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Firefox 55 Arrives With WebVR on Windows, Performance Panel, and Click-to-Play Flash (venturebeat.com) 129

Mozilla today made available a new update to Firefox for Windows to introduce support for WebVR, that the company says, will enable desktop VR users to dive into web-based experiences with ease. Firefox 55 also includes performance panel, faster startup when restoring multiple tabs, a quicker way to search across various search engines, and click-to-play Flash by default. From a report: WebVR is an experimental JavaScript API that provides support for virtual reality devices, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard. As its name implies, the technology is meant for browsers. If you find a web game or app that supports VR, just click the VR goggles icon visible on the web page to experience it using your VR headset. WebVR supports navigating and controlling VR experiences with handset controllers or your movements in physical space. [...] Firefox 55 also allows users to adjust the number of processes and how much resources they want to allocate to any of them. This setting is at the bottom of the General section in Options. In fact, if your computer has more than 8GB of RAM, Mozilla recommends "bumping up the number of content processes that Firefox uses" because it will make Firefox faster, though at the expense of using more memory. In its own tests on Windows 10, the company found that Firefox uses less memory than Chrome, even with eight content processes running.
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Firefox 55 Arrives With WebVR on Windows, Performance Panel, and Click-to-Play Flash

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  • I'm sure it will allow you to view awesome Web VR! For about 5-10 minutes until it slows to a crawl from poor memory management and then you have to restart. It's a feature!

    I'm guessing this is specifically in reference to using Web VR?

    Firefox 55 also allows users to adjust the number of processes and how much resources they want to allocate to any of them. This setting is at the bottom of the General section in Options. In fact, if your computer has more than 8GB of RAM, Mozilla recommends "bumping up the number of content processes that Firefox uses" because it will make Firefox faster, though at the expense of using more memory. In its own tests on Windows 10, the company found that Firefox uses less memory than Chrome, even with eight content processes running.

    I have a Chrome browser open that's been running for days with multiple tabs open still as snappy as when I first opened it and it's currently using a cool 163MB of RAM. My machine has 16GB of memory but it I obviously barely need to drip into it? Oh and by the way Mozil

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      AFAIK Chrome doesn't 'figure it out' it uses all the memory all the time - hence losing every memory usage benchmark.
      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        The graphic in this article shows the why nicely - http://www.zdnet.com/article/f... [zdnet.com]
        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, what it shows is that someone doesn't understand how shared memory works. Chrome looks bigger by using more processes, but the shared libraries and code is loaded only once, not each time as shown in that diagram. It makes counting memory hard.

          Don't worry, Firefox is still a bloated, slow, piece of crap browser that no one is going to bother developing for. This hasn't changed. You just have to use it for a few seconds to feel how sluggish it is compared to Chrome.

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        Chrome quite often fucks up and eats 100% CPU, driving the CPU power usage through the roof and making the VRMs overheat. FireFox? Nope. Doesn't happen!

    • Do people actually use this phrase outside of TV comedy shows?

  • ... and less than 5% of users care.

  • by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @11:44AM (#54965435)

    Really now, Mozilla. Who on Earth wants VR support in their browser?

    Stop dumbing it down. Stop adding useless garbage bloat. Make the damn browser better.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Would you prefer that VR be reserved for native applications? "We're sorry, but this application is not available for your platform."

    • Porn.

      If you can't beat 'em, out-porn them. It was the same strategy Bing used when they wanted to fight Google...

    • I literally could not care less about VR support in browsers.

      But I also don't care if it's there, so long as the browser still meets my needs. My fear about FF is that it will no longer meet my needs.

      • But I also don't care if it's there, so long as the browser still meets my needs.

        I'd suggest being slightly against it, then. You still pay the price in bloat - possible performance degradation, increased attack-surface, and more code to go wrong stability-wise.

        WebGL was [stackexchange.com] (totally predictably) a security nightmare, for instance.

  • you should know the issue:
    -In About:Config you disable Pocket and buffering pages when hovering over links.
    -you upgrade to the latest version of FF
    -Pocket is back and hovering over links buffers the page of said links.

    Why does Mozilla force us to live in FF's version of Groundhog day?

  • because it will make Firefox faster, though at the expense of using more memory.

    Firefox already uses an obscene amount of memory. The longer it runs, the more ridiculous its memory consumption gets, as it gets slower and slower to the point where it becomes unusable. Then crash, restart, repeat.

    This still has not been fixed and now they're thinking up new ways to make it even worse? Firefox has become the Hummer of browsers. No wonder Chrome is taking over. NoScript is Firefox's sole redeeming feature at this point.

