Mozilla launches multi-process test in Firefox Beta
Electrolysis, or multi-process Firefox, is without doubt one of the biggest projects ever for the Firefox development team.
The main idea behind the project is to separate browser code from website content by separating them using multiple processes. Security features such as sandboxing may be implemented at a later point in time as they rely on multi-process Firefox.
The loading and display of web pages is unaffected by the project while Firefox users and add-ons may be affected by it depending on the add-ons that are installed in the browser and how Firefox is being used.
Mozilla implemented Electrolysis in Firefox Nightly some time ago, and made it available in the Developer Edition of the web browser after a while as well.
Firefox Beta Multi-process test
The next step in the release process is to move Electrolysis to the Beta channel. Mozilla launched an A/B test of multi-process Firefox for Firefox Beta a couple of days ago.
About 15% of all Firefox Beta users take part in the experiment. Electrolysis has been activated for half of those selected versions of Firefox while the other half is a control group with Electrolysis disabled.
The organization wants to measure the effect of multi-process Firefox, and while the Telemetry Experiments page does not reveal what's measured exactly, it likely includes information about crashes, hangs, performance, add-on issues, use-time and other metrics that are relevant in answering whether Electrolysis is ready to be distributed to all Firefox Beta users.
Mozilla postponed the release of Electrolysis several times already. The current plan is to release multi-process Firefox to the stable channel on April 19, 2016 when Firefox 46 is released to the stable channel.
This is a projected release date only however and it is possible that Electrolysis will be delayed further.
One interesting idea that Mozilla has to make the release less painful for users of the browser is to enable Electrolysis only in versions of Firefox without add-ons, and in versions of Firefox where only compatible add-ons are installed in.
This would give add-on developers additional time to make their add-ons compatible and make the move to a multi-process Firefox less problematic for users who rely on add-ons that are not compatible.
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