The Mozilla project plans to release a security update for Firefox (version this week.

Firefox developers also confirmed that they were dropping a highly anticipated bookmarking feature, called Places, from the next major Firefox release, due later this year.

Developers have reduced the number of features in the update so that the security patch can be released faster, Mozilla said.

Changes are also afoot with Firefox 2.0, the next major version of the browser which is currently in a very early "alpha" test release.

A second Firefox 2.0 alpha is scheduled for May 9, but last week Mozilla vice president of engineering Mike Schroepfer said that Firefox 2.0 will not include a highly anticipated browsing feature, called Places, because of quality concerns.

"We do not have time to complete an implementation of Places that lives up to our standards of user experience and quality," Schroepfer wrote in a newsgroup posting. "Rather than rush it to market - we'd prefer to spend the time it takes to get it right."

Designed to make it easier for users to return to recently visited Web pages, Places will introduce a new way of using Firefox's bookmarking and history features.

Participants on the Mozilla discussion list were not happy with the announcement. "Without Places, Firefox 2.0 is somewhat disappointing," wrote one participant.

"This will be one of the most underwhelming 2.0 releases in recent software history from a consumer's point of view," wrote another.