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How Firefox got fast again
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-11-13 23:04:55

People have noticed that Firefox is fast again.

Over the past seven months, we’ve been rapidly replacing major parts of the engine, introducing Rust and parts of Servo to Firefox. Plus, we’ve had a browser performance strike force scouring the codebase for performance issues, both obvious and non-obvious.

We call this Project Quantum, and the first general release of the reborn Firefox Quantum comes out tomorrow.

orthographic drawing of jet engine

But this doesn’t mean that our work is done. It doesn’t mean that today’s Firefox is as fast and responsive as it’s going to be.

So, let’s look at how Firefox got fast again and where it’s going to get faster.

I should definitely give Firefox another try - I've tried it over the years but it always felt a little sluggish compared to the competition. Chrome's gotten way too fat over the years, so I've resorted to using Edge on my main computer lately - it isn't perfect, but it it sure is fast, and places very little strain on my machine. I want my browser to get out of my way, and gobbling up processor cycles is exactly not that.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40
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RE[3]: uuhhhhh, thom
By bassbeast on 2017-11-14 20:48:45
Yup ton of webkit based as well as gecko based. I use Comodo Dragon (webkit) with PaleMoon (gecko) because I preferred having my extensions to adding a bit of speed plus a fugly UI to FF.

Of course that is the rotting elephant in the room when it comes to FF...the extensions. From what I've seen there simply is no way for most extensions to ever work with the new FF engine and the whole selling point for FF was extensions allowing you to have your own custom browser. I have a feeling this is gonna be one of the final nails in the Mozilla coffin as they really have no selling point over other better supported and better advertised browsers anymore.

Oh well luckily there is still PaleMoon and the devs of the extensions that I love have switched to developing for PM so if Mozilla dies tomorrow I'll not be affected in the slightest. Still a damned shame that they gave the bird to their customers for so long that I seriously doubt having a new faster engine is gonna make a lick of difference, from the fugly UI changes against the will of the community to killing off the reasons why anybody used FF all of the diehard FF users I knew moved away ages ago and their latest usage numbers show they were far from being a minority.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: Sluggish how?
By bassbeast on 2017-11-14 20:54:03
"since mozilla is destroying firefox by making it look like chrome, I'm going to switch to chrome"...because if they are gonna make FF an ersatz Chrome you might as well use Chrome which has more support, integration with one of the big 2 mobile OSes, and more money being spent on making sure it "just works" then FF?

I personally ended up going to Dragon and PaleMoon because their UIs were mature and stable but I can easily see why many just went to Chrome, my Dragon has no problems sharing bookmarks with the Chrome on my phone and with FF killing the extensions and making their UI just another Chrome knockoff why bother with a knockoff when you can have the real deal?
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE: Chrome is the old FireFox
By bassbeast on 2017-11-14 21:05:28
But how many of your average users are gonna notice or even care when 8gb of RAM comes on virtually everything and more and more mainstream systems come with 12gb and even 16gb of RAM?

When mainstream systems came with 2-4Gb of RAM I heard plenty of users complaining about memory usage, now that 8Gb is the minimum standard? I honestly cannot remember the last time I heard someone at the shop complaining they need more RAM, nowadays their biggest complaint is fixed by getting the OS off the HDD to an SSD.

So sure if you are one of those users that keep 100+ tabs open..but how many of those types of users do you think there really are? At the shop I can tell you that the majority have less than 6 tabs open at any one time, heck many still don't know you can have multiple tabs!

So while having cut down on memory usage is nice I have a feeling for the vast majority of users that is gonna be about as much of a selling point as having better blink tag support, its just not something that really effects their day to day lives.
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RE[2]: Chrome is the old FireFox
By loic on 2017-11-14 21:57:02
Most cheap laptops still only got 4 GB; RAM is now awfully expensive. So I would not vouch for people not feeling their machine slow to a crawl. Event if most people do not use a bazillion tabs, there are so many memory-consuming website around there that they will fell it. But I am not sure they will realize that Chrome is the culprit.
Permalink - Score: 3
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FFv57 removes XUL - TabGroups no longer...
By TemporalBeing on 2017-11-14 23:40:14
FFv57 dropped the XUL Extensions API without parity support in the Web Extensions API, so key extensions like TabGroups have no path to conversion until some unknown version in the future.

So yeah...no upgrading for a while.

Oh, and Firefox devs need to pay *more* attention to their community. The above issue has been well known for quite a long time. They basically did the change purposely ignoring the community feedback and ignoring their user's needs. We'll see if they survive.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[3]: uuhhhhh, thom
By zima on 2017-11-15 01:10:44
> Same lady (Webkit) with a different dress.
Actually, Blink... :P
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE: Outdated
By zima on 2017-11-15 01:12:00
But Mozilla is also improving security with latest Firefox ...OTOH, you staying with outdated version, is not so secure...
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RE[2]: Outdated
By nicubunu on 2017-11-15 07:34:20
If you have a good selection of extensions installed and don't go visit dubious sites, you are pretty safe.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[2]: Sluggish how?
By masennus on 2017-11-15 07:51:59
I don't know what you mean by "support". Both chrome/chromium and firefox work equally on all hardware and os'es I care about.

But you seem to mean that google is a better company for your needs than mozilla in some ways, for me mozilla is a better company than google in all ways I can think of. Not ideal by any means, but as long as I have the choice I choose mozilla over google to guard my privay.

I am very aware of the fact that most people don't care about such things, so I might not be able to choose anything but google in a couple of years which is a bit sad.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[4]: uuhhhhh, thom
By Lennie on 2017-11-15 13:03:15
Have a look at the list here. Which is a user created list of what people recommend as alternatives, etc.:

https://docs.google.com/spreadshe...
Permalink - Score: 2

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