Another preview version for Firefox 3.5

Chicago (IL) – We have been expecting the first (and only) public release candidate of Firefox 3.5 this week, but Mozilla has now told developers that the browser has not yet reached RC status. “More testing” needs to be done, we are told. However, to shorten the wait, there is a new Beta 99 “Preview” version of the browser which includes stability patches as well as an updated JavaScript engine.

It appears that Firefox 3.5 has bit a roadblock, as Mozilla today announced that it has not yet completed all testing that is required for the new browser to be declared a public “release candidate”. This announcement is somewhat surprising as a developer release candidate appeared on Mozilla’s servers over the weekend. To mature the software, Mozilla released a “Preview” of the browser this morning, which will “assist with further user testing and feedback.”

The 7.7 MB browser package, version Beta 99, been posted to the Firefox FTP download server early today and is scheduled to be delivered via auto-update to Firefox Beta 4 users within 24 hours. While Mozilla said that just developers should install the 3.5 Preview and use it as their “regular browser”, it promises users that this version will be automatically updated to 3.5 RC as soon as it becomes available. The release candidate is now promised to surface within “1-2 weeks”, which means that Mozilla is likely to miss its H1 release plan for the final version of Firefox 3.5.

There are no detailed release notes for this version and we are told that this software simply “contains many fixes for stability bugs, correctness fixes for [the] JavaScript engine, and improvements to [the] built in support for open Ogg based video and audio playback.” Mozilla mentioned that not all add-ons will work properly with this Preview version.
The beta version of Firefox 3.5 and preceding beta versions of the browser have been downloaded by about 800,000 users, Mozilla said.