Mozilla Delays Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 Release

Mozilla has pushed back the release of Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 because of problems with the browser’s JavaScript engine.

The third beta was set to be released in January, with the full version to follow shortly thereafter. The third beta, you may also remember, was not in the original plan — developers decided to add it in last November to allow them to work out some final kinks.

Now, it seems those kinks may be greater than initially believed. Mozilla’s meeting notes from this week indicate 18 bugs still require fixing from the second beta before Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 will be ready for release. The notes say the team doesn’t even yet “have a good estimate for when [it’ll] be done,” explaining that “many of the bugs are proving to be tricky and complicated to fully resolve.”

Of those bugs, 15 are said to be within the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine. Those are all described as “priority 1 blockers,” meaning that they must be fixed before the next beta can be released.

Though Firefox developers call the bugs “quite containable,” they now say they could conceivably push back the final Firefox 3.1 release past the first quarter of the year.