Firefox not to become fully multiprocess in the near future

Mozilla has announced today that the Electrolysis project, which aims to make Firefox a multiprocess application, will be put in pause for the foreseeable future.

The reason, the amount of changes required at the architectural level are so deep that it will require a large amount of resources to make this happen. At the same time, it is possible to get some important responsiveness improvements with much smaller investments.

Announced a couple of years ago, Electrolysis was expected to place each plugin, each tab, and the user interface in a separate process of their own. This way, at least theoretically, no matter what problem a web page could present, it wouldn’t take down the whole application. As a side benefit, it would prevent cross site scripting attacks since an attacking web site wouldn’t be able to access content in another tab.

According to the same post, Mozilla has identified several other areas where responsiveness can be improved, including database and memory garbage collection optimization, that require much smaller investments of time, so these are now being prioritized.

Firefox 3.6.4 (Lorentz) beta coming tomorrow with out of process plugins

According to the latest Mozilla Platform meeting minutes, Firefox 3.6.4 beta will be available tomorrow for general testing.

In recent days, the Firefox 3.6 branch became Lorentz, the code name for the first Firefox release to feature out of process plugins, which aims to improve overall stability by running plugins like Adobe Flash, Silverlight, and Java in their own independent process.

The inclusion of a features such as out of process plugin (OOPP) in a maintenance release (.6.x), is a departure from Mozilla’s classic update model which would leave new features for major updates (like 3.7 for example). In fact, OOP was backported from Mozilla trunk, the code base of Firefox.next (nightly trunk builds are labeled 3.7 right now, also a first.

Firefox 3.6.4 final release is targeted for early May.