11 Jun 2011

Firefox 5 release: new speed, same illness (quick review)

I was reading my Twitter when noticed tweet by OMG! Ubuntu! about this article.
Yes, KDE got official update for Kubuntu 11.04. How much time did it take me to start my System Update after reading these news? Just few seconds!
Yes, there was update for KDE. But that is not the only update which arrived today.
First of all, there was new kernel for Kubuntu: 2.6.38-10.
And second, there was... Firefox 5! Yes! You maybe surprised, but Firefox 5 has been rolled out to Kubuntu! Even official site still offers Firefox 4.0.1!
I am not fan of Firefox, but new version... why not look at it?
First attempt to start Firefox 5 was taken right after update installation. Unfortunately, it failed. I suppose there were too many changes in other software (kernel, KDE) to handle them all.
I rebooted my computer.
Firefox 5 started without any issues this time. First of all, it checked compatibility of installed plugins. Unsurprisingly, nothing was found. I did not install any plugins in Firefox, because I do not use this browser.
Once started, I could measure memory usage for cold-started Firefox 5 and Chrome 12. I closed all additional processes opened by installed Chrome Extensions via Chrome Task Manager for clearness of experiment .

System Monitor shows it very clear. Firefox 5 uses 1.5-2 times less memory than Chrome 12. Even Chrome itself recognises it:
Ok, but what is about browser speed? Chrome is my favourite because it flies like rocket. I opened same site, which I have never opened in this browser before. You may be surprised, but this was www.ubuntu.com. I did not use stopwatch to catch exact time. But subjectively Firefox 5 won the competition.
And last, I checked my own homepage. I do not use and I do not like Firefox, because it has its own understanding of standard HTML tags. As a result, my own homepage looks awkward in Firefox and some other browsers (Rekonq, Konqueror are in the list). It was true since Firefox came to the scene. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari - all they show page correctly. Here is Chrome picture - how site should look like:
Yes, that is not best example of web design. But you see that top table with navigation is aligned to content part of lower table. Technically speaking, if you look at source code of the page, you will see that both tables have width="620" as parameter. This is valid code, if you trust W3C Validator. And now... Firefox 5 comes to the same page:
Ooooopssss.... Alignment? Width? What do these words mean?

UPDATE: this error was fixed, thanks to Enio. Problem was in CSS-styles for the site. See comments below.

Another thing which you can notice on the screenshots is screen real estate which browsers leave for web page. I would say that Chrome uses twice less space for window components (address bar, title, menu, tabs) than Firefox 5. Simply because Chrome does not have window title and menu line at all.

Yes, Firefox 5 is another step forward made by Mozilla team. It now compares with Chrome in speed. But I still reside at Chrome. Because I want to see pages as they were designed by their authors, not like Mozilla wants them to look like. And because I like omnibar. And because I like more real estate. And...


  1. yeah, that's true, but in my old computer, chrome taking more resource than firefox, so im prefer firefox than chrome.

  2. @My Mind:
    I have 1Gb of memory and even that is rarely used in full unless I open lots of web pages with heavy Flash. In this case another 30 Mb of memory is not that important. My concern here is that the bigger application grows in cold start, the slower it becomes both to start and to operate. I feel like Chrome has started to suffer from obesity.

  3. You probably have ubuntu-proposed repository checked in Kubuntu (see Software Sources), because Firefox is not jet officially released - planned for 21 of June.

  4. I've got an awesome idea... Lets complain about poor rendering in a *beta* release and then say we like Chrome better because it saves screen space.

    Lets just ignore the fact that firefox uses the same amount of screen space after two click - Right Click on the top->Uncheck "Menu Bar" and that Gecko renders a pile of websites better than Webkit does.

    Always quality posts from Dark Duck.

  5. 26 errors and 8 warnings at validator.

    so... chrome renders crap html better, good to know .. i guess.

    valid code my butt

  6. Firefox 4 renders your site just like that Chrome screencap.
    And about the screen estate... Firefox can be easily customized which is a lot harder in Chrome.
    I personally do not like Chrome at all and now it seems that it can't even play its "but it is fast though" card anymore.

