Firefox 6.0 Released

by Andrew Cunningham on 8/16/2011 12:30 PM EST


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  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    This is really irritating. I just got most of my addons updated for 5.0, now this? Yeah right I aint doing it. Reply
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I didn't have to do anything other than wait a week for a couple of my extensions to catch up. If your add-ons are taking this long to be updated you should switch to a more actively updated add-on if available.

    All that said, I completely agree with you about the irritation bit. I am very disappointed with the direction mozilla is taking. Still works for me, but I think this will disillusion regular users who don't care and don't want to update and also users like you who run into problems. Because there inevitably are problems with a release schedule this ambitious.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    What kills me is these full point upgrades. Firefox 2.0 to 3.0 *was* major, and 3.0 to 3.5 (and then 3.6) at least had some significant tweaks. 4.0 was also a big deal, adding GPU acceleration among other things. From 4.0 to 5.0 wasn't much of a change, other than some UI differences, unless there's something on the back end that I missed. Coincidentally, when 5.0 came out was when I actually ditched Firefox and went with Chrome (after using FF for at least four years).

    One problem in the post-3.x FF world is that suddenly the silly Facebook games that I play (Bejeweled Blitz and Zuma Blitz) run like poop on FF4, but they work fine on Chrome. Now FF is doing Chrome-like version increments, but last I checked (the final release candidate of FF6), nothing had improved to win me back. So, sayonara Firefox -- you're still not as bad as IE, thanks to the numerous extensions, but Chrome has won me over.
  • Lifted - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    "Google remains the only major web browser with it’s Chrome product that does not adhere to the Do Not Track setting. The same lack of disregard likely applies to all the applications Google bundles with it’s spy handset Android-based phones."

    While I agree that Chrome is a slick browser, I refuse to live with GoogleScope focused deep up my rear.
  • DaFox - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Funny, I actually just switched back to Fx6 when it hit beta after using Chrome for 7 months or so. The 'Omnibar' in chrome and the history were the final things that pushed me over the edge back to Firefox.

    The biggest problem with it is that it parses the whole page. So If I were to mention say.... Cinnamon Toast Crunch here, you could search for Cinnamon Toast Crunch in your Chrome history and it should bring up this page, which I found utterly retarded.

    All in all though, it doesn't really matter what you use when you're using Chrome, Fx or Opera. They are all excellent and better than eachother in various ways depending on how you use your browser.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Unless your extensions are using apis that were changed, (binary components???), or access to the update server is blocked (*glares at corporate IT); FF should be querying and getting told that the addin is safe to use even though it's not marked as supporting the next versions. Reply
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Install the add-on compatibility reporter, it lets you ignore the version requirements for addons and you can report problems to the developers if there are any.

    Most addons that have at least been updated to 4.x works just fine on 5 and 6 too.
  • Mulderism - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Firefox has been all but banned from my MBP and I'm adjusting to Safari and Chrome as my daily browsers. Firefox was just getting too slow. I miss the extensions and more capable RSS features but I just could deal with the sluggishness any more. Reply
  • bersl2 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Firefox 7 is the first version to benefit from extensive work to reduce memory consumption. There was an attempt to get some of this into Firefox 6, but it was too late in the development cycle. Still, that is what is good about "release early, release often".

    I've been using the alpha (which I suppose is now or will shortly be the new beta) for the past few weeks, and it is amazing. If memory and CPU were your problems, Firefox 7 should fix them.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Have you been using it with large numbers of tabs? I've been using O at home for the last few years primarily because FF would fall on its face after a day or three with several dozen tabs open. Reply
  • Mulderism - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Yes I did have a few tabs open but I always rebooted the machine. Reply
  • Dark Legion - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    On an old c2d that stays on 24/7, I regularly have 2 FF windows open, each with at least 30 tabs, and it rarely falls on its face anymore, though it does usually use 800MB-1.2GB of ram. The few times that it does I just have to restart FF, and it works fine with all the tabs back again. Kinda makes me wonder how much FF 7.0 will improve performance/ram that now that I'm hearing about it. Reply
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    I am currently using FF7 Linux x86_64 build with Adblock Plus, NoScript, Vimperator, and HTTPS-Everywhere. I currently have open one window with 116 tabs. On this machine, everything up to FF5 would expand to fill all available memory and force heavy use of swap, no matter whether there had been 2GiB, 3GiB, or 4GiB RAM in the system. As of a minute or so ago, it is using "1,311.72 MB" of memory, and the current longest-running Firefox thread has used 59 hours and 18.54 seconds of CPU time.

