Damon Sicore, Senior Director of Platform Engineering at Mozilla, has announced that the company is almost ready to ship Firefox 4. On its mailing list, Mozilla has revealed it has around 160 hard blockers to fix, before proceeding to Release Candidate stage. Both the RC and the final version would arrive in February, according to Sicore.
Mozilla was originally planning on having Firefox 4 out by the end of last year, but it had to delay the release till 2011. Last month, Firefox 4 Beta 8 was released for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux 32-bit/64-bit, with support for 57 languages. Mozilla's roadmap says it still wants to release a Beta 9, a Beta 10, and at least one Release Candidate build before the final version.
Here is the full message, posted on mozilla.dev.planning:
We've worked tremendously hard on Firefox 4, and it's time to ship it. I'm seeing the same burst of excitement and activity that we've seen in the endgame of every release. Over the past several days, component leads have again reduced their blockers by identifying hard blockers and those we can live without. We've around 160 hard blockers remaining, and historically it has taken us six weeks to reach RC once we have 100 blockers left. We must press hard now.
1) We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February. We'll need your help to balance these targets against the need to build a high quality product.
2) Bug counts demand another beta. We'll drive the beta bugs to zero and ship another beta. If we can't get them to zero in reasonable time, we'll repeat, deliberately. It depends on how quickly we can drive down the list of hard blockers that need beta feedback. This is our top development priority, since it pushes the rest of our schedule.
3) We need *everyone* to help in testing. Specifically: Do not disable Flash, Silverlight, or other major plugins as we need as many people testing these as possible. Windows users: We need to know if you are affected by hardware acceleration causing crashes or other issues. Don't just assume that someone else has filed a bug already. Make sure. Ask someone if you don't know how. This is very important.
MOST IMPORTANT: We must ship the best possible product we can. If a blocker needs more time, tell release drivers and component leads immediately. If you disagree with a blocking call, say so loudly. Do not be timid. This is your product, we need you to own it.
I know you're all tired and stressed. You all do incredible work every day, and you've built an amazing product. Stay focused. Be nice to each other. Firefox 4 is gonna kick ass, and you should be fiercely proud of it.
All my best,