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Firefox 3.6.4 Released With Out-of-Process Plugins

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the bye-bye-crash dept.

Firefox 261

DragonHawk writes "Mozilla Firefox 3.6.4 went to general release today. The big new feature in this release is out-of-process plugins (OOPP). This means things like Flash, Java, QuickTime, etc., all run in separate processes, so when Flash decides to crash, it won't take your browser out with it. If Flash starts consuming all the CPU it can find, you can kill it without nuking your browser session. I've been using this feature since it was in the 'nightly build' stage, and it was still more stable than 3.6.3, just because Flash was isolated." And reader Trailrunner7 supplies another compelling reason to download 3.6.4: "Security researcher Michal Zalewski has identified a problem with the way Firefox handles links that are opened in a new browser window or tab, enabling attackers to inject arbitrary code into the new window or tab while still keeping a deceptive URL in the browser's address bar. The vulnerability, which Mozilla has fixed in version 3.6.4, has the effect of tricking users into thinking that they're visiting a legitimate site while instead sending arbitrary attacker-controlled code to their browsers."

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First (4, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661222)

Firefox post. Firefox is the fastest browser around!

Re:First (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661346)

i always thought IE IS FOR NIGGERS was a better Firefox selling point

Re:First update, the new dead-fox maker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661824)

Yeah yeah yeah--a new version of firefox--and it's auto-detected and installed and everything. However, that admitted? It's a firefox killer/crippler, and if you apply this new update, you very possibly WILL be downloading a copy of 6.x.3 again, and installing THAT right back over the crippled-fox you have that won't run, to get going again. I suggest Google Chrome as an emergency browser--at least THEY test before they release so called "updates". And YES, I tried to submit a bug report, however, FF has grown big enough, they really don't want to HEAR about such....

Re:First (4, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662016)

I've been using Opera, Google's Chrome, and IE alongside Firefox on W7 for about four months now on three computers, on a consistent basis, meaning every day.

  Opera is a bit faster, Chrome is a lot faster, but we are talking about tenths of a second here when rendering anything other than extremely complicated web pages which to be honest would render a lot faster in any browser if the designers wouldn't include so much crap in them that demands connections to multiple websites for stupid things like a small advertising gif image from a server that is already overloaded.

  Over that time, Firefox has been easily the most stable browser I've ever used - that might have something to do with me running addons such as adblock, flashblock, and NoScript - denying access to a lot of the poorly written or implemented crap websites that can crash any browser. I can count the number of times that Firefox has crashed on all three of my computers on one hand since the beginning of the year - that's two laptops and one desktop, running combinations of Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu and Fedora.

  It didn't used to be that way, no. But it is now. Firefox also consistently recalls my previous browsing sessions - even after the multiple downtimes I had tonight during numerous power outages due to bad storms (the new battery for the UPS is in transit and should arrive tomorrow, and I ordered it from a website that does not list Firefox in their supported browsers list) neither Opera nor Chrome did so.

  The addon Xmarks has proven to be both useful and consistently stable, I'd highly recommend it.

  YMMV, YEMV, etc. This is just mine. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll take stable over fast any day. I regularly have from a dozen to several dozen tabs open at any one time, and being able to recover my work after any crash, no matter the cause, means a lot to me. These features should have been written into browsers as DEFAULT features from the beginning. Somewhat around ten years ago I remember wishing that someone would just code a browser that could remember what I was doing before a crash, and do so consistently. Now, finally, I have one. Thank you, Mozilla.

  What I find ironic about the whole browser war is that the "feature leader" over the last decade has been the open source solutions - specifically firefox, and the rest of the field is playing catchup - especially Microsoft.

  SB

 

Re:First (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662130)

I would agree with your assessments in Opera and Chrome. I'd really like to like Chrome, but it's still missing firebug, and that unfortunately is pretty important to me.

However, your experiences with firefox stability and mine are completely different. You say you can count the number of times firefox has crashed since the beginning of the year on one hand, while I can barely count on one hand the number of times it's crashed on me TODAY. I am hoping this release reduces that number significantly.

Great (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661230)

This is great, now if only Firefox could separate tabs into processes and get a JavaScript engine comparable to V8 they could start to pull ahead of Chrome.

Firefox futures (4, Informative)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661522)

I'll take this opportunity to post some non-inflammatory info on planned Firefox development.

Firefox 4.0, which may go into beta as early as next month, is supposed to do a lot in this direction. Overhauled JavaScript engine, overhauled HTML rendering, etc.

http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/4/Beta [mozilla.org]

http://developer.mozilla.org/en/Firefox_4_for_developers [mozilla.org]

I thought I had heard that 4.0 was supposed to deliver one-process-per-page functionality, but I'm having trouble finding recent status info. (One drawback to high-speed FOSS development is it's hard to keep track of things like that.) But anyway, the project is named "Electrolysis" ("E10S" in Firefox-developer-speak).

http://wiki.mozilla.org/Electrolysis [mozilla.org]

http://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Firefox/Roadmap [mozilla.org]

Re:Firefox futures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661852)

so is that stupid ie7-ish back/forward button on firefox 4 **MOVEABLE**??

UGGH. top left is the stupidest place for those. that's the second biggest reason (firefox addons being #1) i do not use microsoft's browser since ie7 came out... non-moveable back/forward buttons.

Re:Firefox futures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662098)

Please hand in your nerd ID card. No real nerd has used a graphical forward/back button in a browser since 1998. The only reason they still exist is for people over the age of 70 and under the age of three.

