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Mozilla To Release Firefox 4 Next Month 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the battle-still-waging dept.
Neil writes "Damon Sicore, Senior Director of Platform Engineering at Mozilla, has announced that the company is almost ready to ship Firefox 4. On its mailing list, Mozilla has revealed it has around 160 hard blockers to fix, before proceeding to Release Candidate stage. Both the RC and the final version would arrive in February, according to Sicore. Mozilla was originally planning on having Firefox 4 out by the end of last year, but it had to delay the release till 2011. Last month, Firefox 4 Beta 8 was released for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux 32-bit/64-bit, with support for 57 languages. Mozilla's roadmap says it still wants to release a Beta 9, a Beta 10, and at least one Release Candidate build before the final version."
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Mozilla To Release Firefox 4 Next Month

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  • Wake me up when the final build comes out.

  • meh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sortadan (786274) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:11PM (#34865082)
    Been using the beta. No real complaints, seems a bit snappier, but on the whole no big whoop. If anyone knows how to get the status bar back that would be nice. And for some reason they always put find at the bottom of the page, which is totally not intuitive since users enter info at the top with the search and address bars...
    • Re:meh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by just_another_sean (919159) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:24PM (#34865318) Homepage Journal

      And for some reason they always put find at the bottom of the page ...

      I always looked at that as a nod to vi. In addition to putting the "search this page" on the
      bottom you can activate it by hitting the / key, just like doing a find in a vi buffer. As a
      long time vi user I actually appreciate this and find myself missing it now that I use Chrome
      more often.

      For really hard core vi users their is also this for FireFox: Vimperator [vimperator.org].
      For me it was a little too hard core and I never got used to it but never the less I
      appreciate the effort put into it!

      • I always looked at that as a nod to vi. In addition to putting the "search this page" on the bottom you can activate it by hitting the / key, just like doing a find in a vi buffer.

        Didn't realize that. What a cute little feature. Thanks.

        Slashdot - even better than Man pages!

      • I never knew about the "/" shortcut. This is really quite nice to know, thanks.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Vimperator is the only way to use a browser. Learn vim first though.

        • by blair1q (305137)

          ooh, crap. that looks neat. i'm going to try it, and probably fuck my brain up for a month.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        I never use the /. I mean the '/'. I use /. like a filipino houseboy.

        Mixing vi into a context where most commands are windows-normal just causes mechanical dysfunction in the part of my brain that's been trained to non-think in vi when using an xterm. If I hit that /, I expect that esc, hjkl, etc. will also work, and I can make painful errors when they don't. There are edit windows that permanently delete the text you entered when you hit esc. I really don't want to accidentally train myself to do that

    • There are a couple of status bar add-ons you can pick up, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/235283/ worked for me.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Yup. They've screwed the pooch with the status-bar move. 99% of webpages that you want to preview the URI on you can't tell anything significant because it no longer has its own space and has to fit in address-bar space your current page's URI isn't using.

      There's also the issue of buttons that appear and disappear, generally buttons you configured onto the toolbar for a reason.

    • by petsounds (593538)

      Although the lack of status bar is a real irritant (if that's Mozilla's idea of innovation, they need some new thinking caps), the extreme memory leaks in the betas of FF4 on OS X are troubling. I'll often leave FF4 open overnight and come back to find it's taken up another 500MB of real memory. If they don't fix this, I may have to finally migrate away. A bloated, leaky browser at this point is just unacceptable. I do like the history-search-in-url-field feature though; that's quite useful. But taking away

    • by spinkham (56603)

      The JavaScript on 64 bit Linux never got the tracing interpreter everyone else got in 3.5. They went from the 3.0 javascript engine straight to method JIT/tracing JIT in this release.

      That's a change from "OMG slow" to "Zing!" on my platform of choice...

      Since Firefox and it's extensions are also written in JavaScript, it's quite an improvement..

  • by Admodieus (918728) <john@m i s c z a k.net> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:12PM (#34865090)
    Wasn't this supposed to be the answer to Chrome - yet Chrome has shipped several iterations in the time it took them to get from 3 to 4? I think Firefox is on beta 10 or whatever. For a while, I maintained that I would switch back to Firefox once it matched the speed and minimalist interface that Chrome had, as I didn't like using a browser from Google. Now? Not so sure anymore - I'm so used to Chrome and it fits my workflow so well. It will take a lot to get me back.
    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:16PM (#34865148) Journal

      For a while, I maintained that I would switch back to Firefox once it matched the speed and minimalist interface that Chrome had, as I didn't like using a browser from Google.

