Firefox 7 is out. It uses WAY less memory and has a new desing

Date: September / 27 / 2011 + Comments: 0

Firefox 7

Today Mozilla is releasing Firefox 7. This update contains work that has been stabilizing over the last 3 months and there are quite a few interesting things to talk about.

To be clear, this is not the canonical list of changes, just highlights. For the full list please see the Firefox 7 for developers page.

Update now here: :download:

Firefox now supports text-overflow: ellipsis

Firefox now supports the ellipsis mode for the text-overflow property. This property is supported in other browsers which means developers should be able to start using it in the wild. Here is an example of how text-overflow ellipsis works:


      <div class="inner">I am some very long text!</div>


div.inner {
    width: 120px;
    text-overflow: ellipsis;
    color: red;
    border: 1px dashed #333;
    margin: 20px;
    padding: 10px;


text-overflow ellipsis example

As you can see, it is pretty easy to make text that cuts off in a sane way with this new property. The Mozilla developer page for the property also contains sample syntax for other browsers.

Browser Compatibility with the Ellipsis Property

Browser Lowest version Support of
Internet Explorer 6.0 text-overflow ellipsis | clip
Firefox (Gecko) 7.0 (7.0) text-overflow ellipsis | clip
Opera (Presto) 9.0 (2.0) -o-text-overflow ellipsis | clip
Opera (Presto) 11.0 (2.7) text-overflow ellipsis | clip
Safari | Chrome | WebKit 1.3 | 1.0 | 312.3 text-overflow ellipsis | clip

Less Memory

Firefox 7 uses 20 to 50 percent less memory and also now cuts back on memory leaks and waste from Javascript.

Closing tabs now directly removes those tabs from memory and leads to more resources free as time goes on.

New Design

The address bar now eliminates the URI from the current page and highlights the primary domain to simplify spotting fake sites. Bookmark and password syncing occurs more frequently. Windows users now get hardware acceleration of HTML5 Canvas pages.

Another major Firefox revision is expected within about six weeks. Mozilla has entertained the prospects of a partial return to slower, major milestone releases but hasn’t signaled any such change coming before Firefox 8.

WebSockets: Updated protocol and available on mobile

WebSockets is now enabled by default for Firefox for Mobile. For mobile networks that are high-latency and have high connection setup-up costs, WebSockets offers an opportunity to create a much better experience than is available with polling HTTP.

Firefox has updated to the most recent draft version of the WebSockets protocol from the IETF. This is version 8 of the protocol, but is draft version 10. This will be mostly of interest to people who are building applications on top of WebSockets and tool vendors, but is worth calling out since it affects backwards compatibility.

An even faster Canvas element

The canvas element in Firefox 7 is even faster. Based on that you are likely to see much snappier performance on many demos when drawing to canvas elements. For an example, see their Runfield demo.

Web sites can no longer resize your main browser window

It is no longer possible for a web site to change the default size of a window in a browser, according to the following rules:

  • You can’t resize a window or tab that wasn’t created by
  • You can’t resize a window or tab when it’s in a window with more than one tab.

Support for the new Navigation Web Timing Spec

Firefox Update 7 now supports the Navigation Timing spec. This allows a web page author to monitor parts of web page performance in the page itself. For people who are interested in page load and navigation performance, they can send that back to the server which can give them a better view into real-world performance.


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Post author: Daniel Semper

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