Re:Firefox futures (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661958)

http://www.product-reviews.net/2010/05/11/mozilla-firefox-4-beta-video-presentation/ [product-reviews.net] Towards the end of the presentation, if my ears don't deceive me Mr. Beltzner says that there won't be electrolysis until 2011. It seems that they are having many problems with that. You can still try it in the nightlies or in experimental builds, I think.

Re:Great (2)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661562)

For performance reasons, tabs don't and shouldn't run in separate processes. You know, the original motivation for the tabs feature was that each tab could be run in a separate thread whereas each window needs a separate process. On most platforms, processes are more expensive than threads.

Re:Great (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661618)

> For performance reasons, tabs don't and shouldn't run in separate processes.

In both IE8 and Chrome, tabs do in fact run in separate processes, with some caveats.

> On most platforms, processes are more expensive than threads

While true, processes have the benefits that:

  1. One process crashing doesn't bring down other processes.
  2. A process can be run in a low-privilege mode and memory isolation keeps it from accessing the guts of other processes.

Threads don't have those two properties, and both IE8 and Chrome actually make use of them.

Browser process models and multitasking (4, Interesting)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661668)

For performance reasons, tabs don't and shouldn't run in separate processes.

I find that statement dubious. Please explain.

In my experience, the process-per-page (be they tab, window, or whatever) yields much better performance. I believe there are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the OS already has a perfectly good scheduler, and it makes sense to use that to handle multi-tasking. Indeed, OS people prolly know more about how to design a scheduler than browser people. By exposing the this to the OS, it also means the OS can do whatever tricks it has to make I/O, memory allocation, etc., more efficient on a per-page basis, rather than treating the whole browser as an opaque object.

Finally, lot of modern hardware has 2, 3, 4 or more processor cores. Firefox generally only uses one of them. A browser like Chrome can have each page render on its own processor core, which is a *huge* performance gain. Without that, any multitasking is going to be limited to slicing up a single core between multiple tasks. The system can still only do one thing at a time. By using multiple cores, the system actually gets multiple things done literally simultaneously. On good hardware, the performance difference is astounding.

"You know, the original motivation for the tabs feature was that each tab could be run in a separate thread whereas each window needs a separate process."

That's just plain wrong. Each window does not need a separate process. Each tab does not get a separate thread. In Firefox 3.6, multiple threads are used, but it's not a one-thread-per-tab thing. Most of the work is still done in a single monolithic thread.

The motivation for tabs in Firefox was to copy Opera. The motivation for tabs in Opera was as an alternative to one-page-per-window or MDI [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Browser process models and multitasking (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661720)

"In my experience, the process-per-page (be they tab, window, or whatever) yields much better performance."

While reading Slashdot, it doesn't make one bit of difference. While one story tab loads, the rest of Firefox FREEZES while slashdot struggles to get rendered. I can't even scroll up or down.

Which makes me think it's not a browser problem any longer, but the coders of websites and the coders of plugins (Crash er I mean Flash) that are the issue.

Firefox does NOT do process-per-page (2, Informative)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661776)

"In my experience, the process-per-page (be they tab, window, or whatever) yields much better performance."

"While reading Slashdot, it doesn't make one bit of difference. While one story tab loads, the rest of Firefox FREEZES while slashdot struggles to get rendered. I can't even scroll up or down."

That's because Firefox uses a single thread for just about everything. If a page is slow to render because of complex HTML/CSS, or has bad JavaScript which eats up CPU time, that drags everything to a stand-still.

Browsers that use a separate process/thread per page, on other hand, will keep everything else running. That one page will be slow/non-responsive, but everything else keeps humming along nicely (as long as the hardware can keep up). Google Chrome works this way. Firefox does not (yet).

(Firefox does spawn multiple threads, but the bulk of the work appears to be done in one thread. I presume the others are support/helper threads.)

Re:Browser process models and multitasking (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661726)

I believe there are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the OS already has a perfectly good scheduler, and it makes sense to use that to handle multi-tasking. Indeed, OS people prolly know more about how to design a scheduler than browser people. By exposing the this to the OS, it also means the OS can do whatever tricks it has to make I/O, memory allocation, etc., more efficient on a per-page basis,...

What makes you think that threads aren't exposed to the OS?

Okay, there are userland thread libraries, but they're not what people are talking about when they say that each tab runs in its own thread or something. 99.9% of the time now, "threads" are either OS threads or userland threads implemented in a library that provides a rather higher-level abstraction than just threads, such as Cilk or TBB.)

Of course, Firefox doesn't actually increase the number of OS threads when you open new tabs, so one of three things is true:
1. The number of threads is independent of the tabs you have open
2. FF is keeping a pool of threads (either itself or a library like I mentioned above) and doing userland scheduling among them
3. FF violates what I said above and actually is using userland threads in a pretty dumb way (unlikely)

Regardless of what Firefox is or isn't doing, "letting the OS know" is most definitely not an argument to not use threads.

Re:Browser process models and multitasking (1)

keeperofdakeys (1596273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661774)

If firefox is using userland threads, then the library they use must only be able to use one OS thread. This is a disadvantage in a computing world where desktop cores seems to be increasing in number and decreasing in power. Using a separate thread for each tab might be more trivial than trying to make the userland library OS thread aware.

Firefox does not use process/thread-per-page (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661826)

"What makes you think that threads aren't exposed to the OS?

Um. I don't think that at all.

"letting the OS know" is most definitely not an argument to not use threads."

