Mozilla targets Firefox 3.1 release for later this year

Features that didn't make Firefox 3.0 will be included in major update

Although Mozilla hasn't even released the final version of Firefox 3.0, its developers are already hammering out plans for the next edition, which may come as soon as late 2008, according to posts written by company executives.

In a thread on the mozilla.dev.planning newsgroup, Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for Mozilla, summarized the post-Firefox 3.0 plans that had been discussed. Among them: Firefox 3.1, which could appear around the end of the year.

"There were a number of features that we held back from Firefox 3 because they weren't quite ready, but they were nearly complete," said Schroepfer in a message that kicked off a relatively active thread on the newsgroup. Schroepfer cited several features that failed to make the Firefox 3.0 cut, including support for XMLHttpRequest (XHR), an API (application programming interface) used by JavaScript and other browser scripting languages to transfer XML and other data between clients and servers.

Mozilla yanked XHR support from Firefox 3.0 before posting Release Candidate 1 (RC1); according to the RC1 release notes, it did so "until the specification becomes more stable and the security model is improved."

"...The overall quality of Gecko 1.9 as a basis for mobile and the desire to get new platform features out to web developers sooner has lead to us want to do a second release of Firefox this year," Schroepfer continued on the Mozilla newsgroup. "This release would be date-driven and targeted at the end of 2008."

The move would be a first for Mozilla, which has never rolled out two major versions of its flagship browser in the same calendar year.

After Firefox 3.1 the picture gets hazier, said Schroepfer. "Firefox 4 will incorporate some of the more aggressive platform improvements in Mozilla2," he said, referring to the already-underway rewrite of the browser's underlying code. "It is far too early to set a shipping date but an initial target would be sometime in late 2009," Schroepfer said.

He also reiterated Mozilla's now-standard support lifecycle plans for Firefox 2.0, the current production version. "Support releases for Firefox 2.0.0.x will terminate at the latest approximately 6 months after the shipment of Firefox 3," he said. This coincides with the approximate ship date of Firefox 3.1." As Schroepfer pointed out, Mozilla has committed to supporting older software for only six months after the release of a major update. A year ago, for example, it dropped support for Firefox 1.5 after it released that edition's final security update.

Mozilla published Firefox 3.0 RC1 for download last Friday, and is now trying to decide whether to call that version good enough or issue another release candidate to fix several lingering or newly uncovered bugs.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?