Firefox 54 Could Very Well be Mozilla’s Best Browser

There was a time when Mozilla’s Firefox browser was the browser of choice for those who refused to use Internet Explorer. Unfortunately for Mozilla, the browser has been playing second fiddle to Google Chrome since 2011.

How to Optimize Firefox for Better Performance

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How to Optimize Firefox for Better Performance

Your web browser of choice is truly the gateway into accessing the global Internet. The web has been…Read more

Now, the company is looking to regain the throne that Google took from it with the release of Firefox 54, and if the company is to be believed, the latest version of Firefox would be Mozilla’s finest yet.

The key to Firefox 54’s superiority lies in its speed. After years of relying on a single process to run all the tabs in a single browser, Mozilla has finally decided to adopt the “multiple process” technology that browsers like Chrome, Edge, Safari and many others have been using.

Codenamed Electrolysis or E10s, this technology will allow Firefox 54 to use up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. In practice, this would allow Firefox 54 to run faster while crashing less frequently.

runs faster and less crashing

In addition to better performance, Firefox 54 also has the honor of being the browser that consumes the least amount of RAM when compared to a number of other browsers running on Windows 10, macOS and Linux. This particular bit of info would be good news to those who have aging machines.

using the least of ram

Besides the major performance boost, Firefox 54 will also be introducing some minor changes to the browser’s features. A full list of changes can be found here.

10 Firefox Plugins For A Safer Browsing Experience

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10 Firefox Plugins For A Safer Browsing Experience

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is a user-friendly and feature-rich browser, with around 35% of all web users using it…Read more

Firefox 54 Could Very Well be Mozilla’s Best Browser

There was a time when Mozilla’s Firefox browser was the browser of choice for those who refused to use Internet Explorer. Unfortunately for Mozilla, the browser has been playing second fiddle to Google Chrome since 2011.

Now, the company is looking to regain the throne that Google took from it with the release of Firefox 54, and if the company is to be believed, the latest version of Firefox would be Mozilla’s finest yet.

The key to Firefox 54’s superiority lies in its speed. After years of relying on a single process to run all the tabs in a single browser, Mozilla has finally decided to adopt the “multiple process” technology that browsers like Chrome, Edge, Safari and many others have been using.

Codenamed Electrolysis or E10s, this technology will allow Firefox 54 to use up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. In practice, this would allow Firefox 54 to run faster while crashing less frequently.

runs faster and less crashing

In addition to better performance, Firefox 54 also has the honor of being the browser that consumes the least amount of RAM when compared to a number of other browsers running on Windows 10, macOS and Linux. This particular bit of info would be good news to those who have aging machines.

using the least of ram

Besides the major performance boost, Firefox 54 will also be introducing some minor changes to the browser’s features. A full list of changes can be found here.

Firefox 52 is Out – Here’s What’s New

Firefox users are in for a treat as the latest version of Mozilla’s web browser has gotten a new build in the form of Firefox 52. As with every other major builds, Firefox 52 comes with new features and more. Here are the three main features and changes that you’ll see with Firefox 52.

10 Coolest Hidden Firefox Settings You Should Know

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10 Coolest Hidden Firefox Settings You Should Know

There are plenty of settings that Firefox offers besides general ones you can find in the Options menu.…Read more

WebAssembly support is now available on Firefox 52

Back in 2015, Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple teamed up to develop an efficient bytecode that can be run effectively by JavaScript virtual machines. Said bytecode is called WebAssembly (Wasm) and it is now making its debut on Firefox 52.

So what can you expect from Wasm? For starters, this new bytecode will allow complex applications and games to run in a browser at near-native performance without the need for plug-ins.

Games and apps are just the first step for Wasm of course, as the folks at Mozilla envision that the bytecode will soon be utilised on productivity apps and JavaScript frameworks, leading to reduced load times and improved performance.

Firefox 52 will begin flagging websites that use HTTP as insecure

In Firefox 51, the browser notifies users of non-secure HTTP websites with a simple icon found in the address bar. With Firefox 52, Mozilla is getting more aggressive in its “anti-HTTP” stance by displaying warning messages whenever a user clicks on the username and password fields on non-HTTPS pages.

