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Mozilla pilots second release candidate for Firefox 3.0

Beset by bugs

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Updated Mozilla is considering whether or not to publish a further test version of Firefox 3 following the discovery of ten noteworthy bugs in Firefox 3.0 RC1.

A decision on whether to create a second release candidate or to fix the flaws only after Firefox 3.0 ships is expected on Tuesday. Four of the ten bugs are marked as critical. Eight of the bugs are cross-platform flaws, while two are specific to Linux installations of the popular open source browser. Indications are that even the critical bugs only pose browser-crashing risks and don't seem potentially inclined to lend themselves to more serious hacking attacks.

"We've been triaging the bugs and so far have ten bugs that look of the highest priority," writes Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, in a thread on Mozilla's developer forum. "We are going to approve these to land on trunk so we can get regression and nightly testing on them. If we need to do an RC2 they'll be ready to go - if we ship RC1 we can get them in the 3.0.1."

"We will make the go/no-go decision on an RC2 Tuesday of next week once we've wrapped all testing and evaluated feedback [on Release Candidate 1]," he added.

Firefox 3.0 RC1 came out on 16 May in preparation for a June release of the first full version of next version of the browser software. Mozilla may still make this schedule even if it pushes out a further release candidate for fine tuning.

Last November Mozilla hit back at claims that multiple bugs in its forthcoming Firefox 3 browser would be ignored in order to meet release schedules. At that point Mozilla was grappling with 700 bugs marked as "blockers" (ie a flaw serious enough to justify delaying a release, or at least meriting closer examination).

Firefox 3 is based on Gecko 1.9, an updated layout engine. The browser is promoted as featuring a cleaner layout, improved handling of bookmarks and stability improvements. Mozilla also aims to turbo-charge the performance of its browser with the upcoming release, via changes to its JavaScript engine.

More on Firefox 3.0 here. ®

Update

Mozilla decided to release a second release candidate for Firefox 3.0 at a meeting on Tuesday. It is targeting the first full release of the software for the second or third week of June.

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