Mozilla Focusing on Speed for Firefox 4

Paul Lilly

You know the drill by now. Every time there's a new browser release, it's accompanied with improbable speed claims, which makes you wonder how exactly a browser can run 30-50 percent faster, or more, than the previous version when your Internet connection hasn't changed. Part of the answer lies in the JavaScript engine, which is what browser makers are most often alluding to when talking up speed, but that isn't necessarily the case with Firefox 4.

Come October or November, Mozilla plans to unveil its next version of Firefox, and while JavaScript will inevitably get a boost, there will be other speed enhancements as well. Support for high-speed graphics and text through Direct2D are currently planned. HTML5 looks to figure more prominently than ever before, and there's a 64-bit version on tap too. These are just some of the elements Mozilla says will result in a much faster browser.

"Performance is a huge, huge, huge thing for us," said Mike Beltzner, vice president of engineering for Firefox, in a Webcast on Tuesday. "We created the performance story, and we've got to keep at it."

Mozilla will also work at improving the perception of speed, which is just like it sounds. Changing the order that elements appear on a page doesn't necessarily make the page load faster, but it can appear that way.

"We are in it to win it," Beltzner said. "It's no longer the case where it's all easy wins. There's hard work to be done here. We have to make sure we're the ones leading the charge in keeping the Web open for users."

Much more here .

Image Credit: Mozilla

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