back to article Firefox 21 ships with performance-profiling Health Report

The Mozilla Foundation has shipped the latest version of its Firefox web browser with a new Health Report feature that monitors browser behavior and optionally submits usage statistics back to Mozilla to help reduce crashes and other problems. According to a blog post by VP of Firefox engineering Johnathan Nightingale, the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At current release intervals, they will be at FireFox 100 in what, a few years maybe?

    Gotta admit though, it's better tha "gingerbread or some of these other names.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Firefox developer Gilbert Fitzgerald likened it to the sensors inside modern cars, which aggregate data from a vast number of cars in order to deliver better driving experiences."

      Or like in Windows which has done this since Windows 7....

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Version twenty-flipping-one??? I "updated" to version 8 only a few months ago.

  2. Fihart

    Hope not more bloat....

    I wonder if my experience is typical but recent Firefox versions seem slow, at least on on older machines. Opera now takes an age to load, but Google Chrome seems okay.

    1. Kurt 4

      Firefox is my go to browser but this phone home crap pisses me off. FU Firefox

      1. Greg J Preece

        Then turn it off?

        At least they're being up-front about it, unlike some Chocolate-flavoured browsers. You can easily turn it off, and how many apps that phone home have a big option for you to view the data being sent back?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You have a funny definition of "up-front" when they just assume you've implicitly given them permission to do this. Last I recall most apps/services I use nowadays ask for my explicit permission to share anonymized data that helps the products _before_ they do so, Google and Microsoft included.

          1. itzman

            UP FRONT

            well my upgrade asked me before loading whether I wanted to 'share my problems'

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hope not more bloat....

      Did get a little fat and slow, bit like an American gambler in Las Vegas....

      Maybe a diet and some slmiming pills coupled with regular check ups will make it sleek and mean again.

    3. BillG Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Hope not more bloat....

      Yes, Firefox is getting slower and slower. I ran some benchmarks earlier this year and found that each new version of Firefox takes more and more memory and CPU.

      The fastest version of Firefox is 3.2.28. I have it installed on some old underpowered laptops and it runs great.

    4. itzman

      Re: Hope not more bloat....

      clocks in at 250MByte RAM usage.

      however did mosaic and Netscape work on windows 3.1?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sorry but there really should've been a pop-up on upgrade to get explicit permission to submit any data to anybody. Whether it'd be anonymized or not.

    I'm glad I saw this news article but I know for a fact many won't and many will not want to share any data what-so-ever.

    Bad move Mozilla. Bad move. I'm surprised everybody's just "ok" with this.

    1. Rukario

      Re: WTF

      Agreed, just downloaded it from the Canonical repos, and was completely unaware of this "feature" until coming here. Duly switched off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF

        @Rukario I already switched from Canonical's Ubuntu back to Debian because of Canonical's increasing commercialisation of Ubuntu and with it, Unity's search "feature" which is arguably worst than this breach by Mozilla, but still, I can't help but think they're going down the same path soon with Firefox OS and all.

        1. Rukario

          Re: WTF

          @AC 05:44 I've never actually used Canonical's Ubuntu, always been a Kubuntu user just because of my dislike of Gnome (that goes back to the Slackware 3 days). Needless to say in a year's time, if the next LTS of Kubuntu goes the Unity way, I'll be going elsewhere.

          But worse yet, they've changed the icon location! They're now in /usr/lb/firefox/browser/chrome/icons/default for those of us who just have to have Tails in the top left of our browser windows!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: WTF

            How could Kubuntu (clue: K = KDE) switch to a Gnome interface?

    2. Snake

      Re: WTF

      Isn't this a violation of EU privacy laws? To submit data (even anonymized) without express permission of the user?

  4. Tac Eht Xilef


    Will it also send info on what add-ons & about:config settings are used? In particular, the ones used to roll back the more unpopular UI "improvements" & work around the creeping fucknuckle-itis of every version since 3.x?

    If so, I could almost get behind this extended phone home BS...

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. DutchP

      Re: Sharing of *any* data like this should not be default

      Upvoted because you're spot on. One point of debate would be whether or not Canonical actually (still) belongs to the good guys here.

  6. Justin Stringfellow

    I just don't care

    " stats about the browser's operation, such as how long it took to start up, how long it has been running, and how often it crashed."

    None of which would be interesting if it started quickly and didn't crash.

    Upgraded yesterday, yet to spot a difference. Why the major release then...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just don't care

      « " stats about the browser's operation, such as how long it took to start up, how long it has been running, and how often it crashed."

      None of which would be interesting if it started quickly and didn't crash. »

      Well played :)

  7. 2fast748

    I use Firefox and it gets slower to load with every iteration. I could have told them that, they didn't need to write it in to the code.

  8. Hairy Spod

    I know it wasnt the first, but thinking back, I was pretty happy with Netscape 6/7 or whatever number it was where they introduced tabs and smaller navigation buttons (before firefox took over where they left off).

    I've only ever upgraded my browsers to stop nag messages or for better (or hopefully better) security since then

    These days I switch between Chrome, Firefox, and IE on a variety of different machines without fuss. Although I'm sure something very important happens in the back ground of every release, I cant think of any new feature that any web browser has introduced that I use on a daily basis since the days of Netscape.

  9. batfastad


    IIRC Firefox has been transmitting anonymous telemetry info for a few versions now and it does (or did) prompt you when you install/upgrade with a bar across the top of the window.

    People complaining about the invasion of privacy... what alternative browser are you using? Chrome? And what's that, you have a GMail account? And you use Google Search and Google DNS? Right.

    Agree on the bloat though. Sync should be an addon. The new downloads integration is horrible, with the download retention config option not being honoured. Though still the best browser going IMO. Customisation is everything to me and I would probably die without some of the addons I use. I just wish they would stop needlessly tinkering with the UI, which has been ideal since v3/v4.

    Anyone not complaining about Firefox now though... just wait until the Aurora theme becomes the default later this year. Then you'll have something to complain about! Oh and I believe the addon bar will be disappearing so it will be interesting to see what happens to those addons I use that are only accessible through the addon bar and don't expose toolbar buttons.

  10. Tony Green

    Startup time could be misleading

    My Firefox is showing an average startup time of about 15 seconds. But this is because it's auto-started when I log into my Linux desktop, along with lots of other things that are triggered by me logging in, plus system services that are also starting up at the time.

    Starting it manually later, it only takes about a second and a half. So any stats they get from me aren't going to tell them much that's useful.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just wish they would fix the breakage they cause with every new version, instead of adding "new" "features" that nobody gives a shit about.

    Mind you, version 18 or so does give you a download progress bar, which has only been missing for the last ten or twenty versions. Had to downgrade the fucker though after the breakage caused with cookies by their "per-window" porn mode.

  12. Mike Ball
    Thumb Down


    I just want the Flash plug-in to stop crashing. Please. Please. Please.

    1. itzman

      Re: Crashes?

      mmm. Mine hasn't crashed in AGES. But that's not Mozilla's problem., That's Adobe's. And maybe down to a duff graphics driver. Its amazing how many bugs are in graphics drivers...

  13. Jim Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Previous version also used feedback

    I recall this was mentioned on El Reg for the last upgrade (FF20). Easy to disable by looking at the preferences.

  14. Mr Flibble
    Thumb Up

    Iceweasel stays silent

    The changelog in iceweasel 21.0-1 (Debian experimental) contains this:

    * browser/ Disable Firefox Health Report.

    about:support works; it's just the calling-home bit that's disabled. (Crash reporting was disabled in 2008 and remains disabled; rightly so, since Iceweasel problems should be reported via the Debian BTS.)

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