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Getting real ansers about Firefox 3.01

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Jan LaFata

Jan LaFata


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OK since I am new here, I guess I ought to start out with a bang by getting right into the topic of tweaking Firefox.
Since I just made a post to various sites yesterday on this issue, for now, I am just going to paste what I sent here.
I'm also going to paste the only response I have gotten so far, from the mozillaZine forum.

I am trying to keep my sanity about all of this. There is just so much information on the subject of Tweaking Firefox that one can literally go crazy trying to decipher what is a universally agreed upon as a good tweak and what is not. And although I have an A+ certification and know my way around a computer fairly well, I also don't want to spend the rest of my life searching for articles on tweaking and then tinkering with many settings in about:config.

Anyway here is a copy of the post I put out to various tech sites yesterday. Following that are a few replies sent back to me from mozillaZine. Because, for now, I trust the information they have given me as being legit I have gone ahead and implemented their recommended changes. All except for one, browser.cache.check_doc_frequency.

Here is what I initially posted:

Ok I have to admit it! I know millions of people love Firefox, and I am learning to also, but when I first installed version 3.01, I was less than impressed with it's browsing speed, it's loading of pages and so on. I have added many tweaks to try to change some of that and they have made a difference. Still I am not completely satisfied with one area, the loading of pictures.

So I did some research and ended up following some tips from a website post called " Eva's Guide to speeding up Firefox" Bullets n Babes DVD. http://www.bulletsnb...c5ecd921929c410

Most of the tweaks seemed to make sense, and I have so much to do right now that I cannot perform all of the tweaks recommended for settings in about:config. And I know you are familiar with the many sites that offer detailed instructions on changing quite a number of entries in there.

So for now I went about speeding up Firefox the lazy way, by using add-ons plus, just a few about:config tweaks.

Here's what I am currently running:
In add-ons I run AdBlock Plus, FastererFox (not FasterFox) and have it set to Turbo Charged and Thrash. I also have Tweak Network and have the power settings enabled. I also installed TCP Optimzer and set it to Optimal.

I also made these changes in about:config:

Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to "100".
Right-click anywhere and go New > Integer.
Enter "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set the value to "0".

After all of that, I noticed a significant increase in the overall browsing speed and I am fairly satisfied , at this point. The one area that "still bugs me" is the loading of pictures. It's not at all like Internet Explorer where, when a page is loading, the picture displays, are nice and smooth. In Firefox it's kind of choppy and clunky!

I know this is being a bit picky, but I guess that I am still used to Internet Explorer, as I have only been running Firefox full-time for about two weeks. Also, I don't imagine that I am the only one who has noticed this and even ask for tech help on the issue.

So the question now is, can the loading of pictures be improved and how do I go about it?

Your favorite perfectionist customer
Jan LaFata

Now here is what I received back from mozillaZine today:

Posted Yesterday, 6:36 pm

Fasterfox and fastererfox are often set to do prefetching, loading lots of pages that you will never look at. I feel that they slow down browsing, and they also prevent the normal process where the main text is loaded first and images are loaded after. Lowering the initialpaint delay also makes things choppier and increases the time to totally render the page, although the initial rendering of the page starts faster.

If you have turned on color management (by default it is off) in Firefox, this greatly reduces the speed of rendering images. http://kb.mozillazin...agement.enabled

Giving Firefox a large disk cache is very helpful, under tools, options, advanced, network. 500mb is nothing on a modern computer, and if you can increase the frequency of hitting an image in the cache this will speed up the browser a lot. Also, making Firefox always use the cache even if the website falsely reports that things have changed helps, although it does have the side effect that you will have to manually refresh pages more often. http://kb.mozillazin...g/Browser.cache ... _frequency Set to 2 if you are willing to manually refresh.

Updating your graphics driver, or, ironically, reducing the graphics acceleration slider under control panel, display can improve rendering speed.

Post Posted Yesterday, 6:59 pm

Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to "100".

Oh yeah, that's a real good figure to use, considering that 8 is the maximum Firefox will do. That mistaken preference value has been posted many hundreds of times in webpages and blogs over the last 5 or 6 years, I still chuckle at the "chuckle-heads" that post FUD like that.

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