Print 31 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Oct 1 at 4:59 PM

Firefox 7 has made browsing much faster through the use of the MemShrink project, which decreases memory use by 20 to 50 percent

Mozilla announced yesterday that it released Firefox 7, which addresses issues such as poor memory management and features new developer tools, a reporting tool to let Mozilla know about problems and more graphics hardware acceleration.

According to The Mozilla Blog, Firefox 7 has made browsing much faster through the use of the MemShrink project, which decreases memory use by 20 to 50 percent. This has sped up the browser's startup time, which, according to PCMag, has went from an 8-second startup time in Firefox 6 down to a 5-second startup in Firefox 7.

The reduced memory use also improved the use of tabs and menus. It even speeds up certain HTML5 content by utilizing the graphics hardware to expedite Canvas, which is used by Web animations for screen drawing.

"Firefox manages memory more efficiently to deliver a nimble Web browsing experience," said The Mozilla Blog. "Users will notice Firefox is faster at opening new tabs, clicking on menu items and buttons on websites. Heavy Internet users will enjoy enhanced performance when lots of tabs are open and during long Web browsing sessions that last hours or even days."

In addition, Firefox 7 has added support for the W3C Navigation Timing spec allowing developers to test their page's download speed, and an opt-in Telemetry tool that anonymously delivers browser performance to Mozilla in order for it to be improved. The Telemetry tool complies with Mozilla's Privacy Principles, and can be removed.

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The worst Firefox EVER!
By orgdoctor on 9/28/2011 1:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
Version 7 automatically installed on my Win 7 Pro system Sunday night (9/25/2011). Since then, Firefox has become inoperable. About half the time it hangs when trying to navigate to a website; the remaining times, it only gets to a site after hanging for a minute or more. It won't work on PayPal. It creates an extra icon at the end of the Win 7 task bar, where you have to go now to change browser windows. The worst internet experience I have ever had. Before this, I had switched completely from IE because Firefox 6 was perfect. Now I can't even go back to that version. Mozilla's attitude seems to be: either use our newest version, or take a hike.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By zero2dash on 9/28/2011 2:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
DL the old version from Filehippo, go into the options and uncheck for it to check for updates. Done.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By orgdoctor on 9/28/2011 4:42:56 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks for that tip. I did find Version 6, reinstalled it, and everything is working perfectly again. Seems like pretty good evidence that something is wrong with Version 7.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By bodar on 9/28/2011 10:49:43 PM , Rating: 5
So, a single PC is "pretty good evidence"? One bad install doesn't mean it's a broken product. I have 2 PCs running 7.0 with no problems -- one using auto-update, the other by installing the 7.0 client over the top of a 6.0 install. Obviously, it doesn't mean that it's a perfect product either. It's flawed logic.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By Samus on 9/29/2011 11:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
Of course Firefox 7 MUST be the worst version ever because some idiot couldn't unload his addons (or at least do a fresh install) to perform the process of elimination.

Firefox 7 works fine on my machine. I did a fresh install (uninstall old version, keep personal settings) and installed the new version. Everything (sans addons) was imported fine since my user profile was still in \User\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

Reinstalled Flash/Java and it runs substantially faster (especially pornhub)

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By Gungel on 9/28/2011 2:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
Turn off your add-ons and tool bars. Then one by one turn them back on and isolate the one that is the cause of this stalling.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By StevenW1 on 9/29/2011 4:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
I am having the same issues. Plus, I have turned off all add-ons, toolbars, and extensions. It takes forever to connect to web sites, and it hangs most of the time. I have multiple profiles, so it is problematic reverting to an older version that does not automatically install. It has been a disaster thus far. I have 6 gigs of memory, so that isn't an issue. Tabs just spin and spin. :(

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By FITCamaro on 9/29/2011 8:07:52 AM , Rating: 1
Everything is still working here including Firebug.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By bug77 on 9/28/2011 2:55:59 PM , Rating: 5
Let's take a minute and imagine somewhere, somebody does not have this problem.

