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Mozilla delays third Firefox 3.1 beta

Pesky bugs stall progress

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Mozilla Corporation has pushed back the release of the third, and possibly final, beta for Firefox 3.1 by a week to allow the firm to fix some bugs in the upcoming version of its open source browser.

The beta had been expected to land on 26 January, but Mozilla has delayed the release to 2 February to allow it time to fix some glitches in the InternetExplorerChromeSafari rival surfing tool.

"Due to the large number of outstanding P1 blockers, we are declaring a code slip," Mozilla said on its website earlier this week. “P1” is Mozilla lingo for the worst offending glitches that remain unsolved in its browser.

However, despite the minor delay, Mozilla insists it’s still on target to ship Firefox 3.1 late in the first quarter.

Of course, the firm originally – somewhat optimistically – earmarked late 2008 for the release of the latest version of its browser even though Firefox 3.0 wasn’t unleashed onto the interwebs until June last year.

There are 15 P1 flaws, including issues with its “Private Browsing” mode, waiting to be fixed by Mozilla developers before the third beta can be released.

In July last year, Mozilla claimed that the transition to Firefox 3.1 wouldn’t be “a major pain-in-the-ass” and pledged developers wouldn’t be hit by “surprises along the way”.

That declaration came after the company royally hacked off users with the 3.0 launch when servers collapsed under the “strain” of its much-hyped Download Day PR stunt to score a Guinness World Record. ®

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