Why does Firefox Developer Edition exist as a separate edition?

In other words, why would anyone use the regular Firefox now? What can it do that the Developer Edition can’t?

Seems that on https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/ there is no su much explanation but dev edition is a beta version with few stuff enabled as default and I think also with the marionette support built-in.

The other difference (which I just found out today) is that sometimes (mostly the last week of each 6-week cycle) the Beta channel will have Release Candidate builds. So currently,= Beta is running version 57 with the full Firefox Release branding, whereas DevEdition is running 58. :slight_smile:

So, regular Firefox is more stable?

I believe so, but I haven’t seen any data one way or the other. :wink:

yeah, DevEdition will get the result “beta” branch right after our branching, that is about 1 week before the actual beta channel.

yes !

At the beginning of a cycle, DevEdition is just yesterday’s nightly. So it can have bugs, be unstable, etc. Localization can be off as well.

Although I use Nightly myself and it’s mostly fine :slight_smile:

This MDN page tries to highlight what sets Dev. Edition apart:


One goal with Dev. Edition is to get DevTools updates in the hands of devs more quickly than waiting for DevTools changes to make it all the way to Release, while also offering a bit more stability than Nightly.

Also, here is a similar thread on this topic:

The thread above was mine when I had a similar question.

There’s basically Stable, Beta, DevEd, and Nightly.

Nightly is self explanatory but Beta & DevEd is where my confusion was. Both are on the Beta channel and with the introduction of Quantum they’re both very very similar at this point. DevEd comes with a few different settings checked and cosmetic changes but it’s my knowledge that both can be setup the exact same way and since both are on Beta channel will have the same features.

These features will hit Stable November 14th. Once Stable is on Quantum I’ll go back to using that as my daily browser, I can’t stand old Firefox right now after experience beta. I have DevEd and Nightly installed as well for developing on.

So developer edition is really just a beta edition and developers are expected to build and test websites with a potentially broken browser.

Is that at all wise?

Developer Edition allows developers to receive new DevTools features more quickly. While they could be some stability issues, in practice those are quite rare. Firefox testing is not the motivation for Developer Edition to exist.

Of course, it a bit tricky to be on a pre-release version that differs from what your users may have. So, it’s up to developers to balance new DevTools features vs. matching exactly what users see. This is quite similar to the trade-off between Chrome’s stable version and Chrome Canary (a pre-release version which they also suggest developers for the same reason of getting DevTools features more rapidly).

The point I made and stand by is this is not a “developers edition” its simply an “alpha release” whether its “generally stable enough” is irrelevant

I came here hoping to find that the developer addition included extra tools which in previous versions were provided by extensions.

Tweaking a few settings is not the definition of an “edition” its just a few settings tweaked.

it is completely disingenuous to call an alpha version a developers “edition” it is not!


I guess we’ll agree to disagree, then…

It’s up to each developer to choose the tools they want to use. Some people get value from Developer Edition. Other people prefer a different setup. Both are just fine.

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A bit of addition is that usually you’ll develop websites that users won’t see right away, rather they’ll see it several weeks or months from the moment you develop it. So it makes sense to be able to use some newer features of the browser too.

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I am a pentester and use firefox development edition to debug websockets but is very uncomfortable switch between personal firefox and development edition, sessions, cookies, etc. It would be a good idea for everyday firefox to have “optional” development features such as the developer version.