4 Firefox rebuilds feed the need for speed

Alternative builds bring speed optimizations and custom features to the Firefox core

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Firefox remixes: Lawlietfox
The product of a Taiwanese programmer who goes by the sobriquet "Lawliet" (a reference to "Death Note," most likely), Lawlietfox comes in both 32- and 64-bit editions. All of the builds -- going back to version 8 -- are entirely install-it-yourself affairs. They're only available as 7-Zip format archives, with no Microsoft Installer (MSI) packages or other setup functions. On the plus side, it means all you need to do to get Lawlietfox up and running is unpack the archive into a folder somewhere and run Firefox.exe.

Be advised that, like Waterfox, Lawlietfox will use the most recent Firefox profile it finds on your machine. There is no warning about this -- not in the program itself and none that I could discern on the project's site. Run Firefox.exe -profilemanager the first time you use Lawlietfox and set up a separate profile to avoid trashing anything.

Nothing is outwardly all that different about Lawlietfox, other than the name of the product, so don't worry about the standard Firefox look being tinkered with here. Launching the program on a clean profile brings up the Firefox Community Edition start page (about:home) with the usual Google search. Most everything else works as you'd expect; add-ons and plug-ins all behave well, and the add-on updater functions correctly.

Sadly, documentation is all but nonexistent, and feedback in the issue tracker is in Chinese only. You're very much on your own, which is par for the course when using any unofficial build of Firefox but doubly so here and trebly so if you download Lawlietfox's pre-release version 11 build. That edition contains support -- added by Mozilla, not Lawliet -- for the SPDY protocol, which theoretically reduces load times and latency for Web pages.

Lawlietfox's minimal documentation (most of it is in Chinese) means most users are on their own, no matter what language they speak.
Lawlietfox's minimal documentation (most of it is in Chinese) means the majority of users are on their own, no matter what language they speak.
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