Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 Live, Mozilla Already Eyeing Beta 3

Mozilla Firefox

In an e-mail to, Beltzner outlined some of the important features that come with Beta 2 and the reasons for releasing Firefox 3.1 Beta 3.

"Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 includes some big changes (Web worker threads, Private Browsing Mode and Tracemonkey) and it was felt that another public consultation point would be needed before we were ready to move to release candidates," Beltzner wrote.

Private Browsing Mode—or "porn mode"—is a feature Apple's Web browser Safari has long had, along with Google's Chrome, which debuted earlier this year. It's the first time the feature will be included in a Firefox release.

Beltzner went on to note that the Firefox developers and testers felt that some extra time was needed between Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 and Beta 2 in order to iron out the bugs.

Sponsored post

"Between Beta 1 and Beta 2, we began to see an increase in our count of "blocking" bugs (ones serious enough to keep us from releasing), which made us feel like taking some extra time for wider feedback would be useful," Beltzner wrote.

In addition, by adding Beta 3 to the development cycle of Firefox 3.1, it gives the add-on developers a chance to work with the most recent version, allowing for a more complete Beta 3.

"Finally, it was pointed out that Beta 2 will be our first release that's stable for add-on developers, and adding a third beta means that we'll be able to have a beta feedback release with many compatible add-ons."

Discussions revolving around Beta 3 initially were broached on Nov. 25 in a post Beltzner wrote on

Mozilla released Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 to an eager fan base. The popular open-source Web browser has a number of upgrades from the previous beta version that Mozilla wanted to unleash on its developer community before moving forward with the project. But even with the release of Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, Mozilla is looking toward Beta 3 and a final release date.

Writing on The Mozilla Blog Monday, Melissa Shapiro notes that Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 is intended for developer feedback and community testing.

Shapiro also notes some of the new features that are coming to Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, including availability in 54 languages, improvements to the Gecko layout engine and the removal of tab-switching and preview behavior, is "based on feedback from Beta 1 users."

Beltzner would not confirm a planned release date for the official release of Firefox 3.1 other than "early 2009." But he did note that Beta 3 won't delay the release of the next official version of the Web browser.

"We should be able to get better granularity on the date when we wrap up Beta 3," Beltzner wrote.