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Firefox 3 Beta 5 Released

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the another-toy-for-the-weekend dept.

Mozilla 416

bunratty writes "Firefox 3 Beta 5 was released today. This last beta release sports performance-boosting improved connection parallelism. Not only has 'the memory leak' been fixed: Firefox now uses less memory than other browsers. This is not only according to Mozilla developers, but CyberNet and The Browser World as well. As for the Acid3 test, Firefox 3 Beta 5 scores only 71/100 compared to 75/100 for Safari 3.1 and 79/100 for the latest Opera 9.5 snapshot. The final release of Firefox 3 is expected in June."

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Awesomebar? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22942946)

Did they get rid of the hideous awesombar yet?

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Interesting)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 6 years ago | (#22942980)

It's not hideous - sometimes I only remember titles of pages, and other times only the last parts of the URL. The fact that remembering those things counts for something in Firefox (and gets me to my destination faster) makes me far more likely to use it, both here at work on Win2k and at home on my Macs.

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#22943050)

Hint... They are called Bookmarks and History.
Besides anything called Awesombar makes me shiver.

How to Enter Into Firefox.
Click on the RadicalButton view threw the CoolMenu and once the narleyhighlight is set click it and firefox will load and now you can use the Awesombar to browse the web.

Re:Awesomebar? (3, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 6 years ago | (#22943072)

It's spelled "gnarlyhilite."

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Funny)

jwo7777777 (100313) | about 6 years ago | (#22943464)

I thought the developers were not very interested yet in passing Acid3 tests ... they were in favor of dropping Acid ....

Thank you .... I'll be here for 37 more milliseconds....

Re:Awesomebar? (4, Informative)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 6 years ago | (#22943136)

Yeah, I know. I never used them.

I only use the bookmarks on the bookmark menu. I never open a sidebar or go into the separate bookmarks panel except to organize the bookmarks - a rarity indeed.

Same thing with history. It takes too long. I could have googled for it faster. The interface isn't slow, per se. I've never worked that way, and don't feel like starting anytime soon.

Now if I jump back to wikipedia, I don't have to type "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha..." ... I can just type "Ha..." and based on my usage patterns it *knows* I want to go back there. That's smart.

Not perfect. Smart. People like using the Windows CMD+R command bar and launch bars for the exact same reason.

Re:Awesomebar? (4, Interesting)

TobyWong (168498) | about 6 years ago | (#22943256)

I'm the same as you. I either flat out remember the url or google for it. I just glanced at my bookmarks now and it's full of junk I put in there "just in case" but never actually used again.

Mind you I usually have 20 - 40 tabs open in firefox all the time and I just resume my session on startup. It's just a different way of browsing and one that I prefer.

Re:Awesomebar? (2, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 6 years ago | (#22943262)

That's fine, but the massive text and the site name stacking crap annoy me to bits, as does the fact that it stores even more useless crap than the old version did.

I think they could make everyone happy by just allowing some damn customization...I seriously don't need site names in my history, and it clutters up the damn dropdown.

Re:Awesomebar? (0)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 years ago | (#22943440)

Same thing with history. It takes too long.

Really? Steps you perform to find something using less-than-awesomebar:

  1. Ctrl+L to get to the address bar.
  2. Start typing.
  3. Pick desired entry from list.

Steps you perform to find something using history:

  1. Ctrl+H to get to the history sidebar.
  2. Start typing.
  3. Pick desired entry from list.

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Interesting)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | about 6 years ago | (#22943670)

4. Close history sidebar.

I can't stand the name "awesomebar," but IMO it does have better sorting and filtering logic than the history sidebar, and its performance is a bit more nimble, so it's starting to win me over.

Re:Awesomebar? (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 6 years ago | (#22943156)

I <3 me some Awesomebar.

Seriously, on OSX, Webkit nightly (Safari) is so much better than FF3B5 (Firefox). Faster, better render, better integration.
Only thing keeping me from Webkit completely is 1) Extensions (Adblock+, Google Gears, Firebug!) and 2) Awesomebar
It's that nice.

All you haters can use a theme that kicks it.

Re:Awesomebar? (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 6 years ago | (#22943180)

Fine, some people like the 'awesomebar' - a lot, however, don't. A way to turn it off completely would definitely be appreciated, being forced into using it is not.

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Insightful)

propanol (1223344) | about 6 years ago | (#22943372)

Agreed. I can't help but feel the new algorithm that implements searching bookmarks/page titles/etc. for results when you type in the address bar is aimed at the "I am incompetent when it comes to technical things and don't understand the concept of URLs"-type people; the like to whom the Internet is the blue IE logo on their desktops.