Since when is a browser (or any other piece of software) "worst ever" because it doesn't work for you?

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By orgdoctor on 9/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By bug77 on 9/28/2011 6:17:07 PM , Rating: 2

Did you file a bug about your problem? Of do you expect Mozilla to be familiar with your setup and working on it already?

Fwiw, I'm pretty sure a clean install would have cured all your problems.

By UnauthorisedAccess on 9/28/2011 7:02:13 PM , Rating: 3
I would also suggest filing a bug report to help improve Firefox.

You could also demand a refund...wait...

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By orgdoctor on 9/29/2011 12:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I did file a bug report with Mozilla.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/28/2011 5:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is a browser (or any other piece of software) "worst ever" because it doesn't work for you?

A truth that is factual only to you is an opinion, and his opinion is that its the worst ever. Nevermind the fact that it was probably a conflict with some addon/toolbar that he had installed.

I personally have had zero issues using it so far and enjoy it just the same as version 6.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By mindless1 on 10/1/2011 4:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that is false. An individual can be objective and prove something sufficient to consider it fact even if the rest of the world remains ignorant of the finding.

No matter what you state as fact - even if 99% of the world also considers it fact, that any percentage of other people from 0.0001% to 99.9999% disagree, does not change the validity of a proper scientific method in determining factuality.

Granted, this has nothing to do with the Firefox argument but you do throw around the word "fact" pretty loosely. Consider your prior statement:

"Nevermind the fact that it was PROBABLY a conflict with some other...".

Fact != supposition

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By nocturne_81 on 9/29/2011 7:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
I tested out a few of the nightly builds months back, and it was actually a quite pleasant browsing experience. Though, the bugs and a few unnecessary (imho) interface elements caused me to remain on Chrome; despite it's hunger for ram, memory-leaks in the flash plugin, and overall unreliability. But hey.. at least it's not IE..

I guess I may be a bit demanding of my browser.. typically I have my pc running 2+ weeks without any downtime, the same browser session usually stretching across the same timeframe, during which I always have at least 4 open windows each with 15-30 tabs (atm, I'm at a measly 96 tabs total).

You really shouldn't have any problem with the new version of firefox though (not that I care to test -- too much time).. Most often, such problems are the result of leftover files from previous installs, incompatible or improperly coded extensions, or corrupted profile files. Instead of reverting back to v6, you'd be advised to make a backup of your current profile with an app such as MozBackup, uninstalling firefox completely (removing any traces left behind in your appdata/programdata folders), and then running a fresh install of FF v7 into which you can import your saved profile.

Just don't be like one of those idiots that bought a new PC with WinXP on it after Vista came out.. Newer is indeed better, and there's no reason to make yourself suffer due to lack of understanding.

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By delphinus100 on 9/29/2011 10:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
Just got the 7.0.1 update moments ago. Too soon to say if it makes a difference...

RE: The worst Firefox EVER!
By mindless1 on 10/1/2011 4:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
Did it ever occur to you that if you don't want to be a software *beta* tester you should not have software auto-updating?

Conservative users who want to avoid such issues, NEVER let software auto update, always waiting till these types of bugs are reported by others and fixed.

Just switched to it 15 minutes ago...
By amanojaku on 9/28/2011 11:12:59 AM , Rating: 3
And I already like the reduced memory use. My current config (tabs, add-ons, etc...) on 6.x started at 800-900MiB and usually settled down to 700MiB after 10 minutes. The current config with 7.x so far is at 600MiB. Looks like everything is working the same, too. I'm not sure this should be considered a dot-release, but I have not complaints, otherwise.

On to further testing...

RE: Just switched to it 15 minutes ago...
By tastyratz on 9/28/2011 11:18:54 AM , Rating: 3
I agree, this excites me. I am what many people call a tab hoarder with hundreds of tabs open at a time. 50% reduction in usage? sign me up!
I wonder how they achieve this. What has significantly helped me so far is an addon called bartab, I wonder if this thought process was adopted internally? It unloads all non active tabs after a period of time till you go back to them

If not... I recommend all other "power users" check out the bartab addon!

