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Friday, April 15, 2011
Mozilla Adds Aurora Development Stage To Accelerate Firefox Updates


Mozilla is speeding up releases of its popular Firefox Web browser and already offering testers a taste of Firefox 5.

The company announced the Aurora version of Firefox 5, available for download now. The browsers comes just a month after the final version of Firefox 4 was released. Aurora is the newest of three stages of development that new versions of Firefox will go through before release. Until now, Firefox had three update channels, all of which contain updates built out of the same code repository:

- Nightly - builds created out of the mozilla-central repository every night. These are not qualified by QA
- Beta - builds created out of the mozilla-central repository, qualified by QA as being of sufficient quality to release to beta users
- Release - builds created out of the mozilla-central repository, qualified by QA as being of sufficient quality to release to hundreds of millions of people



Mozilla now came up with a modified process:

- Nightly - builds created out of the mozilla-central repository every night. These are not qualified by QA
- Aurora - builds created out of the mozilla-aurora repository, which is synced from mozilla-central every 6 weeks. There is a small amount of QA at the start of the 6 week1 period before the updates are offered
- Beta - builds created out of the mozilla-beta repository, qualified by QA as being of sufficient quality to release to beta users
- Release - builds created out of the mozilla-release repository, qualified by QA as being of sufficient quality to release to hundreds of millions of people

This first Aurora release includes performance, security and stability improvements, Mozilla said. You can download it here

"The Aurora channel is where users can test the latest features and innovations," Damon Sicore, Mozilla's senior director of platform engineering, said in a blog post. "Users can expect an increase in polish from the raw, cutting edge features in our nightly builds. Aurora releases may not be as stable as beta or final releases."


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