Feeds

Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

Dynamic linker obesity treatment

Top three mobile application threats

The Firefox 4 Android beta is morbidly obese. But Mozilla has a diet plan.

Over the past twelve hours, after Mozilla released its first Firefox 4 beta for Android, multiple Reg readers have said the browser takes up far too much space on their Googly phones. "Fooking HUGE!!!" said one. "Not even going to waste my time with the beta."

The install is indeed large — particularly when you consider that many Android phones offer only 64MB to 512MB of storage for apps. The Firefox 4 beta needs about 40MB of storage space. Whereas WebKit browsers can use the rendering libraries bundled with Android, Mozilla is forced to include Firefox's libraries in its APK (Android package) file.

Mozilla man Matt Brubeck also points out that due to the way the Android native development kit is designed, these libraries actually end up in two places. They're not only compressed in the APK, they're extracted to a folder when the browser is loaded onto the phone. "For apps like Firefox that are mostly native code, this more than doubles the installation size," he says.

In an effort to solve this problem, Mozilla developer Michael Wu is building a dynamic linker that can load the rendering libraries from the APK without copying the libraries to a folder. This will cut the installation size by more than half, Brubeck says, but will increase startup time. For that reason, Mozilla may just let the browser take up more space on phones with a gigabyte or more of internal storage.

Brubeck also points out that with Android 2.2, you'll have the option of moving the APK to an SD card. The extracted libraries, however, will remain on the phone's internal storage.

Regardless, Mozilla anticipates that the Firefox 4 beta 2 for Android will be smaller. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.