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Mozilla tackles slow Firefox add-ons

Mozilla tackles slow Firefox add-ons

Benchmark figures will be displayed for Firefox add-ons, showing their impact on the browser's speed.

Mozilla has announced a crackdown on slow Firefox add-ons. In a recent blog post, Mozilla's add-ons product manager Justin Scott described the measures the organisation will take to minimise slowdowns.

'We’ve updated our Performance Best Practices and have begun reaching out to developers of slow add-ons and asking them to work on performance,' says Scott. According to the blog post, each add-on you install adds an average of 10 per cent to Firefox's startup time, with some adding considerably more.

Mozilla is kicking off the process by benchmarking add-ons from the top 100 list to see how they affect the browser's startup time. You can see the results here.

The list of scanned titles will soon extend to every new version of every add-on, and Mozilla plans to include benchmark figures such as page-load time too. Warnings will appear in the add-on gallery next to add-ons that increase the startup time by 25 per cent or more, with the warnings appearing in Firefox's add-on manager in the near future.

A future version of the browser will also include a mandatory user-accepted installation system, which is aimed at preventing add-ons from sneakily finding their way into the tool bar, for example.

In the meantime, you can see some of our favourite Firefox add-ons here.

If you use Firefox, does this sound like a good idea? How many add-ons do you use and what are your favourites? Let us know in the forums.

33 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
amacieli 4th April 2011, 12:18 Quote
No connection with IE9's in-built functionality to do much the same thing... not at all.
V3ctor 4th April 2011, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amacieli
No connection with IE9's in-built functionality to do much the same thing... not at all.

:D I really liked that extra in IE9, it's only natural that everyone copies it :D
will_123 4th April 2011, 12:52 Quote
unstable and slow add ons with firefox. Nothing new!
Snips 4th April 2011, 13:13 Quote
IE9 all the way, don't want or need FF.
Bauul 4th April 2011, 13:36 Quote
The above comments sound like they're from strange parallel universe where Microsoft is the loved innovative leader being copied by Mozilla, the slow buggy behemoth.
Scarlet0pimp 4th April 2011, 13:41 Quote
IE 9 is good though so deserves some praise.
Snips 4th April 2011, 13:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
The above comments sound like they're from strange parallel universe where Microsoft is the loved innovative leader being copied by Mozilla, the slow buggy behemoth.

and what an excellent place it is!
wuyanxu 4th April 2011, 13:46 Quote
Flashgot, Adblock (disabled on BT) and Xmarks...... i got them installed :(

Firefox's cold start speed does need improving, a lot. hopefully this will make developers make more optimised code. i mean with Flashgot, it shouldn't slow down cold startup, it should load with whatever page is loading after the browser shows.

use Apple's methodology to make stuff feel fast: do stuff while thinking. iOS feels smooth and fast because it has these silly animations to let the user know it is doing stuff. if Firefox cold start up shows a window pop out animation, everyone would think it's brilliantly fast.
mucgoo 4th April 2011, 14:01 Quote
Having several good browsers around can only be a good thing. Nothing wrong with a bit of copying of good features.
Phalanx 4th April 2011, 14:04 Quote
People seem to blame firefox's speed problems with Mozilla rather than the little shites who can't code for **** (jesus, where did that come from? I don't talk like that!).

If you run Firefox without addons (I do), then the startup time is almost instant for me.
cgthomas 4th April 2011, 14:29 Quote
IE 9 really deserves praise this time round. They've fixed all problems with slowly running jquery and other script types
IvanIvanovich 4th April 2011, 14:44 Quote
it's good that they are reaching out to the extensions developers. they are the reason firefox is so attractive to many people as they provide all of the extra features many enjoy. at the same time, they are hindering firefox performance and image due to poor coding. full code audits should be required before release approval when hosted on the official firefox add-ons site.
Threefiguremini 4th April 2011, 14:58 Quote
Yeah microsoft seem to be really on a roll at the moment. Great operating system, great browser, great anti virus.
sWW 4th April 2011, 15:08 Quote
Does adblock work with IE9? Its the only reason I feel I cannot leave FF. Don't want to watch ads all the time on 4oD etc
will_123 4th April 2011, 17:47 Quote
@Bauul. Jumping to conclusions there pal. I dislike IE everything but like previous comments have said IE9 is ok. But I am a chrome user through and through. Tbh on the speed tests they are all pretty much the same think opera and chrome are the faster of the bunch but by a tiny margin. Think its just how the look and feel to the user. You can see that Firefox 4 IMO has taken the chrome simplistic look which I think is better. More screen estate.
l3v1ck 4th April 2011, 18:08 Quote
I don't care if NoScript does slow the starting time by 16%, I'm still going to use it.

