Sunday, 10 May 2009

Multi process Support in Firefox

Firefox, the world's second most used browser, by the looks of it will soon receive an update that will add multi-process support.

By multi-process support we re talking about the similar feature seen in Google Chrome and IE8 that runs multiple, separate processes for each tab, which allows the browser to function without issues even when one tab has stopped responding or has crashed. This method of splitting processes increases stability and offers performance improvements as well.
As for why the speculation regarding multiprocessor support arose, that is because of a recent project that the Mozilla has initiated. The project is being co-coordinated by Benjamin Smedberg, who is a long time supporter of Mozilla. While little is known abut the project itself, we have a roadmap which suggests that we should be seeing a simple implementation of this in action by July this year.

That being the first phase, there will be three other phases post this, which will deal with the interactions between process types. The third phase will comprehensively test APIs for extensibility, accessibility, and performance. The fourth phase will deal with the final implementation and sandboxing. 

Looking at how things are moving now, it would be at least an year from now when we would see a final release version of Firefox with multi process support.

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