Mozilla pushes back Firefox 3.6 and 4.0, 3.7 in the works

According to CNET, Mozilla has announced some delays to their much anticipated browser updates. Originally scheduled for the end of 2009, Firefox 3.6 has officially been pushed back to the first quarter of 2010, allowing Mozilla to ensure stability before its release. Currently Firefox 3.6 is available as a fifth beta release. It's unclear if more betas will be necessary, or if Mozilla will jump straight to the release candidate stage. Firefox 4.0, originally planned for 2010, is now looking at a late 2010, early 2011 release, with a beta due in the summer of 2010.

To hold users over until the completely revamped Firefox 4.0, Mozilla will continue working on the release of Firefox 3.7. It's currently due sometime in 2010 and is expected to include the following features:

  • Overall better performance
  • 25% reduction in startup time
  • Jetpack (new plug-in interface, easier and no restarting needed)
  • 1st stage of Electrolysis (moving plug-ins into separate process from main browser)
  • Weave (bookmark, password, plug-in, and open tabs synchronization)

The integration of Electrolysis will bring Firefox closer to Chrome, in that it will separate tabs into separate processes. However, the first stage (scheduled for 3.7), will separate plug-ins from the actual browser, allowing Firefox to avoid problems with plug-ins, such as Flash, crashing the entire program. Firefox 3.6 will bring theme integration with the inclusion of Personas, but overall, no UI changes will be present. Firefox 3.7 is also not expected to contain any UI changes, as the new interface has officially been pushed off to version 4.0.

Download: Firefox 3.6 Beta 5

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I've been following the Firefox releases since 0.5 and I can also say that development has slowed down. From my point of view (from triaging bugs for years and following everything mozilla related):

1) Too many developers always away going to some stupid conference.
2) Too many developers live in too many different times zones and it take days to have a conversation.
2) Too many crappy bug reports that the developers have to spend too much time decoding and probing users for more details.
3) Related to #2, too many users using bugzilla as a support forum.

They really need to step up the pace in order to stay competitive. The browser world not the same playing field that it was back when 3.0 was released. Google has released 3 major versions of Chrome over the course of the past year. Opera is innovating and Microsoft is putting more effort into IE.

IMHO this is a fiasco for me. They are completely incompetent to deliver nice Aero integration from at least 2007 and now we have to wait maybe until 2011? They should thank god for AdBlockPlus, the only reason why i am using FF.

6205 said,
IMHO this is a fiasco for me. They are completely incompetent to deliver nice Aero integration from at least 2007 and now we have to wait maybe until 2011? They should thank god for AdBlockPlus, the only reason why i am using FF.
You can enabled the tasbar previews if you want. Just a few bugs with it. They don't enabled stuff that is for the most part bug free.

6205 said,
IMHO this is a fiasco for me. They are completely incompetent to deliver nice Aero integration from at least 2007 and now we have to wait maybe until 2011? They should thank god for AdBlockPlus, the only reason why i am using FF.

Aero integration in 2007 would have meant what, exactly?

I think Firefox dev time is ridiculously slow. Pretty much all of the relevant GUI changes scheduled for 4.0 were adopted by Opera and they released theirs last week. The Mozilla guys have gone a long way towards improving overall speed, though; I am currently running the nightly build in the /latest-electrolysis/ folder and it is lightning fast, perhaps just as fast as Chrome. In fact, if none of these changes are going into 3.6 I might just boycott that version altogether and stick with the 3.7 nightlies, instead.

cant believe firefox development is so slow. we're having to wait till 2011 for OS intergration and a browser that "looks" like it belongs on a windows PC beyond XP.

Firefox loads webpages stupidly slowly sometimes, I can't understand why. Often I'll get fed up and open Chrome up, then paste the same link which Firefox is still loading, and it often loads instantly. Refresh in Firefox again and it still takes ages. Can't this be fixed? Whatever's causing this?

Solid Knight said,
Are they ever going to store their favorites Window's favorite folder?

When that becomes the standard storage method for internet addresses in all operating systems?

Solid Knight said,
Are they ever going to store their favorites Window's favorite folder?

Yes, when Microsoft makes Internet Explorer store it's favorites in SQLite.

I will have to see how the plug-ins behave when ran as separate processes. I think this can do more harm than good, given the vast amount of lazy coders out there.

ajua said,
I will have to see how the plug-ins behave when ran as separate processes. I think this can do more harm than good, given the vast amount of lazy coders out there.

Plugins means plugins, not extensions.

Shoot, just ftp into Mozilla and play with the beta if you can't wait.
I can wait, but if you are in that much of a hurry, just play with the beta.

Septimus said,
Bored now Mozilla. Chrome will take over as the standard install when you need a browser at this rate.

Whats up with these boring names? Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari? I mean, wheres the ****ing originality?

I don't know; I don't use it, but I think Safari is a pretty ****ing original name. So is Chrome, though it's not a word I would associate with a web browser. As for Opera and Internet Explorer, they've been around for a long, long, long time now. It's not likely they'll ever change their name after all the time invested in establishing the brand.

