In that most ironic of ironies, Mozilla’s increasingly popular FireFox browser has let a release date slip.
FireFox’s lead engineer, Ben Goodger, recently admitted that the release date of March for version 1.1 was “unrealistic”.
“It is due to us needing to ensure the 1.1 release is of identical quality and scope as the 1.0 release – that means a period of testing, the localization system needs to be brought back online, etc. These things are done by more people than just myself, so quit with the wacky speculation,” he insists.
Goodger insists the delay isn’t due to his recent move to Google. “My role with Firefox and the Mozilla project will remain largely unchanged, I will continue doing much the same work – with the new goal of successful 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0 releases. I remain devoted full-time to the advancement of Firefox, the Mozilla platform and web browsing in general.”
The slip date is ironic, as Open Source developers, and particularly FireFox advocates, have long claimed that open source software, and FireFox in particular, are beneficial because of their more reliable development cycles and their solid release dates.
The reality, apparently, is more complex. All projects suffer delays, and Goodger’s insistence that the software not be released until it is ready is definitely the right way to go. Far better to miss a release date than to release incomplete software.