Firefox 4 team launches countdown to release

After eleven - soon to be twelve - betas and numerous public pep talks by development leaders, it's fair to say the development of Mozilla's Firefox 4 browser has become somewhat of a running joke.

Now, 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. As of 4.45AM EST today, there were 18 ''hard-blockers'', up from 14 when Conceivably Tech spotted the website earlier today.

Neowin reported last week that Mozilla was pushing to ship a release candidate version of their new browser by February 25. That target looks certain to join a long list of missed ship dates, as developers struggle to get a twelfth beta out the door nearly a week late.

In a Weekly Engineering Newsletter, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler claimed that Firefox 4 beta 12 will ship early next week, though no mention is made of when a release candidate is expected. The company has also given no official indication of when the final version of the browser will hit, beyond comments apparently made to tech site golem.de that Firefox 4 final will ship in March.

At this point, and after more than a year in development the question must be - will anyone care when Firefox 4 is released?

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Opera 11 is doing just fine for me. Its fast, far more customizable than Chrome and now a lot more websites are compliant with it.

Firefox 4.0 beta is way better than 3.6. I've used it throughout the whole beta and refused to switch back as well as not using IE9, I just wish Firefox wouldn't use 250mb to 500mb of ram when I've got alot of tabs, flash, or javascript running. Oh yeah, and the issue with hotmail continually reloading is ****ing me off.

netsendjoe said,
Firefox 4.0 beta is way better than 3.6. I've used it throughout the whole beta and refused to switch back as well as not using IE9, I just wish Firefox wouldn't use 250mb to 500mb of ram when I've got alot of tabs, flash, or javascript running. Oh yeah, and the issue with hotmail continually reloading is ****ing me off.

The hotmail issuse, you can definitely blame MS for it. they have the fix to roll out, but yet their being stubborn on releasing it.

Mozilla has become rather entertaining with the amount of 4 betas and ultimate delays. But it's understandable, they really want a polished product. Unfortunately for me, I could not take the serious issue with Windows Live Mail anymore, not liking having to disable html5 to avoid it. Switched to Chrome once and for all. Sure, its addon system isn't great yet but there's enough good (and some even better) equivalents to be found and I can live with its inferior AdBlockPlus for now. lol

Seems that WebKit browsers are ahead of the pack, in terms of support for HTML5 and CSS3, although Opera comes close sometimes. Safari just isn't built for Windows and I find Apple's closed shop an issue, so I went from Chrome (yeah, I know… Google) to the Chrome Dev versions, then Chrome Canary and now to Chromium, which is open source and without the Google touches.

Some days it's sh*t (today!), but mostly it runs fine and updates constantly, plus it works on Windows, Linux, Mac whatever. The new hardware acceleration alters the font rendering in Firefox 4 Beta 11 to such a degree, it basically breaks my mature and carefully designed website. I believe it should be switched off by default, allowing those who know what they are doing to switch it back on if they want.

IE9 does a similar thing, but there's an HTML meta tag that easily defines which version you want IE to imitate. Firefox 4 needs something similar in my view, until then it totally sucks…

wow so much chrome evangelist here...

while firefox 4 its great, the constant messing the UI, its something i dont really like other than that i hope a improvement in speed and performance for future as the FOCUS

Breach said,
No, thanks - tried Beta 10 - slower and heavier than... other popular browsers I'm using.

It's beta for a reason...

Wow people get fanboyish about everything don't they? It's a freaking browser use the one you want, install them all if you want and use them all at the same time, it doesn't matter.

HEY I like to breath through my nose, take that mouth breathers!!

swanlee said,
Wow people get fanboyish about everything don't they? It's a freaking browser use the one you want, install them all if you want and use them all at the same time, it doesn't matter.

HEY I like to breath through my nose, take that mouth breathers!!

I currently have IE 8, FF 4 Beta 11, and Chrome 8 installed, and I use each one as needed for the task at hand. FF has better add-ons than Chrome, at least at this point in time, so I use FF 4 as my main browser. However, sometimes I need IE for Microsoft-specific web apps. Variety is a good thing.

