Linux News Today: Mozilla Changes the Release Schedule of Firefox
Mozilla is making some changes to the Firefox schedule, and it looks like they are going to give more time to developers between releases.
One of the biggest changes for Firefox was the switch to a train model, which meant a lot more flexibility This happened four years ago, and the last version was 3.5 back then. Now we’re at Firefox 44, and they keep on going with this crazy schedule. The main difference is that they are no longer tied to a six-week release schedule.
There are some huge gains with this model. For example, users no longer have to wait for months for some features to land in the stable branch, and everything is implemented at a much quicker pace. The downsides can’t be ignored. The developers are working against a clock and new versions of Firefox are also landing with bugs and other security issues.
More time between launches
The obvious solution is to give developers more time to work on each new version, but they can’t go back to the old model. So they have increased the allotted time by two weeks. The principle is that they still target a six-week development period, but that can be extended to eight if necessary.
“We are moving to a variably scheduled six-to-eight week release cycle for Firefox. With this new release cycle, we will deliver the same number of releases per year but gain a few significant benefits over the previous six-weeks fixed model. For example, we will now be able to adjust release dates to respond to emerging user and market needs and provide at least six working weeks for every release,” reads the announcement.
Mozilla also revealed the estimated launch dates for future versions of Firefox:
2016-01-26 – Firefox 44
2016-03-08 – Firefox 45, ESR 45 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-04-19 – Firefox 46 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-06-07 – Firefox 47 (7 weeks cycle)
2016-08-02 – Firefox 48 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-09-13 – Firefox 49 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-11-08 – Firefox 50 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-12-13 – Firefox 50.0.1 (5-week cycle, release for critical fixes as needed)
2017-01-24 – Firefox 51 (6 weeks from prior release).