back to article Near-ready Firefox 3.6 gets second RC sausage

Mozilla has popped out a second Release Candidate of its forthcoming browser Firefox 3.6, a final version of which could land this week. The open source outfit said Firefox 3.6 RC2 had refined how the browser will allow third party software to slot into the browser, in a move to prevent crashes. Mozilla has fixed over 70 bugs …


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  1. bexley

    They better have done something about the high cpu problems

    I reached the end of my patience this morning while writing a blog with a few images in it. My whole OS was dog slow because firefox was using 100% cpu.

    It was not even playing video, just a handful of images.

    I have been a loyal FF user since it was first released but i have had enough now, when i cant use my computer anymore because of firefox's crapness then it is useless to me.

    Mozilla, put the new features on hold and fix the damn thing before releasing anything new.

    1. Shades

      Thats odd...

      ...while typing this FF (3.5.7) is using on average 6% CPU. Loading the page to get here took, for the briefest of seconds, 31% CPU. Playing a HQ video (so that's notoriously CPU hungry Flash video) on YouTube takes up to 60% CPU but doesn't really have a great impact overall on the rest of the system.

      Then again, I am typing this on an NC10. You're not still using the same computer you used for FF's first release are you? ;-)

    2. Trixr Bronze badge

      Are you on a Linux box?

      If so, I'd check your Xorg, if I were you.

  2. Thom Brown

    Firefox sausages?

    "It may look like a bloody mess at the start, but once it starts to take shape it’s obvious that you’re making something delicious"

    Firefox is made out of dead animals? Oh no!

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Burnt fox, presumably.

      Won't someone please think of the vegetarians? They're too sickly and malnourished to defend themselves!

  3. Paul Hates Handles

    Last update until 2011...?

    If that's true and the slowdown/cpu issues aren't fixed I'm going to be abandoning Firefox too. It has become just TOO buggy and unstable :(

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd be ...

    Blaming it on the blog software. There's some CPU-tastic javascript out there.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jump lists for Windows 7 in a incremental upgrade?

    Its in 3.7 Alpha natively you would think that would have had this out for 3.6 if 4 isn't going to be out for "late this year or early 2011"

  6. SilverWave

    Its very nice...

    3.6 is faster and more good ideas to come - nice to see Mozilla stepping up their game.

    Plug-in isolation next in 3.6.1 in a month or so :)

    Then ui process isolation? Oh pretty!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    FF has peaked

    Unfortunately due to its slowness in comparison with the alternatives I reckon many people will switch to Chrome. Foolish to jump into Google's trap any more, but FFers are F'd off.

    Myself I am increasingly running Opera for secure transactions, albeit it struggles with many sites.

    Surprisingly also increasingly using IE8 whilst wearing a condom (sandboxie flavour). Much faster and stable than FF. Just wish there were more add-ons for it.

    Safari is useless.

    I didn't imagine this happening but are we witnessing the slow death of FF because young developers want to get high on new features rather than fixing boring bugs?

    1. Bassey

      FF has peaked

      I'm afraid I have to agree. I can even (just about) put up with the occasional crashes - thanks to it restoring the tabs. Except it doesn't any more. I seem to be seeing the "Oops. This is rather embarrassing" message more and more as it fails to re-launch my tabs after its (increasingly frequent) crashes. Much as I loathe to admit it - I'm actually finding myself using IE8 as much as Firefox.

      1. Teoh Han Hui


        Don't blame it on Firefox before you investigate what's causing the frequent crashes. Flash is the usual suspect.

    2. Roger Heathcote 1

      Well Duh...

      "FFers are F'd off." - Are they? Or is it just the small handful who are bothered to write anyrthing here are the small few who have a problem? I run firefox with a couple of plugins on a single core P4 and it''s fine. It takes a few seconds to start up first time but I'm not going to switch to Chrome just to save that 10 seconds a day!

      "Surprisingly also increasingly using IE8 whilst wearing a condom (sandboxie flavour). Much faster and stable than FF. Just wish there were more add-ons for it."

      Your copy of firefox is slow and unstable. You have lots of add ons for it. IE is faster and more stable. You don't have many add ons for it. Do you see any pattern there? There used to be a lot more "add ons" for Internet Explorer, although microsoft prefered the term "Active X controls", you don't see them much any more coz they were a bad idea badly executed.

      "I didn't imagine this happening but are we witnessing the slow death of FF because young developers want to get high on new features rather than fixing boring bugs?"

