Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 Coming Soon & More News

Back on December 9th, 2008, Mozilla released Firefox 3.1 Beta 2. Ironically when Firefox 3.1 was announced (see What’s Next For Firefox?) back in June 2008, this was suppose to be around the time Firefox 3.1 was released. Now, nearly 3 months later Beta 3 is finally going to be release during the early part of March. With that news, does it mean the following release is going to a Release Candidate? Sadly, no it is going to be Beta 4 which is scheduled to be release about 6-weeks after Beta 3 is released.

The continuing and great work on fixing other final-release blockers means that we’re accumulating a lot of changes on the 1.9.1 stream that would benefit from wider feedback from our beta testers. To that end, we’re going to wrap up beta 3 in the next week (…); a 4th beta will follow approximately 6 weeks after, as a vehicle for more testing of tracemonkey, video, places and other eagerly-awaited improvements as well as feedback from beta 3. — Mozilla’s Director of Ecosystem Development Mike Shaver stated.

TraceMonkey wasn’t even in the “planned features” list from back in June, however thanks to Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s IE8 and Apple’s (yes even Apple) Safari 4 browser featuring new and improved JavaScript handling, Mozilla has been scrambling to get this added into Firefox 3.1.

TraceMonkey represents a ground-up re-write of Firefox’s JavaScript engine, a project designed to keep Mozilla competitive in the browser speed war against Chrome, with its heavy JavaScript focus, and now Apple, with Safari 4 powered by its new Nitro JavaScript engine.

Now, also comes new of Firefox 3.5. At first when I heard this I was thinking this was going to come after 3.1, meaning Mozilla was going to delay moving forward with Geck 2.o with Firefox 4. However, as it turns out some developers have suggested renumbering Firefox 3.1 to 3.5 being that is more a major build update and inlcudes new features not part of the Firefox 3 master-plan.

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.”

Thanks for the tips Gareon (Go Firefox!)

Sources: