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Firefox 7 beta brings major cuts in memory usage

Every user has been waiting for this
Fri Aug 19 2011, 15:55

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has released the first beta version of what will become Firefox 7.

Just days after Mozilla released Firefox 6, the clock is already ticking on Firefox 7, which tipped up in the Firefox beta channel yesterday. There are all the usual improvements including enhancements to Firefox Sync, increased performance for HTML5 Canvas animation and better CSS3 support, but none of those really matter because there's one important improvement that isn't even visible to the user.

Mozilla's next release of Firefox will be known for its significant reductions in memory utilisation, an issue that has dogged Firefox since its first release. Now Mozilla says it has implemented what it calls Memshrink in such a way that it expects somewhere on the order of a 20 to 30 per cent decrease in memory utilisation.

Back in July, reports surfaced that Mozilla achieved significant decreases in memory use thanks to increasing the frequency of garbage collection, and that has now made its way into Firefox 7. Mozilla claims that the improvement will help keep Javascript memory usage down to a respectable level.

Mozilla has also included memory optimisation in its Firefox 7 beta for Android. It expects to release both Firefox 7 for PCs and Firefox 7 for Android devices at the same time, just as it did with Firefox 6.

Although Mozilla has worked very hard to implement new features in Firefox, the issue of memory utilisation still hangs over its head. Firefox 7 is looking like the first release that might start to improve Firefox's reputation regarding resource management. µ


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