      You're talking out your arse now. Did you read the article at all? Over 70 bugs fixed. 3.5 is much faster and more reliable than 3.1, I see no reason to expect 3.6 won't be an improvement too. Those of you with CPU constantly pegged at 100%, get rid of some of your shitty plugins (flash is almost always the culprit here) or buy a decent computer - your experience is not in line with the rest of the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Temper temper - there's a good lad ...

        "Those of you with CPU constantly pegged at 100%, get rid of some of your shitty plugins (flash is almost always the culprit here) or buy a decent computer - your experience is not in line with the rest of the world."

        Actually, normal people on Earth would question the validity of buying a newer PC just to speed up a browser. Dunno what world *you're* on, but I really hope you're not in IT.

        1. Paul S. Gazo

          High and mighty still means you're high.

          I am in IT and I've got two things to say to you:

          One... given today's penchant for everything being a fat-ass web portal instead of lean local code, upgrading to speed up a browser is quite valid. I had to log onto Oracle's customer support site today, which is a Flash-based monstrosity that knocked my work PC onto it's knees, begging for help.

          Two... my home PC is a 5.5-year-old P4 2.8Ghz single-core box and I'm strangely able to tell the difference between Firefox being slow and plug-ins being slow. Actual investigation reveals an interesting truth: FF is just fine. Maybe FF is just slower on the planet you don't share with Near-ready and I.

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Which world?

          A new computer to speed up a browser? It's obvious - he's in sales!

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      IE8? Faster!?

      I have IE8 with, like, NO plugins.

      I have Firefox with my preferred plugins.

      Firefox isn't a rocket ship, but it whips IE8's butt which seems to take FOR-EVER to do the simplest of things.

      I'm sticking with FF for the forseeable future as IE is a steaming pile of pig manure and I really can't be bothered to download, install, set up, and customise another browser. The time *that* takes in comparison to the time I'd save (that I probably wouldn't notice anyway - I open new windows in a new tab that stays 'back' until I call upon it, got nine other El Reg stories pre-loaded as I write this) does not make it worthwhile.

      [on the other hand, if Firefox 4 cocks stuff up and is as damned ugly as Thunderbird 3 is to Thunderbird 2.whatever, I might not bother with that either...]

    4. What can possibly go wrong

      A criminal in the Ukraine owns your computer

      I'm just assuming my XP systems are compromised these days, and even my Ubuntu systems.

      I do my online banking through a live CD. I would have thought that paranoid even a few years ago, but not today.

      I wonder how other el-reg readers are doing their online banking?

    5. mcepl


      Try to compare startup of Firefox in safe mode (i.e., switch off all extensions) is it still slower?

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    FF works fine for me

    Chrome is a faster browser, but I don't hold raw speed as the only factor for using a browser. Things like ad blockers are a reason in themselves to use Firefox. If I have to take a meagre hit on launch times then so be it. I also think the FF 3.5 UI is much more functional than the pared to the bone Chrome interface, although Firefox seems to be going the same way too.

    I do hope Firefox does continue to improve in performance though.

  9. Harry

    If firefox is too slow ...

    Maybe you need noscript. flashblock and an adblocker.

    Properly written web sites (using pure HTML and no unnecessary bloat such as flash) will run better in any browser. If the site needs flash and scripts without good reason -- go find another site, one that has an INTELLIGENT webmaster that doesn't fill the page with adverts and unnecessary nuisanceware.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    "regular “feature updates” that will be bolted onto Firefox 3.6 as part of an ordered 4-6 week security patch cycle."

    Please No! I don't want obscure, unexpected changes. I don't want new features, just make sure the existing features are consistent, and work well.

  11. Llanfair

    Firefox 3.6 on an old machine

    I have been running Firefox Namoroka on my AMD Duron 1GHz with only 384Mb of RAM and have been using it to view stuff on Youtube (specifically database videos). It has been playing them pretty well. It only fails to do the High Quality videos because the CPU and memory is too low.

    I have Adblock+ and NoScript installed. It works well and with relatively few problems. So those who are having problems need to check what junk you have on your machine. Did you download all the addons you could find? I am looking forward to the latest final release. :-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plugins... that's where some of the slowness issues lie...

    If your firefox is a bloated slug of a browser, check three things:

    1. How many plugins are you using?

    2. How long since you did maintenance on your OS? - windows is notorious for slowing down over time

    3. How much Javascript bloat is in the sites you visit?

    I'm bias toward Firefox as I'm a web developer - a few basic plugins make life a whole lot easier, but I have noted plugins which can slow things to a crawl.

