Progress and Future of Mozilla the Application Suite
Thursday February 6th, 2003
The latest mozilla.org Status Update is all about the progress and future of the Mozilla application suite. Featuring a summary of the improvements since Mozilla 1.0, the update also details the planned work that will be completed over the next few months and outlines some possibilities for the future.
What makes you think Navigator would perform significantly better if the apps were split?
There's likely to be very little - or no - CPU benefit from splitting the apps, but there might be a slight memory benefit (unless you actually use more than one in which case there will be a memory cost).
So, unless working on machines with very low memory, all you'll get is faster startup time - probably only slightly faster since I suspect startup for mail etc. is already deferred until the first time you use it. Mozilla starts up perfectly quickly anyway, who cares if it takes five seconds, you only have to do it once.
A much better reason for splitting the app is reliability. I don't care if my browser crashes but I *do* care if it brings down the email I'm typing. [[Of course, Mozilla really should have the feature that used to be in antique Unix mail software, so that it saves everything you type to a file immediately and can recover from just where you left off if the program crashes - I don't know whether this feature is present or not but my experience with other Windows mail software suggests not.]]
If the apps are in different processes then crashes in one don't affect the other. So splitting them is definitely worthwhile IMO. But don't expect to see a huge performance benefit from it.