URLs are the key to http IMO - they're the ones to keep in memory as they're unique, unlike page titles and bookmarks. When I type "sla" in the address bar, I want slashdot.org, not some random blog post with the term 'slashdot' in the title I happened to pass by at some point.

At the end, what pisses me off the most about this whole deal is not being able to revert to the old behavior. That kind of forced nurturing is what I'd expect from Microsoft, not Mozilla.

Re:Awesomebar? (1)

Shining Celebi (853093) | about 6 years ago | (#22943552)

URLs are the key to http IMO - they're the ones to keep in memory as they're unique, unlike page titles and bookmarks. When I type "sla" in the address bar, I want slashdot.org, not some random blog post with the term 'slashdot' in the title I happened to pass by at some point.

It learns from past behavior, so once you go to Slashdot a couple of times via that method, you'll get slashdot.org. That said, I agree with you that the old functionality should be there too.

Re:Awesomebar? (2, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 6 years ago | (#22943728)

I can't help but feel the new algorithm that implements searching bookmarks/page titles/etc. for results when you type in the address bar is aimed at the "I am incompetent when it comes to technical things and don't understand the concept of URLs"-type people; the like to whom the Internet is the blue IE logo on their desktops.

Which is why the awesomebar is going to be a big success in the Real World (outside of slashdot). You know, real people don't care about what a URL is, and I can't find a reason why they should.

I'm a geek, and I can't live without the awesomebar. You can remember a domain of a frequently visited page, but the whole URL? When I've to search an article I visited a week ago, I just have to type "slashdot" and some word from the title and the url appears. Typically I'd google to find it, now the awesomebar avoids me that. That alone makes the awesomebar worth of it. When I type "sla", the first item in the list is ALWAYS slashdot, because the awesomebar knows what pages you visit more frequently. Oh, and the favicons make easier to browse at the list of URLs than the old text list, because you can differenciate one domain from other.

Re:Awesomebar? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 6 years ago | (#22943742)

When I type "sla" in the address bar, I want slashdot.org, not some random blog post with the term 'slashdot' in the title I happened to pass by at some point.
The nice thing about awesombar is that the first time you select slashdot from the suggestions, it gets promoted to the first suggestion (if it wasn't already, since you likely visit it pretty often :-) )

Re:Awesomebar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943214)

It still looks hideous. What do you do when you only remember the title of something on the page but not in the URL or the title? Firefox is of no help to you now. It is far better to set up a full cache of your browsing history and index it. Then you can search on title, url, or anything in the page.

Re:Awesomebar? (4, Informative)

MooseMuffin (799896) | about 6 years ago | (#22943308)

I think the behavior of the awesomebar is great, I just don't like how big it is. oldbar takes care of that though.

Re:Awesomebar? (5, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | about 6 years ago | (#22943416)

I know you've been modded insightful, and I'm not going to necessarily disagree with that. The "Awesomebar" (meh on the name) is not for everybody. It's definitely a different way of thinking.

However, I have been using and testing Firefox 3 Betas pretty significantly. Personally, I'm very much enjoying the Awesomebar. I tend not to use bookmarks all that often - it's nicer to just start typing and, based on how I browse, the site I want to go to is usually at the very top of the list. The Awesomebar has also been helpful when I haven't been able to quite remember the site I want to go to. I start typing, and the site is usually listed somewhere near the top.

Either way, it would be cool if there was an option to shut off the Awesomebar (for those people who don't like it) - but a new way to do something does not necessarily make it hideous.

Re:Awesomebar? (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | about 6 years ago | (#22943778)

I've been using the Awesomebar equipped betas for over a month. Sometimes the site I want is at the top of the list, sometimes it is third or fourth. It gets better for a few days, then gets worse for a few days, then gets better for a few days. Not only is it often bad, it is inconsistent.

Re:Awesomebar? (2, Insightful)

robzon (981455) | about 6 years ago | (#22943648)

Actually, I find the new bar very useful. I understand that it's not perfect for everyone, so an option to turn it off would be great.

FIRST POST!111 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22942950)

I'm glad that the Acid3 test is just a side mention in this story. The recent Firefox betas look great. It needs to be said though that the WebKit builds that score 100/100 are publicly available. But it also needs to be said that there's a lot more to a web browser than its performance on a single standards test.

