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Mozilla insists Firefox 3.1 won't hit bum note for developers

Look at the 'ass' on that!

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Mozilla Corporation has claimed that the transition to Firefox 3.1 won’t be “a major pain-in-the-ass” and pledged developers will not be hit by “surprises along the way”, after royally hacking off users with the 3.0 launch.

The company's platform evangelist Mark Finkle said on his blog that extension developers, who suffered their fair share of headaches attempting to update add-ons when Firefox 3 landed last month, will not experience similar problems with the next version of the open source web browser.

He said on Friday: “The new [extensions] features (did I mention they kick ass?) are not being added in a disruptive manner. Most of them layer onto existing features and technologies.”

Firefox 3.1 is expected to arrive late this year or by early 2009, according to the firm. Meanwhile, alphas could begin to appear by the end of the summer.

Last month, Firefox extension developers had a good deal to grumble about with the latest version because of the architectural, security and large UI/theme changes made to the browser, which did a good job of wiping out a whole heap of add-ons.

Finkle reckons he can “go out on a limb” with Firefox 3.1 because the next version will be more of a tweak rather than a massive overhaul that should extend and improve existing features.

'Fox fanciers can expect a rejigged advanced bookmarking feature, better web standards compliance, improved audio and video support and performance enhancements to the rendering and JavaScript engines.

In June Mozilla pulled off a PR stunt achieving more than eight million worldwide downloads of Firefox 3.0 in the space of 24 hours – enough to get it in the record books, and gain some ground on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. ®

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