Mozilla is Making a New Firefox That’s Twice as Fast – Forbes
Your web browser is already fast, but wouldn’t it be nice if it was even faster… say, twice as fast? Mozilla certainly thinks so, and it’s giving Firefox users a sneak peek at the super-speedy future of their preferred browsing app.
I downloaded Mozilla’s latest developer preview to give it a go, and it delivered as promised. A quick run through the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark showed a huge improvement over the current stable version of Firefox. On my system, Firefox 55 posted a score of 56.4 — while the Firefox Quantum preview scored 109.1.
Not quite double, but impressively close for the first public preview. It’s important to remember that this is software that still has a lot of rough edges. As Mozilla gets closer to releasing this new-and-improved Firefox, scores in benchmarks like Speedometer should continue to improve.
Benchmarks aren’t always a great indicator of an app’s speed, of course. In the limited amount of surfing I’ve done with Firefox Quantum, though, it loads web pages in a flash. I did some unscientific stopwatch testing and many (like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter) did, in fact, load twice as fast.
What is it that makes this new version of Firefox so much faster? Mozilla has re-built a lot of its code from scratch. One major component was completely re-written, the Firefox CSS (code that affects the appearance of a web page) processor. A browser’s CSS engine has to do a lot of work on today’s web pages, and the one in Firefox Quantum handles it beautifully.
There’s a lot of other work going on, too. According to Mozilla’s blog post, coders have also addressed nearly 400 performance-sapping bugs in this new version of Firefox. Firefox Quantum also responds more quickly to your actions, like mouse clicks and scrolling. The user interface has also been optimized to take advantage of the numerous under-the-hood improvements.
Firefox Quantum isn’t the kind of browser you want to set as your default. Not yet, anyway… but if you’d like to see what the future holds for Firefox and you don’t mind the odd bug or crash it’s well worth the download.