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Firefox 4, A Huge Pile of Bugs 481

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the software-is-hard dept.
surveyork writes "Firefox 4.0 beta 9 (AKA 'a huge pile of awesome') was released on January 14, 2011. Firefox 4's release schedule includes a beta 10 and a release candidate before the final launch in late February. However, one wonders if this schedule won't slip again, since there are still more than 100 'hardblocker' bugs, more than 60 bugs affecting Panorama alone and 10 bugs affecting the just-introduced Tabs-on-Titlebar. Some long-standing bugs won't be fixed in time for Firefox 4 final either (example, example). Many startup bugs are currently pending, although Firefox 4 starts much faster than Firefox 3.6. As a side note, it's unlikely that Firefox 4 final will pass the Acid3 test, despite this being a very popular demand amongst Firefox enthusiasts. Perhaps we'll have to wait until Firefox 4.1 to have this 'huge pile of bugs' (mostly) fixed."
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Firefox 4, A Huge Pile of Bugs

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  • by h00manist (800926) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @09:47AM (#34926592) Journal
    I love open source and firefox, I feel sad when I hear there are problems, but writing tight code is indeed challenging for anyone. The plugin compatibility in particular seem to present a challenge. Still using it and recommending it though. Chrome may be open source too, but big-corporation-sponsored open source frequently becomes something else later on in life. I think open source needs to start pushing a pledges [wikipedia.org] model of funding, the totally-free or ad-sponsored models don't fit for all cases.
  • Re:No shit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @10:38AM (#34927172)
    You act as if it's the first beta. This is the 9th beta release for a project that was supposed to be released in November. For reference, Alpha 1 was released in Feb 2010, almost an entire year ago. So yes, bugs in beta are expected, but eventually you start looking like an 8 year old who can't graduate first grade.
  • by bunratty (545641) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @10:39AM (#34927174)
    SVG fonts are the only thing keeping Firefox 4 from getting a 100% score on Acid3. I'm not sure if Firefox 4 passes the performance aspect, although it's probably close. I think also Firefox 4 shows a favicon in the URL bar even when it's returned with a 404 error, and if so, it doesn't fully pass the rendering aspect. In any case, it's so close to passing Acid3 that web developers and users would hardly notice the difference, aside from web developers not being able to use SVG fonts. But since WOFF fonts seem to be superior to SVG fonts and IE9 also doesn't support SVG fonts, I don't think many web developers would use SVG fonts even if Firefox 4 supported them.
  • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @10:54AM (#34927346)

    You clearly have never worked on a large software product.

    During development of a product, you will see new bug rates go much higher than fixed bug rates. This imbalance will continue until you stop adding new features and focus purely on stabilization and product delivery. Firefox 4.0 beta 9 is still landing features (some of which have been baking for a long time in separate branches) so their bug rates look pretty sane to me. All products ship with known bugs - you just try to trim the list down to things that users are highly unlikely to see.

    For web browsers, crash bugs are the most dangerous. They may represent routes through the code where bad pointers are being consumed and these can potentially lead to remote exploits. All reproducible crash bugs should be fixed as soon as possible.

    Having browsed through the outstanding bug list for Firefox 4.0 and looked at the planned schedule (late February release), it looks reasonable. If some of the new features lead to a burst of new defects, I suspect that date will move out or features will get blacklists (like the WebGL/ Hardware acceleration blacklists for Linux)

  • Re:Why not wait? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ProbablyJoe (1914672) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:41AM (#34927922)

    I definitely agree that Chrome seems faster than Firefox 3.6, as much as I disbelieved it before. So I -tried- to switch to Chrome, and I -tried- to like it, but it's just missing too much for my liking.

    I'm not a fan of the minimalistic UI, but I could get used to that. But the URL/search bar is vastly inferior to Firefox's, and it was putting regularly visited sites under sites I'd visited once and random google searches. I thought maybe it would just take a while to pick up on things but after a week or 2 of usage it doesn't seem to have changed

    Add in the general lack of plugins, particularly things like NoScript that I pretty much consider a requirement these days, both for getting rid of ads/popups, as well as general security. Yes, Chrome has AdBlock plugins but I was still seeing a lot more ads than in Firefox. There were also a number of other minor issues but that was maybe more down to my Linux setup.

    I've tried Firefox 4 beta for a few days now. It does seem faster than 3.6 but it does indeed seem quite buggy. And for some reason they seem intent on copying Chrome's minimalistic UI. Fortunately between options and plugins you can mostly get around that, but I don't see why they felt a need to change it. Removing the status bar and putting mouseover links in the URL bar is absolutely insane and useless.

    It took me a while to realise what I want from a browser, but I know now: Firefox but a bit faster.

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