As you may or may not know, there’s more to Firefox than the mainstream browser that most of our users are on. Before it reaches that Final Release stage, it goes through Nightly, Aurora and Beta as the various features get tested and polished (you can learn more on our Nightly and Future of Firefox pages).
Internally, we refer to those stages as “builds” or “channels” of the development process, each with its own use case and users. The problem comes when we write about them in outbound communications. Since Firefox has versions of its own — as do Nightly, Aurora and Beta — it introduces ambiguity if we refer to them as versions of Firefox. On the other hand, the terms “build” and “channel” may not carry a lot of meaning for people outside of our Active or Casual Contributors.
So what to do? I think of the above options, “build” and “stage” are the most descriptive, even if the average user may not associate those words with a browser. But I’m curious what you think. Do any of those words ring true to you? Do you have other suggestions for how we should talk about these things? Am I just completely overthinking this?
On second thought, maybe just stick to the first two questions.