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Firefox 2.0 'too buggy' for release

87 little critters attack browser

The next version of open-source browser Firefox has been delayed for a month. Version 2.0, code named Bon Echo, had been due on 26 September but will now make its debut on 24 October. The test schedule has also been adjusted, with the second beta now appearing a week late, on 23 August.

The delay has been put down to a small hill of bugs that still have to be ironed out, totalling 87 according to the project's latest bug list. The new version will have a raft of new features to keep up with those coming in rivals Opera and Internet Explorer 7.0, including antiphishing security, a spell checker, integrated RSS news feed handling, and (once-again fashionable) tabbed browsing.

Apart from its growing popularity as a rival to Microsoft's Explorer, Mozilla's ability to get out bug-free software on time has the broader significance of being a status project for the world of open-source software. That is, it suffering minor delays is embarrassing – but not deeply so. Unlike Microsoft, Mozilla has to conduct its development cycle in the glare of public scrutiny.

Two weeks ago, it emerged that Firefox was being run through the Vulnerability Discovery and Remediation, Open-Source Hardening Project, a bug and security hunting system co-developed by Coverity that is supposed to reduce major security holes before public release.


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