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Firefox 3.7 Dropped In Favor of Feature Updates

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the lessons-from-the-trenches dept.

Mozilla 252

Barence sends in a report from pcpro.co.uk that says "Under its original plans, Mozilla would roll out Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 over the course of 2009, each bringing minor improvements to the browser. However, a steady stream of delays to Firefox 3.6 has rendered that goal unobtainable, forcing Mozilla to rethink its release. As a result, Firefox 3.7 has been dropped and will be replaced with feature updates for Firefox 3.6 that will be rolled out with security updates. This should free up the team to work on the next major release, Firefox 4, slated for the last quarter of 2010, which is expected to follow the same development process." Updated 20100116 00:54 GMT by timothy: Alexander Limi, from Firefox User Experience, says that the PC Pro article linked above misinterprets the situation, and that 3.7 is still on the roadmap before 4.0. The confusion stems from a schedule realignment: the out-of-process plugins feature, originally slated to land in 3.7, will instead ship as a minor update in Firefox's 3.6 series. According to Limi, CNET gets it right."

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Firesucks my a$$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780162)

FP ?

Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780198)

I wonder what effect this is going to have on the implementation of SVG animation, which is part of gecko 1.9.3, which was to be used in 3.7. Is it going to be slotted into 3.6 sometime or will it get pushed to 4?

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (2, Interesting)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780570)

We'll probably see the Geck 1.9.3 engine "slipstreamed" in with automatic updates to Firefox 3.6. As such, don't be surprised by the end of 2010 we'll see Firefox up to Version 3.6.15 as all the new features are "slipstreamed" in.

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780706)

SVG animation? Heh, they don't even have a half assed SVG static renderer yet, and you want animation? I think they need to make it so we can draw more than a smiley face using primitive shapes and basic fills before they start worrying about animation.

At a bare minimum, can we get it to pass SOME part of the 1.1 test suite for static elements before we start with animation.

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (2, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780820)

What exact problems are you seeing with the 1.1 test suite? Last I checked, Gecko passed a pretty big chunk of that (SVG fonts and SMIL excluded).

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (1, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781352)

http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/Test/20061213/htmlEmbedHarness/basic-index.html [w3.org]

I just tried it using 3.5.7.

I skipped the first 2 tests as they are animation related.

I stopped at test 7. I figured since 3 through 7 didn't match up, and I'm currently at a 100% failure rate that I didn't need to prove much more.

Yes, Firefox can score great if you ignore all the tests that it fails, unfortunately things like fonts ARE KIND OF IMPORTANT.

I should point out that proper font rendering is required for EVERY test. You can't pass any without proper font rendering.

Go a head and scroll through the list though, the composition test fails, gradient tests fail, fill tests fail, event handling and scripting is pointless in firefox, structured image placement, text selection doesn't work, inheritance is broken, text alignment is broken beyond belief.

I'm not going any further, the point has been made. Gecko hasn't passed any tests, it can't without proper font rendering. You don't get to exclude part of the test and claim you passed it when that part of the test is fundamental to the standard. Thats like the 'Windows is secure as long as its in a locked room with no cables to it and turned off.'

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781664)

Here, I'll make the statement valid:

Windows is secure as long as morons like you aren't operating it

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (3, Funny)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782030)

> I just tried it using 3.5.7.

> I figured since 3 through 7 didn't match up

Interesting. Tests 3 through 7 all match up here in Firefox 3.5.7. On Window, Linux, and Mac, on several different hardware and VM configurations. What's special about your setup?

> I should point out that proper font rendering is required for EVERY test.

Sure. That's not the same thing as SVG Fonts, which are a font format for defining font data in SVG instead of using the fonts installed on your system. Whether SVG fonts are important is up for debate in the working group at the moment, in fact. ;)

> the composition test fails, gradient tests fail, fill tests fail, event handling and
> scripting is pointless in firefox

If you mean the one feComposite test for "the composition test", I can confirm that this fails. The gradient and fill tests pass fine for me. The event tests that are testing stuff that deals with the Core DOM pass fine. The ones that are testing stuff like onfocusin that SVG made up aren't implemented by pretty much anyone last I checked and are slated to be dropped from the SVG spec. The struct-dom tests pass fine over here.

> structured image placement, text selection doesn't work, inheritance is broken,

Not sure which tests you're looking at here.

> text alignment is broken beyond belief.

A lot of that looks unimplemented, yes.

> Gecko hasn't passed any tests,

Again, I'd like to know what's special about your system (or your profile, or your exact Firefox binary) here. If you're willing to take the time, can you run your Firefox in safe mode and see whether it's still failing tests 3-7? If so, where did you download your Firefox from?

And just to make sure, is "svg.enabled" set to true in your about:config?

Re:Gecko 1.9.3 and SVG animation (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781322)

I have the very same question about WebGL. I've been waiting for that feature for a while ...

Meaning what? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780224)

What's the difference between "Firefox 3.0 with updates" and "Firefox 3.7"?

Firefox development is poorly managed, apparently. (-1, Troll)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780906)

The difference is whatever they want to make of it. The advantage of not promising anything is that no management is necessary.

It seems to me that Mozilla Foundation is badly managed.

Have you seen $200 million worth of development in Firefox? The Mozilla foundation has been getting more than $68,000,000 each year to make Google the default search engine in Firefox. See this article, for example: Google Deal Produces 91% of Mozilla's Revenue [pcworld.com] .

In return for that enormous amount of money, Firefox is for many the most unstable program they use. Every new version of Firefox includes "stability improvements", but the instability has gotten considerably worse since version 3.5.2. Firefox is so unstable it regularly crashes the Windows XP OS, although not Linux, apparently.

The instability and resultant memory hogging of Firefox has been reported many times by many people for many years, according to discussions online. For just one small example, see the comments tab for this crash report ID: 67f332db-205a-4944-8f88-1bb7a2091220 [mozilla.com] . (Not a crash from one of our computers.) Typical comments from that comment tab:

"I can't believe how often firefox is crashing recently on multiple computers!!!"
"This is ridiculous! It happens everyday!"
"Mozilla crashes on average 10 a day. Can you help?"
"firefox is crashing on me twice a day. any advice please? thanks Graham"
"This new version of Mozilla sucks. It crashes on my multiple times each day."
"I keep going from tab to tab and after a while Mozilla crashes.."
"please fix this crash problem, thanks"

Want to see your own Firefox crashes? Enter about:crashes into the Firefox address window, and press the Enter key. You can substitute the numbers obtained from your crashes in the link above to get more information.

There is more about Mozilla Developer Center Crash Reporting [mozilla.org] on their web site. (That web site may be overloaded or not loadable from Slashdot.)

The randomness of failures suggests that Firefox writes to a random location memory that is important in some systems and not others. That's crucial in an unstable, poorly designed OS like Windows XP. Linux merely throws Firefox off the system.

Definitely the way events are handled in Firefox has degraded in the last few versions. Firefox often takes a long time to process a mouse event, for example, even when Firefox has been the only program in use for a long time.

Firefox is popular because of its add-ons, apparently. People don't want to watch abusive, flashing ads that assume that the reader is stupid, so they use AdBlock Plus. When the same extensions exist for Google's browser, it seems likely that Firefox will lose popularity.

Firefox experiences a LOT of crashes and memory hogging, and has for years. Apparently Firefox developers don't know how to debug that kind of failure. Apparently the more than $200 million has not been enough.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781038)

I have seen you post this ANY time Firefox has been mentioned for the past couple of weeks, cut and paste style. You are either a shill of some sort, or forced to do this because of one of your clients. Either way, you aren't wanted here.

Avoidance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781076)

There is a serious problem, and you don't want to hear about it?

Re:Avoidance? (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781136)

I keep HEARING about all these serious problems, but the five computes in my household using Firefox 3.5x (two of them Ubuntu 9.10, three of them Windows XP SP3) haven't SHOWN me any of these problems.

These posts keep talking about how there are major problems with Firefox, and they keep getting worse...yet I haven't experienced nor do I know anyone in my relatively large nerd circle who has experienced what is being described after the release of 3.5.

It sounds like paid shill bullshit to me.

Did you read the crash reports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781354)

You don't have the problem, so it doesn't exist?

Did you read the crash reports? They are automatically generated. Are you saying they didn't happen?

Did you consider that maybe your use of a browser is lighter than that of others?

Re:Did you read the crash reports? (2, Interesting)

theJML (911853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781594)

Not to feed a troll, but...

If he and a number of other people, as stated in his report (and I'll throw my experience in there as well), don't have the problems, it calls into question the original report of overwhelming issues.

Personally, I'd have to say that I use firefox for an average of 12 hours a day. I use it quite a bit at work and again when I get home. If you add in the time that my friends and relatives use firefox without on going crashing issues (ESPECIALLY those that take down windows, I've NEVER even heard of Firefox itself bringing down properly patched XP, and I know I've not had it take down either my Ubuntu, Gentoo or Fedora systems). I'd have to say that daily useage of Firefox in my circle has to be aproaching 80 or 90 hours per day.

I'm also saying that the "Automatically Generated Crash Reports" "Didn't happen" because, well, they didn't. mostly because there was no need for firefox to automatically generate a report on an event that didn't take place.

Is Firefox perfect? No, far from it. But I have found as many other people, that crashes, when they do occur are almost never caused by firefox itself, but one of the extensions. In the times I've heard of someone with a crash or two, they uninstall the last extension they put on there and they're back to stable. It's that easy. Same goes for slow load times, large memory usage, high CPU usage, etc.

Also, that originating post says that 91% of the Mozilla Foundation's income is $68M, and complains that we haven't seen $200M in development... Well, did you ever think that calculation is a bit off? after all, that'd only mean we'd see $75M which, last I checked is less than $200 by quite a bit.

You really should think about these things more before you post. If you bought that info, you might want a refund...

Re:Did you read the crash reports? (2, Informative)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781672)

I just read mine - I have one in Nov 2009 & one in Dec 2009. I seem to recall that both of those were caused by some script on cnet.com; it was certainly one particular site in both cases. I start each morning with a fresh 12 tabs open and go through the day opening & closing tons of tabs. Maybe this is "lighter" browser use, but I also have a machine at home which keeps 50+ tabs open for weeks at a time & almost never crashes. This leads me to agree with the GP, claiming that Firefox has major problems with crashing sounds like shill bs.

Re:Did you read the crash reports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781772)

You don't have the problem, so it doesn't exist?

There's no proof that the problem exists to begin with. Futurepower(R) selectively quotes comments from the crash report he points you to.

What about the insightful crash reports such as:
  "Mozilla has crash a dozen times in the last 3 days... We can be on the internet or it can be in the screen saver mode. Any time."
  "GO TO THE UNDERWORLD OR FIX THIS SO YOU CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!"
  "NOTHING, God DAMMMIT!"
  "fukkk.... haha any hot ladies out there im 15 heres my #"
  "YOUR FU***** SYSTEM IS A PIECE OF JUNK. IT CRASHES MORE THEN I BREATH !!!!"
  "Ouylook Express crashed whule I was reading emails."

Who is exactly is supposed to take this nonsense seriously?

Re:Did you read the crash reports? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781898)

You don't have the problem, so it doesn't exist?

I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm saying that in own personal experience (and, apparently, a lot of other people on this board's experience), I haven't found anything remotely close to what is being claimed.

Did you read the crash reports? They are automatically generated. Are you saying they didn't happen?

People also have pictures of iPhones literally catching on fire or even exploading. That doesn't mean the millions of iPhones out there are bombs in disguise.

Did you consider that maybe your use of a browser is lighter than that of others?

I use 11 addons, and tend to have anywhere from 10-30 tabs open at a time in TWO different browser windows at a time (closer to 10 if general browsing, closer to 30 if I'm working on my website).

If anything, my use of Firefox is HEAVIER than most (or on par with "power users", many of whom on this board also report experiencing none of the issues you have mentioned).

Considering I'm running a relatively week Athlon X2 5400+ and 4 gb of DDR2800 Corsair XMS memory, I should be experiencing the problems you describe left and right...but lo and behold, I don't.

Re:Did you read the crash reports? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781936)

Not only is it week, it's also weak!

Oh, and for the record: the two ubuntu 9.10 systems I run Firefox 3.5.x on? One is an Athlon 64 3000+ single core system (HTPC), and the other is a Dell Mini 9. If I was going to have stability issues with Firefox, I'm sure at least one of those two would have it.

Where did the $200,000,000 go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781646)

You'll have to admit a detailed accounting of the apparently more than $200,000,000 Google has given to the Mozilla Foundation would be interesting.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781208)

In return for that enormous amount of money, Firefox is for many the most unstable program they use. Every new version of Firefox includes "stability improvements", but the instability has gotten considerably worse since version 3.5.2. Firefox is so unstable it regularly crashes the Windows XP OS, although not Linux, apparently.

No operating system should crash due to a misbehaving application. If it does crash, the operating system sucks.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (3, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781262)

It's true that my Fx has crashed seven times in the last three months. However, I can trace two of them to a faulty extension. The rest may very well come from the Flash plugin, which isn't entirely stable on Snow Leopard and hasn't been fixed in ages. Offhand I can't remember a single crash not directly related to Flash (excepting the extension, of course).

I'm willing to bet that a fair part of the stability issues people have actually comes from badly-written extensions and plugins. Remember that most other applications don't execute code written by Adobe (and yes, I see that as an argument as to why they're more stable).

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781314)

Huh. I typed in about:crashes, and it was completely empty.

Anecdote vs. anecdote. To continue this argument you need real data.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781416)

Have you seen $200 million worth of development in Firefox?

http://planet.mozilla.org/ [mozilla.org]

Spend a little time reading this on a regular basis, and you'll soon discover how many projects Mozilla handles, and all the developers they're paying.

The big projects include:

Firefox, Bugzilla, Camino, Fennec, Lightning, Sunbird, Seamonkey, and Thunderbird.

These are major multi-platform projects.

Mozilla has several projects for first-party add-ons for all of the above such as Firebug, Chromebug, . Then they have tons of major projects that most people never hear about. At the moment they're working on:

Jetpack
Raindrop
Bespin
Concept
Personas
Prism
Snowl
Test Pilot
Ubiquity
Weave
Electrolysis

A tool recently said the KDE code based purely on lines of code should have cost $175 million to develop, and that wasn't counting Koffice, and anything outside the main KDE trunk.

Mozilla also doesn't just do code projects, they do tons of community management and outreach projects like Mozilla Education, which costs even more money.

They also help support outside developers using Mozilla and Xulrunner for other apps such as Kompozer, Songbird, etc.

I don't know where all their money goes, but Mozilla does *A LOT*. To suggest they're not doing much development is ignorance or lies.

Firefox experiences a LOT of crashes and memory hogging, and has for years.

Firefox does crash for me from time to time, on Windows and Linux. I tend to use a lot of extensions, and the most common thing I hear is that extensions are the largest source of memory and stability issues. Do I get daily crashes, or 10 crashes a day? No. And I run daily snapshot builds. I maybe get 1 crash a week, if that.

As a Systems Engineer, I troubleshoot and support some big money apps that crash fairly often. Large software projects are going to have bugs. However, I wager if you run without extensions, you'll find that Firefox is pretty damned stable for such a massive multi-platform app.

Memory issues are all but lies these days. Memory usage has improved so much over the past few years. Firefox is actually better with memory usage than Chrome in many ways. The core app doesn't take too much memory on first load. It doesn't have memory leaks.

There are some intentional features which cause Firefox to eat up some memory that you can turn off, such as Firefox keeping fully rendered pages in memory, so that when you hit the back button, they just display immediately without having to re-render. When you close a tab, it still keeps that full session in memory for some time, so that you can reopen the closed tab with full rendered pages and history if you want.

If you don't like these features, turn them off. Not to mention, these are set to use dynamic chunks of memory which is preportional to your total memory. If you have a desktop with 8 gigs of memory that you're not using, why get upset that Firefox is using 300-400 megs of memory?

Unused memory isn't doing you any good.

Stop with the FUD. Real geeks know better and see right through BS and lies.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781420)

I don't see any of these problems. Firefox has never crashed for me under reasonable circumstances.

Sibling posts are right - this seems way too long and too calm. If someone writes a lot, it's usually a rant. Also, the bolding, etc.? It's way too artificial.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781466)

"about:crashes" shows no submitted crash reports on my computers.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781482)

I run two to three Firefox windows with dozens of tabs 24/7, with active browsing of a variety of content types (Flash, images, embedded video, text, heavy scripting, AJAX, et cetera) for many hours daily, and a wide variety of addons installed. This particular install of firefox has been running for a little over a year.

My about:crashes is blank.

The randomness of failures suggests that Firefox writes to a random location memory that is important in some systems and not others. That's crucial in an unstable, poorly designed OS like Windows XP. Linux merely throws Firefox off the system.

This is ridiculous. You're obviously talking about things you don't know anything about -- concerning programs or OS's to start with, let alone Firefox specifically or the function thereof.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781688)

Submitted Crash Reports

        Report ID Date Submitted

        bp-b2805390-8582-45cb-b032-68afb2090xxx 27/09/2009 02:45
        bp-f22e1c1e-9643-11dd-8cfc-001321b13yyy 09/10/2008 21:50

Terrible!

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781742)

shut up you stupid fucking cunt!

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781760)

The randomness of failures suggests that Firefox writes to a random location memory that is important in some systems and not others. That's crucial in an unstable, poorly designed OS like Windows XP. Linux merely throws Firefox off the system.

What that suggests to me is that your memory is bad. Try running memtest [memtest.org] and see if it reports any errors. Even if it doesn't, it might be heat related.

I've had issues with Firefox crashing in the past (although mostly due to my playing around with XPCOM while writing an extension), but I've never seen it crash the OS. If it's crashing the OS, it seems highly likely to me that there's something physically wrong with your system.

After all, even Linux crashes when the CPU physically falls out of its socket. (Don't try that at home.)

The last time I was routinely crashing Windows XP was due to an overheating issue with my graphics card. It'd run fine until I tried to play a game. Start up a game and then after a while, boom: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA.

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781778)

Interesting post ..
I run FF in Linux and can't recall the last time I've seen FF crash
As you state FF crashes in XP constantly, the problem may be partly with XP
As from my experience as a windoz user, everything crashes daily, from the main OS to the applications, although XP is much improved over past windoz versions. It still melts down from time to time

The FF delayed mouse event problem, I have seen though. I was wondering what was causing that .. now I know

Re:Firefox development is poorly managed, apparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782010)

Bollocks. Anybody that's used FF for any length of time knows that what you're describing is nothing like the typical user experience. I've been using FF pretty much daily since it was called Firebird, and can count on one hand the number of times it's crashed. This is on multiple versions of Windows, Linux, and Mac. I've never seen any lag in processing mouse events. When I look at about:crashes (thanks for that one), the page is blank, not surprisingly.

FF is not the fastest. I used Chrome exclusively for about a month, and although it was quicker than FF, and generally good, I missed to many features and had to go back. On an Atom 330 I have to say Chrome is indispensible for using all 4 virtual cores, while FF too quickly gets CPU-bottlenecked by a single core, but for everything else I find FF quick enough, totally stable, and king of usable features.

I'm forced to conclude that either you have some interest in denigrating the Mozilla people, or you've just had really bad luck with your hardware/OS/browser combination and it's made you bitter.

Multithreading (1, Offtopic)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780292)

People have said Firefox is multithreaded, and I'm no coder, but I know when a piece of software is using all available resources.
Firefox never goes above 25% CPU usage when I open up a new window (which in turn loads about 15 tabs). Maybe the Gecko rendering engine can't render two pages at once. All I know is that the Firefox becomes unusable/unresponsive on my quad core for about 5 seconds while everything loads. Chrome hits much higher CPU usage-- but it doesn't have [true] adblock.

Re:Multithreading (2, Informative)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780480)

It [google.com] doesn't [google.com] ?

Re:Multithreading (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780662)

It [google.com] doesn't [google.com] ?

No it doesn't. Straight from the author's mouths.

Chrome does not yet allow extensions to prevent page elements from being fetched, just to hide them.

Re:Multithreading (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780750)

It [google.com] doesn't [google.com] ?

Love chrome, wish it has a master password to encrypt stored passwords. Huge fail. until then won't use it...

Re:Multithreading (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780824)

Really very nice
 
They also have an Xmarks extension, I'm not seeing a noscript extension though. I just need that and I think I'm good to go.
The only thing that bugs me about Chrome is the text highlighting, it highlights the full area not just the text itself. I find that slightly annoying but I can live with it.

Re:Multithreading (2, Interesting)

mr_flea (776124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780860)

AdBlock for Chrome still loads the ads, it just hides them immediately. AdBlock for Firefox actually prevents ads from loading. This is due to the fact that Firefox has what's called a 'content policy' that allows AdBlock to prevent things from loading, while Chrome has no such alternative.

SetProcessAffinity &/or SetThreadAffinity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780812)

Per my subject-line above: Perhaps Mozilla/FireFox's dev. team need to check out those API calls on Win32, & find analogs for them on all the other OS platforms they port to + use them...

That is, provided you're telling it how it is for you, well? Well, those tools above in my subject-line, work.

Now: As far as your subject, in "multithreading"?

Well - There are "drawbacks" to what you state in using it @ times though, & not EVERYTHING lends itself well to that...

(In fact, below? I provide a math example in the URL in my P.S. (that one points to where I did a simple math example of when multithreading doesn't help, & in fact, where it can hinder & slow up code too (single CPU/single CORE systems)), where I went thru that with the article writers @ hardwareanalysis.com iirc, & where multithreading makes you gains, & where/when/how/why it does not in others (& that too, depends on the types of multithreading involved, coarse (which this sounds like in your case, diff. datasets run on diff. threads, easier & less "race conditions" possible too) vs. fine-grained (multiple threads working on the SAME data concurrently, harder to do, more prone to "race conditions" imo @ least)).

As far as FireFox? Well, I'd let them know what you're seeing (who/what/when/where/why/how IF you can provide that much detail), because they DO help, & in person @ times!

E.G.-> I've pointed out bugs to their dev teams before, & in dealing w/ a "home-grown" forums engine @ NTCompatible (the author wrote the dev tool for their forums engine, & it was having troubles w/ FireFox early on (few years back now)). I wrote the dev team @ Mozilla, & they even showed up @ the forums in the thread we spoke of this on with they there, & guess what?

They fixed it, right on the spot, that very next day...

(I was impressed, & "talk about personable service"... point this out to them, but I wager they're trying to use those types of API call features available to their best advantage anyhow (still, one never knows, so... it may be worth noting to they!))

APK

P.S.=> Earlier this month, on this very topic (yours) in fact, & in regards to FireFox? Well - I put out more SPECIFIC material on that note, here -> Testing a Pre-Release, Parallel Firefox http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1497542&cid=30653170 [slashdot.org] in fact, & in regards to what your subject line was, in "Multithreading". If you're interested, take a read, if not, then just "blow it off" etc. et al... apk

Re:SetProcessAffinity &/or SetThreadAffinity (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781558)

Dude. There have been threading calls on "other OSs" long before Microsoft butchered the design. You're misinformed or shilling.

Also, ffs, take an english class. The way you write makes me think you might actually be an MS coder trying to turf a little.

Re:Multithreading (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781010)

It is multithreaded, but when you have one GUI thread (which is the way Windows works) per process, and almost your entire workload is displaying things on the GUI, then multithreading doesn't appear so useful.

I write an app which uses Gecko embedded, I can assure you that Gecko support multithreading.

There just isn't currently a lot of stuff that actually uses threads. I blame part of this on the crappy process you have to go through to use multiple threads from JavaScript. Since FireFox relies heavily on JS, and switching JS code to be thread safe is a whore with XPCOM and all the proxy objects you have to create manually no one is in a big hurry.

For instance, I have a bit of JavaScript that starts a thread, downloads an XML file, parses data out of it and saves the processed data to disk, all the while updating a popup progress dialog with progress bars and stuff. The XML parsing is bloated (intentionally for debuggng purposes) as far as SLOC is concerned. Looking at the code that does this, it takes more code to setup the proxies to deal with updating the popup dialog (because it has to run on the main GUI thread) than to do everything else.

As such, thats the only part of our app that uses threads from Gecko.

FireFox will be shitty from a threading standpoint until they fix basic stuff like auto proxying of GUI related things as needed so a developer can just write code rather than worrying about which thread the event needs to run on.

Re:Multithreading (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781414)

Firefox is multithreaded in the sense that multiple threads are used for multiple different tasks.

However all layout currently happens on one thread. So yes, 25% CPU on a quad-core in your situation is what I would expect.

So much for Windows 7 support (2, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780304)

So now we have to wait until 2011 for Firefox 4 to get tab previews in the taskbar? Time to investigate ad-block addons for IE8.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780700)

Really? That one, relatively useless piece of eyecandy is the only thing holding you back from using Firefox.

Uhuh.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (2, Interesting)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780722)

So now we have to wait until 2011 for Firefox 4 to get tab previews in the taskbar? Time to investigate ad-block addons for IE8.

That's what IE does, and I hate it--then it takes even more work to switch back to my browser when I'm in another application. (Instead of my windows, I see all my tabs, making the list much longer and harder to navigate since I have to remember which tab I was on, unless I want to jar my experience by unintentionally switching tabs.)

But, if that's the way Windows 7 is "supposed" to work, I suppose it will be more consistent...

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (0, Flamebait)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780752)

You're thinking of moving to IE because you can't get tab previews in the taskbar? Man, that's weak.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (4, Informative)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780896)

Last I saw tab previews in the taskbar was the default for Firefox 3.6, I had to disable it any time I did a clean install.

browser.taskbar.previews.enable in about:config

IMO it entirely defeat the point of having tabs in ONE program, so only one app wastes taskbar space, even preview space

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781506)

I installed the RC of 3.6 a few days ago, and the tab previews was OFF by default.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781028)

I used the early Firefox 3.6 betas which had this feature. It was distracting once you had more than 3 tabs. I was glad when they killed this feature in one of the later betas.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781454)

Run nightly trunk and you can have it today.

I believe Chrome 4 beta does it today. I recommend AdThwart extension with it, but sadly it still renders the ad in the background and hides it. Running Chrome on Windows, I find files downloading and trying to open that I didn't download. I've seen executables try to open themselves. Firefox and Adblock plus stops the ad from rendering at all, which blocks a lot of that crap.

Chrome is nice, but until I can get a better ad blocking solution, I'm largely sticking with Firefox.

Re:So much for Windows 7 support (0, Troll)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781806)

You'd use a piece of trash software just for the sake of getting one piece of pointless eye-candy?

Minefield (3, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780306)

I'm using it already as my predominant web browser of choice. Works like a champ so far. I know it's not even pre-release blah blah. It works for me.

Re:Minefield (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780322)

Oops, forgot: Minefield [mozilla.org]

Re:Minefield (4, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780336)

Just like when running through actual minefields, others may not be as lucky as you.

Re:Minefield (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780376)

True. I'm running it on Windows 7 64-bit if anybody cares. NoScript plugin works for me also.

no more daily 3.7 alpha updates then? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780312)

I've been running the 3.7alpha nightlies for a while now (codename: Minefield...which is now, possibly, ironic) and it's been quite good. Shame to see it dropped, but hopefully they can move the code into 3.6 quickly.

Re:no more daily 3.7 alpha updates then? (2, Informative)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780474)

codename: Minefield...which is now, possibly, ironic

No, it's intentional. Mozilla has been using Minefield has the code name for their cutting edge nightly stuff for quite some time... you know, the stuff that could randomly explode.

Re:no more daily 3.7 alpha updates then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780530)

Ah, that makes sense.

Well, then it's doubly-ironic given the problems they've been having.

Re:no more daily 3.7 alpha updates then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780674)

I think you're confusing ironic with appropriate...

Re:no more daily 3.7 alpha updates then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781992)

Well, it would be appropriate only if they started off with the plan to have delays and not be able to ship the product on time.

I don't think they would do that.

Firefox Needs to Be Dropped, Period (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780332)

I admit firefox was a great program when it was first released and 2.0 was not too bad either. However, when 3.x came along Firefox became an unstable memory hog, moreso than Internet Exploder. In fact Firefox is too crash prone for my tastes. Even Shiretoko, the 64-Bit version of Firefox, is unstable and more crash prone than IE. What conclusion did Mozilla come to? Naturally it is either a feature or it is the result of plugins and addons. In other words they are taking the advice of Microsoft developers of the 1990s and they do not want to fix their problems. Until Mozilla gets around to fixing the fatal flaws in Firefox(which does not look likely in 3.x or 4.x) people should avoid Firefox like the plague and go for other solutions such as Opera, Chrome, Safari, or even Lynx.

Re:Firefox Needs to Be Dropped, Period (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780724)

Since 3.5 released, I've had a grand total of maybe two crashes (at least one of which was clearly caused by Flash). It does use a decent amount of memory (100-400 MB depending on how I'm using it), but nowhere near what IE8 is using (often 50 MB or more per tab), and on my machine, I've got more than enough memory to handle it. Maybe you really are using unstable plugins and add-ons?

Re:Firefox Needs to Be Dropped, Period (3, Informative)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780794)

Maybe I'm lucky (conversely, maybe you are unlucky), but 32-bit Firefox 3.5x is 100%* rock-solid stable on my PCs. I can't compare this to IE's stability, as I never, ever, use IE. Granted, I only have 4 add-ons installed (ColorfulTabs, Flashblock, ForecastFox, and Oldbar), but Firefox simply works.

*Actually, I can remember 1 time that Firefox locked up on me, months ago, so its stability is 100% minus one_event.

Re:Firefox Needs to Be Dropped, Period (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781762)

So you think the firefox team should just quit and that the people currently using firefox should switch to another browser? Just like that?

Clearly, your opinion of what counts as a "fatal flaw" is not widely held or firefox's market share wouldn't continue to grow as it has. People will continue to use firefox until they find another browser that is more appealing to them and as long as there's enough users to justify further development, the firefox team will continue to work on the code-base.

Out of curiosity, what are the "fatal flaws" as you see them?

Re:Firefox Needs to Be Dropped, Period (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781922)

Strange, 2.x and below were massive memory hogs and somewhat unstable in my experience, when 3.x came along and they started worrying about memory usage and plugging the memory leaks of old by firefox experience did improve, especially on older hardware. Chrome is the biggest memory hog of current browsers, this is very much by design.

Shiretoko? isn't that the codename for an old unstable/testing version of firefox? I would certainly expect that to be unstable and crashprone.

Not that i don't think firefox is starting to lag behind, the XUL GUI is just feeling impossibly slow at this point, but less FUD and more substance next time, please, ok?

Where's the meat? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780344)

What purpose does it serve to skip version numbers, except for some political or media-relations reason? The Linux kernel and many other open source projects have release cycles of "it's done when it's done" -- and a predictable version numbering system. What next, Mozilla Firefox 2010 Professional Edition? Delays are inevitable in any software development project.

