mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

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mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

Postby anomaly65 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 17:25

Hi all,

Just curious if anyone thinks Mozilla will ever release 64 bit and multithreaded on firefox and thunderbird? I'd like to say there's good alternatives (for my use) for thunderbird, but with 500+ folders and 28Gb of email IMAP storage, every other client I've tried collapses quickly. The "devil you know..." as the saying goes :shock:

Chrome just outshines firefox if for no other reason than the solid multithreading and likely one of the reasons it has so quickly overtaken firefox. Firefox quickly becomes that one process that bogs down and consumes all of one core, thunderbird well, same story. Maybe we should send them a few old CPU's from nearly a decade ago to help :lol: Chrome really requires a handful of extensions not to hand over all your browsing habits to google though.

Thus, those two qualify well as my paperweights for today...

I have to admit to being curious as to why so many programs still have that "mac os 8" (c. 1990??) appearance with the flat 2d gtk look, it's just not attractive (yes, I know the backstory about qt and the original not so FOSS licenses, but that's been fixed for perhaps a decade now....). Nothing wrong with gtk (I know, everyone has their own favorite DE, et al) but I don't know anyone still running an nvidia tnt2 AGP card these days much less a 16meg rage card :D

Random thoughts on a friday. Have a nice weekend.

Cheers,
andy
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Re: mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

Postby Stupot » Fri Jun 14, 2013 18:34

Firefox very much is multithreaded. Chrome runs as multiple processes. They are not the same, but both multi-threaded and multiple processes can run across multiple cores.

The problem is, most of the processing on firefox is done for the GUI, which is one particular thread. So you'll rarely see it use more than one core.

There are some 64-bit compiles of firefox out there, but not all extensions work for it. Maybe someday it'll be nice.

Thunderbird has pretty much been handed over to the community. Mozilla really doesn't do much work on it, it's just sort of in maintenance mode.
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Re: mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

Postby anomaly65 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 20:48

Perhaps... But, if firefox is multithreaded, it's a very very sorry implementation. It sticks to one core like glue. I can watch a 20 tab firefox session not even bump the other 7 cores on my system at all. Yes, chrome tosses in the "multiprocessing" (coarse, versus fine grained multithreading), but it works like a charm; KUDOS of you to notice and correctly identify the difference 8) as so many people do not. I'm personally a "net head" (design HUGE network infrastructure) but spent two decades in both modest (20 processor?) and large massive parallel (think supercomputer) systems architecture, and would give the team an "D-" for results. The 64 bit model not being out (25 years after I started on 64 bit systems) in general (not nightly builds...) says a lot about a broken software development program (e.g. Agile!!) :-)

Side by side, chrome handles 50+ (til I can't read the names on tabs! :) ) open tabs fine, while firefox is unbearable before I hit 20 tabs. I'm guessing much of the framework is utilized in their other products, and it shows....

I do admit, my use of tbird is extreme, but 15 years of email (my sent folder ~40k items? numerous list folders > 500k items) is tough on any client. It does work, but frequently gives up. Lasts longer than many other clients though :) It is fun when a client from a decade ago calls and asks about an architecture/design/process document I produced for them (and they didn't follow, bad outcome as a result) and I'm able to find it in 30 seconds!).

Thanks though. Fun stuff all around!!!!
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Re: mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

Postby Stupot » Fri Jun 14, 2013 22:16

Of course Chrome has a better chance of scaling to multiple CPUs better, because they were very popular by the time Chrome came along. It's always easier to design for multiple cores from the ground up then to try and add them in later.

The Mozilla team has realized this and plans on replacing gecko to handle things correctly: http://www.webmonkey.com/2013/04/mozillas-servo/

But these things take time.
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Re: mozilla -- multi-threaded? I wish....

Postby anomaly65 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:39

Yes, and google has a working printing press for $$ :-) That always helps.....

And transitions to multithreading are rough on core code certainly, far moreso than coarse multiprocessing :)

We always had a much easier time with code that [today] could be handled via a GPU (serious numerous units in one piece of silicon).....
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