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For Firefox 4, You'll Need To Wait Until 2011

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the they-wanted-a-prime-number dept.

Firefox 238

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla said that it will not be releasing Firefox 4 RC, or the final version, before early 2011. Apparently, the bugfixes in the current beta take up much more time than anticipated. Mozilla is working on the feature freeze release Beta 7, which has 14 bugs left. The beta 7 is about six weeks behind schedule and will be released 'when it is ready,' according to Mozilla. It seems as if the original schedule, which estimated that Firefox 4 RC would be released in the second half of October was a bit too optimistic. Microsoft, by the way, released a new IE9 platform preview (PP6) at PDC 20910 today."

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238 comments

First to get it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054226)

I hope I am the first to get it.

Re:First to get it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054450)

I still use windows 2000 at home, so... whatever.

When it's done (4, Interesting)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054228)

Nothing wrong with releasing it when it's done.

Re:When it's done (-1, Troll)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054288)

The folks at Mozilla need time to kick ass and chew bubble gum.

Memory hogging, CPU hogging. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055074)

PLEASE fix the Firefox memory hogging, CPU hogging BUG!!!

Thousands have asked for that over a period of 9 years. Also, look at all the crash reports; many are caused by the same bug.

Firefox is the most unstable program in common use.

Re:Memory hogging, CPU hogging. (0, Troll)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055250)

The last really stable version of Firefox was called Firebird 0.7. It amazes me that it's become so popular when it's such a horrible resource pig. Were it not for the video downloader add-on I'd never use it at all.

Then again, most people are stuck using Windows, and Internet Exploder sets a mighty low bar...

Re:Memory hogging, CPU hogging. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055440)

You forgot to call them "whipper snappers" and yell at them about the whole lawn situation.

Re:Memory hogging, CPU hogging. (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055570)

Mozilla Firefox likes to blame Adobe Flash for the memory leaks / CPU hogging, and Adobe Flash likes to blame Mozilla Firefox...

Personally, I don't care WHICH one is causing it, it just needs to be fixed! When Firefox gets above 1.7 gigs of RAM usage is crashes on me, and I have 16 gigs of RAM, which SHOULD be plenty.

Re:When it's done (0, Offtopic)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054458)

Unless we're talking about Microsoft, in which any delay is castigated.

Re:When it's done (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054510)

Not really, they were delayed by years after having allowed their platform to lag behind the competition and mysteriously still didn't manage to crush the bugs. As opposed to Firefox which is generally ahead of the curve and is delaying to fix the bugs.

Re:When it's done (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054706)

The problem with MS isn't the delay itself, its the fact it gets delayed with no improvement. The problem wasn't that Vista was delayed, it was because Vista was delayed and crap.

Theres nothing wrong with taking your time, but when you take a long time then still release a half-baked product, that is where the problem comes in.

Re:When it's done (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055106)

>>>Unless we're talking about Microsoft, in which any delay is castigated.

The delay of Vista was one of the best things for users. It's allowed me (and others too) to use the same XP computer for nearly ten years. Plus the occasional RAM upgrade (from 128 to 512K). What a great bargain that allowed me to save tons of money, and it reminds me of how I was able to use my Commodore Amiga for ten years without needing to upgrade.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to get 10 years out of my Windows 7 or OS10.6 machine, which is a shame because I'm used to driving things until they die. My TV is twenty years - my VCR 15 years - the cars are 25 years and 13 years respectively. I like to get my money out of the things I buy.

Re:When it's done (3, Funny)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055292)

You ran XP with 512K of RAM? I assume there was no GUI and you had no drivers installed and you could only enter text by manually flipping bits through the serial port. :)

Re:When it's done (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055326)

I ran XP on 512K of RAM quite nicely, after a bunch of unnecessary services were turned off. I was even able to afford such niceties as active desktop and font smoothing.

Re:When it's done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055546)

See? 512K should be enough for anybody!

Re:When it's done (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055978)

>>>You ran XP with 512K of RAM?

No. I ran XP with 128K of RAM. That's the recommended spec (minimum is 64k). ----- And right now I have XP with 512K and it runs just fine. Hell even Seven can run with only 512K (but not vista).

Re:When it's done (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34056036)

Ooops. I see what I did there. I mean 512 M of RAM.

Just you wait! Someday you too will be in your senile 40s, start thinking that Synthesized/Electronic Disco is the latest style of music, and that computers still use kilobytes

Re:When it's done (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054550)

Nothing wrong with using it until it's done (as I have been for several months now, though not on this box).

