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Firefox 9 Released, JavaScript Performance Greatly Improved

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-they-say-functional-programming-is-useless dept.

Firefox 330

MrSeb writes "Firefox 9 is now available — but unlike its previous rapid release forebears where not a lot changed, a huge feature has landed with the new version: the JavaScript engine now has type inference enabled. This simple switch has resulted in a 20-30% JS execution speed increase (PDF), putting JaegerMonkey back in line with Chrome's V8 engine, and even pulling ahead in some cases. If you switched away from Firefox to IE or Chrome for improved JS performance, now is probably the time to give Firefox another shot."

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Firefox - Too little, too late (-1, Flamebait)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432478)

Mozilla really screwed up both their long-time users and new users. There really haven't been good improvements in a long time. Most of their time has went to making it more Chrome like, and playing with version numbers.

I've seen many old Firefox users change their engine, on top of those that have been using IE. They aren't using Firefox, they're using Chrome or RockMelt [techcrunch.com] now. Especially RockMelt is an interesting browser - it completely abandons geeky stuff like NoScript or Adblock but instead caters to casual, normal people and how they use the internet. RockMelt has online Facebook friends directly on the site, along with recent news and updates from all social networks. It lets you easily add social bookmarks to sites like Reddit and Digg, along with sharing to Facebook and Twitter. Most people have been saying how wonderful it is compared to Firefox. It's an browser that actual people want.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432488)

Firefox - Too little, too late?
Too little: Doesn't sound like it, given the writeup of this release.
Too late: An install of pretty much any software is one click away. No software is too late - a later version can fix the problems of earlier versions. Most users don't have any problems with memory usage, don't care about how the footprint compares with this or that version of chrome etc.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432724)

Tell that to the entire history of software uptake, ever.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432820)

I just ran something I'm working on in Nightly. The first thing it does is to determine what it can about the client.

var comp;
for( comp in window.navigator ) { ... }

The code above should give values of comp for the keys in window.navigator, but comp remains undefined and the code raises an exception when window.navigator[comp] is examined in the loop. This would be the loop that should fail to execute if there are no values for comp.

I can't say anything about the release, I don't use windows so it probably isn't available to me, but Nightly is broken.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (3, Informative)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433256)

I don't use windows so it probably isn't available to me

I don't get what you mean here. Firefox is most certainly not a "Windows-only" product.

but Nightly is broken

It breaks often. That's why there's an Aurora and Beta in between before you even get to a release.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432774)

Too late: An install of pretty much any software is one click away. No software is too late - a later version can fix the problems of earlier versions

That's only true if some other software didn't already fix their problems first. A significant number of users have already switched from Firefox, only being as good as Chrome isn't enough to get anyone to switch back.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (3, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432784)

Most people which install Chrome just install it because Google is a known brandname to them. And Google pretty much is the Internet to them, so they might as well install the Google sanctioned browser.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (3, Insightful)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432930)

All the people I know installed Chrome for one entirely different reason: Speed.
Chrome is so much faster than Firefox and doesn't use nearly as many resources.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2, Funny)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432988)

I meant normal every day endusers, no geeks.

Geeks only have geeks as friends ;-)

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (5, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433060)

I agree that Chrome is more responsive that Firefox. (Note that I didn't say "faster"...) But to say that it uses less resources is bollocks. Chrome consumes vastly more memory than Firefox and I have less than 10 tabs open. Go ahead, browse for a day and measure it; the total memory usage of Chrome tops Firefox by quite a bit. The UI responsiveness is the only reason why I use Chrome over Firefox.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0, Troll)

anax (538795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433148)

Sure, then leave it open overnight. Firefox leaks like a sieve.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

pandronic (1275276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433104)

Chrome might feel snappier, but for some time Firefox uses less memory.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

SageBrian (711125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433016)

I don't agree with this. While Google may be a known brandname, one can say Microsoft is also.
The people I know that are using Chrome are using it for the speed of startup. I am not even talking tech geeks. Family members, having been pushed away from IE by us geeks were using Firefox. But when they saw how fast Chrome started up and loaded pages, they started using it more.