RE: Just switched to it 15 minutes ago...
By Mitch101 on 9/28/2011 11:47:58 AM , Rating: 3
About time

Lets see if this helps when you go to launch Firefox and it tells you its already running and didn't close down properly the last time you closed it and its been sucking up tons of memory and 50% CPU usage the whole night. Then you have to kill it in task manager to get a new instance running.

I know they like to blame add-ins but I have multiple machines running Firefox and the same issues existed even without add-ins.

Still love it despite its memory leaks.

By DT_Reader on 9/28/2011 1:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
Still love it despite its memory leaks.
More like, still love the add-ons despite Firefox's memory leaks. The add-ons are the only reason I use Firefox. Mozilla has had memory leaks in the bug list since 1.0. Why they release any new version while the current one still has memory leaks is beyond me. If they fixed those first they wouldn't carry over to the next release, would they? Still, maybe using less memory means less memory to leak... One can hope, I guess.

No improvement
By FS on 9/28/2011 12:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
used to hardly ever go over 5% utilization (unless I was playing HD videos on youtube) on my i5-2500K with 25+ tabs open but now it's using over 20% cpu with 20+ tabs open that are mostly text with ads disabled. Scrolling isn't smooth either and the memory usage is ~2GB for firefox.exe + plugin-container.exe instead of going well over 2GB+ so I guess that's a bit improvement but I couldn't care less about that.

Overall, they are being stupid getting into these Version number increasing game without actually improving/adding functionality. However, I will continue to use Firefox since I love the addons, especially TreeTab.

RE: No improvement
By Captain Orgazmo on 9/28/2011 5:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
No increased CPU issues noticed yet for me, however my browser load time went from 2.3 seconds with 6.0.2 to 2.7 seconds with 7.0.

"has went" !!!??
By Dorkyman on 9/28/2011 2:15:34 PM , Rating: 4
"...has went from a startup time..."

Tiffany, no.

Your grammar school English teacher would be upset.

still can't use > 1 core!!!
By bjacobson on 9/28/2011 6:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Version 7 already and it still can't use more than one core! Common Mozilla, you really don't deserve to be on version 7. This is 2011, not 2001. People have dual and quad cores, and your browser grinds to a halt on startup with my 25 tabs of dailytech, anandtech, forums, economics blogs, news etc.

RE: still can't use > 1 core!!!
By Omega215D on 9/29/2011 6:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
According to another article, FF8 will be out in 6 weeks and 9 before or around Christmas. Apparently 8 will be the official 64-bit build with improvements in JavaScript performance:

I'm guessing point releases are reserved for critical bug fixes found in the currently available version.

Super release.
By Netscorer on 9/28/2011 12:11:42 PM , Rating: 3
I am working with couple of clunkers - old and outdated laptop at work and underpowered Atom-based HTPC with only 1Gb of RAM. Both struggled with Firefox prior to 7. I had a chance to upgrade last night and this morning at work and can see immediate improvement. Now my home HTPC is smooth when scrolling through the long pages and my Firefox at work has 16 tabs open and is as fast as when I just opened it in the morning. Great Job!

By zero2dash on 9/28/2011 1:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
[load up Pandora]
[sees firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe continue to increase in ram use with Pandora going]

Yeah, I don't see any improvements.
IE9 (of all things) runs lightest on Pandora. It does not budge much on ram use no matter if Pandora's been running for 2 minutes or 2 hours.

Firefox OTOH is completely different.
Maybe the memory improvement is the pre-caching "feature" being toned down or whatnot, but it's not making a lick of a difference in my case.

Still Crap...
By Philippine Mango on 9/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Still Crap...
By AnotherGuy on 9/29/2011 1:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
with 3 anandtech tabs open and it is now using 200mb... they have a long way to go to fix that memory issue

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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