Even As Firefox 4 Performance Problems Loom, Firefox 5 is Coming

by Sam Dean - Apr. 12, 2011Comments (23)

As Mozilla continues to contend with claimed performance problems with its new Firefox 4 browser (although some reader responses to our post on the matter argue that there are none), it is nevertheless persisting in its effort to follow a rapid release cycle for new versions of Firefox.  ConceivablyTech reports that new Aurora builds of Firefox 5 have already been posted online, but some are questioning whether Mozilla's new rapid release cycle--undoubtedly an answer to Google Chrome's rapid development cycle--makes sense at this point.

Conceivably Tech notes:

"The first Aurora release is still labeled as version 4.2a1pre and is not likely to change its version number to version 5.0 until it will go into beta on May 17. Mozilla said that it will also create the first Firefox 6.0 build today for mozilla-central, but has not done so yet. The Aurora builds for Linux, Mac and Windows were posted between 4 and 6 am PST this morning."

Meanwhile, PC World is arguing against Firefox's rapid release cycle, noting this:

"While the aggressive development schedule will help keep Firefox on the cutting edge, and allow it to adapt quickly to changes in Web technologies and usage patterns, it might also be confusing for end users to keep up with...Business PCs make up a significant portion of the global PC landscape. Releasing major browser versions faster than businesses can assess and implement them could be a serious handicap for Firefox going forward."

Indeed, problems with confusion and reluctance from businesses to do rapid-fire upgrades loom as problems for quickly released versions of Firefox, but currently the bigger problem is that users are reporting performance issues with Firefox 4. Firefox 5 does promise to include many new features, including improved syncing, the ability to pin icons for websites to the browser's taskbar and more, but users will demand basic performance and stability, and businesses definitely will.

Mozilla is doing an admirable job of helping users get the most out of Firefox 4, including posting lists of add-ons that can lead to performance problems. But its rapid release cycle is new, and it remains to be seen--especially since previous Firefox development proceeded much more slowly--if Mozilla is ready to follow the cycle that it has announced.



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Possibly if they offer versions varying up to 5.0, say 4.2 or so on, as they have done with 3.6 to offer a chance to develop from an edge as well as focus on those who are upgrading slowly for business practices, they will not be seen as aggressive as they seem now. But that all depends on if they plan to release updates like that as well, instead of become a fast-paced environment that many are not able to keep up with in terms of better performance.

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My company email won't work with the new firefox 4.0. is there a way to get the old one back?

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Mozilla could probably address business concerns about frequent releases by making one Firefox version a year a "Long-Term Stability" release, similar to what Ubuntu does. This would require them to keep security branches, but only for the LTS versions of the browser, not every individual release. The Mozilla Corporation could then fund the security branch development via paid support plans and other LTS revenue.

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Funny enough the high speed is about a particular project Electrolysis. "demand basic performance and stability". Exactly what Electrolysis is about but its don't make good marketing.

Process per tab is targeted for Firefox 5. Process per Extension is targeted for Firefox 6.

These are critical memory leak and other issue clean ups.

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i have the new firefox 4.0. i have same problme my email and also the yout tube dont work it keeps firefox crashing. on the firefox it wpork alll the wensite but the hotmail and also youtube dont work on the new firfox 4.0 can pls tell me why is this happaning.

how can fix this problem. are there any othere ways. i have unisatll the fire fox and dowloand it still same things happinh the yooutube and hotmail work fine on internet explore and othe web browser but it done work on fire fox 4.0 why.

i might jsut get older viseron.

can tell me how to get that or fix problem.

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Firefox 4.0 is a disaster. Many major sites, like mlb.com and weather.com, are not supported and look terrible. What went wrong? I reinstalled 3.6.16 and all is well.

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The issues are so bad that I am seriously thinking about reverting to 3.6. Using firefox is like trying to control a browser over remote control on a very bad connection.

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@abigail I have had more issues with the latest versions too. One is not properly closing. Sometimes I will close the browser and then try and reopen it and Windows tells me that I already have FF running. I either have to wait or restart my computer.

Hopefully with Aurora, this will allow less issues/bugs. It looks as if each release will have a 6 week cycle http://www.softwarecrew.com/2011/04/firefox-aurora-release-heralds-new-d.... Hopefully this will help with stability.

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I cannot use firefox 4 and it doesn't work as soon as I upgraded. It crashes when I try to search or actually do anything. I have just gone through all of the troubleshooting one by one only to find nothing made any difference.

Firefox specifically suggests not to revert back to older versions due to security issues.

Does anyone know what to do? I love using Firefox. But alas I am having to use a different browser. I guess there is hope with the new upgrade in May?

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Stay away from firefox 4. lots of problems.

It took me hours and hours to fix my computer and get back

to firefox 3

I am so upset and frustrated. Enough said.

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PC World consistently doesn't even know where to look for information on future Firefox builds, so why would anyone bother to quote them? They also don't seem to understand the Mozilla has gotten rid of "major releases" as the Chrome development track they are now using lack any distinction between major and minor upgrades.

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I believe that many of those who are experiencing crashes and suchlike with Firefox 4 should have a go at Mozilla's plug in check. Might be that the plugins installed on your computer isn't compatible with Firefox 4.

Also you might want to remove/disable any custom toolbars, for instance from your antivirus vendor.

And please send in the crash report to Mozilla so they have a chance to fix your crash. :)

Mozilla's plug in check can be found at http://mozilla.com/plugincheck/ and I recommend everyone to update their plugins to the latest one. Might be security holes and other issues in these plug ins.

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I installed Firefox 4.0 a few months ago and had nothing but problems(too many to list). Luckily, I had the old 3.6 version in my download folder and re-installed. I had no problems going backwards.

I'm quite concerned about re-installing versions 4 or 5. Staying with 3.6 until I'm convinced the later versions will work.

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I love firefox and all the help it gives me!!!

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Firefox Version 3.x.xx available on Oldapps. If you install a Version of Firefox 3 you will need to back up bookmarks and strip out anything to do with Version 4 and start from scratch. unless you get rid of any vestige of Firefox 4 it will reappear and pollute the re installation of Version 3.x.xx

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My Firefox 4 was ok except the flash player crashed constantly, then I installed Ghostery and everything went to hell. Firefox opens and immediately crashes and puts up a window saying it encountered a problem. A window I'd never seen before. I finally dumped it. Tried everything I could find and it wouldn't go back to normal. It never fails. When an outfit has success and grows, they stop caring about their customers and stop listening to their problems and their input. I've used Firefox for years and loved it. Now I'm done for good.

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Firefox 4 on Mac broke my PDF download and display capabilities. Fortunately I use Time Machine and just re-loaded v3.6. Firefox 4 is to be avoided until Mozilla properly tests its software.

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It made me so angry even after reinstall of 3.6 wich had bugs I went back to ie.

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I have been a Firefox fan since the early days. Persuaded all my friends and family to use it too (with success). With the new version 4 we encounter a lot of problems. I am soooo dissappointed! Is the rush for new features compromising basic quality? As in many other projects? So it seems! Our main problem is about performance. Every now and then we experience some strange lags (delays). Not all the time. Now all my friends and family are switching to other browsers! Most people have no patience. Nor willingness / knowledge to dig for solutions / workarounds. For now I will stick to Firefox because it's still an awesome browser. But this and other problems need to be solved FAST.

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Firefox 5 is another disaster. I cannot get any addons, which is the main reason that I am using FF instead of Chrome. I could not even go to its addon website - It gave me a certificate error. The certificate errors pop up so often on websites that I switch back to IE very frequently. Yahoo mail does not work on one of my computers inside FF...

It feels like that FF development has got out of control or something. I am fed up and considering completely do away with FF...

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Thanks for the article which unfortunately is as applicable after the official release of FF5 as it was when written.

I don’t think FF realizes how well they were doing in office environments or how much these new changes will hurt them there. Two particular problems of note which occur in clean test installations are;

1) Poor graphic design (perhaps intentional) in the area to the right of the menu bar which is now unreadable as it has frosted black text on a black background.

2) Changes to the updating method update which allow updates to be applied without the user knowing which update is impending and start downloading before the update is committed to and selected by user.

Both of the aforementioned resemble tactics that Microsoft used to use to force users towards new and less desirable features (as Firefox seems to be doing with the new Firefox button), and to force updates to the newest version (a classic example of this is Microsoft’s habit of placing new browser versions with critical updates until they reach a certain level of distribution and then moving the browser update in with optional updates).

How could this circumstance be made worse? By using a rapid release schedule of updates that do not address these issues and does not instill confidence! Firefox had a bad growing pain around the 2.x versions but not nearly this bad. During this go round FF seems to be emulating the very things that it once helped users stuck in a Microsoft universe break away from. I wont go past FF 3.6x at home and would never let this new mess touch a production environment.

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Why is Firefox using so much CPU power when I'm not doing ANYTHING?!

I'm just reading a page of text ant FF is using 20-50% of my CPU.

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Firefox 4 is not stable. I've switched to Chrome recently. There is an issue with Hotmail and even google failing to load in fact all major sites fail to load on occasions. I've started using Chrome with no such problems.

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