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Firefox will reduce its release cycle to 4 weeks

Sep 18, 2019, 10:23 am

Firefox has announced that its browser release cycle has been reduced down to four weeks. Firefox browser release usually takes six to eight weeks, and over the years, Firefox has shifted to a ‘pre-release’ strategy. Firefox took the decision to change its release cycle owing to the factors of the users demanding Firefox to roll out new features more quickly, and the feature teams’ working pattern.

According to Firefox, starting Q1 2020, it will ship a major Firefox release every four weeks. However, the major ESR release will take place every 12 months with three months of support overlap between new ESR and the previous ESR. The next two ESRs are scheduled to launch in June 2020 and June 2021.

Mozilla has explained their decision in its blogpost.

Shorter release cycles provide greater flexibility to support product planning and priority changes due to business or market requirements. With four-week cycles, we can be more agile and ship features faster while applying the same rigor and due diligence needed for a high-quality and stable release. – Mozilla

As of now, Firefox will release two Beta builds per week, but the team at Firefox are also planning to increase the number of Beta builds. Stage rollouts will be a continuing saga to help minimize the disruptions on the users’ end. If a feature is at high risk, Mozilla will roll it out slowly to the end-user, and also turn the feature off, if and when the need arises for high-risk features. However, Firefox is determined to continue it’s A/B testing before every rollout release.

Starting with Firefox 71, Firefox aims at achieving the four weeks release cadence by Q1 2020. Firefox will focus closely on the developer productivity impact (tree closure, build failures); beta churn (uplifts, new regressions); and overall release stabilization and quality (stability, performance, carryover regressions).

With this new plan, Firefox is hoping that this will result in the most stable, fastest and best quality builds.

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