July 10, 2011

Questions about 64-bit Firefox for Windows 64-bit users

I'm collecting information on what people expect from and are concerned about with a 64-bit Firefox build for Win64 users. So far I've heard "improved performance" and "better security" in the pro column and "download confusion", "plug-in availability", and "memory footprint" in the con column.

Obviously improved performance and security would be great to have. And I'll bet that the download confusion, plug-in issues, and memory footprint are all solvable issues. So, am I missing anything here? Are there other benefits or drawbacks that I haven't got?

Also, if you know Firefox well enough to point out specific work that needs to happen to make 64-bit builds a supportable reality, please let me know as well. I think doing 32-bit plug-in hosting like we do on Mac might be in that list. Maybe a stub installer that can pick the right download belongs in that list. Perhaps we also need changes to our release engineering infrastructure. Are there any concerns across different Windows versions (XP 64-bit vs 7 64-bit, for example?) Anything else?

All and any help appreciated. Figuring this out is near the top of my to-do list for Firefox this summer and fall. Thanks.

Posted by asa at 11:58 AM