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Firefox Internet Explorer Mozilla Software Upgrades News

For Firefox 4, You'll Need To Wait Until 2011 238

Posted by timothy
from the they-wanted-a-prime-number dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla said that it will not be releasing Firefox 4 RC, or the final version, before early 2011. Apparently, the bugfixes in the current beta take up much more time than anticipated. Mozilla is working on the feature freeze release Beta 7, which has 14 bugs left. The beta 7 is about six weeks behind schedule and will be released 'when it is ready,' according to Mozilla. It seems as if the original schedule, which estimated that Firefox 4 RC would be released in the second half of October was a bit too optimistic. Microsoft, by the way, released a new IE9 platform preview (PP6) at PDC 20910 today."
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For Firefox 4, You'll Need To Wait Until 2011

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  • When it's done (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joehonkie (665142) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:00PM (#34054228) Homepage
    Nothing wrong with releasing it when it's done.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      You're a fan of Duke Nukem, I see.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Nothing wrong with using it until it's done (as I have been for several months now, though not on this box).

    • *Rocking back and forth*
      Ayyup.
      Nothing wrong at all.
      *whittles*
      They could just finish it and hold on to it too.
      *rocks a bit more, snaps his galluses*
      Ayyup.
    • Only if you run Debian. *ducks* /bad joke

      I think there is though. Only 14 bugs to squash until it's released to the wild, then there will be about 1400. Unless those 14 are showstoppers, you might as well release it, find the rest of the bugs, grab some news headlines and go from there. IE is making (good) waves again and Chrome is REALLY starting to come on strong, so you need something to keep the marketshare you have.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BZ (40346)

        The 14 bugs are blockers for a beta, not a final release. And yes, they're showstoppers for the beta, at least in part because there are supposed to be no API changes between beta and final.

        Looking at the bugs, 7 are crashes that happen far too often, 1 a security bug, 1 a serious rendering regression that makes form controls disappear altogether in some cases, 2 are interface changes that are needed for Firebug to work with Firefox 4 (and have to happen before beta; see above), 1 a problem with rendering

    • by master_p (608214)

      3DRealms said the same thing.

  • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:01PM (#34054250) Homepage Journal
    ...version 4 will 64-bit native? A quick googling shows that they planned to implement it, but I can't find a confirmation that FF4 will come in a 64-bit version.
    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:05PM (#34054322) Homepage
      The problem with 64-bit browsers is that you need 64-bit plugins. Most people only install 32-bit plugins and some plugins may not have 64-bit plugins (chicken-or-egg problem... no-one pushes 64-bit browsers due to plugin compatibility, no-one makes 64-bit plugins due to browser compatibility). But now with Chrome and Firefox's plugin process model this could be easily worked around though by having both 32 and 64-bit plugin host binaries and launching whichever one you need, then the browser could use both types.
    • by hedwards (940851)
      Why would you need a 64-bit native browser? For some application having that makes sense, but for a browser it's pretty much completely downsides. The only reason I can think of is if your on a platform where using 32-bit binaries with a 64-bit OS is broken, and that's hardly a Firefox problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FranTaylor (164577)

        Java integration: if you want to run a 64 bit JVM for your plugins then you want a 64-bit browser.

        Better Flash support: 64-bit flash plugin runs better than the 32-bit version on a 64-bit platform.

      • by omnichad (1198475) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:47PM (#34055112) Homepage

        How else will Firefox address more than 4GB of memory? What, your Firefox doesn't use that much memory?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Why would you need a 64-bit native browser?

        So I don't need to have 32-bit libraries on disk wasting space? Not to mention the performance improvements to be had with a proper 64-bit jit'ing JS engine (don't underestimate the power of a larger register set).

        • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:25PM (#34056702) Homepage Journal

          Why would you need a 64-bit native browser?

          So I don't need to have 32-bit libraries on disk wasting space? Not to mention the performance improvements to be had with a proper 64-bit jit'ing JS engine (don't underestimate the power of a larger register set).

          This. I would hate to see a distant future where we still use i386 binary browsers with compatibility layers on top of compatibility layers on top of compatibility layers, just because no browser needs more than 4GB.

