Firefox 6 came out sooner than expected, and yet, I can’t find anyone who’s excited about it. Probably because, under last year’s conditions, this probably would be called Firefox 4.2 or perhaps Firefox 4.5 or 4.6, something like that.
Yeah, I’ll be installing it, if only because it’s the security update for Firefox 5. But it sure feels anticlimactic. When Firefox 3 and Firefox 4 came out, I felt excited. Maybe that means something’s wrong with me. But there was something compelling, something tangible about those new releases. I don’t think either of them let me do something I couldn’t do before, but they at least held the promise of letting me do those things faster.
Even Firefox 5, which I once argued should have been called Firefox 4.1 or 4.5, at least held the promise of using my graphics card to render pages faster. This go-round doesn’t even have that.
As far as I can tell, Firefox 6 will load a little faster and maybe run a little faster, and of course I’m always in favor of that. The site identity block (left of the URL) will make it a little easier to determine whether a site is what it says it is, which is a nice security enhancement but I doubt anyone who isn’t CISSP or at least Security+-certified will ever use it. And the other big new feature is that it’ll show the domain name portion of a URL in boldface, which makes me want to cue up Chris Farley screaming, “Well, la-de-freaking-da!” Nice idea, probably overdue, and something someone else should have thought of 15 years ago, but enough to justify a major version? No way.
The more compelling new features are coming out with Firefox 7 and 8, later this year.
I guess this pretty much says it all. Yesterday was Firefox 6’s release date, and I wish I could find something else to write about because I almost feel like I’m wasting people’s time writing about it.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.