The Skeptic Canuck said,
I currently have IE 8, FF 4 Beta 11, and Chrome 8 installed, and I use each one as needed for the task at hand. FF has better add-ons than Chrome, at least at this point in time, so I use FF 4 as my main browser. However, sometimes I need IE for Microsoft-specific web apps. Variety is a good thing.
There's very little that IE can do that Firefox can't (and that's mainly because of MS-built code that forces you to use IE and nothing else). There's a whole Hell of a lot that Firefox can do that Opera, Chrome and even Safari can't. It's been that way for a very long time.

Having compared the browsers actively, I think I'm safe in saying it won't change significantly any time soon. All the other browsers are focused on speed. Firefox is the most able. Period.

max22 said,
Firefox will always be #1

Sorry but it never has, is, or will be number one. That place will always belong to Internet Explorer.

Now, a few years ago, it actually WAS a threat to that number one spot, being at number two and day by day sliding closer and closer.

But now Chrome just took the cane that old Firefox was walking on, shoved it up its ass, and its ****ting itself downwards and Chrome has taken that number two spot.

superbeam said,

Sorry but it never has, is, or will be number one. That place will always belong to Internet Explorer.

Now, a few years ago, it actually WAS a threat to that number one spot, being at number two and day by day sliding closer and closer.

But now Chrome just took the cane that old Firefox was walking on, shoved it up its ass, and its ****ting itself downwards and Chrome has taken that number two spot.

Spoken in true google fanboy fashion

i dont care , i will be using nightlies anyhow , but yeah what would matter me would be the addons and themes which would be created , there is lot of potential to exploit with gecko2.0

Examinus said,
Firefox is the new IE.
*raises an eyebrow*... how? Firefox has previously had long development cycles. 1.5 to 2 was just under a year. 2 to 3 was Oct 06 to June 08! 3 to 3.5 was a year. We're sitting at just over a year atm.

But no, suddenly because 3.5 to 3.6 was half a year, all previous form is forgotten.

(In any case, as previously reported, they plan to speed up after 4.0)

I don't see how 1 year between 3.6 and 4 can be considered a long developement cycle. I think it's a perfectly fine cycle. FF4 could have been released one month earlier but comparing this to IE6->IE7 (a little more than 5 years) dev cycle is a little silly.

There have been 2 years and an half between FF3.0->FF4.0.

Kirkburn said,
*raises an eyebrow*... how? Firefox has previously had long development cycles. 1.5 to 2 was just under a year. 2 to 3 was Oct 06 to June 08! 3 to 3.5 was a year. We're sitting at just over a year atm.

But no, suddenly because 3.5 to 3.6 was half a year, all previous form is forgotten.

(In any case, as previously reported, they plan to speed up after 4.0)

Perhaps not in terms of turnaround, but it's certainly become the ugly duckling of browser lineups.

Examinus said,
Perhaps not in terms of turnaround, but it's certainly become the ugly duckling of browser lineups.
Firefox 4 has? Looks quite reasonable to me.

Kirkburn said,
Firefox 4 has? Looks quite reasonable to me.

I find it hard to believe anybody would take what I said so literally.

Examinus said,
I find it hard to believe anybody would take what I said so literally.
When you use the word "ugly", what do you expect? That was the supposed aspect of the duckling, after all. And then it turned into a beautiful swan.

In other words, if you're going to make analogies, make them good ones.

As for the argument of Mozilla taking too long to finalize and release Firefox 4, I entirely disagree
with this notion. Mozilla policy over releases has always been"we'll release it, when it is ready",
never setting specific release deadlines and I for one, fully support that sensible policy.

Or, would people prefer it if Mozilla were to rush-release an unfinished product full of known
bugs that are still unresolved and unpatched? Lest we forget ... the rush release of the fiasco
that was Netscape 6 back in 2000 ... although that was the fault of AOL, not Mozilla.

Chrome is the current prime example of a rush released and essentially incomplete product.

Bring on Beta 12 yet. Personally I don't give a damn if the browser has 12 or 120 betas. The important thing is to be as much bug-free on release as possible.