Also, Slashdot -- this news post was like saying "X replaced by Y. Z reported jealous, but A and B are looking forward to bringing C onboard soon." Numbers should not be used in place of content. $WITTY_COMMENT. $RETORT. $TROLL. $VAGUE_REFERENCE_TO_SEXUALITY.

Re:Where's the meat? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780594)

Firefox is literally an application written in JavaScript and XML. That alone helps make clear the sorry state of their project.

Imagine if somebody working on a commercial project had suggested building a large, widely used desktop application out of JavaScript and XML. They would have be ridiculed and thrown out of the meeting immediately!

Since the Firefox developers' judgment is so clouded and just plain wrong for their technical decisions, it's no wonder that it extends to their release versioning. After all, anyone who'd willingly write significant application using JavaScript and XML must be rather fucked in the head. I wouldn't really expect them to be able to count up to 10.

Re:Where's the meat? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780886)

WPF user interfaces use XML. ECMAScript itself is no worse than Python; in fact, several people have called ECMAScript "Lisp with C syntax". (In that way, ECMAScript could be thought of as an M-expression [wikipedia.org] language.) A lot of the public griping about JavaScript relates to different web browsers' interpretations of the HTML DOM spec. But if Mozilla controls both the XUL/XBL DOM and the script that goes along with it, that becomes not an issue.

Re:Where's the meat? (-1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781150)

WPF user interfaces use XML. ECMAScript itself is no worse than Python; in fact, several people have called ECMAScript "Lisp with C syntax". (In that way, ECMAScript could be thought of as an M-expression language.) A lot of the public griping about JavaScript relates to different web browsers' interpretations of the HTML DOM spec. But if Mozilla controls both the XUL/XBL DOM and the script that goes along with it, that becomes not an issue.

What. The. Fuck? That's a lot of buzzwords, is completely unelated to my post. Go find your own thread, dude. This one's mine!

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781598)

I think he was replying to the AC (modnuked to -1) made in reply to your post.

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781438)

$LAME_CAR_ANALOGY

$Snide_comment_about_GP

$Lameness_Filter_whine

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781456)

What purpose does it serve to skip version numbers, except for some political or media-relations reason?

The difference between doing a 3.7 minor version release and a series of 3.6.x point releases as features are completed means that there aren't a set of "must-do" features for the 3.7 version, main "roadmapped" development can shift to 4.0, and individual enhancements to 3.6 that get completed get pushed out as point releases rather than getting aggregated into a combined minor version release. It also means that, essentially, anything not in 3.6 isn't committed to be done in the 3.x series at all.

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

Pinchiukas (828697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781866)

It's so good they skipped a number.

Deja vu, I predict (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780360)

This should free up the team to work on the next major release, Firefox 4, slated for the last quarter of 2010, which is expected to follow the same development process.

Firefox will be dead before it hits version 5.0 [wikipedia.org] .

Combining security and feature updates, bad idea (3, Insightful)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780398)

will be replaced with feature updates for Firefox 3.6 that will be rolled out with security updates

This seems to be a horrible idea to me, unless I'm misinterpreting it. I can see this being implemented in two ways:

One, Mozilla withholds security updates until there is a feature ready to go, which is just stupid - don't leave a hole if you've got a fix ready. One of the arguments in favor Firefox over IE is the more rapid security updates.

Two, Mozilla withholds features until a security update is necessary. I can't see any advantage to doing this, but there's a few obvious downsides (like withholding a perfectly good feature until someone finds something we're supposed to be hoping is not there).

Unless I'm missing something?

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780600)

Unless I'm missing something?

Well, two things you are missing is evidence that the Mozilla foundation will (1) "withhold security updates until there is a feature ready to go", and (2) "withhold features until a security update is necessary".

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (2, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780602)

Perhaps they intend to roll out new features to 3.6 in the same manner as they do security updates; one 3.6.x release might be a bug fix, another might be new features and another a combination of the two. You don't have to bring out new features on major releases, so this might even mean that we'll get features added to 3.6 sooner than we would have done waiting until 3.7 before releasing them all in one go.

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780616)

I don't think the Mozilla Foundation is dumb enough to wait for new features for 3.6.x version security updates! I do think the version number could go as high as 3.6.15 (my guess) as security updates and the new features are "slipstreamed" in.

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780664)

Yes, you're missing option 3.

Three, Mozilla rolls out a patch that includes a feature when it's ready, and rolls out a different patch when a security update is ready, and combines them if/when possible. That would still be "with" security updates, after a fashion, and it would be the logical, intelligent way to do so.

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (2, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780944)

I think you're missing two things:

1) The article's first paragraph is taking a proposal for a possible future plan of action
        and claiming that it is the plan of action.
2) Right now (Firefox 3.0 and Firefox 3.5) there are no features shipped as minor updates;
        all features are "withheld" as you put it until the next major version.

The only firm current plan here is that one particular feature, namely out-of-process plug-ins, is currently planned to be backported to Firefox 3.6 and shipped in some form in one of the minor updates. Once it's judged ready and so forth. Since minor updates are all about security and stability, this particular feature fits well in their scope (for example, a significant fraction of Firefox crashes are actually Flash crashes).

There is also talk of possibly backporting some other small features (mostly performance-related) to the stable branch as they become ready. This may or may not happen. There is also discussion about what and when the next Firefox major update will be, and discussion about what and when the next Gecko release will be. These may not happen at the same time. None of that is decided.