          • No kidding (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sycraft-fu (314770)

            And we need the move to happen sooner rather than later if we want a hope of ditching the compatibility any time soon. Even if every app went 64-bit today, it would be years and years before an OS could realistically jettison the 32-bit layer, because people would need to keep running older apps. So it would be good to get on this shit now rather than later so maybe in a decade or two we can get rid of the 32-bit layers.

            As an example of how long this shit can stay around if you don't work at it, look at the

    • the nightlys have a x86-64 version for windows, linux and mac

      http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/ [mozilla.org]

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        And this latest one is actually stable again. They fixed a lot of the JVM issues they've had over the past few weeks, and the fixes finally trickled all the way down to the main nightly trunk builds.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      There is a 64bit version of the current one. Been using it for years.

  • Chrome (Score:4, Funny)

    by baresi (950718) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:03PM (#34054284) Homepage
    And by that time Chrome will be at version 12 or 13
  • ...at PDC 20910 today.

    Isn't that 90210?

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:07PM (#34054364)
    I use IE6 exclusively and have for years. Nobody needs pesky add-ons, ad-blocking and tabbed browser functionality.

    I'm one of the 4.5% of the users out there who STILL use it and say sorry, but IE6 is browser for me!
  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:08PM (#34054386) Homepage Journal

    You could have predicted this lateness because the Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield on and off for several months and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage, about the same time that they started changing a bunch of things and adding a bunch of features. Before it went to "beta" it had been fine for a long time, but several times since the beta stage I've had to revert to 3.6.

    Yes, I realize I'm using nightlies and should expect bugs, etc, but the traditional definition (not that it is relevant any more) of "beta test" is that the software is basically complete and is being tested for stability and regression, _not_ that it is in a mode where new features are being added on a weekly basis.

    I'm looking forward to Firefox 4 and am sure it will be good overall when it's finally done, but the progress in this period of development has not filled me with a lot of confidence that this will be any time soon.

    • The new definition of "Beta" is "I have enough users to come across more bugs in 1 night than I would if I were to try and test it all by myself all week".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xded (1046894)
      It all depends on whether your development cycle can keep up with the competitors or not. And I think Google and Microsoft are giving Mozilla hard times lately.
    • by omnichad (1198475)

      And beta is the absolute deadline for ALL the new features. You just saw the effect of 1000 independent commits right before the beta deadline. As long as it's half broken AND in there, they have to fix it for the final release and it becomes a new feature! I don't know if that's really how it works - but it sounds pretty likely.

    • by FedeTXF (456407)

      Firefox uses the "beta" name to encourage early adopters to use it so they can help find bugs by sending crash reports and usage statistics.

    • >>>Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield... and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage

      That's weird. I've been using SeaMonkey, based upon the same mozilla/gecko core, and its beta is rock solid. I haven't been able to crash it, or even slow it down by watching lots of youtube videos.

      • by God'sDuck (837829) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:39PM (#34056052)

        >>>Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield... and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage

        That's weird. I've been using SeaMonkey, based upon the same mozilla/gecko core, and its beta is rock solid. I haven't been able to crash it, or even slow it down by watching lots of youtube videos.

        Mozilla's "Beta" is different from Minefield. Minefield is the nightlies where they test new things and is meant for the benefit of developers and masochists: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/minefield/ [mozilla.org]

        Betas might have bugs, but they're meant to mostly work. Minefield might work, but it's meant to mostly have bugs.

    • by Gordo_1 (256312)

      You could have predicted this lateness because the Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days".

      I think you're confusing cause and effect. You could argue that early on they mismanaged the scope of the project and therefore set unrealistic expectations, but so far as I've seen, the build monikers themselves (alpha, beta, nightly, RC, etc.) have proven to have surprisingly little to do with the actual readiness of the code.

      Rather I would say you could have predicted this lateness based on a quick gander at a historical trend showing the number of bugs that are being found, fixed and remain on a daily b

  • by graveyhead (210996) <fletch&fletchtronics,net> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:31PM (#34054802)

    I've wanted a way to draw in a browser - I mean really draw, not just use divs as pixels - for a long time now. Finally it's here! WebGL is really smooth now, I've been watching it in the latest minefield builds. Some guy in IRC posted a demo city drawing that had 24k faces and still rendered smooth as silk. 2d drawing on a canvas is also very nice - very easy to use.

