Mozilla Firefox 3 Gets Release Date

Mozilla Web browser Firefox

Writing on the Mozilla developer's blog, Mike Beltzner, chief phenomenologist for Mozilla, said, "Whenever we're asked, 'When is Firefox going to be released?' we endeavor to answer to the best of our abilities, but the truth of the matter is that we'll only ever ship when it's ready."

Beltzner goes on to say, "We're proud to announce that we're ready. It is our expectation to ship Firefox 3 this upcoming Tuesday, June 17. Put on your party hats and get ready to download Firefox 3--the best Web browser, period."

The declaration of Download Day comes closely on the heels of an announcement Wednesday outlining the need for a third Release Candidate. Previously, it was expected that Firefox 3 RC2 would be the final release candidate before the official launch of the browser.

But a bug was discovered that needed to be fixed.

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Bug 436575 is causing havoc with Mac OSes and the new Release Candidate will feature a single change to pick up a fix to take care of the problem.

Firefox 3 RC3 is aimed specifically at problems that appear with the browser on Mac platforms. According to a post on Bugzilla, Bug 436575 causes Mac machines to experience unkillable hangs after installing Mac OS X 10.5.3. The error causes MacBooks to freeze until a hard reset occurs.

Linux and Windows versions of the browser are not affected by Bug 436575. Because the problem is specific to Mac, calling the update Release Candidate 3 is something of a misnomer, Beltzner wrote in an e-mail to ChannelWeb.

"We did indeed produce a third release candidate, although the only change is in Mac OS X builds; while we offer RC3 downloads on all platforms, the Windows and Linux versions are the exact same as RC2."

Problem solved. Firefox 3 on the way.

June 17 is the date, then. After nearly three years of development, several beta versions and three release candidates, open-source enthusiasts and the Web surfing populace at large can expect Firefox 3 to ship.