Now, I've gained some discipline and stopped installing 50K plugins, but Firefox has done the heavy lifting here. On FF 15 I only have a small amount of plugins (partially because I abandoned its usage) but on my work Mac, it goes from shutdown to usable in 685ms.
If anyone you know is delusional enough to think that competition doesn't improve products, just point to FF. The existence and popularity of Chrome has turned FF from a decrepit bloatware to a sleek modern web racehorse. I'm proud of those guys because in all honesty, I was convinced they would fail. Kudos.
Please don't spout this crap. Firefox has definitely improved a lot in some areas recently, and I'm sure competition helped, but this idea that it was getting worse before chrome is an artifact of websites getting more complicated.
Try to browse gmail or facebook with firefox 1.0 and it won't feel as slim or fast as you remember...
That said, I really hope the authors of plugins like Firebug, Adblock Plus, and LastPass among many others will do their parts to get rid of bad memory leaks.
Using OSX 10.7.4, I opened up FF 14.1 to about 325MB-350MB of memory. After downloading FF 15 and restarting, I saw no change in my memory consumption. Once I disabled the three I mentioned above, I was only then able to start FF around 250MB, still really high but better.
I want Mozilla and Firefox to succeed as I really want there to be solid competition for Chrome. Please, add-on authors, do your parts too!
Leaking implies a continuously increasing memory usage. By just opening, measuring and closing again, you don't even get a chance to measure an increase in consumption, so you can't say anything about leakage.
Also, 100MB for Firebug, Adblock and LastPass doesn't seem that far off - especially Firebug is huge and has to do a lot of work, so I would expect that to require quite a bit of memory.
That said, even with the 9 add-ons I'm using, I was hoping I could see a total memory usage on startup to be closer to 225MB.
All browsers do have memory leaks but the fact that FF's memory continually increases to the point where I have to restart the whole browser every day is mentally tiring. This is where Chrome just got it right.
That’s really not the case any more.
What was happening was that extensions had references to dom-nodes of a page, that prevented the page from being unloaded when you close the tab. Unless of course, the extendion author bothered to fix this from their side. Now, an extension has essentially "weak references" to dom nodes. (think: symlink)
So far in my testing and browsing, it is.
This is also a useful way to start looking at a suspected leak: visit a page and hit about:memory to see what it's using, then close the tab and check about:memory again to see whether it's freeing everything.
Firefox has always felt very unresponsive in terms of the UI and loading times. The only browser I've found less responsive is Safari (IE, is very responsive).
Memory consumption was an issue at one stage in Firefox's history but they mostly fixed that (from 1 GB/usage down to like 200 MB~ after a day of browsing).
Contrast this with Firefox, where I can easily get a tab bar down the side via a plugin (I use this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...). Even without a plugin, FF gives me the Expose-like functionality (ctrl+shift+e) which will show me all open tabs and their titles.
How Google can think the current tab situation in Chrome is useful is a mystery to me.
When OS X was first released, the Dock was an object of ridicule. (Among some of us, it still is, but we all realize that by now it's not going away.) It was demonstrably worse than previous mechanisms at just about everything, and it make OS X look like a toy. Eventually Tog came around, sort of:
> Contrary to my previously-held position, I no longer believe Apple should get rid of the Dock. It's just too pretty [...] You want a visibly-apparent manifestation of the personality of the underlying technology. That's why automakers spend milliions making the outside of the car project an image of what's underneath the skin.
The supersmooth tabs in Chrome are probably a significant portion of what makes Chrome feel faster, even when it isn't. Like the Dock, their outrageously high demo value probably exceeds their limited scalability for more experienced users.
In general there is lots of overlap between tabs/tabgroups/bookmarks/history/readmelater/systemtaskbar/sessionrecovery.
Most people need all use cases but pick one or two features and emulate the rest themselves. Most tab related firefox plugins essentially duplicate functionality already present on top of the tab system.
For example: hierarchical tabs on the left with tab recovery is identical to having a bookmark list on the left.
It is my opinion that these concepts should all merge, preferbly at the desktop shell level. Ubuntu is movng is this direction, but they add this functionality on top of all the existing functionality. We can only hope that they will in the future consolidate all the overlap.
They're really not. Not with any alternatives I've found, anyway. Tabs aren't just navigation history; they're curated, temporary history. Unworthy of the permanence of bookmarking, yet too important to regulate to the dense, rapid flow of history.
I use Pocket and Delicious to keep things in check, but they don't help as much I'd like. The most effective tab management tool for me has been Firefox's tab candy/expose feature. It's much easier to get an overview of what's open and spot unnecessary tabs with the grid of thumbnails.