Re:FIRST POST!111 (3, Informative)

asa (33102) | about 6 years ago | (#22943412)

You certainly didn't see Apple ship Safari 3.1 with 100 on Acid3. WebKit (more accurately Safari) are at the beginning of a development cycle. They just shipped Safari 3.1 after quite a long dev cycle and are beginning Safari 3.next (or 4?) so it makes sense that they tear into their code in a pretty aggressive way. As far as I can tell, Opera 9.5 due sometime soon also won't pass Acid3. All of this work you're seeing on Acid3 is for the _next_ release, not the current release. (where current is Firefox 3, Safari 3.1, and Opera 9.5)

Almost there (4, Insightful)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | about 6 years ago | (#22942984)

Now if Google could just port Google Browser Sync [google.com] over...

Re:Almost there (2, Insightful)

mrvan (973822) | about 6 years ago | (#22943260)

I'm a bit worried about 'giving' google all my history, cookies, and stored passwords, protected by a PIN.

Since the PIN is the only thing you need to set up on a new computer, I don't think the data sent to google is encrypted (using a key unknown by google, ie more than https)?

I guess they don't really want my passwords, but the navigation and form history coupled to my search history... brrr... (I don't even want to imagine using gmail too)

Note: I'm not saying google is evil, I wouldn't trust anyone with that much data, and certainly not a US company with a history of complying to Chinese government demands...

Acid 3 Test (5, Insightful)

J_Meller (667240) | about 6 years ago | (#22942994)

I'm glad there isn't an improvement in their Acid3 score with the latest beta. It means that their release procedure is sane and they aren't introducing regressions right before a big release. Kudos to the devs for not pushing patches for the sake of it.

Actually... (4, Informative)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | about 6 years ago | (#22943270)

Beta 4 only scored 68 / 100, so they have made some core changes. They fixed tests 42, 67, and 69. In addition, the test seems to run about 40% faster in B5 vs. B4, at least on my PC.

Re:Acid 3 Test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943284)

Yeah, but are they taking it too far? I can't see any improvements in Beta-5 at all. Despite describing Mac integration as "Improved in Beta 5!", every single one of the old Mac bugs I've found (and reported) that's been around since at least Beta-2 is still there -- and some seem to have gotten slightly worse.

Dear Firefox developers: no, it does not look or act like a Mac app, and it certainly is no better than Beta-4 or Beta-3 was. Please stop advertising in your release notes that it does.

Re:Acid 3 Test (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 6 years ago | (#22943580)

I'm a Mac user, but I haven't tried FF3 at all (WebKit for me right now). What kind of Mac bugs have you found? I want to know if these would be show-stoppers for me. And also, specifically why doesn't FF3 act like a Mac app?

Re:Acid 3 Test (1)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#22943782)

BE CAREFUL! Questioning a Mac user's assertions can ruin any karma you thought you had.

Re:Acid 3 Test (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 6 years ago | (#22943424)

Perhaps, but shame on the devs for not announcing a 3.1 release to fix Acid3-compliance as soon as possible after 3.0's release. How I long for the days when standards were a priority on that team.

Re:Acid 3 Test (5, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 6 years ago | (#22943462)

In fact, there are patches implementing ACID3 features that aren't going to be merged in Firefox 3 because they're too intrusive (what, slashdotters want an example? look here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=421765#c8 [mozilla.org] )

Acid 3, just like acid 2, has been released when the firefox development cycle is focusing on stabilizing...other browsers have focused on passing acid3 like it was the most important thing to do and have done ugly things just to be the first, take for example this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=410460#c44 [mozilla.org]

And the fact that at least WebKit has introduced a special case for the Acid3
m_allowFontSmoothing = (nameStr != "Ahem");

Who cares about Safari? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943000)

Why would any Firefox user care about Safari? Is it because Apple is trying to trick people into installing it to bump up their market share? Anything in the subject that isn't about Firefox should be listed as off-topic.

Re:Who cares about Safari? (4, Insightful)

anaesthetica (596507) | about 6 years ago | (#22943248)

Because you care about competition. Once you stop caring about competition, you get sideswiped just like IE has been by Firefox. The whole idea is to have a plural browser environment in which each browser vendor competes to deliver the best standards compliance and the best feature set. If you only care about Firefox, you may be missing the point. We can measure Firefox's progress objectively (against its own past performance), but we also need to assess its progress relative to other browsers so that we can assure it remains competitive, and can (at the very least) hold its ground in market share. No one wants to return to the old days of browser monoculture and stagnation.

