Mozilla pushes devs to make Feb. ship date for Firefox 4
Engineering director exhorts developers to work on 160 blocking bugs
Computerworld - Mozilla hopes to have a final version of Firefox 4 ready to ship by the end of February, according to comments made by the company's engineering director.
"We've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it," Damon Sicore, Mozilla's director of platform engineering, said in a message Monday on the Firefox developers mailing list.
Sicore exhorted Firefox developers to slap down the bugs that still block the upgrade's release, saying that the count was still higher than what the company has used to pinpoint schedules in the past.
Currently, Firefox 4 contains about 160 "hard blockers," a term that describes bugs that would bar a final release. Historically, Sicore said, Mozilla has needed six weeks to make a ship date once a product had 100 blockers remaining.
"We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February," he said. "We'll need your help to balance these targets against the need to build a high quality product.
"We must press hard now," said Sicore referring to fixing as many blocking bugs as quickly as possible.
Mozilla developers often re-classify blocking bugs or drop bug-containing features to make a schedule.
Although Mozilla had originally planned to ship Firefox 4 in November 2010, delays last fall forced it to announce in October that it would instead wrap up development early this year.
Mozilla plans to issue at least one more beta version of Firefox 4 -- identified as Beta 9 -- but may do more if necessary. "We'll drive the beta bugs to zero and ship another beta," said Sicore. "If we can't get them to zero in reasonable time, we'll repeat."
Firefox 4 Beta 8 was released Dec. 22.
Sicore's hint that Firefox 4 may need just one more beta runs contrary to previous plans by Mozilla, which had listed a ninth and 10th beta, then one or more "release candidates" on its schedule, before it would issue final code.
Even though Mozilla urged developers to work as quickly as possible, Sicore stressed that the company would not ship Firefox 4 until it was solid. "We'll need your help to balance these [schedule] targets against the need to build a high quality product," Sicore said. "[But] we must ship the best possible product we can."
According to Internet measurement company Net Applications, Firefox currently accounts for 22.8% of all browsers used worldwide. Since its peak in November 2009, Firefox has lost two percentage points. Google's Chrome, meanwhile, gained more than six points in that same period, and now owns a 10% share.
"I know you're all tired and stressed," said Sicore to Firefox's developers. "Stay focused. Be nice to each other. Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass."
The current Firefox 4 beta can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Mozilla's site.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IE6: Retired but not dead yet
- Chrome users won't give up, keep pressing Google to restore old-style new tab page
- Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
- Firefox's UI face-lift on track for April debut
- Ex-Mozilla engineer blames Microsoft's rules for Metro Firefox's death
- Mozilla patches 20 Firefox flaws, plugs Pwn2Own holes
- Google reverses field, promises to restore Chrome's scrollbar arrows
- Update: Google ships Chrome 33, patches 28 bugs
- Mozilla's top exec defends in-Firefox ads, revenue search
- Mozilla taps in-Firefox ads as it searches for more revenue
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts