Firefox 5 is nearing completion and likely will be out next week. As opposed to Firefox 4 which introduced a new UI, tab panorama, jetpack, sync and apptabs, Firefox 5 sure does feel a bit ‘light’ on the big features side.
It does however have at least on amazing under the hood feature that will make Firefox 5 the fastest Mozilla browser ever. Unfortunately Mozilla’s product people haven’t chosen to productize the feature name but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Sort Idle HTTP Connections by CWND – is a new Firefox 5 feature that I personally see as Mozilla’s open web response to Google’s SPDY, though they are a bit different. SPDY is focused on TCP optimizations while Firefox 5 is a bit more specific to HTTP.
“What really distinguishes different connections to the same server is the size of the sending congestion window (CWND) on the server,” Mozilla developer
Patrick McManus wrote in a bugzilla entry.
By reusing the largest CWND, the round trip time of an HTTP transaction can be reduced.
“This can reduce the round-trip time (RTT) of HTTP
transactions by avoiding the need to grow connections’ windows in many
cases,” Mozilla noted in a developer posting.
No this is not a replacement for SPDY, it’s something else. But it is a step in the same direction. Namely improving the optimization of the transport.