Mozilla: Firefox 3.6 won't be late

The first beta of Firefox 3.6 may have crossed the finish line weeks late, but Mozilla says the final version should still be done this year.

Mozilla may have released the first beta of Firefox 3.6 nearly two months late, but the organization believes the final version still will arrive on schedule before the end of the year.

The Mozilla wiki page on version 3.6, code-named Namoroka, listed early September for the scheduled release of the first beta, but it actually arrived October 30. Despite that, Mike Shaver, vice president of engineering, said Mozilla wants to release the browser before the holidays and is sticking by the overall schedule for the open-source Web browser.

"We're still looking at a release candidate in November and (final) release in December at this point," Shaver said in a Tuesday interview.

That means Mozilla has a compressed schedule for producing the final version, but Shaver said coders are working hard. "We're not going to coast into it," he said. "We're going to continue shipping beta updates aggressively."

Those involved in open-source projects, with different motivations and pressures than those in the traditional proprietary software industry, sometimes have an attitude of "we'll ship it when it's done." Mozilla, though, recognizes that time matters even for an open-source project.

"We've always been more quality-driven than time-driven," Shaver said. "But we understand timing in the market matters to our users and our competitiveness."

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