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Mozilla Discontinues 64-Bit Firefox Browser

By - Source: SlashGear | B 36 comments

50 percent of nightly users said to have been using the system.

Despite considerable interest, Mozilla has discontinued Firefox 64-bit development and asked developers to stop working on it.

Mozilla engineering manager Benjamin Smedberg asked developers to halt nightly builds for Firefox versions optimized to run on 64-bit versions of Windows.

A developer thread posted by Smedberg on the Google Groups mozilla.dev.planning discussion board, which is titled "Turning off win64 builds", discussed ceasing development for the 64-bit builds of Firefox.

He claimed that 64-bit Firefox is a "constant source of misunderstanding and frustration," and stressed the builds often crash, as well as the fact that plugins are not available in 64-bit versions. Hangs are also apparently common because of a lack of coding, subsequently causing plugins to function incorrectly.

Smedberg argues that the aforementioned issues causes users to feel "second class," while crash reports between 32-bit and 64-bit versions are said to be difficult to distinguish between for the browser's stability team. Users, meanwhile, will still be able to run 32-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows.

"Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread," he said. "Given the existing information, I have decided to proceed with disabling windows 64-bit nightly and hourly builds. Please let us consider this discussion closed unless there is critical new information which needs to be presented."

Following his message, the engineer then posted a thread titled "Disable windows 64 builds" on Bugzilla. He asked developers to "stop building windows [sic] 64 builds and tests."

One participant suggested that 50 percent of nightly testers were using the system, but Smedberg said it was "not the place to argue about this decision, which has already been made."

 

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  • 21 Hide
    icepick314 , November 28, 2012 1:53 AM
    is there any CPUs made in last 5 years that are NOT 64bit?

    if Mozilla pushed for 64bit builds as default, then developers would be more inclined to write more and more plug-ins in 64bit as default and make it 32bit compatible...

    it's 21st century for petesakes!! make 64bit as default coding!!!
  • 17 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 28, 2012 1:15 AM
    And meanwhile Waterfox is perfectly stable as long as you can live without Adobe Shockwave or other 32-bit-only plugins (as in, not compatible with 64-bit browsers). The only thing that's missing is a functional automatic update service.
  • 12 Hide
    Darkerson , November 28, 2012 3:16 AM
    Now thats some forward thinking going on there. And they wonder why they arent as popular as they used to be.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 28, 2012 1:15 AM
    And meanwhile Waterfox is perfectly stable as long as you can live without Adobe Shockwave or other 32-bit-only plugins (as in, not compatible with 64-bit browsers). The only thing that's missing is a functional automatic update service.
  • 4 Hide
    joytech22 , November 28, 2012 1:18 AM
    Nekk minit, 100 tabs open and not enough RAM allowed to be allocated. *CRASH!*
  • -9 Hide
    otacon72 , November 28, 2012 1:20 AM
    FF+Flash=CRASH. Garbage browser since v4.
  • 10 Hide
    apocalypsing , November 28, 2012 1:44 AM
    otacon72FF+Flash=CRASH. Garbage browser since v4.


    Firefox and flash together seems to work fine for me. Perhaps you should update Firefox, Flash and your extensions, or better yet, remove any unnecessary extensions.

    Anyway, It really irks me how a lot of software developers in this day and age still aren't releasing 64-bit stable builds of their software. CPUs with 64-bit architectures have been out for ages now. Would be great of Mozilla would release stable 64-bit builds, so we don't have to wait possibly weeks for Waterfox to update.
  • 21 Hide
    icepick314 , November 28, 2012 1:53 AM
    is there any CPUs made in last 5 years that are NOT 64bit?

    if Mozilla pushed for 64bit builds as default, then developers would be more inclined to write more and more plug-ins in 64bit as default and make it 32bit compatible...

    it's 21st century for petesakes!! make 64bit as default coding!!!
  • 3 Hide
    theconsolegamer , November 28, 2012 2:08 AM
    I'm using Nightly... I guess I just switch to Waterfox in a few days
  • 4 Hide
    eodeo , November 28, 2012 2:09 AM
    I've been using 64bit windows and 32bit ff for years now. First xp x64, than vista and now 7.FF crashed fewer times than years I've been running it.

    Addons make all competition pale in comparison. As for 64bit ff- why would one want it? With hundreds of tabs open across multiple tab grups and even with multiple ff profiles open - all of that together never exceeds 2gb of ram usage - for me. I checked many times out of curiosity.

    While my 3ds Max and After Effects are worth much more in 64bits as they are memory hogs, I dont see the need to transition to a 64bit browser.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 28, 2012 2:13 AM
    eodeoI've been using 64bit windows and 32bit ff for years now. First xp x64, than vista and now 7.FF crashed fewer times than years I've been running it.Addons make all competition pale in comparison. As for 64bit ff- why would one want it? With hundreds of tabs open across multiple tab grups and even with multiple ff profiles open - all of that together never exceeds 2gb of ram usage - for me. I checked many times out of curiosity.While my 3ds Max and After Effects are worth much more in 64bits as they are memory hogs, I dont see the need to transition to a 64bit browser.


