Google Chrome in a Coal Mine

Monday, August 02, 2010

Since Google Chrome launched almost 2 years ago, the team has embraced the “launch early and often” strategy by releasing Dev channel builds almost weekly. But sometimes, such as when we’re in the process of moving a Dev channel release to the Beta channel, we’re unable to release a new Dev channel build, and other times, even a week is too long to wait to get feedback from the field on a change.

The team considered updating the Dev channel more frequently, but doing so would require us to forgo our manual testing pass on these builds. Even though the Dev channel is often rough around the edges, we realized that this lack of testing would result in a Dev channel that’s too unstable even for early adopters and developers. That’s why, a few days ago, we released a new experimental version of Google Chrome called Google Chrome Canary Build. We plan to update the Canary Build more frequently than the Dev channel, with riskier changes, and usually without a human being ever verifying that it works, so the Canary Build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely. To enable you to continue using the same browser you love when the canary croaks, we’ve made it possible to install the Canary Build in addition to the Dev, Beta or Stable channel versions of Google Chrome.

The Canary Build is still brand new so it currently has a few limitations. Currently, it’s only available for Windows and cannot be set as your default browser. You can star the issues for Mac and Linux support, as well as the issue for default browser support to cast your vote and be notified of progress there.

If you like to live on the bleeding edge, give the Google Chrome Canary Build a shot and let us know what you think. The early feedback on crashes, performance regressions, broken features and other problems is incredibly valuable to us, so thanks!

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