Pepperidge Farms Remembers (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054798)

*Rocking back and forth*
Ayyup.
Nothing wrong at all.
*whittles*
They could just finish it and hold on to it too.
*rocks a bit more, snaps his galluses*
Ayyup.

Anybody remember if... (2, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054250)

...version 4 will 64-bit native? A quick googling shows that they planned to implement it, but I can't find a confirmation that FF4 will come in a 64-bit version.

Re:Anybody remember if... (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054322)

The problem with 64-bit browsers is that you need 64-bit plugins. Most people only install 32-bit plugins and some plugins may not have 64-bit plugins (chicken-or-egg problem... no-one pushes 64-bit browsers due to plugin compatibility, no-one makes 64-bit plugins due to browser compatibility). But now with Chrome and Firefox's plugin process model this could be easily worked around though by having both 32 and 64-bit plugin host binaries and launching whichever one you need, then the browser could use both types.

Re:Anybody remember if... (4, Informative)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054412)

What are you talking about? I've been using 64-bit browsers in Linux for years!

Re:Anybody remember if... (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054572)

Do they run Flash?

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054672)

Well there are a few plugins I think, but didn't Flash come out with an official 64-bit Linux plugin only recently? And I know Java has one, but I don't know about others. Silverlight and some other less-used ones (Quake Live anyone?) might be 32-bit only.

Re:Anybody remember if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054832)

If by "official" you mean beta then, yes, Flash did come out with an "official" 64 bit Linux and Windows plugin. For some reason they called it Adobe Square.

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054886)

There have been very usable flash 64-bit linux betas available for download for quite some time.

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054694)

How many addons do you have for it?

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055182)

Huh? The vast majority of addons for FF are built with Javascript and XUL. They're entirely platform agnostic.

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055390)

So then what 64 bit browser is he using that makes these agnostic addons easy to add?

Re:Anybody remember if... (2, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055888)

Uh. Firefox. I've had 64-bit FF running on my Ubuntu laptop for over a year, now. Add-ons work fine. *Plugins* can be tricky, but the common ones, Flash and Java, both have 64-bit versions.

Re:Anybody remember if... (3, Informative)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055430)

I have most of my addons working on Minefield 64-bit 4.0b7pre (released 08-24-2010)

I disabled "Add-on compatibility checking"

Even though a few of them show as incompatible, they seem to work normally.

The exceptions are Xmarks & Web Developer which don't seem to behave.

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054542)

Why would you need a 64-bit native browser? For some application having that makes sense, but for a browser it's pretty much completely downsides. The only reason I can think of is if your on a platform where using 32-bit binaries with a 64-bit OS is broken, and that's hardly a Firefox problem.

Re:Anybody remember if... (2, Interesting)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054784)

Java integration: if you want to run a 64 bit JVM for your plugins then you want a 64-bit browser.

Better Flash support: 64-bit flash plugin runs better than the 32-bit version on a 64-bit platform.

Re:Anybody remember if... (3, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055112)

How else will Firefox address more than 4GB of memory? What, your Firefox doesn't use that much memory?

Re:Anybody remember if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055238)

I see what you did there....

Re:Anybody remember if... (0, Troll)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055280)

For what its worth, my *entire machine* has 512 megs, and FF 3.6 runs just fine. I leave it up for days with a few tabs, video is just fine, etc. Using Fedora 12 with a few tweaks to sysctl.

Re:Anybody remember if... (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055468)

Sorry...I'll correct my post:

How else will Firefox for Mac address more than 4GB of memory? What, your Firefox doesn't use that much memory?

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055828)

My Firefox crashes once it gets about 1700 Megs or so... Not sure why that's the magic number but it crashes EVERY time the memory usage climbs above that!

Re:Anybody remember if... (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055218)

Why would you need a 64-bit native browser?

So I don't need to have 32-bit libraries on disk wasting space? Not to mention the performance improvements to be had with a proper 64-bit jit'ing JS engine (don't underestimate the power of a larger register set).

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054596)

the nightlys have a x86-64 version for windows, linux and mac

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/ [mozilla.org]

Re:Anybody remember if... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055944)

And this latest one is actually stable again. They fixed a lot of the JVM issues they've had over the past few weeks, and the fixes finally trickled all the way down to the main nightly trunk builds.

Re:Anybody remember if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054626)

I know minefield has a x86_64 build....

No need to wait. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054260)

No need to wait. I have my dear Chrome!

Re:No need to wait. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054316)

So... Are you saying chrome is FireFox 4.0, or that chrome allows for time travel?

