Tag Archives: mozilla

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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Firefox 4 smashes IE9′s first-day downloads

Firefox 4 downloaded 24 million in three days
According to Mozilla, Firefox 4 has been downloaded a whopping 24 million times in the three days since its release on the 22nd. In its first day alone Mozilla’s open-source browser was downloaded 7.1 million times, smashing Microsoft’s IE9 one-day tally by three times.

Mozilla has a Download stats page where you can track downloads of Firefox 4 in real-time from across the globe. As of writing this it’s close to 26 and a half million.

Have you yourself downloaded Firefox 4? How do you think it stacks up against Chrome or IE9?

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Millions download latest version of Firefox – Why?

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox - a relic of a bygone age?

The latest version of Firefox was released yesterday and the BBC reports millions have downloaded or upgraded, although tellingly, its market share is going down.

As one of the early adopters of Mozilla’s browser, back when it was called Phoenix, I quickly jumped ship to Opera because it was plain to me the Mozilla browser was heavily overloaded and was a drain on my processor power. I stuck with Opera for many years until Google released their Chrome browser. I gave it a shot and, sorry to say, my loyalty to Opera went out the window. The Chrome browser is what the developers at Google use on a day to day basis. It’s designed to be lightweight and fast and that shines through when you use it.

Firefox increasingly seems like a relic of a bygone age, of an ‘open source’ alternative to Internet Explorer. But times have changed and it’s no longer stylish just to be open source for the sake of it. Google’s own browser can also claim that title.

I recently loaded up Firefox for some reason I can’t remember and it was like waiting for an operating system to load, it was that slow. As a user not interested in the under the hood mechanics of the different browsers, my feeling is the time has come and gone for the Firefox browser. It was basically based on an ‘anything but Internet Explorer’ ideology when it was launched, but the developers have stood still on the end user experience and I predict their share of the market will decline more and more.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Give me your honest opinion as an end user when you compare Firefox with the Chrome browser.

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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 RTW on March 22nd

Firefox 4Mozilla’s Damon Sicore has hinted at a possible release date for the final build of Firefox 4. In a short post over on the Mozilla Developer forums Sicore said there’s really no point in another release candidate, stating that right now there are no known issues with RC1.

If all goes well and no more bugs are uncovered Mozilla is happy to release RC1 as the final build on March 22nd.

Damon Sicore:

Firefox 4 RC1 has received a very warm welcome; it’s time to make a decision to ship.  As of now, there are no known issues that would stop us from shipping RC1 as final.  At the conclusion of our regular 11:30AM triage session on Wednesday, March 16th, release drivers will decide whether to ship RC1 as Firefox 4. March 22nd is the day we would ship.

Firefox 4 has had 12 betas and a whole host of bugs, 7,000 since the first beta was released 8 months back. Meanwhile Chrome is 2 stable releases ahead of Firefox, and IE9 went gold 3 days ago. Mozilla needs to get in gear or they will find themselves playing catch up.

Firefox 4 release candidate available here.

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Google warns of IE security flaw

Microsoft Security Advisory (2501696)Google has issued a security warning to users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The software giant claims that a politically motivated attack is being made on IE via a popular social networking site; although they don’t go into detail about which one it is.

The exploit in IE is down to a flaw in MHTML which could allow someone to execute malicious script, taking over the infected PC. Microsoft has released a temprary fix which you can grab here. The exploit affects users of XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 (that includes both 32-bit and 64-bit editions)

From Microsoft:

Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a vulnerability in all supported editions of Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to cause a victim to run malicious scripts when visiting various Web sites, resulting in information disclosure. This impact is similar to server-side cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.

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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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Mozilla release last beta of Firefox 4.0

Firefox 4 beta 12

Whether or not you feel that Firefox is becoming the Duke Nukem Forever of browsers, news has come in that the Mozilla team have finally released the last beta of their Firefox 4.0 browser.

According to the Mozilla blog this last beta (12) offers “improved performance and responsiveness when watching videos on your favorite video websites”; citing 7,000 bug fixes since the first Firefox 4 beta.

The release date for the final version is still up in the air. We know it’s coming some time in the first half of this year, but with the last beta off the shelf it won’t likely be long until 4.0 goes final. In the mean time you can grab the last beta from Mozilla.

We couldn’t build Firefox 4 Beta without the help of our millions of beta testers and their feedback, which we welcome as we work to deliver an awesome experience to the more than 400 million Firefox users worldwide.

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

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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