation for jumping to
5.0 instead of 4.2? I can't seem to find any reasoning while searching
this usegroup.
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

beltzner
In reply to this post by Milan-9
Can you provide viable reasoning for not doing so?

The numbers are arbitrary and what they mean can (and is) changing. As Asa
said, the relevant teams involved seem happy with the decision, so unless
there are significant reasons not to (beyond taste and aesthetics) then I
think we should just move on.

cheers,
mike
On 24/04/2011 6:25 AM, "Mil" <[hidden email]> wrote:
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Robert Kaiser
In reply to this post by Prescience500 (Bugzilla)
Michael B. schrieb:
> I'm concerned about what happens years down the road when we reach
> Firefx 35 or Firefox 135. It just won't sound right when marketing it.

Then you will be happy to hear that we will not market version numbers
any more. Those crazy numbers will only be there for internal tracking,
but that's as far as things go, users will never need them, they'll only
need "the newest Firefox release" (or Firefox beta or perhaps Aurora).
And anyone not running the newest one will not be supported anyhow, so
should upgrade to the newest one (but we'll do that silently for them
anyhow by default).

Robert Kaiser


--
Note that any statements of mine - no matter how passionate - are never
meant to be offensive but very often as food for thought or possible
arguments that we as a community needs answers to. And most of the time,
I even appreciate irony and fun! :)
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Teoli
In reply to this post by Milan-9
On 24.04.11 12:22, Mil wrote:
> Back to topic...could anyone give a viable explanation for jumping to
> 5.0 instead of 4.2? I can't seem to find any reasoning while searching
> this usegroup.
In the support forums we notice that quite a lot of people find dot
releases at merely bugfixes release.

We saw quite a few people having problems with Firefox 4 going back to
Firefox 3, or 3.0.19, thinking it is the last major release of Firefox,
instead of going back to a 3.6.x release.

With the new scheme, this problem disappears.

Not that this is much important as the marketing of the release number
will disappear very soon.
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Adam Kowalczyk
In reply to this post by Milan-9
On 2011-04-24 13:57, beltzner wrote:

> Can you provide viable reasoning for not doing so?
>
> The numbers are arbitrary and what they mean can (and is) changing. As Asa
> said, the relevant teams involved seem happy with the decision, so unless
> there are significant reasons not to (beyond taste and aesthetics) then I
> think we should just move on.
>
> cheers,
> mike
> On 24/04/2011 6:25 AM, "Mil"<[hidden email]>  wrote:

Isn't this backwards? Changing status quo always has costs, if only
breaking habits, and it's usually up to the proponents to justify it. I
brought it up earlier and Christian agreed it is "a potential pain
point" so I would definitely expect there to be some concrete
advantages. Let me re-iterate what I said.

I can see some disadvantages as far as communication. Historically with
Firefox, as with most applications, users have learned to treat the
increase in version number as a shorthand indication of what kind of
changes to expect. The version number is the very first thing they look
at when deciding whether to upgrade (or whether to give Firefox another
try, in case of users of competing browsers). Is it is a maintenance
release or will it bring an upheaval to the way I work? I may not want
to deal with that just today.

 From the comments on tech blogs and even on our Bugzilla, I can see
early adopters are also confused and not quite sure what to expect.
Sure, it's just a matter of time before they get used to it and start
treating Firefox versions like they do with Chrome - but again, there is
some cost in the temporary confusion and having to communicate what's
going on.

- Adam



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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Dave Townsend-2
Quite simply with the new development cycle we have to choose the version
number for a release when its cycle starts on mozilla-central, 18 weeks
before it releases and before we even know what will be in the release. We
can't easily adjust the version number by an amount relative to how much
work we think will be present in the release, far simpler to just increase
it by one for every release.

On 24 April 2011 08:25, Adam Kowalczyk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2011-04-24 13:57, beltzner wrote:
>
>> Can you provide viable reasoning for not doing so?
>>
>> The numbers are arbitrary and what they mean can (and is) changing. As Asa
>> said, the relevant teams involved seem happy with the decision, so unless
>> there are significant reasons not to (beyond taste and aesthetics) then I
>> think we should just move on.
>>
>> cheers,
>> mike
>> On 24/04/2011 6:25 AM, "Mil"<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>
> Isn't this backwards? Changing status quo always has costs, if only
> breaking habits, and it's usually up to the proponents to justify it. I
> brought it up earlier and Christian agreed it is "a potential pain point" so
> I would definitely expect there to be some concrete advantages. Let me
> re-iterate what I said.
>
> I can see some disadvantages as far as communication. Historically with
> Firefox, as with most applications, users have learned to treat the increase
> in version number as a shorthand indication of what kind of changes to
> expect. The version number is the very first thing they look at when
> deciding whether to upgrade (or whether to give Firefox another try, in case
> of users of competing browsers). Is it is a maintenance release or will it
> bring an upheaval to the way I work? I may not want to deal with that just
> today.
>
> From the comments on tech blogs and even on our Bugzilla, I can see early
> adopters are also confused and not quite sure what to expect. Sure, it's
> just a matter of time before they get used to it and start treating Firefox
> versions like they do with Chrome - but again, there is some cost in the
> temporary confusion and having to communicate what's going on.
>
> - Adam
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
>
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Robert Kaiser
In reply to this post by Adam Kowalczyk
Adam Kowalczyk schrieb:
> Is it is a maintenance
> release or will it bring an upheaval to the way I work?