Re:No need to wait. (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055080)

So... Are you saying chrome is FireFox 4.0, or that chrome allows for time travel?

Um, let me check my Charlie Chaplin DVD collection and I'll get right back to you on the time travel bit ;-)

At least it's a worthy upgrade (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054270)

I don't mind waiting for FF, because it comes with a lot of versions. Unlike Chrome, which changes their version up an entire whole number every 11 minutes.

I hope they fix the issues it has with Mac (0)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054294)

I use a Mac, and Firefox is the buggiest browser I've ever used on my machine. While it's vastly superior to IE on a PC, Google Chrome is overall the best browser going.

Re:I hope they fix the issues it has with Mac (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054684)

Chrome is definitely faster and more stable on a Mac than FF 3.6. The FF4 beta 6 is just about at parity; there was a huge difference halfway through the betas once they sandboxed Flash.
 
I've been very happy with beta 6, and imagine the final release will be pretty solid.

Re:I hope they fix the issues it has with Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054724)

Try using a platform that doesn't suck donkey dong before you pass judgement.

Chrome is win on all platforms though, I'll give you that.

Re:I hope they fix the issues it has with Mac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054918)

It beats Ubuntu.

IE6 Exclusively (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054364)

I use IE6 exclusively and have for years. Nobody needs pesky add-ons, ad-blocking and tabbed browser functionality.

I'm one of the 4.5% of the users out there who STILL use it and say sorry, but IE6 is browser for me!

Re:IE6 Exclusively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054432)

And you weren't even modded funny

Re:IE6 Exclusively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054492)

I think I speak for all web coders out there when I say: FUCK YOU.

Re:IE6 Exclusively (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055130)

That's because you lack vision.

As a web developer, I LOVE IE 6. If my clients want IE 6 compatibility I gladly give it to them - at a 50% premium.

we know all about it (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054500)

a couple of thousand of us have been watching you surf since one of the many bored hackers decided to install the streaming remote desktop on your pc about 5 months ago just for fun. how do you get any work done with all those pop ups?

Re:IE6 Exclusively (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054756)

No! Never! I use Netscape Navigator 2.0! This Browser War isn't over yet!

Re:IE6 Exclusively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055412)

I don't care if I'm the only person in the world that uses the line mode browser. Some day everybody will come back around to my way of using the web and then we'll see who has the last laugh!
^C
quit
exit
diediedie
stupid program

Re:IE6 Exclusively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055092)

An IE6 user by *choice*? You're a rare breed, alright.

I'd wager most of that 4.5% either don't know there are other options or are prevented from using them (corporate policies, etc).

Depends on what "beta" means... (5, Interesting)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054386)

You could have predicted this lateness because the Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield on and off for several months and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage, about the same time that they started changing a bunch of things and adding a bunch of features. Before it went to "beta" it had been fine for a long time, but several times since the beta stage I've had to revert to 3.6.

Yes, I realize I'm using nightlies and should expect bugs, etc, but the traditional definition (not that it is relevant any more) of "beta test" is that the software is basically complete and is being tested for stability and regression, _not_ that it is in a mode where new features are being added on a weekly basis.

I'm looking forward to Firefox 4 and am sure it will be good overall when it's finally done, but the progress in this period of development has not filled me with a lot of confidence that this will be any time soon.

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054812)

The new definition of "Beta" is "I have enough users to come across more bugs in 1 night than I would if I were to try and test it all by myself all week".

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (2, Interesting)

xded (1046894) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055054)

It all depends on whether your development cycle can keep up with the competitors or not. And I think Google and Microsoft are giving Mozilla hard times lately.

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055190)

And beta is the absolute deadline for ALL the new features. You just saw the effect of 1000 independent commits right before the beta deadline. As long as it's half broken AND in there, they have to fix it for the final release and it becomes a new feature! I don't know if that's really how it works - but it sounds pretty likely.

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (1)

FedeTXF (456407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055336)

Firefox uses the "beta" name to encourage early adopters to use it so they can help find bugs by sending crash reports and usage statistics.

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055648)

>>>Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield... and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage

That's weird. I've been using SeaMonkey, based upon the same mozilla/gecko core, and its beta is rock solid. I haven't been able to crash it, or even slow it down by watching lots of youtube videos.

Re:Depends on what "beta" means... (3, Informative)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34056052)

>>>Firefox folks seem to think "beta" means "Let's add new features every couple of days". I've been using Minefield... and it got a lot less stable once it hit the "beta" stage

That's weird. I've been using SeaMonkey, based upon the same mozilla/gecko core, and its beta is rock solid. I haven't been able to crash it, or even slow it down by watching lots of youtube videos.

