So much for 'Firefox 3.1:' Mozilla gives its next browser an early promotion to 3.5

Just about as soon as we had the latest speed figures from Tuesday's nightly build of "Shiretoko" -- a.k.a., Firefox 3.1 pre-beta 3 -- it appears the Mozilla organization has thought twice about its numerology, and decided that the new edition's upgraded TraceMonkey JavaScript engine makes it at least worth half-a-point rather than a tenth. Just a few hours ago, the organization's interim VP of Engineering submitted to its newsgroup a "proposal" -- which will probably go without opposition -- that after Beta 3 (which is already close to finalized), the next beta round will be given the designation Firefox 3.5.

"The increase in scope represented by TraceMonkey and Private Browsing, plus the sheer volume of work that's gone into everything from video and layout to places and the plugin service make it a larger increment than we believe is reasonable to label .1," wrote Shaver. "3.5 will help set expectations better about the amount of awesome that's packed into Shiretoko, and we expect uptake help from that as well."

This means that version identifiers will have to be adjusted starting with the 3.5 beta. What had at various times been considered the "4.0 alpha" and the "3.5 alpha" (code-name "Minefield") will be given the temporary designation 3.6, although Shaver says not to treat 3.6 as that version's final designation just yet.

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