Marco writes an obituary for Firefox:
I’m a bit sad for Firefox. It used to be the fast, powerful, progressive browser that finally broke IE’s era of stagnant dominance and saved web developers’ sanity. Now, it’s a bloated, slow, unstable monster that’s often a pain in this web developer’s ass.
Siegler nods in assent. It’s funny to me because in my sphere Firefox is alive, full of new life due to efforts like memshrink and Jaegermonkey. The stability cry also rings hollow; this is a non-issue for me.
Then again, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that you may not. For web developers out there who love Firefox and its mission but worry about the bloat, I have a few suggestions:
- Try the Aurora or Beta channel to reap some performance benefits.
- Be stingy about your extensions. Mozilla is only beginning to address the tip of the iceberg that is extension performance, but for you, know that performance can be dramatically affected by them. If you’re using Chrome now, you’ve probably paired down anyway; try being zen about Firefox and you might be surprised. The same goes for plugins.
- Speaking of extensions, Firebug is one of the worst offenders for bloat. There were several memory leaks fixed recently that you may not know about, and I recommend using the latest and greatest here as well. Or: try some of the built-in developer tools that the Aurora channel now has.
- If you crash, be sure to look at about:crashes. If you report it, an issue will be created and you can check out any progress on it. In my experience, it’s usually Flash. If you are worried about bloat, keep an eye on about:memory.
- File bugs! Firefox is a community effort, and web developers have a responsibility for the future of the web. If you don’t want the big three (Google, Apple, and Microsoft) in a room deciding where the web goes next, Mozilla is truly the one voice that continues to make a difference in these discussions.