Waiting... (5, Funny)

ServerIrv (840609) | about 6 years ago | (#22943004)

It will come out of beta as soon as Ad Block Plus is updated.

Re:Waiting... (1)

dbcooper_nz (782764) | about 6 years ago | (#22943258)

With the latest development version of AdBlock Plus it works just fine (in WinXP). Populates the filter dialog box when you select "adblock image" from the context menu. Of course you have to change the max-version in the install.rdf file.

Re:Waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943300)

I'm waiting for them to fix the memory issues with Ad Block/Ad Block Plus. It works great if you shut it down every two hours, but after a few weeks with hundreds of tabs opened and closed, it takes up tons of memory and won't give it back.

Warning: This breaks adblock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943008)

Now I have to look at ads!

Re:Warning: This breaks adblock! (1)

dark whole (1220600) | about 6 years ago | (#22943058)

what if you turn off the extension checks? is i truly broken, or just not "supported" on the new beta?

Re:Warning: This breaks adblock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943170)

I have only tried Adblock up to FF3b4, wherein Adblock works, but loses a lot of functionality. All the new FF3 Betas break it in some way.

If you block an item, when the blacklist pops up the item is no longer pre-populated into the field. And, sometimes, entire websites are blocked even when they're not on the blacklist. I have had to set 3-4 whitelists entries for such sites.

Then again, I love FF3. I finally went back to FF2 because of Adblock and after a bug in FF3 where it would no longer save passwords (if you click "Remember" nothing would happen). But, FF2 is even buggier on my machine (10-20 second 100% CPU spikes when opening a new window). I'm tempted to go back to FF3b5 even with a halfway broken Adblock.

Re:Warning: This breaks adblock! (2, Informative)

Omestes (471991) | about 6 years ago | (#22943240)

From my experience with beta 4 it works fine when you turn off compatibility checking. The only broken extension I'm run into is Cookie Safe, but CS Lite fixes most of the problems (not all it seems, it still hangs but rarely enough to be hard to isolate). As said this is with beta 4, not beta 5, so your mileage my differ.

So far these betas have been surprisingly good. Once I isolated the Cookie Safe issue, I hardly break 300k of memory usage (6 hours of regular browsing). I still get some odd CPU usage spikes everyonce in a while (a little more often than with Firefox 2), but that isn't too much a deal breaker. The odd address bar has kind of grown on me, as have the IE style navigation buttons.

My only real complaint is the history/bookmarks window. Dragging and dropping between panes is... it sucks. And not having unfiled bookmarks available in a menu is also obnoxious.

Re:Warning: This breaks adblock! (5, Informative)

Pearlswine (1121125) | about 6 years ago | (#22943172)

Works for me...

Just open up about:config and add "extensions.checkCompatibility" as a Boolean set to false.

What I care about (2, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | about 6 years ago | (#22943052)

I want to try beta 5 out (especially after I found Tab Mix Plus is actually supported [garyr.net] ). But my main worry is how they react to bugs found in the beta. Are they continuously releases security updates for betas the same way as the official released version? Or I'd have to wait patiently for the final release which is more than 2 months away?

Also, every time I uninstall firefox 3, I could no longer click links in outlook unless I reset default browser to IE and switch back. This is very irritating.

Re:What I care about (2, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 6 years ago | (#22943466)

Are they continuously releases security updates for betas the same way as the official released version? Or I'd have to wait patiently for the final release which is more than 2 months away?
I would guess that there will be at least two release candidates between the last beta version and the final release.

CPU spike bug? (4, Interesting)

aredubya74 (266988) | about 6 years ago | (#22943062)

I haven't been able to find a bug on Moz Bugzilla on the behavior, but both previous betas would occasionally spike in CPU usage after a few hours' of usage, seemingly at random. Restarting the browser clears the problem. It doesn't seem to be a site-specific problem, as rebrowsing the same pages doesn't immediately trigger the spike. Anyone else seeing this? Otherwise, I've been very happy with the FF3's rendering and feature set.

Re:CPU spike bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943094)

Spike? How long a spike?
1 Second? Don't care.
5 Seconds? Don't mind.
10 seconds? Eww, fix it already.
Until restart? That's no spike, that's being pegged.

Re:CPU spike bug? (3, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 6 years ago | (#22943236)

Minutes. I've hit this bug before, and on my Sempron (shut up I'm in college) it knocks the computer out cold and hangs everything, and I was forced to reset the computer. It happens randomly, and repeatedly, and if you don't restart firefox it gets worst until the whole computer freezes; at first it just freezes the computer a little and then lets up but then the time it takes to make it free again increases.

