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Mozilla has released Firefox 13, claiming improved load time and faster garbage collection.

Firefox 13 is the latest release of the popular open source web browser, with the software outfit claiming it has worked hard to improve Firefox performance through its Project Snappy imitative. According to Mozilla, Firefox 13 has improved start-up time and faster garbage collection, which should in theory speed up memory reclamation after tabs are closed.

Mozilla is keen to highlight Firefox’s redesigned home page, which features thumbnails of frequently visited websites, a feature that has been in Google’s Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera for some time. Mozilla has also promoted a number of improvements to Firefox’s developer-related features such as the Page Inspector, HTML panel, Scratchpad and Style Editor.

Thumbnails aside, Mozilla said Firefox 13 brings a number of features that are part of Project Snappy, including loading only a single tab when Firefox restarts from a previous session that had multiple tabs open. Mozilla said the other tabs do not load until the user clicks on them.

Mozilla has also made another attempt to tackle Firefox’s Achilles’ heel, memory usage, through its Cycle Collector. According to the outfit, “The Firefox cycle collector works to automatically free some of this memory when it is no longer needed. This action reduces Firefox’s memory usage. In Firefox 13, the cycle collector is more efficient, spending less time examining memory that is still in use, which results in [fewer] pauses as you use Firefox.”

As usual Mozilla has also released Thunderbird 13, which now allows users to sign up for email accounts without leaving the messaging client.

Firefox and Thunderbird are both on a six-week rapid release schedule, meaning Firefox 14 and Thunderbird 14 will tip up in the middle of July.

via The Inquirer




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