As an avid Firefox user since it began, I’ve developed a great liking towards the browser and its consistent updates. As version 3.6 phased into a 4.0 Beta, I just had to try it out. But then I thought to myself: If i like to try out the new beta’s, why not just go to the bleeding edge? And with that, my journey began – Welcome to Nightly.
Here was our first glance at the new Firefox, bumped up to version 7 already, while most of us are still transitioning to 4.
Many of you are probably saying, “Now Simon, whats so different? Wheres the fancy UI changes?!”
With the Nightly Firefox Builds, the daily updates appear to mostly be under the hood, with a huge amount of bugs being fixed each day. The biggest one I found was the new addition of about:memory. Remember all those times you asked yourself, “Why is Firefox using 700mb of RAM!?” Well, here is your answer. At this moment I was using 200mb or so of RAM to Firefox, and popped open about:memory. I instantly saw where it was going:
278.89 MB — resident
227.65 MB — private
165.80 MB — heap-committed
151.32 MB — heap-used
30.68 MB — heap-unused
13.57 MB — gfx-d2d-surfacecache
5.64 MB — gfx-d2d-surfacevram
3.27 MB — heap-dirty
0.01 MB — shmem-allocated
0.01 MB — shmem-mapped
Along with this was a great breakdown of each section, and holding my mouse over that category brought up an explanation of the usage.
So whats next for Firefox? Mozilla has released a Roadmap to tell us where their going this year. But their main goals are stated as so:
- Ship Firefox 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the 2011 calendar year
- Always respond to a user action within 50 ms
- Never lose user data or state
- Build Web Apps, Identity and Social into the Open Web Platform
- Support new operating systems and hardware
- Polish the user experience for common interaction tasks
- Plan and architect for a future of a common platform on which the desktop and mobile products will be built and run Web Apps
Firefox 5 will be released on June 21, 2011, and my expectations are high so far, now that I’ve tried out the bleeding Edge. So if you have the feeling then try out the latest and greatest Mozilla has to offer, and try out the Nightly Build.