updated 11:45 am EST, Mon February 8, 2010
Coding reaches moment of truth
It is almost certain that future versions of Firefox, following the recent v3.6 release, will not be compatible with Mac OS X Tiger, suggests Mozilla engineer Josh Aas. The company is now at a point where it must decide to include or exclude Tiger compatibility, and the latter perspective has gained favor. "We would like to take advantage of more modern technologies on Mac OS X and 10.4 support has been a hindrance," says Aas.
The problem is particularly important in light of Chrome and Safari, both of which have already left Tiger behind, Aas adds. Recent Mozilla figures meanwhile indicate that while 24 percent of Firefox 3.5 owners are running Tiger, the usage drops to 12 percent for v3.6. Roughly half of the v3.5 audience is at least using Leopard, and 59 percent of v3.6 owners are already on Snow Leopard.
Although v3.6 may be the last Tiger-compatible version of Firefox, support is expected to last until sometime in 2011. Mozilla policy is to support software for at least six months after the launch of a subsequent update. Because the next major update of Firefox will not arrive until late this year at the earliest, it could be spring or summer of next year before fixes stop filtering down.