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Mozilla Pitches Firefox 3.1 Alpha For July Release 257

An anonymous reader writes "Just a week after Mozilla shipped Firefox 3.0, the open-source developer has proposed ship dates for the next version that, if approved, would produce an alpha release next month and a final no later than early 2009. According to a draft schedule discussed at a recent meeting, Mozilla wants to have the first Firefox 3.1 developer preview ready by July, then move to a beta by August. The schedule slates final code delivery in the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2009. A month ago, when Mozilla first started discussing Firefox 3.1 internally, Mike Schroepfer, the company's vice president of engineering, said the upgrade's target ship date was the end of 2008. If Mozilla holds to that plan, Firefox 3.1 would be its first fast-track update. Firefox 3.0, for instance, launched approximately 20 months after its predecessor, Firefox 2.0."
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Mozilla Pitches Firefox 3.1 Alpha For July Release

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  • by Vectronic ( 1221470 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:07AM (#24012291)

    But so what?

    There's nothing in the article or summary that hasn't already been covered in the other 76 articles about Firefox in the last 2 months.

    Firefox team is still developing Firefox... shit, so is Opera, so is IE, Safari, etc, etc...

  • Acid 3 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann.slash ... minus cat> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:08AM (#24012295) Homepage Journal

    Let's hope the Mozilla devs get the Acid3 test [] to work with Firefox 3.1.

    Well, I can dream, can't I?

    • Re:Acid 3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rhapsody Scarlet ( 1139063 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:34AM (#24012459) Homepage

      You can keep dreaming. While Firefox 3.1 is certainly going to improve on Firefox 3.0 (Firefox 3.0 gets 71/100, Firefox 3.1 pre-alpha 1 gets 80/100, I predict Firefox 3.1 final to get 80-90/100), the aim to make changes drastic enough to make Firefox 3.1 pass Acid3 and the aim to get Firefox 3.1 released in a Q4 2008/Q1 2009 timeframe are plainly incompatible. I'd expect Acid3 to pass in Firefox 4.0 myself. Shouldn't be much of a surprise given how long it took Firefox to pass the Acid2 test, but then that never stopped us from using it. ;-)

      • Re:Acid 3 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @04:12AM (#24012959)

        I'd really rather they focus on important things first. The Acid tests are specifically much harder than what a browser needs to handle to do a good job with web browsing, in fact a few of the tests specifically use broken code IIRC.

        Really the updates to the bookmark system scheduled for 3.1 are probably going to make a bigger impact on most users than Acid compliance would.

        I think the main point of getting 3.1 out there is to get the features in that couldn't be completed for 3.0 but weren't necessities. And with the level of rebuilding that 3.0 required it's not a shock that a few less important features would have to be dropped to get the important stuff finished.

        • I'll probably enjoy the user interface changes myself (I haven't go acquainted much with the 'awesomebar', I'm waiting on my extensions), but I'm really more excited about some backend changes. @font-face [] is my 'pet bug' of the moment, I'd like to see that in Firefox 3.1. I'm also watching progress on SVG animation [] and SVG in img tag []. I'm reasonably hopeful for seeing better and more flexible SVG support in Firefox 3.1, and it's about time.

        • Re:Acid 3 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:31AM (#24013823) Homepage

          The Acid tests are specifically much harder than what a browser needs to handle to do a good job with web browsing, in fact a few of the tests specifically use broken code IIRC.

          The things tested by ACID3 are not in general use because browsers don't reliably support them. Many would be in use if they were actually supported. That is the aim of ACID3, to drive browser makers to actually fix these things so people can finally start using them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by n0-0p ( 325773 )

            Acid3 is a dumb test. Acid1 and Acid2 tested against a number of dependencies and special cases to ensure broad compliance with the standard. That's what made them useful tests.

            In contrast, Acid3 is a hodgepodge of features from different standards that are broken or unimplemented in different browsers. It lacks the coherence of the earlier tests. That means you can game it pretty easily by implementing one small part of a standard while not having a genuinely useful implementation. In fact, that's what sev

        • Clearly not just broken code. Comment #1 on a bugzilla bug I'm not going to link to out of thoughtfulness to bugzilla.

          "FF2, FF3, Opera9.2x and Opera9.5b have the behavior, which DOM 2 Range defines
          (although the wording in the spec could be better for sure).
          Safari3.1 doesn't have that behavior nor does "ACID3'ed-Opera".

          I've proposed that ACID3 should be fixed, but so far no success in that."

    • "Well, I can dream, can't I?"

      I dream of a Firefox that doesn't have CPU hogging problems. Firefox 3 seems to be a little worse than the previous version.

      For those of us who open a lot of windows and tabs and leave them open a long time, as when doing research, Firefox is a hassle. It slows the entire computer until all windows and tabs are closed.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by v(*_*)vvvv ( 233078 )

        Not only is crashing a hassle, it is fatal.

        30 tabs open of articles and search results, and poof. You wake up in the morning, and your open windows are gone. With FF2 I didn't need it so I had crash recovery turned off, but now it is a must.

