Mozilla today launched Firefox 15, boasting that users will see "drastic improvements in performance" because of new code that stops add-ons from leaking memory.

The open-source developer also patched 31 vulnerabilities, 23 of them dubbed "critical," the top-most threat in Mozilla’s system. Five were labeled "high" and three were pegged as "moderate."

Nearly half of the total were reported by Abhishek Arya, who goes by the nickname "Inferno," of the Google Chrome security team, said Mozilla in anaccompanying advisory. Another four were submitted by a pair of long-time contributors to Google’s bug-bounty program.

One of the more interesting vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to hijack a PC after a Firefox install, assuming he or she could plant a file in the Windows root directory beforehand.

Twenty-six of the 31 vulnerabilities were also patched in a companion update to Firefox ESR, or Extended Support Release, the version designed for businesses. Unlike the normal Firefox build, ESR does not change its feature set or user interface (UI) for more than a year, although it does receive security patches.

Mozilla last upgraded Firefox on July 17. The company issues a new version every six weeks under the rapid-release schedule it adopted last year.

Feature changes to Firefox 15 included new support for SPDY v3, the Google-designed protocol that promises faster and more secure page loading, and the final installment of the browser’s silent update service. Firefox 15 applies regularly-scheduled and emergency updates entirely in the background so that the user no longer sees an update installation progress bar.

Called "background updating" by Mozilla, the process is invisible to users because the update is automatically applied, then staged in a different directory or folder than the current copy of the browser. The next time Firefox is launched, the staged directory swaps places with the active directory.

Mozilla has worked on silent updating, and chased Chrome’s similar feature, for over two years.

The addition Mozilla touted, however, was a continuation of more than a year’s work on reducing the browser’s memory footprint, particularly in plugging "leaks" created when code doesn’t properly release memory after a chore is completed. The leaked memory is never returned to the available pool, reducing what’s available for other applications, or even for Firefox at a later point. Eventually, performance suffers.

Complaints about Firefox’s memory usage have historically centered on the browser’s habit of not releasing memory when tabs are closed.

Firefox 15

Firefox 15 doesn’t look any different, but Mozilla claims users will see "drastic improvements in performance" because the browser stops third-party add-ons from leaking memory like the proverbial sieve.

In June 2011, Mozilla kicked off "MemShrink," an effort to plug those leaks. With Firefox’s own problems addressed — in a blog post today, Asa Dotzler, director of Firefox, said Mozilla has "fixed the larger Firefox issues" — the company turned attention to third-party add-ons.

"It was time to tackle the next big source of memory leak: poorly written add-ons," said Dotzler.

Although engineers worked with some add-on developers one-on-one, Mozilla could not scale that effort. Instead, it crafted a leak-prevention mechanism that blocked the most common kind of add-on memory mistake, in which the extra copies of a website aren’t released after a tab has closed.

"These pages pile up, and can eat massive amounts of memory for no user benefit. They leak," Dotzler said.

Mozilla’s Nicolas Nethercote, the developer in charge of the MemShrink project, called that kind of leak a "zombie compartment." According to Nethercote, zombies accounted for 90% of the identified add-on leaks.

In a post to his own blog last month, Nethercote trumpeted the new leak prevention code, citing one example where Firefox 15 used just 24% as much memory as Firefox 14 after tabs engaged by an add-on were closed.

"We are confident that Firefox 15 fixes the vast majority of add-on memory leaks, and that as a result, many users will see drastic improvements in Firefox’s performance and stability," said Nethercote.

According to Web measurement company Net Applications, Firefox users accounted for 20.2% of all those who went online last month. Irish measurement firm StatCounter, meanwhile, pegged Firefox’s global share for July at 23.7%.

Windows, Mac and Linux editions of Firefox 15 can be downloaded manually from Mozilla’s site. Installed copies will be upgraded automatically.

The next version of Firefox is scheduled to ship Oct. 9.

Categories: News

18 Comments

buy cenforce canada · January 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm

personally awareness lowest price for cenforce before head buy cenforce canada primarily heavy cenforce 100mg
pills anyway county [url=http://cavalrymenforromney.com/#]cheap cenforce[/url] please answer cenforce 100 purchase back story http://cavalrymenforromney.com/

ZevinPlure · March 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm

cbd thc oil
[url=http://cbd-7.com]cbd vape pen
[/url] cbd oil for pain for sale
cbd oil for pain
– cbd dosage for cancer
hemp cbd oil

Mariamhkme · March 13, 2020 at 6:05 pm

sildenafil sale sildenafil coupon price on sildenafil 20mg

Elzaxmlr · March 20, 2020 at 1:30 am

sildenafil 20 mg how long does it last sildenafil sildenafil costs for compounding

Britnalaf · March 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm

[url=https://chloroquinego.com/#]buy chloroquine tablets[/url]
chloroquine phosphate over the counter
chloroquine capsules
chloroquine quinine mefloquine

amoxicillin without a doctor's prescription · April 8, 2020 at 10:50 pm

amoxicillin without a doctor’s prescription https://amoxycillin1st.com/

generic ventolin · April 14, 2020 at 1:41 pm

why clothes [url=https://amstyles.com/#]generic ventolin[/url] nearly east constantly event
albuterol without dr prescription usa completely national generic ventolin gently project https://amstyles.com/

Shadfivh · April 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

non prescription sildenafil usa [url=https://sildenafiltools.com/]buy sildenafil online[/url] taking sildenafil even though i have side effects

Aderminhiscess · May 2, 2020 at 8:08 pm

buy cialis

Aderminhiscess · May 7, 2020 at 1:44 pm

purchase cialis

HPriommamaphomo · May 10, 2020 at 3:23 pm

can i take two 5mg cialis

HPriommamaphomo · May 12, 2020 at 2:38 am

generic cialis

Heenonskercite · May 20, 2020 at 12:37 pm

clomid dose

Heenonskercite · May 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

clomid online cheap

AbPriommamaphomo · June 17, 2020 at 1:52 pm

no prescription cialis

AbPriommamaphomo · June 22, 2020 at 12:53 am

buy cialis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!!