Finally, confirmation that Firefox is crashing a lot

After discovering about:crashes and Bugzilla, I’ll be finishing 2010 with some vindication that Firefox is, indeed, a buggy, crash-prone browser.
   At Bugzilla, where Firefox bugs are filed, the “unmark purple” bug that has been giving me so much grief over the last few months, which has crashed Firefox up to 11 times a day for me, is crashing the browser a lot.
   It’s not the only bug, but it is perhaps the most prevalent one for me.
   A gentleman named Gordon Hemsley, who had experienced this bug on an earlier version of Firefox, has uncovered more in the Bugzilla site as I chatted with him about my experiences (my emphases):

In the past week, there have been over 3600 crashes of this sort in 3.6.13 on Windows. In the past month, ~4900.
   It does appear that there is a significant difference between build 2010113000 and build 2010120300, in terms of the number of crashes, though that may be a result of the disparity between number of users of those builds.
   Interestingly, there is a large number of crashes for 3.5.15, and significantly smaller for 3.5.16.

   Other crashes are related to other aspects of the program. However, there you have it. I’m certainly not alone and there is something wrong with Firefox—never mind the company’s claims about how much more stable the latest ones are. My experience doesn’t gel with that claim, nor does that of many other people, if there are 3,600 crashes of this type per week now. I just seem to be ahead of the curve.

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3 thoughts on “Finally, confirmation that Firefox is crashing a lot

  1. In other words, less than 0.001% of users are reporting experiencing this sort of crash each week. Acknowledged, many more will be experiencing the crashes and not reporting them but it’s still an insignificant proportion when you consider how big firefox has actually become.

  2. Cross-platform coding/programming is slightly misleading. In other words, one program cannot possibly perform the same over different operating systems; in this case, Windows stands out.

    I would not be too surprised if Firefox has generally been customized for *nix-based systems. Mac OS uses BSD’s Darwin kernel, and of course, Linux is Linus Torvald’s kernel with GNU libraries. It seems to me that the Gecko engine of Firefox generally makes some compromises with Microsoft’s strange deviations from W3C standards. One benefit, however, is that Firefox handles WYSIWYG editing better than WebKit-based browsers (such as Chrome and Safari).

    But to get brutally to the point, Windows is a Microsoft product, and generally, all Microsoft cares about is their products. The OS itself is remarkably different from Mac and GNU/Linux just in its use of registry entries for programs alone. I noticed early on that many FOSS programs for Windows had very particular modifications, and often were much less integrated to the desktop environment.

    Firefox for Linux at least has the benefit of each of the distribution communities, i.e., eventually each one (Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE, Red Hat/Fedora, etc.) gets around to working out the bugs for their particular distro. Firefox for Mac OS… I don’t know, but I could assume similar things, although it’s still a partly proprietary system. I don’t think Windows shares as much in these inherent benefits. Microsoft in particular seems determined to move away from borrowed code (i.e. UNIX-related) and move even more towards proprietary stuff.

  3. Andrew, I agree with your numbers, but the jump in crashes that Gordon reports is still enough for me to go back to the naysayers who insist on how perfect 3.6 is, and prove them otherwise. More than any group, it’s those people, so blinded by Mozilla propaganda, that need to understand that not all is well the product, even if the crashes are affecting a tiny proportion.
       Jak, I agree, and that’s largely why I don’t think we’ll see standardization in a hurry.

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