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Mozilla has met a major milestone in its march to Firefox 3.0 by adding a major part of the new Places feature to the alpha product that is set for release late next week.

Mozilla has met a major milestone in its march to Firefox 3.0 by adding a major part of the new Places feature to the alpha product that is set for release late next week.

Places - a complete revamp of the bookmarks and history functions of the browser - was once targeted to launch in Firefox 2.0, but was pulled a year ago in the run up to that version's October 2006 release.

"We enabled the Places implementation of bookmarks on the trunk," said the Places team in a post to the Mozilla developer centre blog. "Although there is still much to be done, this is an important milestone for us." Firefox 3.0 alpha 5 is scheduled to launch June 1.

Because Places uses the open-source SQLite database engine to store and retrieve bookmarks and history entries, it's incompatible with earlier Firefox editions' bookmarks. Alpha users must convert their existing entries, Mozilla developers said.

"If you make any changes to bookmarks.html (say, by running Firefox 2 and editing your bookmarks) you will need to manually export them and re-import them into the bookmark-on-places [Firefox 3.0 alpha] nightly," they said.

The preview, also codenamed "Gran Paradiso," has been rolled out for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in past iterations.