The browser development team at the Mozilla Foundation have switched to a new method of working which means new features for the popular Firefox browser should find their way into users' hands faster than ever before.
According to an article over on InfoWorld
, Firefox architect Vlad Vukecevic has described the new practice as "'sprint' development,
" a system whereby "[Mozilla has] a bunch of projects [new features] that we assign to one or two people, who then have two to three weeks to maybe finish [it] or at least get some data on it.
Vukecevic explains that the sprint development cycle method will hopefully make the development team "more nimble
" and allow the team to work on "a lot of great improvements we want to do every week and every month.
While the development team might be working on getting new features to users as soon as possible, the release schedule for future versions is still somewhat tentative with Vukecevic stating that the company will "do at least one release a year from now on, but whether there's a second release this year [...] that's up in the air.
The current release roadmap
shows Firefox 3.6 due for release in October-November this year, with Firefox 3.7 following around March next year. Firefox 4.0 - the next major revision - should be due October-November 2010. Vukecevic has been tight-lipped on whether the new sprint-cycle development will affect these dates.
Hopefully the new development techniques at Mozilla will help the company stay on track for release dates: Firefox 3.5 was plagued with delays as more and more features were added to what was originally planned to be an incremental update.
Are there any major features missing from Firefox that you think the development team should be 'sprinting' with, or are you just excited to see what version 4.0 will bring? Share your thoughts over in the forums