Sheela Mamidenna

Tuesday - Jul 19, 2011

Firefox, the name reminds one of a slow, roughly worked-out browser that seemed to ‘think’ as my daughter loved to term it- at each and every click. In short it took its own time to open, to browse and the end result wasn’t as impressive as the time it took. The younger generation wants faster browsers, snappier options, clean and clear graphics that wouldn’t crowd the usage space.

Firefox with respect to its usage in India has had mixed reactions. It is evident that Internet Explorer/ Google Chrome do hold sway. But I was suprised to see the patriotic fervour attached to Firefox in this site.

A national  browser is what the site termed the Epic browser. The browser has been modified and tweaked by Hidden Reflex an Indian start-up and it looks like the ‘Fox’ has certainly caught the nationalistic ‘fire’ of Indian yuppies.

A majority of Indian viewers still hold the IE as the only saving link to the web world but with the launching of the Epic browser Firefox, has played its crucial point, in trying to wean those that have been initiated into internet only through IE.

Epic, claims Alok Bharadwaj, the CEO of Hidden Reflex, has these revolutionizing features:

  • A sidebar that has apps/widgets to provide quick access to various web/native system services
  • Built-in word processors that is likely to support many Indian languages keeping in mind the Indian user.
  • Firefox is determined to take its users to a complete browser based operating system that is likely to take things to the cloud.

Continuing in the same vein the open source browser has been trying to keep pace with speed and the demands of the new generation. It has been turning the Firefox crank faster with a ‘new version’ every six weeks!

The proverbial Firefox seems to be gearing up to show its speed and its mettle. Users can now expect a lot of improvement in its working! Cnet sources opine that there are plans to include 64-bit support on Windows and Firefox has plans on a war footing to reduce the browser’s memory usage. But the most dynamic of all its changes that Firefox has invented, is a process called ‘Electrolysis’ that splits Firefox into multiple independent processes.

The advantages of having the Electrolysis or multiple independent processes in Firefox is:

  • It improves responsiveness- your browser responds faster to your inputs
  • Smoother graphics- Better picture and video quality
  • Enhanced usage of multicore processors- Quantity of data collected increases manifold
  • Increased security- Lesser chances of viral attacks/spams

I am reminded of the passionate debate of my son who rallied that in near future it was Firefox that would bring out the best. And true to his prophecies it seems Firefox too has woken up to the challenge of providing faster, better and secure browsing to its users. This should have been done a long time ago say many of its devout users but Firefox has been in the process of gearing up by adding the Electrolysis element to its 3.6 version. But then it took its time testing out its new processes as a result users felt the changes were late and slow.

Now it has increased its pace and has finally realized that many of its ardent users would love to see its arch rival Internet Explorer turn tail. But with the entry of Google Chrome’s  ‘Safari’ promising mobile-browsing charge, Firefox was left with no option but to respond with its rapid release development cycle!

The rapid release development cycle was a crucial process as it would separate the user-interface process from the part that handles its contents in the browser tabs. This would usher in a snappier browser. In other words the mouse click that took ages to recognize and respond would now pour out in a rush. The trick, Firefox officials say lies in its retrieval of data or reusage of data from its ‘garbage pile’. Garbage collection caused a larger application like Facebook or Gmail to pause, but with the reusage of its garbage pile, Firefox seems to have hit upon the idea of reuse and recycle for speedier browsing.

I am sure very soon my son would be proudly displaying a “competitively fast, sporting a sleek minimalist look with excellent features” of the proverbial orange fox with its tail wrapped around the globe on his window! Jai Ho Firefox!