You might enjoy this?
Also, the person who thinks 30 tabs is a lot should get a look at what I do to myself:
Im claiming there is lots of overlap in functionality. The differences are in the default behavior and the UI elements. In the end, it should all be one big directed graph.
I would rather state it the other way around. The fact that people use tabs, means the bookmark functionality is broken from a UX perspective.
Whenever I'm stuck with another browser, I'm still in the habit of launching lots of tabs but then I immediately get lost.
No matter how better Chrome gets - speed and security wise, I just don't seem to be able to give up FF. Addons, cross platform consistency (I use OS X, Windows and Linux all 3 in a typical day), Font rendering, continuous memory usage improvements, less site specific issues etc. seem to be all keeping me on FF.
I can't say I have an issue with load times for either, although i rarely wouldn't have a browser open so it is becoming like the 'irrelevance' that some people claim boot times are, to some extent.
Check out the Google Chrome Comic, which goes into detail on the browser architecture: http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/
I don't get why people care about start up times. I start Firefox up at the beginning of the day when I turn my machine on, and that's it.
Just a prediction, but you will realize that the difference in startup performance is but a perception.
>> Firefox has always felt very unresponsive in terms of the UI and loading times. The only browser I've found less responsive is Safari (IE, is very responsive).
But surely, I need to dig down further to find the cause.
Back when it was called Phoenix. When they renamed it, I guess they changed focuses - firefox became the new hulking monster that was mozilla.
I wonder what changed internally to lead to irc comments that in effect said 'it's a major undertaking to make pentadactyl work for this new version' and this commit: http://code.google.com/p/dactyl/source/detail?r=2557fa601030...
Really don't want to miss that addon anymore.
Worthwhile to spend the 30 seconds installing it, typing :mkv (to create the .vimperatorrc), and copying your .pentadactylrc into it.
FF15 is feeling great and I'm glad I didn't call it quits at the lack of Pentadactyl. I'm used to FF eating a gig on my 2012 Macbook Air. Now it's sitting at less than half that for the same set of tabs.
This is pretty much the same way websites operate and you don't have much control over it. You may be able to prolong the update while they are "beta" testing it (a la Google/Facebook), but eventually you get the update and have to deal with it.
This latest fix is for misbehaving addons. Other, previous fixes, have solved a lot of problems with FF itself. For me, it's less memory hungry than Chrome.
If you look at various comparisons of browser memory usage (which are admittedly somewhat tricky to do), Firefox has, in the last 6 months or so, consistently been at or near the top of the ratings. This was not always the case, and is the result of cumulative improvement over many releases.
To the topic immediately at hand, what Firefox 15 does for memory usage is that it eliminates the single most common source of unbounded memory leaks in addons. The problem was that addons would accidentally leave behind a reference to pages, keeping them alive after they were closed, using up gobs of memory. Now, if addons try to do that, the link is killed, preventing the leak. Arguably, this is a bug in an addon and not the browser, but this has affected literally dozens of addons used by millions of people, so it called for a hardening of the browser itself to prevent this error.
What is true is that multiple releases addressed separate, significant problems. It's important to remember that there is no 100% solution to a complex problem like memory usage in a large program that runs arbitrary code (the web).
A lot of useless stuff yes, the useful stuff? Not really. Good luck building something as wide-ranging as Firebug through Chrome's API.
The important thing is you have choices and can pick the browser that makes the tradeoff you prefer.
Are you an extension developer? Have you ported an extension from Firefox to Chrome? Opinion is one thing; please don't misrepresent facts.
If you look at the release notes, we claimed improvements in add-on memory consumption for Firefox 15, and general improvements for the browser itself in Firefox 7. (And also Firefox 3, I think, but that's ages ago predates my time working on the project.)
I know this because I wrote the accompanying blog posts for those two releases (https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2012/07/19/firefox-15-p... and https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/2011/08/09/firefox-7-is...) and liaised with marketing about the release notes.
I really want to understand where this misconception comes from. I think repeated reporting in the tech press of the same improvement as it moves from Nightly to Aurora to Beta to release might be the cause.
(Forgive me for replying twice to your comment; this comment prompted me to go do some research and write that post.)
This is not an improvement. I do not like it when my computer changes itself without asking.
- Does no one question this anymore?
- Why should we blindly accept every single update unquestioningly?
- Why should we be forced to deal with the problems they introduce after the fact?
- Why will no one contemplate that constant automatic updates are an attack vector unto themselves?
