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Mozilla Backtracks On 64-Bit Firefox, Will Keep Nightly Builds

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.


Mozilla Firefox

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

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