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First official alpha release of Firefox 2.0 is imminent

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Developers at the Mozilla Foundation are readying the first alpha version of the Firefox 2 open-source browser, and could release it as early as Tuesday. The release includes a new "Places" feature intended to make it easier to find and return to recently visited Web pages.

The development team decided to freeze the code for what will become Firefox 2.0a1 as of last Thursday, with a view to releasing the code this Friday, according to the minutes of a Firefox 2 status meeting held March 14 at the foundation's headquarters. However, another notice posted to the Web page of the Mozilla Developer Center advised that the Thursday code freeze could lead to a release as early as Tuesday.

The foundation's "tinderbox" server, which automatically recompiles and packages the latest Firefox code as it is updated, listed a package labelled firefox-2.0a1 as available for download last week, prompting some Mozilla watchers to claim the alpha version had already been released.

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