Starting from Firefox 5, maintenance releases and releases that contain
new features are no difference any more. Firefox 6 is the maintenance
release to Firefox 5, while also bringing some new features. New
features will be way fewer than in any "major" release before, though,
as it's only work from 6 weeks that flow into such a release.
Also Firefox 5 will be unsupported the day Firefox 6 is out the door,
and updates will be silent and without asking the user, so (s)he doesn't
have to make that decision in the first place.

Robert Kaiser


--
Note that any statements of mine - no matter how passionate - are never
meant to be offensive but very often as food for thought or possible
arguments that we as a community needs answers to. And most of the time,
I even appreciate irony and fun! :)
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Asa Dotzler-2
In reply to this post by Adam Kowalczyk
On 4/24/2011 8:25 AM, Adam Kowalczyk wrote:

> I can see some disadvantages as far as communication. Historically with
> Firefox, as with most applications, users have learned to treat the
> increase in version number as a shorthand indication of what kind of
> changes to expect.

This is not longer a concern. Users don't have to worry about versions.
There will only be one version available for new users and existing
users will all be on the latest Firefox version all of the time. There
is not significant value in knowing whether the version includes one fix
or one thousand fixes.

So far, every example you or anyone else opposed to this change have put
forward is something we've already considered. If you've got an example
that you think we haven't already considered, please offer it.

Do ask yourself before continuing this though, "is this something that
the people responsible for this change are likely to have overlooked?"
If so, then let's hear it. If not, please move on.

- A
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Adam Kowalczyk
In reply to this post by Adam Kowalczyk
That makes sense. I wonder, though, why can't we choose the version
number upon merging mozilla-central to aurora, when the scope of the
release is mostly settled?

On 2011-04-24 17:48, Dave Townsend wrote:

> Quite simply with the new development cycle we have to choose the version
> number for a release when its cycle starts on mozilla-central, 18 weeks
> before it releases and before we even know what will be in the release. We
> can't easily adjust the version number by an amount relative to how much
> work we think will be present in the release, far simpler to just increase
> it by one for every release.
>
> On 24 April 2011 08:25, Adam Kowalczyk<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>> On 2011-04-24 13:57, beltzner wrote:
>>
>>> Can you provide viable reasoning for not doing so?
>>>
>>> The numbers are arbitrary and what they mean can (and is) changing. As Asa
>>> said, the relevant teams involved seem happy with the decision, so unless
>>> there are significant reasons not to (beyond taste and aesthetics) then I
>>> think we should just move on.
>>>
>>> cheers,
>>> mike
>>> On 24/04/2011 6:25 AM, "Mil"<[hidden email]>   wrote:
>>>
>>
>> Isn't this backwards? Changing status quo always has costs, if only
>> breaking habits, and it's usually up to the proponents to justify it. I
>> brought it up earlier and Christian agreed it is "a potential pain point" so
>> I would definitely expect there to be some concrete advantages. Let me
>> re-iterate what I said.
>>
>> I can see some disadvantages as far as communication. Historically with
>> Firefox, as with most applications, users have learned to treat the increase
>> in version number as a shorthand indication of what kind of changes to
>> expect. The version number is the very first thing they look at when
>> deciding whether to upgrade (or whether to give Firefox another try, in case
>> of users of competing browsers). Is it is a maintenance release or will it
>> bring an upheaval to the way I work? I may not want to deal with that just
>> today.
>>
>>  From the comments on tech blogs and even on our Bugzilla, I can see early
>> adopters are also confused and not quite sure what to expect. Sure, it's
>> just a matter of time before they get used to it and start treating Firefox
>> versions like they do with Chrome - but again, there is some cost in the
>> temporary confusion and having to communicate what's going on.
>>
>> - Adam
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> dev-planning mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
>>

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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Dave Townsend-2
It certainly makes things easier to understand if we use the same (albeit
a1, a2, etc.) version for all cycles for a particular versions and it also
likely makes it easier to handle extension compatibility like this. There
are probably other reasons too.

