Mozilla Reverses Decision to Axe 64-Bit FireFox Builds, But Support Will Be Left to the Community

Subject: General Tech | December 26, 2012 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: mozilla, firefox, browser, Internet, 64-bit

A month ago Mozilla announced that it would no longer release 64-bit versions of its popular Firefox web browser due to a lack of resources. While the stable versions for Windows were 32-bit, nightly builds were available to enthusiasts that were 64-bit and could take advantage of more than 4GB of memory.

Mozilla developer Benjamin Smedberg stated that there was significant negative feedback from the community over the decision to axe 64-bit nightlies. While Mozilla has reaffirmed that they do not have the resources to support 64-bit builds, the developers are proposing a compromise that they hope will assuage users. In short, the Release Engineering team will continue to build 64-bit versions of the Firefox browser, but Mozilla will consider it a teir 3 build and the support is left up to the community.

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Currently, the plan regarding 64-bit versions of Firefox involves a forced migration of existing 64-bit users to 32-bit versions via the automatic browser updates. Then, after the migration date, users that want the 64-bit version will need to go and download it again. Once installed, users will be informed that it is not officially supported software and they are to use it at their own risk. Click-to-play plugins will be enabled in the 64-bit builds while the crash reporter will be disabled. Win64 tests and on-checkin builds of the browser will be discontinued.

Interestingly, all browser testing by Mozilla will be done on the 64-bit edition of Windows 8. Yet they are only testing and supporting 32-bit versions of Firefox. The current situation is less than ideal as the x64 Firefox browsers will not be supported by Mozilla, but at least the software will still be available for those that need it. For now, Waterfox is an option for those that need to install a 64-bit browser based on Firefox.

Does Mozilla’s decision to stop supporting the 64-bit Firefox browser affect you? What do you think of the offered compromise?

Source: Mozilla
December 26, 2012 | 06:40 PM - Posted by Bernard

O man, always is something with them, couple of months before I have a lot of problems with 64bit version, keep crashing all the time, And now this, compromise sucks :)

December 26, 2012 | 06:46 PM - Posted by DusanVarga

If problems kept happening better switch to 32bit.
Now i'm using 64bit version and often got problems, thinking to try with 32

December 26, 2012 | 06:53 PM - Posted by JohnyB

Firefox crash ALL the time for me. Gave up on it and just use chrome.Firefox looks better but chrome work as it should!

December 26, 2012 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Mario

Using Chrome!With firefox i had to many prob

December 27, 2012 | 05:59 AM - Posted by ea1985 (not verified)

Firefox is the most versatile browser available currently - has been for years. The only issues I've had with it were of my own doing, namely, extensions conflict; the app itself is stable and fast. Mine is under load with 40 extensions and 6 plugins and there are no issues whatsoever.

Waterfox and Palemoon are great 64-bit options although you would hardly see a difference on up-to-date hardware.

December 27, 2012 | 11:22 AM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

I think this tells us that development of 64 bit native programs are much trickier require more resources, considering their mobile version needs focus I support the short term decision to stop but for long term progress even they need to continue this.

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