      You know there ARE more than 2 choices, right?

      Did you consider Opera?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, and neither did anyone else. Move on, already.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "You know there ARE more than 2 choices, right?"

        That, and they can all run at once. I run Epiphany (meh, but it's fast), Opera, Firefox (my main browser because of the add-ons), and Chrome on my Ubuntu box. Try em all. Disk space and memory are stoopid cheap.

        I run a 32-bit kernel with PAE, and like the fact that limits Firefox runaway to only 4GB RAM. :)

        • by Korin43 (881732)

          I run a 32-bit kernel with PAE, and like the fact that limits Firefox runaway to only 4GB RAM. :)

          How do you get it to do that -- a million tabs? The most memory I've ever seen my computer use without playing an MMO is ~700 MB (64 bit Arch).

        • by blair1q (305137)

          I have FF, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and IE on my desktop. If something doesn't open or operate right in one, it will often just be a matter of changing to another and voila! the page looks just like the dev intended (the fucking dolt).

      • For a while, I maintained that I would switch back to Firefox once it matched the speed and minimalist interface that Chrome had, as I didn't like using a browser from Google.

        You know there ARE more than 2 choices, right?

        Did you consider Opera?

        Don't forget Internet Explorer 6!

        • I'm even looking into WineTools just so I don't miss the Internet Explorer 6 experience while at home!

      • by blair1q (305137)

        I use Opera on my Nexus One, because the default browser just doesn't fucking listen sometimes.

        But Opera's rendering is incomplete, and sometimes just plain bizarro.

    • I liked using Chrome, but I still stick with Firefox. I'm always rather wary about how seriously a company whose revenue stream comes from mining your activities for advertising will take your privacy.

    • by Haedrian (1676506) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:30PM (#34865432)

      I don't think Firefox was ever meant to be 'minimalist'. I always saw Firefox as the add-on and feature platform.

      Sure the line is getting blurry now... but I don't use FF because it opens 15 seconds faster. Just because it has features I find useful. Like the synch, and panorama and stuff...

      • And this is the reason I use both FF and Chrome. However copy-paste doesn't always work with Chrome, especially with Slashdot.

      • by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:52PM (#34868768) Homepage

        FireFox was created to be the "lighweight" version of Mozilla, a browser which had a built-in email, IRC and News client.

        But in ANY case, if your apps are taking 15 seconds to load, you need to buy an SSD STAT!! Disk IO on mechanical disks is pitiful. I can't imagine having to go back to waiting on apps to start.

    • by supersloshy (1273442) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:34PM (#34865498)

      Wasn't this supposed to be the answer to Chrome - yet Chrome has shipped several iterations in the time it took them to get from 3 to 4?

      Version numbers mean absolutely nothing; they only determine important milestones... or, in Chrome's case, pure marketing by making several "releases" painted as milestones, when in reality they're all quite minor updates. Firefox has a much more stable (and less confusing) version numbering system.

    • by wamatt (782485) *

      I switched back to Firefox today from Chrome.

      The two dealbreakers for me on Chrome where:

      1) Inability to fix resolution scaling. Chrome is broken as a browser on my MediaTV with large DPI settings.

      http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=679 [google.com]

      2) The removal of "Quick search/keyword" functionality of bookmarks that Firefox has. For example I like to type "imdb [moviename]" or "ud [urban dictionary term]" in the URL bar, and the browser then looks stuff up for me without having to navigate a landing p

  • Dumbed down (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrL0G1C (867445) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:15PM (#34865126) Journal
    I've never reverted a version before, always liked the new one, but with FF 4 and it's lack of status bar and lack of SSL related security notices and missing right-click menu options, I've got to ask what the hell are they doing? Mozilla seem to be trying to dumb down FF and are removing useful features in the process. Double click blank space for a new tab is gone, right-click -> new tab is gone.

    It's slower to use now because quick options and quick information have been removed. Also, hovering over URLs now squeezes the URL to be visited into the URL box with the current URL, unreadable light coloured fonts have been chosen and for most URLs you can barely read a fraction of the URL - It's dreadful. Plus right-click -> block image has been removed.

