The next version of Mozilla Firefox could be released in the last week of June, as the company moves to an accelerated release schedule.
According to a draft document, posted by Mozilla’s Rob Sayre and spotted by ConceivablyTech, a single Firefox release will take 16 weeks, a far cry from the twelve months it took the company to get Firefox 4 to release candidate stage. The final version of that browser is due for release March 22.
Mozilla could also take a leaf from Google's book and split Firefox development into four channels - nightly (also known as mozilla-central), experimental, beta and final. Development for the Chrome browser works in a similar way, with users able to choose which channel they will receive builds from.
Under the plan proposed by Mr Sayre, new features would start life in the nightly channel, before moving to the experimental and beta channels before either being disabled or included in a final release build. Features that take a long time to develop can stay in the nightly channel until ready or scrapped. New code would be moved from the nightly channel every six weeks during a development cycle.
As Wired's Scott Gilbertson pointed out, the accelerated development plan will also allow users to opt-out of automatic upgrades regardless of which development channel they subscribe to.
There's little doubt that radical change away from the tangled development process of Firefox 4 is needed if Mozilla is to meet an ambitious target of shipping four major browser versions this year, including Firefox 4.
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