I also started doing that for the quick logon. But for my main surfing, I still want my extensions in Firefox.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433030)

I actually resisted moving to Chrome from FireFox and Maxthon (= IE), but it's my primary browser nowadays (I still use FF occasionally and sometimes even IE9). Good performance, few problems, minimal interface. FireFox actually has more branding on the UI than Chrome.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432800)

Firefox - Too little, too late?
Too little: Doesn't sound like it, given the writeup of this release.
Too late: An install of pretty much any software is one click away. No software is too late - a later version can fix the problems of earlier versions. Most users don't have any problems with memory usage, don't care about how the footprint compares with this or that version of chrome etc.

But it breaks Firefox's major original selling point: extensions. After Firefox 5 the extensions were supposed to be auto-updating in theory.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432960)

I don't really get all these extension complaints. Not once since FF4 have I had an extension fail on update, that I'm aware.
More importantly, some of the extensions I use have absolutely no acceptable substitute in chrome (never mind other browsers), leaving me completely baffled as to why people change just because FF changes their version number at a different pace (though I agree that it is a silly and pointless move).

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433172)

Why do you need to reinstall all these extensions after every firefox update (and there are so many of those these days!). It's annoying. Doesn't Firefox have a proper API for extensions that doesn't break with every single version?

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433174)

> completely baffled as to why people change just because FF changes their version number at a different pace

Perhaps because your experience with not having extensions break is not everyone else's experience.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433302)

Likewise, perhaps some people's experience with extensions breaking is not everyone else's. I've never experienced extension hell; mine just go through perfectly sanely. Attacks on anecdotal evidence cut both ways, you know.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433208)

because FF changes their version number at a different pace (though I agree that it is a silly and pointless move).

The version number changes quicker because the releases happen quicker. That's not hard to understand.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432818)

Well I just installed it on my download box to give it a test run and I can say its an improvement....if you call slamming the CPU to 80% on page load instead of 100% an improvement. Frankly its still a piggie on single cores and it still looks like it don't like AMD.

Frankly I don't get it, I was a die hard FF user all the way up to FF 4 and it wasn't THAT bad on CPU spiking, now I scroll through my bookmarks and watch the CPU meter jump, pick a page and watch the CPU meter jump, new tab? you get the idea. Meanwhile I've been using Comodo Dragon (based on chromium) and frankly the WORST it slams the CPU is 60% when loading SD vids and even then it quickly drops down to less than 50%. Hell not having anything but the FF static search page loaded has me using 10% in FF and I just attempted to watch an SD video and FF jumped to 89% and hovered there. I will give them credit that 89% IS better than 100% and in their favor the video wasn't skipping like it did under version 8, but I tried the same video under Dragon and it maxes at 45% even with 4 other tabs open (FF just had the one).

While I'm glad they are making progress at this rate they'll be back to 100% usable by FF 14 and by then will they have any users left? By FF 6 I had most of my customers switch over to Dragon simply so I wouldn't need to hear their gripes about lack of speed and it was/is safer due to supporting low rights mode in 7. Does FF support low rights mode yet? Its been 5 years already!

C'mon FF devs, you guys used to kick butt, now you seem determined to run off all your users. if I didn't know better I'd swear that the head of Mozilla was a plant from the Chrome or IE teams, but no, I'm sure its just classic "we know better than our users" arrogance we've seen sadly far too often on FOSS projects. Personally as a long time FF user I wish them all the best and will download and install each new version hoping for a return to their original mission statement, which was for FF to be a lean light browser while the suite was the heavy one, but sadly the way their numbers are declining I wouldn't be surprised if FF was a dead project in 5 years. They don't listen to their customers, they blow through too much resources, and they lack security features like low rights mode (not to mention the malware guys seem to have figured out away around FF's XSS protection as evidenced by the porn bug that loads Yahoo Mail from FF and spams a person's address book) while their competition seems to be getting tighter all the time. I wish them all the luck but it may be too little too late.

Firefox is coded by a few amateurs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433254)

Firefox is coded by a few rank amateurs. I tried to give the main coder advice on memory leaks in 2006 but to no avail.

There are, what? 5 firefox devs now? 3? Back in the day, all the Mozilla devs were supposed to jump on ship when the Mozilla browser (remember that?!) development ended. What they saw was a horrible code base and code monkeys on the top unwilling to listen to their seasoned advice.

