The new version of open-source browser Firefox has been delayed for a month.

Version 2.0, codenamed Bon Echo, had been due on 26 September but will now make its debut on 24 October. The test schedule has also been adjusted, with the second beta now appearing a week late on 23 August.

The delay has been put down to a small hill of bugs that still have to be ironed out, totalling 87, according to the project’s latest bug list. The new version will have a raft of new features to keep up with those coming in rivals Opera and Internet Explorer 7, including anti-phishing security, a spell checker, integrated RSS news feed handling, and (once-again fashionable) tabbed browsing.

Apart from its growing popularity as a rival to Microsoft’s Explorer, Mozilla’s ability to get out bug-free software on time has the broader significance of being a status project for the world of open-source software. That is it suffering minor delays is embarrassing but not deeply so. Unlike Microsoft, Mozilla has to conduct its development cycle in the glare of public scrutiny.

Two weeks ago, it emerged that Firefox was being run through the "Vulnerability Discovery and Remediation, Open-Source Hardening Project", a bug and security hunting system co-developed by Coverity, that is supposed to reduce major security holes before public release.

There is also a crop circle in a field in the shape of the Firefox logo, courtesy of geeks at Oregon State University.


Firefox crop circle