Are you using Mozilla Personas to install custom themes in the browser or maybe even an add-on like Personas Plus that gives you greater control over the built-in feature? If you do you may have noticed that your browser's start up time has increased after installing a custom theme.
Mozilla recently began an investigation of the issue and found out that Personas theme use large header and footer images to accommodate for large resolutions. Header images for instance need to be in 3000x200 resolution and footer images in 3000x100 resolution, even if the system the images are used on is connected to a monitor running on a lower resolution.
So, even if you are running Firefox on a 1024x768 monitor Personas will load the larger resolution images automatically which is unnecessary and slowing down the start up of the browser. Animated themes are even larger in size and put a strain on the system at all times as they need to be redrawn continuously.
Mozilla's solution is to crop Personas theme images to match the resolution of the computer screen. Cropped images are smaller in size so that it will take less time to load them in the browser.
Mozilla notes that the cropping impacts animated themes which will stop animating from Firefox 18 on (the version of the browser where the fix will land in). To be totally honest, I did not even know there were animated themes available for the Firefox web browser. Still, some Firefox users will notice that their carefully selected animated themes may not work anymore when they upgrade to Firefox 18.
The developers suggest to use the Firefox add-on Personas Shuffler which changes the Personas theme on every browser load. It is not really the same thing though as it is just switching between themes that you have installed whenever you start Firefox.
A configuration switch to disable the cropping of images would have been really nice, as it would have given users the option to disable the feature to keep using their animated themes.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.