Google announced via the Chromium Blog that it plans to release new stable versions of Chrome every six weeks. Though the team has managed to ship five major revisions in less than two years, the new accelerated pace means we could see Chrome 9.0 by the end of this year.
According to program manager Anthony Laforge, the increased pace is designed to address three main goals. One is to get new features out to users faster. The second is make the release schedule predictable and therefore easier to plan which features will be included and which features will be targeted for later releases. Third, and most counterintuitive, is to cut the level of stress for Chrome developers.
Laforge explains that the shorter, predictable time periods between releases are more like “trains leaving Grand Central Station.” New features that are ready don’t have to wait for others that are taking longer to complete—they can just hop on the current release “train.” This can in turn take the pressure off developers to rush to get other features done, since another release train will be coming in six weeks. And they can rest easy knowing their work isn’t holding the train from leaving the station.
Mass transit metaphors aside, Chrome will be revving the major version number with each stable release, with 6.0 expected pretty soon, and then shortly followed by 7.0. 8.0. and 9.0. However, warns Laforge, “please don’t read too much into the pace of version number changes—they just mean we are moving through release cycles and we are geared up to get fresher releases into your hands!”
This article originally appeared on Ars Technica, Wired’s sister site for in-depth technology news. For more from Ars Technica, follow the links below.
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