Mozilla outlined its 2012 Firefox roadmap and reveals how it plans to counter "update fatigue". Version numbers will play a smaller role in the future as Mozilla will introduce silent updating and automatic add-on compatibility. Full details over here.
Firefox in 2012
To continue to build on our progress and momentum for 2011 we evaluated what the next steps would be, and have already started implementing a number of them. Outlined below are some of the most important ones.
To address the issue of people updating Firefox but having their desired add-ons stop working, from Firefox 10 add-ons were made Compatible by Default. This means that all add-ons that were marked compatible for Firefox 4 and higher will automatically be enabled in Firefox 10 and later.
Firefox Sync are being used by a lot of people, and in 2011 there were 25 billion items synced. To complement that, from Firefox 11 you can now also sync add-ons.
To cater to update fatigue, updates will now be downloaded and installed silently in the background. It means that startup and shutdown of the web browser won’t be affected by installation routines. Additionally, the What’s New page displayed after an update can now be displayed depending if there is important information needed to be displayed to the end user. Silent updates are currently planned to land in Firefox 12, and some supporting enhancements including background updates will land after Firefox 12 (the silent update mechanism is broken down into several parts, described in detail in the Silent Update planning).
Our Developer Tools in Firefox continue to evolve, with a number of features outlined in the Developer Tools roadmap.