Firefox 4 Beta 11 Lands

Mozilla have released Beta 11 of Firefox 4 today, and as previously predicted there will be another beta before it reaches Release Candidate (RC) stage, with work on Beta 12 already underway. Currently, the beta page has yet to be updated, but you can grab the EN-US version from their official supported link here.

In a posting last night on Google Group mozilla.dev.planning, Firefox Release Manager, Chris Legnitto, let it be known that, "QA has signed off on Firefox 4 beta 11. We intend to push it to mirrors tonight / tomorrow morning PST".

Legnitto also commented on the lengthy QA to ship cycle, hinting at a more streamlined process to come in the future.

Just to let you know, releases aren't as easy as flipping a switch. The release mechanics generally follow these steps:

1. Release to mirrors
2. Wait for sufficient mirror uptake for update testing
3. Test the updates on the "releasetest" channel to make sure the bits on the mirrors are ok
4. Wait for sufficient mirror uptake for release to the beta audience
5. Push webpages live
6. Test the updates on the "beta" channel, get QA signoff on them
7. Update download links on mozilla.com
8. Announce to the world

As an aside, there are exciting plans to pipeline and automate the mechanics of releases to cut down the time it takes to go from QA signoff to tested bits on the wire.

Firefox 4, based on the Gecko 2.0 engine, will bring an updated user interface, new ways to organise tabs, a revamped add-on manager, support for HTML5 video standards, multitouch support on Windows 7 and a range of performance and security enhancements. The full release notes for beta 10 can be viewed here.

Don't forget that you can discuss this beta, and nightly builds right here on Neowin in the "Meet Firefox 4.0 (beta 11)" topic.

Image credit: Mozilla.

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If they want to keep it beta a little longer why not, it is looking more and more better, and im a Chrome fan myself. But might have it installed for rainy days lol

gosh this company is doomed. if they can't release a silly browser after all these years what can we expect of them. the browser is great, but why are they fooling around and holding this in the beta stage for so long! 11 betas is far too many. cmon Mozilla you can do it!

jasonon said,
the browser is great, but why are they fooling around and holding this in the beta stage for so long!
Because they don't want to launch a broken browser?

Step by step, Mozilla is starting to look like they are repeating their very own history about Netscape.

Seriously, while I was huge fan of Netscape 3; with Netscape 4, Mozilla went for a couple of changes to make it feel like it will never open, slow-responsive UI, lost to its lighter opponent IE, which is now seems to be Chrome...

Firefox 4 is now even with Beta 11 feeling like it is a bloatware...

If they want to compete with Chrome in the version numbers purely because "Firefox 4" looks old compared with "IE 9" or "Opera 10"... why not just get rid of the version number in the name just like Chrome have done?

To the end user, I doubt they have any idea really what version Chrome is (I've never heard anyone say Chrome 8, Chrome 9, just Chrome) and Firefox should just do the same really.

@sabrex : Firefox (Gecko engine) loads and show very well Apple's website but without Webkit's CSS animations. That will be the same thing with Internet Explorer 9 (Trident engine) and Opera 11.01 (Presto engine) !

For the videos, only browsers who choose H.264 (like Safari and IE9, Chrome will drop support in next version) will show Apple videos ! Others can too but with QuickTime plug-in.

1for-matik said,
@sabrex : Firefox (Gecko engine) loads and show very well Apple's website but without Webkit's CSS animations. That will be the same thing with Internet Explorer 9 (Trident engine) and Opera 11.01 (Presto engine) !

For the videos, only browsers who choose H.264 (like Safari and IE9, Chrome will drop support in next version) will show Apple videos ! Others can too but with QuickTime plug-in.

It seems to me that if all browsers don't support H.264 HTML5 videos natively, then Flash will continue to be the only thing web developers will choose for embedded videos, because it will run on all browsers everywhere (except on iOS devices that is). HTML5 video is pretty much DOA the way things are going at the moment.

