Mozilla, which has been talking about adding multi-processing to its Firefox browser since 2009, appears ready to finally roll out the technology.
Mainstream Firefox users may not see it until Novemeber, however. (The technology will be added to pre-release versions of Firefox first, likely showing up in the roughest "Aurora" build later later this month and in a more stable beta build in September.
"e10s is a priority for Mozilla's engineering management and they are dedicating more help to make it happen," said Chris Peterson, an engineering program manager with the open-source developer. Peterson's comments were posted to a Mozilla developer discussion forum in May.
Specifically, multi-processing in a browser:
- Separates web page rendering from content and is used to add stability and help boost security (when combined with sandboxing). Chiefly, it allows a browser to continue working even if the web page a user is viewing crashes. Mozilla calls its version of the technology "Electrolysis" -- or e10s for short.
- Can make a browser more secure because it makes it more difficult for hackers who exploit a web page or app to compromise the browser. That, in turns, keeps them gaining access to underlying system and files.
- Can be used on a per tab basis to keep a browser running, even if a web page in a tab crashes. Mozilla plans just two processes for Firefox, one for web page rendering and one for all other content.
Even as Mozilla pushes ahead with e10s, it may be backing off a pledge to release a 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows. In the company's internal documentation for a 64-bit Firefox Mozilla is leaves open the door to killing off the effort. Mozilla released its first developer preview of a 64-bit Windows version of Firefox in March.
With reports from Gregg Keizer at Computerworld.