First Firefox 4 Update in Six Days, 5 and 6 Later this Year
Article by George Norman
On 20 Apr 2011
As you may remember, the final version of Firefox 4 was released to the public on the 22nd of March, bringing with it a fresh new interface, hardware-accelerated graphics, syncing capabilities, an speedier JavaScript engine, and many other cool new features.

The news is that Mozilla announced that the first update for Firefox 4 will be released six days from now, on the 26th of April. Mozilla said it will start using codename for updates and so help out the devs who closely follow the development of the Firefox browser. This first Firefox 4 update carries the codename Macaw. If a zero-day vulnerability is uncovered until the 26th of April and an update has to be rushed out, that update will carry the codename Anteater.


The fact that Mozilla decided to use codenames for updates as well reminds me of Opera Software’s recent decision to give all upcoming version of the Opera web browser. Opera Software started with Opera 11.10 codename Barracuda – “a sleek fish with a torpedo-like body, dagger-like teeth, and a ferocious appetite. Built to hunt in the ocean, it relies on surprise, agility, and bursts of speed to overtake its prey. The barracuda can even consume larger fish.”

Getting back to Mozilla, the foundation announced that it adopted the fast-release ethos that former Firefox Director Mike Beltzner proposed. Just like Google, Mozilla will roll out more Firefox versions on several channels :
Nightly - also known as Central, it is meant for devs.
Aurora - this is a new channel meant for power users.
Beta - for willing Beta testers
Release - the stable version meant for everyone.

What does the adoption of a fast-release ethos mean? It means that later this year we’ll see the release of Firefox 5 and Firefox 6. If all goes to plan, and by that I mean the dates may change, Firefox 5 will be released to the public on the 21st of June and Firefox 6 will be released on the 18th of August.

The logos of the Nightly, Aurora and Beta channels.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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