The third and final release candidate for open-source Firefox browser will be available later today.

The posting of Release Candidate 3 (RC3) will be a milestone for the Mozilla Foundation and the Firefox community as it represents the final code for the long-awaited Firefox 2.0 browser.

"If there are no showstoppers, RC3 will be it," said Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for the Mozilla Foundation, meaning that the same code will be used in the final version of the browser.

The first release candidate for Firefox 2.0 was available on 26 September, while the second was released on 6 October, as developers sought additional input and bug reports from users.

Even as Firefox 2.0 approaches its debut, work is already under way on the next full version of Firefox 3.0, with a Firefox Feature Brainstorming wiki page built last week to allow people from across the Net to input their ideas

"Anybody who has a good idea and wants to participate" can enter their comments on the wiki page, Schroepfer said. "We're just looking for as wide a range of feedback as people want to give. We've generally tried to solicit ideas in the past. It's part of how we work in general."

As for Firefox 3.0's release date, "it's pretty far on the horizon at this point," Schroepfer said . "I'd be thinking late next year."