Mozilla pushes back Firefox 3.6, 4.0 deadlines

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Mozilla pushes back Firefox 3.6, 4.0 deadlines

Postby Spudz » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:22 am

December 28, 2009 6:27 AM PST
Mozilla pushes back Firefox 3.6, 4.0 deadlines
by Stephen Shankland

Mozilla won't make a 2009 deadline for releasing Firefox 3.6 and is giving itself more time to complete a major update, version 4.0.

The organization behind the open-source Web browser had predicted a final release of Firefox 3.6 in December 2009, but the Mozilla Web site now includes "ship Firefox 3.6" as a goal for the first quarter of 2010.

In addition, Firefox 4.0, which had been due in 2010, now is "aimed at late 2010 or early 2011," with a beta due in the summer of 2010, according to Mozilla.

Schedule delays are common in the software world, but browser development is furious these days with the arrival of Google's Chrome into the market, Apple helping to expand the frontiers of what the browser can do, Opera trying to dramatically speed up JavaScript execution and display performance, and Microsoft getting more ambitious again with Internet Explorer. "We've always been more quality-driven than time-driven, but we understand timing in the market matters to our users and our competitiveness," said Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, in an October interview.

There's a lot on tap for Firefox, though. The big new feature in version 3.6 is incorporation of the Personas plug-in that lets people easily customize the browser's appearance, though behind the scenes there's also been work to speed up the browser's launch time, improve security, and make some other changes. Mozilla has release five beta versions so far but not the release candidate that signals that work is nearly done; Mozilla programmers are "done with all blockers," bugs or other problems that stand in the way of a release, according to Mozilla's Web site.

So what exactly is coming next for Firefox?


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