New Firefox schedule will bring the good stuff faster

Following the release of Firefox 5 on June 21, a standard 18-week development schedule will kick in.

Mozilla's Firefox 4 may still be fresh from the oven and cooling on millions of users' computers, but Mozilla has already set an aggressive schedule with specific dates for the release of the open source browser's upcoming versions.

Indeed, making good on the promise back in February that it was planning to step up the pace of its browser releases, Mozilla has now made plain that it plans to ship the final release of Firefox 5 on June 21, likely followed by Firefox 6 in mid-August.

Beginning with Firefox 6, in fact, Mozilla will adopt a standard, overlapping 18-week schedule by which each new version spends six weeks in each of three different stages: the "central" or "nightly" phase, which is "just like the current repository," Mozilla notes; the "aurora" phase, where work done previously is stabilized; and then the beta phase, in which any remaining issues are fixed. A draft outline is posted on Mozilla's site.

'Releases Are Not Delayed'

Whereas previous Firefox releases have taken many months to develop, Mozilla's new timetable will impose a much stricter schedule that's akin to the one Google follows for its own Chrome competitor.

"Each release happens regardless of whether a given feature is ready, and releases are not delayed to wait for a feature to stabilize," Mozilla explains in a separate draft document. "The goal of the process is to provide regular improvements to users without disrupting longer term work."

According to Mozilla's schedule, Firefox 5 will enter the aurora phase on Tuesday. At the same time, Firefox 6 will enter its central, or nightly, phase.

(More) Instant Gratification

Firefox 4 has propelled Mozilla's browser to the forefront of the pack with enhancements including greatly boosted speed, a widely touted "Do Not Track" mechanism, a "tabs on top" layout and more.

That version of the browser -- which blew away expectations with some 7 million downloads in its first 24 hours -- may have taken a relatively long time to bake, but it's clear future versions won't.

I love Firefox 4, but I can't wait to try out the next version, which promises to feature a more responsive interface, an updated search bar, site-specific tabs and more. It's exciting to see that Mozilla is committing to make the browser even better sooner -- and more often.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk .

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceFirefoxapplicationsbrowserssoftwareinternetmozilla

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?