back to article Mozilla pilots second release candidate for Firefox 3.0

Mozilla is considering whether or not to publish a further test version of Firefox 3 following the discovery of ten noteworthy bugs in Firefox 3.0 RC1. A decision on whether to create a second release candidate or to fix the flaws only after Firefox 3.0 ships is expected on Tuesday. Four of the ten bugs are marked as critical. …

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox 3.0

I've been using the beta for a couple of weeks now and apart from minor issues with some websites not rendering properly found it to be a significnt improvement on the last release, mainly in regard to loading and refresh times.

It seems very fast, even with the extensions running, (Noscript, Adblock,Forecastfox, Tabs relative etc).

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Silver badge

What a great idea...

Shall we ship a buggy version, just so we can get it out , or shall we wait, miss a few meaningless deadlines & fix the problem, therefore not causing grief for loads of our "customers"?

One word: Vista!

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Why not?

If the release date of the final version will not be affected then why not release a RC2? I wouldn't consider the RC1 to be exactly like a final release but it is damn close.

Releasing a final version with major bugs such as these is just plain dumb!

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Irritating

I've seen no significant problems. Except for the extremely irritating switch of button layout on dialogs which has put the cancel button on the left!!

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Anonymous Coward

Tried the first release candidate

and removed it in favour of the previous version.

It _appeared_ slow for some sites. It seems to want to fully render the entire page before displaying it, rather than showing the items as they are downloaded, as the current version does. This makes the page look like it's hanging, even if it isn't.

I think I'll wait a bit longer, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

@Stu Reeves

I'm sure a crashing brower, which occurs hardly ever... will be "causing grief for loads".

Hardly, such vunrebilities are hardly targeted, as it doesn't pay just to annoy people.

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonymous Coward

Such "rendering on complete" can be controlled by the webserver, and how the developer of the site wants the page to be rendered. (Buffer, or not, etc).

So maybe on these "some pages" thats how they want, and/or FF2 just overrides this in certain circumstances.

Saying more than "appeared", really shows you need to research the issue a bit more to what is actually happening.

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RC1 fine so far

In fact, at least as stable and a *lot* faster than FF2 esp. when opening multiple tabs. I'll stick it out. Just waiting for TrackMeNot to come out for FF3. :-(

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Anonymous Coward

can it prevent spamverts?

does anyone know if it will enable flash to be turned on and off, by means other than visiting the adobe website, or de-installation?

maybe there are already ways to do this that I don't know of.

the bugger is sometimes i want it, and other times it just lets adverts crawl all over the page.

three switches, for Javascript, java and flash would be perfect. - and on the button bar not through 2 sub-menus.

should i re-post this somewhere more appropriate? - i was kind of hoping the useful crowd of commenters at the reg would agree/disagree/advise on this one.

thanks

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Anonymous Coward

RC1 / Beta

Been using the beta release for a few weeks or so and haven't had any issues with it whatsoever, installed RC1 and found it to be considerably slower loading and rendering (some) pages.

Go figure. Might go back to the beta version....

Overall i'm quite happy with it.

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Linux

Firefox 3 64

I have it on my pc home and have not had any issues.

Thing is the security issues usually hit people who rely totally on someone else to make sure that their system is secure without kowing the ins and outs.

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Linux

@Kevin

Kevin - try Opera. It allows you to toggle Java, Javascript & plugins from a top-level menu ('Quick Preferences'). I'm sure you can add those functions to a button bar, too.

You can also toggle images from the button bar. If you're used to Firefox, you of course may not want to change, but if quick toggle of plugins, etc is very important to you, it might be worth a look...

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Unhappy

Er... they have to make a decision?

Heh, not the best example I've seen of "put best foot forward" then, if they're actually considering pushing out 3.0 with Known Bugs. (regardless of having a 3.0x around the corner or not)

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Bugridden arse

I for one have grown so tired of seeing "Update found, download now or later?" pop-ups every damn time i boot firefox up that i've gone back to Opera.

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Flame

@ A/C

"I'm sure a crashing brower, which occurs hardly ever... will be "causing grief for loads".

