Feeds

Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

Dynamic linker obesity treatment

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?