With the rapid release cycle and all, we are seeing more releases of the Firefox browser than before. Mozilla just pushed Firefox 7 to the official ftp server to prepare for today's release of the browser. Firefox 7 is actually the first version of the rapid release cycle that is showing big improvements over previous versions.
You may remember that both Firefox 5 and 6 did not ship with big new features or improvements. Well, this changes with the release of Firefox 7. When you look at the new features you will notice one sticking out: Mozilla managed to improve memory usage of the Firefox web browser drastically (that's the organization's word). What does it mean in detail? A blog post by Nicholas Nethercoate over at Mozilla has the answers:
Firefox 7 uses less memory than Firefox 6 (and 5 and 4): often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less. In particular, Firefox 7′s memory usage will stay steady if you leave it running overnight, and it will free up more memory when you close many tabs.
Up to 50% less memory usage is a big number. Probably even more important than that is that the browser won't feel like eating up all the RAM over time anymore, which is definitely a good thing, considering that the browser has a reputation for being memory inefficient.
The changelog lists addition features, including a new rendering backend that speeds up Canvas operations on Windows, support for text-overflow: ellipsis and the Web Timing specification and faster bookmark and password changes syncing when using Firefox Sync.
Firefox 7 is currently not available on the official homepage. It is likely that the developers are still preparing for the new release. Some mirror servers are already listing Firefox 7 for all supported operating systems and languages, while others do not. Expect a release announcement in the next 24 hours.
Firefox stable users will receive update notifications shortly in the browser to update automatically to the new version.
Beta, Aurora and Nightly users will also be pushed to a new version in the coming days. Check out Future Firefox Features, What I’m Looking Forward To for some pointers as to what you can expect in those versions.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.