Firefox 4 final release targeted for next month

Damon Sicore, Mozilla's Director of Platform Engineering, told developers via a mailing list (which you can read here) that the final version of Firefox 4 should be ready to ship by the end of February, but not before another beta and a release candidate come out first.

Sicore mentioned that at the moment they have around "160 hard blockers remaining" and in the past it has usually "taken [them] six weeks to reach RC once [they] have 100 blockers left." That puts the typical first RC at the end of February. But Sicore was insistent, claiming they "must press hard now." In fact, his plan is to finish the RC by the beginning of February and to ship the final release by the end of the month.

All of this, riding on the coattails of another beta release. Firefox 4 Beta 9 was issued today but isn't currently reachable through the frontend channels. Thanks to torrentthief in the forums, you can find the new beta by going through Mozilla's FTP pathway. The new beta reportedly fixes a variety of 787 different bugs, but there are still more to remedy.

Sicore claimed that before a release candidate, they will (of course) release another beta which will hopefully bring the bug count down to zero. If that is not possible for the next beta release, "then [they will] repeat, deliberately."

[Image credit: mozilla.com]

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62 Comments

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Looking foward to release although, reading through the results for Chrome 9 it looks as though the release of Firefox 4 could be over shadowed by the performance of Chrome 9.

I'll still use them both.

I stopped using Firefox 4 around b4/b5 as it kept crashing. Wish I'd taken the advice not to use a beta browser as my main/only browser from the start!

Gunna stick with 3.6.13 til the final release of 4 now.

been mozilla user since days of phoenix...moved to chrome ever since it started supporting extensions. tried ff4b6 and was not impressed and don't think final will be much different. Unless there is some radical advantage to ff4 there is no reason for me to switch back.

Luis Mazza said,
FF4 is running great. But it does have some Flash-related issues that bother me since the first beta.

Blame Adobe.

I haven't tried it yet, but can the tabs be moved back below the address bar where they belong? Nothing should be in the title bar except titles and the window buttons.

was using chrome for several months ago.. but since 2 weeks i switched back to firefox with foxdie theme installed.. i like it

After so many delays, I got sick of waiting for FF4 and moved to Chrome. I love it. I'll check out FF4 when it releases, but don't think I'll switch back as Chrome is everything I need, with a big speed boost. Say what you will about Google, but they have it right with Chrome, and incremental, rolling updates is the way to go for browsers. Not years between releases.

denne said,
After so many delays, I got sick of waiting for FF4 and moved to Chrome. I love it. I'll check out FF4 when it releases, but don't think I'll switch back as Chrome is everything I need, with a big speed boost. Say what you will about Google, but they have it right with Chrome, and incremental, rolling updates is the way to go for browsers. Not years between releases.

you do know IE gets updated between major releases?

Un4given said,
Are they going to have a 64 bit version of it? I love firefox, but want a 64 bit version.

A 64 bit browser is really not of any use right now and won't be for a while. The last piece of software to change over to 64 bit completely will be browsers most likely sense it is not that important. Look how long it took adobe to release a 64 bit of Flash and that is still in beta lol.

max2 said,

A 64 bit browser is really not of any use right now and won't be for a while. The last piece of software to change over to 64 bit completely will be browsers most likely sense it is not that important. Look how long it took adobe to release a 64 bit of Flash and that is still in beta lol.


IE has been 64bit since IE8. And its faster then 32bit IE by quite a bit. startup, load and resource useage.
FF has a seperate project (not from mozilla) tha produces a 64bit version of FF every release.

Agree with several of the comments earlier in the thread in that this release does seem a lot more polished and snappier.
The only gripe i have is the NoScript addon button is somehow in the navigation bar (and i have the add on bar ticked)...

Riggers said,
Agree with several of the comments earlier in the thread in that this release does seem a lot more polished and snappier.
The only gripe i have is the NoScript addon button is somehow in the navigation bar (and i have the add on bar ticked)...

You can remove navigation bar(and any item from these kind of bars) buttons from the Customize menu.

>>Sicore mentioned that at the moment they have around "160 hard blockers remaining"<<

No kidding??

I've been using FF since 0.8. And what is really starting to irritate the hell out of me, is that at least one of these "hard blocks" is right in their face and hasn't been fixed since the beginning release of 4.

All I have to do, is fire up the browser, and click an article to read off the MSN front page. FF has never been able to render any page from MSN's MoneyCentral website. At least not for me... I have to open up IE.

Here's the page I'm talking about now.

http://articles.moneycentral.m...ntid=27019973&GT1=33010

Renders perfect in IE, but in FF all I have is the top half of the page, no photos, no article.. nothing.

It will be blatantly obvious "ooops" like this that will drive me back to using IE, or worse... Chrome.

I'm not going to be looking at page source codes when it doesn't render. Though it doesn't surprise me that an MSN page would tailor to IE over other browsers. Even so, I've used the IETab Addon, and it still would not render in FF.

