Firefox 4 Beta 12 Lands; Next stop RC

Mozilla have released Beta 12 of Firefox 4 to their website late last night, and confirmed that it will be the last beta before a Release Candidate is released sometime in March. Mozilla had originally planned to ship Beta 12 earlier this week, and the Release Candidate on the 25th but "hardblocker bugs" had come in the way of those plans.

Mozilla appears to have decided to weigh in on the joke, launching a (presumably) tongue-in-cheek website that counts down the number of bugs standing in the way of a final Firefox 4 release. At the time of writing, there are still 9 ''hard-blockers'', of which 3 require a patch.

Sr. Director of Engineering at Mozilla Corporation, Damon Sicore, posted on Google Groups ahead of the public release: "Yesterday we killed the blocker list, and we're down to 12 remaining bugs open, and only four remain without a patch.  We set a goal last week to be done with all of these blockers and to try to be RC ready by today.  Due to everyone's hard work, we're there.  We've accelerated beta 12 to ship today, and the next step is to squash these few remaining bugs.  After this, we're in RC mode, constantly watching the nomination queues for incoming bugs from this last beta."

Of the 686 bugs fixed in Beta 12, the following improvements among others can be viewed below:

Increased performance while viewing Flash content;
Improved plugin compatibility with hardware acceleration enabled;
Hovering over links now displays the URL at the bottom of the window rather than in the location bar; and
General stability, performance, and compatibility improvements.

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