Mozilla Backtracks on Decision to Cease Development of 64-bit Firefox

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Zoandar

What's the matter, Mozilla? Running out of man-hours for your INCREDIBLY RIDICULOUS 'rabid release' program???? Here's a novel idea. I know it is totally strange to you, but how about actually SLOWING DOWN and producing a carefully debugged browser version on a reasonable release schedule? If anyone is left from when you released version 3 they might remember those times. I think I speak for many when I say Waterfox is my go to browser, but I do NOT need to see 10 version upgrade releases a week!!

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Shalbatana

So I wanted to do the "far" distance setting in minecraft, so it recommended 64 bit java. So I went to install 64 bit java, it said you need a 64 bit browser. So I went in search of a 64 bit browser. No chrome, no firefox, and if IE has one as others have said, they keep it really buried and hard to find.

So I finally found something (acutally I found it first, but dismissed it as "unofficial") about 5 days ago that installed "nightly" which is a nightly build (even if an old one) of 64 bit firefox. It seems stable to me, but then again I haven't used it much.

Long story short, unless I was misled, you seem to need a 64 bit browser to install 64 bit java which is recommended for far on Minecraft.

So to all you who say 64 bit is not important, I say bah! It is VERY important! :)

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whr4usa

WaterFox final builds > Mozilla nightlies

also 64-bit IE and 32-bit IE are inseperable on 64-bit Windows, just run it manually from "Program Files" (as oppossed to "Program Files (x86)" and it should become searchable and shortcutable

...and if you must host a minecraft server or any server-side internet-facing application which requires java PLEASE do so in a virtual machine for your own good!!

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TrollBot5000

I've been thinking about this article for awhile now since it's been one of the few truly relevant posts on here lately. Mark zuckerberg's sister is a prime example of the opposite. Ok so yes Mozilla should have put out a 64bit browser long ago. That's a given but someone did bring up a good point about Mozilla not possibly having the resources to fully support x86 and x64 with an equal amount of developers working on both. They should take a page from Steve Ballmer's craziness. Developers Developers Developers Developers Developer Developers Developers. Hahhahah I digress. I remember when I first booted up windows 7 for the first time and noticed 64bit IE I thought Mozilla should do the same. Like I said on my first post for me personally I'm not sure how much I would particularly benefit from it with my browsing habits but there definitely is a necessity for it. Yes Waterfox fills the void if you're running windows but what about those like me that run linux as their primary OS with windows in virtualbox vms. I most likely would switch to the x64bit version when it does finally come out simply for the fact that it would startup faster on a 64bit platform and it would most likely have better html5 performance from what I've seen on a waterfox benchmark youtube video. I understand some people prefer just leaving an endless amount of tabs open as opposed to using bookmarks. I prefer to stay organized without a cluttered browser but to each their own.

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whr4usa

+1

also ignoring huge security and much smaller energy-efficiency benefits

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Insurgence

I honestly feel that this could be a great new starting point for Mozilla. Since 32bit is still supported on a larger scale than 64bit they obviously do not want to stop supporting it, but as an organization that does not sell its product for profit, their resources can be a little thin. Microsoft and Google have the money to consistently support 32bit and 64bit in full development side by side. Mozilla has to manage it's money a little better.

With the issues that the current versions of Firefox have, especially memory, it would probably behoove Mozilla to separate development and put the 64bit development in the hands of a smaller team essentially rebuild Firefox.

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whr4usa

+1

if we ignore you mention Google as an example of a company with quality developers (lol) or that said programmers develope any 64-bit native code (bigger lol)

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biggiebob12345

Soooo basically you only need to care if you want to have 1000 tabs open at once...

ok...don't care. I've never had more than 6 rows of tabs open which is ~60 tabs and I know that if I have more than 20 tabs open, then I need to do some closing.

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AFDozerman

I've seen fewer than ten tabs take up over 3 and a half gigs with opera. In firefox, that would probably come out to well over four. Then again, i've seen what you just described. Its all about how you use your browser and the data that is being displayed. Regardless, technology is moving to the point where WebGL, HTML5, and Flash games are getting pretty intricate and requiring a whole lot of resources; the only facebook game that I play will push all eight threads on my CPU and suck down an extra half gig of memory. Mozilla should be preparing for the future by phasing out the archaic X86 ISA and moving to X64 so that future webapps will be able to utilize the necessary resources. This is especially true when you consider that they are wanting to pull a google and build an entire OS around their browser, relying on webapps exclusively for functionality.

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kixofmyg0t

Oh really?

See the thing about "I've seen this" is you claim anything.

I've seen 1 tab in Chrome take up 8GB for example. Is it true? Who knows. But "I've seen" it so it MUST BE true right?

So you say 10 tabs in Firefox would take up 4GB?

What about 40 tabs? Would you believe that 40 tabs actually takes up about 800MB? No? You need proof?

http://www.tomshardware.com/gallery/MemUse40TabsWBGP12-2,0101-351514-0-2-3-1-png-.html

The best part is that even the most current Firefox.

