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back to article Firefox 4 beta 7 hits 'spectacular list of crashes' roadblock

Mozilla’s bumper beta release schedule for Firefox 4 has slipped, which means the seventh test build iteration probably won’t land until the end of October. In all, the open source browser-maker now plans to push out eight betas of Firefox before it hits release candidate (RC) stage. But Mozilla is now a little behind schedule …

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Stuff Firefox 4 until it's plugins and widgets are compatable.

My employer gave a few members of staff the opportunity to check out the beta versions of Firefox 4.

Unfortunately the number of crashes and the lack of our favourite add-ons has driven all our users to revert to FF3.

Let us know when everything is compatible and then we'll give it a shot.

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Paris Hilton

Oh, you mean ...

You mean when it is actually a released product instead of just being in beta? Hmm, let me take a guess but I would expect that the plugins are not yet compatible because ... IT'S IN BETA!

Blinking flip, some people are just impossible!

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Linux

I didn't have any

crashes with 4.0b7, but the last couple of 4.0b8 nightlies have been crashing all over the shop. I'm using the eighth beta now, which makes your article seem a bit confused. I'm looking forward to the day when its finished, because v4 is a definite advance on v3, although the best thing about Firefox has to be the add-ons - I love them, and so do a lot of other users

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You're not using beta 8

You're using Minefield/Firefox 4.0b8pre. The difference is the "pre," much as it was when you were using Firefox 4.0b7pre.

I still find it ridiculous to call it a beta when it's not even feature-complete. I'd argue that what they're releasing as "betas" are really alpha-stage products with the nightlies and such being pre-alpha, not pre-beta. That said, more people are likely willing to test beta software than they are alpha software, so that's probably why they chose to label it so. Eh, marketing.

I've been testing the nightlies on my home computer in Windows and started experiencing crashes on any page that used much JavaScript somewhere mid-4.0b7pre, and they're still not fixed. Are they finally working on merging JägerMonkey into the trunk now?

They still have several features left to implement. I somehow don't see them arriving before the release candidate. I'll be completely disillusioned if they ship a feature-incomplete "release candidate."

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You do realize

That b7 is slated as "feature freeze", yes?

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Thumb Up

re alpha versus beta

My thoughts exactly - I'm no developer but I thought beta meant "feature complete"? Adding features to a beta is therefore a misnomer?

WasI ever right about that meaning and has the world now moved away from that distinction?

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@JaitcH

Instead of them telling you why not install the Compatibility Reporter and help them test by reporting which ones don't work even when enabled?

I've not had any crashes with b6 but a few addons still don't work even using the compatibility mode.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Compatibility Reporter used and overworked

We use it as we are trying, in our small way, to contribute. But we still have work to complete!

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Anonymous Coward

But you should....

Never use alpha or beta software in a production environment! Hell, in a professional environment, I wouldn't even use a release candidate except for very limited test cases. If you're wanting to test new software, do it when nothing is mission-critical. That's just asking for trouble, really.

Even long after Firefox 3.0 was released, despite being better suited to standards than Firefox 2, I still couldn't use 3.x to upload files to my university's (overpriced) CMS - not due to the browser itself but due to the way the CMS was coded.

I won't rant about how important following standards is, but the truth is that you can't always expect even new stable software to work with existing foundations in the corporate world, let alone pre-production code.

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@AC

Why on earth wouldn't a company that presumably has a web site or web-based internal apps test them against the next version, so that it can be made compatible before the final release?

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Anonymous Coward

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I think you missed a couple of key words in that first paragraph. "Production environment," "test cases," "mission-critical." There's a difference between debugging in the lab and running unstable software in the field.

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It's still a beta...

By default, this means that there are going to be bugs in it. I'd rather see them work out as many as possible - especially the show-stoppers - before declaring it a "final release".

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Hopefully...

...the spectular list of crashes is less than the ones I get frequently on 3.6.10

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If you get frequent crashes on 3.6.10...

Then you have too many bad plugins or extensions installed. I browse everywhere, and haven't had a crash in months. Start in safe mode, then put the blame where it belongs with some selective enabling.

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Bronze badge
Linux

I dream of a day...

In which Mozilla realises that breaking the add-ons is such a bad thing akin as having an incomplete browser.

For some people some add-ons are the reason for using Firefox, no add-ons no need for FF.

