02 Nov

ExtremeTech – Mozilla puts Firefox on a memory diet

Firefox’s single largest consumer of RAM, its JavaScript engine SpiderMonkey, is going on the mother of all diets. At any one time, SpiderMonkey’s memory footprint can be over 50% of Firefox’s total usage — the JavaScript on the ExtremeTech homepage, for example, uses no less than 115MB of memory — and slipstreaming SpiderMonkey is by far the best change that Mozilla can make to keep Firefox on the desktop svelte and competitive with Chrome and IE, and Firefox on Android less sluggish.

If you’re not a programmer, you should probably skip this paragraph. Basically, almost every fundamental part of SpiderMonkey is being torn apart, turned over in the hands of Mozilla’s finest engineers, and rejigged to use less memory. JSObject is being cut in half, and thus JSFunction will also be slimmed down. Slots arrays will have the option of being 32-bit, rather than being forcibly being constructed of 64-bit “fatvals.” Shapes, one of SpiderMonkey’s most important data structures, are going to be almost halved in size. Mozilla is currently looking into whether scripts can be “lazily loaded,” too — as much as 70-80% of all downloaded JavaScript is never executed, and so it makes no sense to load it into memory; lazy loading, where scripts are loaded as-needed, would significantly reduce memory usage.

via ExtremeTech – Mozilla puts Firefox on a memory diet. I still use Firefox as my main browser but this is a needed improvement. Hopefully, Mozilla is successful with their improvement.

29 Sep

Computerworld – Chrome poised to take No. 2 browser spot from Firefox

Google’s Chrome is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser, according to one Web statistics firm.

Data provided by StatCounter, an Irish company that tracks browser usage using the free analytics tools it offers websites, shows that Chrome will pass Firefox to take the No. 2 spot behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) no later than December.

As of Wednesday, Chrome’s global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox’s stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%.

The climb of Chrome during 2011 has been astonishing: It has gained eight percentage point since January 2011, representing a 50% increase.

via Computerworld – Chrome poised to take No. 2 browser spot from Firefox. Can’t say I’m that shocked Google has been doing really awesome work with Chrome.

12 Sep

Read Write Web – How’s Mozilla Doing with Do Not Track? Not So Good

Get the picture? Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea behind DNT, but the implementation is wholly ineffective. So much so that Firefox ought to include a big warning in its privacy preferences lest users be lulled into a sense of complacency. Another suggestion for Mozilla and other browser vendors that support DNT? Include a big warning for Web sites that don’t honor DNT settings.

via Read Write Web – How’s Mozilla Doing with Do Not Track? Not So Good. Do Not Track, is a nice idea but not much more than that.

02 Jun

Official Gmail Blog – Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps

For this reason, soon Google Apps will only support modern browsers. Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

As of August 1st, we will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

via Official Gmail Blog – Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps. Wouldn’t that be amazing if this is start of all web applications/sites being able to only support this same list of browsers. I still know of companies that are required to support IE6. What is any company still doing keeping it’s employees on IE6?

03 Apr

Mozilla Add-ons Blog – Improving Add-on Performance

Firefox performance is extremely important to our users, especially how quickly it starts up and loads websites. Customization is also extremely important, and while most add-ons cause only a tiny performance impact, others can significantly slow down Firefox. 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.

On average, each add-on you install adds about 10% to Firefox start-up time. For some users that’s mere milliseconds, and for others it may be half a second; it all depends on the hardware and software of each individual. Many add-ons add less than 10%, and unfortunately, there are quite a few add-ons that add more. But based on our real-world performance data, installing 10 add-ons will double Firefox’s start-up time.

via Mozilla Add-ons Blog – Improving Add-on Performance. Nice, that’s a great thing for users, start publishing information regarding the performance of add-ons and start trying to convince programmers to be more intelligent in building add-ons. The number one slowest add-on is Firebug (which makes sense but is awful for web developers), also in the top ten is an add-on supposedly designed to speed up Firefox.

24 Jan

Alexander Limi – Mythbusting: Why Firefox 4 won’t score 100 on Acid3

Every once in a while — especially around the time of an upcoming new release — people argue that Firefox isn’t standards compliant, since it doesn’t score 100 on this test, but has been scoring 97 for quite a while, and will probably never implement what’s required to reach a score of 100.

via Alexander Limi – Mythbusting: Why Firefox 4 won’t score 100 on Acid3. Interesting stuff, though admittedly this is inside baseball stuff even for me.

09 Dec

David Walsh Blog – WebSocket Update

Bug 616733 in Mozilla bug tracker details Mozilla’s plans to disable WebSocket in Firefox 4, enabled only by updating a pref setting. A Geolocation-style Firefox prompt was proposed but did not gain support. The reason for disabling WebSocket is a Google report detailing security issues with the current WebSocket protocol. That report is available here. Apple was recently known to be considering disabling WebSocket in Safari as well.

via David Walsh Blog – WebSocket Update. Remember this post about WebSockets, yeah now they are going to be disabled by default in Firefox.

29 Aug

Mozilla Labs – Sync in Firefox 4 Beta

Sync took a different tack, and started off with “what if we didn’t want the data? What if even having that data was a failure state?” That led us to cryptography. Sync uses strong crypto to encode your data before it is uploaded. The secret phrase is the key to this encryption, and we never send that anywhere to keep your data secure. This really means that Mozilla can’t see your data, giving you full control. (Which is great, because we really don’t want it!)

via Mozilla Labs – Sync in Firefox 4 Beta. I love systems that take this sort of approach to data, we don’t know it and we can’t know it.

24 Jul

A List Apart – Prefix or Posthack

In terms of repetition and annoyance, yes, the two are very much alike. But they’re fundamentally different in this way: Prefixes give us control of our hacking destiny. In the past, we had to invent a bunch of parser exploits just to get inconsistent implementations to act the same once we found out they were inconsistent. It was a wholly reactive approach. Prefixes are a proactive approach.

via A List Apart – Prefix or Posthack. This is an interesting opinion but I see the logic, eliminates the possibility of broken CSS styles as browsers change and create new standards and abilities.

05 Jul

QuirksBlog – IE’s big leap forward; CSS3 selectors fully supported

In the past few days I’ve been revising the CSS compatibility table with information about the latest crop of browsers. There’s no doubt about it: this is IE9’s show. It just supports nearly everything. No hassle, no buts.

Besides, CSS3 selectors are now fully supported by all browsers but one. And that one browser is not IE. It’s, curiously, Opera.

via QuirksBlog – IE’s big leap forward; CSS3 selectors fully supported. Awesome news and big kudos to the IE team for turning IE into a real browser.