Firefox 6 Released with Very Few Changes

Firefox 6 is not officially scheduled to ship until tomorrow, however the final build for all the platforms are now available for download from the official FTP channels. Much like the previous release, the changelog for Fx 6 is quite flimsy, and the new build doesn’t feature any major new user facing feature. This is of course the side-effect of following a rapid release cycle. While it makes it easier for Mozilla to stick to the schedule, it also makes version numbers insignificant and immaterial. GHacks reported yesterday that Mozilla is planning on hiding the version number from normal users by removing it from the About’ box. Of course, that would be an incredibly lame and stupid way to tackle the issue. The sensible thing for Mozilla would be to label these releases as minor version updates, and have one or two scheduled major updates per year that will actually deliver new features. Anyway, there is no point in blaming Mozilla alone. Google is the one who started this madness with their Chrome release cycle.


Coming back to Firefox 6, the most significant change is that the address bar now highlights the domain of the website you are currently browsing. The site identity blocker has also received a minor facelift to make it sleeker than before. There are also a few behind the scenes improvements such as support for WebSockets, improved Scratchpad, a new Web Developer menu item, an improved Web Console, and reduced browser startup time when using Panaroma.

There are as many as 1,300 changes in Firefox 6. However, almost all of them are bug fixes. When it comes to delivering new features, Firefox disappoints once again. If you have used Firefox 5, or even Firefox 4, you already know what to expect. If you liked either of those two releases, you will like Firefox 6. If you didn’t, then Firefox 6 will not change your opinion.

[ Download Firefox 6 for Windows | Mac | Linux ]

Published by

Pallab De

Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

  • M-F have to stop , and release one version a year , but any way firefox is the best , Thank You

  • I can not understand what Firefox is doing. Many updates in a very short time, why?

  • Patrick Crocker

    I don’t understand why the FF major version number change has some people up-in-arms (picture an army of geeks armed with black market ThinkGeek USB rocket launchers). Mozilla can switch from using version numbers to the names of the moons of Jupiter (shout-out to Eclipse 3.4-3.6) for all I care. Update often, release often!!!

  • Don Ed Hardy

    Why should it be disappointing that there are no new features? Featuritis is an evil. Better consolidate the existing functionality. But yeah version numbers are overrated now.

  • Well, I know that firefox on my machine doesn’t work perfectly, so if this is mostly bug fixes then I still think “Woopi!!” I can hardly wait to see if YouTube videos play in full screen on this one. I hope they keep releasing just as fast.

  • Bob

    It is immaterial what the numbering is. It is more important to fix the underlying system than to add new features. The accelerated release cycle is the important thing. Just be on the latest stable version. Versioning is just a way for marketing to sell a product. Browsers are free, meaning that versioning does not matter.

  • i think Google Chrome is more stable than firefox, this update will only make firefox more unstable.. i like it was in version 3.+

  • ST Sukk

    It is annoying that Firefox issued this release with known problems. I am not interested in the new features, but miss the incompatible features I had.