Sci-tech

Start Your Engines - Firefox Quantum Lands in Beta, Developer Edition

Start Your Engines - Firefox Quantum Lands in Beta, Developer Edition

Mozilla, however, is now back with a brand new browser that is called Firefox Quantum. Although it can't declare victory over Chrome yet, it's undeniably faster than its old Firefox version.

The new name signals Firefox 57 is a huge release that incorporates the company's plans to build a next-generation browser engine (Project Quantum) that takes full advantage of modern hardware.

In other changes, Firefox now prioritizes active tabs so that these download and run before other tabs that are open in the background.

Turns out you can measure Firefox Quantum's speed, too - our pit crew is kind of obsessed with a data-driven approach.

The test was done in a Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, which simulates real-world performance of modern web applications.

I've been using Firefox 57 daily since in its very raw "Nightly" version launched a month and a half ago, and I can confirm Mozilla isn't blowing smoke. Firefox also gets a new CSS engine that runs in parallel across multiple CPU cores. That changes with Quantum as it takes advantage of the multiple CPU cores in today's desktops and mobile devices much more effectively.

In addition, Mozilla engineers said they fixed 468 small bugs in the past year alone, bugs which engineers claim were insignificant but were hampering overall performance, akin to death by a thousand papercuts.

Although Firefox was one of the fastest growing Internet browsers during the late 2000's, its USA market share has waned over the years as Google's (goog) Chrome and Apple's (aapl) Safari browsers gained users. Complement the list of individual characteristics interface Photon with adaptation for displays with high DPI, and automatic scaling features of the touch input. This, along with Firefox's "just right" multi-process architecture, makes for a speedy experience that reportedly consumes roughly 30 percent less RAM.

The look and feel of the browser has also been updated.

Firefox Quantum's beta also previewed a new user interface (UI), the first major redesign since 2011's Firefox 4. If you're using Photon on a Windows PC with a touch display, the menus change size based on whether you click with a mouse or touch with a finger. However, you can try it in Beta on desktop. There's also a screenshot tool that generates a site link so you can share what you see on the web with your friends through email or Twitter.

The beta of Firefox 57 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla's website, but it cannot be run alongside the production-grade edition familiar to most users.


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