Complain to Microsoft? Or the MSN web developer? *cough* I'd get quicker and more reliable results banging my head against the wall.

xMorpheousx416 said,
...
Is this your excuse for blaming Firefox? Ignorance and laziness? Yes, I agree - you might not have much luck complaining, but it doesn't make your initial position reasonable.

I don't see what the big deal is unless you use a 15 inch monitor or less. Seems like small is the in thing now.

max2 said,
I don't see what the big deal is unless you use a 15 inch monitor or less. Seems like small is the in thing now.

A lot of folks w/ Laptops that have <15" screens..........

I'll believe that when they actually release it. They already said "it's gonna be there soon" a lot of times in the past about older Firefox versions.

Udedenkz said,
I'd avoid it until 4.0.1 at least imo.

Same when using it as my primary browser. I will just stick with Firefox 3.6.13 as my main but still use Firefox 4 Beta and Final on the side! By the time Firefox 4.0.1 hopefully all addons support Firefox 4 officially.

Kirkburn said,
Why?

1. To wait for all Add-Ons to update for Firefox 4.
By 4.0.1, most of the Add-Ons should be Firefox 4-friendly.

2. Early adopters experience most of the problems. Any product.

thenonhacker said,

1. To wait for all Add-Ons to update for Firefox 4.
By 4.0.1, most of the Add-Ons should be Firefox 4-friendly.

2. Early adopters experience most of the problems. Any product.

Zactly

Bogdan Calapod said,
To give time for addons dev's to catch up, probably :-)

All of my addons are working just fine in Minefield 4 b10pre
Had problems in betas until 7+, after that it has been like a dream come true ^^

Uninformed people don't know that the plugin model has been finished in Beta 7, so most plugins are already ready for FF4 and won't break compatibility with next Betas and RCs.

thartist said,
Uninformed people don't know that the plugin model has been finished in Beta 7, so most plugins are already ready for FF4 and won't break compatibility with next Betas and RCs.

most people dont know most plugins still work if you manually change it -.-

Dessimat0r said,
The beta is extremely smooth, and they sorted out the slow startup times. Good job.

Finally! It was starting to seriously bug me!

my problem with firefox and other major software manufacturer is that the 3rd party apps don't move as fast as they do. for instance the cool previews doesn't work with nothing but ver 3, which sucks, but overall I love firefox and will continue to use it. Can't wait for the 3rd party apps be compatible with both desktop and android version.

Timi Azeez said,
my problem with firefox and other major software manufacturer is that the 3rd party apps don't move as fast as they do. for instance the cool previews doesn't work with nothing but ver 3, which sucks, but overall I love firefox and will continue to use it. Can't wait for the 3rd party apps be compatible with both desktop and android version.

Timi, that's because the devs get the released code no earlier than the rest of us (later, if they have IP/connection issues). I'm running Minefield (x64 trunk from earlier today; technically pre b10) and it's darn solid. Also, most plug-in devs stick to the released versions and thus have no code for the betas (let alone Minefield).

Timi Azeez said,
my problem with firefox and other major software manufacturer is that the 3rd party apps don't move as fast as they do. for instance the cool previews doesn't work with nothing but ver 3, which sucks, but overall I love firefox and will continue to use it. Can't wait for the 3rd party apps be compatible with both desktop and android version.

open the plugin file, in there, theres a text file with configuration settings. Just change version numbers to include the version 4 your using. then just open the xpi with firefox... it installs and runs fine

almost all the FF3 plugins i used worked fine in FF4beta's

Forsho, FF beta is still sluggish as hell. I honestly can't see how they can come to a final with this. I don't know what's happening at Moz's management, but things aren't looking good with internal management.

flexkeyboard said,
Forsho, FF beta is still sluggish as hell. I honestly can't see how they can come to a final with this. I don't know what's happening at Moz's management, but things aren't looking good with internal management.

Yeah it's sluggish as hell - if you're on a computer from 2005 or something. On my old junk it performs outstanding. From 2008.

Yakuzing said,

Yeah it's sluggish as hell - if you're on a computer from 2005 or something. On my old junk it performs outstanding. From 2008.

Yes I agree, considering FF3.6 working flawlessly on my old as dirt 2008 laptop, FF4b is a step backward. I'll see if they can fix it within 2 months, but my hope isn't that high considering ff4 has been in dev for over a year and it's still sluggish.

mehta708 said,
4.0b9 feels smoother than previous versions. GJ, Mozilla.

yup, the beta is already very smooth and sweet

brentaal said,

How long has it been since they released the first Beta build?

Well it's a beta of a major release, so we shouldn't expect everything to be perfect back then. There have been a lot big of changes made early on in the development (such as new layers system and hardware acceleration) that have combined together create a lot of bugs. Most of them are, of course, gone now, so everything is fine.

In fact, at this point in the development, nightly builds are probably more stable than the betas.

s.L.m said,

yup, the beta is already very smooth and sweet

the official Firefox 4 BETA 9 is out? , or are you guys talking about the pre-beta9 nightly crap?