        I hope the FF team realizes how crucial stability is. Anything else is a far second.

        FF2 would slow down, but at least you'd could react. FF3 just dies and takes down the castle with it.

      • Your computer must suck. Every day over lunch I end up having about 20 tabs open plus Lotus notes and any sort of combination of Dreamweaver, eclipse, photoshop, etc. and this computer isn't even naer top spec. My home computer is even older and I've had no issues.

        Perhaps I just know how to take care of my computer more than others. ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mdew ( 651926 )
      80/100 on the current nightly builds, []
    • It renders it much better than the others do.
  • Useless summary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They could change the version number and release a production-quality 3.1 tomorrow. What matters is the new features/bugfixes/optimizations in 3.1. Without them there's no context for the news.

  • Im glad to see them coming out with a .1 release, it says that we are going to develop upon this platform and make it stable. I dont think they have done that since the pre 1.0 days. They called the first one 1.0 then 1.5 jumped to 2.0 and then rocketed to 3.0. So my question is: Why is this "simple" .1 upgrade going to take nearly 6 months? This is just getting the features they wanted in place for 3.0 but scrapped do to time, i thought. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  • by NovaHorizon ( 1300173 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:25AM (#24012399)
    Comes Firefox 95!
  • by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:31AM (#24012439) Homepage
    Firefox 2.0 was also supposed to be a quick development, based on the same gecko branch. It eventually took about a year.
    I think the past record of has repeatedly shown that it is unable to release a product on time, given the huge amount of testing/fixing iterations that must come before the final release. A Firefox "quick release" will take time, and divert resources from important future projects such as Gecko 2.
    I would have thought would have finally admitted that the architecture and development model of Firefox is characterised by long maturation times. This is needed to keep up its high quality level.
  • by Anders ( 395 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:32AM (#24012443)

    Of course, at one time, Firefox 3 was targeted for a Q3 2007 release [].

    • And quickly reading through that list of planned features I don't think they implemented a single one. Of course FF3 was a big improvement over FF2 in my book so I'm not complaining.

  • The person who wrote this summary has a name. It's Gregg Keizer.

  • I have been using Firefox 3.0 with a new profile, but I have observed that it has absurdly high CPU usage.

    For example, if I open just three tabs of slashdot, the usage jumps to 85-99% territory (and stays there even after the pages have stopped loading), and the computer starts locking up. Only two extensions too, adblock and flashblock.

    Does anyone know what the hell is going on, and how to get this CPU usage to manageable 10% levels. I don't recall the exact number, but I do not think that the 2.xx ever

    • I have no idea what's going on with your comp, but on my 3 year old Athlon LAPTOP with 512mb RAM, I'm getting 0 to 4% CPU usage with 3 tabs of Slashdot open. When I move the mouse around it jumps to 8%.

      That's lower than IE7.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by risk one ( 1013529 )

      Try installing flashblock. Those ads tend to steal a lot of cycles. Worked for me anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by deek ( 22697 )

      I see something similar as well. I use linux and Firefox 3 on my work laptop, and at home while browsing, cpu will hit 100% and the browser becomes barely usable.

      Interestingly enough, at work, I can browse without any issues.

      I noticed that the stop button is clickable during the 100% cpu periods. When I click it, and it eventually registers, the cpu usage plummets back to regular levels.

      I suspect there's some DNS shenanigans going on, because the DNS service at home can be fl

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ravadill ( 589248 )
      Adblock with large filtersets tends to bog down on slashdot because the sheer amount of text/code it has to work through on each page (especially with the new comment system enabled) try disabling adblock to see if it helps.
  • in Sid, nor Experimental. There are some issues still needin to be resolved.
  • WHAT? (Score:2, Funny)

    by nx6310 ( 1150553 )
    So more add-on incompatibility?! I want my Develpers Add-on to work again, not another!?
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      I know this was modded funny, but it's a genuine problem. They should try to increment the revision, not the minor version number, because most extensions are compatible with FF 3.0.* - revision increments are supposed to not break the APIs - whereas a minor version increment will suddenly cause all non-updated extensions to get disabled once again. Not good. Especially with Firefox's overly-aggressive update mechanism, ensuring virtually everyone will quickly switch to 3.1.

  • I really have come to like the new development style on the Kernel 2.6 branch. At first, I thought that rolling new features in with security and bug fixes was a bad idea, but it has worked out really nicely. Other projects should consider doing these rolling releases.
  • A good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:06AM (#24013693) Homepage

    It would be great if the Firefox team could release updates on a schedule ... I know, I know it is a crazy dream.

    But think of it this way. Release the incremental updates (.x) every quarter or six months and release them on time. Release version updates every 12 -24 months, up the the FF team, but stick to the schedule. If the FF team could do that it would show constant improvement and drive MS nuts.

    Isn't this how the Ubuntu team operates? I know it is an apples to oranges comparison but I think it could work. There is no way MS could keep up with a consistent release schedule.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright