Mozilla Delays Firefox 3.1 Beta, Announces Other Browser Updates

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 12, 2008

Mozilla has a whole roster of news headlines related to its browsers out today. In its about:Mozilla newsletter, the company has announced that a new version of the Camino browser is available (it's developed by the Camino Project, but is based on Mozilla's Gecko layout engine). Many Mac users love Camino for its lickety-split performance. Mozilla has also confirmed that a sixth milestone version of its upcoming mobile browser, dubbed Fennec, is out. And, as ZDNet reports, the beta of the next version of Firefox--version 3.1--has been delayed from August 19th until September 9th. Here are the details.

Regarding Firefox 3.1's beta, the pre-alpha for which we wrote about here, ZDNet reports that "some of the features planned for 3.1 — including bulk tagging, Javascript enhancements, cross-site XHR and workers threads — are not going to be ready by the end of the month." Mike Gunderloy has worked with the pre-alpha build of version 3.1, and says "the Ctrl+Tab tab switcher, complete with thumbnails, is very nice."

Regarding the new version of Camino, it is described as "a maintenance release which contains various security and stability updates to Camino 1.6.x. All users are urged to update.” The underlying Gecko rendering engine in Camino--from Mozilla--has been updated, which presumably will make the browser faster.

Fennec (the word means "small fox"), is a very critical browser in Mozilla's overall strategy, and we've written about why before. It's targeted to be available for the upcoming wave of Linux- and Android-based mobile handsets due out later this year, where it could be a key application for them.

The new milestone version of Fennec demonstrates Mozilla's ongoing commitment to this new mobile browser. Some observers have questioned whether Mozilla will be able to deliver an open source mobile browser with a small footprint and the kind of performance that Opera Mini has. However, it's clear that Mozilla is working hard on this. The company also has an iPhone-like touchscreen interface in the works for Fennec browsing.

I was hoping for Firefox 3.1 next week, though. I guess we'll have to wait.