The more you force your feedlot of end-user livestock to tolerate potentially disruptive updates, the more they will grow accustomed to not being in control of their own machines, and the less likely they will be to notice a real problem as a signal amidst all the noise. Honestly, why even bother pretending to have control of our machines anymore.
When people ask me for help now, my eyes glaze over, and I am often forced to respond "I don't know what the fuck that thing is doing. It clearly has a mind of it's own."
This, my friends, is an affront to the very sensibility of the control an "open source" project, should ostensibly extend to it's community and user base. And spare me your bullshit about "Oh, hay guyz, you can just go on GIT or SVN and look at the code yourself!"
It's time-consuming, technical, and inaccessible to normal people, never mind the complications of different platforms, and the shifting sands of dependencies, commits and continuous integration.
YOU KIDS STAY OFF MY LAWN!
But what's the lesser evil? The risk associated with automatic updates, or the headaches associated with many versions of software existing in the wild and security problems in them going unpatched? The software industry seems to be discovering that automatic updates are better off for the bulk of users in the bulk of situations.
Just as one example, what if IE6 silently updated itself to IE7 then IE8? The web might be years ahead of where it is now if we'd gotten off supporting that buggy dinosaur in 2007 instead of 2011.
The learning curve for keeping software up-to-date is not particularly steep.
You can disagree all you want, objective reality does not care.
> There is a difference between [stuff]
When the end result is that the vast majority of your users don't update their software, there isn't.
> The learning curve for keeping software up-to-date is not particularly steep.
Which is irrelevant, the vast majority does not care, has no incentive to care and can't be arsed to care. You won't make them care by caring more yourself they do not want to know about such technical details.
The Mozilla team did not build mandatory auto-update because they found it fun, they did it because people don't update their software and scary popups are just that: scary popups.
If you don't want the computer saving you work then (1) IMHO you're not really getting the point of having one, (2) you can configure Firefox to not update silently.
There is a pref you can flip to disable silent automatic updates. This is Firefox after all ;)
Right, asking people to update their OS and browsers is totally accessible. They get it and definitely do do it.
Browsing and understanding the source (and even the release notes, and bug trackers) of open source projects is frequently time-consuming, technical, and inaccessible. Particularly when it's ensconced solely in a GIT or SVN repo, with no user-friendly web front-end, and is only accessible via a command line.
I disagree with "robin_reala".
Updating software at your leisure, ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE AND NOT SOMEONE ELSE's, by downloading installers, patches and packages is often a pretty reasonable task. Especially when it's a browser like Firefox or Chrome. It's also better to have redistributable offline copies of installed software and updates that you can retain as backups (uninfected backups, of course), in the event that network connectivity is unavailable, or because the network was essentially the source of the infection in the first place.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... good security practices dictate that we are ALWAYS on someone else's schedule. Live in fear. Okay, yeah, that's great, I get it, we all get it.
I do wonder about security. The videocard drivers are not hardened against abuse: yet they live completely outside of any sandbox. And WebGL is just passing these OpenGL commandos unfiltered to the drivers.
Good news for Intel, with their open driver stack. And bad news for NVidea and ATI with their messy legacy drivers and firmware full of unchecked liscenced closed-source 3rd party code.
1. to be fair, i don't know about FF, i can't really complain that it might be a day out of date.. but chromium is way behind. Also what about living on the beta/aurora channels?
Edited for correctness, thanks xfs.
Of course you need sid, because of too many bugs.
October 9th: Firefox 16 desktop/mobile, 17b1, 18a2
November 20th: Firefox 17 desktop/mobile, 18b1, 19a2
Schedule pace seems insane but getting used to it and I'm fine with the way it doesn't seem to break anything.
Firefox 99 in 2017?
The big question is how to get more people on a 6 week cycle.
In theory we should be on Firefox 9.15 or something.
Now big number changes mean small improvements.
If it wasn't for this whole "Let's start bumping our version number to match Chrome's insanity" thing, we'd still be on Firefox 9 something.
Think of it: You have no way to know, going in, whether the changes in any given update will be big enough to "warrant" a major version change. Worse, what if those features aren't stable enough to release and are turned off? It's very difficult to go from version N to version (N-1).
For these reasons (and others), it's a lot easier for us to unconditionally bump the major version every 6 weeks.
Source: I am a Firefox developer and a Mozilla employee.
8.6 releases/year (release every 6 weeks), 2013 will start at Firefox 18, so Firefox 99 will be released in the first half of 2022.
Not to mention the ultimate goal (of Chrome and Firefox both) is probably to have "version number" fade away for everything but debugging/problem checking, users shouldn't have to care, the browser is "always up to date" and that's that.