    At times, I have had many more hundreds of tabs open across two or three windows, though I have not tested that many under this version—I don't think I've needed to go that far yet, but there certainly will come a time for it.
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Whoops. Make that 59 *minutes*. And that was only CPU time. It's been open about 12 hours (and it loaded straight into these hundred-plus tabs), but I'm sure it'll be going much longer. It's only crashed a couple of times, which is great considering that it's a late alpha. Reply
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Oh, and if you're interested, read the journal of this Firefox developer, who appears to have been trying to get the memory problems addressed for a longer time than Mozilla has really acknowledged that there was a problem.
  • InsaneScientist - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    I've currently got 89 tabs open between two tab groups in Aurora and I haven't restarted anything in over a week and things are still rock solid and lightning fast for me.
    Oh, and I'm currently sitting at about 500MB of memory usage, plus another 250MB for the plugin container (which is almost entirely flash's fault, and I'm not particularly inclined to blame Mozilla for that). To be fair, though, a huge number of my tabs (something like 66%) are from only two websites, so a fair number of the resources for those tabs may be shared.

    There's my 2¢ worth.
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    "First, like Chrome, URLs in the Firefox address bar Awesome Bar now render a site's domain in black and the rest of the URL in a slightly lighter grey."

    To be fair, wasn't IE first with this?
    And, on the other team, it's to Apple's shame that they still don't do this (or have a unified URL/search field). Maybe Safari 5.2?
  • Braumin - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Yes it was IE that did this first. Poor IE gets no love at all. Firefox gets a nice big post on the main page, but the study released which shows IE 9 is by far the most secure browser at thwarting Malware doesn't even get mentioned.

    Seems to me that Firefox has just fallen for Google's trap of version numbers meaning nothing.
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Indeed, while I like that the release updates often (it-departments should just adjust, it can't be that dang hard!) the version numbers are stupid, still I understand them, common users look at the number and think higher is better, so how is Firefox 4 gonna stand a chance against Chrome 13 and IE9? :p Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Actually, if you have news items like that one that you think AT readers would like to read, you can send it to I'll try and get something about the IE9 report up later today.

    As we get this new Pipeline section up and running (and improve our coverage of browser releases, which is one of my personal goals and something that's sort of starting with this post), you guys should feel free to let us know what you'd like to see covered.
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I don't know when chrome started highlighting domains, but IE has been doing it since version 8 came out. Reply
  • Millsington - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I can't wait to find out what terrible UI changes they made so I can wait for addons that change it back to normal. Reply
  • Leonick - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Or you could simply not update if it's such a big deal :p Reply
  • risa2000 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    This one was quite a surprise to me (and some others). Bigger surprise however was the way how Mozilla devs handled that.

    I do not know, if someone from Mozilla actually explained why they insist on this insanely fast major releases.
  • risa2000 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    BTW, do not get confused by "VERIFY FIXED". This is just an euphemism for "we do not care". Reply
  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Lots of anger and frustration from a handful of users about a feature a HUGE percentage of FF users never knew existed (because they don't really need it).

    Features get added/removed from programs all the time. At least there exists a method within FF to get that capability back. Lots of fire over what amounts to a non-issue. A feature request is not a bug.
  • Egglick - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I've been using Firefox since version 0.6, but these new rapid updates have me seriously turned off. I'm not going to deal with the stupid interface changes, bugs, and broken add-ons each time they upgrade a full version number every 4-6 weeks. I just want a stable, functional browser with my 4 add-ons that work properly. Once I'm forced to upgrade from 3.6.18, I might jump ship. Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    The English Mac version of FF 6.0 shrunk massively from 70 MB to 20 MB installed size and thus starts a whole lot quicker. It is also slightly faster and scores a little higher in For daily browsing purposes I've been a huge Camino fan the last few years and only used Firefox for development purposes but with version 6 there's a good chance that might change... Reply
  • tayb - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Abandoned Firefox well over a year ago when I noticed it was using over 1GB of system memory. For a web browser. The only thing I use it for now is to test development projects and that's it. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I had heard somewhere that Firefox would have a built in PDF viewer, so we could ditch Adobe's version. The release notes for V5 and V6 don't seem to mention it, so was this abandoned, meant for some future version, or completely made up? Reply

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