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13 January 2011, 09:49

Firefox 4 planned for February

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Firefox Logo A posting on the Mozilla developers mailing list places the final shipping date for Firefox 4 as "before the end of February". Damon Sicore, Senior Director of Engineering at Mozilla, outlined the plan for the release of Firefox 4 noting that, "We've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it".

According to Sicore, the plan is to reach a release candidate by the beginning of February after at least two or more beta releases. The aim is to eliminate all the beta bugs and this is the top development priority for Mozilla. There are, he says, approximately 160 hard blockers remaining – blockers are serious bugs that could prevent a release.

Zoom Firefox 4 Beta 8 on Mac OS X.
In previous releases, it's taken six weeks to clear 100 blocking bugs and get to release candidate. Sicore admits that this is a major task, adding "We must press hard now" and noting "I know you're all tired and stressed". Sicore emphasises that Mozilla needs everyone to help in testing and asks that testers do not disable Flash, Silverlight or other plugins as these also need widespread testing. Those testing the development previews of Firefox 4 are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Version 4.0 of the open source Firefox web browser is the non-profit organisation's next-generation web browser based on version 2.0 of the Gecko rendering platform (the Firefox 3.6 branch uses Gecko 1.9.2) and features a new Add-ons Manager and extension management API. Other changes include a new 'tabs on top' layout, the integration of Firefox Sync, formerly known as Weave, and various new features aimed at web developers.

Specific release dates for Firefox 4 Beta 9 and Beta 10, as well as the planned release candidate, have yet to be confirmed. The latest development preview of Firefox 4 is the eighth beta from 22 December, while the latest stable release is version 3.6.13, a security update that addressed a critical vulnerability.

Firefox binaries are released under the Mozilla Firefox End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing that includes the Mozilla Public Licence, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1.

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