The result? 5 years later, Firefox is still being coded by the same handful of monkeys; their browser is worse than ever; and all the real development is happening in Gecko. Firefox is just a shell around Gecko, and a bad one, too, considering how much better the *real* Mozilla developers' browser -- SeaMonkey -- is.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432504)

RockMelt [techcrunch.com] now. Especially RockMelt is an interesting browser - it completely abandons geeky stuff like NoScript or Adblock but instead caters to casual, normal people and how they use the internet. RockMelt has online Facebook friends directly on the site, along with recent news and updates from all social networks. It lets you easily add social bookmarks to sites like Reddit and Digg, along with sharing to Facebook and Twitter. Most people have been saying how wonderful it is compared to Firefox. It's an browser that actual people want.

I thought that sponsored "Ask Slashdot" was a bit much but now we have sponsored first posts?

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (5, Funny)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432506)

And RockMeIt has much better astroturfing !

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432550)

rockmelt will be the same scam as iron.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433100)

Scam? You mean "Recompile Chromium and release"? That's not a scam.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432524)

it completely abandons geeky stuff like NoScript or Adblock

Oh boy, now I can enjoy adverts featuring rotten teeth and modal popups that insist I "like" them on Facebook again!

Seriously, if I wanted to put up with this crap I'd go back to using IE.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432856)

Except even IE9 has built-in ad blocking.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433004)

Yep. IE9 with the tracking protection / privacy filter lists from AdBlockPlus, and it works nearly as well as on Firefox (a little harder to configure, though still easy to turn on or off for a given site).

The fact that people are willing to put up with severely ad-laden sites always amazes me.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432534)

Who are these "most people"? I heard about RockMelt a year or two ago. I think it was Windows only which wasn't a good start, especially given that I think it was based on Firefox. It's "interesting", but I thought it was long dead. Most sites where you'd want to share something already have share buttons for social networking sites.

Adblock isn't geeky. Nobody likes ads. Apart from you perhaps, since you work in marketing.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

deadhammer (576762) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432780)

Sadly you're probably not going to get a response from the advertroll. He's quick-posted his ad in response to a keyword in the article ("Firefox" probably) and will disappear afterwards. Honestly, I've learned just to ignore the first post/thread in the comments of Slashdot articles now.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433000)

Actually, he responded to me a few times the other day. I'm still unsure whether this is actually his job, or he's just an idiot. The fact that he said he works in advertising probably does mean that at least some of it is part of his job.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433150)

If he is in marketing don't discount the "just an idiot" angle.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432574)

Fuck you and fuck Rock Melt. I don't want no shit Indian browser.

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (2)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432942)

Lol.. how long did the ad firm work to come up with that last line?

Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432980)

RockMelt

I thought the sponsored posters would be marked as such on Slashdot?

Just because of speed? (4, Insightful)

Turnerj (2478588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432490)

Speed was only half the issue that drove people away, the actual rapid releases and incompatibilities with add-ons with these releases among other things.

Re:Just because of speed? (2, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432564)

Agreed.

Actually, I still use an older version of Firefox. The "MeTo ChromeAlike" interface of the newer versions annoys the hell out of me. It's still faster than any version of IE I can use with current rules by my employer. Never cared for the Opera or Chrome interfaces, and I don't trust Chrome for security...

So, maybe it isn't that I stopped using Firefox, so much as that I haven't bothered upgrading. Firefox 4+ versions have been kindof like Windows ME or Vista, IMO.

Re:Just because of speed? (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432614)

So you don't trust the security of a browser that's actively having its bugs fixed, but you're not upgrading the browser you have - a browser for which there must be known exploits?

Re:Just because of speed? (5, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432634)

Actually 3.6 currently still gets security updates, but don't count on that remaining true for long.

Re:Just because of speed? (0)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432984)

Yes. Simply put, I'm more confident in the 3.x Firefox being more secure on average, than Chrome, I'm not confident in the abilities of the Chrome devs.

And the newer versions of Firefox, I just can't stand the UI. With careful browsing habits, 3.x Firefox is secure enough.

Re:Just because of speed? (2)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433214)

People getting all bent over UIs is always funny to me. I could care less where the address bar or tabs are. Nearly all of my time is spent reading whatever is in the browser window, so why should I care about tab/address locations?