Congratulations, you have sumed up what is wrong with the software industry and the gullible muppets that put up with shoody goods. ? If they know there is an issue, then why not fix the dam thing, even if it only affects a few hundred people. What a crap attitude...Oh it's only going affect a few hundred / thousand people, but A/C says it's fine so screw them. Hey why let a fix get in the way of a release date....

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Been using the Ubuntu beta ...

... since the day after 8.04 came out. Rendering is fast, yes, but it's full of nasties: crashes at least once a day, tends to tie up 100% CPU for extended period for no obvious reason. Definitely not nearly releasable, and I have installed Firefox 2 for Things That Matter.

Incidentally, I love this bug description: "Font scaling of Vista doesn't work as good with RC1 than it did with Betas"

Who says computer people can't speak english as good as them should ought to.

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Tired of couldn't find the site message

I love the download system on firefox but just got tired of every time I tried to go somewhere on the net I get this message couldn''t find it, have to do it again to get there.

so went back to opera, but do not like their download system.

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fon
Unhappy

dissapointed Opera user, thinking about FF...

the latest 'betabeta' (10005 & 10014) of opera has solved some issues, like cpu overloading etc,

but try this on FF.. (I know it sounds a bit nutty, read on and try it please!! )

how long does it take for 'rightclick' to show a menu?

goto the down arrow on the scrollbar and click - how long does it take to 'start scrolling' ??

- many others affected, even 'starting to load a page'...

On opera it takes about a second.. on opera beta2 no delay is noticable...

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@Kevin

There are plenty of plugins that allow you to switch Flash on/off. I've got one that displays the flash as a block with a play button, so it doesn't display, but by clicking on it I can make it display without reloading the page. That's quite nice.

Oh, and if you install the Web Developer plugin you can have marvellous fun with pages. Turn CSS off on El Reg and see what happens. ;-)

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DS

Well

I sure hope they fixed some of the screw ups they made when I last tested. On the machine I tested, we installed on a box that had FF2. We made sure that 3 went in its own directory.

Post install, FF2 no longer worked, which is forgivable, but plugins and other areas of FF2 were 'meddled' with - and it took a while to correct these. But worse, after installing and then un-installing, FF3 had wrecked a little havoc in registry, to the point that third party applications and tools were affected. You could no longer click on links to open web pages, and other nasty little 'tweaks'.

Anyway, I'll wait till full release and hope its better. I was far from impressed with the registry screwing around, so I hope they changed how they handle that.

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Happy

Flash in FF3

Yes you can turn Flash off from within FF3. A lot of the plugins that 'do' this for you don't actually remove the Flash, they just wrap it with that kind of play control, which isn't what you need if you want to test rendering in browsers without Flash installed. FF3 allows you to turn flash off properly, although off the top of my head I can't remember where I found the setting for that... not quite as straightforward as Opera unfortunately, but it is there

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All of a sudden AVG Free V8 plugins don't work

Up to FF Beta 3 release 5 the plugins from AVG Free V8 were OK.

Installed FF RC1 and got an alert that the AVG Toolbar and AVG Safe Search plugins weren't compatible and wouldn't be loaded.

Apart from that, quite nice.

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Go

Just go for it! Extensions are the key.

Using FF3B and its working well and very fast!

New bookmarks/history/smartbar a real winner.

I cant blame the occasional crashes on FF3 as I have a lot of non approved extensions (see the list below) but it still works & I cant do without them. Stuff FF3RC2! Just go for it! The quicker FF3 is officially released the quicker the extensions will be updated :)

Enabled Extensions: [26]

