Mozilla just posted Firefox 3 Alpha 4 (code name Gran Paradiso) for everyone to download. Before you go jumping around with excitement, I’ll be the first to say that this release doesn’t have anything that great in it:
- Notification support using Growl libraries on Mac OS X
- New Page Info window
- Many Cocoa user interface improvements and bug fixes
- Basic Mac OS X crash reporting via Breakpad
- Improvements to offline application support. Enabled Listing of Offline Resources and implemented SQL device for the offline cache.
- Miscellaneous Gecko 1.9 bug fixes
To keep with the consistent pattern it looks like Mozilla has opted not to put Places back in this Alpha Release as MetaMan noticed just yesterday. Oh yeah, and if you haven’t noticed the pattern here is what it has looked like: announce that Places will be in next Alpha release, decide that the deadline can’t be met, push back to next Alpha release, and repeat. We first saw Places back in Firefox 2 (almost a year ago) and it was promised to change the way we manage our bookmarks. Thus far, it has been nothing but one disappointment after another.
I’m normally very positive when it comes to these Firefox releases, but still not having Places in sight makes me wonder if it is still going to be in Firefox 3? Here are what two commenters mentioned about Places on our last Firefox 3 article:
So, according to that schedule a milestone including a limited version of places should be released late April. Well, it’s April 24th and still no sign of places in the nightlies. Are they even going to be able to maintain this feature-limited schedule? You know, if there weren’t so many great extensions Firefox really wouldn’t be anywhere good.
Places is supposed to be the big feature of this version and they know it. If they cannot get it working in time I’m afraid they will postpone the final release until early 2008.
I strongly agree with both of them, and I have a sneaking suspicion that MetaMan will be right and the final release date of Firefox 3 will get pushed back into 2008. I guess we can’t look that far into the future, and we’ll have to see if Firefox 3 Alpha 5 introduces Places on May 31 when it is released.
Let us know in the comments whether you think Mozilla will be able to get Places integrated in time, or read more about Places.
Note: Below you will also find a portable version of Firefox 3 Alpha 4 that I have put together for those that want to give it a shot. I have tested it out and it appears to work just fine on my system.