Exactly what will end up being the very final, last word on the subject of Mozilla Firefox's expedited release system, may yet be seen. Yesterday, however, the Mozilla Foundation's chairperson, Mitchell Baker, weighed in with what appears to be an attempt at finality, albeit a dualistic one. On the one hand, Baker wrote, Firefox should be less like software and more like the Internet.
On the other hand, enterprises do count in determining how software like Firefox should continue to improve.
"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," wrote Baker on her personal blog. "If we want the browser to be the interface for the Internet, we need to make it more like the Internet."
Baker tried to gloss over the problem many Firefox contributors have pointed out in recent days: that independent developers of Firefox add-ons may not easily make the adjustment to a six-week major release cycle. She said that add-ons were managed through Web pages that structurally aren't any different from any other kind of Web page, making them easier to manage.
She used that as an example of expediting the browser management process while at the same time addressing user concerns, and here is where she invoked enterprises. "We need to listen carefully to those who are experiencing difficulties. We need to be creative and try to find practical ways of alleviating these difficulties if we can. This is true for the enterprise use case, and it's true for the add-on experience. I know that's not a perfect answer, and it's not a promise that we can meet everyone's needs perfectly. Despite this, I believe the rapid release process is the right direction."
This comment comes a few months after Firefox product manager Asa Dotzler made his now infamous proclamation, "Enterprise has never been (and I'll argue, shouldn't be) a focus."
In a late effort to determine how many add-on developers the rapid release cycle may impact, Mozilla has posted a survey whose questions include, "Are you aware that desktop Firefox will be moving to a multi-process architecture like the one used by Firefox for mobile?" and "If Mozilla provided a marketplace for add-ons, would you be interested in selling a premium version of a new or existing add-on?"