Unclean009 said,
IE9 and Chrome are great browsers, but neither has felt like home to me like Firefox does. I like my addons.

agree, customization on firefox its still the best compared to other browsers, its the most balanced browser in term of cpu and ram usage, what i would really like its a better performance and thats it, too bad mozilla its wasting its time messing a perfect UI to copy a "minimalistic" chrome approach. They cant realize that what firefox users really want its a better performance

IE9 is an improvement over previous versions but the interface is pretty horrible. You have tiny, in-line options for refresh and stop - these are alongside a search option and a compatibility option, meaning if you don't have the browser in fullscreen you end up with a very confusing mess of icons.

Also, it's the only browser not to feature tabs above the address bar which means it is horrible compressed horizontally. There just doesn't appear to be any consideration to the user experience. Opera, Chrome and Firefox all have a better interface, though I find Chrome to be the best - it's simple, understated but effective. The only thing it is lacking is the extension framework, but that has improved considerably.

vacs said,
Too late, I already switched to IE9...
Man, it's not like you made a lifelong decision there. Switching browsers is hardly a big decision - choose the one that suits you best. If IE9 does right now ... good for you, for now.

theyarecomingforyou said,
IE9 is an improvement over previous versions but the interface is pretty horrible. You have tiny, in-line options for refresh and stop

I don't care, I use CTRL+R to refresh and ESP to stop.


theyarecomingforyou said,
Also, it's the only browser not to feature tabs above the address bar which means it is horrible compressed horizontally.

Not true. You haven't tested IE9 RC1 I'm sure.

Chrome crashes often, BTW.

thenonhacker said,
I don't care, I use CTRL+R to refresh and ESP to stop.
Not true. You haven't tested IE9 RC1 I'm sure.
Chrome crashes often, BTW.

Well, I'm glad you know keyboard shortcuts but that doesn't address the issues I raised. And I'm using IE9 RC 9.0.8080.16413, which is listed as the latest version. This isn't my option but observable fact: the navigation bar appears to the left of the tabs, rather than underneath them: http://www.favbrowser.com/wp-c...uploads/2011/01/ie9rc22.jpg

As for stability, I have found Chrome to be a lot more stable than IE or Firefox - I admit I haven't tried IE9 much to see whether stability is better, but the interface, poor performance and poor standards support are reason enough for me to not both trying it out more. To say Chrome "crashes often" completely contradicts my experience and I use it as my default browser.

I just don't understand why someone would actively choose IE9 over another browser. Sure I can understand the casual user not knowing better, but IE9 does nothing to win over people that are experienced with computers. It doesn't have the performance, standards support, UI or extension support that make other browsers so compelling. And I find the excessive font smoothing less readable.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Well, I'm glad you know keyboard shortcuts but that doesn't address the issues I raised. And I'm using IE9 RC 9.0.8080.16413, which is listed as the latest version. This isn't my option but observable fact: the navigation bar appears to the left of the tabs, rather than underneath them: http://www.favbrowser.com/wp-c...uploads/2011/01/ie9rc22.jpg

As for stability, I have found Chrome to be a lot more stable than IE or Firefox - I admit I haven't tried IE9 much to see whether stability is better, but the interface, poor performance and poor standards support are reason enough for me to not both trying it out more. To say Chrome "crashes often" completely contradicts my experience and I use it as my default browser.

I just don't understand why someone would actively choose IE9 over another browser. Sure I can understand the casual user not knowing better, but IE9 does nothing to win over people that are experienced with computers. It doesn't have the performance, standards support, UI or extension support that make other browsers so compelling. And I find the excessive font smoothing less readable.

I agree with you about IE9 GUI being very non-sensical. IE9 GUI caters only to simplicity lovers. Usual form over function problem at Microsoft.

tuxplorer said,
Usual form over function problem at Microsoft.
Ahahahaaha, you're kidding right? Yeah, this has *always* been the problem at MS, right? *rolls eyes*

Seriously. There's normally one company that people ascribe form over function to, and it's not MS.

Kirkburn said,
Ahahahaaha, you're kidding right? Yeah, this has *always* been the problem at MS, right? *rolls eyes*

Seriously. There's normally one company that people ascribe form over function to, and it's not MS.

I don't know about Apple. I don't use their products. Relative to the past releases, newer Microsoft releases have had this issue for quite some time now. It's called dumbing down but you would think I'm nitpicking because you don't need, require or use the lost features.

