First Firefox 7 Beta promises dramatically lower memory use


5 Aug 2011
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Mozilla has released the first beta of Firefox 7, and the first to implement Memshrink, which can cut Firefox's memory usage by almost fifty percent.
The new Firefox Beta for Windows, Mac and Linux is available for download, and users who are already running the Firefox beta will be automatically updated. Separately, Mozilla also released a beta version of Firefox for Android.
On Aug. 16, Mozilla Firefox 6, as it moves to a rapid-release schedule;it brings very little that end users will notice—the big interface changes all came along in version 4, according to the review. According to Mozilla's Wiki page, Firefox 7 is scheduled to be released on Sept. 27.
Memory use has been a thorn in the side of Firefox, so the new beta revision may be welcome to many users. The new beta is the first to use Memshrink.
"Firefox 7 uses less memory than Firefox 6 (and 5 and 4): often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less," Nicholas Nethercote, who has worked on the Memshrink program for Mozilla, wrote on Aug. 9. "In particular, Firefox 7′s memory usage will stay steady if you leave it running overnight, and it will free up more memory when you close many tabs."
As a complement, the new beta also reduces memory use and improves performance areas including responsiveness, startup and page load time, even in complex websites and Web apps, Mozilla said. A Web timing specification also measures page-loading times, in order to help developers optimize their code. A related telemetry plugin also allows developers to report performance data back to Firefox.
The new beta also speeds up the time used for Firefox Sync, which synchronizes bookmarks and other data among the various use of Mozilla browsers.
Additional under-the-hood features include Azure Direct2D for Canvas and improvements in how the browser handles CSS 3 text overflows.

Source : Digit magazine
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