I wasn't trying to argue that. Indeed, I think it would be great if Firefox used a different process/thread for each page. I'm arguing *for* that. :)

We may be confused over terminology. When I say "multi-tasking", I am including both heavyweight processes and lightweight processes (threads). Also, I was looking at this from a somewhat Linux-centric point of view. On Linux, heavyweight processes and lightweight processes are very similar. They both use the same structures and system calls; it's just a question of what context they share. So the thread/process distinction is less critical than it is on OSes where a "thread" and a "process" are very different entities.

FF violates what I said above and actually is using userland threads in a pretty dumb way (unlikely)

On Linux, at least, Firefox uses multiple OS threads, but the bulk of the work appears to be done in a single thread. If multiple pages are busy, you don't see other threads picking up the load; you just see that one thread doing more work. I presume the other threads are helper/utility things, such as network I/O or name lookup.

Re:Firefox does not use process/thread-per-page (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661898)

I wasn't trying to argue that. Indeed, I think it would be great if Firefox used a different process/thread for each page. I'm arguing *for* that. :)

My apologies; it sounded like what you were arguing was "processes are better than threads, because (1) the OS's scheduler is better than what you'd write and (2) the OS can schedule the tasks on multiple cores." Your parent was comparing threads vs processes (saying threads were better because processes are more heavyweight), then you open up with "In my experience, the process-per-page (be they tab, window, or whatever) yields much better performance", so I thought you were arguing for processes over threads. ("Heavyweight over lightweight processes" if you prefer.)

On Linux, at least, Firefox uses multiple OS threads, but the bulk of the work appears to be done in a single thread. If multiple pages are busy, you don't see other threads picking up the load; you just see that one thread doing more work. I presume the other threads are helper/utility things, such as network I/O or name lookup.

Right; that was sort of my tacit accusation.

Re:Great (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661674)

On most platforms, processes are more expensive than threads.

True, but on modern platforms the difference is not as significant as it was in the days of Windows 95.

Re:Great (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661904)

For performance reasons, tabs don't and shouldn't run in separate processes.

What performance reasons?

On most platforms, processes are more expensive than threads.

That's not a valid reason to suggest threads are more ideal than processes. In fact given the nature of a multi-tab web browser - where the bulk of the processing functionality is duplicated - processes are more suitable, at that level of abstraction you pretty much have one browser per-page anyway, just all sitting in one window. Sure things like inter-thread communication are faster than inter-process communication but in this scenario you don't need that communication so there is no benefit there.

I would suggest in this case you are better off with a process-per-page model than a multi-threaded renderer since - as was said earlier - the scheduling is handled by the OS. One single-threaded (or at least single-page, you'll get benefit out of spawning workers for some tasks) renderer per-page is going to be more efficient than one renderer handling scheduling and spawning worker threads to render multiple pages as it has to manage all that synchronisation as well.

Re:Great (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661992)

Excuse the self-reply but what i meant by:

the scheduling is handled by the OS

should actually include synchronisation and management, insofar as once you've spawned the new process it takes care of itself, you don't need to worry about cleaning it up (though you can kill it) and you don't need to worry about thread-management.

Re:Great (1)

keeperofdakeys (1596273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661740)

I'm really hoping that separating the tabs will help with memory leaks. Although there is a cost of memory using separate processes, the leaked memory will close with the tab and not stay for the entire session.

Re:Great (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662148)

Don't forget that Firefox was The One Browser that changed the browser-scape, with proper HTML and CSS implementations, well... needless to say it was miles ahead of others, for a long while. Remember our progenitor, make obeisance.

UI Lag (4, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661234)

now can we do something about the rest of the awful browser?

Open 20 tabs and the entire thing chugs to a grinding halt as only one (1) of my four (4) processor cores gets maxed out. So much for the "multithreading" everybody says that Firefox.
The same list of 20 tabs peg all my cores to 100% for a few seconds and then they're all done rendering, when I'm using Chrome. No thanks Firefox. You guys are ancientsauce.

Re:UI Lag (5, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661262)

I have never had problems with firefox having a ton of tabs open.

I regularly have 15+ tabs, sometimes 50 or 60. The only time I have any issues is if I turn off no script and get some flash or javascript running to slow things down.

Re:UI Lag (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661290)

So in other words, the thing runs perfectly if you disable the default options and install ad-ons to make it work right and then disable plugins.

Lets face it, a good browser wouldn't require those things to be done in order to browser decently.

Now, I use Firefox, but only because I hate the lack of customization on Chrome, don't like the proprietary-ness of Opera, run Linux so can't really use Safari, and obscure WebKit/Gecko browsers usually don't have needed plugins like AdBlock and manytimes don't have enough customization.

Is it too much to ask for Chrome's rendering engine with Firefox's UI only if it was a bit faster?

Re:UI Lag (4, Insightful)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661326)

Don't forget the ponies!

Re:UI Lag (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661344)

Chrome's rendering engine is slow and sucks. Javascript is much faster, but that's it.

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661712)

Is it too much to ask for Chrome's rendering engine with Firefox's UI only if it was a bit faster?

Yes. The Firefox UI is implemented using an XML doc that describes the UI. Google for "XUL". Add-ons can override any part of the UI by overriding the XUL that describes the part of the UI they want to change. This design is extremely flexible, and allows experimentation and rapid change in the UI. However, it is not going to be as fast as chrome, because chrome is using the normal OS APIs directly to build its UI.

Re:UI Lag (1)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661842)

I keep firefox sessions open for months at a time, with 150+ tabs.

