I think the article makes it clear that Firefox is heading in the wrong direction, very much
like its predecessor Netscape. In my opinion the performance problem described is symptomatic
of a too complex product. The data storage abstraction used probably isn't the one needed.
History is linear data and I would expect it to be best stored in a log (i.e. appended), and
indexed piecemal or even on load.
But I'm not a Firefox developer so I might be missing the bigger picture here. I am however a
user, and most new features are misfeatures to me. The new history system gets all cluttered
and is useless to me. I just want to turn it off. Much like the user interface changes in 2.0
which was pretty much all for the worse. All I want is better rendering, perhaps better
performance, but above all for it to stop allocating all my memory after a while.
It seems there has been more problems around sqlite performance in Firefox. The article links
to Christopher Blizzard who describes a problem with Firefox as shipped by Red Hat: Firefox
upgraded sqlite, noticed a regression, and backed out the change. Meanwhile, Red Hat package
maintainers did not know about the regression and they shipped a faulty package.
I do find the article in question very biased towards the Firefox developer's point of view.
They would rather have their upstream release shipped in distributions. From my point of view
as a user that's not desirable for many reasons. The reason why Red Hat missed the regression
is the problem that needs to be solved, not the other way around. Why did it happend? Was it
not documented? Why did the build script even accept a library version with a known
All this points to a big closed world mentality inside Mozilla where the product is everything
and the bigger ecosystem lost. I hope that is not the case as Firefox is a very important
product and I would be sad to see it take the Netscape road.