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15 October 2010, 13:36

Firefox 4 falling behind schedule?

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Mozilla has missed the scheduled date for releasing Firefox 4 Beta 7. The update was originally due in the last two weeks of September, but did not appear then or later. At Mozilla's most recent developer meeting, there were 17 blockers, problems which could be a reason for delaying a release, for the beta 7 release and an overall total of 901 blockers in the queue for the eventual Firefox 4 release.

The meeting minutes note that "review queues are getting clogged" and there are "a ton of blockers without owners". Finding and fixing bugs or other issues is, of course, the purpose of beta releases of software, but in Mozilla's case the bugs seem to be piling up in the developers bug tracking system. There is also what was described as a "spectacular list of crashes" which the developers plan to work through after the next freeze of the Firefox 4 code.

Since the release of beta 6, itself an special release to fix some stability issues in beta 5, a change has occurred in Firefox Sync's protocol, and beta users are seeing "Error while syncing" messages if they use Mozilla's bookmark synchronisation service. Users of the Firefox Sync add-on for Firefox 3.x are unaffected as the add-on was updated, but Sync is built into Firefox 4 and an updated beta release is required to resolve the sync problem in that version.

The minutes of the developer meeting did note that Firefox 3.6.11 and 3.5.14 updates are expected to be released on Tuesday the 19th.

Update - Since this article was published, the Mozilla developers seem to have resolved the issues with beta 6 and Firefox Sync, presumably at the server side of the synchronisation service, and Firefox 4 beta 6 no longer shows errors during synchronisation.


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