Firefox 3 — The “End Game”

May 22nd, 2008

We’re getting very, very close to the release of Firefox 3. It’s an odd time around the Firefox part of the Mozilla project. Most of the Firefox and platform engineers are mostly done. The long, long push to get hundreds of issues triaged and resolved is over. Our first Release Candidate is out. Maybe we’ll do another release candidate, that depends on what we learn over the next short period. And if we do there will be a burst of activity. But the vast bulk of the engineering work is done. These engineers are already defining and working on the next projects, from Firefox to mobile. But there’s also a sense of waiting. Firefox 3 isn’t done until we’ve completed a massive test cycle, and there’s a constant and growing throbbing in the air as we work through the final stages.

Meanwhile, other groups of people are in high gear. The QA team is one. It’s a quiet storm of QA activity right now as we throw every test we’ve got at Firefox 3, looking for any cracks or stress points. It’s a quiet storm only because QA is a well-organized, experienced and highly effective team. Otherwise it would be a wild frenzy. Quite a contrast with the Firefox 1.0 release, where we hand-tested the localized versions up through the day of the launch itself, using an easel size pad of paper covered with a hand-written list of localizations and status updates.

Other engineering teams are hard at work as well. The web development team, for example, making sure sites like are ready to go. The website content teams and localization teams are making sure that the many pages of content are available in the massive number of languages that are part of the Firefox 3 release. This includes both the websites themselves and the “product” pages which are part of Firefox. Build and release is the final stage of the release, so they are also in the thick of things right now.

The marketing team is extraordinarily busy, from community activities to press briefings to creating and distributing all the materials needed to explain Firefox: both new features and the overall pleasure of using Firefox to people who haven’t yet experienced what’s possible with Firefox. It’s a massive undertaking to launch a product with a userbase the size of Firefox. We couldn’t do it without the deep integration of the marketing team with the massive Mozilla community and we’re seeing that at work.

So we’re experiencing extreme levels of activity and performance in giant parts of the Firefox community. That’s combined with an intense sense of pressure building. It’s a little like seeing the first rays of sunshine appear on the horizon, and knowing that blazing ball of summer will appear soon.

4 comments for “Firefox 3 — The “End Game””

  1. 1

    nivash kumar said on May 23rd, 2008 at 8:49 am:

    Firefox 3 looks is really good at performance. I have only one question. Will those add-ons work seamlessly in firefox 3.I downloaded the RC1 of it. Firefox community is geared up for the release and this release would be a major leap in the foundation’s strategic move I think. Let’s spread firefox.

    BE OPEN!
    BE FREE!

  2. 2

    Paul Kim said on May 23rd, 2008 at 12:34 pm:

    One point of clarification: website content – all of the new content created for – isn’t an engineering function, it lives in marketing. Thanks for the post Mitchell.

  3. 3

    Eddy Nigg said on May 23rd, 2008 at 3:02 pm:

    Mitchell, it’s a pity that the very good work and improvements is spoiled with inherently stupid design decisions like this one:

    Instead of blogging about the improvements I’m busy trying to reverse it. Using the site icon (favicon), which is under the control of the web site, as the indicator for a secured page is mistake not even Microsoft made…go figure!

  4. 4

    Pingback from Last patch for Firefox 3 | Ehsan Akhgari

    […] 3 is in the "End Game" status, which means that it’s feature and code complete, and won’t get changes except to fix […]

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