Feeds

Mozilla puts squeeze on slow Firefox add-ons

Firebug tops slow startup list

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mozilla is cracking down on Firefox add-ons that put an undue drag on the performance of the open source browser.

With a blog post on Friday, Mozilla said that within the next two weeks, it will add a warning to any add-on that slows Firefox's startup time by more than 25 per cent, and in an upcoming version of the browser, third-party add-ons will not be installed unless the user specifically approves the installation.

"It’s an all-too-common practice of third-party software to install toolbars and other bundled add-ons in your browser without permission," Mozilla says. "We know that these add-ons account for many of the performance problems reported to us, and users often don’t know how the add-on got there or how to remove it." Requiring approval for the installation of all add-ons, Mozilla believes, will have a "huge impact" on performance.

Every week, Mozilla will run automated performance tests on the top 100 add-ons in its add-on gallery, and it will display the results here. After the first round of tests, the slowest performing add-on is the hugely popular website debugger, Firebug. According to Mozilla's stats, Firebug slows startup by 75 per cent.

The seventh slowest add-on is FastestFox. It's designed for speedy browsing, but it slows startup time by 31 per cent.

In the coming months, Mozilla will also provide tools to developers that will let them test add-on performance on their own, and it will be contacting developers whose add-ons are putting an inordinate drag on startup time.

"Firefox performance is extremely important to our users, especially how quickly it starts up and loads websites," Mozilla says. "Customization is also extremely important, and while most add-ons cause only a tiny performance impact, others can significantly slow down Firefox. Many users don’t realize add-ons can cause these delays, and that’s why we’re committed to improving performance in a big way."

Eventually, Mozilla says, it will test all add-ons as they're submitted to the gallery, and it will expand testing to page load time. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.