Firefox takes new tack on testing bug fixes

Over the next day, Mozilla plans to begin delivering bug fixes to a select group of beta testers who will try out the upcoming Firefox version before it is released to all Firefox users. The new version of the open-source browser will be delivered to those who signed up for the Firefox 2 beta program last year. Mozilla hopes that by having a short beta release before pushing out the product it will be better able to "ensure high quality updates," the company said in a statement. Previously, Mozilla had pushed out new security updates to all Firefox users simultaneously. The advantage is obviously a higher quality release, while the disadvantage is that the code for how the security issues were fixed is available, before the release. Firefox is expected to have about a half-dozen bug fixes.

View: Check if you're in the Beta
News source: InfoWorld

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Man, the more I read the summary, the more poorly worded I'm beginning to think it is.

while the disadvantage is that the code for how the security issues were fixed is available
Uh, CVS? I find it very hard to believe that any self-respecting hacker doesn't see the code for a given security fix within a day of it getting checked into the source repository. Having a public beta does no more for security than nightly builds or publicly-available source code.

The whole point of this is to avoid regressions of the sort which forced a to be pushed out way ahead of schedule.

Trading speed of patch release for additional testing.

What say they create a "Patch Monday" day, every month. Then they can wait and release their patches then. That would be even better, right?

I prefer patches to be released when internal Q.C. says 'go'.

It's not like it's some sort of exclusive club. Obviously anybody can always download nightly builds if they want to try the latest and greatest build. Also, you can always change your update channel to beta (by the method given in the MDC post linked from the article) from the default release if you want to try out beta builds. Of course, you're doing so at your own risk.