Re:CPU spike bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943492)

i'll ditto that. i'm using it under os x and, although the issue has become less frequent with beta updates, it still exists. i'll have to force-quit firefox, even, as it will not quit normally. while it doesn't hang the entire operating system, it does slow it and the fans are cranked way up.

Re:CPU spike bug? (2, Interesting)

Rurik (113882) | about 6 years ago | (#22943202)

I have that problem with FF2, and it was the reason I went to FF3. I've not had it occur within FF3, but when I temporarily reverted back to 2.0 it was still there.

It would spike for about 10-20 seconds then go back to normal for a few more minutes.

Re:CPU spike bug? (2, Informative)

cephah (1244770) | about 6 years ago | (#22943394)

Sounds like it could be a resource manager of Firefox that does some work in the background, makes sense since you say it occurs after a few hours use and that it disappears if you restart it (thus removing all of Firefox's allocated resources from RAM).

Re:CPU spike bug? (1)

WBurton (783516) | about 6 years ago | (#22943802)

I've noticed it jumps between 0% and 50% and back again constantly. It looks like my Task Manager is mapping Earth tremors it jumps so much. It's a fairly consistent cycle, too. It doesn't stay at any one extreme for longer than a second.

Got Buttons? (5, Informative)

shogun (657) | about 6 years ago | (#22943164)

Ok this was amusing, I just upgraded from 3b4 to 3b5 and it decided to replicate the forward/back button control a few times: Screenshot [smugmug.com] . Easily fixed under customise toolbar though...

Re:Got Buttons? (5, Informative)

mrgavins (49262) | about 6 years ago | (#22943746)

Could you comment in bug 425079 [mozilla.org] and attach your localStore.rdf, as described in comment 16 [mozilla.org] ? It would help a lot - we have a workaround fix, but we're trying to figure out the root cause.

Defaults? (2, Informative)

non-poster (529123) | about 6 years ago | (#22943186)

They changed the default values for some connection settings? What's the big deal? I've had these settings for a really long time now.


Re:Defaults? (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | about 6 years ago | (#22943292)

That's a good point, parent. Because most users know how and why to change default connection settings, especially if they're operating through a proxy, by going into about:config and manually editing variables. Obviously, for the common user, there is absolutely no need to alter default settings.

So obsessed with memory? (2, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | about 6 years ago | (#22943192)

Since when did memory usage become such a big deal?

I mean Firefox has had some nasty memory leaks for the longest time and absolutely I would love to see those fixed. But it seems like this is more than just that, it seems like some big epeen contest between browsers.

Memory is perhaps the second cheapest commodity on a modern day PC after disk space. If they get too deep into this then it wouldn't surprise me to see them off-set this reduced usage with increased CPU time or disk seek times (which is destructive on a laptop).

Personally I rate browsers based on something like this:
Responsiveness > Features == Polish > CPU Usage > Memory Usage > Disk Usage

If the Firefox guys want to be No.1 in Memory Usage then perhaps I'll use a browser like Opera which focuses on Features, or one like IE 7 which is more polished than both Firefox and Opera.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (5, Informative)

BZ (40346) | about 6 years ago | (#22943304)

> Since when did memory usage become such a big deal?

Since people started doing more "wep apps" (and memory usage skyrocketed as a result) and since mobile devices started becoming a real browsing platform. RAM on those is not all that plentiful, so far.

Note that the work to reduce memory usage in Firefox has thus far led to performance improvement, most likely due to better cache coherency. There _have_ been some optimizations to reduce memory usage at the cost of more CPU usage (largely to do with how long decoded 4-bytes-per-pixel representations of images are kept in memory), but most of the memory usage improvements have been due to using a better allocator and fixing leaks. There is no "must have the smallest memory usage around" goal; as you note other considerations are at least as important.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (5, Informative)

anaesthetica (596507) | about 6 years ago | (#22943334)

Since when did memory usage become such a big deal?

I'm not sure if you recall reading the comments to any other story about Firefox on Slashdot or Digg or Ars or virtually anywhere else in the past two years, but about 90% of those comments discussed memory usage. The Firefox team is doing a good job responding to its user base. They have not, to my knowledge, had to sacrifice speed or additional features to achieve lower memory usage.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 6 years ago | (#22943342)

Depends on your OS. My Mac has 2 gigs, so I never have to worry about it. Even if I have Parallels open and using 768MB or 1GB, it's fine.

