back to article Mozilla girds Firefox with 'hang detector'

The next version of Firefox will include a "hang detector" that automatically terminates plug-ins that quit talking to the outside world. Set to arrive next week - after a bit of a delay – Firefox 3.6.4 is designed to minimize crashes by running Flash, Silverlight, Java, and other plug-ins as processes separate from the core …

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Welcome

Isn't that...

...all rather mystifyingly good.

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Thumb Up

Works too.

That's all.

Tested in Linux 32bit + Firefox + Adblock + Flash plugin + Java plugin.

I don't recall seeing java hang, but flash has plenty of times.

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Bronze badge
Flame

WTF!

Carp, it is not just the damned plugins, it's the damned pages hanging too!

The pages themselves should also be running in separate processes, threads, or pooled threads, and both pages and plugins should have user accessible performance metric reports, just like Chrome; to stop the whole damned browser hanging *, and the metrics would help to identify rogue pages, plugins, and sloppy JavaScript coding in extensions!!!

* This whole damned browser hanging is all to frequent, even on a powerful 12GB i7 Win7 Ultimate 64-bit PC!

FFS, how long before Mozilla see sense and catch up with Google!

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Heart

OT But...

I respect your rig.

That is all.

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Gold badge

I agree that Firefox crashes

And you could say that any crash is one crash too many. But for the crash every one or two weeks that I get, I think I can put up with Mozilla putting their development resources into other things as well as crash reduction. Although that would be nice too.

But the software is free. So it's unreasonable to demand the moon on a stick.

If you think Chrome is so much better, then there's a clear option to just use Chrome. If on the other hand you prefer Firefox but would like it to adopt some features from Chrome, then the criticism works both ways, Chrome should catch up with Firefox. Or to be more reasonable you could simply say that both companies have made different assessments of their development priorities, and you pays your money (or doesn't...) and you takes your choice.

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It's funny, people talk about ...

... Firefox crashing, but I can't remember the last time I saw it happen. I'm not saying it never has, but it must have been at least 6 months ago. I run it in a variety of configurations (Linux and Windows XP) and haven't had stability issues on any of them. I don't go nuts with plugins and add-ons but I do have a few.

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Linux

Re : It's funny, people talk about

Ditto. I don't have any problems with excessive memory usage either.

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hm

firefox is google, it's not chrome of course.

follow the money.

this is a good idea especially for me since I run computers that far exceed firefoxes requirements yet flash is a complete nightmare on almost every front.

im sure it'll result in me not being able to view flash all together but that's pretty much fine with me.

whoever came up with it needs a good beating.

I complained about this numerous times and did get a response from the mozilla guys a bit ago, however it was about 15 responses at the same time and it looks like they resolved it here.

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Flashblock and Adblock

I live in the sticks and can only get 512k BB. My user experience has been improved vastly by use of the above. Web pages load quickly and I don't waste time watching a 5 minute flash presentation that could have been summed up in a short paragraph. I'm not held up by slow advert downloads. And should I choose to run a flash video I can launch it in a separate window so when it crashes FF I can reload to the original window.

Cant wait for AdobeBlock though.

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Acrobatics

This sounds very useful. My problem often is not Flash but Acrobat - PDF files which fail to download correctly and hang up the browser in doing so, as the browser won't respond in any of its windows/tabs until the file is fully loaded. Really annoying.

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Ditto

I went in to the options and forced PDFs to execute in an external app (Foxit, for me).

I'm not a huge fan of running external processes inside, but that's because it's historically unstable.

This update sounds amazing, if it delivers what it promises.

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Stop

Embedded PDF reader in a browser

I've never understood the insistence of a PDF Reader, to include a browser plug-in, why on earth would I want to view a PDF inside my browser window, when I have a much more functional and dedicated reader application installed on the same system! Pointless.

At the very least you should have the option on installation to not install the plug-in.

If your a Firefox user, grab 'PDF Download', if you click on a link to a PDF, it gives you the options of opening in the browser, opening with the registered reader, or downloading the file. :-)

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Unhappy

Common problem

A problem that I see on Firefox all the time is that it seems to hang when it detects an update to one or more modules. At least I assume this is the problem, because killing Firefox and reloading it always results in it immediately displaying a "there are updates avaialble..." dialogue box.

This sounds like a problem in Firefox itself rather than any one module though.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Their whole multhreaded approach is a disaster

Why oh why don't they just go back to running each browser instance in a seperate process? It must takes a lot more code to send a signal to a running instance to kick off a new thread when you manually start a new instance that it does to just let the thing start up in a seperate process.

Why did they switch to multi threaded in the first place so that if one instance crashes it takes down ever other one? Wtf were they thinking??

This "solution" is only a partial step back to a place they should never have left in the first place.

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Linux

Is it only me the only one noticing...

