Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 4 Beta 12, Google Rolls Out Buggy Storage Software Update
Article by George Norman
On 01 Mar 2011
Last week, Engineering Project Manager with Mozilla, Christian Legnitto, announced that Firefox 4 Beta 11 would not be the last Beta version to be released to the Beta testing community. Legnitto said there would be a 12th Beta version and that Firefox 4 Beta 12 would be the last planned Beta. After the release of Firefox 4 Beta 12, Firefox 4 RC (Release Candidate) would be rolled out.

During the weekend, when Google accidentally wiped the Gmail accounts of numerous users, the 12th Firefox 4 Beta was released to the public, just like Legnitto. Firefox 4 Beta 12 is available for download in 77 languages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users. You can get the version for your operating system, the version in your native language here.


According to the release notes, Firefox 4 Beta 12 comes with the following new bits and pieces:
  • Increased performance while viewing Flash content
  • Improved plugin compatibility with hardware acceleration enabled
  • Hovering over links now displays the URL at the bottom of the window rather than in the location bar
  • General stability, performance, and compatibility improvements

The previously released version, Firefox 4 Beta 11 came with these new bits (according to the release notes):
  • Support for the proposed Do Not Track ("DNT") header
  • Connection status messages are now shown in a small overlay
  • WebGL has been re-enabled on Linux
  • The default homepage design has been refreshed
  • Firefox no longer switches into offline mode automatically

Fun fact: since the release of Firefox 4 Beta 1, Mozilla fixed more than 7,000 bugs.

Now, what was that bit about Gmail up there, the part that Google accidentally wiped the Gmail accounts of numerous users? Over the weekend, numerous users started to complain that they mysteriously lost emails, contacts and folders, or that they cannot access their account. According to Google, a storage software update went awry and numerous users were left without their emails. How many users? According to Ben Treynor, the bug hit 0.02% of Gmail users. Since Gmail has some 200 million accounts, that would mean some 40,000 we affected,

“The good news is that email was never lost and we’ve restored access for many of those affected,” explained Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar. “Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we're making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon.I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers? Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That’s what happened here.”

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Firefox 4 Beta, Google, Gmail
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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