I find the same hilarity in people bitching and moaning about Unity. Again, nearly ALL of my time is spent in an application. I only interface with Unity to start the damn thing...

I realize that there are many other use cases and specific UI elements can cause issues for people even though I don't experience them... but vague wining about UI or Unity make me chuckle... Plus all you normally hear is bitching, so I like to throw out a "I don't care if it changed" voice every now and then.

Re:Just because of speed? (4, Insightful)

Warma (1220342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432718)

This probably isn't worth a post, but I want to give Firefox props for the option of turning that interface off. I did so, and got back the clean and simple interface from Firefox 3.x.

I actually I tend to exclusively use programs that allow this, as Interfaces differing from the visual standard set by all your other programs is distracting.

Re:Just because of speed? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432954)

I didn't know you could do that. I'll have to consider upgrading.

Re:Just because of speed? (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432566)

I'm staying with FireFox (3.6) solely for the extensions.

I have accepted the compromise that flexible configurable browser would be always losing in the performance department. And I'm fine with it.

All this rabid JS/etc performance is only needed on the handful of websites I actually do not use. Neither I see the live feed scrolling or sweeping or slide-out or fade-in thingies, a modern replacement of marquee [wikipedia.org] and blink [wikipedia.org] tags, as something I'm sorely missing.

Re:Just because of speed? (2)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432638)

It also helps to improve the performance of the interface.

Re:Just because of speed? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432834)

Yep, I keep getting mocked for using 3.6.
Fact is, they keep patching the security - it's at 3.6.24 - it was like 3.6.11 when they first released 4.0
It's slow, no question - but ALL my addons work AND it's not ugly, it works precisely how I want from a user interface perspective.

I will change, no doubt - but it's unlikely I'll go to another version of FF.

Re:Just because of speed? (2)

rmstar (114746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433098)

I'm staying with FireFox (3.6) solely for the extensions.

I'm hearing that a lot, but the fact is that all the extensions I use (firebug, abp, it's all text, and some others) just run fine with the latest firefox too. What addon is it that does not work?

Re:Just because of speed? (0, Troll)

AmIAnAi (975049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432584)

So true. I switched to Chrome at the weekend for exactly this reason. I can't remember when JS or render speed were an issue for me, but useability just keeps going down with FF.

Let's stop with the posts anouncing the latest release and wake me up when the Firefox devs are listening to their users once more.

and it becoming a memory pig and beach ball queen (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432644)

368m for three tabs, really Firefox what gives. Let alone on both my Mac and W7 machines it has started to freeze on occasion to the point I actually have force quit it instead of waiting for it to wake up.

They are pulling a Netscape 4.xx lately and that isn't a good thing.

Re:Just because of speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432754)

I think you're confusing Firefox with Chrome.

Re:Just because of speed? (2)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432838)

Rapid release isn't the actual problem for extensions - most of them are OK whenever you manually edit them and expand their version-support range. Basically, it is just another example of "why version number checks are totally wrong". I hope they can improve it soon with feature-presence checking or something similar.

Re:Just because of speed? (4, Insightful)

pankkake (877909) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433032)

I hope they can improve it soon with feature-presence checking or something similar.

They do it already, and automatically bump the version numbers (sure, it could be done better). I've never had issues with incompatible extensions and the rapid releases, with 30+ extensions. I guess the complaints are coming from people who don't actually use Firefox.

Re:Just because of speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432992)

Speed was only half the issue

Nope. Speed is a tiny, tiny portion of the issue. Most people just don't give a shit about JS performance simply because it doesn't matter for most people. Most people are simply not going to notice 1ms here and 1ms there when loading a page.

99% of FF's problem is the FF developers. You said it yourself, "the actual rapid releases and incompatibilities with add-ons with these releases among other things." And make things worse, a lot of really dumb people have in turn adopted this same type of release insanity which in turn creates new problems elsewhere with yet more resentment for FF. It used to be people cared a lot about version numbers. These days, no one gives a shit and just about everyone is used to ignoring version numbers. Word of mouth is everything. And word of mouth is what is kill FF because of developer stupidity.