- Adblock Plus 0.7.5.4 - All-in-One Sidebar 0.7.5 - Boox 2.0a1 - British English Dictionary 1.19 - BugMeNot 1.8 - ColorfulTabs 2.0.11- Configuration Mania1.09 - CustomizeGoogle 0.72 - Firefox Showcase 0.9.4.8 - Fission 0.9.7.1 - FlashGot 1.0 - Gmail Notifier 0.6.3.3 - Image Zoom 0.3.1 - Menu Editor 1.2.6 - MR Tech Toolkit 6.0a29 - No Squint 1.93.2 - NoScript 1.6.5 - Nuke Anything Enhanced 0.68.1 - Places’ Full Titles 3rc3 - Quick Preference Button 0.1.8.1 - Reliby 1.2.0 - repagination 2006.4.5 - Slogger 0.6.20061221 - Tab Mix Plus 0.3.6.1.080416 - Toolbar Buttons 0.5.0.4 - Ubuntu Firefox Modifications 0.5

Disabled Extensions: [4]

- Forecastfox l10n 0.7.2008050801 - Tweak Network 1.1.2 - Web Developer 1.1.6 - Xinha Here! 0.12

Installed Plugins: (9)

- Default Plugin - Demo Print Plugin for unix/linux - DivX Browser Plug-In - iTunes Application Detector - mplayerplug-in 3.50 - QuickTime Plug-in 6.0 / 7 - RealPlayer 9 - Shockwave Flash - Windows Media Player Plugin

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Anonymous Coward

@anonymous coward@anonymous coward

"Such "rendering on complete" can be controlled by the webserver, and how the developer of the site wants the page to be rendered."

Yes, it can, but they were my own sites and it wasn't and I didn't. It was the behaviour of the browser, not my webservers or pages.

So I think I'll wait. I have better things to do than beta test somebody's buggy open source code.

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@Kevin

try flashblock:

http://flashblock.mozdev.org/

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

I had problems as well.

I noticed that it doesnt just download the whole page before displaying; it will also KEEP downloading the page; even after you give up and close the tab. A real pain on sites with large numbers of images.

Another problem I had was the page not responding, sometimes you could cure this by right clicking and then performing what you wanted; but sometimes even that did not work and it took 3 or 4 refreshes or right clicks to get the page responding again.

I used it for a few days before the bugs pi$$ed me off too much and I switched back to FF2.

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dont buy shares in mozilla!

well apart from the fact that you can't. you can't, at least not with etrade anyhow cos going there with ff3b5 crashes on linux every time.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Flame

Crash City

I crash on about about 10% (unscientific) of the sites in my "Regular Sites" bookmarks.

I think that Flash ads have a great deal to do with it. Every site I visit that crashes FF uses jiggy ads.

I only use 3 for testing. 2 is my main browser.

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Happy

RC2 *WILL* happen.

I am NOT involved in Firefox development, but I have been ivolved as a "dedicated user" in some of the bugs.

They just decided (earlier today) that there's too many fixes to go straight to a "final". Now, even WITH these fixes, there's still some issues, and a few users might want to stay on FF2... waiting for larger-scale improvements to be done for a 3.1 Release (probably in the fall). Here's my thoughts (LONG!):

Flash still breaks sometimes, but it depends on the Version and type of FlashPlayer you use (for example, Version 9 versus V10 beta), and whether the movie itself is encoded in one of the newer file formats. Linux players (both "free" and adobe-provided) are more risky.

There's performance issues with both the malware database (it's huge, and is currently still updating way too slowly) and also with the "places" database, which used 3 writes of "history" stuff to the disk for EVERY page change in RC1. (Your "history" is now kept in the "places.sqlite" database. RC2/Final changes this to 2 writes, but it's still a problem, especially on Laptops and on Linux ext3 filesystems.) The malware database problem seems to be PRIMARILY something in the Google Servers, not in Firefox code. So that can be probably be fixed independent of Firefox code release. Re-working "history" so that the updates are "batched" to disk, instead of writing immediately, is too major a change for 3.0.x -- It'll almost certainly wait until 3.1

The layout and painting of screens has had large changes "under the hood", and fixing bugs. But some web pages with graphical backgrounds now paint horribly slow, and cause 100% CPU when you scroll them. (You can reduce this problem by using the scrollbar to "click" and move an entire page at a time, instead of scrolling). On my Linux system, the combination of FF3-Cairo-Compiz is very slow, but it's mostly slow within Compiz/Fusion-- I've got incredible amounts of eye-candy going on.