    Internet explorer - I use it for dev checking only as Unfortunately, it remains the dominant browser.

    One only needs look at the recent code exploits for ie6 & ie7 to understand what a stupid idea it was to integrate the browser with the underlying operating system. For that reason alone, internet explorer has been banished for every day surfing in my house and office... as has windows, which now only exists in 'virtual mode', once again, for dev checking.


    firefox 3.6

    i know i sound like a broken record but touch would i havent had much issues with internet explorer 8 as for firefox it doesnt seem to matter what updates they do it always seems to feel bloated and and buggy high cpu usage memory problem where the memory hits a certain high figure over 100000 in fact extreme once it hits this certain figure it crashes altogether if you want to know how to check what usage your firefox browser is using press ctrl alt delete together bring up the task manager select processes then put the list in order a t z or select the memory in order lowest usage to the highest then find firefox and see what usage it says ive said it before and il say it again im not touching firefox until firefox 4.0 comes out to see if they have resolved thease issues thease small updates dont seem to be getten fixed lets hope 4.0 is better

  14. John Sanders

    Guys guys....

    FF 3.6 really behaves much better than 3.5.x, on several computers I noticed it starts much faster than IE 6, it uses less memory than 3.5.x and on some of the pages I used to get 100% CPU now is a mere 3%.

    Trust me guys go and test it, it hasn't crash on me yet, I'm quite happy with 3.6, I have been saying for a while that 3.6 is what 3.5 should have been.

  15. Tony Paulazzo

    # 456345211

    Well, I just googled (is that a verb now?), and the top listed, most secure browser was... Chrome! Wow, big surprise, round of applause, google search tells me Google Chrome is the best... second listed was... IE8 (by a MS funded study, natch).

    The closest independent study I could find (early 2009), reported they were all pretty much of a muchness (but admitted that as Noscripts wasn't installed by default on Firefox that was taken out of the equation, but the fact he mentioned it made it more trustworthy IMHO).

    Review (March 09) also touted FF as the most netbook friendly browser, closely followed by IE8 as both do full screen.

    Having done a Task Manager test on both FF and IE8 (deleted Chrome a week after installation, never tried Opera - should do really), I have noticed FF doesn't return memory to the system when closing tabs, but IE8 is sneaky as it opens separate processes even when only opening tabs (and whilst it appears to use slightly less memory that could be to do with the fact that it's so intertwined with the OS).

    I use Firefox (update when it tells me), with 11 addins (inc Noscript and Adblock), and no complaints - and I regularly have it open with MS Word, Excel and Outlook (not always together), running on a system with 3GBs RAM.

  16. Gary Olson

    FF only half of the picture

    Using a browser is a client/server interaction: both the client and the server need to be functioning effectively. How fast does a basic site load. [Google's main page]. If the server is trying to feed scripts from 6 different sites with 6 content types, no browser will function quickly.

    My systems have anywhere from 3 to 16 Firefox addons; none of them operate slowly. I choose quality addons and don't visit craptastic sites.

  17. Matt_W

    My 2 cent...

    At home I use FF 3.5 on a 7+ year old P4 Dell with 512 memory. I've 13 extensions (not sure if that's a high or low number - a mixture: Adblock+, NoScript, Web Dev, Tree Tab, Greasemonkey...). Never experienced any problems at all (using Ubuntu, that may help!)

    In work I'm on XP - a dual core machine with 2 gb - use FF again, same extensions - same sites, give or take, all seems very similar. The extra CPU and memory is probably being used by various development tools that I'd have going.

    Also in work I use IE6 (developing for a certain CRM application that insists on using ActiveX controls limits your choices somewhat...) I have an MS Web Development toolbar installed, that's about it. To be fair I don't really have too much trouble with this either, but I wonder is IE6 less featuretastic that IE7 or 8, so better suited to lesser machines/OSs?

    Anecdotally, I think I restart IE the most - and the odd time I do need to restart FF (only on the XP machine, I don't think I ever have on Ubuntu) it brings all the tabs back in (not sure if that's FF or the Tree Style Tab plugin) as they were, so no real panic.

    So seeing as neither machine is terribly well specced here, but by and large run fine, I think the trick is to keep extensions lean as possible and/or be careful where you point the browser at

    Oh, and I use FF (both XP and Ubuntu) for my internet banking.

  18. mcepl


    It's either flash or Javascript (either in the website/blog editor), but I always tend to blame flash as a source of all evil. And yes, if you are on Linux, one look at top would help.

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