Mozilla's "Beta" is different from Minefield. Minefield is the nightlies where they test new things and is meant for the benefit of developers and masochists: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/minefield/ [mozilla.org]

Betas might have bugs, but they're meant to mostly work. Minefield might work, but it's meant to mostly have bugs.

Until then you can just use Opera... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34054642)

as Firefox copied it in just about every single way. Hey Firefox, remember when you laughed at us Opera users for having a unique URL attached to each tab instead of just one URL above the tabs? Well, we told you so!!! :-) Oh yeah, enjoy our cool new all in one Menu button like you do our tabs!! Hopefully soon you can have your private browsing tabs in the same Window like us too without having to close down and restart your whole browser.

Re:Until then you can just use Opera... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055020)

Why is a universal truth, understood by everyone, marked as flamebait?

WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (4, Interesting)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054802)

I've wanted a way to draw in a browser - I mean really draw, not just use divs as pixels - for a long time now. Finally it's here! WebGL is really smooth now, I've been watching it in the latest minefield builds. Some guy in IRC posted a demo city drawing that had 24k faces and still rendered smooth as silk. 2d drawing on a canvas is also very nice - very easy to use.

This is the dawn of a new era of killer web content. My guess - within two years, WebGL will be the highest paying job in web dev.

A few more months is nothing, I've been waiting years for this ;-)

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055120)

This is the dawn of a new era of killer web security problems. My guess - within two years, exploiting WebGL vulns will be the highest paying job in web dev.

FTFY! Sad but true.

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (4, Interesting)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055338)

If it's exploits you're looking for, I doubt WebGL is a good vector for attack. It's a relatively small finite API. Where are you going to attack? Vertex and fragment data is only handled at all inside a shader - which you must supply. Good luck breaking out of that box. Any obvious attacks like resource over-allocation will likely be squashed quickly.

Compare this with the video spec, which has a huge abstraction right in the middle of it. This opens up any attack vectors that are already in the supported codecs.

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055562)

If it's exploits you're looking for, I doubt WebGL is a good vector for attack. It's a relatively small finite API. Where are you going to attack?

Well and good, as long as it’s limited to that.

I remember hearing about a SecondLife virus that spread via an infected QuickTime .MOV embedded in a “picture frame” in the game. IIRC, you didn’t even have to look at the surface onto which the video file was embedded; it could infect the user as soon as they loaded the map.

It’s little stuff like this that makes it easy to miss these infection points. Building a limited API for 3D graphics is well and good but then you extend it to allow videos, link in the original video libraries to support common formats, and suddenly you’ve got all the vulnerabilities of QuickTime and Windows Media Player...

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055728)

WebGL doesn't support video on a texture. It's based on GL ES (embedded) and has a limited set of functionality, even in GL terms.

Well, I suppose you could fake it with a texture atlas, but that would require exploit in PNG or JPEG, which probably would be noticed elsewhere too :-P

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055768)

exploit in PNG or JPEG, which probably would be noticed elsewhere too

Well, hopefully they’ve found most of those, but I remember hearing about a few of those in the past too.

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34055742)

It’s little stuff like this that makes it easy to miss these infection points. Building a limited API for 3D graphics is well and good but then you extend it to allow videos, link in the original video libraries to support common formats, and suddenly you’ve got all the vulnerabilities of QuickTime and Windows Media Player...

No not really... video format handling doesn't need to occur outside the provided OS sandbox. e.g. on Windows ffmpeg parsing could run below the user account (where HTML/JS handling occurs now). IE9 & Chrome may already do something like this. I remember this codec strategy being discussed well over a year ago.

Re:WebGL / Canvas is really exciting! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055802)

That being said, you’ve still got to deal with the small possibility that the codec be broken out of its sandbox with a privilege escalation exploit.

Neither the RC nor the final version? (4, Funny)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34054914)

Be bold: release the final version before the release candidate. You can release the final version on schedule in 2010, and then slip the RC to 2011. That's the kind of innovative software development methodology we should expect from Mozilla.

Use nightlies (4, Informative)

FedeTXF (456407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34055460)

I encourage everyone using beta 6 to use the nightly version (http://nightly.mozilla.org/) as their main FF experience. The JS is 10 times faster on most public benchmarks and the boomarks and profile data are not affected even when switching back and forth between 4.0 and 3.6.
I have both installed: 3.6 that comes with my Linux distro and 4.0 unzipped in my home folder and being updated every morning automatically.

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