As I mentioned above, Laptop users might suffer battery drain from the "history" data being forced to disk so often. There's a new "preference" to disable the flush-your-cache process, but it has some risk of increasing the likelihood of "lost my bookmarks!" problems-- leaving the database broken in a power hit. 3.1 might introduce new code to both "batch up" the history writes AND detect database corruption, allowing you to use a backup database if the places file has been corrupted. (It will probably write them automatically, in the same manner that FF2 currently writes backup copies of "bookmarks.html".) But that's a 3.1 scenario, too big to add to 3.0 at this late date. If you're running a portable PC on battery and find the disk I/O for "history" kills your battery life, you might want to stay on FF2 until FF3.1 is ready.

The new layout engine will cause many grossly-miscoded sites to display in a way different than the authors "intended", so feel free to open "evangelism" bugs and ping the webmasters to fix their code. Most often, the pages which I see "broken" have declared themselves to be "XHTML Transitional" but break the rules badly. VERY badyly. But FF3 can almost always display them as intended if the DOCTYPE is changed to "html 4.0.1 transitional" with the "loose" DTD, this signals Firefox to invoke "quirks mode" interpretation and try to imitate IE's mistakes.

I'm NOT a Mozilla dev, these are all SWAGs and OPINIONS from a "dedicated user" who has been taking part in some of those bugs. So I can't speak for mozilla.org or FireFox developers, but I think that it's ready for Release: as long as the extensions which YOU need have been updated, FF3 is way better than FF2, and you should switch. If there's an extension which doesn't work yet, just give your extension developer a little more time to "catch up" before you upgrade.

BTW, I'm not on RC1, I use "Tinderbox" builds which already contain nearly all of the fixes intended for RC2/Final. (Compared to what I'm using, there might be 1-3 changes before RC2 is cut.)

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Go

Another list of extensions

BTW, I have all of these. Some are redundant. Many are enabled via "Nightly Tester Tools", and a few (including NTT) were downloaded in FF3-compatible "test-versions" from Extension Developers' Sites, rather than addons.mozilla.org. I'm on LINUX:

Generated: Tue May 27 2008 15:08:21 GMT-0700 (PDT)

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9pre) Gecko/2008052622 Minefield/3.0pre

Build ID: 2008052622

Enabled Extensions:

- Adblock Plus 0.7.5.4: http://adblockplus.org/

- Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper 1.0.4: http://adblockplus.org/

- AutoFormer 0.4: http://autoformer.mozdev.org/

- ColorfulTabs 3.0: http://www.thestasis.com/

- Connect to address 1.1.7: http://www.blackbirdblog.it/progetti/connect-to-address

- Console² 0.3.9.2: http://console2.mozdev.org/index.html

- CustomizeGoogle 0.72: http://www.customizegoogle.com/

- Extension Manager Extended 2.6.4: http://extended.spanglerco.com/

- Flashblock 1.5.6: http://flashblock.mozdev.org/

- Forecastfox 0.9.6: http://forecastfox.mozdev.org/

- Form Saver 0.7: http://www.botsko.net

- Greasemonkey 0.7.20080121.0: http://www.greasespot.net/

- Html Validator 0.8.4.0: http://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/

- JavaScript Debugger 0.9.87.3: http://www.hacksrus.com/~ginda/venkman/

- Linkification 1.3.3: http://yellow5.us/firefox/linkification/

- Mozilla Quality Extension 0.1.5: http://quality.mozilla.org/

- MR Tech Local Install 5.3.2.6: http://www.mrtech.com/extensions/local_install/

- Nightly Tester Tools 2.0.2: http://www.oxymoronical.com/web/firefox/nightly

- Nuke Anything Enhanced 0.68.1: http://www.google.com/search?q=Minefield%20Nuke%20Anything%20Enhanced

