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Firefox 4.0 Beta Candidate Available

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the beta-burning-fox dept.

Firefox 366

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla quietly posted the first beta build of its Firefox 4 browser early this morning. The 'Chromified' browser leaves a solid first impression with a few minor hiccups, but no surprises. If you have been using a previous version of Firefox 3.7, which now officially becomes Firefox 4.0, you should already feel comfortable with this new version. Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes." Update: 06/29 18:40 GMT by S : Mozilla's Asa Dotzler writes, "Mozilla has not shipped Firefox 4 beta yet. We are in the process of making and testing the final set of changes, but we're not quite there yet." Changed headline to reflect this.

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366 comments

more importantly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732272)

More importantly is it gonna finally fix the memory leak issue?

Re:more importantly (4, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732424)

More importantly is it gonna finally fix the memory leak issue?

Tell me about it. Do you how annoying it is to walk into the office and see memory dribbling out of the computer because of the browser?! I hate it! And my IT support company: PHB IT Services says that memory leaks are actually an OSHA violation and if someone slips on that memory, I could be sued for MILLIONS! So I pay them to come in a clean up all that memory leaking.

That's my management secret: hire only the best!

Re:more importantly (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733162)

Reminds me of the cartoon where Dilbert had his PHB searching around under the desk for the token that fell out of the office token ring network.

Re:more importantly (3, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732456)

Looking at the past few releases of Firefox, the developers just simply do not care to address it like the problem has been solved. Yet, they continue to perfect their crash and restart tools so when the browser does become unstable (and it always becomes unstable for me after a few hours of hard use) restarting is at least not too painful. Yet, this reeks of addressing the symptom instead of the cause. Have a problem with the browser? Restart it. Yes -- firefox has become the Windows 95 of browsers.

I'd wish they'd just slow down, take a breath, and get their house in order. I'd rather have a stable browser instead of the latest flavor of the month feature addition.

Re:more importantly (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732570)

What are you people doing that causes Firefox to have such horrible stability problems? I leave Firefox open for literally days at a time, with anywhere between 10-25 tabs open, and I have no stability problems.

Re:more importantly (2, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732644)

Do you open flash heavy sites? or sites with video inside? big sites ? For me, all it takes is one site with flash, to take down firefox. I am using Fedora 13 64-Bit. However I do agree that the possible origin of this is flash and not firefox, because normal sites with little or no flash leave firefox stable.

Re:more importantly (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732700)

I'm also using Fedora 13 64-bit with Firefox 3.6.4 and I see no stability problems at all. I open sites with Flash all the time. I'm using the 64-bit Flash version 10.0.45.0. Is there a particular site that gives you trouble?

Re:more importantly (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732822)

Ok same configuration concerning Firefox and flash version. any particular site ? I would say no. However i can safely say, sites like youtube are safe to open. However I most likely be on course with instability with sites that have more than 1 flash based component inside. Or if I was playing a flash based game. Anyway for more then a week now I switched to Chrome, because it was getting annoying. And I am not sensing any of those problems. I don't have a lot of plugins installed. So ???

Re:more importantly (2, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732868)

So enjoy Chrome. Not everyone needs to love Firefox.

Re:more importantly (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733252)

I do love Firefox, I am still using it on my windows machine. But it was getting annoying using it like that. However I hope flash get fixed or canned.

Re:more importantly (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732718)

Funny you mention that.

Two weeks ago, I had the following open at the same time (this is in addition to all my other "normal" tabs I leave open, like Facebook, Twitter, etc.): GameTrailers, Newgrounds, Kongregate, and, ::blush:: Redtube. No problems, stability or otherwise.

For the record, I don't have a crazy PC either...quite average, by today's standards. From my [H]ard|Forum sig:

Display: Asus VH236H | Dell 2005FPW
Foundation: Cooler Master Storm Scout | OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w
System: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H | AMD Athlon II X4 635 | Corsair XMS2 4GB DDR2 800 | ATI 4850
Internal Storage: Diamondmax 21 system | WD15EADS archives
External Storage: 1.25TB in a KINGWIN DK-32U-S | WDMER1600TN
Input: Kensington 64325 Expert Mouse | Saitek Eclipse II | M-Audio Axiom 25
Headphones: non-amped Audio Technica ATH-AD700

Re:more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732846)

A quad-core with 4gb 800mhz memory is average nowadays ... ?

