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Mozilla looks to challenge Chrome with Firefox Quantum

By Shawn Knight · 39 replies
Sep 26, 2017
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  1. Mozilla’s next major browser update has arrived. Firefox 57, as it’s sequentially known, is such a drastic improvement over its predecessor that Mozilla has christened it Firefox Quantum.

    The new browser is said to be noticeably faster.

    In Speedometer 2.0, a benchmark that simulates modern web applications, Firefox Quantum is roughly twice as fast as Firefox was a year ago. As highlighted in the video below, the new browser often appears faster than Chrome. Results will vary, however, based on the computer and apps you use (and remember, the video is from Mozilla so of course it’s going to paint Firefox favorably).

    As Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen notes, Firefox has historically been powered by a single CPU core. That changes with Quantum as it takes advantage of the multiple CPU cores in today’s desktops and mobile devices much more effectively.

    The browser also utilized a new CSS engine written in Rust that runs parallel across multiple cores instead of running in one slower sequence on a single core. According to Nguyen, no other browser can do this.

    Mozilla has also tweaked Firefox to give priority to the tab you’re actively using. This, along with Firefox’s “just right” multi-process architecture, makes for a speedy experience that reportedly consumes roughly 30 percent less RAM. For a browser with a history of being resource-intensive, that is good news.

    It doesn’t end there, however, as an internal initiative designed to zap instances of “slowness” you might encounter in Firefox has resulted in the correction of 468 such issues. Matters addressed range from “small paper cuts” to “big bottlenecks,” Nguyen notes.

    Firefox is also getting a visual makeover. Dubbed Photon, this new user interface is said to feature a modern, minimalist design that puts users’ needs first. For example, if you’re using a Windows PC with a touch display, Firefox menus will change size based on whether you click with a mouse or tap with your finger.

    Photon also introduces square tabs, smooth animations and a library where you’ll find saved content like downloads and screenshots.

    Pocket, the read-it-later app that Mozilla acquired earlier this year, now comes fully integrated into Firefox. When you open a new tab, you’ll see your top sites as well as trending pages recommended by other Pocket users. And if you use the Pocket app for your mobile device, you’ll get offline access to saved stories on the go.

    Firefox Quantum hits the public channel on November 14 although you can skip the wait if you are willing to try the beta – out now for desktop, Android and iOS devices. Devs, meanwhile, are encouraged to give the developer edition a whirl as it includes new tools for those that build content for the web.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    I like what I'm reading here.
  3. pencea

    pencea TS Maniac Posts: 171   +127

    Glad to see a browser placing empathizes on speeds again for an update just like the good old earlier Firefox days. Instead of the usual tweaks and features that comes with updates now days.
    astralcyborg likes this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Just switched to beta. Visual updates are surprisingly not jarring, and noteable improvements in loading script-heavy pages (facebook anyone?). too soon to say for ram usage, CPU usage seems about the same (though it was never high for me).
    astralcyborg and Julio Franco like this.
  5. ascray

    ascray TS Rookie

    Looking at this I may try it
  6. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Dont forget to assign backspace to go back a page.
    EClyde likes this.
  7. nigel

    nigel TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +7

    What Shaun has forgotten to say that this version is the first release where Mozilla is abandoning support for legacy addons - that make up the majority of the addons available on their site

    A significant number of addon developers are either awaiting for Mozilla to release APIs, or to fix bugs in the new APIs or have refused to upgrade their addons.

    If you only use a few of the most popular addons or don't use any, then this is the version for you.

    As for me, as I am awaiting Mozilla to implement some password management API's, I have reverted to the ESR release chanel that gives me at least another 3 months of a supported product using Addons that I want and need. If Mozilla has not fixed the API issue in time around Firefox 59, then I will have no choice, but to look at alternative browsers. Not that I want to, but because Mozila is making me do so!
  8. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,832   +678

    Just give me a browser that will allow for NO video download or buffering and I am theirs
    astralcyborg likes this.
  9. Stark

    Stark TS Addict Posts: 119   +99

    I did install it and it was a "separate" install other than my ESR release I.e. it did not upgrade like other releases but they both used the same folder in c:\ users.
    Now it is FAST, and more so than chrome, both in start time and page load time {Version 61.0.3163.100 (Official Build) (64-bit)}, am loving it finally something worth while from M://ozilla. Memory wise I.e. RAM usage, well its Mozilla so kinda streamlined, perfectly acceptable and within limits and in comparison to previous version is a dramatic improvement.
    Only downside.... like 0.01% of add on are compatible.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    astralcyborg and MoeJoe like this.
  10. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +319

    55 is already a big difference. I'm a tab hoarder, and that has always been easier in Firefox, but it has become quite slow over time. Firefox 55 made it usable again, and made me prefer Firefox again.

    But I'm not particularly looking forward to 57, because, as Stark said, it breaks compatibility with add-ons.
    Peter Resch, Underdog and Stark like this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,440   +1,907

    It will still remain as my secondary browser, especially now that most add-ons won't work.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    If it supports ad blocking add-ons, then there's no harm in taking it for a spin around the block.
  13. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    Overall I like them BUT every time they upgrade, all my tabs disappear and have to be re-entered. Don't have this problem with any other browser .... you would think by now they would catch on .....
  14. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    currently using with ublock origins and privacy badger on my destop and both are completely compatible
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    This is the way I see it. If Firefox is upgrading then so should the add-ons. It would be pointless to continue allowing add-ons to negate any performance enhancements a new browser will have.
    Peter Resch and ikesmasher like this.
  16. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    "if you’re using a Windows PC with a touch display, Firefox menus will change size based on whether you click with a mouse or tap with your finger."
    I hope Microsoft is paying attention.
    astralcyborg and cliffordcooley like this.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    @Capaill - I was thinking the very same thing when I read the article.
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Cool. Thanks man.
  19. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 693   +376

    I'll give it a try on launch date. I still don't like how Chrome handles remembering passwords, still miss Firefox's master password, so if performance-wise they're up to it I'll gladly go back --for me the point that made me go to Chrome was when I tried to open ~10 tabs at once and the browser crashed.
    astralcyborg likes this.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    I don't have that issue, never have. So I don't understand why you did. That is unless it was the locations you were visiting.
    astralcyborg likes this.
  21. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 693   +376

    A lot of Techspot reviews at once, and I didn't have many add-ons besides add-blocker.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    That's strange!
  23. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,714   +2,513

    RIP Firefox. I guess it'll be Pale Moon for a lot of us from now on.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    Underdog likes this.
  24. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    If it was specifically TechSpot tabs then I also had the same problem on a work PC but not on my home PC. After a bit of investigation with TechSpot we concluded that there was something specific to the work PC (possibly Kaspersky antivirus) and the ads that TechSpot uses that was causing massive resource usage, as it stopped as soon as I turned on the ublock origins ad blocker. I have since disabled ad-blocking for TechSpot so I can support them with ads and I just limit myself to having 2-3 tabs open at any one time.
  25. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 324   +113


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