[Mageia-dev] FireFox ESR <= we should totally go for this wrt stable releases

David Walser luigiwalser at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 11 05:07:07 CET 2012

Florian Hubold wrote:
> Our update policy already has an exception for Firefox, and so far there were
> no bigger issues during updates from our initial 4.0 to 10.0. And if most other
> distros don't use ESR, we're kind of alienated, and users will ask why we do that,
> because we're not aimed at enterprise usage currently.

There have been plenty of issues in the transition from 3.6 to 10.0, and I'm not talking about 
Mageia specifically.  There's been lots of extensions broken, major UI changes, functionality 
ripped out, etc.  It hasn't been smooth or easy at all.  Major changes in FF have never come like 
this in its history.  If they are going to continue to make radical changes at the pace they have 
been, it's going to continue to be a headache.

It's a pain for less sophisticated users who have a harder time adjusting to UI changes, broken 
extensions, and lost functionality.  It's a pain for sysadmins who support these users, sometimes 
supporting them remotely.  It's a pain for the distro to have to keep building these updates, deal 
with changed and upgraded dependencies, rebuild tons of dependent stuff, and have to try to QA 
something that's changing.

Sticking to the ESR will mean less work for the distro, less stress for sysadmins, and less pain 
for users.  It seems like an obvious choice.

Yes, we all know there are users (sometimes more sophisticated, sometimes not) who always want the 
latest and greatest shiny new version numbers.  I don't claim to have numbers to back it up, but 
I'd like to think that most users prefer major changes, adjustments, and possible breakage to occur 
infrequently, and only when it is expected (distro upgrade), rather than happening frequently and 
by surprise.  I'd like to think that most would prefer things to continue to work, and work the 
same, and for updates to only fix bugs most of the time.  I would also like to think that those who 
are overly obsessed about the new shiny version numbers can find ways to manage.

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