Feeds

Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

Dynamic linker obesity treatment

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.