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Mozilla Making Firefox 4 to be ''Super-Duper Fast''

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 72 comments
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Mozilla this week showed off its plans for Firefox 4, detailing some of the features we'll see in the next version of the open source Internet browser.

Erica Jostedt, PR at Mozilla, yesterday blogged about the company's plans for Firefox 4 and said the main priorities for the next version of Firefox are speed, power and empowerment.

Though Erica was quick to label the plans as fluid and subject to change, she said Mozilla wanted to make Firefox "super-duper fast," enable new open, standard Web technologies, and put users in full control of their data and browsing.

You can check out the 45-minute presentation here but if you're looking for the quick and dirty break down of what was announced, we've summarized what we think will be the biggest improvements and listed them below.

For Firefox 4, Mozilla has moved a lot of buttons around and in some cases, removed buttons altogether (the 'home' and 'stop' buttons have been done away with). While you can do without a 'stop' button but the 'home' button is slightly more important, so it's important to note that Firefox hasn't done away with the 'home' feature altogether; the company has opted instead for a home tab that cannot be closed. Switching tabs will also be easier. Firefox 4 will allow users to just start typing the URL of the tab you want in the address bar. The browser will then offer you the option (via a drop down menu) of switching to your already open tab or navigating to a new page. From the slides below it also looks like the company has plans for dedicated tabs for certain applications like Google's Gmail. No word on whether or not these are determined by which sites you visit most often or if you'll be allowed to select them yourself.

Though it's not solid, Mozilla hopes that the Firefox will soon be able to run updates in the background. No more restarting your browser or waiting while various different plug-ins update, so that should make switching on your computer and firing up Firefox little less awkward. The permissions dialogues may be changing slightly, too, from pop-ups to drop downs that appear from the URL. The company is also aiming for a faster start up speed.

None of these changes are set in stone yet, and Mozilla was really adamant that they not be over reported but it's exciting to know what's we can (tentatively) expect from Firefox 4. However, Mozilla is aiming for a November release so we still have a while to wait.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2010 7:31 PM
    Why do they feel the need to restrict the interface? As it is now you can have a home button or not; its your choice. Customization is the main reason I use Firefox, and I'll be rather annoyed if removing options is going to be the new trend.

    As for doing a tab search in the address bar, that seems rather unnecessary to me. I don't even use the bookmark search. It's quicker to just click on the tab I want or make use of the bookmark toolbar.

    I do like the idea of not having to restart after updating.
  • 25 Hide
    NivenFres , May 11, 2010 7:21 PM
    The home tab doesn't seem all that great to me. Especially since I make my home a blank page.
  • 24 Hide
    eekitsericc , May 11, 2010 7:18 PM
    oh no ! "super-duper!"

    these guys mean business.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    eekitsericc , May 11, 2010 7:18 PM
    oh no ! "super-duper!"

    these guys mean business.
  • 25 Hide
    NivenFres , May 11, 2010 7:21 PM
    The home tab doesn't seem all that great to me. Especially since I make my home a blank page.
  • 14 Hide
    husker , May 11, 2010 7:22 PM
    meh, I'm waiting for "super-super-duper fast", or "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fast"
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2010 7:31 PM
    Why do they feel the need to restrict the interface? As it is now you can have a home button or not; its your choice. Customization is the main reason I use Firefox, and I'll be rather annoyed if removing options is going to be the new trend.

    As for doing a tab search in the address bar, that seems rather unnecessary to me. I don't even use the bookmark search. It's quicker to just click on the tab I want or make use of the bookmark toolbar.

    I do like the idea of not having to restart after updating.
  • 12 Hide
    Morgan3rd , May 11, 2010 7:34 PM
    I'd like it if they could integrate the tabs into the top of the screen like Chrome/Opera.

