SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has silently released a late developmental build of Firefox 6 web browser days ahead of its scheduled unveiling.
Mozilla has put Firefox on a rapid release schedule that has seen Firefox 4 and Firefox 5 released within the last six months. It planned Firefox 6 to land on 16 August but a release build that managed to fool most hacks, including us, into believing it was the final version of Firefox 6.0, has been available on Mozilla's FTP server throughout the weekend.
Even though Mozilla has uploaded what seemed to be the final release Firefox 6 onto its FTP server, the Firefox website is still serving up Firefox 5.0.1. That is likely to change after Tuesday, the release day of Firefox 6. Mozilla explained that this is because the build of Firefox 6.0 on its FTP server is not the final release product.
In a bid to counter Google's aggressive revision strategy with its Chrome web browser, Mozilla said that it would be rapidly ramping up Firefox version numbers with relatively minor changes between versions. In the past, Mozilla has played a conservative versioning scheme, with major version number changes coming over the course of years, not months.
Mozilla's new rapid-release schedule hasn't pleased everyone, and some argue that rapid version changes will hurt enterprise adoption of Firefox. In large scale deployments, system administrators look for stability so that hundreds or thousands of machines don't have to be upgraded every few months in order to maintain compatibility with plug-ins.
Mozilla has uploaded Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions of Firefox 6 on its FTP server. It expects to launch Firefox 7 and Firefox 8 by the end of 2011.
Mozilla contacted The INQUIRER to clarify that the version of Firefox 6 that it labelled as Firefox 6.0 was not the final release but was a build for quality assurance testing.
It said that the official build of Firefox 6 will be released later today. µ