On a side note, thanks to your comment on QuickTime plug-in, I checked and it was already installed for Firefox, but I still couldn't play the Apple.com videos. I noticed I also had the VLC 1.1.7 plug-in installed. After I disabled that, all videos are not working with Firefox 4 Beta 11 on Apple.com ... so that's pretty awesome Thanks for the hint!

sabrex said,
It seems to me that if all browsers don't support H.264 HTML5 videos natively, then Flash will continue to be the only thing web developers will choose for embedded videos
And much the same can be said for other codecs that they don't all support. Consider if they all supported WebM instead? In any case, there are good reasons for all the browser developer's choices - unfortunately, it's not a simple thing to decide.

It doesn't display apple.com correctly at all. Cannot view ANY of the videos, and it does not display the menu animations that Chrome displays on that site, for example. What is up with the HTML5 implementation in Firefox 4 beta 11? It totally sucks.

sabrex said,
It doesn't display apple.com correctly at all. Cannot view ANY of the videos, and it does not display the menu animations that Chrome displays on that site, for example. What is up with the HTML5 implementation in Firefox 4 beta 11? It totally sucks.
Maybe Webkit specific CSS code for the webpage and maybe HTML5 videos requires H.264 ?

1for-matik said,
Maybe Webkit specific CSS code for the webpage and maybe HTML5 videos requires H.264 ?

So Firefox can't display Apple's website because Mozilla doesn't want to support Webkit CSS and H.264? And they expect people to continue to use Firefox... why? Not being able to display content on the biggest tech company's website is a bit of a massive failure. Very few users out there will care why it doesn't display pages correctly and the politics behind it. They will only care that it doesn't.

nub said,
H.264 != free

My guess is WebM and Theora are probably infringing on a few patents held by the various contributors to H.264. I'm sure if push came to shove MPEG-LA could and would pursue legal challenges to both codecs. As it stands H.264 is the only codec that's an actual standard recognized by actual standards bodies and used absolutely everywhere. It's also free to distribute video content in H.264 and to view that content. What's not free is implementing the codec into browsers, but since Windows 7 and MacOSX 10.6 already include the codec, all browsers can easily support playback of H.264 HTML5 content by passing the job off to Windows 7 or MacOSX and wipe their hands of any responsibility. The fact that they choose not to is a bit peculiar.

sabrex said,

So Firefox can't display Apple's website because Mozilla doesn't want to support Webkit CSS and H.264? And they expect people to continue to use Firefox... why? Not being able to display content on the biggest tech company's website is a bit of a massive failure. Very few users out there will care why it doesn't display pages correctly and the politics behind it. They will only care that it doesn't.

Why would they support webkit CSS? Apple is using non-standard implementations of HTML5 on their site.

sabrex said,

My guess is WebM and Theora are probably infringing on a few patents held by the various contributors to H.264. I'm sure if push came to shove MPEG-LA could and would pursue legal challenges to both codecs. As it stands H.264 is the only codec that's an actual standard recognized by actual standards bodies and used absolutely everywhere. It's also free to distribute video content in H.264 and to view that content. What's not free is implementing the codec into browsers, but since Windows 7 and MacOSX 10.6 already include the codec, all browsers can easily support playback of H.264 HTML5 content by passing the job off to Windows 7 or MacOSX and wipe their hands of any responsibility. The fact that they choose not to is a bit peculiar.

What about linux?

I'm still having problems with font rendering correctly, but this same problem has always happened to me in beta versions of FF. I'll try again when the RC comes out.

Phantom Phreak said,
I'm still having problems with font rendering correctly, but this same problem has always happened to me in beta versions of FF. I'll try again when the RC comes out.
Once again... That's not a Firefox problem. It's a Direct2D rendering fonts problem (with ClearType enabled)

Actually the one I would look out for is Opera. Yes seriously. Firefox is far from done with though. No other browser allows you to customize as much. They can try but there not even close to being there and most likely never will.

I've been saying this for weeks. Firefox is done.

Google pulled out and turned their backs on them when Chrome took off (in a way I don't blame them), so they were scrambling to stay relevant. Then, for one reason or another, they decided to fork their messaging department into its own off-chute division (which got left in the dust anyway). Now, I couldn't even tell you what the hell Mozilla does in between Firefox betas. It's a real shame, because Firefox paved the way for open source browsers and alternative browsing in general. I can only hope someone decides to play hero and rescue Mozilla, because they're just delaying the inevitable. IE and Chrome are ****ing all over them at the moment.

