Six weeks after the release of Firefox 6, Mozilla officially released the new next version for Firefox. The seventh cycle of development confirms the rapid release schedule adopted by Mozilla this year. While there are rumors regarding the idea of shortening this cycle to only five weeks, these won’t happen too soon.
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Similar to its previous version, Firefox 7 brings few notable improvements and features. The most important improvement is the memory usage optimization. It is said that Firefox 7 has reduced its memory usage by 20% and even 50% in special cases. This comes as a positive effect for the startup and page loading times, which suffered a lot in previous version.
Other subtle improvements have been done to the Firefox Sync component which now initializes the sync process for password and bookmark changes more frequently as they are modified or added. Firefox 7 also adds support for CSS3 Text Overflow method and a new measurement tool that allows web developers to identify performance improvements or flaws on their website.
Azure is the new graphical component introduced in Firefox 7 in order to improve the rendering process of Canvas present in the new HTML 5 standard. In this way Mozilla is trying to prepare its path for future worldwide changes in the HTML standard. A subtle but good change has been applied to the address bar. Now the main domain from a web address is even more highlighted compared to the subdomain component and the “http://” prefix is not visible anymore.
Pluses: faster than previous versions especially on complex web-pages, support for CSS3 Text Overflow, fast Canvas rendering with Azure component, faster Firefox Sync option, less memory leak;
Drawbacks/flaws: third party extensions cannot keep up with the rapid cycle of development from Mozilla;
In conclusion: With version 7, the Mozilla team is continuing its optimization process to improve and bring Firefox to the next level of quality.
version reviewed: 7.0