That's exactly why. Doesn't even need to show an explicit number to users, just "You are running the August 2012 stable release" would do.
Direct links to the OS X version and win32 version.
I still recall years ago Mozilla even denying that there was a memory leak and were always quick to blame plugins for the leaks and while that's true in some instances to an extent, Chrome showed us that bad plugins can be managed correctly and not break your browser performance.
Giving it a shot now, Firefox can't afford to blow this again.
For now, you can manually update from the About Firefox dialog.
The actual launch is planned for sometime today.
Silent updates: only for bugfixes. Sure would be nice if version numbers meant anything these days.
So what are the options left any more?
It seems things are getting pathetic in the browser market.
Nobody is supporting Ubuntu 6, yet you seem to expect people to support the Windows equivalent.
I know XPers refuse to admit it, but they run an antiquated OS, and if you insist on running antiquated operating system software, don't be surprised when the rest of the software you can run starts rusting as well.
Secondly, Vista doesn't count. Microsoft screwed up severely, and now they have to pay the price for it in terms of PR and market attitude. Windows 7 has been out for just over 3 years, and anyone technically literate who bought a PC 3.5 years ago probably had Windows XP installed on it (and with Microsoft's blessing).
I know XP bashers refuse to admit it, but XP was installed, legitimately and with Microsoft's support (and to their profit), well within the useful lifetime of a typical home PC that is still running today. If MS choose to end support in an attempt to push people onto newer software platforms, that's up to them, and either the market will accept it or it won't.
But calling XP antiquated is just denial. Sorry, but we don't just throw away working systems after a couple of years and climb back on the upgrade treadmill any more.
If you can upgrade from XP, you should.
There is a certain irony in making an argument based on the security model in recent versions of Windows while we're in the middle of a thread discussing web browsers. Both Chrome and Firefox go out of their way to circumvent that security model, despite providing arguably the most obvious attack vector on many modern computers.
And frankly, the modern Windows security model isn't that great anyway. We can solve a privileged execution problem by nuking the machine and reinstalling from back-ups. It's a hassle, but it's a controllable risk. This is the sort of thing that the UAC measures help to prevent.
But if you don't have back-ups of your personal files, you're toast if they get deleted by malware. And since you probably have write access to those files even if you're logged in as a low-privilege user, and Windows doesn't separate which applications can access what data to that extent, the likes of UAC won't help you here. Sure, everyone should keep back-ups, but we all know that many people don't.
And the really bad stuff these days isn't destructive anyway, it's about data harvesting. If someone gets in and starts uploading sensitive data, or perhaps sending out phishing e-mails to people who trust the compromised machine's owner and think that's where the messages are coming from, UAC isn't much good there either. You need firewall and antivirus tools for this sort of threat, and we had those with XP, and if you're doing it seriously you don't run them on the same computer you're trying to protect anyway.
Sorry, but I don't think you're anywhere near making a case for that yet.
Security depends on layers. Chrome is more secure than IE, but you can run Chrome on Windows 7 too. If Chrome--or one of its plugins--are compromised (it is not perfect software after all), then the security features of Windows 7 will give you better protection than XP.
Maybe you don't believe me, because I'm just some guy on the Internet. That's fair. But I would challenge you to find a computer security professional who thinks XP is as secure as Windows 7.
I don't know whether "most" is true, but sure, a lot of malware does that. But that's not why it's dangerous. If you manage to install something that changes my wallpaper to a cute cat picture every few days, it's probably going to be mildly irritating after a while, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
Chrome is more secure than IE
Again, I feel the need to point out the irony of your example: Chrome actively circumvents the more recent Windows access control mechanisms by not installing itself properly so that it can do the silent auto-updates without any further UAC-style prompting.
But I would challenge you to find a computer security professional who thinks XP is as secure as Windows 7.
Well, now you're moving the goalposts. But as a guy who spent this afternoon working on security code that's going to be run by the likes of banks and government institutions, I prefer to make my judgements based on evidence rather than hear'say, and so do they. Incidentally, many of those clients are still running Windows 2000 and IE6, obviously along with many other security measures, and installing Chrome in some of those places would probably get you formally disciplined.
However, we cannot divorce Internet from the OS, and consequently you need necessary updates to keep up with the changing time.
You make a good argument that XP is not really that old (it isn't as old as Win95/98/Win2K) and honestly speaking, from my experience, if you are a owner of a reasonable processor (Pentium 4 and above) and if max out on your memory slots (4 Gigs is relatively possible) than I really don't see a reason to buy a new PC if I can hold on to what I have as long as I technically can.
