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Firefox 4.0 alpha 2 brings out-of-process plug-ins

By Jos ยท 40 replies
Mar 4, 2010
  1. Mozilla is looking to crash-proof future versions of its Firefox browser by developing a new feature called Electrolysis that will compartmentalize processes on a tab-by-tab basis -- similar to Google Chrome. But that's not the only angle they are taking. Also like Chrome the just-released Firefox 3.7 alpha 2 (which will actually be released as 4.0) has added out-of-process plug-in support, allowing Flash and the like to run in a separate memory compartment so that the browser can gracefully handle any crashes instead of going under itself.

    Read the whole story
  2. klpowell

    klpowell TS Rookie Posts: 19

    This is a much needed feature and something that I have noticed works very well in Chrome. And now if Microsoft would implement this on IE7 it would be nice. Here at work today, where I only have access to IE 7, I have had my browser section lock up twice today because of a combination of flash on one page and the company webfilter screwing up the scripts for that site. If this feature were availble I would have only lost that tab and not my full browsing session.
  3. Docnoq

    Docnoq TS Booster Posts: 143

    If I'm not mistaken, I believe IE8 has the ability to run separate processes similar to Chrome. You should look into having your work update its browser.

    I'm not much for alpha/beta testing when it comes to browsers, but these features seem nice. I have been waiting for Firefox to implement the separate process feature because it has worked so well in Chrome.

    Any word on how this is supposed to compare to the new Opera speed-wise?
  4. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,334   +280

    I'm just hoping the revision in the code of Firefox will help alleviate some of their slowdowns in recent versions. It's sad when the relative newcomer Chrome beats the pants off my old favorite Firefox when it comes to loading and executing speeds... Guess even Mozilla can become victims of bloat at times! :)
  5. CodePhoeniX

    CodePhoeniX TS Rookie Posts: 36

    Firefox or any of the plug-ins have not crashed for me in a while, but this is a great feature for Firefox.
  6. osuebucks

    osuebucks TS Rookie

    These are definitely needed to keep Firefox user-friendly. I regularly install Firefox as a secondary browser for my users. They can often get agitated with me when firefox crashes. If crashes can be isolated to individual tabs, that would be great. Looking forward to the updates.
  7. manintech

    manintech TS Rookie Posts: 46

    the current version i'm using (3.6) often gives me problems on shockwave plugin on linux system, and when it does, the whole browser crashes. hope this new version will solve this problem
  8. LightHeart

    LightHeart TS Rookie Posts: 155


    Sounds like a good feature, so now Adobe will only crash the tab. Maybe someday Adobe will make great software that will be slim, fast and just work...

    Ah sorry, I was dreaming there for a moment.
  9. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,363   +67

    What are all these crashes? Are these installations strung together by toothpicks? My browserS NEVER crash, and I do a lot of surfing. Only my mac browsers would crash, and I got rid of the mac. Perhaps you should stick to browsing Techspot only.
  10. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,363   +67

    If you have a lot of crashes, perhaps you should stick to Toshiba computers or Asus motherboards like I have. I've got xp, vista, and linux. NO CRASHES.
  11. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,363   +67

    What are all these crashes? Are these installations strung together by toothpicks? My browserS NEVER crash, and I do a lot of surfing. Only my mac browsers would crash, and I got rid of the mac. Perhaps you should stick to browsing Techspot only.
  12. buendia

    buendia TS Rookie Posts: 29

    It's great to see they are trying to keep up the pace with their rivals!
    IE8 already has a tab per process feature, so does Chrome.
  13. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TS Guru Posts: 549   +9

    @klpowell U should get on to IT services @ ur Workplace and tell them u want to use Firefox or the like. IT services at my college have agreed to Install Firefox on every PC! (they not done it yet :/) Anyway, I never have Firefox crash, have mnay plugins and have 20+ tabs open sometimes, 0 crashes. When I tried Chrome It crashed all the time, SO I switched back. The stable Browser just got even more Stable! Good Job Mozilla.
  14. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 679   +74

    I'll wait until beta hits. I always use firefox's beta releases. They are pretty stable and I get the shiny features earlier. And on a sorta unrelated note. I tested out opera for a few days after the techspot news. And I see absolutely no improvement in real time use. You tube crashed on me actually.
  15. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 838   +28

    Man this sounds great. Don't get many crashes in FF, but enough that I really like this idea.
  16. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,635   +697

    With IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera "copying" each other's innovations, it won't be long before they'll all be the same browser. :p
  17. Serag

    Serag TS Booster Posts: 181

    Much needed feature, Would wait for the final release as always and I hope this works out well for Firefox's huge library of add-ons :)
  18. jjbeard926

    jjbeard926 TS Rookie Posts: 69

    "crash proof" doesn't exist. I'll be interested to see what they do with this. I actually had FF 3.6 crash repeatedly the other day, the first time I've had that happen since FF 3 came out.

    But, even though I'm interested in the update, does anyone else think the speed at which some of these releases are coming out at makes "keeping up-to-date" difficult to say the least? As an IT professional each of these releases means an update I must run on over a dozen computers at the office plus my 3 at home.
  19. supyo

    supyo TS Enthusiast Posts: 46

    Firefox is great but i'm really starting to fall in love with Safari. It renders pages very quickly.
  20. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    FF has been and always will be my favorite browser but chrome is starting to grow on me i like them both a lot and ff 3.6 is the sh?? ya know :) but this is a very nice update to ff.
  21. Recycle

    Recycle TS Rookie Posts: 53

    I tried switching to Chrome a few weeks ago.
    Then I found out that running 3 tabs in Chrome took up ~200MB of ram on my machine. And was lagging while doing that.
    Firefox runs at about ~250 with 5+ tabs and pretty smoothly. I am running 50+ tabs now at 350MB and after the initial loading, it's perfectly fine!
    So I switched back to Firefox, and I'll stay there.

    My point is, I don't want this 'each tab to be a separate process' thing in Firefox if it'll cause the lag I experienced in Chrome.
  22. pipopaz

    pipopaz TS Rookie Posts: 70

    I'm not sure if it's a concurrent problem but in my old desktop chrome takes quite a lot of resources (what can you expect with 1gb of ram?) so firefox is a must use in my case, which brings me to this issue, the new features sound good upgraded but I hope that won't consume a lot of sources like chrome does.
  23. TechDisciple

    TechDisciple TS Rookie Posts: 41

    I wouldn't like Firefox incorporating Chromes tab feature to some degree. Due to the fact that chromes tab feature is a memory hog. On the other-hand, I like the sound of the crash-proof feature.
  24. ashwingeek

    ashwingeek TS Rookie

    Lets hope FireFox 4 is better than 3.6.
    FF 3.6 is too slow.I am currently using the Flock browser, which is a modified version of FF 3.0.
    Almost all the latest FF add-ons work with Flock
  25. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    I don't remember when FF crashed or froze on any of my computers, or IE for that matter; its that long !! :)

    Having said that, I believe there is very strong need for improvements in the area of performance, its good already but it can be much better IMHO. Although I have no issues in this respect as well, probably because mostly I have Flash content turned off, so usually pages render much quickly

    Secondly, if they can somehow find ways to further reduce memory footprint of the FF it will be fantastic for most users.

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