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Andrew.Hodge

Your little picture proves absolutely noting. There is absolutely no context whatsoever. If you want to show me a screenshot with actual webpages and a resource monitor showing memory usage, we'll talk then.

You obviously have issues with reading posts over three sentences, so let me restate that content has a huge impact on memory usage. The time I am referring to, I had a 3D WebGL demo running, a flash game with several hundred sprites running on an eyefinity setup, and a 4K video playing from YouTube, plus several other flash and java heavy pages in the background.

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kixofmyg0t

Oh I get it.

So when a website does a comparison and shows their results it doesn't matter and it's "no context".

But YOUR SINGLE account matters.

Roger got it.

Nothing was stopping you from reading the article that the picture is from guy. I'm not even saying Firefox is the best, but you made NO CONTEXT claims that Firefox would use 4GB of memory for no reason but spite.

Here's the page from my "little picture". http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/firefox-15-safari-6-web-browser,3287-12.html

Maybe you can figure out how to find the test setup page, but I highly doubt it.

I understand man you're bitter, you don't like Firefox and haven't used it in years. That's cool.

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TrollBot5000

Yeah that's what I was thinking after looking at that chart. There is no context. Are those 40 tabs just simple web pages with pictures and text or are some flash games/youtube videos etc.

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whr4usa

+1

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nbrowser

Amazing that even today, Mozilla hasn't released an official 64 bit version of Firefox. We've been using 64 bit versions of Windows for a few years now, even earlier if anyone stuck with Vista x64. Hell even Microsoft has an honest 64 bit version of Internet Exploder.

I've been a happy Waterfox user for quite some time now and can honestly say, I do enjoy the benefits of addition speed, stability and reliability offer by Waterfox, if Mozilla needed an example to follow, this is it.

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whr4usa

first 64-bit-native browser versions for Windows;

Microsoft = IE6

Opera = 12

Google = never

Apple = never

Mozilla = never (WaterFox = always) (Pale Moon = 'recently')

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vrmlbasic

Waterfox's site proudly proclaims that it is all about speed and that it uses Intel libraries and compilers to achieve that goal. As an AMD user, I'm leery of that.

I might still try it out as Firefox leaves me with much to be desired; it's fire has long since gone out.

Why Mozilla isn't focusing on 64 bit is a mystery to me as Firefox's bloat can barely fit within 4 GB of RAM. Right now I have only 11 tabs open (most of which are Wikipedia pages) and FF is consuming 432 MB of RAM.

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whr4usa

as an amd fan you should understand that amd uses intel compilers too, considering x86 is a 32-bit Intel Architecture upon which AMD's 64-bit extensions and related intellectual property rely

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vrmlbasic

My concern is that I have not seen proof that Intel goes out of its way to ensure maximum efficiency with AMD's still-new Bulldozer architecture, especially when the architecture is like nothing Intel uses in its chips, and your post isn't assuaging this concern.

Additionally, I still don't see why Waterfox's site expects me to associate "Intel math libraries" and "Intel compiler" with blazing-fast browser speed.

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whr4usa

Intel maintains 2 seperate low-level developement teams; an internal which only directly interfaces with their engineerign teams or Microsoft etc. to make sure newer platforms (whether an OS like 8 or a runtime like CLR) can fully and properly take advantage of new Intel-specific technologies and be optimized for them

...the other produces tools for their x86 architecture which are always 100% standards compliant
(seeing as the x86 architecture family both 16-bit and 32-bit ARE Intel's intellectual property and it is in their interest to maintain 100% compatability across processors even from different vendors)
there's a reason many people call it IA32 now...
...the point being WaterFox is trying to convey there's as little overhead as possible in their coding process, as Intel's libraries are "as close as you can get" to the hardware by definition
(this as oppossed to say, Visual Studio which tends to exclude features either not fully supported by Windows or considered a security risk by Microsoft)

AMD actively works with Intel to ensure their 64-bit compiler/libraries are 100% compatible with their AMD64 standard with is 100% reliant upon Intel's x86

AMD then interfaces with platform vendors like Microsoft directly for AMD-specific features

also you're mistaken in thinking AMD's Bulldozer designs are an innovation on x86
AMD has just found a creative way around intellectual property issues with regards to simultaneous multithreading (Intel's "smart cache", hyperthreading etc.) and has taken a page from crApple's book for the not-so-"technical marketing" aspect of it - so now everybody believes they've made some huge breakthrough when really they're just catching up again like always

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AFDozerman

*Intel compiler.

Yeah, that's why I'm teaching myself to compile everything from source under Linux. I like being able to chose my compilers for myself, thank you.

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rwpritchett

Waterfox. 'Nuff said.

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Penterax

Waterfox is probably great, but I use Firefox so I can use NoScript, and I can't use NoScript on it.

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Jasker

NoScript works just fine on Waterfox. I'm using them together to write this.

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kevaskous

All plugins that work on FF, work on waterfox, enjoy.

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The Corrupted One

Almost all. I have seen a couple that don't.

