Technology

What Is Firefox Lorentz?

Ok, first the robots have something new to say

Robots have shiny metal posteriors which should not be bitten.

Now, color me confused. I’m confused by the new Mozilla naming conventions (not about metal butts). I had always believed Lorentz was a methodology rather than a physical build. Not true. Mike Beltzner said this to CNet a while back:

Next on Mozilla’s agenda is an update to Firefox 3.6 code-named Lorentz, a release that embodies a new attempt to speed up the frequency of Firefox updates.

So Lorentz is actually a release that embodies this new methodology. Oh.

Lorentz is also the first step on the road to Electrolysis. There is also JaegerMonkey, which combines the best from Apple (SquirrelFish), Adobe (nanojit), and Mozilla (TraceMonkey). I guess V8 was left out of the party. Ars, as usual, has a good article on this. I do have a 64-bit build of Electrolysis (let me know if you want it).

So now we have Firefox 3.6.3 Lorentz, Firefox 3.6.3 JaegerMonkey, Firefox 3.7 Electrolysis, etc. It makes sense from a developers perspective to separate the projects like this, especially if you’re trying to add new features into minor updates, but I don’t think it has been explained well enough to the mainstream.

I don’t think my explanation is very good either. Is there a definitive document on this methodology?

You can download the Lorentz beta on the Downloads page.

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4 thoughts on “What Is Firefox Lorentz?”

  1. I read on the Mozilla site that Lorentz is only currently available for linux and windows, so where does this come from? I'm confused. This Firefox thing seems to be out of control…

    1. The Out-of-process plugins are currently only available for Win/Lin, but the build is available for all three. It just won't work on OS X. Josh Aas reports that the OS X version has been completed and will be in the nightlies soon. See more on his blog –http://bit.ly/bwBQ2E

  2. I read on the Mozilla site that Lorentz is only currently available for linux and windows, so where does this come from? I’m confused. This Firefox thing seems to be out of control…

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