Re:more importantly (1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732896)

The most up to date thing in my system is the processor, which is about six months old (or, at least, it was released six months ago. I only dropped it in there about a week ago, prior to which I was using an X2 5400+.) Other than that, the newest piece of hardware in my system is the 1.5 T hard drive, and that doesn't really impact performance. The video card, which is close to two years old at this point, is hardly a heavy hitter.

So, yes, by today's standards it is quite out of date. ATI 4850, DDR2 instead of DDR3, the motherboard uses the AMD 780 chipset...it's definitely out of date. Still a great machine that can handle most anything I throw out at, but compared to what's out there, it's out of date.

Re:more importantly (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733280)

<quote><p>Funny you mention that.</p><p>Two weeks ago, I had the following open at the same time (this is in addition to all my other "normal" tabs I leave open, like Facebook, Twitter, etc.): GameTrailers, Newgrounds, Kongregate, and, ::blush:: Redtube. No problems, stability or otherwise.</p><p>For the record, I don't have a crazy PC either...quite average, by today's standards. From my [H]ard|Forum sig:</p><p>Display: Asus VH236H | Dell 2005FPW
Foundation: Cooler Master Storm Scout | OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w
System: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H | AMD Athlon II X4 635 | Corsair XMS2 4GB DDR2 800 | ATI 4850
Internal Storage: Diamondmax 21 system | WD15EADS archives
External Storage: 1.25TB in a KINGWIN DK-32U-S | WDMER1600TN
Input: Kensington 64325 Expert Mouse | Saitek Eclipse II | M-Audio Axiom 25
Headphones: non-amped Audio Technica ATH-AD700</p></quote>

Nothing about your gear is average, by today's standards. They are mid-tier current.

Re:more importantly (2, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732838)

Same here, no problems since I subscribed to the 3.7 ppa.

But I always run flashblock yet do allow Flash on certain sites like youtube.

So you might be right, Flash is still the main cause of browser instability.
Yet I thought the idea behind this 'Chromified' is to have tabs and processes run independently and thus a single bad page/tab should not take down the whole application.

Re:more importantly (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732880)

Do you open flash heavy sites?

Why would we? That's what flashblock is for. Flash is so ubiquitous and typically so devoid of content, there is little to choose between current-day websites populated with shiny widgets and the horrible flashing .gif ads that we saw all too much of a few years ago.

I'm not saying that Flash is universally bad or unwholesome (though actually it mostly is), but it hogs bandwidth and mindspace completely unnecessarily. Easier to tune it out; Flashblock lets you decide which bits of content might be worth seeing.

That said, I think too much is being made of this crash issue. I've been using Firefox since it was Phoenix, and I have rarely experienced a browser crash. If you're working it so hard that it swallows up all the RAM on your system, you only have yourself to blame.

It doesn't actually cost you anything to close your browser once in a while, and let your computer clear its decks.

Re:more importantly (2, Insightful)

waambulance (1766146) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733104)

look here is the deal:

flash is fine.

lets just leave the "proprietary" part aside for the moment.

the reason why "flash sucks" is because the developers cant be asked to optimize their code for memory leaks.

saying "flash sucks" because it makes your browser crash is like saying "c++ sux" because the developer forgot to delete a pointer causing a memory leak to crash yer box. you would never say "c++ sux!". in fact, you might even say the opposite, that it would "blow yer leg off if yer not careful...". i think the same consideration applies to AS3/Flex framework.

optimize your code. profile the flash app. and watch how yer flash experience improves. it really will be stable.

i promise. scout's honor.

if you want a better flash experience than you need to go to the source of the issue: inadvertant memory leaks caused by badly written poorly optimized code that was never, ever profiled.

the problem, however, also lies with Adobe. they continue to market Flash to "designers" who cant program their way out of a paper bag, instead of "developers" who might know a thing or two. and they continue to confuse the issue by having a timeline-based Flash creation tool in addition to their Enterpise-level toolchain that allows "designers" to add hack upon hack upon hack.

this is why "flash sux".

-0.

Re:more importantly (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732652)

My guess is these are the same people with like 234324324234234 extensions enabled and think that somehow Firefox should control it if a 14 year old with terrible coding practices makes an unstable extension.

Really, if you only have AdBlock installed, Firefox is pretty stable, and I'm even running nightly builds! It got a bit rocky about a week ago where it wouldn't start correctly and segfaulted when I clicked on a bookmark... But once it updated recently, it works just fine.