I use 64-bit firefox v3.5.9 on Debian linux, with 19 extensions, java disabled, and flash isolated using 32-bit flash + nspluginwrapper (meaning that flash runs in a separate process for compatibility, and the huge extra benefit is that flash crashing can't take down the browser).

Javascript is fully enabled, though I do have AdBlock to remove annoying ads.

I have no problems: firefox runs very fast (pages render very quickly) and it doesn't leak memory (though 150+ tabs DOES use 1GB+ memory, but I have 4GB total and lots of swap)

In short: Firefox performs remarkably well under extreme circumstances. I doubt Chrome or Safari could deal with these cases, and even if they could, they don't have the extensions that make them usable with so many tabs (mainly Tree Style Tabs -- best extension ever!).

Re:UI Lag (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661970)

My setup is similar, although my main browser is SeaMonkey 2.0 nightlies, and I run NoScript. Although it takes some time to load that many tabs, it doesn't cause any problems.

Re:UI Lag (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661980)

So in other words, the thing runs perfectly if you disable the default options and install ad-ons to make it work right and then disable plugins.

Lets face it, a good browser wouldn't require those things to be done in order to browser decently.

He was talking about having 50 or 60 tabs open. No browser is going to perform well with flash animations running in 50 tabs.

Re:UI Lag (2, Informative)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662196)

So in other words, the thing runs perfectly if you disable the default options and install ad-ons to make it work right and then disable plugins.

  I'm running the release with over sixty tabs open, adblock, noscript, flashblock, + other addons, an HD youtube video for entertainment on the second monitor, several adobe plugin pdfs open, plus some active weather flash running (it was storming here earlier, watching the radar) and Firefox is only using about six hundred MB or so. My three year old desktop X2/32bitW7/4GB is still snappy, I hardly notice the difference.

  I don't even remember the last time Firefox crashed on this system (W7). Sometime in February I think, I'd have to look at my logs. Firefox has been incredibly stable for me for at least a couple years, and that experience has been echoed on the systems I build for customers as well. I suspect at least some it may be due the other memory resident programs on the computer, particularly antivirus programs, although I can't name any offhand, not enough data yet.

SB

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661332)

My problem is that I kind of hate the Internet with NoScript. I just gave up on whitelisting nearly everything and instead started trying to blacklist the more egregious ads.

In my experience on my hardware (various machines, so it isn't just a one-off), none of the other major browsers -- Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera -- seem to have nearly so many UI mini-freezes that happen nearly constantly for me on Firefox, which is probably the biggest single reason I eventually dropped it as my default browser. I don't mean this to start a browser pissing contest -- I can name things I hate about every one of those browsers, and I'm sure there's a cadre of people who have never seen my issue on Firefox but have seen it on the others, but this is the thing *I* hate about Firefox and I have collected a few anecdotes of others with the same experience.

If it's really flash, then this sort of isolation can go a long way toward mitigating it; but if it's javascript or something else, then I really hope Mozilla invests some time addressing the responsiveness problems.

Re:UI Lag (2, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661412)

My problem is that I kind of hate the Internet with NoScript.

You might take a look at YesScript [mozilla.org] (a JavaScript blacklisting plugin sans all the extra protection crud in NoScript). If you use it in conjunction with AdBlock+subscriptions you'll probably block quite a bit.

That said, I like NoScript in general because of just how much faster most sites are with their scripts disabled. It does get annoying though, as more and more sites are completely non-navigable without scripts enabled.

Re:UI Lag (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661764)

Whitelisting each domain *once* is hardly annoying unless you have many computers, in which case I'd be looking into sync'ing each machine to a common config.

I find the real relief in NoScript disabling all the domains/scripts that aren't necessary to the function of a page, such as (ad) partners and miscellaneous third parties.

Re:UI Lag (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661432)

I'm sure there's a cadre of people who have never seen my issue on Firefox

Yup.

but if it's javascript or something else, then I really hope Mozilla invests some time addressing the responsiveness problems.

Yeah, we get it, paid shill of Google. Chrome runs Javascript 1 millisecond faster than Firefox does. Perhaps you should upgrade from that Pentium II 233 and run an O.S. that dosen't have 1-minute rendering overhead from AV software and other crap.

Then come back.

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661518)

Javascript execution time is not the same thing as UI responsiveness. Firefox could have a javascript engine 5 times as good as Chrome's, hypothetically, and still block UI on javascript execution. Or it might be something other than javascript. The GGP brought up NoScript, which is how Javascript came up.

Don't cry shill and then invent a straw arguments. I don't even get why you assumed that he was shilling for Google.

Be less of an asshole and learn to think critically. Then come back.

Re:UI Lag (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661584)

Be less of an asshole and learn to think critically. Then come back.

Quoth my parent, posting anonymously:

f it's really flash, then this sort of isolation can go a long way toward mitigating it; but if it's javascript or something else, then I really hope Mozilla invests some time addressing the responsiveness problems.

Like many other posts all over the discussion, that one implicitly(and other posts more explicitly) touts Chrome's Javascript speed advantage, as if they were parroting other articles and putting all of one's eggs in one basket to shill the trivial performance gain to generate some Chrome hype. Or perhaps I'm a bit slow, and the average Slashdot reader has a 1-millisecond resolution and is sensitive to things I'm not.

And my hardware is a 6 year-old laptop.

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661704)

Actually I have the same "all of ff pauses while it loads the page" problem, If I try clicking around firefox turn white and I get a busy cursor. I can't even change tabs
You can pretend that everyone that has problems with firefox is a shill but the reality is that for some reason, it does not work the same for everyone.

