Release Candidate != Beta

Well, Firefox 1.5 is officially out, as covered by just about everyone.

I noticed quite a bit of discussion in the early hours (back when the build was on the FTP site but not yet officially announced) as to whether or not this was really the final 1.5 release or just the 1.5RC3 in a directory called 1.5. Several people mentioned that the build date was the same as that for RC3, and one person (on Slashdot) actually did an MD5 hash on 1.5RC3 and 1.5 and found them to be the same. This made several people cry “hoax” and say that 1.5 wasn’t really out yet, and that everyone who was downloaded it was just getting the “old” RC3 build.

So which is it, 1.5 final or 1.5RC3? Well, both actually. That’s the point of a release candidate. Unlike a Beta build, which means “it isn’t quite ready but you can use it and test it if you want,” a release candidate build means “this might be the final release, but we want to make sure that there aren’t any bugs in it before we ship it.” Every RC build is a candidate, or possibility, for the final release, dependant on whether or not any major bugs are found in it. The final release will always be identical to the last RC build, which is why RC3 says “Firefox 1.5” on it and not “Firefox 1.5 RC3,” since changing the AppName could possibly introduce some bug or other in the code at the last minute (which we want to avoid at all costs).

In other words, if you’re already running RC3 (which you should be if you upgraded to any of the RC builds, since autoupdate is enabled by default now) you already have 1.5 final (you’ve had it for almost two weeks now, it just wasn’t officially called 1.5 final until today), so you don’t need to upgrade.

Just thought I’d clear that up in case anybody was still confused. (Not that any of those people read this blog, but still…).

It’s comming…

Firefox 1.5 final is close. Really close. Like, within a matter or hours or minutes. Get ready…

XulPlanet Happenings

I realize that most of the people who read this blog probably found it through XulPlanet, which might make some of them a little disappointed at the total lack of anything XulPlanet related to be found here. Well, I hope to change all that soon. We have several news projects going up, old things being redone, constant updates to the existing content, and many exciting plans for the future. I hope to get a list of some of those plans up here in the next week or so. Stay tooned.

Back to School

Well, I’m back at Utah State, fully immersed in all the fun and excitement of college life.

You can tell a lot about a Computer Science professor when he introduces himself by telling you what open source projects he has founded or been on the leadership boards of. 

In another class, the professor was talking about distributed system programming, and made reference to internet web servers as an example of such. Then there was an exchange that went something like this:

Professor: You want one piece of your distributed system to run independently of the other, so if you have a webserver and it’s talking to-what’s the latest browser they’ve got out there?

One student: Deer Park! (?)

Professor: Well, I’m not really familiar with that one…

I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. We’re all nerds here after all.