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Mozilla wants your input on Firefox 64-bit

Posted by on 16/07/2011

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Mozilla has taken a different approach to developing its 64-bit version of Firefox by asking the community what they want to see in the Win64 edition.

While there are obvious concerns such as memory usage and security, Firefox’s product manager Asa Dotzler wants to dig deeper to find out concerns regarding operations on various 64-bit operating systems, as well as concerns about plugin and download management. In his blog post, he asks users to submit ideas for the new version, so they could take those thoughts into consideration for development.

I’m collecting information on what people expect from and are concerned about with a 64-bit Firefox build for Win64 users. So far I’ve heard “improved performance” and “better security” in the pro column and “download confusion”, “plug-in availability”, and “memory footprint” in the con column.

Obviously improved performance and security would be great to have. And I’ll bet that the download confusion, plug-in issues, and memory footprint are all solvable issues. So, am I missing anything here? Are there other benefits or drawbacks that I haven’t got?

Also, if you know Firefox well enough to point out specific work that needs to happen to make 64-bit builds a supportable reality, please let me know as well. I think doing 32-bit plug-in hosting like we do on Mac might be in that list. Maybe a stub installer that can pick the right download belongs in that list. Perhaps we also need changes to our release engineering infrastructure. Are there any concerns across different Windows versions (XP 64-bit vs 7 64-bit, for example?) Anything else?

All and any help appreciated. Figuring this out is near the top of my to-do list for Firefox this summer and fall. Thanks.

Currently, Mozilla offers a test version of a 64-bit version of their browser under their Nightly Builds program.

If you’d like to give your input towards the 64-bit version of Firefox, please feel free to do so here.

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