    What next? Quit trying to copy Chrome and IE if I wanted to use those corporate straitjackets I would be.
    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      Double click blank space for a new tab is gone, right-click -> new tab is gone

      middle mouse button is friend. using it on a link will bring it up in a new tab; using it on the blank space will bring up a new tab; using it on a tab removes that tab. Almost the same functionality only better.

      hovering over URLs now squeezes the URL to be visited into the URL box with the current URL, unreadable light coloured fonts have been chosen and for most URLs you can barely read a fraction of the URL - It's dreadful

      Its a lovely feature, but they do need to sort out the colours.

      I am a little sick of accusations of copying when in reality I think they are moving in the same direction. Internet Explorer is looking more like Firefox daily. Firefox's interface changes very little over 3 major versions. have a lo

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)
        Trying to cram the status bar info in to the url box with the url is not a 'lovely feature' it's fugly and useless, I like to have an idea of how long a page is taking to load and where the link I'm looking at is going.
  • For a while my FF (first beta7 now beta8) has hanged on/before startup. After I click the FF icon it takes about half a minute until the Windows appear. It does happen with a new profile for a different user and safe mode doesn't change anything.
    • No clue what's causing it, but see what plugins are being loaded? HP added a bunch of crap to my installation that brought it to a crawl.

      If that doesn't work, may I suggest bugzilla [mozilla.org]?

      • Thx for the reply. I thought safe mode was meant to disable those plugins?

        And it's only Flash, Silverlight, Java and Acrobat. MS and Adobe certainly are capable of craptastic programming, but you'd think if some of those essential plugins produced something like this it would get noticed.

        I tried bugzilla a couple of times and never had a good experience with them. With a lot of OSS software (SMplayer had a similar problem) I'd just hit the logs, but FF subscribes to the "It just works or you're fucked" c

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      Try Chrome. Seriously. I had the same sort of issue. I run MANY windows and when I would start it up it would hang forever. Chroime meanwhile pops content on there so fast it's stunning. I do not miss FF much...

    • I assume that you're starting with a single simple page that is accessible -- starting with a page that's not accessible (think work site when you're not connected via VPN) takes a few seconds to fail. Opening a complex page as your start page will slow you down. Opening many pages at once takes a few seconds to process. It's also possible that the auto-update is slowing you down.
    • Are you on Vista or Win7 by chance? There is a known bug with DirectWrite that can cause hangs on startup due to font enumeration. It's one of the hard blockers mentioned in TFA that has to fixed before release.
  • Does the new Firefox have its menu bar missing just like Chrome and IE8 do? 'cuz I'm a Firefox user and I really want to have all of the browser's configuration and management features jammed into some weird little button in the corner like my Chrome and IE8 using friends do. It's so awesome when the File, Edit, etc. menus that are present in every other application on your desktop go missing in your browser, and I want Firefox to suck that way too!
    • Re:Missing menu bar? (Score:4, Informative)

      by supersloshy (1273442) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:36PM (#34865522)

      By default on Windows, it's replaced by the Firefox Menu. Just right-click anywhere on the UI (besides the page) and turn the menu bar back on. You can also do this from the preferences menu inside the Firefox Menu itself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eko3 (1975468)
      I think your desire is in the minority. Most people don't want to play around under the hood of their browser. Most people could care less. Most people want to see more facebook, foursquare, linkedin, twitter (ad naseum).... and that's exactly what they are getting with these new revs. Welcome to Web 2.0... 3.0... eh... whatever...
  • "Release candidate" means "release this version if it's good enough, otherwise produce another RC", not "something random to put out before a deadline".

    It's enough to make me miss IE5. Sleek, simple, didn't have any notion of the unnecessary Web2.0 shit. Optimising the browsing of a web of information was always a lofty goal for a web browser, I guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:41PM (#34865598)

    I know you can get an add-on to replace it.

    But that requires each and every user to look for and install something that should already be there!

    For the developers to take the status bar completely out... that's just ridiculous.

    At the very least, put a little check box in the options page to turn it back on.

    • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:26PM (#34867346) Homepage

      Not really a fail. What they've done is split the functionality of the existing status bar in two. One part displays the URL you hover over; that has been moved to the URL bar instead. The other part is the add-on icons, and that's been moved to a distinct add-on toolbar, which can be shown or hidden easily as the user prefers. Each and every user will not be installing a status bar extension, because each and every user doesn't want or need a dedicated status bar. IMHO they've implemented the needed functionality in a better way.

      The whole point of FF is it will look like and behave like whatever you want it to, more or less. Changing the way it works by default doesn't change that.

  • I made a big blog post about using Firefox 4 and a bunch of other things you can do to help make it better. Most of you in this crowd can skip to Item 3, I wrote it for users who are not technical.
    http://bryanquigley.com/uncategorized/try-the-new-firefox-beta [bryanquigley.com]

    Or in just one sentence, turn on the surveys to automatically submit, and install/run Grafx Bot - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/200733/ [mozilla.org].

    And in related news, I also would love to see Duck Duck Go [duckduckgo.com] be included as one of the search engin

  • I've been running Chrome for about a year now (maybe less) as my primary browser. It's small and snappy enough that it suits my older hardware better than FF 3 does. I use FF when my primary concern is security, rather than speed and convenience. Unfortunately, I've been getting a bit frustrated at Chrome lately too. Google keeps releasing patches and updates, which is fine for security. But it seems like the last few iterations of Chrome have made my Adblocking, Flashblocking, and javascript settings nearl
  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:55PM (#34865870) Homepage
    In a 'pre-emptive removal of unknown exploits' similar to what Microsoft did when they released IE6.

    Fortunately the overbite [floodgap.com] addon exists, but does not seem compatible with recent Beta versions.
    • Gopher is still around? I can't remember the last time I used it, but it's probably been around 15 years. That's some seriously obscure backwards compatibility you want.

  • Status bar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bazmail (764941) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @03:06PM (#34866082)
    Bring back the god damn status bar. Change for change's sake is never a good idea.
    • Bring back the god damn status bar. Change for change's sake is never a good idea.

      Have you looked at how they've implemented the status bar functionality yet? They didn't just get rid of the status bar without implementing the functions it provides. I think they did a good job with it.

  • Multiple crashes a day, error reporting that seldom worked, and it turns out really slow which I realized when I switched to Chrome. I tried, I really really did, to stick with it. But when it took forever to restart and would just keep happening I finally gave Chrome a shot at the urging of a friend. I have something like 25 windows and 100+ tabs open in Chrome and not a single crash. It's been running well over a week now with no issues. My crash logs for FF showed daily crashes, sometimes hourly, and whe

    • If you have 100 tabs open you're doing it wrong. Seriously. I can't think of a single reason you'd want to do something like that. Especially if any of the pages auto-refresh.
      • by BLKMGK (34057)

        No, I'm doing it differently than you - that's not necessarily wrong.

        I am interested in MANY things. I have a single normal page with all of the news, email, and tech sites I read to include status of eBay auctions and NetFlix queue. This stays open always. When I research an interest be it HTPC topics, storage solutions, or odd stuff found on sites like Slashdot I often open a new window. Each tab in that new window - often starting with Google, is a different site. If i get pulled away or it';s something

  • Strange how so many comments here say the same thing:
    * Where's the status bar?!
    * Eh, I'm switching to Chrome

    And yet Chrome also lacks a status bar!

    • by ampathee (682788) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @04:07PM (#34867064)

      Chrome lacks a status bar only when the status bar would be empty. As soon as there is something to put in it, it appears.

      Mouse-over a link, and it shows you the target. Click a link, and it tells you what the progress is, until it's finished. Then the status bar disappears again.

      • Chrome lacks a status bar only when the status bar would be empty. As soon as there is something to put in it, it appears.

        Mouse-over a link, and it shows you the target. Click a link, and it tells you what the progress is, until it's finished. Then the status bar disappears again.

        Firefox has implemented it differently, but that's basically what they've done as well.

  • For the love of all that is holy... why are we no longer allowed to know what we are hovering and what we are loading?
    What a lovely "addition" and quite "progressive"... i'm all for progress, but come on people....

    --ToO

  • They didn't release an RC and there have been several beta releases already. I don't see any real new information here. Announcing that there will be a release announcement sometime in the future seems like they are just trying to get publicity. Seriously, they didn't even commit to a release date. It makes me so annoyed, I don't even want to discuss it. Oh wait, ooops.

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