Mozilla pushed out a patch to all versions of Firefox, including the beta Firefox 4, to repair issues that caused crashes.
Sunday, September 19, 2010 05:00 AM PDT
Mozilla last week updated all versions of Firefox, including the beta of the upcoming Firefox 4, to fix stability problems that crashed the browser.
Artwork: Chip TaylorFirefox 3.6.10 and Firefox 3.5.13, which Mozilla launched late Wednesday, addressed what Mozilla said was "a single stability issue affecting a limited number of users."
A crash problem surfaced last week after Mozilla released Firefox 3.6.9 and Firefox 3.5.12 to patch 15 vulnerabilities . Users of all three editions -- Windows, Mac and Linux -- reported repeated crashes during browser startup after they'd updated to Firefox 3.6.9/3.5.12.
Mozilla halted updates while it investigated. The company has since restarted automatic update delivery.
Mozilla also upgraded Firefox 4's beta this week to deal with a stability bug on that preview.
"We've decided to issue a small beta update in order to fix a stability issue on Windows and some rendering and keyboard/mouse focus issues on OSX related to plug-ins," Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox, said in a message posted to the "mozilla.dev.planning" mailing list.
Like the bug in Firefox 3.6.9/3.5.12, the one in Firefox 4 Beta 5 crashed the Windows browser on or shortly after startup. Mozilla's bug- and code change-tracking Bugzilla database offered more information on the crash bug, which quickly climbed to the top of the crash report chart.
Mozilla pushed the quick fix to users as Firefox 4 Beta 6 on Tuesday.
Because Mozilla had to issue the stability patch, the company also designated Beta 7 as the new feature-frozen version, the one that locks in what will be included and drops what won't. Beta 7 is slated to ship later this month.
"What was known as 'Firefox 4 Beta 6' will now be 'Firefox 4 Beta 7,'" said Beltzner. "We're not adding a beta to our cycle, we're just issuing some fixes for stability and usability to the beta audience, and our numbering system requires that we bump the version number."
Mozilla has already ditched a pair of anticipated features from Firefox 4 to make its deadlines: Account Manager, a beefed-up password manager built into the browser to simplify Web site sign-up; and Inspector, a tool aimed at Web designers and developers who want to drill down for more information on each element in an HTML page.