Inside Firefox Aurora 5.0a2

Inside Firefox Aurora 5.0a2

The Mozilla Foundation has released a new alpha build of its open-source browser. Firefox Aurora heralds new development cycle for Firefox. We examine what's new.

Firefox Aurora, currently at version 5.0a2, is designed to represent the first public glimpse of future versions of Firefox in an early, unstable form.

The release of Aurora coincides with Mozilla’s announcement of its new rapid release development cycle, which brings it into line with rival browsers like Google’s Chrome. Having taken two years to deliver Firefox 4, Mozilla aims to release versions 5, 6 and 7 by the end of the year.

The new development cycle basically introduces a fourth release into the schedule. Nightly builds are private and shared only by developers. Previously, these nightly builds (codenamed Minefield) would slowly make their way to the Beta channel before eventually migrating to final release. In order to speed up testing and development, a new alpha channel – Firefox Aurora – has been made available to the public to get an early glimpse into the latest changes under development.

Each version of Firefox – starting with version 5 – will spend six weeks in development under the Aurora banner. It’s expected that versions of Aurora at the beginning of the six-week cycle will naturally be more unstable than those at the end, prior to migrating to the beta channel for a further six-week cycle prior to the final release. Once a release has migrated from Aurora to Firefox Beta, Aurora will move on to the next version number, synchronising with the latest nightly build at that point in time.

It’s worth noting that Mozilla’s own roadmap for Firefox 5 estimates a June 21st release date for the next version of the browser, which means its development cycle has been compressed from 18 weeks to just 13. Starting with Firefox 6, however, the roadmap will revert to the planned six-week cycle for each stage of a version’s development.

Examining Firefox Aurora
Firefox Aurora can be differentiated from later beta and stable versions of Firefox by the use of Aurora instead of Firefox at key points in the user interface (such as the Firefox button in Windows and Linux). It will also sport its own dedicated logo.

Unlike Chrome, it’s technically possible to run Aurora alongside the beta or stable version of Firefox, although both programs will share add-ons and preferences, which could cause problems further down the line. In our quick tests, however, the most annoying facet of running both side-by-side was the fact an add-ons compatibility check was performed each time we switched from one to the other.

At the present time, there are no noteworthy new features in Firefox Aurora 5.0a2, although Mozilla claims it does include several performance, security and stability improvements. Firefox Aurora 5.0a2 is available as a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, and like Firefox is open source.

This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk

Source: Copyright Software Crew

See more about:  alpha  |  browser  |  firefox  |  prerelease
 
 

Readers of this article also read...

Photoshop, by the hour (or at least, by the month) 

Photoshop, by the hour (or at least, by the month)

 
Tablets put PC market in decline 

Tablets put PC market in decline

 
Lenovo's Thinkpad T510 is our new A-List business laptop 

Lenovo's Thinkpad T510 is our new A-List business laptop

 
DSLR enthusiasts, mark your diaries 

DSLR enthusiasts, mark your diaries

 
Windows Phone 7, worth waiting for new Mango OS update? 

Windows Phone 7, worth waiting for new Mango OS update?

 

Latest Comments

Latest Competitions

Experience The Evil Within at an exclusive VIP event! 

Experience The Evil Within at an exclusive VIP event!

10 VIPs will win a place at this exclusive event to get hands on time with Bethesda's upcoming horror title.
Win! Godzilla Prize Packs 

Win! Godzilla Prize Packs

STOMP ALL THE THINGS.
Win! Batman: Assault on Arkham 

Win! Batman: Assault on Arkham

Na na na na na na na WIN STUFF!
Win! Destiny 

Win! Destiny

We're giving away a copy of next great console shooter!
Win! 300 Rise of an Empire 

Win! 300 Rise of an Empire

We're giving away five awesome prize packs!
 

Latest Poll

What PC component are you planning to upgrade in the next six months










Ads by Google

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads