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Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the onwards-and-upwards dept.

Mozilla 145

CWmike writes "Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade. Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. 'Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,"' wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working on the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own."

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145 comments

So what was the code from? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30737748)

Inglorious Netscape days, or sneaked in by some saboteur into Mozilla/Firefox?

Re:So what was the code from? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30737808)

Inglorious Netscape days, or sneaked in by some saboteur into Mozilla/Firefox?

I thought the new, hip thing to do was blame it on your contractors.

Re:So what was the code from? (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738150)

Dollars to dimes, the Microsoft code was from a Chinese contractor who stole it from Netscape.

Re:So what was the code from? (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738156)

It was reference code made widely available by a Microsoft technical evangelist in 1999. The contractor's probably a CEO by now, and quite capable of assigning blame of his own accord.

Re:So what was the code from? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738154)

RTFA

For what little it's worth, the code is sample code provided with Inside OLE 2,
which I was able to borrow a copy of. I've attached the license agreement.
Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's
problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your
product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product."

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=533691#c7

Re:So what was the code from? (4, Interesting)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738230)

Actually kind of makes me wonder. I keep getting updates pushed like crazy, and just about every time that I restart my browser (running a pretty stable system, so it may be days or weeks), I get a new Firefox update. You push off the updates and say "never" or "ask me later," and you are completely ignored because it starts updating when you restart your browser regardless of what you checked. Incredibly patronizing. Makes it hard to run an old version. There may be security risks with old versions, but at least they're generally known a little better than the ones known in the new versions that are being crammed down your throat on a daily basis.

Then for some of my clients' intranet sites, there's this thing about not being able to turn off security for "risky" (certificate broken) sites that pose no threat but I have no control over and have to add an exception for every time. The browser.ssl_override_behavior setting is there, but it is completely ignored now, just like the "never update" option.

Every new version of Firefox removes my control a little more, and it has gotten really old. It makes me wonder what version 3.6 is going to bring--if anything--and why they keep changing things for the sake of changing them.

Re:So what was the code from? (3, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738782)

> I get a new Firefox update.

Have you tried disabling updates if that's what you want ?

Preferences -> Advanced -> updates...

Re:So what was the code from? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738952)

I have a prehistoric Moz sitting on an old distro that I have kept since it picked up my webcam before the next release started ignoring it. Back then it wasn't 'self aware' to phone home and check for updates. Didn't see the point as I was using the distro less and less, but the Moz skin http://themes.mozdev.org/themes/negativemod.html [mozdev.org] sure is beyond compare, and I've kept it that way since.

Hmmm considering one poster below said to stick to 'browsers of that era' if your RAM is 'of that era', I think I'd get FF 1.0+ :) just to make this skin work again (and out of spite).

Re:So what was the code from? (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739660)

I don’t know, but on Gentoo, since you update your software trough the package manager, auto-update of the software itself is disabled. so I get an update, whenever I choose to update whatever I choose to update. And if I want it, I can simply add e.g. “<www-client/mozilla-firefox-3.5.6” to my /etc/portage/package.mask, and I will never get any further updates, even when I update the whole system.

That’s the one big thing that Windows lacks, that is more important than all of the bloat, the weak window manager, and the annoying idiot-proofness: The lack of a package manager and a repository.

Re:So what was the code from? (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741244)

Huh, how is that a troll?

Because I said how crappy windows is? Want proof:
Bloat: Windows 7 uses a minimum of 9 GB of hard disk space, has every component of the system tainted with DRM encryption, and even MS itself recommends the seriously understated 2GB of ram. Nuff said. :)
Weak window manager: Try KDE4 and/or CompizFusion. Not the colorful effects. The shortcuts. The comfort functionality. The configurability. The ease of use.
Idiot-proofness: How about needing “god mode”, just to get normal access to your settings. How about it telling you you’re too dumb to look into the windows/system* folders? How about all this clippy-like shit? How about the start menu denying you having your own organization? How about the root of the file system being a fake “my computer” with tons of non-existing folders and weird tricks below it? Like the Desktop folder below your home directory being somethow “my computer”? Sorry but you have to be retarded to like that, as it only hinders you from understanding what you need to understand, to use that computer.

Re:So what was the code from? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740352)

Ya know, you could just deny Firefox from writing to its own installation directory. That would be the ideal way to prevent such a thing, yes?