The most important point what that 1 year development time had brought i believe...

Another q is if the open source model is accelerating or decelerating the software development process and quality...

yodat said,
The most important point what that 1 year development time had brought i believe...
A lot, obviously

yodat said,
Another q is if the open source model is accelerating or decelerating the software development process and quality...
Look at Chrome?

Firefox just isn't relevant anymore. The development process is so convoluted that even relatively old standards test like Acid3 are out of its each, despite Chrome and Opera supporting them for over a year. IE9 is just two points behind Firefox.

Firefox used to be my default browser for around 5-6 years but now Chrome has replaced it and I haven't looked back. Firefox has developed all the same issues that drove people away from IE - poor standards support, slow development time, horrible interface changes, poor performance, etc.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Firefox just isn't relevant anymore. The development process is so convoluted that even relatively old standards test like Acid3 are out of its each, despite Chrome and Opera supporting them for over a year. IE9 is just two points behind Firefox.

Firefox used to be my default browser for around 5-6 years but now Chrome has replaced it and I haven't looked back. Firefox has developed all the same issues that drove people away from IE - poor standards support, slow development time, horrible interface changes, poor performance, etc.

poor standard support? Still not "modern" enough for you? Can you give an example of a standard that is relevant today and not implemented in FF4?

Firefox is SOOOO slow on my pc compared to Chrome, especially to launch. I know that add-ins cause a lot of this issue, but I have most if not all of the equivalent add-ins installed on Chrome, and it's still a speed-demon. I open FF every week or two to upgrade to the latest release, but every time I do I'm again reminded why I switched to Chrome. At work, on my PC w/ 2 10K Raptors in a Raid 0, FF is usable, but at home it simply isn't.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Firefox just isn't relevant anymore. The development process is so convoluted that even relatively old standards test like Acid3 are out of its each, despite Chrome and Opera supporting them for over a year. IE9 is just two points behind Firefox.
How many bloody times does it have to be said: the stuff missing on Acid3 is intentionally missing. They're not aiming for 100, because it would be a pointless waste of time (this besides that coding for 100 on Acid3 is for the most part meaningless anyway, as it tests a tiny subset of the wider variety of web standards). There are good reasons, go look it up.

So, for all your ranting about bad development processes, this is an example of a good one.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Firefox used to be my default browser for around 5-6 years but now Chrome has replaced it and I haven't looked back. Firefox has developed all the same issues that drove people away from IE - poor standards support, slow development time, horrible interface changes, poor performance, etc.
Have you actually tried Fx4?

Kirkburn said,
How many bloody times does it have to be said: the stuff missing on Acid3 is intentionally missing. They're not aiming for 100, because it would be a pointless waste of time (this besides that coding for 100 on Acid3 is for the most part meaningless anyway, as it tests a tiny subset of the wider variety of web standards). There are good reasons, go look it up.

+1

Kirkburn said,
How many bloody times does it have to be said: the stuff missing on Acid3 is intentionally missing. They're not aiming for 100, because it would be a pointless waste of time (this besides that coding for 100 on Acid3 is for the most part meaningless anyway, as it tests a tiny subset of the wider variety of web standards). There are good reasons, go look it up.

So, for all your ranting about bad development processes, this is an example of a good one.

Have you actually tried Fx4?


Firstly, yes I have used Firefox 4 b11 - along with Chrome 9, Opera 11 and IE9RC. Secondly, Firefox championed standards support and basked in the praise for supporting Acid2 and yet backs out of the SVG font support required for Acid3 supposedly on principle. It just isn't a credible stance, not when Chrome/Webkit and Opera supported it promptly and when Firefox has has such an incredibly slow release cycle.

Firefox doesn't support Acid3 because the development process is so convoluted and slow. This is also reflected in performance, where Firefox seriously lags behind Opera and Chrome. More importantly the UI changes to Firefox are very obviously inspired by Chrome, yet are done so in a half baked way - the Firefox button is crude, the menu poorly laid-out, the search bar is still separate and the navigation bar doesn't handle search terms efficiently, the Win7 jumplist doesn't display useful information like 'Recently Closed Tabs' and the navigation bar has small text which is a throwback to years ago when the UX wasn't important.