Re:more importantly (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732662)

More to the point, they assume it's a problem with Firefox that all other users see, not a problem with how Firefox is installed or configured on their computer, so they don't bother to fix the problem. If they would go discuss the problems at the Mozilla support forum or MozillaZine, they would find that most others are not having these problems.

Re:more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732740)

So how can it be my fault if I'm using the plain vanilla installer with a stock configuration?

Re:more importantly (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732830)

I'm not trying to find fault or lay blame. I'm pointing out that it's ridiculous to assume that because you have a problem with Firefox that everyone else sees the same problem. When you go out to your car in the morning and it doesn't start, do you say that your car manufacturer is making defective cars, or do you simply get it fixed? It has nothing to do with whose "fault" it is. It has to do with effectively dealing with problems instead of immediately assuming it is the fault with the manufacturer. Forget about whose fault it is!

Re:more importantly (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732970)

When you go out to your car in the morning and it doesn't start, do you say that your car manufacturer is making defective cars, or do you simply get it fixed?

Actually, I check to see if there's a recall at the NTSB or mycarfacts.com and some other sites to see if I can get fixed for free.

But wait, we're talking about software - an industry where standard procedure is to release shit and have the customer find all the bugs and faults that testing didn't.

And I have a Toyota you insensitive clod!

Re:more importantly (1)

t0y (700664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732778)

A friend of mine just uninstalled foxit reader and stopped complaining....
I can't understand how people bitch continuously and don't even try running in safe-mode.

Re:more importantly (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732794)

What are you people doing that causes Firefox to have such horrible stability problems?

Porn. Vast amounts of porn.

Re:more importantly (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732796)

I run the portable apps version of FF which takes a very long time to boot so I leave it open as much as possible. Anywhere from 2-20 tabs, usually runs for weeks at a time without problems. Of course, I only have three extensions installed, one that is massively established (adblock), one that is trivial (mobile barcode generator), and one that occasionally causes problems (Ubiquity). I suspect that people with stability and/or memory leak problems are running extensions which are the root cause. Personally, I don't feel that it's fair to let the FF team off the hook for that though, they really need to find a good way to prevent addons from breaking the browser.

Re:more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732906)

You all keep talking as if there is some monolithic entity called "firefox", but in fact there are several ports for different OSes. Speaking as a FreeBSD and OS X user, I feel qualified to say those versions are hideously slow and unstable. To me all ff is good for is downloading videos via downloadhelper and checking on my bank account. I suspect the windows version must be the one that works well, that would explain its popularity with windows users. Probably Linux users stick with it for ideological reasons. IME Opera is infinitely superior to ff -- in fact if it had a download video thingie and could access my bank's site I'd never bother with ff again.

Re:more importantly (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732954)

While it slowly builds up to 800MB of RAM used, even though you've closed every tab except for one...

Re:more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32733036)

Probably using windows...

Re:more importantly (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733168)

What are you people doing that causes Firefox to have such horrible stability problems? I leave Firefox open for literally days at a time, with anywhere between 10-25 tabs open, and I have no stability problems.

My guess is that they're all secretly myspace users.

Re:more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32733234)

You need to install the Flash plugin, then you'll know!

Re:more importantly (3, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733250)

with anywhere between 10-25 tabs open

Ah. I typically have 300-400+ tabs open in multiple windows, for easy of cross-referencing without going backward and forward or digging around in bookmarks and waiting for pages to load. Firefox will randomly lockup once very other week or so (sometimes twice in one day, sometimes it'll be fine for a month). Oddly enough, it's not usually flash that causes the lockup, and memory leakage has never been a problem (rarely tops a gigabyte).

Re:more importantly (3, Informative)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732748)

I am continually baffled by people talking about how unreliable and crash-prone Firefox is.

On my laptop with Windows 7 (and XP before it) I have kept Firefox running for weeks at a time (I hibernate my laptop with Firefox running and hardly ever actually reboot it) under heavy usage; multiple windows, 30+ tabs in each window, many with Flash components and JS-intensive pages. I run Adblock, Noscript, Flashgot, Tree-style Tabs, Lazarus, Form History Control and several other add-ons. Firefox has crashed on me exactly once in the past year or so, and that seemed to be due to Flash. When that happened, Firefox restored my multi-window multi-tabbed session without an issue.

