Tuesday, June 20th 2017

Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

The Mozilla Foundation has recently launched the latest version of their Firefox web browser. The foxiest web browser around, which lets you access all of those amazing websites (like TPU) now features increased support for multitasking through its multi-process technology. A result of the Electrolysis effort from Mozilla's part, which has spawned more than eight years of work, Firefox 54 applies the Goldilocks principle to browser design, straddling an approach between increased performance and acceptable memory usage.

As such, Firefox won't be like Chrome, where each process is responsible for a single tab and its content handling (and can therefore increase memory usage immensely, which has justified Chrome's fame as a memory hog), but will instead opt for a more streamlined approach. Open 10 different tabs with 10 sites in Chrome, and you'll have 10 different processes. Each of those processes has its own memory - with their own instance of the browser's engine. Au contraire, Firefox now creates up to 4 separate processes for web page content. This means that the first 4 tabs each use those 4 processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes, optimizing, as per Firefox, memory usage and performance.
This also means that up to a point (well, up to 4 tabs), Firefox will now be more stable should one of the tabs (and processes) fail, since they are virtually separated from the other tabs. However, should you have more than 4 tabs open, a failing tab could result in a cascading event for the other tabs open under that same process. Firefox is adding the option for users to increase the number of processes Firefox can start on the browser settings though, so if you have more than 8 GB of system RAM (the amount that Firefox is looking towards optimizing with this change), you can increase them at the expense of increased memory consumption.
Source: Medium
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28 Comments on Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

Isn't the 32-bit download the default because of compatibility with past 32-bit plugins?

Downloading the 64-bit build isn't hard.

All you have to do is click where the red arrow is.

What plugins anyway? Those are all 64bit so I don't get it why they are insisting on 32bit when they themselves blocked most of them anyway? It's almost impossible to get new device with 32bit Windows anyway. I have a crappy hybrid tablet with 2GB RAM and it came with Windows 10 64bit.
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Seriously, the standard download for the browser gives you the option when you install of choosing 32 or 64 bit via the custom install menu. They released it a while ago, works flawlessly, even on my old setup.
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32-bit compatible Add-ons are a security risk too. most of them are due to old code that hasnt been updated.
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