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As we all know, there is 'alpha', and 'beta' release status.

Mozilla Firefox, however, labels its releases differently: 'nightly', 'aurora', 'beta'.

Is this an example to follow? Is aurora the new alpha? Does it create confusion, since it is basically public beta testing with a cool name and cool icon?

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It seems Aurora is the code name for a new style browser: http://thefutureofthings.com/news/1277/aurora-mozilla-s-future-concept-browser.html

It is not "instead" of a beta for Firefox, it is a different browser.

It looks like they sync code between the products at 6 week intervals, which makes sense if they are trying to get the most reuse out of Firefox and perhaps feed features back from Aurora.

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I'm referring to this: mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/channel –  michelemarcon Apr 20 '11 at 10:43
    
It's the download page, you can download Aurora, or a beta of Firefox etc. –  Steve Haigh Apr 20 '11 at 10:47
    
Yes, but I'm talking about the release cycle, not the software itself... –  michelemarcon Apr 20 '11 at 13:58
    
AFAIK it is nothing to do with the release cycle of Firefox (i.e. Firefox 4, the current latest and greatest). It is in it's own branch. If you click on that icon you download what appears to be an alpha build of Firefox 5. The other icons link to Firefox 4 downloads. –  Steve Haigh Apr 20 '11 at 14:06
    
@Steve Haigh From a Firefox 4 point-of-view, you're right, but from a product point-of-view, (for consumers uninterested in version numbers), Aurora is like a sneak peek at what's to come. –  Deckard Apr 20 '11 at 16:02
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