Multithreaded Firefox 50 puts more extensions in sandboxes

As the gamers in our audience know, multiple CPU cores help the most when software is written to take advantage of them. The fine folks at Mozilla have been working feverishly to improve multi-process support in the foundation's Firefox web browser, and today's Firefox 50 release represents a big step towards this goal. The Foundation says the improved support for multiple processes should make the browser more responsive, secure, and stable.

In early August, Firefox 48 included multi-process support for a portion of the browsers' user base. In September, the Firefox 49 release could spin a selection of browser extensions into their own processes. The just-released version 50 of the browser contains multi-process support for a wider range of extensions. Mozilla now has plans for all extensions to run in their own process in Firefox 51.

Mozilla says its multi-process support has increased responsiveness by 400% under normal conditions and 700% during page loads, though the testing methods were not detailed. The Foundation has also combined multi-process support with sandboxing for increased security. The use of multiple processes also reduces the chance that a poorly-coded web page in one tab could bring down the entire browser session.

The Mozilla Future Releases Blog has more detailed information about multi-process support in Firefox and its benefits. Those who have heard enough and just want to download the latest release can click here.

Comments closed
    • Wireball
    • 3 years ago

    Hopefully they can maintain good memory usage with dozens or hundreds of tabs open. I really like Firefox’s current “don’t load tabs until selected” feature.

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    I like Firefox but unfortunately all pages doesn’t like it

    • south side sammy
    • 3 years ago

    I get firefox to run the way I like. a new version comes along and kills some of the apps I rely on to block stuff I don’t want self running.

    • eofpi
    • 3 years ago

    It’s impossible to improve something measured by getting smaller by more than 100%, at which point it would be instantaneous. Why does TR keep promulgating this innumeracy?

      • xeridea
      • 3 years ago

      It is not 400% smaller, saying 400% more responsive…. 400% faster means it takes 80% less time. But 400% more responsive could be mainly due to not being single threaded, so user input is quicker. Hard to tell without details, but they aren’t wrong, many people just don’t understand what is being said.

      • davidbowser
      • 3 years ago

      I think they do it just to troll the pedants.

      And get this… THERE RITE!

    • jts888
    • 3 years ago

    It good to hear positive news about Firefox’s progression, but the move from XPCOM/XUL to WebExtensions still has a lot of people nervous for pretty valid reasons.

    The deep extensibility of FF is the one thing it has above all competitors, and I’m not sure what benefit I see from having an additional not-Chrome in the market.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      This. Extensions is why people use FF, not multithreading. Not to mention the whole spyware thing. Google pushes it’s browser for targeted ads and god knows what else they’re data mining, and for what reasons.

      The more I learn, the more paranoid I get. Cheese and rice, I didn’t even use a VPN until recently because I learned DNS can be snooped on by your ISP or whatever. HTTPS only slightly deters data miners from snooping your activity. We’re one bad President away from 1984, everyone is datamining, and we could turn into North Korea overnight if the powers that be suddenly decided they could get away with it. Snowden really pulled back the curtain on this one.

      Will any country still be “free” 10 years from now? I don’t know. Mass surveillance works wonders for population control and brainwashing. Democracy is only good with a properly informed voter base. I’m surprised Trump won, but I doubt his cabinet picks are all good, and I doubt we’ll ever see another anti-establishment candidate win again. The browser wars are more than just how fast webpages are being rendered, it’s about who controls the country.

        • Barndoggle
        • 3 years ago

        Mozilla following Pale Moon 64 (a container for everything) offshoot of FF… I liked it for years. Bitsums Park Control allows my hardware to idle down to 600 rpm while creeping through the woods. As long as I’m on level ground.

    • DancinJack
    • 3 years ago

    Unfortunately, Firefox was just too slow with their development the past five or so years. I remember when I was a kid and first started using Firefox thinking it was so amazing (granted, we’re talking competition with Netscape Navigator and IE). Such great memories, but current Firefox just can’t hold a candle to Chrome, for me, these days.

    edit: Having said the above, I’m glad they’re still making some rather large improvements like this. If only they could fix the god-awful UI next.

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      Isn’t Firefox the reincarnation of Netscape Navigator, not a competitor? Or is my memory going foggy?

        • DancinJack
        • 3 years ago

        Ehhh, they’re related, but I’m not sure i’d call FF a reincarnation. Maybe a spiritual successor? I am just remembering using them both around the same time in my life. I suppose they may not have been direct competitors at any time, except on my Gateway desktop 🙂

          • egon
          • 3 years ago

          Firefox arose from Navigator’s ashes to compete with IE’s then ~95% market share. Slight oversimplification, but it sounds good 🙂

          Between Netscape’s demise and the release of Firefox, I was actually using Opera, which I found superior to IE (tabbed browsing, better cache responsiveness, and various other things I liked that I can no longer recall). Couldn’t remember why it didn’t gain more market share and perhaps do what Firefox did to IE, until I looked up some screenshots and was reminded it wasn’t a ‘free’ browser like IE/Firefox – it was ad-supported by a big built-in ad banner, unless you paid or used a crack.

        • nanoflower
        • 3 years ago

        Yes, you are correct. Netscape released the source code and Mozilla picked it up as part of their base. How much of Netscape Navigator became a part of Firefox isn’t clear to me.

        [url<]https://sayaksarkar.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/from-netscape-to-firefox-the-story-of-mozilla-firefox/[/url<]

        • colinstu12
        • 3 years ago

        People of Netscape Navigator/Communicator left/moved over to Mozilla Foundation, which created the Mozilla web browser. This browser had some elements that looked like Netscape but was mostly a different program.

        Those same people then shifted their focus to creating Firefox, which in a lot of ways, was based off of their work from Mozilla. Mozilla browser finally died off while they continued to develop firefox.

        YEARS later there was a short period of time where they re-badged/”forked” Firefox and called it Netscape again, but that also ended thankfully (never replaced Firefox… was mostly just bundled along with other software/sites).

        Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox never really competed with each other… as they’ve been mostly come out sequentially.

        I do remember the days that DancinJack was talking about however. I started using Firefox by version 1.5 and it was LIGHTYEARS ahead of the competition. I resisted using Mozilla beforehand for whatever reason (I hated tabs, and preferred IE5-6 for whatever reason… hindsight 2020 would’ve used Mozilla too).

        I used FF up until Version 3.5-3.6. I remember trying the betas and release of 4 and HATED it. I tried Chrome and never looked back… Google really did things right.

      • Redundant
      • 3 years ago

      Chrome is good if you like sporting a used condom
      decent starting point: [url<]https://www.privacytools.io/#ukusa[/url<]

      • EzioAs
      • 3 years ago

      I find the UI to be just fine and even better once you’ve customized it.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      lol at the FF zealots.

      • albundy
      • 3 years ago

      hah, Netscape! wish i had some member berries.

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