XP is different.

Way back in the 9x days, I used a little program called MemTurbo (by Silicon Prairie Software, I think). It made a HUGE difference in system performance. Windows was just terrible at managing memory. MemTurbo would defrag your memory so that larger chunks were available. You could trigger it yourself, or have it trigger when a certain amount of memory was used. It was especially useful before or after a big task that used tons of memory like playing a game. It made the system feel almost as good as a reboot.

It hasn't been needed, in my experience, since I switched to 2000. They offered a version, but it didn't make much difference. Windows 2000 was much better. But there are still problems.

Windows likes to swap things out to disk. It loves to swap things to disk. So what I've noticed is that I can destroy my box with MySQL pretty easily. I have 2 GB, but it doesn't matter. Running a large query, preferably one that is poorly written, will load up tons of data into memory as it goes through it's process. When the query is done, or if I abort the query, things stay dead. The disks just swap and swap.

Any sufficiently large process will do this. Having Java run on tons of data, or Eclipse (given extra memory) with a plugin with a bad memory leak.

Close things, let them go, force quit them, whatever. I can stop the MySQL server and unload it entirely from memory. Things still page in and out of disk all the time. It can go for at least an hour or two. By that point I almost always reset because it is so bad on productivity.

I've had FireFox trigger this once or twice, when I forgot to close it for a few days. I make sure to completely close FF every night, so it never swells that large and doesn't start causing problems.

Memory still matters for some of us, despite the fact that we have enough it should never matter.

It's nice they have fixed things (I hear the jemalloc, if that was the right name, was a big help). It hasn't been a problem for me, but I know how it can be for others.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (0, Redundant)

Hannes2000 (1113397) | about 6 years ago | (#22943352)

Responsiveness is directly related to memory usage. A Browser just should not eat up a fourth (500MiB) of my memory. And think of those with lesser hardware, you insensitive clod!

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 6 years ago | (#22943770)

Tell me about it...

I've been using my Celeron 512MB box to work on some assignments for a Java course and we just got into the JSF unit.

Between Netbeans and Firefox (since you need a browser to test), I was using 700MB. The joys of constantly swapping. =P

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 6 years ago | (#22943418)

Since when did memory usage become such a big deal?
Uh, you have noticed all the people crying that Firefox is a bloated memory hog, haven't you? The ones that have been demanding that Firefox use less memory? I guess you should be careful what you wish for. Personally, I agree that it's been made a much bigger deal than is necessary. I wish Firefox developers would spend more time on other fixes, as memory use is far from being an issue for me. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to have caused performance problems or a reduced feature set. It's just being more efficient with memory without much performance impact.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

pthisis (27352) | about 6 years ago | (#22943476)

The ridiculous memory use is the #1 reason that it's sometimes 30 seconds between when I click and when Firefox responds. Swapping is _slooooow_, and even if you don't hit swap you're trashing the cache and killing responsiveness (which you seem to value).

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

Mattsson (105422) | about 6 years ago | (#22943676)

Memory is a big deal, especially memoryleaks.
For people who throw out their fully functional systems and buy new hardware all the time, it isn't a problem.
My system is a 5 year old laptop. It max out at 1GB memory, of DDR1 type which by the way is starting go become rather expensive, and regularly, firefox use a whole lot of that.
If I want to use a few other memorybloated hogs at the same time, like outlook, word or maybe some java-app, this starts to become a problem.
I totally agree that it shouldn't use less memory at the cost of significantly more disk-io or cpu-usage, but I would much rather see a contest on reducing resource-usage rather than a contest on adding useless features and acid-3 compliance.

Re:So obsessed with memory? (1)

vidarh (309115) | about 6 years ago | (#22943776)

I've been whining about memory issues with Firefox at least since 1.5, because FF slowly started getting unusable for me - I had to restart several times a day to prevent it from growing beyond 1GB-2GB and causing massive trashing. Since I installed FF 3 beta 4 a few days ago I haven't restarted it. I'm not celebrating yet, because I'm using it far less (I use Webkit for most of my browsing now almost exclusively because the FF memory leaks), but it is very promising, and if beta 5 is even better I may actually stop complaining about it.