- Open Addons 1.0.4: http://openaddons.extra.hu

- Platypus 0.66: http://platypus.mozdev.org

- QuickJava 0.4.2.1: http://quickjavaplugin.blogspot.com/

- QuietUrl 1.4.0.2: http://www.quieturl.com

- Remove It Permanently 1.0.6.3: http://rip.mozdev.org/

- Right-Click-Link 1.1.3: http://rickardandersson.com/

- RSS Validator 0.3.2: http://www.nu22.com/firefox/rssvalidator

- Sage-Too 0.9.1: http://sage.blat.co.za

- Screen grab! 0.93: http://andy.5263.org/screengrab/

- Searchbar Autosizer 1.3.8: http://searchbarautosizer.mozdev.org

- Stop-or-Reload Button 0.2.2: http://v2studio.com/k/moz/

- Tab Mix Plus 0.3.6.1.080416: http://tmp.garyr.net

- Text Complete 0.9.9.4: http://www.cfavatar.com/textComplete.cfm

- Tinderstatus 0.2.8: http://tinderstatus.mozdev.org/

- Toolbar Buttons 0.5.0.4: http://codefisher.org/toolbar_button/

- User Agent Switcher 0.6.11: http://chrispederick.com/work/user-agent-switcher/

- View Dependencies 0.3.3.0: http://mozilla.queze.net

- Web Developer 1.1.6: http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer/

- YesScript 1.3: http://www.google.com/search?q=Minefield%20YesScript

Disabled Extensions: [1]

- Leak Monitor 0.4.2: http://dbaron.org/mozilla/leak-monitor/

(works, but WAY too disruptive unless I'm actually looking for a leak on a particular page)

Total Extensions: 47

Installed Themes: [5]

- Classic Compact 3.0.7: http://blog.environmentalchemistry.com/2008/03/firefox-theme-classic-compact.html

I use Classic Compact. I also have:

- Default 3.0pre: http://www.google.com/search?q=Minefield%20Default

- LittleFox 1.8.30: http://www.geocities.com/alfredkayser/mozilla/littlemozilla.htm

- Walnut for Firefox 1.8.30: http://www.geocities.com/alfredkayser/mozilla/walnut.htm

- null: http://www.mozilla.org/

Installed Plugins: (3)

- Default Plugin

- Java(TM) Plug-in 1.6.0_05-b13

- Shockwave Flash

I also have FEBE and CLEO, but I use them only to create enxtension cleo-packs: I don't think that FEBE has yet been updated for FF3, and it might not save all of the new "sqlite" files when creating profile backups.

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RC1 was a step backwards

As a long time FF2 user I discovered FF3 at the time of beta4 and I was amazed at how much faster it was and both beta4 and beta5 were 100% stable for me (on Windows XP Pro). I upgraded to RC1 as soon as it came out and I have to say that for me it was a step backwards, I have daily crashes with it.

Happily the decision was made yesterday to do an RC2 (at least that's my reading of the meeting notes that are up on the Mozilla wiki for everyone to see): "decided that there was sufficient need to do an RC2 - overall impact (see below for estimated schedule) to final ship date is about 5 days, as external dependencies would have kept us to 2nd/3rd week of June anyway". Estimated schedule for RC2 is QA signoff Thu 5th June by the way.

Not sure if I'm allowed to publish links but here are the weekly meeting notes: http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox3/StatusMeetings

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@Joe K - Get a clue

The DAILY build will update DAILY if you set it to do so. It's a preview, beta, RC, whatever, it's not a normal release. If you don't want it to look for updates, set it not to, it's in the options.

On a more generic note... I've been using FF3 for months, and for the last 6 or more weeks the API/etc for plugins, themes, etc, have stabilized and I've been very happy with it. VERY few crashes. Biggest complaint is the periodic freezes, which are now apparently from the use of sqlite db's for various things, and it's being looked into and perhaps improved in RC2. I've been very happy with FF3. :)

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Ubuntu user

I've been using Beta 5 since the day Ubuntu 8.04 came out and FF3 is crap. It's slow, it's sucking resources and it's buggy. I will however say that the Flash support is vastly superior. FF3 just shuts down completely whenever (and I mean WHENEVER) I hit any sites featuring flash. FF2 under Gutsy required me to killall the app. The latest Opera build supports Flash just fine but it's slow as old people in a buffet line.

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