I run Firefox on my desktop workstation as well with similar results. Likewise on a EEE running Ubuntu. Contrary to reports from you and others, I've found it to be one of the most rock-solid application I've ever used.

While I realize anecdotes do not constitute data, I'm curious as to how you and others GET Firefox to crash so regularly!

Re:more importantly (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733140)

I think the problem is not in firefox but in the addons, and many addons seem to have very poor memory handling. Almost all of my memory and performance problems went away when I uninstalled FasterFox. I now only have a essential addons -- noscript, flashblock, adblock, and a couple tiny ones. But I think that's why they're going about it the way they are.

They aren't called memory leaks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732922)

"Memory leak" is such a harsh term. It implies poor development practices, poor development tools, and developer negligence. Those are all really bad things, and could make the Firefox developers feel really sad. They might even start crying, and we don't want that. :(

We prefer to describe it as "memory liberation". Instead of being shackled into use storing data against its will, Firefox is compassionate enough to liberate this memory; to set it free, if you will. No longer chained into slavery, the potential of this memory is endless! It could grow up to become a doctor, or a lawyer, an accountant, and maybe even President of the United States of America! It will be able to make a real difference in the world. Thank you, Firefox developers, for caring so much about memory and being such kind, gentle folk.

Re:more importantly (3, Informative)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733224)

Are there still memory leaks in Firefox?

Anyway most of the time people feel like Firefox is leaking while it isn't, due to caching. At least with verion 3.6.4 you can go to Edit -> Prefferences -> Advanced -> Network and specify the limit of what Firefox may cache.

Give it a try ;)

Firefox is the most unstable program in common use (2, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733306)

Why has Mozilla Foundation avoided fixing the biggest bugs in Firefox, the memory leaks? Many, many people have complained about the memory leaks for the last 5 years, at least, as did the parent comment.

Firefox leaks memory and eventually crashes Windows, or makes Windows unstable. Apparently the Firefox memory leak bugs interact with some weakness in Windows XP SP3, and that causes Windows to become unstable. It seems that whoever debugs Firefox might also gain a good reputation from finding a major problem in Windows.

Firefox is the most unstable program in common use. Every new version lists Crashes with evidence of memory corruption [mozilla.org] as one of the fixes. Those crashes are only the ones automatically reported by the crash reporter. Many of the crashes happen without invoking the crash reporter. Firefox is crashy.

We love Firefox because it has the add-ons we need. But we need it to be stable. I hope version 4 reverses the history of bad management at Mozilla Foundation. Remember, Foundation gets more than $50 million from Google every year [techcrunch.com] to make Google the default search engine.

Mozilla Foundation has an enormous amount of cash: "Total assets as of December 31, 2008 were $116 million, up from $99 million at the end of 2007, an increase of 17% to our asset base." [lizardwrangler.com] The foundation was run by Mitchell Baker, a lawyer with little or no technical knowledge and very limited social ability. Now that she is Chairwoman and no longer CEO, the management does not seem sufficiently improved.

The parent comment is currently marked "Flamebait". People have commented saying that they have no problems.

Some of the instabilities are difficult to debug because they don't always occur. Visit Mozilla Crash Reporter [mozilla.com] for more information. Some of the instabilities occur because of the interaction of Firefox with Microsoft Windows, apparently, when Firefox reaches the limit of installed memory and begins to require virtual memory. Firefox is more stable in Linux, apparently.

There is a web page discussing Firefox crashes [mozilla.com] and what users can do about it.

Look at the current crash statistics [mozilla.com].

See the Top 300 Crashing Signatures [mozilla.com] in the current version of Firefox, 3.6.6.

It seems that an organization that has more than $100 million in assets could stop other work and address the instabilities.

Much more could be written, but that's enough for now.

Attention, Linux Warriors (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732286)

Mount your Failfoxes.

Download Link (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732322)

Nice that it was two links deep from the main article...

Download link from Mozilla Nightlies. [mozilla.org]

Re:Download Link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732356)

Yeah, and no changelog links. Nothing there but second hand speed ratings for javascript. WTF slashdot??? Here is the closest thing I can find to a changelog: roadmap [mozilla.org].

Re:Download Link (4, Informative)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732418)

That's not the link to released betas. This is:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html [mozilla.com]

You'll notice FF4 isn't there. That's because the article has jumped the gun and is pointing you at a nightly instead, almost certainly not what you want.

As the weekly status meeting minutes [mozilla.com] say, the beta is coming soon and what is there right now is the nightly, for developers.

Immediately segfaults on 64-bit Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732338)

Is anyone else getting an immediate segfault when using the Linux x86-64 build? It happens right after starting it.

I know the quality of Firefox has dropped off significantly lately, as many contributors have moved towards Chrome, but this is totally absurd. I've never had betas of any other browser, including Opera, Chrome and Konqueror, crash on me like this.

Re:Immediately segfaults on 64-bit Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732422)

Its quality has gone down because they got rid of their nigger-free code only policy. This had led it to become almost as buggy as ie.

Jimbo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732382)

Link to linux downloads too? or general downloads?

Screenshot/Mockups (4, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732390)

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732428)

That's some nice eye candy. But will Firefox stay relevant? Chrome is coming up fast and Mozilla seems to be stagnating. It sad to be in a state where your only source of income is your competitor.

From an earlier post of mine:

Mozilla corporation seems to be pretty badly run. They solicited donations for the NYT ad(some of my poor college friends scraped together money for it) while overpaying the CEO($500K per year)! The management was supposed to find different ways of getting funding but Mozilla is still dependent totally on Google(which competes with it's own rival browser). Mozilla made $66 million in revenue just in 2006 while development was largely done by unpaid volunteers.

In the meantime, Firefox was quite bloated, crash prone and lost the speed race to Chrome, Thunderbird stagnated and nothing really innovative or useful came out of Mozilla labs. Ubuntu will probably switch to Chromium and Firefox will start losing search revenue. . Probably the only thing going for Firefox are extensions(Chrome supports extensions now) and proper Adblock. Things are so bad that the CEO is planning to step down

Sad to see one of the epitomes of FOSS go down in flames like this.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732590)

Firefox will still be used so long as Chrome maintains its policy of not really allowing any major customizations. Firefox lets you customize -EVERYTHING-, seriously, type in about:config in Firefox, until Chrome lets you do this, I for one will stay with Firefox because I've got it customized exactly how I like it and Chrome won't let me.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (3, Insightful)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733030)

Even Netscape navigator is still used by a minority. That's not the point. How many people knows about "about:config", or wants to?

I guess most slashdotters are driven to FF by the extensions; but most of its users were "converted" from IE just because its (perceived and real) vulnerable nature against malware.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733120)

Almost everyone who really browses much. For example, on Linux on Chrome I can't use backspace to go back a page, for Firefox its disabled by default but I can enable it through about:config, Chrome doesn't allow me to even control basic history options that even IE lets you, etc.

In short, every single annoyance in the UI or the like in Firefox can be removed via about:config with Chrome there are no options.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733256)

I for one will stay with Firefox because I've got it customized exactly how I like it and Chrome won't let me.

Same here. Firefox has reached a maturity that offers excellent functionality in its basic form. A few well-chosen extensions enhance the experience (in my case, Adblock, Flashblock, BetterPrivacy, New Tab Homepage, Pearl Crescent Page Saver and Torbutton), but those who install hundreds of extensions and then whine about how "bloated" Firefox is need to go take a cold shower.

Taking the time to set up a solid browser of your choice to do just what you need it to, and no more, is a path to contentment. Back in the day, while Phoenix (as it was then) was in its infancy, I didn't give it any thought, since the old Mozilla browser was a far superior product if you took just a little time to build a browser-only standalone version with just the right options to run well on your system. I never needed the kitchensink, mail client, website editor and who knows what else was freighted in with the default package.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (2, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732636)

You should go look at the replies to your earlier post to see why this doesn't mean Mozilla is going down in flames. The CEO was planning on leaving within a year when he joined. The NY Times ad was just a fun way for people to get involved and get their names in the paper. The fact that Mozilla still gets the majority of money from Google doesn't mean they're not looking for other sources of income. Most Mozilla development is done by paid Mozilla employees. The $66 million revenue will help tide them over if they stop receiving funding from Google. Firefox is not getting bloated or crash-prone. Mozilla is not going down in flames.

The one element of truth is that Chrome is faster at JavaScript, but Mozilla developers are working to make Mozilla about as fast if not faster by working on the new fatvals method JIT and their tracing JIT.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (3, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732802)

The CEO was planning on leaving within a year when he joined. T

The CEO planning on leaving within a year somehow justifies the needlessly fat paycheck?

. The fact that Mozilla still gets the majority of money from Google doesn't mean they're not looking for other sources of income.

