Mozilla to switch Firefox Nightly's update engine today to BALROG - gHacks Tech News

Mozilla to switch Firefox Nightly's update engine today to BALROG

If you hear Balrog, you are probably thinking Lord of the Rings, or maybe even of the Street Fighter character of the same name (also known as M.Bison), but certainly not of Firefox's update engine.

Mozilla used the same update engine for years and while there have been talks every now and then an update to the engine, it has only recently been made a priority by some members of the engineering staff.

The update engine is responsible for the distribution of updates to Firefox users worldwide. Considering that there are hundreds of millions of Firefox users out there that need to be updated in a short period of time, it is fair to say that it has done considerable well in the past.

Problems arose when Mozilla switched to the rapid release process as it not only reduced the time period between releases, but also added new channels which also required updates.

New requirements came along that the update server was not designed to prepare to handle. From throttling OS-specific update rates, the handling of custom updates for custom-build users of Firefox, or dropping support for operating systems or variants of it.

Mozilla update server

firefox nightly balrog

That's why work began in earnest on the next version of the update engine. Development was switched on and off for years but more important projects put the development on ice for a while, before it was resumed.

Mozilla will launch the new update engine Balrog for Firefox Nightly users today. If things turn out alright, end users won't notice a thing. Updates will be delivered as usual and that is it.

The engineers responsible for the new code have tested the new update engine extensively, but there is always the chance that something goes wrong when code gets deployed in a productive environment.

The worst case scenario is that the update breaks Firefox Nightly in a way that cannot be repaired remotely, say by distributing a second update that fixes the first.

Your best bet if that happens is to download the latest Nightly version from the official Firefox website and install it anew on the system.

Closing Words

The update itself is not really that interesting to users of the browser. In best case, no one will notice the switch as updates will be handled just like before. For Mozilla, it is a big step in the right direction as it gives the organization better control and management options in regards to updates for the Firefox web browser.

Additional information about the update are available on John O'Duinn's blog.

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. milithruldur said on October 1, 2013 at 1:58 am
    Reply

    “If you hear Balrog, you are probably thinking Lord of the Rings, or maybe even of the Street Fighter character of the same name (also known as M.Bison)”

    The statement is inaccurate, at least in the Street Fighter reference. The confusion arise from the changes in localization Capcom made to the Street Fighter II game in English. Balrog, the masked fighter, claw-wielding warrior, of Japan goes by the name of Vega in North America. M.Bison, the final boss of the aforementioned game, from North America goes by the name of Vega in Japan.

    The two characters swapped names when Capcom made the localization.

    So in the opening statement, it should be that Balrog is also known as Vega, not M. Bison.

    /m

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.