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Firefox 4 facing further delays

by Pete Mason on 3 February 2011, 15:43

Tags: Firefox, Mozilla

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Just as it looked like a release candidate was in sight, the Firefox 4 dev team has hit a roadblock that could seriously set back the launch of the popular browser's next version.

After Beta 10 was released last week, it looked like there would be one more version before a release candidate was posted, clearing the way for Firefox 4 to launch at the end of this month. However, according to a planning meeting yesterday, at least two more betas are due, with a third release being a real possibility if the need arises.

Although the number of blocks to the stable release is slowly going down, there are still a few show-stopping issues, with the biggest at the moment being an issue with Microsoft Hotmail. Apparently, a recent change to the e-mail service's code sends Firefox into a continual refresh loop which appears to be caused by non-standard code on the server.

The problem with this is that - rightly so - Mozilla won't change its code to make an exception for Hotmail, since it has rigorously adhered to web standards. This means that the final release could be held up while the developers in Redmond change their code. Even if the fix is small, waiting on a third party could still hold up the browser's progress, which could delay the final release, pushing it back even further.

Obviously it's better to work on the software until it's finished, rather than rush out a browser that's still full of show-stopping bugs. However, Mozilla is going up against Chrome's incredible six-week development schedule, and even Microsoft's next-gen browser is expected to hit Release Candidate status in the next week or so. By pushing Firefox 4 back into March, the devs risk losing ground in the incredibly competitive browser market.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Yeah like MS are going to get of their arses to help IE's biggest competition.

Why can't they just release it standards complient and use a tempory add-on for anyone using Hotmail.
It's not in the Hotmail dev team's interests to have a service that doesn't work in Firefox - they don't develop at the behest of the IE marketing team.

The tricky bit here comes in that the bug is present in an unreleased browser. Hopefully the Hotmail devs will fix the issue, and hopefully that fix is simple (it probably is).
Sod Hotmail! It's never been coded properly for as long as I can remember and it doesn't work properly on any browser I use, yet Gmail, Fastmail and a few others I use all work fine.
Firefox 4 won't be ready until they resolve the copy/paste bug that is still occurring on the latest beta affecting my XP laptop and from forums alot of other users to.

Aside from that Firefox 4 seems ok but still falls over, as firefox 3 did, on my XP laptop when many tabs open with flash content. Opera does not have said flash issues but DOES have issues with various websites I use, which is why I won't use it for my primary browser, but from my experience it is the fastest most stable feature rich browser available ATM.

When Firefox 4 fixes the below issues I'll be happy but if not I'll switch to IE9 permanently.
- Copy/Paste fails and need to reboot browser to fix. (Deal Breaker 1)
- Does not highlight and remember download links I've used. (Deal Breaker 2)
- Far superior flash management per Opera. (Deal Breaker 3)

P.S: CHROME SUCKS AND GOOGLE BLOWS! Android is ok aside from the fragmentation and not able to update direct from Google making Google Nexus devices only Android option IMO.
- Copy/Paste fails and need to reboot browser to fix. (Deal Breaker 1)
- Does not highlight and remember download links I've used. (Deal Breaker 2)
- Far superior flash management per Opera. (Deal Breaker 3)

Flash is bad but the others… not noticed them at all