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Is Mozilla's Firefox 5 Dev Cycle Too Fast?


Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner (bio)

A command line view of IT

We've known for months that Mozilla was planning on moving to a more aggressive release cycle. Now Mozilla has posted a draft of how that release cycle might look.

Instead of having the nightly builds, then alpha, beta and release milestones - Mozilla is looking to have :

  • Nightly - with up to 100,000 users
  • Aurora - up to 1 million users, updated nightly, but not clear the difference vs current nightly
  • Beta - -up to 10 million users
  • Release - over 100 million users
So, no not much is really changing in terms of 'channels' except for the Aurora-wildcard, which is kinda/sorta/maybe a nightly replacement.

What is changing is how the development process will feed the channels.

The plan is that changes are first staged in the Mozilla-central repository for 6 weeks, I see this as the 'merge window' that as a Linux user, I'm very familiar with. This step is followed by 6 weeks in Mozilla aurora, followed by 6 weeks in beta and then it's off to release.

So the whole process is 18 weeks in total - or from a user facing view, 12 weeks from the time an aurora user sees a release until it becomes a final release.

Personally, I don't think that's enough time to bake major changes.

[Continue reading this blog post at Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner]