September 2008 Archives
Today we shipped the Firefox 3.0.2 update for Firefox users on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Most of you are uses to these regular security and stability updates but there's an all too often uncelebrated minor update tory that really deserves some attention this time around: localizations.
With today's release, we've now got official releases for Sinhala and Slovene as well as beta releases for Bengali, Galician, Hindi, Icelandic, Kannada, Marathi, Telegu, and Thai available for testing. That's 8 new locales coming online for Firefox 3, bringing the total up to 57!!
Mozilla's amazing localization community pushes really hard to get localizations ready for major releases like Firefox 3, but not all of them make it. Our minor updates are a chance to get some that we couldn't squeeze into the major releases and to introduce new "beta" locale versions.
Seth, and everyone involved, have really taken it up a notch with how much they've accomplished and how much progress we're making to ensure that everyone the world over can use Firefox in their preferred language.
I really enjoyed it and I think it does a wonderful job communicating and celebrating what Mozilla is today. But as you'll note from his final paragraphs, the Mozilla Manifesto, and "today's Mozilla" are not the result of a smart group of people sitting down a couple of years ago and putting together the perfect plan. The great state of things has been over 10 years in the making.
Mozilla has been around a lot longer than most people realize. This is primarily because so many people came to learn about Mozilla after discovering Firefox. If you're one of those people, I strongly encourage you to read Atul's article because it really does an amazing job of explaining how much more we are than the Firefox browser we make.
If you're interested in learning even more about Mozilla and our long and rich history prior to the release of Firefox, I've posted one of my presentations with notes/script to the Mozilla Evangelism Wiki that outlines the decade-long effort that's resulted in the Mozilla that Atul describes and celebrates so well.
If you've got comments, suggestions, or corrections on the content of the presentation "The History of Mozilla" please let me know. Also, I'd love to see the content translated into more languages so if you're a Mozilla translation contributor, or would like to become one, please let me know and I'd be thrilled to help however I can.
Bholley has a great blog post up on color management in Firefox. More than a great post, though, it's a call to action on testing this new feature and helping us figure out how much of it we can safely enable for the next Firefox release.
If you're interested in making color better on the Web, I strongly encourage you to head over to bholley.work.blog, read up on the issues, and get to testing and providing feedback.
Photo "like a record..." by shoothead and used under a Creative Commons license.
Also, I want to say thanks to Bobby Holley for his amazing work on color management this summer. The Mozilla project never ceases to amaze me on the talent and dedication front. We literally would not be where we are today without crazy-smart people, like bholley, that really care about making Firefox and the Web better.
So, get over to his blog and help us make a color managed web.
The odds on two of us working in the same organization have got to be microscopic and so the odds of someone getting it wrong were pretty much a lock. Oh well :-)
Gregg Keiser, over at Computerworld, notes that Firefox took another chunk out of IE last week and with a nice assist from the new Chrome browser, IE lost 1.4 percentage points in just one week. It does look like Chrome's early gains are falling back a bit but there are no signs of retreat from Firefox.
There's been a lot of excitement this week in browsers. No doubt Chrome led the way with its 0.2 beta launch on Tuesday afternoon. Mozilla also launched the second alpha of Firefox 3.1.
There's also been a lot of speculation around the Web about how Google's Chrome has or will impact usage of the other browsers.
While it's pretty much impossible to know what's going to happen over the next few months, we can take a look at the first few days after Chrome's launch thanks to the hourly Market Share reports from Net Applications.
As you can see from all the browsers charted, there's a pretty significant variance in usage throughout the day. What isn't obvious here, but would be if the chart covered a full week or more, is that there's also a pretty strong variance from weekday to weekend.
All that is to say that with such a small sample, there are a lot of things that this chart doesn't say. What it does say, I think, is that Firefox ended the week at about its normal 20% usage share and the new Google Chrome browser ended the week with just over 1% usage share.
From this global measure, from the most often cited Web statistics company, it's pretty clear that Chrome did not take any significant bite out of Firefox in those first 4 days.
It's pretty cool that Chrome was able to take as much as it did as quickly as it did, surpassing Opera and Safari on Windows with room to spare. No doubt those browser vendors have got to be pretty concerned. My congratulations to the Chrome team for a great launch and an exciting new browser. I think they've got the new #3 browser on Windows.
update: Oh, and there was also some speculation that Google might have topped Firefox's Download Day 2008 Guinness World Record. We'll have to wait on Google to tell us how many downloads they got in that first day, but if the usage numbers from Net Application's hourly tracking are to be believed, it's unlikely that Google surpassed Firefox's record. At the end of the first day of Firefox 3 downloads, Firefox 3 had grown to just over 4% of the global usage share, more than twice Chrome's peak usage on its best day after release.
The open source engines are rockin' the speed game and the closed engines are falling very far behind very quickly. It looks to me like the closed and proprietary guys just can't keep up.
Photo "No longer rocking" by Gary Simmons used under a Creative Commons license.
It's actually a shame that they're falling so far behind. It would be helpful for the Web if the IE team was able to make some serious JS improvements for 8 and whatever comes next because there are still a significant number of users stuck on Microsoft's technology.
Their falling behind won't completely stop the Web from moving forward though. There's enough momentum behind the truly modern browsers, Firefox leading the way with 20% of the market, that the Web will get better without them.
IE market share will continue to deteriorate, probably at a somewhat faster rate, as users flee for a better experience. And MS will no doubt slow things down at least some so I really do hope they improve. The less of a drag they are the better.
Yes, Silverlight and Flash, we're coming and at least Microsoft is starting to take notice.
It's a good time to be the open Web :-)
I can't wait for Web developers to be able to start using this and the massive performance advantages that will come with TraceMonkey.
With Firefox 3.0 still taking the web by storm, it's thrilling to know that Firefox 3.1 is gonna rock this hard.
(And for those Web devs fretting over further Firefox version fragmentation, we're taking care of you. We've already seen more than half of our Firefox 2 users move to Firefox 3 and the rest are following very quickly. The transitions will be quick and the features almost all additive.)