Re:So what was the code from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738320)

It was MSDN sample code.

well super (1, Offtopic)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30737814)

Is it possible to check for updates as a normal user on Windows yet?

Re:well super (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30737866)

Is it possible to check for updates as a normal user on Windows yet?

Umm, why? You can't install it as a normal user...

Re:well super (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30737944)

Lots of other apps know how to elevate to administrator using UAC. Even a notification that an update is available would be swell. Graying out the check for updates menu item.... not so swell.

Re:well super (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738488)

You know who else knows how to elevate?

The Daleks.

Re:well super (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739390)

That joke is so irrelevant and pathetically stupid that I now feel dumber having read it.

Re:well super (2, Insightful)

Mr. Shiny And New (525071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738234)

I can install it as a normal user. Here's how:

1. Log into Windows as a normal user.
2. Double click installer.
3. Windows prompts you to elevate automatically. Enter password for elevation.
4. Install. Close down FF if it runs after install because it is running as admin.

Then, as a normal user, start Firefox. You are logged in as your normal user and running the browser you just installed. But mysteriously FF's update feature is completely turned off. It doesn't even WARN you that there is an update pending, never mind downloading it, or downloading it and asking to elevate privs so that you can install it or ask an admin. The feature is so fully disabled that you can't even ask it to check for updates. This means that I have to rely on hearing about updates through some third-party channel, such as /., then remember to start Firefox as an admin to manually make it check for updates. This is so fundamentally broken that it's clear not a single FF developer uses a normal user account on Vista or 7.

Re:well super (1, Informative)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30737914)

No because this is a Release Candidate. 'Normal' users using release (final) software, only get update notifications for release software.

Anyone on the beta update channel would have seen this RC available as a normal update any time from several days ago.

Re:well super (3, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738078)

Ahh, slashdot. Come for the condescension, stay for the pedantry. Unpriveleged users don't get offered or notified of updates in 3.5. You can't even use the built in facility to manually check for an update. It is actually less secure to use Firefox as an unpriveleged user than it is to run as an admin unless you actively go and see what the latest release is.

Re:well super (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739268)

Actually as I get prompted for UAC elevation on updates I hadn't realised this was a problem and just assumed your original post was written with condescension and/or bad English.

Re:well super (1)

theCoder (23772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739624)

The Firefox install I have on my Windows machine at work gets updates all the time, and my account isn't a local admin. In fact, I just started it, and it applied updates from the last time it was running. I also used the "check for updates" menu item to find that there was another version available (I don't usually use that machine, which is why there were so many updates).

It is running XP. Maybe this is a Vista/7 problem? Or maybe it's because I installed Firefox using the user account, so that account has write access to the files?

Re:well super (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30737934)

Isn't the whole point of being a normal user on Windows that the OS shouldn't let you install those updates?

Re:well super (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738160)

Isn't the entire point of running Linux as a normal user that you can't update anything?

Re:well super (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738954)

Yes, but a notice for normal users that an update is available and that they should notify their system administrator would be nice I guess. Enabling updates for normal users might seem nice from a home desktop user perspective but it is a no go in corporate environments.

Re:well super (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739070)

Firefox is horrible to administer in corporate environments already. Adding a hidden pref that is only settable at the system level wouldn't make this any worse.

Re:well super (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738166)

If you need to have an updated version (or install extensions, etc.), use the portable version. It's meant to be installed to USB, but it works just fine from a local drive.

http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable [portableapps.com]

Re:well super (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738254)

Gaining write access to the appropriate parts of the system isn't the problem. Finding out that I'm three security updates behind on my home machine is.

Re:well super (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738240)

Is it possible to check for updates as a normal (gksudoed) user on Linux yet?

Oh, no because the Linux upgrade of Mozilla products lags behind horribly, and you have to run some piece of shit, hacked up bash script to pick apart some tar.gz files downloaded from nightlies.
What a fucking mess.

Thanks /. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738094)

I needed a good orgasm.
My legs are still shaking.

Memeory Leaks (1, Troll)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738118)

Did not read the article, but as long as they finally fixed the memory leaks I'll be happy.

What memory leaks you ask?
I have 1 tab open(This slashdot article)... my only add on is the Google Toolbar.
Firefox 3.5.7 is using a whopping 174Mb of ram.


Firefox doesn't properly clear out memory of closed tabs.

