Saturday, February 18, 2012

Firefox Notes

It has been quite a while since I have dedicated some sweet bloggin’ lovin’ to that Foxy browser.

Fortunately the Mozilla factory has been running overtime hours coupled with its plugin suppliers so there is a lot of material.

Looks like time for a blogpost on Firefox!

If you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed that the main Firefox public release got two rapid-fire updates.

Meanwhile additional work continues on future features

Make Use Of blog has some good pointers on How To Make The Most of Firefox’s Session Manager

Speaking of updating the Firefox browser, looks like that process is getting a much needed update of its own:

Quite some time ago, I was regularly running “Minefield” versions of a Mozilla Firefox x64 build. It was fine until I hit a rocky patch of code updates that made my bookmarking support go wiggy. So I jumped back to the main public build on x32 for stability-reasons and haven’t given much thought to going back to some x64 builds.

So I read with interest recent development work on Waterfox and a few other special projects for x64 versions of developmental Firefox builds.

Need some perspective on the builds and differences? Check these out.

One night last week I downloaded the Waterfox build, and then with just a little effort made a portable version of it based on my portable x32 Firefox build (same plug-ins, cookies, Add-ons, etc.). I didn’t experience any issues and all my Add-ons worked fine. No crashes. After a few hours of surfing I was really unable to tell much of a user-level performance difference between it and my x32 public build. So experiment over, I canned it and went back to my x32 build.

That may seem like a harsh thing, but really, in my mind it proves the successful development work these builders are doing in the x64 bit world of Mozilla. According to the NetworkWorld article linked above, there are very slight performance differences between them, but unless you are just a “bleeding edge” user, there just isn’t any compelling reason (IMHO) to make the jump to x64 versions of Firefox…just yet. Give things another year or less, however, and I bet these will all be mature releases and I will be telling you there isn’t any compelling reason NOT to make the jump to x64 Firefox if your OS supports it.

More here related to the browser “speed wars” race. That 2nd IE link is really fascinating!

Now to fixing some Firefox headaches I uncovered…and that will be so big it requires a spin-off GSD post!


--Claus V.

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