On 24 April 2011 12:07, Adam Kowalczyk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That makes sense. I wonder, though, why can't we choose the version number
> upon merging mozilla-central to aurora, when the scope of the release is
> mostly settled?
>
>
> On 2011-04-24 17:48, Dave Townsend wrote:
>
>> Quite simply with the new development cycle we have to choose the version
>> number for a release when its cycle starts on mozilla-central, 18 weeks
>> before it releases and before we even know what will be in the release. We
>> can't easily adjust the version number by an amount relative to how much
>> work we think will be present in the release, far simpler to just increase
>> it by one for every release.
>>
>> On 24 April 2011 08:25, Adam Kowalczyk<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>>  On 2011-04-24 13:57, beltzner wrote:
>>>
>>>  Can you provide viable reasoning for not doing so?
>>>>
>>>> The numbers are arbitrary and what they mean can (and is) changing. As
>>>> Asa
>>>> said, the relevant teams involved seem happy with the decision, so
>>>> unless
>>>> there are significant reasons not to (beyond taste and aesthetics) then
>>>> I
>>>> think we should just move on.
>>>>
>>>> cheers,
>>>> mike
>>>> On 24/04/2011 6:25 AM, "Mil"<[hidden email]>   wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Isn't this backwards? Changing status quo always has costs, if only
>>> breaking habits, and it's usually up to the proponents to justify it. I
>>> brought it up earlier and Christian agreed it is "a potential pain point"
>>> so
>>> I would definitely expect there to be some concrete advantages. Let me
>>> re-iterate what I said.
>>>
>>> I can see some disadvantages as far as communication. Historically with
>>> Firefox, as with most applications, users have learned to treat the
>>> increase
>>> in version number as a shorthand indication of what kind of changes to
>>> expect. The version number is the very first thing they look at when
>>> deciding whether to upgrade (or whether to give Firefox another try, in
>>> case
>>> of users of competing browsers). Is it is a maintenance release or will
>>> it
>>> bring an upheaval to the way I work? I may not want to deal with that
>>> just
>>> today.
>>>
>>>  From the comments on tech blogs and even on our Bugzilla, I can see
>>> early
>>> adopters are also confused and not quite sure what to expect. Sure, it's
>>> just a matter of time before they get used to it and start treating
>>> Firefox
>>> versions like they do with Chrome - but again, there is some cost in the
>>> temporary confusion and having to communicate what's going on.
>>>
>>> - Adam
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> dev-planning mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
>>>
>>>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Prescience500 (Bugzilla)
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
On 04/24/2011 11:47 AM, Robert Kaiser wrote:

> Adam Kowalczyk schrieb:
>> Is it is a maintenance
>> release or will it bring an upheaval to the way I work?
>
> Starting from Firefox 5, maintenance releases and releases that contain
> new features are no difference any more. Firefox 6 is the maintenance
> release to Firefox 5, while also bringing some new features. New
> features will be way fewer than in any "major" release before, though,
> as it's only work from 6 weeks that flow into such a release.
> Also Firefox 5 will be unsupported the day Firefox 6 is out the door,
> and updates will be silent and without asking the user, so (s)he doesn't
> have to make that decision in the first place.
>
> Robert Kaiser
>
>

Really? Not even maintenance releases for critical security
vulnerabilities? It wouldn't effect me because my linux distro would
backport fixes, but I can't imagine industry liking that much. End users
probably wouldn't notice though.
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

Boris Zbarsky
On 4/25/11 1:38 AM, Michael B. wrote:
> Really? Not even maintenance releases for critical security
> vulnerabilities?

If we have to do a chemspill between the 6-week releases, we do a
chemspill.  But once Firefox 6 ships, no more maintenance releases for
Firefox 5, yes.

> It wouldn't effect me because my linux distro would
> backport fixes, but I can't imagine industry liking that much. End users
> probably wouldn't notice though.

Indeed.  The latter is more important to us, I think....

-Boris
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Re: Firefox Rapid Release numbering

JP Rosevear
In reply to this post by Prescience500 (Bugzilla)
On Mon, 2011-04-25 at 00:38 -0500, Michael B. wrote:

> On 04/24/2011 11:47 AM, Robert Kaiser wrote:
> > Adam Kowalczyk schrieb:
> >> Is it is a maintenance
> >> release or will it bring an upheaval to the way I work?
> >
> > Starting from Firefox 5, maintenance releases and releases that contain
> > new features are no difference any more. Firefox 6 is the maintenance
> > release to Firefox 5, while also bringing some new features. New
> > features will be way fewer than in any "major" release before, though,
> > as it's only work from 6 weeks that flow into such a release.
> > Also Firefox 5 will be unsupported the day Firefox 6 is out the door,
> > and updates will be silent and without asking the user, so (s)he doesn't
> > have to make that decision in the first place.
> >
> > Robert Kaiser
> >
> >
>
> Really? Not even maintenance releases for critical security
> vulnerabilities? It wouldn't effect me because my linux distro would
> backport fixes, but I can't imagine industry liking that much. End users
> probably wouldn't notice though.

Mozilla is doing some linux vendor outreach on this to raise awareness,
answer questions and see if there are items that can help ease this
transition without carrying too much burden on the mozilla project.

In my opinion, the biggest issue for the linux distros will be the
dependencies on xulrunner rather than Firefox itself.  However the
number of deps has been reducing a lot over the last couple years in
favor of webkit embedding so it may mostly be an issue will older
enterprise distros that have long support cycles like SLE and RHEL.

-JP
--
JP Rosevear <[hidden email]>
Mozilla

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