Re:Memeory Leaks (3, Interesting)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738236)

Seconded, I tend to leave my browser window open at all times on my machine, and every other day or so the mem usage hits over 1GB and slows my computer slows to a crawl. It would be wonderful if they fix that because I am seriously considering changing browsers because of it.

Re:Memeory Leaks (3, Interesting)

bschorr (1316501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738886)

Every now and then I'll bounce the FireFox app (close it, tell it to save and quit so it comes back up with the same tabs, restart it) and it generally comes back up using about 75% less memory than it was using when I closed it.

Though I can't point to any actual crashes that have resulted from it, seems like it would just be best practice for FireFox to be at least somewhat respectful of system memory (I do run other apps too ya know?) and try to keep itself tight when possible. If it were only 10% then I probably wouldn't care, but when I can open the same handful of tabs in 75% less memory...

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741434)

Yeah, I do that a lot too. What would be kind of cool is if there was an (opt-in) option where you can set FF to notify you when it hits a certain RAM usage and ask if you want to restart it. But that would involve the devs admitting there actually is a problem...

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738286)

I'm at work using IE 7. I just closed down to one tab after heavy use, and IE is still at 64 megs of physical memory, and 180 megs of virtual memory. Sound like Firefox wins there.

The only browser I've seen that can properly close memory from closed tabs is Chrome.

Firefox INTENTIONALLY AS A FEATURE (not a memory leak) does keep fully rendered pages, with full history and the cache of X rendered pages, for some time after you close the tab. You can right-click on the tab bar and reopen recently closed tabs. I actually love that feature and miss it all the time in IE. However, you can probably turn off the feature with about:config if you need to.

Re:Memeory Leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738660)

The only browser I've seen that can properly close memory from closed tabs is Chrome.

I'm using Chrome 4 on Linux. I just closed all but one tab, and adding up the resident memory for all four chrome processes listed in the System Monitor, I see that Chrome is using about 120 MB of RAM. For some reason, about:memory says Chrome is using only 88 MB.

I think the real memeory leak is repeating the meme that Firefox has memory problems that other browsers don't have.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740324)

The only browser I've seen that can properly close memory from closed tabs is Chrome.

I'm using Chrome 4 on Linux. I just closed all but one tab, and adding up the resident memory for all four chrome processes listed in the System Monitor, I see that Chrome is using about 120 MB of RAM. For some reason, about:memory says Chrome is using only 88 MB.

Because a lot of the memory is shared between the processes, so you're counting some libraries and such multiple times when only one copy actually exists in memory. See this blog post [chromium.org] for more details. The only reliable way to test how much memory it's using is to kill it and see how much memory is freed, if you don't trust about:memory.

Re:Memeory Leaks (5, Informative)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738566)

Firefox at this point is really quite reasonable [dotnetperls.com] with its memory use - I can't get my head around the continual complaints. The only area where it's appreciably worse performing than Chrome is in UI responsiveness and this has significantly improved in 3.5. It also has far faster back/forward navigation through the cache and (although I don't have figures for this) it feels faster at displaying pages without extremely heavy javascript. There's also less flicker - most pages load in one paint rather than loading in sections. Besides that, web browsers have a lot of useful RAM caching they can do (your history, uncompressed images etc) - it hardly makes sense to keep browser usage below 174MB when even netbooks come with 1-2GB and that RAM can be used effectively to speed up the browser. Frankly, if you're too stingy to splash out on a stick of RAM use xterm with lynx or another browser from the era when that amount of RAM was normal.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1, Troll)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740434)

I'm guessing you don't use Linux. Firefox on Linux is a dog compared to the Chrome betas, even with 4GB of RAM in the machine.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740848)

Granted, but that's because relatively few linux developers are making an effort with Gecko/Firefox. In particular, Gnome has undergone a 2 year transition to Webkit that so far is showing very limited performance improvements and has meant that many projects have seen no real user visible changes (especially epiphany, which has not been changed noticeably since it reached parity with Firefox 2 a couple of years ago). It's quite sad that a FOSS icon has been largely rejected by the linux community and that it now performs worse there than on closed platforms.

Regardless, I use epiphany on Gnome because it feels much more native and slicker than firefox or chrome, even if it's still wanting for features.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

adiether (615494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738614)

Closing a tab, hitting CTR-ALT-DEL, and looking at how much memory Firefox is using is NOT a good indicator of a memory leak. A better indicator is how long and how much can you use Firefox. I can't remember the last time I ran up against Firefox being unusable because it was bloating. Also, to lay blame at Firefox's feet you would need to turn off all your plugins such as Flash, Quicktime, Java, etc.

