Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
2/28/2008
10:51 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Firefox, Or Pigfoot?

One index of success for an open source project is how many other projects are derived from it -- or how many people have created alternate builds of the same project.  Firefox's success has spawned a whole slew of community-compiled editions of the program, and this week I've been living with one of them, code-named "Pigfoot."

One index of success for an open source project is how many other projects are derived from it -- or how many people have created alternate builds of the same project.  Firefox's success has spawned a whole slew of community-compiled editions of the program, and this week I've been living with one of them, code-named "Pigfoot."

The Pigfoot builds are created by Taiwanese programmer Chih-Chia Chen (who goes by the name "Pigfoot" online), and he's most recently released a custom build of Firefox 2.0.0.12.  Like many community-built editions of Firefox, he has several versions that are optimized for specific processor profiles, plus a few optimizations provided by himself and third parties.  Most of us will want to use the English/US P3-optimized build, compiled to take advantage of the AMD Athlon and Pentium D / Pentium 4 instruction sets.

One of the beauties of replacing an existing stock build of Firefox with a custom build is that you can do this without installing anything.  All I had to do was close all my existing Firefox windows, unpack the Pigfoot build to a directory somewhere, and launch it.  It used my existing profile information to pick up right where my last Firefox session had left off, and didn't exhibit any bizarre behavior.

The much-vaunted speed improvements you get from running a processor-optimized build of Firefox are minimal, but incrementally noticeable.  Pages rendered noticeably faster, even on my already-fast Intel Core 2 Quad.  The single biggest place I noticed the speed-ups, oddly enough, was in the way the program's menus and bookmark flyouts were rendered.  I'm curious to see how well a Pigfoot build of Firefox 3, with its much-vaunted JavaScript performance improvements, will play out.

If you've got a favorite community build of Firefox, post about it here and tell us why you like it.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.