If you really want to advocate for FF, perhaps helping people figure out what the problem is would be better than denying it and calling them names.

If I'm lucky, this new version will fix it, I'm still going to wait a few days to make sure that there's no gotchas in the new version.

Re:UI Lag (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661974)

>My problem is that I kind of hate the Internet with NoScript.

really? I hate the internet *without* noscript

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661784)

I have never had problems with firefox having a ton of tabs open.

I regularly have 15+ tabs, sometimes 50 or 60. The only time I have any issues is if I turn off no script and get some flash or javascript running to slow things down.

Come back when you've had over 400 tabs. That's when you really start having probelms...

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662048)

Last night I had every RFC open in a tab on a machine with 512MB/RAM (and no swap).

Sure, they're only ASCII, but that's nearly 6,000 tabs - on a nightly build.

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661338)

No idea what you're doing to get slowness with 20 tabs. Does your machine have a memory bottleneck perhaps?

With 128-150 tabs open, I had to shut down about once every one or two days. The more flash-based sites I had open, the more quickly it would slow down and/or crash. Sometimes javascript-intensive sites would also be problematic, though I have many more of those open. And again, it tended to last longer than 24 hours before a restart was needed.

That was before this update. I'm curious to see how long 3.6.4 will last, given that the plugins are now isolated. The UI seems a little snappier, at least.

Now 200+ tabs: THAT really causes a slow down. In my experience, the difference between even 190 tabs and 210 is quite dramatic. They should really look into that.

Re:UI Lag (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661384)

With 128-150 tabs open

No offense, but I think you're doing it wrong.

Re:UI Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661456)

Tabs are the new bookmarks.

TreeStyleTab (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661592)

With 128-150 tabs open

No offense, but I think you're doing it wrong.

I routinely open that many tabs. But then, I work in a dynamic environment where I'm often being asked to do a dozen things at once, including several open-ended research projects, plus a handful of web-based apps, plus casual browsing, reading news, etc. And Slashdot, of course.

I'll put in a plug for my favorite extension here: TreeStyleTab [mozilla.org] . Rather than limiting tabs to a linear strip, this gives it a 2D structure. When I surf, inevitably one thing leads to another thing, which leads to a site which leads to six more things. So I middle-click almost every link, and it all gets organized into a hierarchical history. It helps me organize my thinking when I'm researching something, especially when I don't know exactly what I'm looking for.

TreeStyleTab demo shot [imageshack.us]

It's got a million options. You can configure it for all sorts of things. You can even have it put a 2D tab strip across the top of the window, if you like that.

The lack of a working TreeStyleTab clone on Chrome meant I went back to Firefox. Everything else was great, but I can no longer do serious web browsing without TST, and so that killed Chrome for me. Yes, it's that important.

TreeStyleTab: Don't leave your home page without it.

Re:TreeStyleTab (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661708)

I'll put in a plug for my favorite extension here: TreeStyleTab.

Interesting, I might have to give that a try.

When I surf, inevitably one thing leads to another thing, which leads to a site which leads to six more things. So I middle-click almost every link, and it all gets organized into a hierarchical history.

I usually break into multiple Firefox windows when I start having multiple disparate browsing sessions take place. I'll have a window for personal stuff (mail, Slashdot), a window for all the documentation I've got open, and maybe a third window for miscellaneous things.

The other thing I've really liked using is Session Manager [mozilla.org] because it makes saving these sessions really easy. I have around a dozen saved sessions related to various research projects I've worked on. Need to remember all the pages I referenced when looking at options for authenticating Linux off Active Directory? Just load the session of 20 tabs into a new window. It also makes restoring crashed sessions and whatnot a lot more flexible.

TreeStyleTab and Session Manager (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661736)

I usually break into multiple Firefox windows when I start having multiple disparate browsing sessions take place

I used to do that, before I got TST. And I still do it sometimes -- especially if I've got different things happening on different virtual desktops. But I find the ability to expand and collapse tab branches is more flexible and more useful than static windows.

I actually suspect the tree-style-tab concept would be a good idea for a general purpose window manager, i.e., for all windows on a system, not just the browser. Might be tricky to figure out a general solution, though.

The other thing I've really liked using is Session Manager

I use and like Session Manager as well. TreeStyleTab and Session Manager play nice together; the TST tab structure is properly restored by SM.

Re:UI Lag (4, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661370)

This, this, this, this, this. The terrible user interface responsiveness of Firefox is what kept me on IE for the longest time (and I only moved because of addons, not because Firefox itself is any better).

For a good test, open a Slashdot story with ~1000 comments and watch as the browser just stops dead in the water for 5-15 seconds while it renders the page. You can also try opening the browser when you have 10 or more tabs saved in your session. Again, the entire interface is useless while the pages are rendering. If the browser really is multithreaded in any meaningful fashion, then the rendering threads obviously have a priority higher than the UI, which seems like a bad thing.

I'd rather have this improved than move plugins into an external process. Since I started using NoScript I haven't had Firefox crash because of Flash. Ever. However, I still read Slashdot so I do deal with the lagging on a regular basis.

Re:UI Lag (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661504)

Are you on Windows or Linux? Because I've noticed the Linux version just doesn't run as well as the Windows version. If you are on Windows may I suggest you run PCWizard [cpuid.com] by the guys at CPU-Z, as it sounds like you may have a bottleneck causing problems. I've seen weird slowdowns in things like browsers before, and using the benchmarks in PCWizard have been able to trace down the culprit.