Chrome has become to Firefox what Firefox was to IE. It used to be a good browser but now I feel it has lost its way it just doesn't suite my needs as well as Chrome does. I'm not saying Firefox is a bad browser - it's still better than IE9 and slightly better than Opera.

Firefox doesn't support Acid3 to 100/100 because of time constraints, yes, but also because they didn't do a mad rush to make 100. Acid2 checks an entirely different set of standards, and isn't in any way relevant. Acid2 tested rather more important stuff, and Acid1 even more so. The web is now a more complex place.

Things that you complain about in Firefox and say are better in Chrome are generally your opinion. Not everyone agrees. I like having a separate search box, for example. What do you mean, the nav bar doesn't handle search terms efficiently? It depends on your search terms ... if you're trying a pure search from it, then obviously you're going to have issues - it's not there for that. It's for typing addresses and searching your own stuff.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Firstly, yes I have used Firefox 4 b11 - along with Chrome 9, Opera 11 and IE9RC. Secondly, Firefox championed standards support and basked in the praise for supporting Acid2 and yet backs out of the SVG font support required for Acid3 supposedly on principle. It just isn't a credible stance, not when Chrome/Webkit and Opera supported it promptly and when Firefox has has such an incredibly slow release cycle.

Firefox doesn't support Acid3 because the development process is so convoluted and slow. This is also reflected in performance, where Firefox seriously lags behind Opera and Chrome. More importantly the UI changes to Firefox are very obviously inspired by Chrome, yet are done so in a half baked way - the Firefox button is crude, the menu poorly laid-out, the search bar is still separate and the navigation bar doesn't handle search terms efficiently, the Win7 jumplist doesn't display useful information like 'Recently Closed Tabs' and the navigation bar has small text which is a throwback to years ago when the UX wasn't important.

Chrome has become to Firefox what Firefox was to IE. It used to be a good browser but now I feel it has lost its way it just doesn't suite my needs as well as Chrome does. I'm not saying Firefox is a bad browser - it's still better than IE9 and slightly better than Opera.


Another who doesn't get it why Google developed Chrome lol

I don't care. Took too long. Tried the betas and they're just mocking chrome. Still is slow and eats away more ram than chrome does on my system.

agreenbhm said,
So, what are the actual chances the FF team will release FF 7 before the year is up? 1 to 1,000,000,000,000?

And what exactly is FF7?

I'm moving from chrome, been using firefox 4 since beta 8 and loving it, needed a change from chrome which doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Nevis said,
i dont care much ... i migrated to chrome and liking it more

str1{user information gathered succesfully}
str2{password: Whiteboi}
str3{Username: Nevis}
str4{Online Banking: Yes}
str5{Begining personal banking information transfer}

^ Its all good Brah, this information that is being taken from you is to improve your Google Chrome speed... Right? Right?!

Nevis said,
i dont care much ... i migrated to chrome and liking it more

Yep, Google decided to developed their own browser, just because they like you so much and they wanted to give you something for free regardless the fact that there were already 4 decent alternatives. People like you really don't get it now do you?

sbdb said,

Yep, Google decided to developed their own browser, just because they like you so much and they wanted to give you something for free regardless the fact that there were already 4 decent alternatives. People like you really don't get it now do you?

pls use your brain while making comments and not just for for contradicting anyone...

Linux is free... but that doesnt mean it has some selfish motive

auziez said,

str1{user information gathered succesfully}
str2{password: Whiteboi}
str3{Username: Nevis}
str4{Online Banking: Yes}
str5{Begining personal banking information transfer}

^ Its all good Brah, this information that is being taken from you is to improve your Google Chrome speed... Right? Right?!

who told you it takes info like this ... totally not true

Yeah, there are people who care about the release of Firefox 4 since it's been over 13 months since Firefox 3.6 came out. Being a beta tester, Firefox 4 has been fantastic so I can't wait for a stable release.

IDK said,
Yeah, there are people who care about the release of Firefox 4 since it's been over 13 months since Firefox 3.6 came out. Being a beta tester, Firefox 4 has been fantastic so I can't wait for a stable release.

