back to article Firefox features will land out of cycle and Mozilla's cool with that

Mozilla's changing the way features land in future versions of its Firefox browser. At present the project uses an orderly upgrade process: a new release lands every six to eight weeks. That schedule was set in February 2016, when Mozilla decided this was a better way to get stuff done than its previous every-six-weeks release …

  1. PJF

    Ohh, Gee...

    MORE memory/system resources used now!

    Ever since 40.x, (even earlier?) its become a HOG. 4 windows/ 5-7 taps open in each, it's chewing just under 2 GIG's. 2(3) "plug-ins" - No Script and, uBlock (maybe Kaspesrky has more effect than Avast?)

    Granted, it's under a W-7 enviroment, but...

    Hey Penguin users - How bad does it hog your system? I'm thinking going Mint. (Not just because of Mozilla) . . .

    (Down-vote away..)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Ohh, Gee...

      How does the number of times you tap your screen affect your memory use?

      All the browsers switched to using more memory a few years ago. Your computer has it, your OS can manage it and it makes things faster. Get over it.

    2. paulf

      Re: Ohh, Gee...

      Upvote from me.

      Since I updated to the current main rev number (currently 45.0.1 as I avoid x.0.0 versions) it goes from nothing to 3GB of memory occupancy in a day or two of light to medium browsing. I have about 20 tabs open but most of those don't get reloaded between Firefox restarts. I run only ABP, so it's not like some rogue plugin has gone wild. I can only conclude its a monstrous memory leak that has been introduced.

      @Charlie Clark

      My machine has 12GB of RAM on Win 7 x64 so yes it can handle it but FF is also the biggest memory hog by a long stretch. Even the five CPDN threads in BOINC don't get close to Firefox's memory demands. The thing is Firefox is the one that can't handle it - once its memory requirement passes 2 GB it slows down to a crawl with occasional spells of "(Not responding)" usually ending in a random crash. There was a time when I hardly saw the Crash reporter but now I see it once or twice a week...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Ohh, Gee...

        Because of the way ABP works it might actually be ABP itself that is causing a lot of the memory usage. (see:

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Ohh, Gee...

          Adding my own data point to this discussion, because we all know that "data" is just the plural form of "anecdote"...

          OSX 10.9.5 here, Firefox 44 with uBlock Origin (I second the comments above about ABP being a known memory hog).

          34 open tabs (OK, one of which is just a "problem loading page" error), 1.63GB of memory in use according to Activity Monitor.

          As I have 24GB total I'm not particularly fussed.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Ohh, Gee...

        Memory use in browsers is driven by the size of the DOM and cached resources. DOMs for modern websites, especially those with lots of features (web-mail pages and anything that looks like an application) can be astonishingly high.

        The Chromium browsers avoid some of the problems by creating a new process for each tab (uses even more memory but reduces the chance of one rogue tab bringing down the whole browser). Firefox is supposed to be moving towards a similar model.

        FWIW I don't use Firefox as my main browser, I'm certainly not a fan of either the "sharing" shit nor out of band feature releases.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Ohh, Gee...

      I think a lot of the increase in memory usage is actually down to web pages getting larger and including multiple-megabytes of images and scripts. Anyway, YMMV but on my (Win 10) system Firefox uses about as much memory as Chrome, and significantly less than IE or Edge.

      Data from a previous comment:

      Firefox, with ten tabs open: 755Mb

      Chrome, with the same tabs: 54Mb, wait a minute?!

      Ah, so Chrome opens separate processes, so adding up all it's memory: 785Mb

      Both Firefox and Chrome are running Lastpass and uBlock Origin, Firefox also has a couple of other addons.

      Just for lulz:

      Edge, no plugins (also split into processes): 1207Mb

      Internet Explorer: 1107Mb

      1. BillG

        Re: Ohh, Gee...

        Firefox, with ten tabs open: 755Mb

        Allow me to be the rebel in the lot that doesn't like being told what's good for me:

        Firefox 28 with ten tabs open - 520Mb

        Yes, I still use FF28 on my daily driver. I have another similar laptop that stays updated with the most recent version of FF and FF28 is consistently faster and uses less memory.

        Why am I still using FF28? It's faster and uses less memory. Also, my computer, my browser, my choice. Remember choice? Mozilla used to be all about that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ohh, Gee...

      > Hey Penguin users - How bad does it hog your system? I'm thinking going Mint.

      I use Mint. Firefox is bad enough that I switched to Palemoon for general browsing (with Noscript & UBO). I still use Firefox (without blockers) for webdev work. RAM usage is similar; CPU is higher without Noscript; I just don't like the design changes in Firefox. Chrome/Chromium has gotten pretty bad too.

      Still, I'd be remiss to single out any particular browser. Stupid Javascript and CSS3 animation tricks are the main resource hogs now.

    5. Shades

      Re: Ohh, Gee...

      I really don't understand what you people* are doing? I've got 21 fully loaded tabs open and a grand total of 22** (yes, 22!) addons installed, yet FF 45.0b9*** (64bit) is still only using under 950MB.

      This is on an ASUS TP300L (2.7Ghz i5 with 6GB RAM) under Windows 8.1.

