With Firefox 54, the next generation of the popular Mozilla browser is coming very soon. We look into the beta version more closely and show you what is changing.
Mozilla in November 2017 will start distributing Firefox 57, which probably is the most extensive browser update in the past several years, but the manufacturer still has a lot to do. Firefox is bringing two exciting technical novelties as well as a very practical additional function. All details of the innovations of Firefox 54 are presented in this article.
More processes for Firefox 54
Already with Firefox 48, Mozilla began to gradually distribute and optimize the new multi-process architecture. True to the motto “Split load is half load,” the goal of the multi-process architecture is to divide the tasks of the browser into different processes. Advantage – as they run independently of each other, they do not interfere with each other and thus ensure more stability. So far, however, Firefox has been limited to two separate processes: one for the browser itself and one for the web content process. With Firefox 54, the manufacturer now ignites the next stage of the technical round-up and increases the number of permitted content processes to two.
This allows all open tabs to share at least two processes. This reduces the risk of the browser crashing due to an error. In addition, the measure should increase the performance of the browser. In the tests, the developers first have to remove all the errors and optimize the process selection. In a very early pre-release version of Firefox 55, the developers have already increased the number of content processes to four. According to the current test results, only one additional process is added, because each new process increases the memory consumption, which can negatively affect the browser and PC performance. Note that with the majority of Firefox users only have 4 gigabytes of memory.
Sandboxing: Isolated surfing
Mozilla also announced that it would activate a new security feature named Sandboxing in Firefox 54. The not yet completed new technology, ensures that the content processes are run separate from the rest of the system. Malicious software, which is spread over web pages, for example, is trapped in Firefox and thus it becomes difficult for it to access the rest of the system.
Screenshot tool and more for Firefox 54
Anyone who has tried Mozilla’s new program has already come across the new feature called the “PageShot.” With the help of this small tool, you can create individual screenshots of web pages with just a few clicks and then share with friends and acquaintances. Instead of on the hard drive, the photos end up on Mozilla servers at screenshots.firefox.com. This makes sharing easier. You can make the picture accessible to others using a link. You can use the online storage options to set how long the screenshot should be saved. The time span ranges from ten minutes to unlimited.
Another advantage of the program: Unlike classic screenshot tools, you can also take full page and complete screenshots of websites with one click. The annoying adjustment of the selection frame or scrolling is no longer necessary. Note: During the beta phase of Firefox 54, the function is not activated by default. To change this, open the advanced settings using about:config command and set the extensions.screenshots.system-disabled option to true by double-clicking on it. Among the rather minor improvements, there is the new option to activate the reading mode of Firefox by key combination (Ctrl + Alt + R.) Currently, users had to click on the book icon in the address bar.
Conclusion: Firefox 53
Even if the crucial innovations of Firefox 54 are happening under the hood, the users will still see performance improvement from it sooner or later. Because with Sandboxing, Mozilla makes surfing safer, while the several content processes increase the stability and makes surfing itself more enjoyable. The quite practical integration of a web-optimized screenshot tool is already the famous icing on the cake with this Firefox update.
Predecessor check: Firefox 53
With the changes made by Firefox 53, Mozilla has proved that the team behind the browser is not finished on new ideas. Many changes made the former version feel more alive and gave a small pre-flavor to the expected for November 2017 super update. For example, Firefox now indicates the approximate reading time of longer articles.