Because my PCs aren't top o' the line by any means (an AMD 925 quad with 8Gb and a 1.8Ghz Sempron single with 1.5Gb) and since going to the 3.x branch FF has been nothing but zippy, which is pretty impressive considering how many tabs and extensions I have, plus the fact I only use sleep on my PCs, never reboot except for updates. Currently I have ABP, NoScript, Downloadhelper, Downloadstatusbar, FEBE (a must have IMHO) ForecastFox, iMacros (another must have) Imagezoom, nightly tester tools, and distrust. And neither the Sempy nor the quad has been anything but snappy in FF.

So run PCWizard (there is a zip version so you don't even have to install it) and run the individual benches. Then look at how you compare to others, and if something is way below what you have then something is up. I had the same thing happen to me on a dual Athlon and it turned out a shitty chipset driver was causing all sorts of little slowdowns.

Re:UI Lag (2, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661820)

Interesting. Ever since my SMP box died, I'm using an old P4 e-Machine with 512 megs and linux. Flash playback, and video in general plays just fine. Graphics are onboard Intel i915. Though newer versions of FF *are* much better. I saved a bunch of CPU horsepower by using a decent hosts [someonewhocares.org] file so that AdBlock and NoScript don't have to work so much.

The UI *does* lag a bit with pages that have tons of comments, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. On the SMP box there wasn't any lag at all. By SMP I mean multi-sockets and large RAM; not just multi-cores.

Re:UI Lag (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661954)

My experience is that it runs better on Linux than on Windows...

Also, what the heck happened to D2? It's like I'm back in the early Aughts.

Re:UI Lag (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662028)

I noticed the exact same issue that nmb3000 is having regarding Slashdot with Firefox.

I'm running Win7 (64bit) with an Intel Q6600 (quad core), 8GB RAM, and nVidia 275 video card.

Re:UI Lag (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661548)

For a good test, open a Slashdot story with ~1000 comments and watch as the browser just stops dead in the water for 5-15 seconds while it renders the page

I haven't found a browser that doesn't do that. Firefox, IE8, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all do that for me, at least on Windows. Haven't done any meaningful testing on Linux lately though.

Re:UI Lag (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661636)

Since I started using NoScript I haven't had Firefox crash because of Flash. Ever.

I have, but it was always traced back to a corrupted profile. Deleting the profile and starting over has always fixed it for me.

Now if I could only figure out why 3.6.3 keeps freezing on me for no apparent reason. 3.5.9 never gave me any issues with the same configuration and add-ons but 3.6.3 freezes up at least one a day. Interestingly enough when it freezes it doesn't max out the CPU -- just sits there without responding at 0% cpu usage.

Re:UI Lag (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662004)

Firefox has known bugs regarding slowness when dealing with long pages. Some of these bugs have remained unsolved for years, perhaps because they mostly involve rare cases. Go to bugzilla.mozilla. Search for unresolved core bugs with "slow" in the summary. ???? Profit.

Re:UI Lag (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661516)

chrome's got an alright engine, they just need to fix up the interface... sticking to firefox for now.

Re:UI Lag (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661688)

now can we do something about the rest of the awful browser?

Open 20 tabs and the entire thing chugs to a grinding halt as only one (1) of my four (4) processor cores gets maxed out. So much for the "multithreading" everybody says that Firefox. The same list of 20 tabs peg all my cores to 100% for a few seconds and then they're all done rendering, when I'm using Chrome. No thanks Firefox. You guys are ancientsauce.

I am curious if that is a Windows specific problem (not as in "MS screwed up" but as in "Firefox for Windows does not take advantage of SMP") as I have no such problem on eComstation or OS/2 Warp. Any Linux users who can confirm this problem does/does not exist for Linux?

Re:UI Lag (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661982)

Open 20 tabs and the entire thing chugs to a grinding halt as only one (1) of my four (4) processor cores gets maxed out. So much for the "multithreading" everybody says that Firefox.

I run 150+ open tabs in Firefox (times two, because I have a "work" and "personal" instance of Firefox Portable), all day, every day. Sure, it crashes every few days (Session Manager to the rescue), but calling 20 tabs anything significant, is laughable.

Re:UI Lag (1)

swilver (617741) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662020)

20 tabs? Try 500+ tabs... with flashblock, noscript and a tab counter plugin (obviously). Yes with Firefox. Only time it annoys me is when the browser crashes (due to lack of memory, it doesn't like it when it comes close to 2 GB).

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661264)

Whenever I open multiple youtube tabs, I cringe in fear that one of them kills the browser. HD video especially tends to do this. This really sucks if I've got a nice load of, um, art in other tabs and I lose them. Reloading might not even be feasible, due to the transient nature of today's websites.

Re:Finally (0, Offtopic)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661894)

Why not just say "I surf 4chan for porn". Most of know exactly what you meant.

Can already kill Flash in 3.6.3 (4, Interesting)

kbahey (102895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661272)

I confused, since I am on Kubuntu 10.04 64-bit version, and use the Firefox version that comes with that release (3.6.3).

For the longest time, I am able to kill npviewer.bin without Firefox crashing. I just get a grey box when I do that where Flash used to be.

Flash already runs as a separate process for me.

