Monday, July 4, 2016

First Update to Current

Normally Slackware-Current will have it's first update whenever a new security vulnerabilities found and it could take days/weeks since a stable release, but not this time.

Patrick quickly upgrade three packages in current:
  • file: Upgraded to 5.28
  • util-linux: Upgraded to 2.28
  • mozilla-firefox: Upgraded to 47.0.1
Slackware 14.2's firefox was kept at 45 since it's an ESR version, meaning it will receive long term support such as LTS kernel. It's a good choice since Slackware normally supported for a long time. Slackware 13.0 announced back in 2009 is still supported up to this point (7 years). Other Linux distributions normally ship 3-5 years of support before marking it EOL. Others may have shorter life cycle.

One interesting news about Firefox is that it already supported Electrolysis (e10s) feature since Firefox 37, but it's disabled by default. It separates Firefox into two separate process, one for handling web content in background child process and the main parent browser process. They will interact to each other using IPC Protocol Definition Language (IPDL). Electrolysis child processes are currently in use for the following tasks within Firefox:
  • Legacy NPAPI plugin hosting
  • Media playback
  • Web content (content processes) 
Goal of this feature is to enhance security by the use of sandboxing and performance by separating main GUI process with content rendering in the background. This feature has been enabled by default in other major browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, and even IE for a long time. Firefox is probably the last major browser that finally implement this feature.

This feature will be turned on by default starting at Firefox 48 even  though it will not be world wide implementation. They will select 1% of qualifying users with ramp up during the cycle and more will be added during Firefox 49 and 50 cycle. This gives some time to users to upgrade their Add-ons and test the feature before it's turned on by default world wide.

You can try to enable this feature by opening "about:config" and search new boolean value: browser.tabs.remote.autostart and set to true. You will have it enabled at the next restart.