Mozilla slates first Firefox 3.5 patch

Plans to patch bugs this month that went unfixed in final version

Mozilla will patch the just-released Firefox 3.5 in the next few weeks to stamp out several bugs that went unfixed in the final version of the browser, the company said Tuesday.

Firefox 3.5.1, which Mozilla intends to deliver in mid-to-late July, will include fixes for at least three bugs and "topcrashes," the term the company uses to describe the frequently-reported crashes. Like many applications, Firefox asks users to report crashes by displaying a prompt after the browser goes down.

"[The] goal of this release should be a quick turnaround that fixes topcrashes and bugs we almost held ship for," Mozilla said in notes published after a weekly status meeting.

One of the topcrashes] scheduled for a fix involves TraceMonkey, the new, faster JavaScript engine that debuted in Firefox 3.5. At least one of the bugs was fixed a week before Mozilla released the final code on Tuesday.

The quick patch is not unusual for Mozilla. The company did the same thing last year, when it issued Firefox 3.0.1 four weeks after shipping Firefox 3.0, 2008's update.

Users downloaded about 6.5 million copies of Firefox 3.5 in the browser's first 36 hours, according to Mozilla's real-time counter. Although that's a far cry from the 8.3 million copies of Firefox 3.0 Mozilla delivered in the first 24 hours of its availability last summer, it's a pace that, if sustained, would exceed the 11 million copies of Safari 4 that Apple claimed were downloaded in its first three days.

Firefox 3.5 can be downloaded in Windows, Mac and Linux editions in 58 different languages from Mozilla's site; current users can update by choosing "Check for Updates" under the "Help" menu.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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