Beta/nightly vs. regular stable release (4, Insightful)

dn15 (735502) | about 6 years ago | (#22943204)

As for the Acid3 test, Firefox 3 Beta 5 scores only 71/100 compared to 75/100 for Safari 3.1

If we're comparing a Firefox beta then we may as well look at a newer version of Safari, too. The latest nightly builds of WebKit get 100/100 on Acid3. http://webkit.org/blog/173/ [webkit.org]

3 Beta 5 vs. (2, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | about 6 years ago | (#22943210)

Mozilla wants me to update from to Is there any reason I shouldn't just go to 3.0 Beta 5? I'm assuming it either fixes that security bug or replaces it with some new ones.

Are the critical extensions available? For me, that's Adblock, NoScript, and Flashblock.

Re:3 Beta 5 vs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943360)

Adblock, NoScript, and Flashblock.
Web browsin: ur doin it wrong.

Re:3 Beta 5 vs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943522)

The main reason to go to and not 3beta5 for production is that the latter is a beta, and the former is not.

Re:3 Beta 5 vs. (4, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 6 years ago | (#22943530)

Are the critical extensions available? For me, that's Adblock, NoScript, and Flashblock.
Flashblock works fine for me on beta3 at home. The install.rdf file says it works with 3.0.*, so you wouldn't even need to disable version checking.

Re:3 Beta 5 vs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943716)

No, only Noscript works with it
You could, however, download the extensions and edit the rdf file yourself and install them manually, they'll work fine then.

Re:3 Beta 5 vs. (1)

o'reor (581921) | about 6 years ago | (#22943806)

I have Firefox 3 pre-beta5 (Minefield) release, nightly build from 12 days ago. Works flawlessly on MEPIS Linux 7.0. Adblock works OK too.

It feels more responsive and faster than Firefox 2.0.0.x. It may be nicknamed "Minefield", but still it hasn't blown my legs off since I installed it. So for me it's pretty stable. Even though it's not a production-grade release, I'd still recommend it over, which in my experience has had a tendency to blow up way more often. Particularly on AJAX-heavy sites such as the new Yahoo!Mail. JavaScript handling is tremendously better in Firefox 3.

Out of date comparison? (0)

riceboy50 (631755) | about 6 years ago | (#22943212)

Firefox 3 Beta 5 scores only 71/100 compared to 75/100 for Safari 3.1 and 79/100 for the latest Opera 9.5 snapshot
I thought it was reported a few days ago that Safari was around 95% and Opera had achieved 100%? I can't be bothered to search the /. archive. :P

Re:Out of date comparison? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 6 years ago | (#22943272)

Those are probably private builds ATM. The latest public Opera scores 78 for me... I THINK I have the latest public build, at least. The site I get my download news from might not update for each build maybe.

Re:Out of date comparison? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 6 years ago | (#22943312)

Now Opera is scoring 79... I think one of the tests they use sometimes fails when it should succeed.

Hmm a few of these tests fail if they don't succeed withing a period of time (click the A for a report). That's probably it.

Fair comparison (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about 6 years ago | (#22943286)

Yes, but those are very early development builds of those browsers. They haven't even seen an alpha release, much less a beta. The "Opera" build was actually using the WinGogi interface for Presto, and the Opera developers said not to use those builds for everyday browsing. You would want to compare those browsers to Firefox 4 nightly builds. However, I don't think work has even started on Firefox 4 yet. I opted to compare Firefox 3 to the recently released Safari 3.1 and the soon-to-be released Opera 9.5.

Re:Out of date comparison? (2, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 6 years ago | (#22943496)

Opera, on an internal build, got 100/100 (this isn't a percentage, there are two other aspects to Acid3 - pixel perfect placement and animation smoothness).

Safari got 100/100 a day later, but in the process discovered a flaw in the Acid3 test that had to be fixed, making Opera's score 99/100. Safari is at least available in a nightly version. Apparently it also got pixel perfect placement and the animation was arguably smooth.

I don't personally think it counts until it's a full non-beta release.

Acid scores (1)

Fri13 (963421) | about 6 years ago | (#22943238)

How old this info really is? Opera and Webkit has already hit 100/100p on Acid3 and Beta4 already had fixed a lots those memory leaks when comparing it to Firefox 2.x

Re:Acid scores (3, Interesting)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#22943486)

very early (pre-alpha, i believe) builds of opera and webkit have hit 100/100, and AFAIK, the opera build that does that feat isn't even publicly available. the numbers they're showing are for browsers that are actually available and usable.

How the mighty have fallen. (3, Insightful)

lancejjj (924211) | about 6 years ago | (#22943266)

Firefox 3 Beta 5 scores only 71/100 compared to 75/100 for Safari 3.1 and 79/100 for the latest Opera 9.5 snapshot
Just last week Opera was at 100/100 and Safari was at 98/100 for ACID3. What happened???