    I've ran informal benchmarks on Waterfox using webpage loading speed/responsiveness and java/flash games FPS, and Waterfox is usually faster than Aurora.

    And I'm not concerned about RAM usage because my laptop has 8 GB.
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , November 28, 2012 2:15 AM
    So it's still 64 bit on my mac. Nice :) 
  • 2 Hide
    GoldenI , November 28, 2012 2:25 AM
    I have actually found Chrome to crash significantly more than what I have ever experienced with Firefox. That being said, I still prefer Chrome simply because of the speed.
  • 11 Hide
    cookoy , November 28, 2012 2:55 AM
    i hope this is only a temporary setback as 64-bit is the future. This is like taking the easy way out and risk being left behind.
  • 12 Hide
    Darkerson , November 28, 2012 3:16 AM
    Now thats some forward thinking going on there. And they wonder why they arent as popular as they used to be.
  • 1 Hide
    Darkk , November 28, 2012 3:18 AM
    I agree that 64-bit is the future but problem is 32-bit platform is very mature and stable so take your pick: Stable or crashing.

    It's one of the reasons why Microsoft included 32-bit version of IE in all 64bit versions of the OS ever since Win XP-64 to maintain extensions / plugins compatibility.

    Look how long it took for 16 bit apps to be converted over 32-bit when Windows 95 came out as well as 32-bit drivers.

    So for now it makes sense for Mozilla to refocus their efforts on the 32-bit version of the browser until the plugins finally get caught up to 64-bit.
  • 3 Hide
    stoogie , November 28, 2012 3:23 AM
    A Australian coded his own version of 64 bit Firefox with barely no crashes, all by himself, IF the mozilla team thinks its too difficult to achieve then they need better programmers, links here:
    http://virtualcustoms.net/showthread.php/48631-Cyberfox-17-x64-bit-version-of-Firefox
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , November 28, 2012 3:30 AM
    Wow, Waterfox is 64bit and he has no problems at all. In fact, he is able to have his browser keep up with Firefox updated versions with updated waterfoxs comeing out sometimes on the day after a firefox update...

    Don't know what the problem is here. Must be mozillas' attitude...
  • 4 Hide
    shqtth , November 28, 2012 4:51 AM
    WOW lets stick in the 32bit age forever just so lazy people don't have to make 64 bit plug ins.


    If they really wanted to, then could make a bridge allowing the 32bit plug ins to work with 64bit. But, if the plug in system is that integrated into the programs code, then thats a big security risk. So maybe they have a crappy plug in system and can't be changed.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , November 28, 2012 4:59 AM
    eodeoI've been using 64bit windows and 32bit ff for years now. First xp x64, than vista and now 7.FF crashed fewer times than years I've been running it.Addons make all competition pale in comparison. As for 64bit ff- why would one want it? With hundreds of tabs open across multiple tab grups and even with multiple ff profiles open - all of that together never exceeds 2gb of ram usage - for me. I checked many times out of curiosity.While my 3ds Max and After Effects are worth much more in 64bits as they are memory hogs, I dont see the need to transition to a 64bit browser.


    32 bit firefox tends to crap out at about 1.3gb of ram, and unuseable after 1.5 is hit.

    granted with only 100 tabs and none of them being multimedia, yea, 32 bit is ok, and ever sense the removal of flash from firefox and putting it in another container, you got an even more stable and less prone ot crash ff base...

    however i have over 600 tabs open right now, sure ff is a bit slow because of it, but this kind of load would have been a death sentence for a 32bit version, and has been in the past, as i have opened over 900 tabs in 32bit.

    and before everyone complains about how i use the browser, i use to sift through 2-300 tabs a day, and than more and more would pile on top and it was never ending... the site i went to died though about 2 years ago, so that load is dead to me, but i still have other things open for reference or sites i keep up with on a daily basis that i dont want to put in bookmarks because i would forget them.

  • -3 Hide
    fuzzion , November 28, 2012 5:02 AM
    Dont really care, got chrome now.
  • 1 Hide
    abbadon_34 , November 28, 2012 5:46 AM
    i guess ie ain't so bad...
  • 1 Hide
    merikafyeah , November 28, 2012 6:56 AM
    icepick314is there any CPUs made in last 5 years that are NOT 64bit?if Mozilla pushed for 64bit builds as default, then developers would be more inclined to write more and more plug-ins in 64bit as default and make it 32bit compatible...it's 21st century for petesakes!! make 64bit as default coding!!!

    Atoms are mostly 32-bit still. Yeah, I know right.
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