Wednesday, September 27th 2017

Mozilla Looks to Supercharge the Browsing Experience With Firefox Quantum

Mozilla is announcing that the latest version of its Firefox browser, Firefox 57, is just too good for just another numbered release. The improvements under the hood are so great, they say, and the performance improvements over previous Firefox releases are so grand, that only one name would have been enough to convey this message. That's why the latest Firefox release has been christened "Firefox Quantum".

Mozilla are saying their new Firefox Quantum browser delivers 2x the score in Speedometer as their previous Firefox 56. The new, refined browser didn't appear overnight, though; it's seen numerous improvements under the hood through the application of the Goldilocks principle to browser design, straddling an approach between increased performance and acceptable memory usage. Multi-process and optimized memory footprint are part of the secret sauce, but a new, super-charged CSS engine written in Rust goes a long way. Prioritization of the open tab also helps this increased speed, while (Mozilla says) reducing memory utilization by 30% when compared to Chrome.
During the last few moths, the Mozilla team has cleared over 468 performance bottlenecks that where floating under the radar, mining both Firefox's performance and fluidity, in what they say ranged between "small papercuts and big bottlenecks". There's a new, minimalist coat of paint over the Firefox interface, courtesy of their Photon project, which aimed t give Firefox a cleaner, less intrusive look. It also introduces square tabs, smooth animations, and a Library, which provides quick access to your saved stuff: bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads, tabs, and screenshots.


Mozilla has uploaded a video comparing the two most popular browsers - their own, brand new Firefox Quantum and Chrome in a face-off. Of course, there's likely some preferred web-pages over there.


The new Firefox Quantum will be available for download on November 14th. However, if you're up to being a pioneer, you can download a beta of it today, straight from Mozilla. Naturally, it being a Beta means there are some rough edges - particularly with extension support. Don't take my word for it, but so far I'm impressed by what Mozilla has done with the Firefox Quantum release. Even in beta, the improvements to site loading and responsiveness are obvious, and the new clean look is much more appealing for an uncluttered browsing experience. Just do be aware of the Extension support issue: half of mine are not working.Sources: Mozilla Blogs, Mozilla Hacks CSS
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66 Comments on Mozilla Looks to Supercharge the Browsing Experience With Firefox Quantum

#2
RejZoR
For some reason they just can't get HW acceleration in order. Both, Chrome and Opera allow me to override idiotic GPU blacklist where Firefox just stubbornly refuses to budge no matter what I try. So, theoretical speed means very little if some blacklist no one really checks nerfs the browser for no reason. I'm still holding grudge with Firefox for that... I don't get it why they can't get this in order...
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#3
Prima.Vera
Respect and kudos for those guys who are releasing this browser for free.
I wonder how are they making revenue out of it?
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#4
Readlight
Mostly cpu is important to faster load whitout white prelod page,...
I use it becouseit it has harvare aceleration for youtobe and other add-ons chrome saves laptop batery.
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#5
uuuaaaaaa
Let's see how this will evolve, and I might switch back to Firefox.
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#6
RejZoR
Readlight said:
Mostly cpu is important to faster load whitout white prelod page,...
I use it becouseit it has harvare aceleration for youtobe and other add-ons chrome saves laptop batery.
Problem is, they use some crappy GPU blacklist which turns of HW acceleration on certain GPU's because they are supposedly "problematic". This blacklist is shared with ALL browser vendors except Microsoft's Edge which doesn't give a F and just accelerates it all properly no matter what. Browser is faster if half of page rendering and composition is done on GPU which is a lot faster. They just have to add an actually functional "Ignore GPU blacklist" and show a warning that doing so is on your own and comes with no "warranty". So they are covered and we could enjoy HW acceleration like it should be even on GPU's that are blacklisted, but shouldn't be.

I also wonder how the shift in add-ons will affect their quality and number. Chrome and Opera extensions are rather crappy and limited where Firefox always had high quality and more feature rich add-ons.
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#7
NationsAnarchy
Welp, this is what I have just moments ago. 4Gb memory.
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#8
deu
Prima.Vera said:
Respect and kudos for those guys who are releasing this browser for free.
I wonder how are they making revenue out of it?
"If something is free someone is getting information" :) (no joke.) Userdata created is their revenue (as is googles more or less.) Targeted ads are based of off this information. To be honest I dont know firefox's terms of use but you can bet your arm that you in some way are generating revenue for them data, clicks or whatever :)
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#9
bug
RejZoR said:
For some reason they just can't get HW acceleration in order. Both, Chrome and Opera allow me to override idiotic GPU blacklist where Firefox just stubbornly refuses to budge no matter what I try. So, theoretical speed means very little if some blacklist no one really checks nerfs the browser for no reason. I'm still holding grudge with Firefox for that... I don't get it why they can't get this in order...
And if they gave you the means to force acceleration (I'm pretty sure they're somewhere in there already), you'd be posting about how crashy Firefox is.
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#10
AdiNH
hopefully they fix the heavy load on RAM, that's all.
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#11
RejZoR
bug said:
And if they gave you the means to force acceleration (I'm pretty sure they're somewhere in there already), you'd be posting about how crashy Firefox is.
Erm, how about, NOPE? I've forced it in Chrome and Opera. ZERO problems. Been using Opera with forced HW acceleration for like 4-5 months now and I've had ZERO problems. Which is why I heavily question this retarded GPU blacklist. It seems like someone just tossed GPU on it and never bothered to recheck it later on. Because it works perfectly fine. Where you can ignore this blacklist. Not possible in Firefox.
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#12
xkm1948
Woohoo, long live Netscape! Eh i mean Firefox.

