back to article Moz tweaks extension crash controls in Firefox

Mozilla has tweaked the crash protection features in Firefox with a new release of the open source browser. Firefox 3.6.6, released on Saturday, increases the amount of time that plugins are allowed to be non-responsive before they are terminated, as explained here. The stability update follows last week's release of Firefox 3.6 …

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Flame

there is difference between not responding and loading

the problem with new feature is, if the plug-in take a long time to *load*, it will wrongly assume that the plug-in is not responding and therefore will kill it.

even with the 45 seconds, I am not sure if this will be enough for people with older PCs, or even for people who browse the web while their PC is doing some heavy work in the background

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Loading, etc.

I agree that there is a difference between not responding and loading but a well designed extension should not block the UI while it's loading something. So if that change forces extension writers to update their code so that long operations are not blocking (and potentially provide progress feedback), it can only be for the better.

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Load?

It could be, or it could be something like Acrobat reader, which appears to block all other actions while the stupid thing checks its up to date, which can take ages, and it appears to have to do every time Firefox loads, or perhaps it just doesnt play well at all in general, also like... Acrobat reader.

TBH, i've had significanly more problems with Acrobat than i ever had with flash, but i spend a large portion of my life having to deal with Electronic datasheets, most of which appear to be only available on the web in PDF these days.

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FAIL

Alternative PDF viewers

There are plenty of alternatives to Acrobat Reader.

Foxit Reader used to be good. Unfortunately the newer versions got more bloaty, and the adverts for their pay products got more annoying. But it still has a loyal following.

I currently use Sumatra PDF, a free and open-source PDF reader for Windows. I can recommend it.

Another advantage of Sumatra PDF (and old versions of Foxit) is that they don't support scripting in PDF files, so they're less likely to have a security vulnerability. They're also less popular, so hackers are less likely to target them.

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What happened to 3.6.5?

Just a tad bit odd, are they taking pages out of Microsoft and Googles playbooks?

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Still hangs

My Firefox still hangs so obviously not the bloody plug in but the software itself.

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DJV

Or it could be your profile

I've updated to 3.6.6 after 3.6.4 and haven't seen a single hang as yet. Sometimes things in the profile get corrupted which can cause the same effects. There are plenty of web sites that explain how to add a new profile to Firefox - google it...

However, before you do that, it seems to me that you haven't actually proved it's not a plug-in as yet. Have you tried disabling ALL your plug-ins to see if that fixes things? If it does then re-enable the plug-ins one by one until the hanging starts happening again. If you can isolate it to just one plug-in then please tell the author (after making sure you really are using the latest version of that plug-in).

Hope that helps.

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Unhappy

Hope this fixes things

I can honestly say I've never had a problem with a plugin crashing Firefox in many years of using it, at least once I learned to disable that godawful Acrobat plugin. Since upgrading to 3.6.4 I've had to kill Firefox from the task manager several times after a page tried to load some embedded Flash and the entire program froze - no switching to another tab, not responding to the close button.

I've since purged my profiles and done a clean install of 3.6.6 and things seem to be behaving so far. However Flash performance seems (even more) sluggish than before, especially noticeable with HD iPlayer content. Chrome on the same system manages it much better, but I'm not ready to jump on that bandwagon yet.

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FAIL

hmmm

Can't they just get it to either guess the speed of the CPU, or count the number of cycles per second and calculate a scalable amount of time to wait before killing a plugin?

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about here, but surely quicker computers need less time and slower computers need more...

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3.6.3 last version that works with flash

3.6.4 onwards causes most flash content to lock up all FF tabs and windows, purging and clean installs seem to work for a few hours, but rebooting reverts to same old lock-up again.

Marc, you are not alone

https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/forum/1/563521#threadId710381

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WTF?

Can't finish in 10 seconds?

26 billion CPU clock cycles on seems generous.

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