It's what now, 6 years and still no success in cultivating other sources of income? I mean the management is paid top bucks for doing exactly that, right?

Most Mozilla development is done by paid Mozilla employees

Err, that wasn't quite what we heard when we were complaining about bloat and memory leaks. All we got was 'if you don't like it, fork it' and we had no right to complain because it was the work of unpaid volunteers working in their free time.

I mean, if people are getting paid, how hard is it to assign them boring tasks but which matter a lot to the end user? It's not just about scratching your itch when you're getting paid.

. The $66 million revenue will help tide them over if they stop receiving funding from Google. Firefox is not getting bloated or crash-prone

Not if the money is being squandered on C-level executives.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732698)

It should be nice, they stole it from opera (10.5x), just like every other major feature they've included in the past 5 years :P

I do like the extensibility though, had to stop using opera because I got too used to vimperator.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732840)

To be fair, Firefox is still a great browser. No, it's not as fast as Chrome, but I think that's the worst thing that can be said about it. Compared to IE, it's a marvel of engineering. It's not particularly bloated or crash prone. It's just... slower than Chrome.

I find Thunderbird to be a little more disappointing, but I don't think anyone other than Microsoft is actually interested in building a good mail client these days. Too many people are moving to web mail, so mail clients seem passé.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732898)

Even Netscape 4.0 is a marvel of engineering when compared to IE.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732994)

That's some nice eye candy. But will Firefox stay relevant?

There are multiple aspects to this question:

1) Extensions. If Chrome's base of extensions approaches a usable level (not comparable to FF - most people don't use that many extensions), then FF's advantage in this area goes away completely. Chrome's extensions are much less painful to install.

2) UI. Chrome's interface is generally less capable than that of FF. Chrome keeps improving, true, but it's not changing the UI much at all, so I don't think this is going to go in Chrome's favor any time soon, unless FF screws itself up. This one is FF's to lose.

3) Stability. Chrome wins here by a mile. FF recently added the out of process plugin feature in 3.6.4, which, when Flash crashes, only takes out all instances of Flash instead of the whole browser, but the problem is - it didn't help FF otherwise. Loading another tab can STILL lock up the entire browser, which is completely unacceptable in software in this decade (or the previous decade). Seriously amaturish, and I'm beyond amazed this is still an issue. Hopefully fixed in FF 4. I'll check out the beta later.

Based on recent performance, I'd say that Google knows how to push Chrome better than Mozilla knows how to push FF, but we'll see. Either way, I think we'll all win. And if MS finally pulls their collective head out of their ass, maybe IE9 will start to correctly support the standards web developers have been clamoring for for YEARS. Not that we won't still have to deal with the older problem children for years.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733008)

Chrome is nice, but firefox scrolls smoother, renders faster as it scrolls and displays. Chrome still lacks real ad blocking capabilities, as it still downloads the ad in the background, but it doesnt not display it. Firefox has color management, albeit broken and not up to date color management, but it still has color management. Chrome displays images without any color management which really screws with anyone who cares to display their images properly. Safari has the best color management, but its safari... yuck.

Firefox is still better in general overall. Chrome could be a winner in the long run though... but right now.. Firefox is still where I do my browsing.

I find that firefox performs better on older pc's as well. Chrome tends to really eat cpu.

Re:Screenshot/Mockups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32733094)

Sad to see one of the epitomes of FOSS go down in flames like this.

Firefox and anything Mozilla ain't anything close to the epitome of FOSS.

Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..wow! (1, Troll)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732398)

I knew Firefox was piss slow compared to Chrome, but my god to see how slow is sad. It's why I have been slowly migrating to Chrome where I can, though the lack of some features I need (such as a master password) make Chrome not an option for all the places I need to work. I hope Firefox starts improving as its add-ins and features will only last so long as the other more modern browsers catch up on features next...

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732476)

I hate to break it to you, but as chrome adds those features it's going to slow down and get sluggish. Firefox has for some time beat Chrome on memory use. But, OTOH it's somewhat mooted by the fact that Chrome tends to spy and seems to thwart disabling intrusive ads.

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (2, Informative)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732566)

I hate to break it to you, but as chrome adds those features it's going to slow down and get sluggish. Firefox has for some time beat Chrome on memory use. But, OTOH it's somewhat mooted by the fact that Chrome tends to spy and seems to thwart disabling intrusive ads.