  • The process must be very hard to convert an add-on to the new standard. Even Mozilla's own "Add-on Compatibility Reporter" is listed as legacy.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

    If Mozilla can't even do it then how do they expect others to do it it??

    Most all my add-ins are listed as Legacy. Some are listed a compatible with Multiprocess and some are not.

  • by williamyf ( 227051 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @01:46PM (#54966863)

    Well, welcome to the wonderfull world of FireFox ESR.

    Firefox ESR 52 will allow you to keep your old time extensions until Aprox April next year.

    Also, your NPAPI plug-ins (Like the ones you have to use for SabaMeeting, Cisco WebEx, and al sorts of ILO plugins for server and network gear).

    Just install (or downgrade to) Firefox ESR52.

    While this is not optimal, It will bid you time so that your Plug-ins and AdOns are ported to the new FireFox framework (which is SIMILAR BUT NOT EQUAL to that of chrome). Or ported to chrome, or whatever other solution your provider of said Plug-ins or AdOns considers...

    I've been on the ESR channel since its inception (I can not have my workflow disrupted every three months or so, when the firefox devs decide to change another thing).

    While is not a bed of roses (specially at the end of the life of the ESR, when pretty much all sites believe your browser is "out of date and insecure" [which it is NOT]), is better than the alternative for people like us who use the browser as a WORK tool first and foremost, with recreational uses in the backseat...

    Having said that, I believe that the Direction Firefox is taking under the hood (I will NOT enter a UI/UX holly war) in order to increase performance and security is the right one, and a little pain in the short term is whorthwile for the performance and security rewards that will be collcted later on....

    • While is not a bed of roses (specially at the end of the life of the ESR, when pretty much all sites believe your browser is "out of date and insecure" [which it is NOT])

      God, how I wish that websites would stop checking which browser I'm using.

  • I like the update... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lothsahn ( 221388 ) <Lothsahn@@@SPAM_ ... u_bastardsyahocm> on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @03:23PM (#54967907)
    I've been trying to use firefox again due to privacy concerns with Chrome. I've been really frustrated by the poor performance, despite the new multi-process.

    I just realized, now that there's a GUI (performance panel) that I multi-process wasn't enabled because I had a single legacy addon. I disabled that addon and now FireFox is MUCH faster.

    I know everyone hates that the legacy addons are going away--and I do think FireFox needs to do something about this--support them longer, fund development of the most popular addons, something... but MultiProcess FF is amazingly faster than before. I would never want to go back...
    • I've been trying to use firefox again due to privacy concerns with Chrome. I've been really frustrated by the poor performance, despite the new multi-process. I just realized, now that there's a GUI (performance panel) that I multi-process wasn't enabled because I had a single legacy addon. I disabled that addon and now FireFox is MUCH faster. I know everyone hates that the legacy addons are going away--and I do think FireFox needs to do something about this--support them longer, fund development of the most popular addons, something... but MultiProcess FF is amazingly faster than before. I would never want to go back...

      I don't think that this is correct; I have one "legacy" add-on (AdBlock), but my FireFox is running with multiple processes. Maybe you also switched the "Use recommended performance settings" options in Options => General ?

  • A javascript API for VR.. in a web browser. VR already taxes hardware and requires tight synchronization of sensor inputs over USB3 to video framebuffer output to produce a usable experience. Adding javascript, another layer of abstraction, and frankly, a shitty wannabe operating system masquerading as a web browser into the mix IF FUCKING STUPID AND A WASTE OF TIME.

  • Firefox has been moving in the right direction as far as multi process/performance updates. I don't care about the VR atm but the performance panel could be a positive addition. On the desktop Firefox is now close to- or at parity with Chrome in most benchmarks so I cant complain but I want them to focus on the baisics and forget about the flashy extras. (I hide pocket and the like first thing when I set up Firefox.)
  • Now I have a reason to pick up my 32" monitor and glue it into my face! Oh I can't wait for the excitement of spinning my head in the room for the full VR experience, while my monitor smashing everything in sight. /s
  • WebVR, huh... so they are bringing this stuff back. And everyone in the mainstream is painting this as some kind of wonderful news about innovation https://software.informer.com/... [informer.com] It's like that every time a useless gimmick is introduced, like that facebook webpage ranking https://droidinformer.org/Stor... [droidinformer.org] I mean, who gives a damn? But this WebVr is going to be paraded around until people are tied of it. And then it will be obsolete and forgotten.
  • faster startup when restoring multiple tabs

    The long wait on startup with multiple tabs open appeared several versions ago; since I often keep lots of tabs open, it was quite noticeable. So let's see: they made a regression, took a very long time to fix it, and now we're supposed to cheer? I can run an innovative software company like that...

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