Third Firefox release candidate imminent

The Mozilla Foundation has accused some Web sites of 'jumping the gun' over claims that the final release of Firefox 1.5 was due earlier this week

The third and potentially final release candidate of Firefox 1.5 is fast approaching launch, according to Mozilla Europe on Thursday morning.

"Release candidate three will happen very soon — in the next few hours or days," said Tristan Nitot, the president of Mozilla Europe.

This release will include a fix of two bugs that were found in the second release candidate, and Nitot was optimistic that this could be the final candidate.

"Hopefully this is a good enough quality build so we can call it 1.5," said Nitot.

Earlier this week, rumours circulated the Web that the final version of the open source browser was due for launch. News aggregation site said "inside sources at Mozilla" expected that Firefox 1.5 would be out on Tuesday. also said that it would be released that day, as it was merely waiting on a few "easy fixes".

But Asa Dotzler, the community coordinator at the Mozilla Foundation, denied these rumours in his blog late on Tuesday.

"Someone seems to have jumped the gun. Firefox 1.5 is not yet available. We will be launching a Firefox 1.5 RC-3 sometime in the next few days with a final release expected later this month," he said.

The first release candidate emerged on 1 November and was followed 10 days later by the second release candidate. Nitot said that the Foundation generally plans to do "several" release candidates, but "you never know exactly how many you will have to do before you get it right".

On Wednesday, ZDNet reported that two large financial companies in the UK have pledged to try to make their Web sites compatible with Firefox.