The Firefox rapid-release program has caused some corporate indigestion, but Mozilla Chair Mitchell Baker believes it’s worth it.
She acknowledged that companies can have problems with the approach, in which new browser versions arrive every six weeks, but those problems are secondary compared to the alternative of holding up new features for a year, Baker said in a blog post today:
A browser is the delivery vehicle for the Internet. And the Internet moves very, very quickly. Philosophically, I do not believe a product that moves at the speed of traditional desktop software can be effective at enabling an Internet where things happen in real time. If we want the browser to be the interface for the Internet, we need to make it more like the Internet. That means delivering capabilities when they are ready. That means a rapid release process. If we don’t do something like this the browser becomes a limiting factor in what the Internet can do.
She pointed to two areas where the rapid-release process causes problems: add-ons that need to maintain compatibility, and businesses that sometimes don’t have time to test new software and update their own applications for the new browser.
“We need to be creative and try to find practical ways of alleviating these difficulties if we can,” Baker said.
Mozilla already has begun that process with a more active enterprise Firefox support effort to accommodate business users’ needs.
Read more: Mozilla chair defends rapid-release Firefox