Re:Just because of speed? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433112)

Not even the rapid releases, but rather the insistance on incrementing the otherwise completely meaningless and arbitrary major version every release.
It seems more and more marketing people are getting involved with FOSS nowadays. I appreciate they want to help, but I wish they wouldn't, or atleast not get involved with the actual product.

Every time... (1)

xushi (740195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432518)

Every time I hear of a small or big release, they mention huge speed improvements in JS. Every time they put amazing speed increase percentages, such as this 20 - 30%...

I just don't get it..

Is JS really that bad?
Is Firefox's JS handling really so awful that one sees such `improvements` with every release?

And tbh, since the ol' days of FF 3.x, as a front end normal user, I can't really see such drastic improvement - if any - with webpages that have JS, especially the ones that have JS poorly coded into them (the vast majority...). It's still excruciatingly slow to load, refresh, and even drag the page up and down, with teeth-grinding latency and jerkiness...

But I stand corrected... but just an opinion form an ex user...

What are your comments? I'm interested to know..

Re:Every time... (2)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432624)

Have you tried disabling 'smooth scrolling' (Options/Preferences -> Advanced -> General-tab -> Browsing: use smooth scrolling), I personally don't like it.

It is on by default, someone thinks it is a feature.

Re:Every time... (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432630)

Is JS really that bad?

No JS is not that bad, it's just that sites are making more and more demands from it. Where once upon a time a site might have some simple functions and a few onclick handlers, now it's executing humoungous blocks of JS often tied to DOM calls. Look at apps like Emscripten for example or GWT which spew out a mass of JS code. The JS engine suddenly finds that the time it takes to parse, compile, garbage collect, execute and interact with the DOM suddenly makes a big deal of difference in performance when previously it might not have mattered so much.

The situation is bound to get even worse when tools appear which convert flash into HTML and HTML based animations with bloated JS runtimes of their own become increasingly common features on websites.

Re:Every time... (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432684)

Turns out that Javascript is expected to run faster than compiled assembly language and many people find the slowness to be an unbearable burden. So now Javascript is executed before it is downloaded to improve speed even more.

Memory leaks? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432522)

Are the memory leaks gone? Probably not...Then any performance improvements are useless anyway.

Re:Memory leaks? (4, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432596)

Actually the last 3 releases all had some improvements in the memory department (I think 8 had the most improvements) and it looks to me like, there is more to come.

Re:Memory leaks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432672)

One of these 'improvements' is discarding loaded imagery for webpages not currently visible (but still opened in a tab). This means I often have to wait for things to load when I switch between tabs.. very annoying. I understand they probably made these changes because there are so many complaints about FF taking up so much memory, but I think I would actually prefer FF taking up some more (otherwise unused) memory if it means it's faster. I guess this is kind of like the way the OS tends to keep filesystem buffers in memory that's not used for anything else.

Re:Memory leaks? (4, Informative)

Dagger2 (1177377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432772)

This particular behaviour at least is configurable: set image.mem.discardable to false. (Or, if you decide you prefer a trade-off, lengthen image.mem.min_discard_timeout_ms.)

Re:Memory leaks? (5, Informative)

revealingheart (1213834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432854)

That's because of the memshrink project [mozilla.org] (earlier report on /. [slashdot.org] ). You can read a weekly status report on Nicholas Nethercote's [mozilla.com] blog.

Another project that's recently started is called 'Snappy [mozilla.org] ', which aims to increase the responsiveness of users' interactions with Firefox. There's a thread on Mozillazine tracking updates on Snappy [mozillazine.org] .

Re:Memory leaks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433044)

You probably mean version 7.

"Firefox 7 now uses much less memory than previous versions: often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less."

http://hacks.mozilla.org/2011/09/firefox-7-is-lean-and-fast [mozilla.org]

Re:Memory leaks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433084)

For some reason "memory improvements" reminds me of the Vista to Win7 step. And words like polished turd...

Re:Memory leaks? (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432722)

It has a much smaller footprint now than before and does release back memory just not as fast as Chrome does.