But not the really popular ones.

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kevaskous

They also probably do not work on newer versions of Firefox, either.

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whr4usa

+1

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EKRboi

Haha.. Was coming to spew my 2 cents about how it's retarded that 64bit is not the priority! But it looks like you all have it covered =)

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pastorbob

Meh! Don't use it. Don't care.

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Penterax

Your point in telling the world that you don't care about this is what?

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pastorbob

Just doing as everyone else who has commented is doing - expressing my opinion.

Your point in showing the world that you're a jackass is what? Did you have to practice to get there or did it just come naturally?

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Dartht33bagger

I don't see how companies can still get away with not releasing a x64 product. Mozilla is doing it with Firefox, and Valve did it with the Steam beta for Linux. It just blows my mind that companies are still focused on x86 in 2012.

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TrollBot5000

Yeah it's one of those things that for me personally I could take or leave. I never have more than say 7-10 tabs open at any one time. I'm going to take a guess that a 64bit version would possibly start up faster? That's one issue that Mozilla still hasn't seemed to fix is the slower load time compared to chrome or opera. Another question I have is would addons which are written for the 32bit browser have any compatibility issues migrating to 64bit?

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whr4usa

browser extensions (as oppossed to 'plugins' like those using ActiveX or NaCl) rely upon bitness-neutral in-browser APIsets which don't care what platform is underneath

64-bit native browsers will start slightly faster on 64-bit OS' regardles of your browser of choice simply because of the lack of that extra layer of code (i.e. WoW64) but most (including WaterFox and IE or Opera 12+) are heavily optimized (...and can be better optimized than a browser which must run on both 32-bit and 64-bit OS' dating back to XP instead of only 64-bit OS' dating back to 7 (Vista SP2 ++ "platform" makes it pseudo-indetical to 7 from a coding standpoint)

also security is greatly improving jsut by being 64-bit native on 64-bit windows!

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TrollBot5000

Thanks for the info mate. I'm on the networking/hardware/OS support side of things so I need coders to explain these types of things to me from time to time. It's like I know the windows OS to a great extent but I don't know HOW it works underneath at a coding level. Same goes with programs. Again thanks.

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whr4usa

no problem! always have time to help fellow technicians

full disclosure - definitely not a programmer though I started on that road initially and might switch back on it again someday; am an IT collegiate and entrepreneur with strong knowledge of windows internals though I don't quite have the credentials to prove it (yet!)

we all need to start somewhere!

huge hardware guy here also but bit weak with networking outside of virtualization and crossover cabling (:

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Hilarity

Mozilla should focus on 64-bit first and release 32-bit second. Throw out all this 32-bit shit. Performance is always better with 64-bit and a fat stack of RAM. Ridiculous that technology is being held back by idiots running XP on a P4 still in 2013.

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whr4usa

until we've "truly 64-bit" processors (not 37-bit or 48-bits in hardware) 32-bit developement still has to come first for many practical and technical reasons but I agree, there's zero reason to not be coding 64-bit-native apps or else just use managed code (or the widnwos runtime!) and ignore the paltform variations completely

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aarcane

32 bit is archaic. There's no longer any good reason to use or support 32 bit anything. The future is 64 bit. Clinging to 32 bit anything is like providing floppy images for installation when you can provide a CD or DVD or USB image and cover literally 100% of all modern hardware.

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Nastyman

TheStewardess,

Good God, don't you comprehend what you read? It said 64 bit Firefox can utilized more than 4 gigs of ram! 32 bit can only use 4 gigs of ram. So when you use 32 bit browsers and have a lot of windows open to price-shop an item with the 32 bit browser running you will slow the whole computer down because it used up all the ram and now you are working in the swap file and you are running real slow.

Nasty

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whr4usa

actually a 32-bit win32 app can only use 2GB max on 32-bit Windows but all 4GB on 64-bit Windows

64-bit anything can use memory more-efficiently than 32-bit anything (on windows and any linux distro using latest stock kernel memory management

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TheStewardess

64 Bit
So What

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AFDozerman

You and pastorbob should get together...

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pastorbob

My comment has absolutely nothing to do with 64 bit apps but rather Firefox itself. I use a 64 bit OS and browser. Just not Firefox so whether or not they have a 64 bit version doesn't matter to me.

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AFDozerman

So why do you keep weighing in on this article if you don't use firefox? I don't run around MacLife complaining about garage band's latest lack of features. Know why? Because I don't use apple products. Therefore, I would have absolutely no input at all that would matter to them, even if I did know a lot about it from second hand.

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pastorbob

I wasn't "complaining", merely stating my thoughts about the topic. I tried Firefox several times and each time returned to my previous browser. So my statement was based on my experiences with it. And in each case after my initial post, a question was asked of me and I answered. Or in your case my name was referenced so I commented. Besides, I find it very amusing the way people get so defensive (and aggressive) concerning their chosen products and applications. It is comical how many are ready to insult, criticize and attempt to shut down those who don't share the same opinions about a product.

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whr4usa

+1

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