Here are the processes:

me 4177 1746 0 12:43 ? 00:00:00 /bin/sh /usr/lib/firefox-3.6.3/firefox
me 4182 4177 0 12:43 ? 00:00:00 /bin/sh /usr/lib/firefox-3.6.3/run-mozilla.sh /usr/lib/firefox-3.6.3/firefox-bin
me 4186 4182 9 12:43 ? 01:03:08 /usr/lib/firefox-3.6.3/firefox-bin
me 4353 4186 2 12:45 ? 00:16:37 /usr/lib/nspluginwrapper/i386/linux/npviewer.bin --plugin /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so --connection /org/wrapper/NSPlugins/libflashplayer.so/4186-1

So, what is happening here?

Re:Can already kill Flash in 3.6.3 (5, Informative)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661292)

That is because you are using nspluginwrapper to wrap the 32-bit Flash plugin.

Re:Can already kill Flash in 3.6.3 (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661348)

You've also long been able to kill Gnash without taking the browser with it.

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661282)

My favourite part about this is that discusses Flash's severance from Firefox for all examples. Flash is taking such a beating lately. I'd probably still use Firefox over Chromium if it started as fast and didn't time out on pages like Google for no reason.

Haven't upgraded for a minor nitpick (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661316)

This sounds like a nice feature. My flash and other processes don't crash on me often, but when they do they can be frustrating. There was one thing that kept me on firefox 3.5 rather than 3.6, though.

It's really silly, but.. when I use the autoscroll (middle click) and am slowly scrolling down through a page, I like to use the mousewheel to scroll faster occasionally, or back up a little bit, while the scroll is still moving. In 3.6 I found that moving the mousewheel canceled the autoscroll. This is also a problem because my mousewheel's a bit sensitive, so sometimes just brushing it would cancel autoscroll.

Anybody know if there's a way to change that behavior so mousewheel doesn't cancel autoscroll, or if it's been reverted in a later 3.6 release?

Opera! (5, Informative)

uid8472 (146099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661358)

Has no-one else yet commented to point out that Opera has run plugins in a separate process for years now? Then I guess I have to.

Not to minimize the accomplishments of the Firefox developers, I mean, and getting this feature to the Firefox userbase is valuable in and of itself, and so on. But there is precedent.

Let's All Kill The Opera Trolls (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661394)

Just think how much better the world would be if that stinking pile of fail that is Opera and its 2-3 idiots who use the piece of shit browser didn't exist.

Just imagine being able to read a browser story without dipshits like uid8472 spamming crap about a browser no one gives a shit about.

Let's just fucking kill them.

Re:Let's All Kill The Opera Trolls (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661528)

Just think how much better the world would be if that stinking pile of fail that is Opera and its 2-3 idiots who use the piece of shit browser didn't exist.

Well, to start with, you'd be reading about the world with a more primitive browser.

Re:Opera! (1, Troll)

clintre (1078849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661484)

Opera people always crack me up. Don't get me wrong Opera is a fine browser and may be better in this an that. However it it was really all that, it would have a much larger fan base. I just do not like it and judging by all the political moves they have to keep making just to survive it seems most others do not as well.

Just because they have had something for a while now, does not mean that Firefox, which is a far more popular browser, getting it is not a big deal. Opera has good plugins, but they have never been as good or easy to use. I think Chrome has already passed them up on quality plugins.

I do empathize though. If Opera would have made better decisions on distribution of the browser freely early on who knows where they could be?

Re:Opera! (5, Insightful)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661566)

However it it was really all that, it would have a much larger fan base.

Popularity != better. Since IE has the largest fan base, you're saying that IE is the browser that is "all that?"

Just because they have had something for a while now, does not mean that Firefox, which is a far more popular browser, getting it is not a big deal.

Sure it's a big deal. Although it would have been a bigger deal if they were the first on the block to have gotten it.

Opera people always crack me up.

FF fanbois always crack me up. Do you people ever get tired of the pissing contest? Ever? And by the way, I am typing this in Konqueror. Suits my needs well enough.

Re:Opera! (3, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661966)

Popularity != better. Since IE has the largest fan base, you're saying that IE is the browser that is "all that?"

All other things being equal, the better software should be more popular. Why wouldn't that be the case?
Arguably, IE's market share is no exception to that principle...IE has traditionally been "better" for the average person simply because it comes pre-loaded on the OS instead of them having to try to find a legitimate download site. And it seems to me to be quite difficult for most people to distinguish malware from legitimate freeware/shareware. [Side note, I don't actually agree that IE has the largest "fan base." ]

But Opera vs. Firefox or Chrome, where's the disadvantage? Why can't it gain traction? Instead of playing verbal sparring games and gotchas, consider pondering that issue.

Re:Opera! (2, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661542)

Opera is a poor imitation of lynx.

Re:Opera! (2, Informative)

Ndymium (1282596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662056)

I would like to comment that it, in fact, doesn't. I've run Opera on OS X and Windows for a few years now and have seen no indication of that. In fact, I can see only one Opera process in Activity Monitor right now, with 15 threads - even if I open up a Youtube video. When Flash crashes, so does the whole browser (which used to happen all the time with the 10.5x betas). I've heard rumors on the My Opera forums that Opera on *nix might have this, but the OS X version certainly doesn't and I have no knowledge that the Windows version would either. Opera is a great browser, but this is something I've yet to see (and am eager to).

Leave Flash Alone! (-1, Troll)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661392)

All you people care about is readers and making money off of her. She's a human! Leave Flash alone!

Much smoother Flash video! (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661430)

At work I have a Windows PC, and I was always frustrated by the very poor performance of Flash video. The video would freeze, then unfreeze over a second later with the video frames in between just dropped. (When you are watching a 5 second film [5secondfilms.com] this problem makes the movie almost unwatchable!) And it's a quad-core AMD Phenom II system. It should be fast.

