Last month, Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg announced to pull the plug of Firefox 64-bit for Windows. The decision was widely opposed by the proponents of 64-bit Firefox. Now, Mozilla has taken an about turn, but on condition.
The proponents of 64-bit Firefox for Windows used the bottleneck of the browser’s 32-bit version. Heavy users, who works on hundreds or thousands of open tabs, often run into the 4GB memory limitation of the 32-bit Firefox. Hence, the decision by Mozilla to stop the development of 64-bit Firefox for Windows enraged a lot of users.
Amid the criticism, Mozilla has decided to make some changes to its original plan. The modified plan is as follows.
- Migrate all existing users of win64 nightly channel builds to the win32 nightly channel builds via automatic update.
- Continue to build win64 Nightly builds and updates on the nightly channel. Users who need the 64-bit builds will have to download it after the migration point (date TBD).
- Change the default first-run and update page for win64 builds to explain to users that they are not supported.
- Disable the crash reporter for win64 builds
- Enable click-to-play plugins by default in the win64 builds.
- Discontinue the win64 tests and on-checkin builds to reduce release engineering load. By default, do not generate win64 builds on try.
- Win64 builds will be considered a 1½tier 3½ build configuration.
The limitations on the 64-bit version of Firefox are imposed by the resources available to Mozilla Engineering Team, Smedberg noted.
Source: Mozilla Dev