Mozilla Firefox 3 Opts For Second Release Candidate

the latest Internet Explorer 8 beta, Firefox Release Candidate

Release Candidate 2 is the latest in a two-month series of announcements regarding the new version of the popular Web browser. In early April, Firefox Beta 3.5 was released and in mid-May Mozilla announced Firefox Release Candidate 1 and made it available to users.

A release candidate is typically the final version of development before software is pushed out to users.

However, after pushing RC1 out to users, bugs and errors continued to appear. In a May 27 post on Mozilla's Google Group, Mike Beltzer, Phenomenologist for Mozilla, wrote "there is sufficient need to produce a new Release Candidate of Firefox 3 before shipping." On the whole, Beltzer tried to downplay the need for a second release candidate, writing that many of the issues to be fixed have already been "patched, reviewed, approved and landed."

Beltzer went on to note that the need for a second Release Candidate should not affect the targeted release date, currently scheduled for sometime in mid-June.

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Proponents of the open source Web browser can look forward to a host of new features and enhancements that, Mozilla hopes, will continue to drive users to their software in record setting numbers. Enhanced security is at the forefront. Firefox users can expect malware protection and a new Web forgery protection page, among other integrated features designed to protect users. The anti-virus integration feature has Firefox alert users' anti-virus programs when downloading an executable file.

While protecting users is a priority, making the experience of browsing with Firefox more personal and intuitive was also taken into account. Some of the features that are planned for version 3 include a new download manager that will make it easier to locate files. Resumable downloading lets users pick up where a download left off after restarting the browser or resetting a network connection. Meanwhile, plug-in management gives users the option to disable individual plug-ins in the Add-on manager.

Integration across Microsoft, Mac and Linux platforms is also being addressed, as Firefox 3 will have a more native look customized to each operating system.

In order to drum up support for Firefox 3, Mozilla announced a campaign trying to set a Guinness World Record for most downloaded software in 24 hours. The exact date of "Download Day" is unknown, but interested users can visit to pledge support. When Firefox 3 drops, pledged users will receive an email from the community site directing them to the appropriate place to download the software.

Currently, the United States leads all pledges with over 120,000 people supporting the initiative. Poland ranks second with more than 59,000 users prepared to take the plunge. World-wide over 799,000 Firefox faithful have signed up.