    This is the dawn of a new era of killer web content. My guess - within two years, WebGL will be the highest paying job in web dev.

    A few more months is nothing, I've been waiting years for this ;-)

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Shit. In the past I've been able to avoid most of the worst web designs just by disabling flash. Now it's part of html itself. This will only encourage web designers to build flashy unusable ones rather than simple, easily read ones. Go progress.

      • by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:56PM (#34056332) Journal

        If it’s that much of an issue, just adblock the canvas tag with ##canvas. Plus you can do it on a site-by-site basis if you like.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          It hasn't been much of an issue in the past, because most sane web developers know that flash isn't necessarily supported or installed on many desktops. With all this flashy stuff being stuck in HTML proper, there's less of a reason not to use it. I expect browsing the web to become a much busier, bewildering visual experience, and blocking canvas to make very large chunks of the web unusable.

          • Like I said, you can narrow it down on a site-by-site basis. You could also block specific canvas tags using more complex element hiding rules.

    • I've wanted a way to draw in a browser - I mean really draw, not just use divs as pixels - for a long time now. Finally it's here! WebGL is really smooth now, I've been watching it in the latest minefield builds. Some guy in IRC posted a demo city drawing that had 24k faces and still rendered smooth as silk. 2d drawing on a canvas is also very nice - very easy to use.

      This is the dawn of a new era of killer web content. My guess - within two years, WebGL will be the highest paying job in web dev.

      Indeed. Only it'll be the second highest paying job. The most highest paying one would be developing ad blockers that can detect HTML5 canvas and WebGL ads... ~

  • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:37PM (#34054914) Homepage Journal

    Be bold: release the final version before the release candidate. You can release the final version on schedule in 2010, and then slip the RC to 2011. That's the kind of innovative software development methodology we should expect from Mozilla.

  • Use nightlies (Score:5, Informative)

    by FedeTXF (456407) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:05PM (#34055460)

    I encourage everyone using beta 6 to use the nightly version (http://nightly.mozilla.org/) as their main FF experience. The JS is 10 times faster on most public benchmarks and the boomarks and profile data are not affected even when switching back and forth between 4.0 and 3.6.
    I have both installed: 3.6 that comes with my Linux distro and 4.0 unzipped in my home folder and being updated every morning automatically.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Mod parent up! Just checked out the nightly build, and it is indeed very fast and smooth. It's really slick, just the way Firefox seemed back when it was the "fast" browser forked from the Mozilla suite. My old P4 3GHz IBM desktop seems fast again. :-D
  • Only 14 bugs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grikdog (697841) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:24PM (#34055780) Homepage
    You don't know what you don't know -- Donald Rumsfeld
  • ... doesn't foul up your printing parameters like most of the previous "upgrades" have managed to do. 'Cuz I just love tracking down all of my saved passwords and rebuilding my FF configuration from scratch after an upgrade turns all of the fonts on my printed webpages into something that looks like they were taken from an old CGA adapter's output.

  • Checklist so far, from beta1 to beta6:
    - Disk Trashing. A lot. To death. No fix.
    - Cookies eating. All erased. Randomly. No fix.
    - Very few extensions ready. Raw back Firefox riding. Valkyrie needs extensions, badly. Can't use it.

    "Back to Firefox 3", is it the only way ?

    (Firefox4 progress looks like Vista's).

  • 2011?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mysteray (713473) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:16PM (#34056564) Homepage

    That's literally two months away!! OMG how could a software release schedule ever be allowed to slip by two months? What will the retailers do now that it won't be on shelves in time for Christmas?!

    I just hope it's not too far into January. Especially not Jan 31. The flying car from the magazine ad I ordered back in 1972 was scheduled for delivery on that day.

    -1 silly.

  • >"Microsoft, by the way, released a new IE9 platform preview (PP6) at PDC 20910 today."

    Kewl? Does it run on any other platform besides MS-Windows yet?

  • 17 bugs! (Score:3, Informative)

    by crabel (1862874) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @07:22PM (#34057822)
    Currently there are 17 bugs open. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?quicksearch=blocking2.0%3Abeta7 [mozilla.org] The good thing: 6 hours ago there were 18 bugs ;-)

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