Program Management/Firefox/ReleaseTiming

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  • Timing of features for silent update and improving add-on compatibility across the next several releases.
  • Timeline of what we are planning to land and when.
  • Discussion of data, metrics we are gathering.
  • Options, alternatives, pros/cons.


Firefox 8

  • Add-ons
    • Provide users an opportunity to opt out of some add-ons that are installed without their consent.
    • Feature to prevent this from happening in the future - catch this and warn the user on install.
    • Should have meaningful impact for users that upgrade.
    • Users will see the opt out in FF8.
    • For FF8 we are also removing the Java console on updates - incompatibility.
    • This will mean that FF8 update will be a bit noisy but it improves from there.
  • Silent Update
    • Not prompting when an update is pending until 24 hrs.
    • Most users restart within that time frame.
    • Fix is in FF8 but won't show up until FF9 goes that - it's then that they will see this update go away.
    • Need to keep the prompt for security reasons.
  • Other
    • There was a telemetry feature to collect information on add-ons.
    • This was originally backed out of FF7 due to privacy concerns but we fixed the text in the opt in dialog for FF9.
    • There is a telemetry bug we have since uncovered which involves people getting re-prompted for telemetry add-on opt in.
    • We likely won't have this in for FF9.
    • Can we consider using the metrics ping - how many users, rate of retention. Not telemetry so no privacy implications.
  • 20 hang fixes, 110 crash fixes, 61 security bugs, 40 sg:crits

Firefox 9

  • Key feature is Type Inference which gives us performance wins
  • Hotfix add-on feature - may be safe enough to put in FF9
    • Could fix some problems that requires and update
    • Standing add-on that lives in FF where we can deliver hotfixes.
    • Nothing in FF9 that handles further progress on silent update or add-on compatibility.
    • We do have stability, security and hang fixes though which better the product.
  • 27 hang fixes (including QT hang), 84 crash fixes, 57 bugs, 38 sg:crit, 8 high

Firefox 10

  • Scheduled to include add-on compatibility - compatible by default with some mitigation.
  • Feature controlled by a pref.
  • Make the whole experience better around updates.
  • Silent update - background updates.
    • Silent update - we have patches, they are being reviewed.
    • We might find something serious so lots of risks here.
    • Users experience the silent update when FF11 is released.
  • Add-ons compatible by default - have a client and server side piece.
    • Blair has patches in progress.
    • Probably won't get it in at the merge point.
    • 4 bugs on the AMO side - 2 are fixed
    • Other 2 bugs - one is easy.
    • Do we need a backup plan for the updater?
  • Can we pref this off - probably.


  • Christian provided some data around features, stability, security and hangs fixes that are in FF8, FF9 and FF10 so we understand the value add with releasing.
  • Media:8_9_stats.pdf

Take Aways

  • We are on track getting the most serious user issues addressed as quickly as possible.
  • We agreed that there is value add to move forward with FF8, FF9 and FF10 as planned.
  • Keeping on a predictable schedule is better from a marketing perspective.
  • Although most of the key add-on fixes and silent update changes are in FF10, we have done lots of work on stability, hangs and other things that improve the user experience in FF8 and FF9.
  • We understand that there are still some risks getting the work completed for FF10 due to the nature of the features.