We would love for you to test all the channels if possible. Having said that, there are options in terms of the impact that you can make that will greatly affect the product. QA looks at all the channels; there are currently 2 version leads; one taking odd, one taking evens.
To explain the impact that you can make in the various channels here is a small outline
Nightly – http://nightly.mozilla.org
- The best channel to get requests in, features changed, new look look, etc.
- Note: stability may not be the greatest
This is due to the developers not needing to necessarily get the authorize push of their code other than the normal code review, so things will change fast here. Because things change fast, stability may not necessarily be the greatest as things will break every now and then. The other thing to keep in mind is if the developer is working on the feature at the time, it’ll be fresh in their minds so bug fixing will be a bit easier. In the long run of things, all the little changes here will be seen several months when it gets to the release cycle.
- The best channel in terms of testing if you are looking for more stability and completeness of the feature
- Note: Aurora should have features either completed, deferred to the next Nightly, or dropped.
If you want to help ensure that the feature is complete, that the version is stable; this is the channel to pound on. This still does get developer attention. Pushing to this channel does require authorization.
Beta – Found in Android Market and ftp site
( most current beta in the time of writing this blog is : http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mobile/releases/10.0b1/ )
- The best channel for critical crashers and l10n issues.
- Note: Aurora should have ui and string frozen so that l10n can do their localizations
If you have the knack for finding critcal crashers, … well, we would love for you to find them in the Nightly. But if you find them in the Beta, it does require authorization, and it will get pushed through if it’s not too risky in terms of impact. Decisions have to get thought out first before things get authorized to push here. L10n issues, like wording and such and some string wording could be fixed here however. So, if you’re really good at various languages or grammar in languages, you might be able to make an impact here. (If it’s in English, well… we would love for you to test in aurora if not Nightly)
Release – located in the android marketplace and http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mobile/releases/latest/android/
- This is what the general public sees.
- Note: Unless it’s an impact like a chemspill, chances are it’s going to wait until the next full release cycle
The impact has to be huge in order for a new update version comes out. What we call a chem spill. Stability should be high at this point, features should be working as intended. The impact of testing is probably the lowest as this is further down the road. That being said, this should look like a finished product.
This cycle is constantly happening every 6 weeks with the faster release cycle for fennec. The native project coincides still with the 6 week cycle, through the amazing efforts of the mobile development team. I have never seen developers work so hard in any of the companies that I have worked in. They do amazing work at fast speeds and they take pride in their work. So these are the options. Yes, Nightly will not necessarily seem stable. Beginning parts of Aurora (week 1) may also experience that as well. These are the risks and benefits you get when testing the various channels. Take your pick and come help test today… everyday!