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.
Image credit: Mozilla.