Google cracks whip on Chrome coders

Google has announced that it is ramping up the release cycle for its Chrome browser, and will punt a stable version to users every six weeks.

Programme Manager Anthony Laforge says the new schedule will see a new release roughly twice as often as is currently the case in order to get new features out when they are ready, to make the cycle more predictable, and to reduce the pressure on engineers.

"We have new features coming out all the time and do not want users to have to wait months before they can use them. While pace is important to us, we are all committed to maintaining high quality releases — if a feature is not ready, it will not ship in a stable release," said Laforge.

If you were wondering how doubling the frequency of releases could possibly take pressure off of the development team, Laforge explains: "Under the old model, when we faced a deadline with an incomplete feature, we had three options, all undesirable: (1) Engineers had to rush or work overtime to complete the feature by the deadline, (2) We delayed the release to complete that feature (which affected other un-related features), or (3) The feature was disabled and had to wait approximately three months for the next release.

"With the new schedule, if a given feature is not complete, it will simply ride on the the next release train when it’s ready. Since those trains come quickly and regularly, there is less stress."