On top of that, Firefox 52 will also support a policy called “Strict Secure Cookies”. This policy forbids HTTP websites from setting cookies that have the “secure” attribute.

strict security cookies
Firefox 52 will discontinue NPAPI plugin support

Google has done it, Microsoft has done it, now Mozilla will also be discontinuing support for almost all Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugins. The only exception to this is Flash, as Mozilla still considers its to be widely used by many. Nevertheless, the company does plan to make Flash operate on an “on-demand” basis later this year.

Besides the new features and changes, Firefox 52 will also be the last version of the browser that will support Windows XP and Windows Vista. Those looking for a full changelog for Firefox 52 can find it here.

How to Optimize Firefox for Better Performance

.no-js #ref-block-post-11149 .ref-block__thumbnail { background-image: url(“http://media02.hongkiat.com/thumbs/250×160/firefox-optimization-tips.jpg”); }

How to Optimize Firefox for Better Performance

Your web browser of choice is truly the gateway into accessing the global Internet. The web has been…Read more

Firefox 52 is Out – Here’s What’s New

Firefox users are in for a treat as the latest version of Mozilla’s web browser has gotten a new build in the form of Firefox 52. As with every other major builds, Firefox 52 comes with new features and more. Here are the three main features and changes that you’ll see with Firefox 52.

WebAssembly support is now available on Firefox 52

Back in 2015, Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple teamed up to develop an efficient bytecode that can be run effectively by JavaScript virtual machines. Said bytecode is called WebAssembly (Wasm) and it is now making its debut on Firefox 52.

So what can you expect from Wasm? For starters, this new bytecode will allow complex applications and games to run in a browser at near-native performance without the need for plug-ins.

Games and apps are just the first step for Wasm of course, as the folks at Mozilla envision that the bytecode will soon be utilised on productivity apps and JavaScript frameworks, leading to reduced load times and improved performance.

Firefox 52 will begin flagging websites that use HTTP as insecure

In Firefox 51, the browser notifies users of non-secure HTTP websites with a simple icon found in the address bar. With Firefox 52, Mozilla is getting more aggressive in its “anti-HTTP” stance by displaying warning messages whenever a user clicks on the username and password fields on non-HTTPS pages.

On top of that, Firefox 52 will also support a policy called “Strict Secure Cookies”. This policy forbids HTTP websites from setting cookies that have the “secure” attribute.

strict security cookies
Firefox 52 will discontinue NPAPI plugin support

Google has done it, Microsoft has done it, now Mozilla will also be discontinuing support for almost all Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugins. The only exception to this is Flash, as Mozilla still considers its to be widely used by many. Nevertheless, the company does plan to make Flash operate on an “on-demand” basis later this year.

Besides the new features and changes, Firefox 52 will also be the last version of the browser that will support Windows XP and Windows Vista. Those looking for a full changelog for Firefox 52 can find it here.

Browser Trends December 2016: Mobile Overtakes Desktop

In November, we looked at the underdog browsers adopted by one in thirty web users. The StatCounter browser statistics for December 2016 records a more exciting and momentous event in the web’s history …

Mobile overtakes desktop, November 2016

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, October to November 2016

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser October November change relative
Chrome 59.39% 59.22% -0.17% -0.30%
Firefox 13.28% 13.49% +0.21% +1.60%
IE11 6.95% 6.98% +0.03% +0.40%
oldIE 1.94% 1.81% -0.13% -6.70%
Edge 2.82% 2.93% +0.11% +3.90%
Safari 4.79% 4.69% -0.10% -2.10%
iPad Safari 5.42% 5.68% +0.26% +4.80%
Opera 1.91% 1.82% -0.09% -4.70%
Others 3.50% 3.38% -0.12% -3.40%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, November 2015 to November 2016

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser November 2015 November 2016 change relative
Chrome 54.27% 59.22% +4.95% +9.10%
Firefox 14.70% 13.49% -1.21% -8.20%
IE11 10.40% 6.98% -3.42% -32.90%
oldIE 5.05% 1.81% -3.24% -64.20%
Edge 1.21% 2.93% +1.72% +142.10%
Safari 9.34% 10.37% +1.03% +11.00%
Opera 1.77% 1.82% +0.05% +2.80%
Others 3.26% 3.38% +0.12% +3.70%

(The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 6.7% of oldIE users migrated elsewhere last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated and StatCounter vs NetMarketShare.)

