Mozilla Readies Silent Updater with New Versions of Firefox

Mozilla announced this week that it plans to integrate a silent updater in the next build of its flagship browser, Firefox, allowing future patches for Firefox 12 to be downloaded and installed in the background while the browser is running, according to a blog post by Robert Nyman, Mozilla’s Technical Evangelist on hacks.mozilla.org on Wednesday.

Firefox patchMozilla announced this week that it plans to integrate a silent updater in the next build of its flagship browser, Firefox, allowing future patches for Firefox 12 to be downloaded and installed in the background while the browser is running, according to a blog post by Robert Nyman, Mozilla’s Technical Evangelist on hacks.mozilla.org on Wednesday.

In a statement,  Mozilla said that its recent shift to an agile “Rapid Release development” model forced the company to interrupt users and apply patches more often, leading to complaints that the udpate warnings were becoming a nuisance.

“With goals to offer a secure, feature-rich, and fun browsing experience, we want to ensure everyone is on the latest version of Firefox,” reads one section of a MozillaWiki entry on the project.

Silent updates should be implemented in Firefox 12. However, the full background update won’t be until later, perhaps Firefox 13. 

 Firefox 12 is slated for an April 24 release and Firefox 13 should see a BETA release inside of Mozilla’s release channel Aurora on the same date with an official release slated for June 5.

Johnathan Nightingale, Director of Firefox Engineering, announced plans to release a new version of the browser every six weeks last summer. The company pushed out Firefox 11 just this week, fixing a Pwn2Own vulnerability disclosed the week prior.

Mozilla’s nearest competitor, Google’s Chrome browser, has a silent update mechanism that provides patches to its users in a similar fashion. In addition to Google, Adobe shipped an automatic updater in 2010 in hopes of keeping users’ Reader, Acrobat and Flash programs up-to-date “in a much more streamlined and automated way.”

For those interested in following along with the project, headed up by Mozilla’s Chris Lee and Lawrence Mandel, it’s being tracked on MozillaWiki.

For more on what to expect in the next release of Firefox, head to hacks.mozilla.org.

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Discussion

  • Anonymous on

    Well, i'm switching to Chrome everyone

     

  • Anonymous on

    I hate when anybody is doing something for me "in my better interest" without letting me decide, whether I want it or not.
  • Mara on

    The "silent background updates" are why I uninstalled Chrome, which is otherwise a fine browser. I *want* to be notified of an update in progress! When I suddenly see "setup.exe" running in my processes (without me having initiated anything), that's typically a sign of a trojan, dialer, malware calling home, etc.

    What Mozilla is thinking, by trying to emulate Chromes' worst features, is beyond me. If they want to claim that users "find update notices annoying", then just wait until these users have their computers lockup without knowing what process is causing it.

  • Bobie - o on

    What with all the crap that the bright ones foist on us to attempt to mess with our equipment and steal our stuff, all I can say is gooood. Anything to stymie the silly ones, who should go and play in a busy road.

  • Anonymous on

    You can opt-out for silents updates with Firefox, to get informed updates.
    With google chrome you can't opt-out for automatically updates.

  • Independant on

    When is this crap going to end! Firefox is becoming a royal pain in the grass with their "machine gun" never ending updates that break everything useful!! The addons is what makes FF so useful. I don't give a rats back about the browser. The addons make it USEFUL, not the constant fixes required from developers who can't plug a leaky bucket...

    If FF doesn't provide an "Opt Out" for this perpetual and ever expanding folly, Then I'll exercise my higher "OPT OUT" and dump this now ridiculous mess.  The addon developers can barely keep up with the current update cycle let alone this proposed madness. What used to be admiration for an organization that showed creativity and functionality towards the users, (As opposed to the dredges at micro(brained)soft) has now degraded to disgust as they slither down the MS BS model of self induced suicide. Updating from FF version 3x to 10x, what greeted me was the loss of nearly 98% of all available addons! (Not to mention Themes!) nearly ALL wiped out! IE8 is fast looking better.

    Do you suppose you can learn to patch your lousy software without breaking the living soul out of it?

    Clue: It's not the update notices genius, it's the never ending breaking of functionality!

  • Anonymous on

    As of Firefox 10, add-ons default to compatible and most non-binary add-ons just work release to release. Mozilla is and has always been about user choice. You will continue to have the choice to update as you like or opt-out all together.

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