In a low RAM environment, Firefox is much more aggressive at keeping RAM usage down. Most computers these days have lots of RAM. Programs should use it.

Re:Memeory Leaks (0, Troll)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738962)

RAM is cheap. My desktop rig has 8GB. I don't mind firefox using 500-1024MB as long as my browsing is snappy and I can get to old closed tabs for some time (hence the high memory usage).

Re:Memeory Leaks (2, Insightful)

lordmatrix (1439871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739396)

8GB RAM is 120 EUR. Thats a month of quality food for a single person. Saying hardware is cheap is wrong because it's not cheap. Not for the majority of the people.

Re:Memeory Leaks (0, Troll)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739494)

I reject your argument. Just because that's the cost of food for a month, doesn't mean that's expensive. That RAM will be good for several years (at least 3). Assuming you amoratize the cost over 3 years, that's only 3.34 EUR/month. So while there is an upfront investment, you don't have to pay 120EUR/month for RAM like you do for food.

PC that's already maxed out at 2 GB (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739734)

That RAM will be good for several years (at least 3).

Including the new motherboard and 64-bit operating system that the RAM requires, and the new CPU that the motherboard requires? I didn't think so.

Re:PC that's already maxed out at 2 GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740548)

Don't be silly. Almost all motherboards sold in the last few years have been for 64 bit cpus because neither Intel nor AMD care about 32 bits anymore. x86 is dead, long live x86_64.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739718)

My desktop rig has 8GB.

Netbooks and old (paid-for) PCs tend not to even have enough slots for 8 GB of RAM.

Re:Memeory Leaks (0, Troll)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739766)

Good point. But it's silly to argue amount performance if you're using less than 4GB of RAM (which netbooks and older desktops will accommodate).

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740400)

But it's silly to argue amount performance if you're using less than 4GB of RAM

For how many years has this been true?

(which netbooks and older desktops will accommodate).

Eee PC has only one DDR2 SO-DIMM slot for 2 GB of RAM, and a lot of them ship with a smaller stick in place. More importantly, Mozilla Corp wants to target Firefox toward 1. older machines that shipped with operating systems now in the extended support phase, and 2. handheld devices (Fennec).

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740450)

My Eee900 maxes out at 2GB, according to the docs (and yes, I do have a 2GB stick in there).

Re:Memeory Leaks (0, Troll)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738974)

RE: "Firefox 3.5.7 is using a whopping 174Mb of ram."

and with most systems having at least 1 to 4 gigs of ram 174 megs is what?

a pimple on a hippo's butt?

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739046)

That's a feature, not a bug. Firefox maintains its own memory cache. If you're that desperate for memory... you should be using Opera Mini or Dillo or something.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

Kaetemi (928767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739316)

Okay, say, I open a few hundred tabs to Google.com. Every new tab adds more MB ram used. When I close all those tabs, no ram is freed at all. Usage can easily go up to a GB of ram with opening and closing the page enough times. When I open a new tab to Google.com again, more ram is used. That's definitely not a normal cache, it's a memory leaking cache. It's not because it's a cache that it doesn't need to limit it's ram usage.
And they should use the hard disk instead for such a ridiculous > 1GB cache, especially since I also need to be able to run 3ds Max or Adobe Premiere while Firefox is running.
Currently Firefox is using 377MB ram. This is the only tab open.

Re:Memeory Leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739658)

Three words: "Reopen closed tab"
Firefox stores the parsed page tree in memory along with images and crap for all recently closed tabs as well as the page contents of the last 5 (or was it 10?) pages behind the BACK button for every tab (this also includes closed tabs since if you restore the closed tab it will also restore the BACK history). Even then, this is ignoring the in-memory disk-cache which is 10% available memory [Yes, variable sized as a percentage].

Naturally, a lot of tabs will mean a lot of memory used. High usage is not the same as a leak.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739758)

And they should use the hard disk instead for such a ridiculous > 1GB cache, especially since I also need to be able to run 3ds Max or Adobe Premiere while Firefox is running.

