Slow Performing Firefox Add-ons

Posted: April 04, 2011 Comments(6)

Slow Performing Add-ons :: Add-ons for Firefox.

Firefox has been all over the news lately with the release of Firefox 4, the latest version of what was once my eye-opening favorite browser. Lots of browser talk focuses around performance. Every time a new browser version comes out many of the intro paragraphs for reviews mention “OMG FASTTTT!” at least once. Speed is of the essence online, and the browser can have a large impact on that experience. Mozilla is doing something interesting by ranking Add-ons with the Slowest Start-up.

I wasn’t surprised to see Firebug, arguably the most impactful browser add-on in the history of browser Add-ons, but I was surprised to see it tied for first place as the slowest performing Firefox Add-on. I switched to OS X in 2006 and the first thing I noticed was that Firefox felt slower. I asked around and others confirmed that although it was their primary browser, it did in fact feel slower on a Mac.

Time went on, and Web Inspector came about, resulting in Safari finding a home as my default browser, as Firefox continued to grow glacial for me. Then Chrome came out, with a much more rapidly updating Web Inspector, and I haven’t looked back. I far prefer Web Inspector to Firebug now and knowing that it’s built in as opposed to being the slowest Add-on in my arsenal has me all the more comforted by my decision.

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  1. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Firebug slows you down if it’s not turned on?

    I moved to Chrome a while ago, but the pinned applications and general interface is pulling me back to FF4…

  2. Wholeheartedly agree with each point. My only quibble with Web Inspector and pretty much my only real need for using Firebug over WI is when doing a lot of JSON related requests via AJAX. The console tab in Firebug allows you to see each JSON object property and value while in Web Inspector you get just the long string. But that’s just a minor quibble.

  3. I wasn’t surprised to see Firebug up there either, but was surprised it was much more of a hog than, say, FoxyTunes.

  4. I would assume you’re right about it only slowing things down if turned on. Are you on Windows, OS X, or Linux? I’ve only seen the OS X UI updates and while they’re nice, they haven’t pulled me from Chrome much.

  5. Yeah that’s a great point! There are a few minor things about Firebug that are a bit more advanced, but nothing to tear me away from my now preferred Web Inspector.

  6. True! FF4 has a major “slow” feeling to it. Lots of other issues as wel, which might be all because of this single add-on Firebug. Great add-on, but i am not really excited about the “4” release yet. Might check out the google stuff now

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