If you think them changing the name from beta to rtm will suddenly make it more stable, you're sorely mistaken. It's had 11 (soon to be 12) betas. If they haven't been able to make it stable by now, they never will.

IDK said,
Yeah, there are people who care about the release of Firefox 4 since it's been over 13 months since Firefox 3.6 came out. Being a beta tester, Firefox 4 has been fantastic so I can't wait for a stable release.

How can it be so fantastic if you're so eager to get a stable release? lol

Is it just me that still doesn't see any drop-shadows under menus in FF4b11 that used to show just fine in FF3.6? Heck, even the Helvetica/font name bug hasn't been fixed yet... 0_0

Neobond said,
The drop shadows for menus are there in my nightly build? (Preb12).

Ah, that's nice to hear. So it wasn't just me but a recognized bug that's fixed?

kimatg said,
Is it just me that still doesn't see any drop-shadows under menus in FF4b11 that used to show just fine in FF3.6? Heck, even the Helvetica/font name bug hasn't been fixed yet... 0_0

Err, I'm on Beta 11 and my menus have drop shadows. Maybe it's something on your end?

Siddharth Prabhu said,

Err, I'm on Beta 11 and my menus have drop shadows. Maybe it's something on your end?


I don't know, in my case there weren't any drop shadows since Beta 1. Was just fine in FF3.6... can't seem to find the source of the problem

I use Opera 11 and IE9 now instead of firefox and they are amazing and better than Firefox 4, b/c it is still very heavy on ram and the speed of IE or Opera is better than it!

Emperatoor said,
I use Opera 11 and IE9 now instead of firefox and they are amazing and better than Firefox 4, b/c it is still very heavy on ram and the speed of IE or Opera is better than it!

i will agree with the RAM use for sure as that's clearly to much as it can climb to 300-400MB+ somewhat quickly (it's even hit 500MB+ and it would have gone even higher if i had not quit and reloaded it). it should never need more than around 256MB or so even if it's been open and loaded random sites for a while even with say 10-ish tabs open.

but besides the RAM issues i like the overall smoothness of Firefox. this is the key area it beats popular browsers like Chrome in my book. i think i like Opera 11 over Chrome overall but Firefox is still my overall preference because of overall feel/speed etc.

i just hope for Firefox 5 they are concerned with speed and especially try to get RAM use noticeably lower than it is now. but i am still hoping they get the RAM use lower by Firefox 4 final. but i don't think it will happen since Beta 11, which i am currently using, is the one that can shoot up RAM use quickly.

p.s. i been using Firefox 4 since BETA 7 which was back in December i think.

Emperatoor said,
I use Opera 11 and IE9 now instead of firefox and they are amazing and better than Firefox 4, b/c it is still very heavy on ram and the speed of IE or Opera is better than it!

Switch to chrome, it's much better

azure.sapphire said,

Microsoft has all the feedback they need. You are using their operating system.

When have you seen an article saying that MS is sneaking some data out of wireless hotspots? when have you seen an article saying that MS is asking numerous people for personal data?
When have you seen an article saying that MS is secretly using you to take over the world?

It isnt just feedback that Google is after. And its starting to get pretty bad. You must be pretty blunt to not notice what they are doing. Use anything that isnt Google related and at least then you know that you arent being used - but instead being provided with an awsome service.

staktika said,

Switch to chrome, it's much better

Each to their own.
I for one have uninstalled Firefox now as I am using a combination of Iron and Opera, although I had to uninstall Opera as after W7 SP1 install, it seems to have taken the permissions for torrents, but won't give them back, even now. However, I think this is a uTorrent/SP1 problem rather than Opera.

staktika said,
Switch to chrome, it's much better

You're obviously very clueless about the intentions of Google lol. Google was only able to track you down with their search engine and pages that contained adsense. Their solution for this problem was Chrome. Now they can track you anywhere they want or did you think that they developed Chrome so that you could have a nice free browser? Are you always so gullible? But then again it's just Google right, an advertiser (advertisers are your best friends right?) that got also involved in all kind of privacy issues and that takes copyright with a grain of salt. Go ahead, use Chrome, you might as well remove the locks of your home too....sigh