  7. Énio Fernandes11 June 2011 at 19:17

    Uh... If you compare both screenshots you notice that text size in navigation is bigger in firefox than in chrome. I've gone to the page in both browsers and can confirm this. After inspecting the css in firebug on firefox, gues what, there was no font-face property defined in .tbltxt selector and guess again, firefox uses the "serif" typeface by default and chrome uses "times new roman". Care to guess what happens when i add "font-face: times new roman;" to the .tbltxt selector in firebug?

    But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story...

  8. It isn't the fault of Firefox that your homepage is not rendered the way you want it. In my Chromium it is rendered like your Firefox Screenshot.

  9. @Anonymous:
    Yes, you're right. Proposed updates were activated. I don't remember why I activated them. That's why I was so surprised! Thanks for hint.

  10. @JeffHoogland:
    I have even better idea.
    Let's take nice OS, remove every possible package from it, add very new Desktop Environment and call it new OS.

  11. Énio Fernandes11 June 2011 at 22:29

    Hey DarkDuck, Here's the greatest idea EVER.

    Fix the article, and the stylesheet while you're at it, and stop embarrassing yourself even further.

    Oh and BTW I f*cked up in the previous comment because the property is "font-family:". There is no such thing as "font-face:"

    Screenshot http://i51.tinypic.com/2wg51lj.jpg

  12. @Anonymous:
    Most of these errors/warnings are for javascript(s) which I cannot change. None of them is about table width.
    I cleaned code a bit, but still ~15 errors for that script.
    Anyway, I solved the issue with my own page, see comment from Énio Fernandes.

  13. @Énio Fernandes:
    Most useful comment for this post (and possible for the blog in general!)
    I fixed an error which I could not solve for few years!!!
    Now it looks much better, isn't it?
    And yes, there is no "font-face", there is "font-family". It was defined for other texts in CSS, but not for .tbltxt.

  14. @Anonymous:
    When I was using Chromium, it looked OK.
    Hope, now it is OK for any browser (thanks to Énio Fernandes).
    I checked: IE8, Chrome for Win, Firefox 5.0 for Ubuntu, Chrome 12 for Ubuntu, Rekonq and Konqueror for Kubuntu.

  15. @JeffHoogland:
    I removed menu bar from the Firefox. But it still has slightly more space at the top: window title cannot be removed.
    Anyway, thanks for advice!

  16. Come on don't be so hard on the poster! It is a free blog and doesn't need to always be right and top notch. It is b.t.w. nice to see that version 5 is easier on the resources.

  17. @Anonymous:
    Thanks for support!

  18. @DarkDuck Bodhi does _alot_ more than what you mention in your brief stab. You would know that if you actually installed distros you "review" instead of just running a LiveCD for 15 minutes and then calling it a day.

    That being said - Bodhi has very little to do with the quality of the writing on any website other than it's home page.

    Your writing here is consistently brief to a fault.

  19. "Your writing here is consistently brief to a fault."

    That's one way of putting it; not taking the care to write correct English is indeed a fault. Now, not only is this a fault anyone can make, but some people seem to embrace this fault very enthusiastically.

    If you are going to write, try to make it readable.

  20. Well, to me a browser is next to worthless if it has no plug-ins installed. I could not live without blocking of unwanted advertisements, managing and deleting unwanted cookies and "flash cookies", syncing bookmarks and settings, etc. I have 41 specialized and general search engines to select from on my "Google bar", including three Google "unpersonalized" searches
    Now, even if Chrome were faster, and had all the plugins, etc., I would still use Firefox. This is because Firefox comes from Mozilla, which rose, like the Phoenix, from the ashes of the atrocity of Netscape's destruction.
    Holy, holy, holy.

  21. @JeffHoogland:
    Hope you read this.
    BTW, finally you got to the point. I am doing short reviews. If you want to get longer ones, please visit http://dasublogbyprashanth.blogspot.com/ or http://www.linuxbsdos.com/ or many more good blogs. If you don't like reading my blog, why are you reading it?
    If I don't like blog, I don't read it. And I don't constantly complain about quality of that blog...

