Firefox 4 Beta 4 release slips again
Originally scheduled for August 20, the latest beta of Firefox was pushed forward for a release yesterday, on the 23rd; but two "blocker" bugs have since thrown yet another spanner in the works for the browser which has been drastically overhauled from earlier versions. With no fresh announcement on when the build will finally be made available, one has to assume that it will go live "when it's done", hinting at an almost imminent release.
The two bugs, of which one is marked major, affect both Windows & Linux respectively. The Windows bug, "Cannot change Character Encoding from Firefox Menu Button", is described as normal and can affect the ability of Firefox to detect page encoding correctly; while the Linux bug, described as major, is described as "Dead accessible objects should not be present in the hierarchy" which points to rendering issues on websites from within Linux.
A major goal for Mozilla for their next browser is speed. Enabling Direct2D hardware acceleration helps with the display of text and graphics, which if you follow the Internet Explorer 9 previews, Microsoft is already touting that feature and the speed of their next browser. Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, sent a tweet stating "b4 won't have D2D on by default after all; just not quite ready to send it to that many users. soon!"
Mozilla also has the goal of ultimate user friendliness by implementing tab sets, or as it was called early on, tab candy. Tab sets allow you to group your tabs together into different sets, such as "Work", "Research", "School", "Home", or anything you wish.
Firefox users will be able to look forward to one more beta after this which should be the last with new features. That beta will also consist of bug fixes that Mozilla has found along the way.