Firefox 3 beta 4 code freeze tonight, beta 5 release looks likely

The Mozilla Firefox 3 development team expects to freeze the beta 4 code tonight as planned but will likely have to release yet another beta to address some of the outstanding bugs and blockers in the code.During its weekly Firefox meeting on Tuesday, developers said they will freeze the code tonight, on Feb 26 (before midnight) as planned but will likely have to release a beta 5 before moving onto release candidate mode.

The Mozilla Firefox 3 development team expects to freeze the beta 4 code tonight as planned but will likely have to release yet another beta to address some of the outstanding bugs and blockers in the code.

During its weekly Firefox meeting on Tuesday, developers said they will freeze the code tonight, on Feb 26 (before midnight) as planned but will likely have to release a beta 5 before moving onto release candidate mode.

The team hoped that Beta 4 would be the last, as it shoots to ship the final Firefox 3 in early 2008.

"Nothing is going to stop the code freeze tonight [but] a fifth beta is going ot be required," said one of the developers leading the meeting today. He and others said there are more than 200 bugs remaining in the code, though many have fixes and patches that need to be integrated into the build and tested before the browser beta 4 can be shipped.

"We're not breaking them because we're jerks but because we’re stupid," quipped one of the developers. "No one is really happy about this. Obviously, .. the goal of beta 4 was [to be]the last beta but it's not."

Beta 4 incorporates significant new user interface enhancements, including new Vista and Mac OSX icons. The Linux icons are complete, developers said today,

Firefox 3 is expected to be released in early 2008. Developers did not say when Beta 4 would be available to the general public for testing or when Beta 5 would debut.

An update to this report will be provided as details come in.

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