  22. @Anonymous1:
    You maybe surprised, but majority of Earth population are not native English speakers. And still English is language of international communication.
    My level of English is enough for people to understand me.
    If you don't like my English, you can either become editor of my posts or avoid reading my blog. I don't make you read!

  23. @Anonymous2:
    Chrome has plugins. Where have you been for last couple of years?
    Simple psychology says that selection list becomes useless if it has more than 10 options. Having 100-ish items in your search engines list does not help you to find information, but obscures search. How many of those 104 do you actually use?
    And then... Chrome has feature to use search engine of any web site if Chrome finds it. Start typing URL and then press Tab when prompted. works brilliantly with Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, ripe.net, duckduckgo, my blog and many others I have tried.
    Your problem is that you created yourself a god (holy, holy, holy), and cannot admit it and change your religion. I don't have relegion, and I use what is convenient for me. Neither Nescape nor Firefox fall into this category.

  24. "Firefox 5 uses 1.5-2 times less memory than Chrome 12"

    argh! I think you broke my brain trying to calculate that one. I'm sure you mean half to 2/3rds, even 0.5-0.66x would suffice. :)

    Interesting developments for Firefox though, it's about time they slimmed down a bit, that was the whole point of moving away from the old Mozilla suite in the first place I recall..

  25. @dnel:
    If you look at screenshot from System Monitor and summarize all processes for Chrome (just Memory column), you'll get 75529 K. Firefox only uses 28652 K. This is about 2.5 times less. If you include Shared Memory, you have 129057 K vs 55996, which is also > 2 times.

  26. @DarkDuck My point was that "two times less" doesn't make any sense so I couldn't work it out until I saw the screenshot, but I see now you meant Firefox uses half the memory of Chrome. It's a good article I just think it would make more sense to re-word that bit :)

  27. Chrome may not have the title bar, but in windows, it does not play nicely with the 'other components ' of the OS. For example, features like "tile windows horizontally" does not work for instances of the chrome browser. (This is chrome 11.0 though)

  28. @Anonymous:
    I have just checked. You are right. Tile windows horizontally is not working for Chrome 12 on WinXP either. 8-(
    I don't use this feature at all, so did not know.

  29. @dnel:
    e-mail me darkduck at darkduck dot com please

  30. The brevity of Chrome increases the number of clicks/keystrokes in order to save a bit of screen real estate. For some of us, this is not desirable. It increases confusion by making things harder to find. I have used Firefox since it was in beta and known as Firebird, and I still prefer it. I am not above changing, if something better comes along. Loyalty only means that I would take my time about changing. By the way, I find your English to be very understandable, except for the way you express "times less than..."

  31. @cestover:
    I understand that everyone has his own preferences. I don't feel like do more clicks in Chrome. If you do, you still free to choose. At least, you don't say "holy, holy, holy" and you're ready to change.
    Thanks for compliments to my English. I speak some Russlish sometimes, so "times less than" is from that area. 8-)))

  32. my html5 pages don't display well in chrome(although web-kit and fancy CSS3 animations are awesome)

  33. @Anonymous:
    that's very strange, because Chrome has best HTML5 support among stable browsers. Dare to share the link?

  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  35. Previous comment was removed as not relevant to this post.
    To author of that comment: I write here what I want to write. If you are unhappy with what I do, don't read it. That simple...

  36. oh! I can't agree with that DarkDuck. Only after reading a post you know whether you like it or not. I like chrome.
    But I prefer to use firefox as chorme is based on the firefox (am I right?) and I don't want google monopolise the whole web world. :)

  37. @Anonymous:
    >chorme is based on the firefox (am I right?)
    You are very wrong. Chrome is based on Chromium which is community project with Google involvement. Chromium and Firefox have different development teams, different rendering engines... just everything is different.

  38. I am deleting Firefox 5 because it won't let me remove plugins, only extensions.

    Many plugins, like the Microsoft DRM plugin are involuntary malware. I never asked for them, they reduce functionality and now I can't remove them.

    Extensions can be removed but plugins can't. Irremovable plugins are a staggering security risk and totally unacceptable.

  39. @Anonymous:
    Will this help?