Just open the other program, and Windows will automatically move the cache to the hard disk where you say it belongs. It's called a swap file.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739132)

Google Toolbar may be leaky. However I guess the initial amount of memory for Firefox is actually high (higher than say, Opera or IE).

Right now I am using Firefox 3.5.5 on Win XP. I have 3 windows open:
Window 1 with 13 tabs including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Notebook and Slashdot.
Window 2: 19 Tabs (some wikipedia, Eurostat sites, etc)

Window 3: 2 tabs Google search.

In addition I have the following extensions:Adblock Plus, Delicious bookmarks, DOM inspector, downthemall, fireftp, grasemonkey, pricedrop, sage, scrapbook stop-or-reload button, stylish, tab mix plus, tinymenu treestyle tab, xmarks.

All that makes 476,620K as measured by Process Explored "Private Bytes" field. I would not say it is a lot of memory =oP. This machine has 2 GB of RAM. and According to RAMPage I have 700 MB free. (and I've got a total of 25 windows opened including Word, Excel, Forefox, Outlook, Explorer, etc) distributed in 4 VirtuaWin virtual desktops.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739208)

Oh yeah... I forgot to add that I have been using the same firefox session for over one week now (since the beginning of the year) as I do not close or turn off the computer but hibernate.

Firefox has come a long way from its leaky days. I was frustrated by the leaking but nowadays it feels OK for me.

Re:Memeory Leaks (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739844)

As is noted for at least one or two years, you can disable that behavior.

Also 174 MB (I don’t think you meant megabits ;) is not that much, if you calculate the size of the actual data, in its *uncompressed* form with a full parse tree. Do some calculations. You’ll be surprised at how big that actually becomes.

I’d like to see some memory map for Firefox anyway. Since when Opera can do it, so should Firefox. ;)
My guess is, that Opera has something like a offscreen buffer that is in memory for all inactive tabs. So they don’t have to draw anything.

And my main guess is, that the reason for Firefox’s bloat, apart from Flash having more memory leaks than IE has holes, is simple: XUL. Or in other words: Tons of XML files (a format known for excessive bloat), which means tons of parse trees, with parse trees for the attached JavaScript events/triggers, and all that attached to the unnecessarily complex XPCOM interface.
Which from a software design standpoint certainly is a very nice thing, becase it’s so platform-independent, and because it’s so flexible.
But I fear they went too far, and now it’s caught in the horrible anti-pattern of the inner-platform effect [wikipedia.org] .

So what it needs, is less layers (/ inner platforms), or at least a layer-combining compiler. (XUL+JS to efficient machine code.)

Or to talk more general: We need something generic like HTML, but for application interfaces, that is compilable to machine code. Doesn’t QT/KDE do that already?

Useless Summary (4, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738226)

The summary rambled on about bug fixes and other things that tend not to matter to the end product of FF3.6. Most of the people that read slashdot understand the release process for software. You releases a beta/RC, fix some bugs, release the pre-release. If all is good, you release the final product.

It would have been more useful to cover new features and things that would interest the end-user. At least that's my point of view on the topic...

Useful info from the article:

Among the new features in Firefox 3.6 are built-in support for the scaled-down browser skins dubbed "Personas;" warnings of out-of-date plug-ins; support for new CSS, DOM and HTML 5 technologies; support for full-screen video embedded with the video HTML tag; and support for the Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

TraceMonkey has also been refreshed to boost JavaScript performance, something Mike Shaver, Mozilla's chief engineer, bragged about last week on Twitter. "I am excited about upcoming JS [JavaScript] engine work, and I don't care who knows it," Shaver tweeted.

Re:Useless Summary (3, Interesting)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738334)

Agreed!

I've been running beta5 and RC1 since it came out, this could very well be the final product from what I've experienced. Everything works, including all plugins (or are they called extensions, addons, or components...?).

Much faster startup time (yes, this matters) and switching between tabs seem faster than ever. It's almost Chrome-like in speed now.

Re:Useless Summary (1)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738430)

It would have been more useful to cover new features and things that would interest the end-user.

Here [mozillalinks.org] you go. It's for beta 1, so it's a bit old though.

Re:Useless Summary (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738902)

Personas have been in Firefox before, then discontinued. You'll see a lot of submissions there from those days. I'm glad that it's back, but I am hoping for a utility that could make the earlier personas work in this updated version.

Firefox seriously broken - the 5.0 curse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738284)

The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox.

