I’m about to make an embarrassing confession.Back in 2004 , i was under the impression that Internet=IE(Since IE itself had Internet in its name) and vice-versa and there could not be internet connection without IE. How stupid and foolish ! :-P
But Mozilla Firefox changed me. The experience was really amazing, different and i was totally convinced to use Firefox and no other browser henceforth. What really stunned me was Firefox’s robustness and extendability. Its Addon concept was so amazing. It provides millions of additional features ,and the user can choose what he wants, without bloating the whole browser. It thus keeps the size of the core browser under 8MB.
Flashback 2007 : Firefox 2 —> When i first started out,i used Firefox 1.0. Then Mozilla updated it to Firefox 2. However i soon realised that the whole experience was beginning to get pretty sluggish.i don’t quite remember the figures correctly now, but roughly when I opened 5 Firefox windows with an average of 4-5 tabs per window, Firefox was consuming a shocking 500+ MB of memory. Much more shocking was that memory usage was spiraling , meaning ; whenever i close a tab or a window it is expected that the memory used is reclaimed back, but that was not happening.
Also those many number of windows and tabs being opened are common for an average user. Fortunately i had 1 GB of RAM but i started feeling, “What about others?” And also there was a nice comparison about IE 7, Opera 9 and FireFox 2 (the latest on which i had got these results) then in many newspapers like Times Of India here. Though in terms of features Firefox was leading, IE 7 was a clear winner in terms of resource consumption.i felt this was a major setback to the growing credentials of Firefox, since most of the users back then did not have machines having more than 512 MB of RAM .
i started Googling on how to improve the efficiency of Firefox 2 ’s trying to find if there were some hacks available. i found lots of complaints from users who had found similar results like me. Many of them said because of these resource constraints they wanted to move out of FireFox and try something else though they were great fans of FireFox. Right then i found a post somewhere from one another fan asking all such desperate souls like me to be patient. He said, Mozilla had learnt its lesson and in their upcoming release, under development Firefox 3, they were concentrating mainly on memory and resource consumption issues. So i went and saw the release schedule desperately to see when I get my hands on it. It was scheduled to be released on September 2007, but due to the new lesson that Mozilla had learnt they had to do lots and lots and lots of work and rework. So they had indefinitely postponed the release date and had removed the schedule totally from their websites.
Firefox 3 : In November 2007, Slashdot reported the release of FireFox 3 Beta 1. It praised Firefox 3 and its team of developers endlessly. Lessons learnt by Mozilla had started showing up at this point. Apparently Mozilla developers borrowed some memory management tricks from the Free BSD operating system for the Windows and Linux versions of Firefox. (They say memory management on Macs already worked pretty well.) The effect was clear. The browser was much less likely to commandeer too many system resources. And Firefox’s developers worked to make sure that add-ons, notorious memory thieves, don’t cause problems either. They rolled in XPCOM cycle collectors that help prevent extensions from locking up RAM and not giving it back. They also distributed tools to third-party developers that would help them build more abstemious add-ons.
Everything looked great. i simply thought of trying the same empirical test that i had done on FireFox 2.The very same test with 5 windows with an average of 3-5 tabs each now did not consume more than 100MB. i was overwhelmed. All the reports and reviews said Mozilla had brought over several thousands of improvements to its previous versions. The reviews said Mozilla had fixed close to 300 Memory leaks!!! Unbelievable. Accessibility features were improved greatly. The address bar really looked great. The “Suggest URL” feature that appears when you start keying in characters was amazing. It had suddenly become extremely intelligent and suggested exactly what i wanted. Buttons, Icons and Bars had also improved greatly in terms of Accessibility.
Why You should use FireFox:
- SECURITY: Firefox 3 protects you from viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware. If you accidentally access an attack site, you’ll receive a full-sized browser message as a warning.
Want to be extra sure about a site’s legitimacy before you make a purchase? Click on a site favicon for an instant identity overview. Another click digs deeper: how many times have you visited? Are your passwords saved? Check up on suspicious sites, avoid Web forgeries and make sure a site is what it claims to be.
- Session Restore : If Firefox unexpectedly closes, you don’t have to spend time recovering data or retracing your steps through the Web. If you’re in the middle of typing an email, you’ll pick up where you left off, even down to the last word you typed. Session Restore instantly brings back your windows and tabs, restoring text you entered and any in-progress downloads.
- Simple AND Sweet : The new Firefox looks and feels like home. Think of it as a Firefox who’s really good at making friends. Whether you use Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac or Linux, the browser seamlessly integrates into your computer’s environment. A native look makes for a flawless interface that never gives you pause.
- Smart Download Manager : A pause and resume feature means there’s no need to wait for a download to finish before you disconnect. So, if you’re halfway through the file and it’s time to catch the bus, just pause and pick up downloading when you get home. The resume function also works if your system crashes or is forced to restart.
- Tabs: A brilliant way to browse multiple sites at once. Each new site appears as a new tab (not a new window) and can be accessed in one click . Get your sites in order. Simply arrange the order of your tabs by dragging them in one swift move of your mouse.
- Multilingual: Firefox speaks your language like no other browser on earth. Over 40 different translations, from French and Chinese to Finnish and Czech.
- Customize you Email: In the past you’d click on an email address in a Web site and your computer’s default email application would open up to send a message to the linked address—even if you never email through the program. Now you can choose a Web mail clients (like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) to launch when you click on that email address.
- AND lastly—> IT’S FREE !!
Impressed ? Don’t take my word for it…look at all these awards …and they are just the latest ones
- 2008 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards Browser of the Year, February 2009
- InfoWorld Best of Open Source Software Awards, August 2008
- PC Magazine Editors’ Choice, June 2008
- CNET Editors’ Choice, June 2008
- American Business Awards Most Innovative Company, June 2008
- Linux Journal Readers’ Choice 2008 – Favorite Web Browser, May 2008
Already using Firefox ?? Help spread it…
UPDATE : How all the browsers measure up . Source- Techradar.com
Memory Footprint (ten tabs)
Chrome – 141MB
Opera – 113MB
Safari – 163MB
IE8 – 230MB
Chrome – 1923.0ms
Opera – 4494.8ms
Safari – 4526.6ms
Firefox 3.1 – 1771.4ms
IE8 – 6837.6ms
Memory Footprint (single tab)
Firefox 3.1 – 50MB
IE8 – 59MB
Chrome – 22MB
Opera – 35MB
Safari – 81MB
Cold Launch time
Firefox – 37s
Chrome – 15s
IE8 – n/a
Page load time
Firefox – 8s
Chrome – 11s
IE8 – n/a