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Mozilla plots February Firefox 4 release

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Firefox 4 is nearly ready for showtime, according to a recent post on Mozilla's mailing list.

"I'm seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we've seen in the endgame of every release," the open source browser maker's platform engineering director Damon Sicore enthusiastically noted yesterday.

He said that Mozilla has around 160 hard blockers to knock down, before proceeding to Release Candidate stage of the next iteration of the outfit's browser.

"We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February," he said.

Another beta is likely to follow first, however, noted Sicore. That's because Mozilla wants to get bug counts down to zero prior to shipping the RC version of Firefox 4.

He called on Mozilla's "tired" army of testers to get involved with what is essentially its final big push to get the browser finalised for surfers.

"This is our top development priority, since it pushes the rest of our schedule," said Sicore.

Of specific interest, Mozilla wants testers to report major plugin issues and any crashes or problems with hardware acceleration, an important feature in Firefox 4.

"We must ship the best possible product we can. If a blocker needs more time, tell release drivers and component leads immediately. If you disagree with a blocking call, say so loudly. Do not be timid. This is your product, we need you to own it," said Sicore.

"I know you're all tired and stressed. You all do incredible work every day, and you've built an amazing product. Stay focused. Be nice to each other. Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it."

Upon release of the final product, Firefox 4 will showcase Mozilla's JaegerMonkey Javascript engine extension, come with additional hardware acceleration, and will allow coders to build plug-in-free 3D graphics via WebGL. ®

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