For a piece of software that's been actively developed for so many years, Firefox has way too many bugs that cause it to crash. The memory footprint seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each release and Firefox is noticably slower compared to Opera when it comes to rendering and general GUI responsiveness. I don't want to start any flame wars, I'm just sharing my experience and point of view, it just seems to me that Firefox has been on an unfortunate development path that will lead to its death before it hits version 5.0, much like Netscape [wikipedia.org] .

Some of you know that FreeBSD 5.x was a very unfortunate branch plagued with serious bugs. Can you recall any other pieces of software that suffered under the 5.0 curse?

Performance issues off flash drives (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738404)

After 3.0, I've had severe performance issues with firefox off of a flash drive.

Did I miss a switch somewhere? It has to be related to some new performance feature because the flash drive continuously flashes with 3.1+ and doesn't flash at all with 3.0.

Re:Performance issues off flash drives (1)

advid.net (595837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738516)

After 3.0, I've had severe performance issues with firefox off of a flash drive.

Me too. I'm suspecting the url/keyword database, the one with the file keeping up growing.

Re:Performance issues off flash drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739060)

I wonder if it has to do with that Awesome (*tries to stop rolling eyes) toolbar, keeping tabs on searches and keywords. Join the hate club, members joining up at a rate that's in direct proportion to that url/keyword database you've got there.

I'm kinda split myself, love-hate.

Re:Performance issues off flash drives (2, Interesting)

minvaren (854254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739342)

It's the fact that they use SQLite to store so much data. Putting the firefox profile on anything but a local hard drive causes it to become completely unresponsive on a regular basis. I haven't seen any plans by Mozilla to fix this yet, but this completely kills Firefox in any work environment with roaming profiles.

Re:Performance issues off flash drives (2, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739410)

After 3.0, I've had severe performance issues with firefox off of a flash drive.

That'll be the writing to the urlclassifier3.sqlite, file amongst others. I sorted this on my Ubuntu setup (running on a netbook with an internal SSD that had *very* bad write performance) by moving my profile to a RAM drive on boot (and rsyncing it back to the on-disc copy on shutdown and every now and again via cron). You might be able to do something similar on Windows if you have a decent RAM drive implementation but you are unlikely to have that in most circumstances where you are using a portable install of a browser. You could try explicitly enabling write caching for the USB device, but again you may not have the right perms for that in all cases when using a portable setup and it isn't a great idea anyway.

New Gecko 1.9.2 in FF 3.6 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738466)

I love the new Gecko features, especially -moz-linear-gradient and -moz-radial-gradient. Huge bandwidth savings for gradient loving web developers out there.

https://developer.mozilla.org/En/Firefox_3.6_for_developers

Re:New Gecko 1.9.2 in FF 3.6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738628)

How is this better than using IE specific features?

Re:New Gecko 1.9.2 in FF 3.6 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739996)

It's a standard.

http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-images/#radial-gradients

IE-specific vs. Mozilla-specific (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740558)

Unlike IE-specific features, Mozilla-specific features have a better chance of getting into the other three major engines (Safari based on Apple's WebKit tree, Chrome based on Google's WebKit tree, and Opera based on Presto) and into W3C drafts.

Re:New Gecko 1.9.2 in FF 3.6 (3, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741162)

There are two main differences between this and the old way IE did its IE-specific features:

1) This implementation is based on a public draft of a W3C REC-track document, which is worked on in public in collaboration with other browser vendors, web developers, and anyone else who cares to join the public www-style@w3.org mailing list. In fact, the gradient syntax was changed radically between beta 1 and beta 2 of Gecko 1.9.2 based on feedback and discussion on said mailing list.

2) The feature is clearly marked as Gecko-specific, so it doesn't pollute the namespace for future standardization (e.g. the properties are not called "linear-gradient" and "radial-gradient") and makes it clear to anyone using it that it will only work in Gecko and break in other browsers. This last property makes it less likely that someone will just use it, test only in Gecko, and accidentally break other browsers by just failing to think about testing in them.

But yes, using it as an _author_ for things outside progressive enhancement is of course bad. But even the progressive enhancement uses are a start: they can give valuable feedback on that www-style mailing list I mention if there are serious problems with the current spec draft.

Slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30738712)

With so many smaller faster alternatives, Chrome, Opera, etc...

One has to ask in Firefox even relevent anymore?