So I dream of a day in which Mozilla doesn't need to break add-on compatibility for mostly no gain, other than making interface changes no one asked for.

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Linux

They don't write the addons

You're right, the only reason I run FF is because noscript and adblock don't exist on Opera. But you can't really expect them to tiptoe around the thousands of addons available. Some of those addons might not be the most efficient and catering to them might hold the main program back. (Although I don't know why I'm talking about efficiency and Firefox at the same time...)

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WTF?

out of date info

The latest nightly b8 as of October 12 is much improved.

The headline is a little sensationlist & out of date info pandering to the Micor$oft astroturfers who I see are here in abundance...

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I'm not surprised it crashes..

Didn't it used to be called Netscape Navigator?

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Welcome

Ummm....

... Is it just me or is it just 'the beta has bugs'? that this article is telling me?

Its interesting to know the RC is delayed right enough, and that quite a few Add-on's will not be available. However I suspect that many add-on's get abandoned shortly after there made, so I would only expect popular or active add-on makers to have V4 stuff ready for prime time.

That is fine by me, as I don't want to wade though a huge pile of 'left overs'. I mean I use the flags Add-on, noscript, WOT and spell checker... and that funky Lazzerus form recovery. But I would use FF with out them in the knowledge they will come along in due time.

What I do want is graphics acceleration, HTML5 support and any other new toys that make JS faster. I can't remember them all but there was other features that I am looking forward to as well, the nicer way of organising my damm bookmarks is one of them, and makes FF much better for ppl on touch screens. With that said even if its not there on release, at least I can just wait and do a small revision update to get it l8er, and I look forward to a new generation of plug-ins that expand that type of UI.

And no I will not be using FF4 until I am prompted by FF3 to upgrade. I do understand business are different, however I suspect if you have already configured FF3 to the way you like it, FF3 to 4 is gona be easier than it was going to FF in the first place, all-be it with quite a few months of lag.

Just my 20c.

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Silver badge
Jobs Horns

"The browser will never be available on the iPhone"

And neither will Opera Mobile. That's not Mozilla's doing, it's Apple's.

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FAIL

alpha, beta, gamma, gaga

It's all meaningless, nowadays. It used to be that features were added during alpha, when it's feature complete the FEATURES got tested during beta, and when it no longer crashes it went RC and got tested extra-hard.

Most browsers (or modern internet-enabled software) go RC when they don't crash for an hour - then they use us as testers to debug the rest.

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Bronze badge

kudos

I'd rather they get it right than release something that isn't ready. Unlike certain other companies who are prone to pushing something out that's not ready just because they said they would push something, anything, out to an unsuspecting public.

So kudos to Mozilla for delaying and wanting to get it right rather than pushing ahead with something that's just not quite ready yet.

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Thumb Down

Down, down, down . . .

. . . the drain. Each 4bx release I have used is worse than the previous. AND it has left some of its maladies when I go back to 3.6.x (11). But as of the past couple of days I can now view YouTube video outside of YouTube.

I once swore by FF. Now I swear at it. Any other browser is looking better and better every day.

Please step it up and make FF at least as usable as early 3.6.x releases.

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Memory leaks fixed yet?

3.6.10 or its plug ins eats memory, I have to shutdown Windows every couple of days or the computer slows to a crawl, 1GB Laptop normally put to stand by (hibernate overnight).

This is a hassle as we run two windows one for me and one the wife both with 6-10 tabs each.

I'd like to be sure it is FF & not xp leaking the memory but there is no way of quitting FF with two windows and them both open with all their tabs except with a Windows shutdown or restart.

Yes I do know about saving all tabs and re-opening them, but I prefer not to use that. Doing it with one windows is built in, two plus would be very nice!

Anyone remember when you could run XP and FF on 128MB!

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Linux

Don't think that's FF

I run 3 different Win OS's at work & none have a problem with 3.6.10 - in fact I'm using the 4.0 nightlies most of the time - 3.6.10 is the rock-solid version I go back to if the nightly is dodgy. I'm running FF 3.6.10 (now 11) on XP, Server 2003 & Server 2008 with Zero problems, & I run debian at home - FF release is 100% crashless. Are you up to date with everything?

I'd seriously consider a XP re-install - Windows XP needs one every so often.

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