"If you switched away from Firefox to IE..." (5, Funny)

biscuitlover (1306893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432532)

...then you're probably still dealing with the fallout from that time when you switched your brain for a sponge

With this new release versioning system... (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432600)

.... you don't even have a rough idea of how big the changes are , whether there will be compatability issues and so forth. I'm sure the coders have done a good job but whatever marketdroid imbecile thought that every new release must have a major version number markup should frankly be shot. And then forced to use IE 6 for the rest of his days.

Making version numbers more relevant (5, Interesting)

revealingheart (1213834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432726)

I don't think it's as bad as you make out. I get the impression that version numbers were to be depreceated and replaced with the terms Beta; Aurora and Nightly. Features would be mentioned as landing on Nightly/Aurora, appearing in users' browsers in so many weeks time. Releases themselves (every 6 weeks) aren't news in themselves. If Firefox developers communicate this clearly to reporters, then perhaps perceptions will change.

If users would still benefit from version numbers (e.g. for tech support), then I have a suggestion to make:

Next year, Firefox will be releasing version 12. On that version, there's the option of transitioning to a date-based system, with major versions following the year, and minor versions being incremented every 6 weeks. After version 11, the 1st release with this format would be 12.1; the 2nd release, 12.2; and so on. Here's how it looks like in practice:

* 10.0 January 31, 2012
* 11.0 March 13, 2012
* 12.1 April 24, 2012
* 12.2 June 5, 2012
* 12.3 July 17, 2012
* 12.4 August 28, 2012
* 12.5 October 9, 2012
* 12.6 November 20, 2012
* 13.1 January 1, 2013

Switching to a date-based system has the advantage that users will know what the current version is without having to report it, as the year corresponds to the version. Firefox in 2012 would be referred to as version 12. Reporters would focus on new and upcoming features in Firefox primarily, so that stories have a talking point and posters' comments are pertinent, primarily focused on features and improvements.

An example of an open source group who uses a similar format is Ubuntu (who base the version on the year, and the minor version on a 6 month schedule). Versions matter with this format; but there's still a sense of progression. We know what the version will be in 3 years time - even if we don't know what the features will be. Now try to imagine what Firefox's version would be with the new system, compared with the old one.

Consider that this is an issue that would involve a minor change; would benefit users and reporters (reducing confusion); and improve the quality of comments (on Firefox itself), then I think that Firefox developers will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

If they do want to focus more on development than on numbers, they would benefit by switching to a date system. I hope that some of the Firefox developers read this, as the value of changing merits the effort involved.

Re:Making version numbers more relevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432828)

I hate it when they put vague names like Aurora or Celestial Moonbeam Herpity Derp on releases. I can never figure out which release of Eclipse I should download. Stop it!

Re:Making version numbers more relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433198)

Firefox versioning will plateau at either 10 or 11, depending on whether they want to go 'one better' than IE.

I surmised at version 5 -> 6 that Mozilla were accelerating their version numbering in order to be at least 10 by the time IE 10 started to appear on retail PC's.

It's dumb marketing, but then there are so many dumb people in the world that dumb marketing is the only marketing worth a damn.

Two finger swipe navigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432632)

after playing with Firefox 9 on Mac for half an hour, we’re not sure what this entails — leave a comment if you find out

LOL. I'm guessing it's back and forwards navigation, anyone know?

Can't we all just get along? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432650)

At work I use FireFox(3.6.x) for some websites and Chrome for others. IE when forced to
At home I use FireFox for most websites and Chrome with no desktop or start menu icon for other websites. Sure we can share a login and desktop and you can see the web history dear. :)

Re:Can't we all just get along? (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432950)

How about different user accounts?

Re:Can't we all just get along? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433040)

Chrome (and IE and, I think, Firefox) have "private browsing" modes. Quite handy for those "other websites", unless you need to persist data between sessions.

Re:Can't we all just get along? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433272)

private browsing = on the internet all day and you've looked at nothing.. Hmmm?

It really isn't this bad. It's just a habit I got into.

Re:Can't we all just get along? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433244)

and plant the seed of doubt!

Beta? (4, Informative)

Pierre (6251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432652)

Looks like its actually just a Beta for Firefox 9?

Re:Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432764)

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/products/download.html?product=firefox-9.0&os=win&lang=en-US

Re:Beta? (2)

SageBrian (711125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433170)

so it is being prepared for release, but it is not showing up on the Firefox site, nor when we check for update.

