Mozilla Closing in on Firefox 3
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The sixth and final alpha development release of the next generation Mozilla Firefox 3 browser is now out. But don't trust the release notes to tell you everything that's new in the Alpha 6 release.
"So I just looked at the release notes for our 1.9a6 release, and they leave a lot to be desired from my point of view as a Gecko developer," Mozilla developer Boris Zbarsky wrote in a post to a discussion list. "They don't actually mention any of the major Gecko changes we'd like our alpha testers to bang on."
Gecko is the rendering engine that powers Firefox; changes to Gecko are a critical aspect of the Firefox 3 browser effort. Zbarsky alleged that the release notes simply indicate that there are over 90 bugs fixed but provide no clear indication of what is actually new from a Gecko point of view.
The Places bookmarking system landed in Firefox 3 as part of the Alpha 5 release, which came out less than a month ago.
On the stability side, Alpha six has now added a new Quit dialog box that is expected to resolve termination errors without simply triggering a browser crash and/or restart.
Mozilla has been actively pursuing the development of Firefox 3 (code name Gran Paradiso) since October of 2006 when the first Firefox 3 alpha appeared.
The next milestone release on the path toward Firefox 3 is the Beta 1 release, which is set for July 31. Beta 2 is currently set for September 11th, with a third and final Beta scheduled for October of 2007.