Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

28Mar/07Off

The Fox That (Sometimes) Sucks

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Firefox but lately, at least since the last holy shit! you need this update update I've seen an unusually high number of stability problems on three platforms and I've actually been defaulting towards Camino on OS X and Opera everywhere else. It lacks a few features but also seems less buggy and less frequently exhibits behavior that leads me to curse loudly at work in a room full of people. Unfortunately, I have to support browsers as well as rely on them for 85% of the crap that I do which makes me pretty acutely aware of problems with browsers.

Here's what I'm seeing lately:

1. Clipboard badness: I've seen most of this behavior on my Windows XP machine at work. Ironically, this is where most of the work I'm paid to do happens. For some reason, FF will not respect the copy buffer. It just uses whatever version it remembers or nothing at all or, sometimes when the planets are all correctly aligned, actually uses the buffer that every other fucking application on this machine seems to have no problem playing nice with. I paste a lot so this is a total show stopper for me. Enough to make me switch to Opera and stick with it for more than a couple of days at a time.

2. Loitering. Under OS X where I do most of my fun stuff at work, FF likes to slide into catatonia randomly and become completely useless. Does it show up as an unresponsive application in the Force Quit dialog? No, it just sits there and refuses to do anything useful with any clicks. You click on a link and nothing happens. This is HTML here and no pop up fanciness. I end up force quitting because the 'Quit' item in the 'File' menu has no effect either. Woo.

3. Stored gibberish. This is one that I've seen exclusively under Linux and specifically the Debian package of FF and it is beyond irritating. Saved passwords probably aren't the best idea in the world to begin with but when they are summoned up in seemingly random order I get confused. About one third of the time the saved name and (presumably since they're concealed in a password field) password don't have any relationship to the site that I'm actually attempting to login to. I have a number of different default user names that I will use if goneaway is not available. I was a little surprised when one of them popped up when I was attempting to login to the WordPress admin interface and saw one of those logins fill the login name and password spaces. Too bad because no account on WP would use an email address as the login name. Forcing a page reload makes everything all right for the moment but I've seen it happen with other sites.

The bummer about all of this, accepting the bad behavior of course, is that I'm unable to consistently reproduce it. I'm reluctant to file bugs until I can formulate a way to reproduce it but it maddens me nonetheless. The point to this more or less is to see if other folks are seeing similar bugginess with the current version. So, like, are you?

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  1. I feel your pain. Though I pretty much only use my Mac, I’ve gone back and forth between Safari and FF too many times to count. I just switched back to FF….

    Some days are good, some bad. But when for no reason, I get a spinning beach ball from clicking a link I’ve clicked before, my head wants to explode.

    Glad it’s not just me :)


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