LiquidSolstice said,
Yeah, because people will totally pick closed-source over open-source, right?

People don't care. It's nice to think that they would, but they don't.

Really looking forward to these releases! Some excellent new features on their way. Browsers have become seriously powerful/intelligent applications.

Kirkburn said,
How?

How exactly, Firefox is way ahead of IE, slightly ahead of Safari and Opera and a bit behind Chrome in terms of development.

thealexweb said,
How exactly, Firefox is way ahead of IE, slightly ahead of Safari and Opera and a bit behind Chrome in terms of development.

"Behind" Chrome? Chrome is still implementing features Firefox has had for years.

Certainly their pace is faster. But they aren't really "ahead".

thealexweb said,
How exactly, Firefox is way ahead of IE, slightly ahead of Safari and Opera and a bit behind Chrome in terms of development.

Id say opera is pulling ahead, chromes development has been very rapid, and firefox has been slow but had a head start. In 2 months chrome will be far ahead feature wise, opera will have win7 support, and firefox wont.

I just hope Firefox progresses faster than Thunderbird...

To be quite honest I think that Mozilla should scale back their product line to focus on their core products (Firefox and Thunderbird). I realize different teams work on their various products, but it seems like they're stretching themselves too thin...

ipodman715 said,
Firefox is falling behind :(

Always has been, IMO :)

Not being a Firefox user, but do keep up with the news on it, even I can notice that their pace has slowed down.

M_Lyons10 said,
I just hope Firefox progresses faster than Thunderbird...

To be quite honest I think that Mozilla should scale back their product line to focus on their core products (Firefox and Thunderbird). I realize different teams work on their various products, but it seems like they're stretching themselves too thin...

i agree! ... because when people think Mozilla they think 'Firefox' first and foremost. so Firefox should be the bulk of there efforts with everything else on the back burner (like just mostly patch security flaws with other software) and focus on Firefox.

Firefox doesn't store my searching habits, and is open source.

You lose. Speed and stability aside (which FF does quite well) if there's something I don't want Firefox doing, there's an extension or about:config option to fix it.

Chrome? Ha.
Opera? What extensions?
IE? *crickets chirping*

All you people are so bloody concerned about "startup time" and "superfast rendering" and "acid3test" that you don't remember the core needs of being able to browse the internet, something which Firefox has been doing for a LONG LONG time.

That's the problem with people; you're all so eager to jump on a Google product that you'll go into it thinking it's amazing, and no matter what, will continue to believe it's amazing.

LiquidSolstice said,
Firefox doesn't store my searching habits, and is open source.

You lose. Speed and stability aside (which FF does quite well) if there's something I don't want Firefox doing, there's an extension or about:config option to fix it.

Chrome? Ha.

Ha?

Extensions currently installed in Chrome:

"Extensions (43)"

Ha what?

I have about half disabled because I don't need all of them active.

But isn't that a pain for me? Not at all. With Chrome, you can install, disable, and enable extensions all with no restart at all.

Say you like FlashBlock for Firefox.

Well, there are already 3 different versions of FlashBlock for Chrome, with other extensions being released every day.

Again, in regard to extensions, I don't see what there is to "Ha" about.

manosdoc said,
IE 9 will get the desert if they keep that slow pace..

Dessert, you mean? (Though I still don't get it).

They have two releases scheduled for Q1, and a major in Q4. How is that "slow"?

Kirkburn said,
Dessert, you mean? (Though I still don't get it).

They have two releases scheduled for Q1, and a major in Q4. How is that "slow"?


The only major release is 4.0.

Jugalator said,
I think many of those were pushed to Firefox 3.7. (the feature list above is far from complete)

Really? I thought that they were trying to keep that in 3.6... That would be a shame for them to cut given that they wanted to make Firefox fit better with Windows 7...

Xilo said,
And where are Windows 7 features?

/sigh

You can enable them in Firefox 3.6 if you know how. Useless really though, who the hell would want to preview all their tabs using the task bar anyway?

3.7 Alpha is still using the Windows 7 features. It's now become a standard for them to support it, so much that it does not really matter whether or not they say it'll be there, it simply will be there.

century said,
Omg, to be honest, the reduction in startup time and JetPack alone make it want to have the beta asap ;)

Agreed. I can't wait to see what future version of Firefox bring. The UI designs for 4.0 published recently also really got me itching for future releases... lol

thealexweb said,
No where near enough time for 3 releases in one year, it'll probably be something like

Q1 2010 3.6
Q4 2010 3.7
Q2 2011 4.0

That's probably accurate. IIRC Mozilla generally doesn't make Q1 releases, so Q2 would sound about right.

PsykX said,
3.7 should never take 10 months to complete XD
Otherwise they need new developers ASAP.

Because you totally know every single detail that goes into creating a web browser that takes on the whole internet, right?

LiquidSolstice said,

Because you totally know every single detail that goes into creating a web browser that takes on the whole internet, right?


No, because he's right. 3.7 won't take 10 months. Mozilla themselves appear to be planning it for Q1.