Mozilla today released FireFox Quantum Developer Edition. The company is calling this the fastest Firefox ever and is highlighting the new features making Firefox feel like a newer, faster, and better browser.
Firefox Quantum is powered by Quantum CSS, which is a new CSS engine written in Rust and based on the Servo parallel browser engine product. As part of development, the Firefox team also fixed over 360 performance bugs and focused on improving responsiveness and user interface interactions. Of course, they also made it 64 bit and multi-process by default, helping take advantage of newer processors, and reducing RAM consumption and crashes caused by graphics drivers.
Here is a bit more on what has changed for the end user, in the words of Firefox developer Dan Callahan.
- To complement Quantum, the Photon team rebuilt Firefox’s interface to be faster and more modern. You’ll hear more about Photon in November, but highlights include redesigned menus, square tabs, and a new “Library” button that acts as a single place for your bookmarks, downloads, history, etc.
- The “Activity Stream” project redesigned the New Tab Page to feature highlights from your recent history and bookmarks, as well as recommendations from Pocket. Of course, each of these content blocks are optional, and add-ons can completely replace the new tab page.
- We also refreshed form handling in Firefox, adding a brand new autofill feature and implementing built-in widgets.
- Lastly, Firefox’s preferences were completely redesigned and are now searchable.