Educated Idiot said,
I've been saying this for weeks. Firefox is done.

Google pulled out and turned their backs on them when Chrome took off (in a way I don't blame them), so they were scrambling to stay relevant. Then, for one reason or another, they decided to fork their messaging department into its own off-chute division (which got left in the dust anyway). Now, I couldn't even tell you what the hell Mozilla does in between Firefox betas. It's a real shame, because Firefox paved the way for open source browsers and alternative browsing in general. I can only hope someone decides to play hero and rescue Mozilla, because they're just delaying the inevitable. IE and Chrome are ****ing all over them at the moment.


Jeeze I never knew "done" meant having a large percentage of the market share.

Kirkburn said,
You said nothing there that actually says why they're 'done'.

His nickname said it all. Let the kids playing around. Personally I love kids, even spoilt ones. They are still kids who didn't get much love from their parents, obviously.

A kid said "Mozilla is done." Anyone has a reason not to believe it? O.K. I'm with!

even in windows I get errors with firefox 4. When in hotmail the sidebar with the ads always goes really quick and the message pane doesn't work properly.

RIP Firefox. Time will prove me right. Also, IE9 is gonna kick FF's ass (I, myself, am amazed). Flame me all you want, but look at the facts. Mozilla has a bazillion projects running at the same time. How can you expect for extra focus and effort into Firefox only? They've been lagging and the only reason for the accelerated development (if you can call it that) is because not only did Google kick ass on version 1, its kicking ass on a systematic pattern.

Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I used to love Firefox, but Google nailed it with Chrome interface and Firefox seemed not to follow. Now Microsoft will soon offer what looks like a nice "default" browser to be used when Chrome can't and Firefox lost its meaning. This is also very sad. I feel bad for the totally independend organization of Mozilla.

Rash said,
Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I used to love Firefox, but Google nailed it with Chrome interface and Firefox seemed not to follow.
But half the time people are shouting angrily that Firefox is copying Chrome with this new UI. Will it never end?

Kirkburn said,
But half the time people are shouting angrily that Firefox is copying Chrome with this new UI. Will it never end?

Probably not, too many damn whiners and complainers.

Kirkburn said,
But half the time people are shouting angrily that Firefox is copying Chrome with this new UI. Will it never end?

Firefox copying Chrome? I don't see a resemblance. I do see Firefox's UI to be similar to Opera's. And on that note, Opera is actually really good. But for some reason they just don't hit the spot. There's something about the browser I just can't put my finger on that bounces me back to Chrome. But in terms of speed, at least, its pretty damn good.

Lastly, Mozilla, you innovated browsers, what happened guys? Firefox is your flagship product. Give it some love.

I've been all over the site and can't find a simple option. The taskbar at the bottom, when I hover over a URL I would like to see where it's pointing.

Eg, is it a direct link to a file or another page or a java popup etc, I need that bar

DjmUK said,
I've been all over the site and can't find a simple option. The taskbar at the bottom, when I hover over a URL I would like to see where it's pointing.

Eg, is it a direct link to a file or another page or a java popup etc, I need that bar

That information is now in the address bar....all the way to right. At least it was last time I checked.

MrWizard81 said,

That information is now in the address bar....all the way to right. At least it was last time I checked.


Oh yeah! Thanks for that

OMG I can't wait for Beta 65484 to be release. I heard they will inject the browser into our brain and were able to browse and navigate by blinking our eyes. No serious Mozilla. I'm like some people right now who are getting tired of these beta. Looks like is back to Chrome an IE9 for the time being. The beta's are great to play around with but I need my browser to work for work.

I did switch to chrome but I switch back to firefox at beta 9, the fonts are really nice now probably the best for me. But still getting crashes here and there.

So... did they fix the rendering issue on Mac? The bug got a resolution the other day but has it been implemented?

There should rename the final product Mozilla Beta 4. When Ff 4 does go final, I just imagine the amount of point updates after to fix the bugs they didn't get to fix.

Mr. Dee said,
There should rename the final product Mozilla Beta 4. When Ff 4 does go final, I just imagine the amount of point updates after to fix the bugs they didn't get to fix.
I fail to see the logic in that comment.

