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Firefox 3 Release Candidate 2 hits the Web

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It's almost done.

Mozilla has released Firefox 3 Release Candidate 2 for early adopter consumption. Officially the release candidate is still for 'testing' purposes but this is a browser that has been in the oven for some time. Linux vendors like Red Hat and Ubuntu  are already providing Firefox 3 as a supported product (and they started that with the Beta 5 release).

I've been following (and using) the Firefox 3 browser since its alpha days and watched carefully as it has improved each step of the way. The RC 2 release is just a little earlier than expected.

Officially according to Mozilla's release notes the Gecko 1.9 platform (which is the basis of Firefox 3) has more than 14,000 updates over its predecessor. That's a lot of change and innovation in terms of security, usability and performance.

I have seen no indication that there will a need for a RC 3 for Firefox 3 - I would expect that there will be some outstanding issues (non-blocker) in bugzilla that get addressed between RC 2 and the final release just for what I would call "fit and finish." As of the time of this blog posting the official date for the release of the final Firefox 3 build has not been announced, but that's likely to come very soon (and it'll be a record-breaking event).

As opposed to the Firefox 2 release which was close to the Internet Explorer 7 release, Mozilla will not being sharing the "next generation browser release" stage with Microsoft this time around. IE 8 is only in beta 1 with a wider beta not expected for months.

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