I made my hardware compatible by upgrading the memory to the max and my computer (browser in fact) runs as good as any Windows 7 or anything else "new" out there.
I simply see these OS upgrades as marketing ploy to generate more income (nothing wrong with that but I have to have my choices too).
People are simply being suckered in to buying newer hardware which they don't really need.
You can continue to make your stand against Microsoft's evil plans, but saving yourself $100 by not upgrading could end up costing you everything in your bank account when you end up with a rootkit that steals your account information.
How about so you can use browsers that are supported on your OS?
That's a perfect reason to get off that OS.
Or, you know, you could use Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc rather than whine non-specifically.
Writing a new web rendering engine is, of course, both virtually impossible and foolish.
I think a lot of people are still on Windows XP because it was the first version of Windows that was really "good enough" for most needs. That said, Win 7 really is better and is totally worth the ~$100.
The bare bone XP with least minimum running services is as good as Windows 7. But if only people could see.
Windows XP is seriously bad news when it comes to being online, with any browser.
You can very well (still) run Microsoft's security software which has virus scan. You can occasionally run (still) freely available good spyware scanners. The firewall that came with the XP does its job.
The point I am making, which seem to be lost on everyone here, is that, if you upgrade your relatively decent hardware with enough RAM, and if you remove all the crappy services and EXEs from the startup, you can have a reasonable experience with older OSs and there is no need to go buy new PCs every other year from Walmarts.
But Microsoft is in the business of selling OSs and they knew what they were doing by removing IE9 from XP and they also know what they sell with every new updates of Office (go back to Office97 or 2003 and you can still use the basic function as same as today's Office).
So when it comes to the browsers in today's time, it really does look pathetic with very few choices on hand. You have a corporation owned Chrome which wants to know when did you pee in the morning and what did you eat last night and where. Then you have a decently run Firefox but that is the only choice right now and it is troubling that it is the only choice right now.
For my own sanity, I'm just going to assume you're 13 years old.
So when you want to get off of your high horse, feel free to update your OS and install a modern browser. The browser market absolutely does not look pathetic as there are at least a hundred browsers that you can try if you put in any effort. Until then, you actually don't have a valid opinion on this matter.
People here bring out strawman at every opportunity (or they feel gratified clicking a downvote arrow - big deal!).
I have nothing against Firefox and I use it daily. But people on the Internet are better off adopting the diversity of browsers and the one which is providing more innovative and evolutionary services, should be adopted. The ones which are status-quo (Chrome is really a bazaar of products being sold) and the ones trying to maintain their race (Firefox: we-want-to-be-the-only-nice-guys), should get enough pressures to compete. But obviously I can only speak for myself.
The only developers who still see a return from going out of their way to support Windows XP are malware authors.
"THE PRODUCT IS PROVIDED "AS IS""
Also, Windows 7 is actually just a better OS. In my experience the kernel is more stable and the memory management is better.
Perhaps you use a lot of Microsoft Word - Google Docs is a fine replacement. For basic Excel use, Openoffice/Google Docs is good enough (problem happens when you are doing advanced macros).
Perhaps you use Photoshop - Gimp is a fine replacement unless you are using it professionally.
Why dont you mention your specific OS software needs and we will be happy to suggest alternatives.
FYI, my entire family (wife, parents) use Linux and are pretty happy with it.
There are plenty! If you want a specific one, Midori's pretty good.
People above seem upset that there are still people out there using XP. My main point is that there should be multiple choices of reasonable browsers including even for older hardware.
The way I have seen things move, the Firefox is as same as anything else when it comes to utilizing a whole lot of memory.
I use XP exclusively too, I only fireup vmware to test IE9/10
Chrome is a marketplace, so they'll be there selling you products (and yourself to the products) as long as they can.
Microsoft doesn't want you to use XP anymore, so they are not providing you updates. Safari for Windows is pretty much the same story now. Which practically leaves Firefox and Opera. Two choices.
I am arguing for more credible and substantive choices. I have not used Opera substantively but Firefox to me seems stuck in the past. If I were to add further thoughts, I see that the basic use and function of browser has remained the same for very long time. Just look at the bookmarks manager. Have you seen any browser provide native innovation to their bookmarks manager? The last upgrade in Firefox was several years ago when they introduced Live Bookmarks, but things have gone quiet.
This is just one example of basic functions of everyday use of browser. Has anyone seen any innovation in browser functionality in a long time? It used to render HTML websites in the beginning, and it is still rendering websites (so what if the websites have evolved - the browser has practically not evolved for the daily usage of average users).