Oh yeah, those were numbers for non-production browsers, in-the-lab builds.

Connection parallelism (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 years ago | (#22943340)

I'm sure somebody is likely to bring it up, so it may as well be me with some additional relevant facts. The HTTP 1.1 specification, RFC 2616 [ietf.org] , says [ietf.org] that:

Clients that use persistent connections SHOULD limit the number of simultaneous connections that they maintain to a given server. A single-user client SHOULD NOT maintain more than 2 connections with any server or proxy. A proxy SHOULD use up to 2*N connections to another server or proxy, where N is the number of simultaneously active users. These guidelines are intended to improve HTTP response times and avoid congestion.

This "improved connection parallelism" is simply changing Firefox from using the RFC-suggested 2 persistent connections, to 6. Now, SHOULDs and SHOULD NOTs are not set in stone, but they do require careful thought before ignoring.

The Bugzilla entry [mozilla.org] debating this has a comment [mozilla.org] that points out that other browsers have also started to ignore this part of the specification:

  • Firefox 2: 2 connections
  • Opera 9.26: 4 connections
  • Opera 9.5 beta: 4 connections
  • Safari 3.0.4: 4 connections
  • IE 7: 2 connections
  • IE 8: 6 connections

Re:Connection parallelism (4, Interesting)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#22943544)

RFC 2616 was published in 1999.

I agree that specification recommendations should not be ignored without careful consideration. However, I think the jump from 2 to 6 makes a lot of sense after almost 10 years of adhering to the specification and I don't think that it was done without careful consideration. Web servers and bandwidth have both strongly moved forward, and that specific suggestion in the RFC was just that. A suggestion. In the context of 1999.

Re:Connection parallelism (2, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 years ago | (#22943726)

I think the jump from 2 to 6 makes a lot of sense after almost 10 years

Not all movement has been in the forward direction. Back them, most web traffic was totally static, even the HTML. These days, it's far more likely that the HTML is generated dynamically from something like mod_php. This, in turn, means that rather than tying up a slim process, a persistent connection ties up a "fat" process with a language runtime embedded in it. Three times as many simultaneous persistent connections means up to three times as much memory usage. Not as much of a problem if it's just a bog-standard 1999 static fileserver, but a big problem if you've got a 2008 dynamic interpreter built in.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that this is a bad change, I just think that it's got downsides as well as upsides. This will only further the adoption of lightweight reverse proxies like nginx, pound and varnish.

How hinged is Firefox development to Gecko? (1)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#22943408)

I mean, Firefox is just a front end to Gecko, right? Back when the Mozilla suite was the focus of the Mozilla foundation and Firefox was just a side project, Firefox development effected Gecko development very little. Is this still true even with the focus shift from the Mozilla suite to Firefox?

I do know that Firefox nightlies DO NOT equal webkit nightlies. Firefox and Gecko are actually devoloped on separate branches and are only merged at intervals.

FF & Ubuntu (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 6 years ago | (#22943468)

OK, I tried the hardy beta upgrade a few days back, complete with FF3b4. Totally hosed my system, forcing a reinstall. Not sure how much of the problem was with hardy & how much was with FF3b4, but I know for a fact that I won't upgrade til FF3 comes out of beta.

I didn't have back & forth arrows, no home button, and most of the extensions I use on a daily basis didn't work. Neither did the themes. Updates didn't work. And I couldn't edit my bookmarks.

Again, I don't know how much of this was FF3b4's fault and how much was hardy beta's. But I'm not going to upgrade to either til after FF3 comes out of beta. Hopefully, my fave extensions will work then...

Re:FF & Ubuntu (1)

randyest (589159) | about 6 years ago | (#22943672)

Are you seriously surprised that some firefox2 extensions and themes, which have a max version coded in the rdf file, didn't work with FF3beta? That's amusing. I guess it would be nice if extension developers could magically see into the future and update their extensions in advance for you, but it's unlikely to happen, for betas or final releases. You can, however, try editing the rdf to increase max_version, which often makes an extension work with a new ff.

Here's what I got the last time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22943542)

Actually got this with 3.0b2, 3.0b3 and . . .


luser@3[firefox]# ./firefox ./firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libpangocairo-1.0.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
luser@3[firefox]# uname -a
Linux CJ 2.4.27 #2 SMP Mo Aug 9 00:39:37 CEST 2004 i686 GNU/Linux

I got newer systems, they've all been the same.

Give me a second I'll try this one.
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