It's the never ending Beta cycle. I wonder what is taking them so long with FF4? With that in mind, I can't believe that Mozilla will out a version 5,6,7 all this year, unless 4.1 = 5, 4.2 = 6 and 4.3 = 7....

Google was the king of Beta, Mozilla now stole the crown.

TruckWEB said,
It's the never ending Beta cycle. I wonder what is taking them so long with FF4? With that in mind, I can't believe that Mozilla will out a version 5,6,7 all this year, unless 4.1 = 5, 4.2 = 6 and 4.3 = 7....

Google was the king of Beta, Mozilla now stole the crown.

That's feature creep for you, it's what killed Vista.

neo158 said,

That's feature creep for you, it's what killed Vista.


or rather it was a MAJOR OVERHAUL for windows , and i actually thank Vista , for now we have Windows 7 , essentially vista in efficient way

bogas04 said,

or rather it was a MAJOR OVERHAUL for windows , and i actually thank Vista , for now we have Windows 7 , essentially vista in efficient way

I'm not going to disagree with that, but feature creep does kill a lot of Products

I haven't used Firefox since the first stable release of Chrome, but even I'm getting annoyed with yet another beta. And the UI looks cluttered. I'll stick with Chrome for the time being.

darkfanar said,
final product release date: 1/1/2020 that's a confirmation

I thought the final product release date was 1/1/3030, I could be wrong though!!!!!

Firefox 4 is the new Windows Vista

neo158 said,

I thought the final product release date was 1/1/3030, I could be wrong though!!!!!

Firefox 4 is the new Windows Vista

all fail! Its 4/4/4040 Okay i might be overdoing it , but hey , that's how its been always , and we have to admit that Firefox 4 is ages ahead firefox 3 or 2 or 1 , the difference between 3 and 2 was still not as much as there is between Firefox 4 and the rest... Rome was not built in one night as the saying goes , we must be patient , and yeah , they never ever PROMISED OFFICIALLY THAT FF4 WILL BE OUT BY NOV OR DEC OR FEB. That is just their planning and targets , and they post all that openly in their wikis and we think its their commitment and then troll over them . Thats insane..

DaveGreen said,
Basically, it's Opera.

Looks like Opera, probably not built like it .(I know nothing about how Opera or Firefox are built)

Zeck said,
Looks like Opera, probably not built like it .(I know nothing about how Opera or Firefox are built)
Well thanks for that informed opinion then.

yowan said,

Actually Opera stole FF design well before the first Beta appeared

How can you steal something that you have been able to do since version 9?

I'm still not a big fan of the new Add-on's manager, but beggars can't be chooser's i guess - the rest of the browser seems top notch

Bag said,
I'm still not a big fan of the new Add-on's manager, but beggars can't be chooser's i guess - the rest of the browser seems top notch

Same here...

The new manager is a pile of sh**e.

GS:mac

Stew Gilray said,
Enough of the betas already.

I'm sure you would be perfectly happy with a buggy final product.

Enough of the moaning already!

stevember said,

I'm sure you would be perfectly happy with a buggy final product.

Enough of the moaning already!


Aren't all final products buggy?

Quick Shot said,

Aren't all final products buggy?

i'd love to see you write a featurefull browser like FF4 without any bugs... if you finish it, please share \o/ we'd all love bugless software

Stew Gilray said,
Enough of the betas already.

Supposedly, Mozilla is going for the exact opposite approach and planning to release Firefox 5, 6 and 7 this year. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Shadowzz said,

i'd love to see you write a featurefull browser like FF4 without any bugs... if you finish it, please share \o/ we'd all love bugless software

So why so many betas if it will inevitably be buggy anyway? I think that's the general point anyway.

stevember said,
I'm sure you would be perfectly happy with a buggy final product.

Enough of the moaning already!

Yeah, but 11 beta versions, that's taking the ****. IE9 is at the RC stage after a single beta.

neo158 said,

Yeah, but 11 beta versions, that's taking the ****. IE9 is at the RC stage after a single beta.

after a single "public" beta IE is a closed project they only release public beta once in a while

there might be like a 20 or 30 beta but we only see one

DaRkMaDnEsS said,
after a single "public" beta IE is a closed project they only release public beta once in a while

there might be like a 20 or 30 beta but we only see one

My point was that Microsoft released a single beta to the public and is now talking about the public RC release, that does show a shorter development time considering Firefox 4 is stuck at the beta stage.

Kushan said,

Supposedly, Mozilla is going for the exact opposite approach and planning to release Firefox 5, 6 and 7 this year. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

¨

Joining Google in the version number wars I see. Really pathetic to be honest.

Stew Gilray said,
Enough of the betas already.

Mozilla isn't Opera to release a Final product with a ton of well known bugs. You're free to go with 'em and good luck in the desert.

Neither Google to release versions like candies without any major updated features, although Mozilla will follow the same plan in the future cause the new trend requires this technique.

neo158 said,
My point was that Microsoft released a single beta to the public and is now talking about the public RC release, that does show a shorter development time considering Firefox 4 is stuck at the beta stage.
Until IE9 gets released, it is also 'stuck' at the beta stage. We had the first IE9 platform preview back in March 2010, which is still essentially a beta.

floopy said,
¨Joining Google in the version number wars I see. Really pathetic to be honest.
No, changing their release schedule to get updates out faster. While they could have started going with 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 for an accelerated feature release schedule ... they don't want to be stuck with then making an extra big release to justify a v5, or forcing the 4.X releases to be perceived as small updates.

Kirkburn said,
No, changing their release schedule to get updates out faster. While they could have started going with 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 for an accelerated feature release schedule ... they don't want to be stuck with then making an extra big release to justify a v5, or forcing the 4.X releases to be perceived as small updates.

You're not making any sense. They ARE going to be small updates, just like Googles. The reason why IE never do point releases is because they basically release every 1-2 years. What happens in a couple of years when Chrome and Firefox are at version 25-35. Or are they gonna rebrand like Adobe had to do with Photoshop?

Kirkburn said,
Until IE9 gets released, it is also 'stuck' at the beta stage. We had the first IE9 platform preview back in March 2010, which is still essentially a beta.

Do you have any idea what a beta is? The platform previews were more like alpha builds. They didn't even have a UI or security layers. Bottom line is FF4 wasn't deserving of being called Beta until atleast beta 7.

Shadowzz said,

i'd love to see you write a featurefull browser like FF4 without any bugs... if you finish it, please share \o/ we'd all love bugless software
There will always be at least one bug that slips through.

floopy said,
You're not making any sense. They ARE going to be small updates, just like Googles. The reason why IE never do point releases is because they basically release every 1-2 years. What happens in a couple of years when Chrome and Firefox are at version 25-35. Or are they gonna rebrand like Adobe had to do with Photoshop?
And what do you expect the Firefox team to name all these releases? I literally just explained why naming them 4.x doesn't work in the long term.

I don't think it matters than something will reach version 25. It's still obviously one more than version 24. Version numbers would likely have been de-emphasised by that time, and it's an issue for pretty much the entire computing industry. Like Chrome, you would almost certainly have quiet background updates.

floopy said,
Do you have any idea what a beta is? The platform previews were more like alpha builds. They didn't even have a UI or security layers. Bottom line is FF4 wasn't deserving of being called Beta until atleast beta 7.
Fx also had alphas. Just because you define a beta in a certain way, doesn't mean that is the end of it.

I think the point here is that you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. You can't keep a product in beta forever, and 12 beta releases is just ridiculous if you ask me. All software products have bugs that are discovered continuously, right from the earliest concepts of the software, all the way through to end-of-life. At some point you just have to take the leap and release the thing.

Besides, if you're still finding major bugs at such a late stage that are keeping the product in Beta, then something really is wrong with your beta testing/QA process. Just get it out the door already.

TCLN Ryster said,
Besides, if you're still finding major bugs at such a late stage that are keeping the product in Beta, then something really is wrong with your beta testing/QA process. Just get it out the door already.
Not if much of the cycle was working on feature additions and tweaks. The team weren't working only on bug fixes for much of the cycle.

However, I agree - this cycle has been too long. Mozilla knows it, thus the changes.

stevember said,

I'm sure you would be perfectly happy with a buggy final product.

Enough of the moaning already!

My point was that this is Beta 11, they shouldn't be releasing THIS many betas, ideally no more than 6.

They should do less of them, NOT just stop and release it.