Re:Slow... (4, Insightful)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739036)

That's an odd question considering that Firefox continues to gain market share.

Perhaps you should ask yourself if "smaller" and "faster" are really the dominant factors driving users to switch browsers.

Re:Slow... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740300)

That's an odd question considering that Firefox continues to gain market share.

That doesn't by itself tells you much except that people still don't like IE. If you get 3 IE users switch to Firefox, and 2 Firefox users switch to Chrome in the same time, then Firefox share grows overall, but one could argue that it's not a good sign for Firefox if it's got such a high dissatisfaction rate in proportion to the size of its user base.

Re:Slow... (2, Insightful)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739170)

Until Opera and Chrome get usable, working AdBlock+ and NoScript, then there are no good alternatives to Firefox.

Re:Slow... (3, Insightful)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739782)

Guess you've never really used Opera since it has the equivilants of those add-ons built in.

Re:Slow... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30740670)

Guess you've never really used Opera since it has the equivilants of those add-ons built in.

But I guess it doesn't have a built-in spellchecker! ;-)

Re:Slow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30739196)

Various Addons

How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738774)

I don't quite understand how the Chrome guys do the updates, but it seems like dark magic: I never noticed ever needing a restart, but still, the executable is being updated, too. I have no clue how that is achieved.

Re:How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (1)

silentjay (979424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739062)

its the google update service running in the background doing it.....

Re:How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (2, Informative)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739088)

If you do it manually it prompts you to restart it to benefit from the update, otherwise it does it in the background (if you run Windows, in Linux you need to use the package manager to upgrade it)

Re:How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (1)

Webz (210489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740130)

This is an unsupported guess.

There's probably two versions of the executable: ones you have already running hot and one that's on the file system. If you update Chrome, it's probably updating only the reference copy on the file system and not the one you're running. So if you shut down all of your instances of Chrome, and then start one up again, it uses that new copy without mentioning anything to you.

What would really be neat is if you could run different versions of Chrome simultaneously so that given the organic lifetime of your tabs, you could seamlessly use the new Chrome and phase the old Chrome out (given that each tab is a process).

Re:How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740592)

I never noticed ever needing a restart, but still, the executable is being updated, too.

Chrome runs a process per open page to isolate crashes. I'm guessing that as long as binaries of different versions communicate by passing well-defined messages and only binaries of the same version share memory, multiple versions of the Chrome engine can run at once.

Re:How does Chrome do it? No re-start needed. (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740648)

Yep. That is exactly how they do it. They update the renderer executable on-disk, then switch to the updated version it the next time they need to start a renderer process.

Still no Web Socket support (1)

heathm (174421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30738970)

Firefox continues to fall behind Chrome. Unfortunately, there's no web socket support in this release.

Re:Still no Web Socket support (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30740706)

There's no web socket support in a shipping Chrome either, last I checked, just in the developer channel builds (the equivalent of Firefox nightlies).

Do you want a list of things Firefox has that Chrome doesn't in terms of web capabilities? ;)

Why no Linux x86_64 Firefox releases yet??? (2, Insightful)

trutative (1556051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741002)

I am always dismayed by the lack of Linux x86_64 Firefox releases.
I can download current releases of OpenOffice for Linux x96_64.
Why is it so hard to find Firefox for x86_64???

Re:Why no Linux x86_64 Firefox releases yet??? (2, Informative)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741436)

IIRC, lots of popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, have 64-bit versions of Firefox in their repositories (and with Ubuntu 64bit, it ships with it). If you're running the 64-bit version of Firefox, you might want to google the 64-bit flash plugin and how to install it if you use Flash at all (it works fantastic!).

Does This Fix The Flash CPU Issues? (1)

BfA (1170093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741282)

I'm running a E4500 Core 2 Duo and continuously saw my one core at ~50% with Firefox 3.5 and Flash 10. Luckily, I have that second core so I can still function. On my latest Windows 7 x64 build then I installed Firefox 3.6 b4 and Flash 10.1 Beta... still happening. Is this issue strictly a flash issue or is it also involving Firefox as well? Anyone have any idea when this issue will be fixed? PS The issue still happens in both Firefox b5 and RC.

Re:Does This Fix The Flash CPU Issues? (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30741456)

Flash issue, for sure. However, to be sure you might want to test out flash in IE, Chrome, Safari or some other browser and see how Flash performs.

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