    Using chrome now, but I'm not married to her.
  • -9 Hide
    tommysch , May 11, 2010 7:36 PM
    The look of Chrome SUCK. Dont go toward that cause I will go back to IE...
  • 8 Hide
    neodawg , May 11, 2010 7:40 PM
    Looks like they just copied Chrome, too bad it probably will be slower than Chrome at opening.
  • -5 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , May 11, 2010 7:45 PM
    sliemSTOP concentrating on SPEED. It'll go as fast as user internet allows, that's it. Instead, concentrate on BUGS and SECURITY
    Stole my words! I was gonna say, "Your browsing experience is only as fast as the connection will allow, minus a few things that could affect it"...
  • 0 Hide
    Kelavarus , May 11, 2010 7:46 PM
    sliemSTOP concentrating on SPEED. It'll go as fast as user internet allows, that's it. Instead, concentrate on BUGS and SECURITY


    I'm sure they'll do that, but for now, whenever an article on Chrome comes out, Google and their fans all go "CHROME IS FASTER THAN A POTATO CANNON!" so, obviously, to try and attract those users, Mozilla is going to talk about speed. Why is this surprising? Firefox has always also been about security.
  • 18 Hide
    Rhynn , May 11, 2010 7:46 PM
    LUDICROUS SPEED....GO!!!!
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2010 7:49 PM
    No mention of hardware acceleration? No stop button? I use the stop button on a regular basis. I don't like the new interface either. I LOVE my firefox 3.6 just as it is (except for hardware acceleration.) I have to agree with sliem on this, mozilla is better off looking for bug fixes and security improvements.

    They screw this up and I'm going back to Opera or Chrome.
  • 19 Hide
    nawat , May 11, 2010 7:51 PM
    Firefox needs multi-threading.
  • 5 Hide
    MadAdmiral , May 11, 2010 7:58 PM
    I like the dedicated tab, as long as you have some options you can set it to. Having it be determined by your most frequently visited sites would be alright sometimes, but I'd like to be able to customize it myself as well.

    The permanent "home" tab is a horrible idea. I think I'm like a lot of users and have a bunch of tabs open at once, so having one that I can't close will be annoying.

    Speed is definitely an issue, especially if you use an older computer. I had to switch over to Chrome on my old laptop simply because I got tired of waiting a good minute for Firefox to load.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2010 7:59 PM
    Browser speeds do actually vary when it comes to rendering a page.
  • 3 Hide
    adipose , May 11, 2010 8:04 PM
    Lame, I don't use a home page. Now I have to make gmail my home page or something, or an extra tab will appear? I just save my tabs every time so I never open a "clean" browser anymore. The idea of home is lost on me, now. Please don't require me to go backwards!

    I'm sure those who use home will be annoyed too. If google is your homepage you may not want to switch to your "home" tab, but rather go to google in your current tab. And what happens once you do search? Does it change your "home" tab so it's no longer on "home"? Then how do you get home? Confusing...

    Instead, leave it how it is, and put the home button somewhere on the tab interface if you must. And please allow us to remove it. Removing one small button and adding one large tab does not save space...
  • 7 Hide
    hellwig , May 11, 2010 8:11 PM
    Wow, getting rid of the stop and home buttons saved a whopping what, 160 pixels next to the address bar? In case Mozilla missed the news, screens are getting wider, not narrower. There's no reason to cut out width.

    I never moved to Firefox because I never needed to replace Opera, so I can't really comment as to any other changes.
  • 5 Hide
    tayb , May 11, 2010 8:13 PM
    How about fixing the super duper amount of memory Firefox eats? I'd come back to Firefox if I didn't have to restart every three hours because my browser is using 1GB of system memory. Honestly though at this point I don't really care about speed. Once the page loads for the first time it's cached and it's blazingly fast on 'any' browser.
  • 0 Hide
    drutort , May 11, 2010 8:17 PM
    i want a browser to run my 50+ tabs :p  i dont use bookmarks LOL it makes it much easier and I dont forget if im working on multiple things at the same time... my bookmarks? oh i need a search to even go through them, i think i probably will have to delete 50% of them, most likely half of them are dead now lol

    I want better speed as far as parallel browsing, or loading of tabs and faster multi server connections if possible, all without eating up the rest of my ram :p 

    i forgot, how about 64bit, multi threading and 3d accel? would be nice to use some of that video ram too (more so then now) then my system ram if possible :p 
  • -4 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , May 11, 2010 8:20 PM
    Firefox will have to be pretty impressive for me to switch back from Chrome.
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