So now, I'm trying out 3.6.4 and the difference is stunning. Now the Flash video playback is perfectly smooth.

I still want WebM in HTML5 instead of Flash, but what the heck, this is working now and I'm happy about it.

Sample size of one, YMMV, etc. But I'm happy about it.

steveha

Just as Adobe drops 64 bit Linux (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661466)

Just recently Adobe announced they would drop [arstechnica.com] support for 64 bit Linux. What is wrong with these people? Is it really so difficult to put out a 64 bit version of software you already have running? Oh, but they promise they'll get it working someday. Thanks a lot, guys. It's a shame 64 bit computers are so damn new I have to use a wrapper to use your buggy, bloated, insecure, crap software.

So... (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661492)

... if Firefox crashes will all the plugins keep running?

Re:So... (4, Informative)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661536)

No. If I kill firefox.exe in the Task Manager the plugin process disappears too.

Re:So... (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661872)

If? Not when?

single process for all flash (5, Informative)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661498)

It looks like there is a single process plugin-container.exe to run all flash files. Killing this exe will stop playing all the flash files. This means while you are enjoying a show on hulu.com, a rogue flash ad could still spoil the fun.

Single process for each plugin (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661556)

"It looks like there is a single process plugin-container.exe to run all flash files. Killing this exe will stop playing all the flash files."

FWIW, Google Chrome works the same way.

I'm not sure, but I suspect this *may* be due to design of the whole plugin concept. I would guess that the plugin concept assumes a single monolithic process for everything. There would be no need for an IPC facility. So I would guess Flash doesn't expect to find different windows running in a different process space. I know I've seen Flash objects communicate between each other; I presume that's done inside the plugin. If I'm right with my guess, using a different processes for each plugin object instance would be a giant compatibility problem.

Re:Single process for each plugin (4, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661640)

You're exactly right. Flash assumes that all running instances of it share a single address space and uses various internal communication channels to have the instances talk to each other. The Chrome folks actually tried a process per plugin instance, and it broke too much stuff out there.

FlashMute (1)

klui (457783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661500)

If you use FlashMute under Windows, edit HKCU\Software\InDev\FlashMute\filenames to include plugin-container.exe. I also found out the FlashMute volume slider control works under Flash 10.1.

Nope, sorry (4, Informative)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661632)

"And reader Trailrunner7 supplies another compelling reason to download 3.6.4: "Security researcher Michal Zalewski has identified a problem with the way Firefox handles links that are opened in a new browser window or tab, enabling attackers to inject arbitrary code into the new window or tab while still keeping a deceptive URL in the browser's address bar. The vulnerability, which Mozilla has fixed in version 3.6.4, has the effect of tricking users into thinking that they're visiting a legitimate site while instead sending arbitrary attacker-controlled code to their browsers."" Nope, sorry: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=556957#c46 [mozilla.org]

Privilege separation, anyone? (5, Insightful)

FraGGod (1821866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661716)

Ok, now that we're able to put flash code in a separate proc, my question is: can we cut it's privileges so another (monthly) "zero-day vulnerability" will finally become just a tale to scare little children?
Strangely enough, with all the concern about flash security, article seem to miss that point.

Re:Privilege separation, anyone? (2, Insightful)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662014)

You can, if you're willing to break enough sites... Flash commonly performs network access, raw graphics operations of various sort, file access, and a few other things like that which would have to be disallowed in a sandbox.

No 64-bit version on the Mozilla website (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661756)

Once again there is no 64-bit Linux version of Firefox available on the official download site.
 
Sigh...

Re:No 64-bit version on the Mozilla website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661822)

stfu

Re:No 64-bit version on the Mozilla website (4, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662040)

This is at least in part because on the 3.6 branch the 64-bit version is not at feature parity with the 32-bit one (for example doesn't have the JS jit, so has much worse JS execution performance). So linking to it on equal terms really doesn't make sense.

For 4.0, 64-bit Linux builds are much higher quality (for example they actually have the automated correctness tests run on them). So there's a decent chance those builds might become tier-1 by the time 4.0 ships.

Crashing (1)

boybarian (784020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661758)

It kept crashing on the NY Times site, until I disabled FireTorrent 2.0.1. I think this add on has caused me some problems in the past as well.

Separate processes (1)

h0dg3s (1225512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661834)

"all run in separate processes, so when Flash decides to crash, it won't take your browser out with it."

That's what they said about Chrome. That was a lie.

Hmm... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661928)

If Flash starts consuming all the CPU it can find, you can kill it without nuking your browser session.

Sold! I’ll take it.

Java was already sort of its own process. Making other plugins do this as well will be a very good step.

And people say Flash is consumer unfriendly (2, Funny)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662026)

So all we have to do is send all Web users to night classes on process management so they can diagnose when Flash is consuming too many resources and identify and kill the relevant process. That way we can rescue Flash designers from having to learn HTML and Adobe from having to compete with anybody. Makes total sense. I mean, playing video ought to be complicated, right?

 

Laptop Sleep Cause Flash to hange in FF (1)

DoChEx (558465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662102)

I've been running FF 3.6.4 for a 2 week now, download a beta, now the release one and on my laptop when I have a couple of YouTube videos open, if I put my laptop into sleep mode and when I come back all the pauses videos have frozen, they loop 4 frames.

Don't know if this is Flash or FF as both updated around the same time! It's very annoying

Cool multitasking (2, Funny)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662194)

Now I can watch Youtube and post on Slashdot at the same t
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