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Mozilla teases surfers with near-final version of Firefox 3.6

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Mozilla spun out a near-ready version of Firefox 3.6 over the weekend, all of which suggests that the final build of the next iteration of the open source browser could be imminent.

The outfit said on Sunday that over 75 per cent of the thousands of Firefox Add-ons had now been upgraded by their authors to be compatible with the Release Candidate version of Firefox 3.6.

Mozilla noted that the RC “may update itself periodically, and will eventually be exactly the same as the final Firefox 3.6 release itself”.

More than 100 bugs have been patched in the latest test version of the browser, which is built on the org’s Gecko 1.9.2 platform.

It comes loaded with Personas, allowing surfers to change Firefox’s appearance with a single click of the mouse.

Perhaps more interestingly, Mozilla has tweaked how third party software bolts itself onto Firefox, to make the browser more secure.

Meanwhile, support for the WOFF font format, HTML 5, CSS, DOM web technologies, full screen open, native video and poster frames have been added to this version. There’s also support for the HTML 5 File API, said Mozilla.

Even though Firefox 3.6 is more of an incremental rather than major upgrade to the browser, the org was still keen to emphasise improved JavaScript performance.

Some Firefox users have complained recently that Mozilla had broken away from its roots too much, and that the surfing tool was becoming increasingly bloated with each new release.

Mozilla did not confirm when it would squirt out the complete version of Firefox 3.6, but unless the outfit is hit by any showstopping bugs it’s likely the browser could land before the end of this month.

At the end of December, Mozilla delayed the release of Firefox 3.6 until the first quarter of 2010. It had previously promised to deliver the next iteration of its celebrated browser before the decade was out. ®

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