Firefox Quantum

I’m trying Mozilla’s new web browser, Firefox Quantum (aka Firefox 57). It’s in beta now, will be the primary Firefox release in a few weeks.

There’s a lot going on with this release but the primary feature is speed. It is super snappy and responsive. From simple tricks like taking UI actions faster in response to input, to deep things like a brand new CSS engine (in Rust) and a new process model. Firefox had been single process up to now, unlike Chrome. Now it’s multi-process but still using threads in a performance / resource usage tradeoff. Uses less memory too although since I never keep many tabs open that’s less of a problem for me.

One drawback of the new release is old Firefox extensions no longer work; developers have to make significant changes for the new process model. Most of the Chrome extensions I care about also have Firefox versions that have already been updated. uBlock Origin, LastPass (a beta), Imagus, Pinboard+.

Been awhile since I used Firefox. It’s still good. Some customizations that helped me:

  • Disable Ctrl-Mousewheel zooming by going to about:config and setting mousewheel.with_control.action;0
  • Customize the layout by enabling “Drag Space” so you have a few pixels of window frame above the tabs.