If Mozilla were really worried about speed, they'd ship Firefox with the popular about:config tweaks already set up.
It's not as if start up speed is the most important thing anyway. You only start up once per session. Where you want the real speed is when it loads web pages.
Ficky Pucker 4th April 2011, 19:17 Quote
i've got flashgot - 50%, adblock plus - 21%, greasmonkey 15% & download statusbar - 14% installed.

and i don't find the cold start slow, but its good to see mozilla finally do something about the addons :)
Javerh 4th April 2011, 20:32 Quote
Browsers are so 1999. Why would someone use them anymore? mIRC sockets all the way!
Snips 4th April 2011, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh
Browsers are so 1999!

No, it was Prince!
Sloth 4th April 2011, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I don't care if NoScript does slow the starting time by 16%, I'm still going to use it.

If Mozilla were really worried about speed, they'd ship Firefox with the popular about:config tweaks already set up.
It's not as if start up speed is the most important thing anyway. You only start up once per session. Where you want the real speed is when it loads web pages.
This. Without the addons it's just another browser.

NoScript and FireGestures have me hooked!
LordPyrinc 5th April 2011, 03:45 Quote
I use IE8 and MS Security Essentials. My browsing is it a bit unscrupulous. The combination of the two with the Windows Firewall have seemed to protected my PC so far.
fluxtatic 5th April 2011, 05:22 Quote
I gave up on FF back when it's memory-hogging tendencies were a problem (eating 500MB in a system with 768MB.) Now that it's not a concern (it's still a hog, but now I've got 6GB), I see no reason to go back. I miss some of the add-ons, but they didn't add huge amounts of functionality. Opera has been the best to me since it had the ad bar on top (although I gave it up for a while when I had a free ISP that also used an ad bar - ads eating half my screen vertically was a bit much on my 15" CRT.)
Nicho133 5th April 2011, 10:42 Quote
I personally have never bothered about add-ons, I only use whatever add-ons are necessary, such as Flash, Silverlight etc.
jocke92 5th April 2011, 18:02 Quote
I never restarts firefox so that doesn't matter except when there's an update or memory leak.
Chocobollz 5th April 2011, 19:52 Quote
So, is this the reason that FF giving me message about a script running slow? (and it is a facebook's script) :-/ I've running these Opera 10.10 on my laptop for 21 days now (with 798 tabs open in 9 windows; checked from the parameter in the latest session file) and it is still runs okay (of course it feels a lil sluggish but not much). The memory footprint for Opera is 1.1 GB and FF is 390 MB (with 63 tabs open in 6 windows, feels a lot more sluggish than Opera o_O).

I always thought that if you need max compatibility + addons then Firefox is the way to go, but if you just need a good & fast browsers that will do all standard browsing + max comfort, then Opera is the way to go.

For me, I don't need addons so Opera is my main browsers but I do sometimes found a website that isn't fully compatible with Opera so I still use FF (very rare though, maybe 1 in 200 websites :-). It just Opera is so much easier to work with and the menu is a lot more easier to navigate. It is also a lot faster when doing forward and backward in history.
InSanCen 6th April 2011, 07:52 Quote
Fix the godamn memory leaks first... 3GB for a frigging browser? I wouldn't mind so much if I had scary amount of tabs open on content rich sites, but this was 4 tabs on forums. Okay, that is the worst I have seen on my system, but 1.5GB is not unusual.
impar 6th April 2011, 09:12 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by InSanCen
Fix the godamn memory leaks first... 3GB for a frigging browser?
:|
Screenshot?
Chocobollz 7th April 2011, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by InSanCen
Fix the godamn memory leaks first... 3GB for a frigging browser? I wouldn't mind so much if I had scary amount of tabs open on content rich sites, but this was 4 tabs on forums. Okay, that is the worst I have seen on my system, but 1.5GB is not unusual.

LOL and here I thought using up 1.1 GB for 798 tabs is bad :P
Mraedis 7th April 2011, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by InSanCen
Fix the godamn memory leaks first... 3GB for a frigging browser? I wouldn't mind so much if I had scary amount of tabs open on content rich sites, but this was 4 tabs on forums. Okay, that is the worst I have seen on my system, but 1.5GB is not unusual.

And that would be you, I don't have anything like this.... maybe 350k for 25 tabs or so. :|
Ending Credits 7th April 2011, 18:41 Quote
I've moved from firefox on my laptop simply because it takes abut 10-20 times as long to load as chrome does.
roshan 9th April 2011, 08:48 Quote
I have used FF4,IE8 and Chrome12 ..
Fastest of these for me is Chrome12 with out any hesitation.Older FF versions were good but newer versions are too slow. Now people say IE 9 is good.Gotta try that..
vampalan 10th May 2011, 16:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
IE9 all the way, don't want or need FF.

IE is like a bullet magnet in a urban combat zone. (there's a reference to the movie "Black Hawk Down" in there somewhere)
Torin 10th May 2011, 17:07 Quote
Shame Firefox 4 seems unpolished slow at times loads glitches and crashes easily for me if I use google beta crashes FF4 but use ask runs fine till load page have reload page to load the page styles Chrome seems be new Step to smooth nicely finished with speed Browser.
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