That browsers are becoming as complicated as they can get, and that the habits of the person using the browser can cause dramatic outcomes on the browser stability?

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FAIL

re: Is it only me the only one noticing...

No, what is happening here, is Mozilla marketing machine are giving things stupid acronyms for things other browser makers (like Opera) don't need to.

Opera has had this for years, but did not feel it warrented shouting from the rooftops about it...

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Sod the 'hang detector'

What about a "make sure Firefox" starts detector, I'm fed up seeing " Oops! this is embarassing" message when firefox starts, and it has 'difficulty' restarting a crashed session.

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FAIL

@the man who is not spartacus

"But the software is free. So it's unreasonable to demand the moon on a stick"

Punches to the face are also free. Just because it's free, doesn't mean people need to shut about when it's not right.

Mozilla is a real organisation with real programmers and real software requirements they have to really work on, because that's what many of the people who work on firefox get paid for. I know, it's shocking, people who actually get paid to create open source software. Just because it's free to the end user does not mean you can just muck about and do a halfassed job. Especially if your product is the result of many tens of millions of dollars worth of investment.

Those donations mozilla gets are not "no strings attached" donations.

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Gold badge

I didn't tell people to shut up when it's not right

I suggested that Google and Firefox had made different decisions as to where to deploy their limited programming resources, as well as different design decisions on how their browsers would operate. Chrome is apparently more stable, but has less of the plugin ecosystem that attracts some people to Firefox.

At no point did I say that anyone needed to shut up. Simply that both have their good and bad points.

Most people do not choose to receive punches, install them to their face, and then repeatedly re-use them. So your metaphor is in fact irrelevant.

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It will be

... interesting to see if this does reduce instances of hangs considerably (laying the blame at the feet of the plug-in) or whether it's the core Firefox code itself that tends to fall over.

The weird thing with Firefox is that it's behaviour is inconsistent. I've used it for years on a WinXP box (and now a Win 7 box) with masses of developer type plug-ins and had very, very few problems with it.

My missus has it on her WinXP laptop - and for some reason it just hangs on some sites for no obvious reason. So unless there's some kind of crazy going on whereby all the add-ons on my version of Firefox actually make it MORE stable...

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Grenade

Actually speaking as a know it all...

I have had HUGE fights with people in Mozilla about their crapware sputtering along like a 3 legged donkey in a steeple chase.

This is how it works.

a) It's NOT free.

b) The implied contract is that the Mozilla foundation does deals with Google etc., to give you a product to view their advertising from; that you can also use to look up what you want in the process.

c) They get a heap of others all clambering for space on the gravy train.

d) Their product is shit.

e) They blame the plug in developers and the consumers.,

f) They have forums filled with fucking idiots who say, "Oh have you tried to use Firefox with the plug in's disabled?"....

g) and when I retort with go "Google" and use words like "Firefox is shit" or "Bad" etc., and I ask them to please try and explain away "What do I mean" with 30,000,000 other people who are getting the same problems".

Firefox used to be a really great browser and now it's just a piece of $hit run by moron$.

And they serve up this corporate moron bullshit like "Using third party apps may ruin your life by being a security risk" - well if the plug-ins are designed by arseholes, what in the fuck are you doing hosting them on the site? And why is it that the only way to find out about the plug in's security and trustworthyness, is after you have installed it?

Yeah I really like the fucking bullshit logic of that.

Opera is a crap browser designed and run by neanderthals.

Microsoft is a bullshit trip by and all of it's self.

Google has you under their microscope. (Microscopes - click here for the latest sale of them)

And Firefox is run by arseholes who are more interested in cash grabs from advertising instead of having product quality as their number one priority, and fixing the fucking HUGE bugs in their software, in a methodical and prompt manner.

Ooooooop's Firefox has just hung again.... time for a cup of tea, a wank, a sweeping of all the floors, doing the dishes, while I wait for it to 'unhang"....

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo more memory leaks............. sorrry I'll be back in 2 hours while my hard drive gets thrashed to the shit house as disk cache memory while it services their memory leaks.....

Report a Bug to Mozilla?

Problem? What do you mean there is a problem - there are no memory leaks or hangs in FF, try disabling your plugs in's....

Noooooo your just soooo right, me and 30 million other people are just imagining it.

Fucking retards.

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Grenade

@ Actually Speaking...

lol, feel better now?

Firefox is shit only gives me 2,000,000 hits.

Friday is a lego building... gives me 8,150,000.

If you can draw the wrong conclusion about googling common words, isn't it possible you can draw the wrong conclusion about something far more complex like a modern multi-component PC + OS + Browser + Add-Ons + User + Website Code Flaws ?

It's marvelous that any of this works at all, and it does for the majority of people. When you have a minority with a problem you have to look at what variable the people having problems have in common, that's just plain ole science.

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