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1/18/2006
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Unofficial Firefox For Intel Macs Debuts

In other Firefox news, the first alpha for Firefox 2.0 is due out next month.

It may not be official, but a version of Firefox that will run on Apple Computer's new Intel-based Macs has been released by the one-man development team responsible for the open-source project.

Josh Aas, the Mozilla coder who has been working on Mac Intel browser, released a working build Tuesday that runs on the new Intel iMacs under Mac OS X 10.4.4. Last week, Aas said he was close to wrapping up a working edition, but warned that Java and Flash weren't operating. Over the weekend, he said in a blog entry, another developer, Mark Mentovai, pitched in to provide code that got Java and Flash working.

For the moment, the version is dubbed "DeerPark" because the Mozilla brand can't be slapped on unofficial editions.

Down the road, Aas said that he would be working on so-called "universal binaries," the term Apple uses to describe code that will run on both PowerPC and Intel Macintoshes.

The current official version of Firefox for the Mac is 1.5, and requires OS X 10.3.x or later, and a PowerPC-equipped computer. The next update, 1.5.0.1, will be available near the end of this month, according to notes from a Jan. 4 meeting of Mozilla developers.

Aas' Mac Intel Firefox can be downloaded from here.

In other Firefox news, Mozilla.org's Jan. 4 meeting minutes also said that the company was shooting for a February release of the first alpha edition of Firefox 2.0. The alpha isn't expected to be feature complete, but like other Mozilla early releases, is meant to provide feedback from testers and developers -- including those who create extensions for the browser -- as toolsets are settled.

At the moment, the roadmap for Firefox 2.0 slates a summer final (late in the second quarter or early in the third, according to the scheduled posted Tuesday here).

Firefox 3.0, now in the planning stages, is tentatively scheduled for an early 2007 release.

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