Mozilla Corp. has identified 10 high-priority bugs in Firefox 3.0 -- three of them pegged critical -- but it won't decide until next week whether to release the browser anyway or restart the final stretch by issuing a second release candidate.

"We are making a go/no-go decision early next week, as we are still collecting feedback [on Release Candidate 1]," Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, said in an e-mail Thursday.

Firefox 3.0 RC1 launched a week ago, but Mozilla has not yet committed to RC2. Previously, the company only said it is targeting June as the release window for the final code.

On the newsgroup, Schroepfer also said that on May 27, Mozilla will either call Firefox 3.0 finished with RC1 or build RC2 with fixes for the 10 bugs that have been collected.

In the meantime, testing will begin on the 10 bugs. "If we need to do an RC2, they'll be ready to go," he said. "If we ship RC1, we can get them in the 3.0.1."

The bug list includes three marked critical on Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug-tracking database and management system. Eight of the bugs affect Firefox on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, while two affect only Linux.

One of the Linux bugs has caught the eye of some Firefox users, in part because of a short blog post that garnered attention on The blogger, Jason Clinton, who works for Advanced Clustering Technologies Inc., a Kansas City, Kan., company that specializes in cluster-based systems and Linux servers, took Mozilla to task.

On Tuesday, Clinton called Mozilla's support for Linux "second-class" and blasted the open-source developer over a bug. "Release managers just made the call that Firefox 3.0 will release with a known bug which brings Linux systems to their knees," he said.

The bug Clinton referenced, tagged as 421482 in Bugzilla, is one of the 10 on the list that Mozilla's using to decide whether to release Firefox 3.0 as is or craft RC2 for another go toward final code.

In Bugzilla, developers argued over the extent of the problem, which some Linux users said seriously affected Firefox's performance, as well as their systems overall. They also argued over where the fault lies -- in the browser or in SQLite, the database Firefox uses for its revamped bookmark and history feature, dubbed Places.

On Wednesday, in a separate e-mail, Schroepfer said that Mozilla developers were looking into the bug and confident that a solution had been found. "You can see that a couple different issues have been accidentally confused," he said. "Overall, I think we have some good options to make this work well."

Firefox 3.0 will be the first major upgrade to the browser since October 2006. But Mozilla may ship another version before the end of the year, Schroepfer has said, in order to add features that weren't ready in time for Firefox 3.0.

Firefox 3 RC1 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in 41 languages from Mozilla's site.

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