In the months before Firefox's first rapid release, one concern echoed throughout engineering: crashes.
We had always relied on long stabilization periods to get crash rates down. Firefox 4 would be our last high-stability release. We hoped improvements on other aspects of quality would outweigh the decreased stability.
But then something surprising happened. We released Firefox 5, and Firefox didn’t get crashier.
|Version||Crashes per 100 active daily users|
- The channel cascade gives each release 12 weeks of pure stabilization.
- The channel audiences help by comparing alphas to alphas.
- The short cycles enable backouts and reduce the desire to land half-baked features.
“Rapid release” doesn't mean building Firefox the way we always have, x times faster. It’s a new process that fits together in beautiful yet fragile ways.