Near-ready Firefox 3.6 gets second RC sausage
Mozilla nixes 3.7, but features will still take flight
Mozilla has popped out a second Release Candidate of its forthcoming browser Firefox 3.6, a final version of which could land this week.
The open source outfit said Firefox 3.6 RC2 had refined how the browser will allow third party software to slot into the browser, in a move to prevent crashes. Mozilla has fixed over 70 bugs from the last beta, to improve stability, security and features.
Meanwhile, Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner penned a blog post on Friday, in which he confirmed that Firefox 3.7 (well, the name at least) had been ditched. Instead Firefox 3.6 will be the final biggish release before Firefox 4.0 lands, which isn't expected until late this year or early 2011.
In the meantime, Mozilla developers will work on regular “feature updates” that will be bolted onto Firefox 3.6 as part of an ordered 4-6 week security patch cycle.
“The rumours of Firefox 3.7’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Nobody’s planning on ‘dumping’ features or the hard work of our passionate and tireless community,” wrote Beltzner.
“The shape of the internet changes every day. Our mission is to develop the best open source implementations of web technologies and ship them in an excellent browser so that our users and the entire web can benefit.
"That means always thinking about how we can deliver technology as efficiently and quickly as possible. Sometimes it means challenging our assumptions.”
Beltzner’s defensive comments followed various reports last week that suggested the browser maker had altogether canned Firefox 3.7.
What's in fact happened is that Mozilla has shifted gears in terms of how it plans to deliver new features to Firefox, he explained. Beltzner said that Mozilla had better testing methods that now enabled the outfit to work in isolation on specific projects, such as “Lorentz”.
“So instead of thinking of ‘Firefox 3.7’ and ‘Firefox 4.0’ and being rigid and proscriptive about what technology improvements will come in which specific months, I’m encouraging us all to think about what we’re trying to improve, and how those improvements can be most efficiently delivered to our users and the internet,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Beltzner was keen to point out that improvements and support pencilled in for Firefox 3.7 might now be released earlier. But just like the oft-delayed Firefox 3.1, which was eventually renamed Firefox 3.5 after Mozilla kept missing its self-inflicted deadlines, Firefox 3.7 seems ultimately to have suffered the same fate.
“Software development is chaotic, and due to the open nature of our community you (and the press) are getting to see exactly how the sausages are made. It may look like a bloody mess at the start, but once it starts to take shape it’s obvious that you’re making something delicious,” noted Beltzner. ®
"FFers are F'd off." - Are they? Or is it just the small handful who are bothered to write anyrthing here are the small few who have a problem? I run firefox with a couple of plugins on a single core P4 and it''s fine. It takes a few seconds to start up first time but I'm not going to switch to Chrome just to save that 10 seconds a day!
"Surprisingly also increasingly using IE8 whilst wearing a condom (sandboxie flavour). Much faster and stable than FF. Just wish there were more add-ons for it."
Your copy of firefox is slow and unstable. You have lots of add ons for it. IE is faster and more stable. You don't have many add ons for it. Do you see any pattern there? There used to be a lot more "add ons" for Internet Explorer, although microsoft prefered the term "Active X controls", you don't see them much any more coz they were a bad idea badly executed.
"I didn't imagine this happening but are we witnessing the slow death of FF because young developers want to get high on new features rather than fixing boring bugs?"
You're talking out your arse now. Did you read the article at all? Over 70 bugs fixed. 3.5 is much faster and more reliable than 3.1, I see no reason to expect 3.6 won't be an improvement too. Those of you with CPU constantly pegged at 100%, get rid of some of your shitty plugins (flash is almost always the culprit here) or buy a decent computer - your experience is not in line with the rest of the world.
If firefox is too slow ...
Maybe you need noscript. flashblock and an adblocker.
Properly written web sites (using pure HTML and no unnecessary bloat such as flash) will run better in any browser. If the site needs flash and scripts without good reason -- go find another site, one that has an INTELLIGENT webmaster that doesn't fill the page with adverts and unnecessary nuisanceware.
FF works fine for me
Chrome is a faster browser, but I don't hold raw speed as the only factor for using a browser. Things like ad blockers are a reason in themselves to use Firefox. If I have to take a meagre hit on launch times then so be it. I also think the FF 3.5 UI is much more functional than the pared to the bone Chrome interface, although Firefox seems to be going the same way too.
I do hope Firefox does continue to improve in performance though.