Chrome experienced an uncharacteristic fall. I’m secretly pleased; I predicted Google’s browser wouldn’t reach 60% before the end of 2016! That said, -0.17% is hardly a major setback, and my predictions are notoriously awful. No doubt everyone will switch to Chrome during the next month just to prove me wrong!

A fall for Chrome generally means good news for other applications. Firefox, Edge and even IE11 all rose but the changes are hardly dramatic. Let’s move on; there’s far more interesting news on mobile …

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, November 2016

Mobile browser use increased by an impressive 1.78% during November. It smashed through the parity barrier and now accounts for 50.62% of all web activity. Mobile exceeds desktop usage for the first time since the web began.

(Some sites were reporting this event last month and mobile usage did overtake desktop on certain days. However, the overall percentage for October 2016’s mobile use remained below 50%.)

We’ve been waiting some time. The “mobiles-will-overtake-desktop” prediction was raised at least a decade ago, but took longer than most expected. Possible reasons include:

  • It is difficult to do real work on a mobile device. That said, devices have grown exponentially in Asia and Africa in places where the PC revolution never occurred. Millions of people now work and trade on smartphones in ways which are troublesome in the western world. We still struggle with micro-payments and simple transactions regardless of age or financial status.
  • Network bandwidth is slow, unreliable and costly in the majority of countries. There are only so many hours you can surf and a mobile connection will impede progress. There are exciting possibilities for future technologies, but fast, always-on and inexpensive networks remain a dream.
  • The web has evolved from a predominantly desktop-based starting point. The situation has improved with Responsive Web Design and Progressive Web Apps, but many legacy sites are inoperable or impractical on a mobile device.

Does the mobile explosion change our development lives? Probably not if you’ve been reading SitePoint and watching industry trends: you’re already mobile aware. Fortunately, it will be a wake-up call for any client or boss who doubted the growth of the mobile platform or didn’t think it would affect their business. Be prepared for several “how can we make our digital experience better on a smartphone” conversations very soon.

From a technical perspective, I recommend a mobile-first approach:

  1. Design your site/application to work on smaller, narrow screens.
  2. Use media queries to progressively enhance your layout as the screen size increases.
  3. Take a simple, pragmatic approach. If you’re removing a feature because it doesn’t fit on a mobile screen, consider whether it’s necessary to offer it on the desktop.

The top mobile browsing applications for the month were:

Mobile Browser October November change relative
Chrome 40.64% 43.22% +2.58% +6.30%
iPhone 16.69% 17.43% +0.74% +4.40%
UC Browser 17.90% 16.73% -1.17% -6.50%
Opera Mini/Mobile 8.64% 8.38% -0.26% -3.00%
Samsung Internet 6.52% 6.39% -0.13% -2.00%
Android 5.83% 5.28% -0.55% -9.40%
IEMobile 1.13% 1.02% -0.11% -9.70%
Others 2.65% 1.55% -1.10% -41.50%

Chrome continues its meteoric rise at the expense of all others (especially Android Mobile, which it supersedes). While I don’t use Chrome as my default desktop browser, I have no hesitation in recommending it on mobile. I’m yet to find an alternative which offers a better experience.

The iPhone edition of Safari and UC Browser continue to dance round each other. Following a month at the coveted #2 spot, UC Browser has been knocked back once again. However, the dominance of mobile usage will encourage people to look for better smartphone applications. Take note, Apple: your lacklustre attitude to Safari and the web could hit profitability sooner than you think.

The biggest faller was the “others” group. More than 40% of those users migrated to a mainstream browser. Perhaps it’s a statistical blip, or my underdog browser article from last month didn’t help their cause?!

See you next month for a round-up of the major browser events of 2016.