Tag Archives: firefox

Mozilla giving slow add-ons the old heave-ho

Slow performing add-ons be gone!Over on the Mozila blog the company has announced several new measures to try and ensure better performance from slow Firefox add-ons.

According to Mozilla add-ons product manager Justin Scott, each add-on installed on Firefox can slow the start-up time of the browser by as much as 10%. This percentage will obviously be different for various hardware configurations but based on Mozilla’s testing, installing 10 add-ons could literally double the start-up time of the Firefox browser.

Firefox performance is extremely important to our users, especially how quickly it starts up and loads websites. Many users don’t realize add-ons can cause these delays, and that’s why we’re committed to improving performance in a big way.

So what is Mozilla going to do to tackle slow Firefox add-ons?

It all comes down to weekly testing of popular add-ons, running them through benchmarks and posting the results online for all to see. This plus reaching out to developers and even giving them warnings if their add-ons fall below a certain threshold of performance:

  • Automated performance testing — Every week, we perform automated performance tests of the top 100 add-ons hosted in our gallery and display the results. Soon, we will automatically scan new versions of all add-ons as they are submitted. In the coming months, we will expand this to include other measures, such as page load time.
  • Slow performance warnings — In the next two weeks, we’ll begin displaying warnings in our gallery for any add-on that slows Firefox start-up time by 25% or more. We think users deserve to know when an add-on will impact them and want them to make an informed decision to install the add-on. In an upcoming version of Firefox, these warnings will be displayed in the Add-ons Manager as well.
  • Performance documentation and outreach — We’ve updated our Performance Best Practices and have begun reaching out to developers of slow add-ons and asking them to work on performance. This isn’t limited to add-ons hosted in our gallery; it includes all slow add-ons we can find.
  • On-demand performance testing — In the coming months, we’ll provide tools for developers to upload an add-on and receive a performance report to test the effectiveness of their fixes on the same machines that officially rate their performance.
  • Required opt-in for installation — It’s an all-too-common practice of third-party software to install toolbars and other bundled add-ons in your browser without permission. We know that these add-ons account for many of the performance problems reported to us, and users often don’t know how the add-on got there or how to remove it. In an upcoming version of Firefox, third party add-ons will not be installed unless the user explicitly allows the installation in Firefox. We expect this to have a huge impact on Firefox performance, as well as giving users back the control they should have over their add-ons.

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Mozilla rolls out Firefox 4

Mozilla rolls out Firefox 4Although it was hosted on a Mozilla ftp server yesterday, today marks the official release of Mozilla’s next iteration of their popular Firefox browser.

The first beta of Firefox 4 was released over 8 months ago. Since that time there have been 12 betas, over 7,000 bug-fixes and one release candidate, which despite a few minor changes went on to become the final version.

Among other things Firefox 4 brings to the table a completely revamped user interface, support for hardware acceleration and an improved Firefox Sync. You can get the full feature-list here.

To download Firefox 4 for your language and OS visit this page.

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Firefox 4 hits the web early

Firefox 4
Although Mozilla said in a blog post on Friday they had only updated the release candidate with some “minor security fixes and updates to several locations”, it seems the final build of Firefox 4 has hit the web earlier than expected.

Supersite for Windows’ Paul Thurrott links to a Mozilla page that is apparently hosting the final build of the long-delayed Firefox 4 browser. Earlier reports showed no sign of problems with the first release candidate and a desire to get the final build out on March 22nd.

What’s new in Firefox 4? Check out the full list of new features and updates here.

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Firefox 4 out of beta, first release candidate available

Firefox 4 RC 1The first release candidate for Firefox 4 is now available for download. After 12 betas and over 7,000 bug fixes Mozilla has finally brought their long-delayed browser to RC status, after over 8 months of beta releases.

There are no new features in this latest build, mainly “general stability, performance, and compatibility improvements”. And there’s no telling yet whether or not Mozilla will be releasing more than one RC. Hopefully all goes well with this release and the finished product will follow shortly after.

If you want to get the full low-down you can find it in Mozilla’s release notes.

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Firefox 4 beta 12 delayed, March looking likely for final release

Firefox 4 beta 12 delayed

It doesn’t seem to be going very well for Mozilla lately. The last beta of their upcoming Firefox 4 browser appears to have more problems than previously anticipated by the team. Manager of Firefox releases Christian Legnitto said it’s looking unlikely that the final build will be out this month.

One of the five bugs is rated “critical,” while another is ranked “major” and three are labeled “normal.” Two of the remaining flaws are in Firefox’s hardware acceleration code, which shifts some of the browser page rendering and composition chores from the CPU to the graphics processor.

Mozilla fans expected the browser to be ready last November but it was delayed and a release in early 2011 was promised, but it appears Mozilla users will have to wait a little longer as the team deals with the “major” and “critical” bugs. In fact it was hinted that there may even be a beta 13 depending on how the next build fares.

Meanwhile Google is riding high with the release of their stable version 9 of Chrome 11 days ago, and the news that the browser has hit a 10% share milestone. With IE9 set for a March release Mozilla really needs to get in gear to keep up with the competition.

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