      * Not any one commentard in particular.

      ** Better Privacy, Cookie Monster, Download Manager (S3), DownThemAll!, DownThemAll! AntiContainer, EverSync, FlashGot, Ghostery, Grease Monkey, Mailvelope, NoScript, Open Image in New Tab, QRLink Maker, RightToClick, Screengrab (fix version), Speed Dial [FVD], Stylish, Tab Scope, Video DownloadHelper, YouTube Video and Audio Downloader and, finally, ZenMate.

      *** The last version, that I'm aware of, that hasn't broken the DownThemAll! addon.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small increment - big change?

    The recent FireFox update 45.0.1 suddenly decided it was restarting the browser in the middle of a test run. Then it announced that it was disabling the Selenium Webdriver add-on that is at the heart of my application.

    It took a while to find FireFox version 45.0.0 online and reinstall it - but it still refused to accept the Webdriver module. Presumably the Selenium authors have not managed to get the add-on authorised in time under Mozilla's new scheme. There were stories recently that the re-authorisation process can take a long time. There doesn't appear to be an override mechanism - shades of W10?

    Fortunately a few coding changes and test runs converted the code to use Selenium with the Chrome browser instead. Not quite as fast - but at least the production run went ahead on schedule last night. There were some problems getting the Selenium/Chrome combination to accept some standard add-ons that have had to be worked round.

    Mea culpa for not setting FireFox to manual updates - but there is a limit to how far back I would dare to regress the updates.

    1. joeW

      Re: Small increment - big change?

      Had a similar issue a couple of months ago - they seem to have removed any option for manually "trusting" plugins. In the end I resorted to a slightly older version of Firefox running in a VM for testing, and also learned the same lesson as you regarding auto/manual updates.

  3. izntmac

    I always try to use the ESR (Extended Service Releases) releases of Firefox that are supported for up to a year with security updates along the way. Since Firefox has switched to this new release model since version 3 or 4 to renaming the version every time an update comes along I felt that it has gone downhill. I still prefer the x.1, x.2 etc. version naming for minor improvements on the same version. Still I like Firefox better than Chrome or Edge. I still think Firefox is trying to compete with Chrome and emulate it with updates and features. This is killing their market share.

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Might sysadmins notice?

    Might sysadmins notice?

    Those that care will be running Firefox ESR which won't be following this practice.

    Out of band feature releases breaks the principle of semantic versioning but so what? Users are annoyed by changes, especially UI changes, whichever version they come in.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Again some "sharing" thing.

    My computer software has become a bit like the keyboard in EMACS: every bit of code has a second function, in this case trying to help me to ship personal information off to other nitwits that don't have enough of a life to need living it online.

    I don't want "sharing", I don't want a "Cloud account" to synchronise information based in a country where they consider mass surveillance perfectly acceptable, I don't want nitwits to know I'm online and I CERTAINLY don't want to play a game of whack-a-mole killing this sh*t off with every update.

    FFS, can we please reset, and start with "safe"? Just for a change?

    (yeah, had some left over monthly rant quota)

  6. andy 28


    Goodbye. Will Firefox please stop adding stuff that no-one seems to want

    1. oiseau

      Re: Hello


      > Will Firefox please stop adding stuff that no-one seems to want ...

      Will Firefox please STOP updating, reporting and doing telemetry crap even though I set it up to NOT do ANY of those things?

      I fear that these guys are going the MS W10 way, rather fed up with it.


  7. Grade%

    Disable my stuff?


    Fuck you.

  8. imanidiot Silver badge

    Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

    Anybody got a good alternative browser for a home windows environment that is not FF or Chrome? The inconsistent update cycle and amount of useless "features" in firefox is starting to annoy me to no end. And there is no way I'm going to use the "please spy on me" browser by the Chocolate Factory as I don't like it's interface, it's even worse than the immitation FF is now trying to be.

    1. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

      Obligatory SeaMonkey plug.

      Not only a useable browser with a "normal" user interface but also a useable Mail client.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

      Well, although Vivaldi is using the Chrome browser engine, it's focussing on UX and providing features that users want and use. It ain't there yet, but it's certainly worth a try:

    3. Captain Badmouth

      Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

      From the originators of Opera :

      Just starting to get to grips with it.

      I see Charlie Clark beat me to it. Have an upvote.

    4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

      I've been testing Brave for the last two weeks or so. Chromium based and FAST.


      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

        Sorry, somehow the link was chopped.

        Here is a working one.

    5. PhilBuk

      Re: Alternatives to FF and Chrome?

      I find Pale Moon to be quite nice. It has it's own version of ABP - Adblock Edge and manages to run a fair number of FF add-ons. Switched some time ago and I'm quite happy.


  9. Zork-1

    (Forceful) Daily updates?

    So, they finally decided to go Agile? Not that I like updating anything every single day like the FB app - which is still shit.

    Yes, I have a FB account (very sad) but I have only added my REAL friends in life so I guess I am more normal than most - I hope. On the bright side, I don't have a Twitter account and will never need one.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge

    If you're going to go all modular...

    ... why have you axed tonne of features that people want? If everything's modular, they should be easier to maintain.

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