Mozilla patches Firefox faster than expected

Firefox 3.0.3 fixes password manager flaw.

Mozilla beat its own schedule by patching Firefox late Friday to fix a password bug it had inadvertently introduced earlier in the week.

Firefox 3.0.3, which had originally been expected to post this week, went live around 9 p.m. EDT Friday, according to a message to the mozilla.dev.planning board by Mike Beltzner, Firefox's director.

Last Wednesday, just a day after Mozilla upgraded Firefox to 3.0.2 to patch 11 security vulnerabilities and address other stability issues, Beltzner announced that another update would be necessary to fix a newly-introduced flaw.

After updating to Firefox 3.0.2, some users were unable to call up passwords or save any new site passwords, Beltzner said then.

Firefox 3.0.3 contained only the change to the browser's password manager.

The quick turnaround -- Mozilla said that it issued the revised 3.0.3 within 72 hours of discovering the regression error -- is among the fastest for the open-source developer.

In related news, Mozilla said Monday that it would probably decide by Wednesday on what it can include in its browser's next major upgrade, Firefox 3.1. Earlier this month, the company announced it would delay the upgrade by four or five weeks in order to beef up features, part of its reaction to recent moves made by rivals such as Microsoft and Google.

According to Mozilla's still-tentative plans, Firefox 3.1 will ship later this year or in early 2009. The first beta, however, will probably launch in two or three weeks.

Users can download the 3.0.3 update for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the Mozilla site, call up their browser's built-in updater or wait for the automatic update notification, which typically appears within 24 to 48 hours.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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