back to article Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

The Firefox 4 Android beta is morbidly obese. But Mozilla has a diet plan. Over the past twelve hours, after Mozilla released its first Firefox 4 beta for Android, multiple Reg readers have said the browser takes up far too much space on their Googly phones. "Fooking HUGE!!!" said one. "Not even going to waste my time with the …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Can you say Chromium Mobile?

  2. Jonas Taylor

    And the point is?

    Why would you want Firefox on your phone versus something light like Chrome? I just don't see the appeal, especially when performance is so important on a phone.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      One word:


  3. SilverWave

    Yeah Firefox fan here BUT no chance this is going on :-|

    I mean 40MB ffs

  4. Tommy Pock

    How big is Opera Mini 5?

    It's 260KB or something isn't it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How big is Opera Mini 5?

      It also doesn't really do a lot of rendering itself; a large amount of it is rendered and compressed by Opera's servers first before it goes anywhere near your handset.

      Firefox Mobile, on the other hand, includes a full rendering engine and also all the supporting libraries. The size difference is to be expected.

  5. bazza Silver badge

    Libraries stored twice?

    Why on earth did Google do that? One of the key points about the ARM processor is that its code density (i.e. functionality per kByte of storage) is unusually high. There's not really a great need to compress the code at all. And if the rest of an app's APK is pictures, well jpgs are already compressed too.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      .. are not ARM code by and large. They are not even exclusively 100% Dalvik for there are application 'resources' within too. For a phone which by default (up to 2.1) has to load APK's into its primary storage device, you can see why google chose to compress these.

      I agree, having the image avalaible uncompressed in another place (I do not know enough if this is actually in a working directory or a ramdisk/cache) sounds wasteful but it may have been done to improve responsiveness. Presumably google phases these loads to recycle out as the application fades out of context. I am assuming a lot - I do not know all the nitty gritty yet.

      2.1 and below, Dalvik's just an interpreter. And 2.2 - I don't know exactly how good the Jitter is compared to oracle/suns.

      I must say I was pretty dead set against managed code and virtual machines, but my preliminary muckings with Android and Java have made me have second thoughts. No firm verdicts, I still think c is king but all I can say is "hmm, interesting".

      My phone has been running without reboot now 3 weeks despite the crap I send it to test.

      1. BorkedAgain

        Is it just me?

        ...or is there something a little sad (as in unhappy) that we now discuss telephone uptime?

    2. David Given

      Libraries stored twice?

      Because Linux can only dynamically load executables and libraries out of the real filesystem, not from zipfiles. Therefore the library has to be copied out of the apk (which is just a renamed zipfile) into the filesystem before it can be used. But the apk can't be modified, so you end up with a compressed copy there as well.

      The solution to this is to use something like FUSE to allow the zipfile to be mounted as a real filesystem, but that makes life much more complicated (and slower) and as it would only really be useful for this particular case they've decided not to do it.

  6. Robert Forsyth

    Does Firefox have NIH syndrome?

    Have Firefox 3.6 (desktop), and it refuses to use the desktop's window furniture: rolling it's own scroll bars (that are not as good as the built-in ones).

  7. semprance

    The real issue

    Am I the only one seeing that these phones don't have enough storage space? I'm using a Palm Pre FFS, and that happily handles apps way bigger than a measly 40mb. I like Android as well but seriously, 40mb is not a lot of space for a complex app.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Not SO bad on Froyo...

    as it can be forced to the SD card by various means but it is still17.5Mb application and 14.52Mb of data (32.02Mb total) which is still huge for "just a browser".

    It needs a diet!

    Maybe its all a conspiracy to make Windows 7 Mobile more attractive...?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mozilla should switch to Webkit....

    I think they're on to a loosing battle..........

  10. John Sanders

    Mozilla's problem

    Has got a name: "Over-engineering"

    Now, on a desktop computer most would not notice. But on a restricted environment like a PDA/Smartphone...

  11. dirk_diggler
    Thumb Down

    It's not the size really..

    but the performance is terrible. It takes forever to load compared to the bundled browser and isn't at all smooth or responsive.

  12. e n





  13. bexley

    Unusable on the galaxy s

    I have it on my galaxy s, it crashes a lot, hardly loads any pages and takes about 2 minutes to start.

    The built in androis browser is superior in every way at the moment. I really hope that they get it working properly but this is not even of alpha quality at the moment

    1. shmirsh


      agreed on the "not even alpha quality" comment - haven't had it crash on my galaxy S but the load time is ridiculous

  14. Drefsab


    Big whoop its 40mb, use a2sd+ from day one and you will have loads of space. I personally don't need hundreds of apps installed at once. If I want an app as a one off I download it use it and then uninstall it.

    As for the comment about windows memory leak I'm betting you use flash. Flash doesn't tell Firefox its done with the memory when its finished. Most memory leaks couuld be fixed if they made flash report to the browser that its done.

    I for one will be trying this and hopefully the pages that chrome doesn't work well with will be better.

  15. D. M

    40Mb is huge

    Even 20Mb app (usually 3D games) is considered huge, and many would not even touch those. One major complaint for flash on mobile is its size (and cannot be moved to SD). Flash is around 10mb. I thought wasting over 10mb for flash is already insane. 40Mb for a bloody browser, have they completely lost their mind?

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