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Firefox 4 startup gets faster

Firefox 4 shutdown is already almost instant, but Mozilla has had their sights set on faster start-up times for quite a while. Over the summer, a pair of Mozilla interns looked at simple tweaks which would make Firefox appear faster. It now looks as if at least one of the suggested changes will make its way in to Firefox 4.

Thanks to what Mozilla is calling Cascaded Session Restore, the Firefox startup process has been altered so that tabs don't try to load all at once. While three or four tabs might not make the 'fox sluggish, opening larger numbers of tabs can make it seem very slow out of the blocks.

Now, with CSR, Firefox will only load a specified number of tabs at once -- three by default, though you can customize the number in about:config. As Mozilla Links points out, Firefox will do its best to load the tabs you're likely to use first (your last focused tab from a previous session or most frequently viewed pages). CSR also works with Panorama: you can change a page's load priority by moving it to a different group.

Mozilla has also taken inspiration from the BarTab add-on: set browser.sessionrestore.mx_concurrent_tabs to 0 and tabs won't begin loading until you give them focus.

Intrepid testers, download the new nightly build and give it a try! Does Firefox 4 seem to start up faster when processing your tabs in bite-sized chunks?

[via Mozilla Links]

Tags: bartab, beta, fast, ff4, firefox 4, Firefox4, launch, mozilla, restore, session, speed, startup, tabs