Last summer, Google engineers unveiled their open-source browser, Chrome. Statistically, they must have known, few people on the Internet would ever get around to even trying it. Why bother to build it?
Google’s motivation, according to the promotional comic strip created by popular cartoonist Scott McCloud, was to goad other browser makers — Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple — into making changes in their browsers to keep up.
McCloud’s comic may have worked. Ars Technica explains that Firefox is “considering the possibility” of adding multi-process browsing, a feature Chrome has had from the start. In multi-process browsing, each tab in the browser window is assigned its own process inside the server. So if one application crashes, its process gets shut down, but other browser windows aren’t effected.
“Adapting Firefox to make it support multiprocess browsing will not be an easy task,” Ars Technica writer Ryan Paul wrote on his blog. Many fundamental components of the browser’s underlying infrastructure will have to be modified.”