Mozilla has revealed that Firefox 5 will go through a shortened 13-week development cycle, and that the next version of the popular browser is due to be released on 21 June.
This represents a marked change in direction for the open source browser maker, which spent 12 months developing Firefox 4 before its release on 22 March.
Mozilla will publish three test versions of Firefox 5 before a stable release, according to the Mozilla Firefox: Development Specifics outline.
These editions will be known as Nightly, Aurora and Beta. Nightly will be the first and most unstable version to be released. Some 100,000 Mozilla developers and power users are expected to download this and help to check for bugs.
Aurora will mark a new stage in the development cycle and is expected to be used by one million developers and power users.
Mozilla anticipates that 10 million people will then download the final Beta version before release.
The fast-track approach will mean that features that are not ready for the final build will simply be left out, which is expected to reduce the delays that marred the release of Firefox 4.
"For Mozilla to make a clean break from long, feature-driven release schedules, the project will need to find a way to transition to schedule-driven releases," the firm noted in its Mozilla Firefox: Development Process draft document.
"The accumulation of patches on Mozilla-central during the initial rollout of Firefox 4 is a primary concern. The way we're going to handle this problem is by taking an extremely early cut at Firefox 5."
Firefox 6 is then expected to be pushed out in mid-August, with an official date yet to be confirmed.
Google has been using a fast-track approach for its Chrome browser, and has already released its 11th beta as a result.
Web users appear to be lapping up Firefox 4, which has notched up 75 million downloads since its release on 22 March, according to Mozilla. Pushing out faster updates is likely to continue increasing the browser's popularity.
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