Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
9 posts • Page 1 of 1
What are FireFox Nightly and FireFox Aurora?
What is the difference between theme?
It's pretty simple really. There's the latest released version of Firefox, which is currently at version 18. Then there's the latest Beta version of Firefox, which is currently at version 19 and is updated periodically (not sure what the period is based on - once every week?). Then there's the latest alpha version of Firefox, called Aurora, which is currently at version 20 and updated whenever important fixes happen. And finally there's the latest development version of Firefox, called Nightly, which is currently at version 21 and receives daily updates regardless of what changes may have landed.
Nightly turns into Aurora turns into Beta turns into Release when they bump the version number. This way they make sure that people can test all the latest changes, and hopefully enough people will have tested each version before it makes it to release. Release is meant to be more stable than Beta, Beta is meant to be more stable than Aurora, and Aurora is meant to be more stable than Nightly, but the tradeoff is that you have to wait longer for changes (such as new features, performance enhancements and so on).
Fixes also tend to make it to Nightlies faster, and backporting them to the other branches is only done if the risk/reward ratio is worth it (as a fix for one thing can break another). Fixes make it into Aurora fairly regularly, and more rarely new features make it into Aurora after missing the version bump. Beta is meant to be almost ready so it only gets some critical fixes, and Release only gets fixes in the event that a 'chemspill' release happens (e.g. Firefox 17.0.1), and even then only the most essential and low risk fixes are applied.
As for why the name 'Aurora', I don't know. Nightlies used to be called 'Minefield' to denote their experimental nature, but I guess they figured that scared off too many potential testers.
PS: Technically Nightlies are built from Mozilla-Central and there's also Mozilla-Inbound which merges to central periodically, and there are hourly builds which come out every few hours and go by the name 'Tinderbox' - but those aren't intended for normal use (if you can call testing a Nightly 'normal use').
Last edited by Ver Greeneyes on January 19th, 2013, 7:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Great! Thanks a lot for your explanation.
Aurora means dawn. Since those builds are a progress from the nightlies, the name fits quite well.
I guess that makes sense, although I know the name predates the name change from Minefield to Nightly. Pretty poetic though, I agree.
Nightly should only get a update whenever there are checkins but since they happen pretty much everyday there is a update as a result. That is unless they reverted back to old way of building automatically regardless.
The channels themselves do not move but rather the versions moves/merges to next channel.
Or built much sooner if using Linux builds. Also the Tinderbox hourlies do not get updates due to have the channel of default.
Awesomeness lands on mozilla-central ... :rolleyes:
Aurora technically has the same style of updates as Nightly, in that an updated build will be pushed out at least once a day if something has landed that day. Changes landing on Aurora are usually fairly frequent, though I think lately that repository has been closed while they figure out some test failures or regressions, so there might not have been any updates for a few days.
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