With each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Mozilla will be able to pull off a new major iteration of its open source browser by the end of 2010.Not counting the days left in October, there are now just two months until 2011, and the final milestone of Firefox 4.0 is nowhere in sight.
Mozilla has yet to announce officially that it postponed Firefox 4.0, but it is also bound to change the roadmap for the remaining development releases of the browser.
No telling yet just how the browser maker will handle delay, but chances are that Firefox 4.0 will slip in 2011, considering the amount of work that Mozilla still needs to get done before it will be able to wrap up the release.
The notes from a product planning meeting earlier this week reveal that “the current milestone schedule is obviously out of date.”
How much so? Well, by over a month now, and counting. According to the official schedule Mozilla should have shipped the seventh revision of Beta on September 17th, then Beta 8 on October 1st, and have the first Release Candidate (RC) by October 15th.
Obviously, October 15th has come and gone but there’s no Firefox 4.0 RC to speak of. Furthermore, Firefox 4.0 has been stuck at Beta 6 stage for over a month, with work still continuing on Beta 7 and Beta 8.
With over a month of delay, I highly doubt it that Mozilla will be able to deliver Beta 7, Beta 8 and a few RC Builds in the next couple of months and then also provide the final release of Firefox 4.0.
Delays hit development processes all the time, this is not out of the ordinary in any way, as it happens to all software companies.
After all, the schedule shared by Mozilla with the public wasn’t set in stone. The browser warned from the get go that changes could intervene leading to different release dates for the milestones of Firefox 4.0.
There also quite a hefty volume of work still to be done For Firefox 4.0. Just 10 days ago, Mozilla noted that it still had to resolve 17 blockers just to launch Beta 7, and over 510 blockers to get from Beta to RC.
In total Mozilla needs to resolve some 901 blockers in order to wrap up Firefox 4.0 and have it delivered to end users.
Firefox 4 Beta 6 for Windows is available for download here.
Firefox 4 Beta 6 for Linux is available for download here.
Firefox 4 Beta 6 for Mac is available for download here.