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Firefox 4 Will Arrive in February: Mozilla Exec


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Firefox 4 is nearly ready for release, a recent post on Mozilla's developer mailing list suggests. "Team, we've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it," wrote Damon Sicore, Mozilla's senior director of platform engineering, on Tuesday. "I'm seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we've seen in the endgame of every release. We must press hard now."

Currently, about 160 "hard blockers"--or significant bugs--remain in the project, Sicore noted. Typically, it takes about six weeks to reach the release candidate (RC) stage once that number is down to about 100, he added.

‘Firefox 4 Is Gonna Kick Ass'

In the coming weeks, then, the Firefox development team should aim to clear those hurdles by the beginning of February and ship a final version of the open source browser before the end of next month.

In the meantime, "bug counts demand another beta," Sicore asserted. "We'll drive the beta bugs to zero and ship another beta. If we can't get them to zero in reasonable time, we'll repeat, deliberately."

Testing will be a top priority during that process, he added.

"We need *everyone* to help in testing," Sicore wrote. "Specifically: Do not disable Flash, Silverlight, or other major plug-ins as we need as many people testing these as possible. Windows users: We need to know if you are affected by hardware acceleration causing crashes or other issues."

Once it‘s done, however, "Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass," Sicore reminded the project's "tired and stressed" developers. "You should be fiercely proud of it."

‘Do Not Track' Capabilities

Amid an ever-intensifying competition with Chrome, Internet Explorer and other Web browsers, Firefox 4‘s development has been watched with close scrutiny.

Last fall, for instance, it was revealed that Firefox 4 will feature a huge speed boost through the addition of the JägerMonkey JavaScript engine. Also of particular note have been indications that the new release will include "do not track" capabilities.

Other new features expected in Firefox 4 will focus on ease of use.

No. 1 in Europe

Firefox recently attained top market share spot in Europe, according to StatCounter. Worldwide, it holds the No. 2 position, behind only Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Following Firefox in order of worldwide market share are Google's Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera, StatCounter reports.

Only time will tell how these figures might change once Firefox 4 debuts. According to this newest timetable, though, it looks like we won't have to wait too much longer to find out.

If you're interested in helping to find and squash the last remaining bugs in Firefox 4, visit Mozilla's beta download page and download the latest release. Find a bug? Make sure you tell Mozilla about it.

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Then what about 3.7 version..already 3.7 alpha version released few months back?

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The long awaited FF4 will finally release in Feb? Nice :thumbsup: (They will most certainly find some bugs and delay that, lol, but the more stable, the better, and I hope they'll fix the resourse neediness I've read you guys complaining about (haven't tried the beta, will wait for the final one))

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Well, it's about time! Sheesh! I thought IE11 would beat it to "stable". :)

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Well, it's about time! Sheesh! I thought IE11 would beat it to "stable". :)

Nice one, PC Princess, :P.

EDIT2: Using FF4 beta 8 now, looks faster and smoother, :). (only it doesn't support some vital add-ons I use... :(,

I hope the add-on developers will update them soon for FF4 too)

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Mozilla is just a few months away from offering Firefox 4.0 Final to users worldwide, with the browser maker looking to wrap up the next iteration of its open source browser by the end of February 2011.

Firefox 4.0 should have been completed no later than November 2010, but consistent delays plagued the project as the developers struggled to resolve a plethora of blockers, namely bugs severe enough that they managed to push the release of version 4.0 all the way into the first quarter of 2011.

But with Beta 8 already out of the way, and Beta 9 just around the corner, the open source browser vendor seems confident enough to indicate that it could go through the remaining development milestones by the end of the coming month.

“We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February,” revealed Damon Sicore, Mozilla senior director of platform engineering. (emphasis added)

“We'll need your help to balance these targets against the need to build a high quality product.”

Mozilla still has to put together Firefox 4.0 Beta 10, which doesn’t have a schedule at this point in time.

Beta 10 will be followed by RC1, and additional Release Candidate builds are bound to follow, although nowhere near the number of Betas that Mozilla shipped for Firefox 4.0.

Builds of Firefox 4.0 Beta 9 have already been put together, and the launch of the ninth development milestone is imminent.

If I were to put my money on it I’d say that Firefox 4.0 Beta 9 will be offered to early adopters for testers between the time when this article is published and the end of this week, most probably later today or tomorrow.

“We've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it. I'm seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we've seen in the endgame of every release.

“Over the past several days, component leads have again reduced their blockers by identifying hard blockers and those we can live without. We've around 160 hard blockers remaining, and historically it has taken us six weeks to reach RC once we have 100 blockers left. We must press hard now,” Sicore stated.

Of course, yet again, nothing is set in stone. Firefox 4.0 could be offered to end users in February 2011, and then again, it could be postponed yet again.

It all depends on the quality of the browser, and the pace at which Mozilla engineers are capable of dealing with blockers without causing more problems to appear.

“We must ship the best possible product we can. If a blocker needs more time, tell release drivers and component leads immediately. If you disagree with a blocking call, say so loudly. Do not be timid. This is your product, we need you to own it,” Sicore said to the developers working on Firefox 4.0.

“I know you're all tired and stressed. You all do incredible work every day, and you've built an amazing product. Stay focused. Be nice to each other. Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it.”


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@Alija: Threads merged. :)

It's a great news. :D

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