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My personal blog, started in 2006. No paid or guest posts, no link sales.



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05.03.2011

Hopefully the last Firefox 3 blog post

Since discovering that Firefox 4 Beta 13 is stable, I have spent less time with Firefox 3路6, the buggiest, most oft-crashing program I have ever used in 30 years of computing.
   But I used it today enough times to net myself five crashes, though this is above average. The ‘unmark purple’ bug that plagued me for so long has disappeared, which indicates it was an error with an extension (Flash, maybe?), and the average of four per day has decreased to two to three (on the days I use Firefox 3路6 exclusively).
   However, since the 鈥檘uake, I have still netted a number of errors, and apart from one, there is no pattern to them. Here are the last 13 on this machine (I’ve used it a bit more on my laptop, which doesn’t have 4 Beta):

1 脳 [@ nsTArray::IndexOf >(nsAppShellWindowEnumerator* const&, unsigned int, nsDefaultComparator::RemoveObject(imgCacheEntry*) ]
1 脳 [@ InterlockedCompareExchange ]
1 脳 [@ PR_AtomicDecrement | nsSupportsCStringImpl::Release() ]
1 脳 [@ hang | mozilla::plugins::PPluginScriptableObjectParent::CallHasProperty(mozilla::plugins::PPluginIdentifierParent*, bool*) ]
1 脳 [@ hang | [email protected] ]
1 脳 [@ nsRuleNode::WalkRuleTree(nsStyleStructID, nsStyleContext*, nsRuleData*, nsCSSStruct*) ]
1 脳 [@ WrappedNativeProtoMarker ]
1 脳 [@ F_592283983_____________________________________________ ]
1 脳 [@ nsExpirationTracker::RemoveObject(gfxTextRun*) ]

   I have no idea what any of this means, but to the layman it suggests the gremlins are everywhere in the program. (The defence by Firefox proponents in claiming that post-3路5 versions are the most stable releases falls on deaf ears here: 3路0 and 3路6路10 crashed far less often.)
   I’ll sure be glad when Firefox 4 rolls out, and I have been really impressed by the bug-fighting and beta-testing programmers. They have actually listened to what I have to say and confirmed that most of the bugs I have reported existed. It’s already a darned sight better than Chrome and its nearly-every-session 鈥楢w, snap鈥 pages, of which no screen shot can be taken.
   But based on the above crashes, there is, of course, no mystery on why Chrome’s market share has increased and Firefox’s has decreased. Chrome crashes, but not as often鈥攁nd most won’t care about its typographic problems or the lack of support. Mozilla needs to get 4 out ASAP: the more 3 crashes鈥攁nd judging by the comments in Bugzilla, the rate of crashing remains remarkably high鈥攖he more likely users will hop over to the competition.

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Filed under: business, design, internet, technology, USA—Jack Yan @ 06.18

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