Mozilla delays Firefox 3.1 again, slates another beta

Beta 4 adds six weeks to schedule, pushes delivery to Q2

The delay prompted one developer to suggest that Mozilla rename Firefox 3.1. "Given all the efforts that went into Firefox 3.1 and given its prolonged schedule and expanded scope, I was wondering whether it might make more sense to name it Firefox 3.5 just as Firefox 1.1 was renamed Firefox 1.5?" asked Simon Paquet, who works on localizing Thunderbird, Mozilla Messaging's e-mail client. "That way we would more clearly communicate to users that this isn't just a minor update but a major step forward."

Shaver said Paquet was not the first to make the suggestion, but said that any talk of renaming the browser should wait until after Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 was released.

Mozilla faces increased pressure from rival browser makers, who have recently made moves of their own. Microsoft, which may wrap up Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) as early as next month, debuted the new browser's release candidate in late January. Just two days ago, Apple launched a public beta of Safari 4, which is nearly 40 percent faster than the newest Firefox 3.1 build in rendering JavaScript, according to benchmark tests Computerworld has run.

Shaver, however, has rejected the idea of a race. "This is much more about having the product done right than getting it out fast," he said in an interview last Saturday.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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