Get your geek on – Firefox 1.5

November 30, 2005 3:54 PM

Firefox is an alternative browser to Internet Explorer (the big blue “E”) that comes with Windows. Not only does it do things quicker, one significant feature it has over IE are “tabs”. Where IE would open up new windows as you browse, Firefox opens up the new links in tabs that live in the same window. Thus not clogging up your task bar.

And now Firefox 1.5 has been released for Windows, MacOSX and Linux. Get it here. Those of you working in a corporate environment where they don’t allow you to install stuff on your work computers, you have my sympathies. 😉 You still can use it at home though.

One major improvement of the new version is the improved speed of doing “Back” and “Forward” browsing. If you flick back and forth between web pages, especially if you have those extra buttons on your mouse, then you’d definitely notice the difference. Without getting too geeky on you, here’s how Firefox 1.5 has changed things:

  • Normal Browser:
    1. browser gets HTML file from web server
    2. browser interprets HTML file
    3. browser “draws” the page and downloads all associated images

    When you go back and forth, although most browsers cache the HTML file and images, it has to re-interpret the HTML file, and thus re-draw the page.

  • Firefox 1.5:

    Same as above but it caches not only the HTML file and images, but also the “drawn” page – it doesn’t re-interpret the HTML file. Result? Quick browsing for the attention-deficit set!

One thing to note though: if you open up a lot of tabs and browse to graphic intensive sites (eg. pr0n) it uses up a lot of your RAM over time and doesn’t give it back to your system – in geek speak, that’s called a “memory leak”.

To fix it, just close and reopen the Firefox browser every so often. It loads up quick anyway.

That was my first attempt at writing something technical in simple language. Not too shabby at all methinks. *ahem*

4 thoughts on “Get your geek on – Firefox 1.5

  1. mooiness

    christina: I’ve read that it’s worse on Linux if that’s what you are using. 😉

    And the problem is compounded if you visit sites with lotsa Flash on them. The Flash plugin itself is a leaker too.


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