Love my cutie little fox. Been using it ever since 2005.
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#13
trparky
Firefox has always been a damn RAM pig, it'll eat RAM and all the while it get slower and slower as it consumes ever increasing amounts of RAM. The multi-process architecture has helped somewhat in this situation since you can kill off offending sub-processes that are pigging out on RAM but eventually you'll wind up right back where you were before having to kill off sub-processes again. Mozilla really needs to work on the memory leaks in Firefox because damn... it's a RAM pig.
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#14
efikkan
A cleanup of all the code slapped together over the years have been long overdue. Unfortunately they chose to rewrite it in Rust…
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#15
erixx
I dont want HW acceleration keeping my GPU active during office hours, I don't want flash, I don't want grafix, I don't want videos, nor banners or shows.

I have set up Opera to just disable anything except text, without any plug-in, and wow, it is so cool :)

This is my BBC page, so clean and informative without "candid" pictures (you never know if they are really of the same date as the headlines). And specially local press (bad desinged web pages) are much better now...
Only Youtube or similar sites do not work well :cool:

Posted on Reply
#16
bug
trparky said:
Firefox has always been a damn RAM pig, it'll eat RAM and all the while it get slower and slower as it consumes ever increasing amounts of RAM. The multi-process architecture has helped somewhat in this situation since you can kill off offending sub-processes that are pigging out on RAM but eventually you'll wind up right back where you were before having to kill off sub-processes again. Mozilla really needs to work on the memory leaks in Firefox because damn... it's a RAM pig.
Chrome has recently cut back on RAM usage, but as recent as few months ago it was chewing through RAM like nobody's business.
What hurt Firefox was that JS was executed in a single process. That both made it need less RAM than Chrome and made it less responsive then Chrome when you started piling up browser tabs.
I've updated to 57 beta and I can tell you it's noticeably more pleasant to work with. I can't compare RAM usage though, because old add-ons don't work anymore and even when I'll find replacements for all of them, it would still not be an apples-to-apples comparison.
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#17
xorbe
WOW full on spin to try to avert that reaction when you find out 95% of your extensions break w/FF57

This was a reply to my inquiry, "that extension only has 300,000 users, so it's not big enough to be on the radar." If you are pissing off 300K users per extension, it adds up ...
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#18
bug
xorbe said:
WOW full on spin to try to avert that reaction when you find out 95% of your extensions break w/FF57

This was a reply to my inquiry, "that extention only has 300,000 users, so it's not big enough to be on the radar." If you are pissing off 300K users per extension, it adds up ...
In the mid-to-long term, even that is a blessing in disguise.
Developers were given over a year to update their extensions. If so many developers didn't bother, the only logical conclusion is that the extension ecosystem was dying already, but nobody noticed because extensions were forwards-compatible. Now Firefox leverages WebExtensions API (which means everything that works on Chrome will work on Firefox) with additional capabilities (which means Firefox's extensions will be able to do a bit than those for Chrome). I've managed to replace my important extensions (admittedly, I don't use that many) already, but yes, it's still an annoyance for the time being. A planned and announced well in advance annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.
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#19
Da_SyEnTisT
Give me ADMX Templates !!! Then I will be happy !
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#20
Totally
I don't care about loading pages any faster, the already load faster than I can blink in most cases. How about cutting the bloat and making it the lightweight browser that it was known to be.
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#21
trparky
efikkan said:
Unfortunately they chose to rewrite it in Rust
What's wrong with Rust?
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#22
Beastie
Lol, what does the diagram of a jet engine signify? New firefox goes like it has added jet power?

Got to love marketing :D
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#23
Pruny
Totally said:
I don't care about loading pages any faster, the already load faster than I can blink in most cases. How about cutting the bloat and making it the lightweight browser the it was know to be.
Use firefox17, i still run it :)
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#24
Prima.Vera
trparky said:
Firefox has always been a damn RAM pig, it'll eat RAM and all the while it get slower and slower as it consumes ever increasing amounts of RAM.
He is also eating CPU power like a hippopotamus too. On my dual core cpu laptop from work, opening more than 3,4 pages at once swings the CPU usage to 60-70% like crazy.
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#25
CheapMeat
AdiNH said:
hopefully they fix the heavy load on RAM, that's all.
RAM is meant to be used. Why wouldn't you want your RAM to get heavy load? Do you just want it to sit around doing nothing? Your OS already swaps things in and out if something else needs it.
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