That's why I use SRWare Iron. Google spyware removed from Chrome :) As for features, let's see if Chrome slows down. The Google coders have been doing a better job than the Firefox ones for the last couple of years so perhaps Chrome will be able to grow and not slow down?

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732726)

And I use chromium, because I don't like Google's or SRWare's spyware ;)

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732916)

I'm baffled why people think SRWare Iron is a reliable source. It's doesn't even have an open repository to check it, only source snapshots. It's from an unknown organization. Why should you trust it more than you trust Google?

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (2, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732502)

I was a long time advocate of Firefox until 3.x. I don't know if it's the fact that websites are more heavily scripted than before or if Firefox is just getting slower (or both!) but c'mon guys! Speed is key.

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732604)

I was a long time advocate of Firefox until 3.x. I don't know if it's the fact that websites are more heavily scripted than before or if Firefox is just getting slower (or both!) but c'mon guys! Speed is key.

Ditto. I loved Phoenix->Firefox for a long time. But it has gotten to be like an old gas guzzling 1970s car! :) I am not sure I agree with the addage that features=bloat=slower application. Well coded applications can add features and not slow down -- it is possible!

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732760)

>> Well coded applications can add features and not slow down -- it is possible!

Take a look at Opera for an example of this. People may disagree with interface and philosophy of Opera, but it is blazingly fast in Windows.

      -dZ.

Re:Didn't recognize exactly how slow Firefox is..w (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732722)

I knew Firefox was piss slow compared to Chrome, but my god to see how slow is sad. It's why I have been slowly migrating to Chrome where I can, though the lack of some features I need (such as a master password) make Chrome not an option for all the places I need to work.

I hope Firefox starts improving as its add-ins and features will only last so long as the other more modern browsers catch up on features next...

At Javascript, you mean. On Windows XP/7 Firefox seems faster than Chrome at html/images/flash.

It is still quite slow and needs some trimming.. (0, Redundant)

LLKrisJ (1021777) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732402)

...of excess bloat.

But there currently is no single browser without it's shortcomings really...

No major changes (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732432)

"Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes."

I love software that doesn't swap UIs every major release!

Re:No major changes (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732506)

I didn't RTFA, but if the summary is correct, is this not what most of the firefox critics have all been clamoring for?

A smoother and more reliable firefox without a boatload of shiny new features?

Re:No major changes (1)

meta (120974) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732816)

Except the statement doesn't say that. It says there are no major changes between the alpha and beta releases of Firefox 4.

Re:No major changes (2, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733012)

"Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes."

I love software that doesn't swap UIs every major release!

Except that the UI was indeed swapped. It got a more Chrome/Opera look now.

So what exactly got Chromed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732606)

What features did they bring over from Chrome?

Do not want. (2, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732626)

The new UI is terrible, and appears to be trying to (badly) emulate Chrome. The worst part is that, by default, minimize/maximize/close buttons are not present, which hurts usability badly. The good news is that this can be restored to the previous UI with a few clicks... I hope that options remains present in the final release.

Re:Do not want. (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732910)

I'm quite happy with the UI. The real changes that I can see are the ability to hide most toolbars, and the transparency (On Windows, haven't booted my laptop for the Linux test). I also have all the buttons. Maybe you have a conflict from an old theme?

Re:Do not want. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733044)

by default, minimize/maximize/close buttons are not present

Seriously? That's ludicrously bad design. I used to be a huge Firefox booster; now... well, at least it's still better than IE.

This is beating a dead horse, but the 'awesomebar' signaled to me that Mozilla was taking the browser in the entirely wrong direction. Flash over efficiency, bloat over speed, and a desire to manipulate rather than please the consumer. They've made plenty of decisions since then in the same vein.

Re:Do not want. (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733226)

And Chrome is horrible in the first place. Luckily you can switch back to a decent UI style (and on Linux the new UI isn't present at all yet).

Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732630)

Chromium(Chrome) and Opera are eating their lunch in performance (even IE is kicking their ass), they have started emulating Chromium's look, and they have no presence in the mobile market.

Me thinks rough days are ahead for Mozilla's favorite project.

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732744)

Yes, but you can't customize Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE, etc. to the extent that you can Firefox. Customization is Firefox's killer feature and unless suddenly Google added About:config support in Chrome, it will be the reason why people will use Firefox.

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732818)

Yes, but you can't customize Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE, etc. to the extent that you can Firefox.