The original source actually says "Firefox 9 unofficially released, "

About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432664)

It's about time, the performance of Firefox has suffered greatly the last few version. even the right click on a link to show the drop down menu takes several seconds on a 2 GB mac mini (2009 model). At the moment Chrome is the best choice performance wise, but I prefer Firefox.

Re:About time (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433156)

even the right click on a link to show the drop down menu takes several seconds

If that is anything but instantaneous, it's time to do a virus scan, wipe all noncritical add-ons and extensions, maybe even the profile, and start over.

Oh joy! (1, Funny)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432698)

Almost time to play "plug-in roulette". Which ones will work, which ones not? Where the compatibility is, no one knows!
Still this is just a Beta, maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.

Re:Oh joy! (1)

globalist (1332141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432924)

Didn't they say FF9 will finally get rid of the addon compatibility check?

Re:Oh joy! (2)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433164)

Didn't make it, though something like 99% of the stuff on AMO is compatible. The problem will still be third party plugins (better called "malware" IMHO)

"firefox 9 released" No it isn't (4, Informative)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432748)

Firefox > help > about> "firefox 8.0 checking for updates... firefox is up to date"

www.getfirefox.com

good news your firefox is up to date

tfa

Firefox Beta Release Notes

Re:"firefox 9 released" No it isn't (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432998)

Uh, switch channels or wait 24 hours. Also,quit acting like a spoiled bitch.

Firefox startup-time (-1, Troll)

calculon102 (2422456) | more than 2 years ago | (#38432778)

*knock*, knock*
"Who's there?"
(Very long pause...)
"Firefox."

Re:Firefox startup-time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432886)

I think you need to look at your plugin's
the i3 here at work starts in in less then 2 seconds.

Not out yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432786)

http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/9.0/ says it is not available just yet.

WOOt FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432928)

its 8eader5 and [goat.cx]

Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38432962)

Firefox devs sure are doing a good job!

I'm sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433020)

that both users are glad for this news.

Triple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433038)

Eventually, I tripled my firefox: 3.6 > 9.0beta. It seems very good...

It's the UI, not the JS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433078)

It's not the Javascript performance that makes people switch to another browser, it's the sluggish user interface. It has always been.

For example, try clicking a menu item (File, Edit, View, etc.), and moving the pointer as fast as you can through the other menu items. CPU usage jumps to well over 50%. It pretty much illustrates how awfully SLOW the user interface is. Chrome and Safari aren't that much faster, they just *feel* a hell lot faster.

Re:It's the UI, not the JS (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433126)

It's not the Javascript performance that makes people switch to another browser, it's the sluggish user interface.

The user interface is written in JavaScript.

Re:It's the UI, not the JS (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433292)

might explain something ... Have FF9 installed, went to their add-ons page and FF9 just froze up completely. 45 seconds later, a dialog shows up, saying that a script is unresponsive.

Make the UI based on JavaScript, and have a setup where a single script can stall all scripts is a recipe for trouble.

Oh great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433146)

Even more reason for clueless webmonkeys (but I repeat myself) to throw more gratuitous and outright senseless js at their produce. That this slows down everyone who doesn't have the latest hardware or software or, yanno, actually have to fetch the thing over a shitty network, they'll never notice.

We really do need more people with clue and far more slow machines and shitty network( emulator)s to check just how many cycles a website is throwing away for no gain. Hiding behind a faster js implementation is _not_ acceptable, no matter how impressive the technology.

Thank you (1)

MarlonTucker (1792636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433216)

After reading most of the comments, and not finding many giving praise to a new release of an awesome browser, I thought I would give my thanks.

I personally don't give much worry what version they are, most of my addons work, and the ones that don't I'm geeky enough to be able to edit the RDF file in the zip to fool Firefox into installing it. (If you put a * in the version, your sorted forever until it breaks, which it probably wont).

Increased javascript perf is always welcome, memory management fixes are also good (but ram is cheap so its not a huge issue).

So, thank you to all the Mozilla devs who work hard on their products, it is much appreciated.

I'm looking forward to the new graphics subsystem in the next few releases, and a bit of threading would be good but I realise its very hard to retrospectively design that into such a big application.
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