Mozilla developer Mike Conley described the details about Tab Warming in a post on his personal blog. It will improve tab switching by pre-loading the contents of a tab before it gets displayed in front of the users.
The pre-loading will start when a user would hover their mouse cursor over a tab. Firefox would guess whether the user will click the tab and load the contents in the time passed before the display of the browser tab. In case the user just hovers the mouse and doesn’t make a click, the partially loaded content will be sent to trash, reducing the resource consumption.
“I like to think of it almost like coming in from shoveling snow off of the driveway, and somebody inside has already made hot chocolate for you, because they knew you’d probably be cold,” Conley wrote.
Tab Warming would eliminate or reduce the noticeable difference while switching tabs for heavy web pages filled with animation and other stuff. It might not be noticeable for all web pages as the loading of the web content is already fast enough.
How to enable tab warming in Firefox?
As you know, tab warming is currently under development. So, you can test the same in Firefox Nightly builds.
- Go to about:config. Accept the warning message if it appears.
- Search for a preference called:
- Double click the preference to change its value. True means tab warming is enabled and False means it’s disabled.
With tab warming, you would experience a noticeable difference while tab switching but not all the time.