The trouble started early on Wednesday morning when a Digg posting claimed that the first beta version of Firefox 3.0.1 had been posted by developers.
Mozilla explained that there was no beta of Firefox available to the public, and that the Digg poster had instead linked to a release candidate for a future beta version.
The resulting flood of users prompted Mozilla to disable the HTTP download page for Firefox 3 and replace it with a posting explaining the issue.
The company said that the candidate had yet to meet the criteria required for a public beta release.
Tasks that still needed to be completed on the browser include further testing, release notes and documentation, and a special homepage giving users information on how to report bugs in the beta.
Release candidates are not normally made available to end users. However, because Firefox is an open source browser to which any developer can contribute, Mozilla makes all builds available for download by the general public.
Users were told that they were welcome to download and test the release candidate, but were warned that it should not be considered a beta release.
Mozilla hopes to have the first official beta releases of Firefox 3 available to the public at the end of next week.
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