Re:Combining security and feature updates, bad ide (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781294)

Unless I'm missing something?

You're missing this:
(3) Mozilla does individual security fixes and feature updates for 3.6 as they are completed (maybe grouping the two together in an update if they happen to be ready at the same time, but not holding either to wait for the other), but doesn't have one big list of featur updates that must be complete for a "v3.7" that are released all at once. The "feature updates that will be rolled out with security updates", in this case, would mean that the feature updates are rolled into the usual chain of flowing, as-completed security update point releases rather than bundled together into a minor version release, not that each individual feature update must accompany at least one security fix.

Rename? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780482)

So Firefox 3.7 has been renamed Firefox 4.0?

Et tu, Mozilla? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780538)

Security updates should never be combined with feature updates. Anyone who doesn't want the feature update is then in the unfortunate position to decide whether they'll get the unwanted features or keep the unwanted vulnerabilities. Bad Mozilla.

Ok, grandpa (1, Interesting)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780810)

Continuing to support old versions is a heavy burden, and has to end at some point. It's not a question of if people will have to make that decision, but when.

Re:Ok, grandpa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780882)

Given that every new version of the browser is worse than the one before it, maybe if they just patched the security holes they would have a better product? Let the tab/preview/awesomebar/blinktag kids go use IE, and focus on just making a decent (secure) browser.

Re:Ok, grandpa (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781218)

Is Lynx not working out for you?

Re:Ok, grandpa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781950)

It takes too long to arrow down past the zillion unnecessary links on every page. If people would code their pages properly it wouldn't be so bad, but there's pages of navigation and images and shit all over the place. Sadly, a graphical browser is pretty much required these days.

Re:Ok, grandpa (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781966)

Please enlighten us on how firefox has gotten worse.

From where I sit, v3.5 is a huge improvement over what came before. I'm optimistic that v3.6 will be an improvement over v3.5.

Re:Et tu, Mozilla? (1)

albedoa (1529275) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780866)

The same can be said for a feature update that is released before any other security updates. Are you suggesting that Mozilla releases every feature as an elective add-on?

Re:Et tu, Mozilla? (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780978)

If you read the article carefully, the only feature that is planned to ship as part of the security+stability releases so far (note the "stability" part) is out-of-process plugins. And the point there is stability.

Re:Et tu, Mozilla? (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780980)

I agree this is not a good practise, but I can see why they did it -- it was commercially necessary if they want to keep up with Chrome. Personally what they should have done is adopted Chrome's stable/beta channel strategy, with automatic updates for both channels by default. Who knows, maybe that's exactly what they'll do.

(I know they release betas already, but the notion of a Chrome beta channel is that you're permanently on the beta, trying out new features. If you're more adventuresome you can be on the developer channel, which essentially gives you very frequent updates.)

Re:Et tu, Mozilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782040)

And they almost certainly wont be, christ people, can't you understand that they might roll out some extra updates between security updates, maybe along with non critical bugfixes, to implement the new functionality?

I realise this is /. and therefore you're all twelve yearold kids with ADHD, but please, think for a moment before hammering your keyboard next time.

informative fuckerfMucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780542)

Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780636)

As far as I'm concerned, Firefox jumped the shark within the last year.
I was getting sooo tired of constant nagging and add-on updates just
about the time Chrome came out and saved the day.

Now in a couple of years, Chrome will have bloated to include add-ons, etc
and I'll be looking for a replacement for it...

Re:Chrome (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780972)

Why don't you turn off automatic updates then?

Quick date calculations (4, Funny)

dark_panda (177006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780934)

"Mozilla would roll out Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 over the course of 2009, each bringing minor improvements to the browser. However, a steady stream of delays to Firefox 3.6 has rendered that goal unobtainable."

[jay@gobstopper ~]% date
Fri 15 Jan 2010 12:32:18 EST

... ... Okay guys, looks like this math checks out. It seems that releasing Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 in 2009 is an unobtainable goal at this point in time. You know, in 2010.

You do want corporate support, don't you? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30781098)

Small feature updates are not conducive to getting corporate support. With large updates, a company can say, "We support Firefox 3.5+", and they can be reasonably confident that they don't need to fully test every minor release of Firefox 3.5. With small updates they have to say, "We support Firefox 3.6.7", and can't be sure that they will actually be able to support 3.6.8 without fully testing it. If you want corporate support, you have to have feature freezes, or support stops being worth the testing time.

So what? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30781590)

And the issue is what? Seriously. So no major overhauls until FF4, continuous minor updates both feature & security wise. This is what Microsoft, Linux, Amarok, Opera nd others do. Why would Mozilla be different?

Mountain out of a molehill. Start worrying if Mozilla stops talking about FF4.

Note: I know Amarok isn't in the same league as the other three up there, but I was going over their changelog yesterday and there were some pretty big updates done on a minor point change. Finally looking like it's back to all the functions of 1.4.10. Now if it would now get stuck scanning my collection at 49% I'd be gold

Re:So what? (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782044)

Not an issue. Not a mountain, either. Just a modest and timely change to deal with slipping deadlines.

Not everything on /. has to be earth-shattering. How many "Linux kernel 2.6.xxxxx released" articles have there been?

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