A few days ago the Firefox team let forth a new major release. 7.0.1. Seven. That’s a lot of progress since earlier this year when they floated Firefox 4.
Most software companies would have labeled this release 4.3. The Firefox team has eschewed the first dot and has decided to make any release with a feature change a new major release. There is no n.1; the first decimal digit is entirely vestigial. There was no 4.1. There was no 5.1 or 6.1 There will be no 7.1, just 7.0.1. This might sound stupid, unless you have Inside Information. Which I have, thanks to Wikipedia.
The Internet Explorer team at Microsoft, sworn rivals of Firefox, are nonetheless ok guys who want to make this whole Web thing work. Back in the day when the Firefox team kicked the ass of the web world and released a browser that not only defined standards but provided the tools to help Web developers code to those standards, team FF were the guys to beat. On the release of FF3, the boys at Microsoft sent the team a cake. Firefox 4 was similarly honored. And FF5. And so on.
And now we see the real reason behind the accelerated numbering. Each major release gets a cake. If I was in charge, there’d be a new major version every Thursday.
* The firefox team joked about sending a cake to Microsoft to honor IE 8 (or 7 or 9 and you shouldn’t ask me to remember shit like that), but they would send the cake along with the recipe. Open-source cake. But (as far as history records) they didn’t. Would’a been funny. There’s talk and there’s action, and seriously you don’t want to be on the losing side of that with Microsoft.