Reducing latency for shipping Brave changes

New development schedule delivers features and fixes for general release in 3-6 weeks instead of 6-9 weeks

When features and fixes get implemented for Brave, they make their way through 4 distinct browser channels. This happens on a schedule which is determined more than a year in advance.

These browser channels are described as follows:

  • Nightly: For users who want to stay on the cutting edge, and are willing to live with the bugs that come with it. This channel makes up the smallest user base. When features and fixes first get implemented, they land here first.
  • Dev: 0-3 weeks after changes land on Nightly, they move to this channel.
  • Beta: For users who’d like to experience new features in advance of release, and are willing to tolerate some bugs. 3 weeks after changes have been on Dev, they move to this channel.
  • Release: This channel makes up our largest user base. 3 weeks after changes have been on Beta, they move to this channel. This channel is for the vast majority of users, this is the most tested, most stable version of Brave.

For some important features and fixes, we’ll uplift changes directly from Nightly to Beta channel, or even to Release channel if we’d like to do a hotfix without waiting the normal amount of time.

For changes that we don’t uplift though, it takes 6-9 weeks to get the change to the Release channel where most of the user base exists.

After today, we’ll be reducing the time it takes for a change to make it to the Release channel from 6-9 weeks to 3-6 weeks. This will be accomplished by making our Dev channel go directly from 1.5.x to 1.7.x, skipping over the 1.6.x version. Dev channel will be equivalent to Beta channel.

For most users, starting today there will be three channels to choose from: Nightly, Beta, and Release.

We’ll still continue to build both Dev and Beta channels, but they’ll be served from the same code. Dev channel will get updates nearly every day, Beta channel will get updates a couple times a week. We’ll update brave.com to deemphasize Dev channel more, but the download page will remain available. The Nightly channel will not be affected in any way.

Besides noticing the skipping of the 1.6.x version, we don’t expect this will impact any Brave user of any channel in any way. This is being done so we can ship things faster without needing to uplift the changes.

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