Multi-Process Support Coming to Firefox

Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 by El Guru in Browsers, Firefox, Fx 3.5, Fx 3.6, Google, Mozilla News

I am thrilled to finally see this being planned for Firefox. The ability for the browser and each tab to run as their own process was one of the greatest features of Google Chrome. I know what it is like to have to whole browser shut-down because of one problematic tab. I dealt with this for several weeks last tear and this year with AdBlock and WordPress causing a crash. Also have had this issue with my Thunderbird Blog when entering commonly used words on the title. In those instances, the entire browser shut-down.

Right now this in the early phases and likely won’t be part of Firefox 3.5, but rather Firefox 3.6. From Mozilla Links:

Mozilla has started a new project to make Firefox split in several processes at a time: one running the main user interface (chrome), and another or several others running the web content in each tab. Like Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 which have implemented this behavior to some degree, the main benefit would be the increase of stability: a single tab crash would not take down the whole session with it, as well as performance improvements in multiprocessor systems that are progressively becoming the norm.

The project, which lacks a catchy name like other Mozilla projects (like TaskFox, Ubiquity, or Chocolate Factory) is coordinated by long time Mozillian, Benjamin Smedberg; and also integrated by Joe Drew, Jason Duell, Ben Turner, and Boris Zbarsky in the core team.

Thanks for the tip Claus!

  1. Jorge says:

    I’m a new Guru’s Blog visitor.
    I don’t know much about split tabs in many process, so… every tab will use the same memory space firefox use now or will be splitted too? how this will benefit memory use? (sorry if i misspelled some words)

  2. El Guru says:

    @Jorge Welcome! From what I have seen with Chrome the browser itself is still going to use the same amount of memory and resources, but they will be split into different processes. The biggest benefit is going to be able to recover easier if a site goes haywire and starts eating up resources. This normally would have caused the browser to totally freeze up and eventually shut-down. However with this new system, you can either kill the tab (not sure if Firefox will have an onboard process manager like Chrome) or the tab itself will shutdown. Either way the browser and all the other tabs are going to keep going as if nothing happened.

    This should also help to contain memory leaks too as the tabs are closed the process are ended which will free up resources.

  3. […] In response to Google Chrome and IE8, Mozilla announced multi-process support coming to Firefox. […]

  4. […] Tab Switching Behaviour which was yanked in Firefox 3.1b2 is coming back. However, I am not sure if Multi-Process Support is part of the 3.6 release […]

  5. […] Process Plugins (OOPP) or plugins running as their own processes. This come nearly a year from when Multi-Process Support Coming to Firefox was announced. Crashed Foxit Reader […]

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