I dont know about the others, but I know that you are wrong about Opera. Customize -> Appearance, and then drag-and-drop UI elements, enable and disable, etc..

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733038)

Ok, so you can customize the UI. Show me the equivalent tool of about:config in Opera, it just doesn't exist. And because it isn't open source you don't have that customization either.

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733270)

Show me the equivalent tool of about:config in Opera, it just doesn't exist.

You really shouldn't speak on subjects you clearly have no knowledge about. The equivalent in Opera is opera:config [opera.com] and it has extensive amounts of settings you can change.

And because it isn't open source you don't have that customization either.

Yes because the average user is modifying the Firefox source code on a regular basis. Oh wait...

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32733050)

Customize -> Appearance, and then drag-and-drop UI elements, enable and disable, etc..

I don't think GP just meant customising appearance. Between about:config and all the extensions, Firefox can be tweaked and added to in so many different ways. Everybody's browser has a few different functions, but it's all the same underlying code, all updated together, and doesn't require patching and recompiling to use.

Of course, other browsers have extensions, but not the same diversity and power as Firefox extensions. I think the difference is partly down to the technical details of what can be done with Firefox plugins, and partly a matter of popularity.

Re:Firefox is playing catch-up (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732764)

Using it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732648)

The default theme is very different; personas look better now. Performance is fine; it is faster than before and is roughly identical to Chrome on this computer. Some UI things were changed (for example, the Add-on manager now opens in a tab). All in all, it's a nice release so far.

Underwhelming (1)

Fusione (980444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732706)

I'm writing from v.4 now.. and I must say I'm quite underwhelmed. 1) Orange button - make it smaller (icon only), and place it to the left of the tabs. Waste of space having it above them. 2) Tabs - put them at the top. Tabs in the title bar space is a great idea. Don't half-copy chrome. 3) "Always do this" checkbox in download dlg still doesn't work. Nobody cares whether it's the server's config that's at fault: Make that checkbox work. 4) Performance - slowest JS available. Guys. Seriously. What the hell is going on? I've loved firefox since the wee days, but honestly.. this isn't looking good. To the firefox team: please get out of whatever rut you're stuck in, or prepare to be swallowed whole by google.

Re:Underwhelming (0)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733098)

Chrome has no real ad block functionality.

All of the performance of chrome goes out the window, when you realize this.

As a long time user of 3.7a (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#32732806)

I can offer these comments:

a) rendering speed was generally very good
b) while I did not have issues of 'crashing', I did have issues with seemingly random pegging of the cpu.
c) start up time to restore multiple open tabs was unpredictable - sometimes very quick other times never finished (a named tag but blank page)
d) most, if not all, extensions no longer work and the usual workarounds seemed to stop working too. this was #*! annoying.

Based primarily on (d) and also (b), I stopped using 3.7a5 about two weeks ago reverted back to 3.6. While I do have my extensions back, I noticed that 3.6 has developed the (b) problem too. Ultimately this will result in my moving to Opera or Chrome - I'm just sick of browser lock up. And while memory use had looked to have improved going into the 3.6 series, it seems to have gone downhill again - no so much a memory leak but general piggyness (hence Firepig).

I've used Mozilla based browsers since day one, ie, Netscrape. Firefox I think has lost the way again. Simplicity and speed should always be priority #1. Real world usage of Firefox shows that not to be the case any more, or if it is, not done well.

Re:As a long time user of 3.7a (1)

nexttech (1289308) | more than 3 years ago | (#32733254)

I agree with the statement that Simplicity and speed should always be priority #1. I have switched browsers frequently through the years and always for the same reason. A browser that was faster and whose main goal was to display HTML pages.

I moved to Phoenix because its start time was low and it was simple. At one point I even used the Java Web Browser for the same reason.

However, Firefox has become slower over time. This prompted my switch to chrome. I am sure that I will switch again when chrome becomes too slow (Uzbl or Surf look good)

It would be nice to see Firefox return to its roots.

coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732894)

it's funny i start reading this page by pure chance, i was checking the browsing speed i gained after enabling firefox dns prefetch, fasterfox, and combined with local bind9 and squid caching...the result is simply monstruous!!!

needless to say i tested speed against the mammoth that is /. , now i can go back to premium wasting of time here!!!!!

Anomino (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32732934)

All the new browser are memory hunger, except firefox which consumes half of ram, and the speed is negligible.

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