Mozilla eyes extra beta for Firefox 3.1

The final version is still expected around the end of Q1 2009

In a status meeting last week, Mozilla also decided to retract a revamped Ctrl-Tab tab-switching feature it had originally slated for Firefox 3.1. The enhancement, which was based on an already-available Firefox add-on, showed users thumbnails when they cycled through open tabs, and switched between current and last-viewed tabs rather than simply moving to the next tab to the right. Like many of the features that made it into Firefox 3.1, it was initially set for Firefox 3.0, but had slipped out of that earlier update.

"This is something that our development community is getting used to," Beltzner said Tuesday in another e-mail. "As part of our new effort to try and increase the pace of our releases, we're coming to terms with the fact that new user-facing features sometimes need a lot of trial-and-error to get feeling right."

The newest attempt at redesigning tab switching, said Beltzner, didn't "feel quite right" to either Mozilla's user interface team or outside testers; the feature was pulled as a result. "If we can get it right, we can see if we still have time for its inclusion," he added. "If not, it can wait until the next release."

Mozilla was the second browser developer in the last week to claim it is still on schedule. Last Thursday, Microsoft laid out the next step for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8); Monday, a Microsoft director of product management denied that IE8's schedule had slipped in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer .

"It's not a slipped schedule," Matthew Lapsen, a director of Windows product management, told the newspaper. "We release based on product quality, not dates."

Some Microsoft officials, however, had alluded to a late-2008 ship date for IE8 several months ago.

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