back to article Firefox 3.1 release date hampered by cheeky monkey

Mozilla is struggling to get the third, and probably final, beta of Firefox 3.1 out the door, which means its first quarter release target is looking increasingly doubtful. "At this time, we don't have a good estimate for when we'll be done," said Mozilla. “Many of the bugs are proving to be tricky and complicated to fully …


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  1. Aram
    Thumb Up

    English language extension

    > possiblymaybe

    Nice one, but it wouldn't floatbob with my managerboss.

  2. Ritesh Tendulkar


    Javascript engine throwing monkey wrench in the works?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Even with the bugs it's better than IE

    I'm posting this from Frefox 3.1 Beta 2 which I'm very happy with.

    The only really annoying bug is the occasional 100% cpu usage when running some flash adverts (usually on Yahoo mail). But that has simply prompted me to disable flash when I don't need it, making my whole browsing experience that much nicer.


  4. Geoff Johnson
    Thumb Down

    My beta version seems fine

    Unless I try to copy and paste, then it's a pile of ****!

    I'm on the 3.0.6 beta that installed this morning. I'll wait until Monday for a new beta or leave the beta programme if there isn't one.

    **** Insert favourite derogatory term here, just don't try to cut and paste one in.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    just as long as it doesn't keep crashing

    I'll be happy if it simply stops crashing. Unlike 2.x which was rock steady and never crashed, FF 3.0x crashes about once a day. There's no warning, it just "goes away" in the middle of doing something - no X errors, no mozilla bug agent popups, just *bang* its gone.

    And whose bright idea was it to swap the config files from plaintext to a database? Argh!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1 hour and a bit and (at time of writing this), no comments.

    If this was about ms missing a deadline there would be post everywhere about how bad they are!

  7. Gerry


    First comment was posted 10 minutes after original article, was that good enough for you?

    However, why do you care? Do you think Microsoft care? Just curious.

  8. Llanfair

    Using Firefox branch nightlies here

    It has been pretty good, I guess the main problem will be some usability problems with Hotmail and a few things here and there. This is one of the few reasons why it is being delayed.

    I have not had any crashes yet since November. It is fairly stable otherwise.

  9. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    I just hope...

    I just hope this Javascript engine's bug fixes don't slow it back down. Years ago, there were a few cases where Mozilla would get for instance a new rendering engine. Oh, it's 500% faster, it just has a few bugs and odd cases it doesn't handle right. Each bug fix (or edge case handled) slowed the rendering engine a little bit, once they got the bugs squashed it was like 10% faster than the old engine.

  10. E

    @Anonymous Coward

    Moi aussi. FF3 likes to just vanish. And I can't edit the config with vi. 2.0 gets a lot more use on my boxes than 3.x.

  11. Dave Turner

    So what?

    I don't care if it's going to be out in February or May, I'm still not using IE no matter what version it comes out with.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better to make regular users happy this time...

    Firefox 3.0 irritated quite a lot of folks:

    [You cannot go back after updating to 3.0 because it converts history files and deletes the old ones -- kind of a lock-in approach like MS would use. All for the sake of getting a bigger market share with new users who don't care either (looks suspiciously like the current economic situation and associated conduct -- or is it just the disconnected Firefox marketing department?).]

  13. Si

    It is pretty buggy

    FF3 was a lot more stable for me than FF3.1 currently is at the same stage in development, so it's no surprise they're going to be late launching. My favourite bug has to be the "yellowed jpgs bug", which for some reason causes random images to have a heavy yellow tint to them!

    It also crashes quite a lot and I couldn't be bothered to disable all my add-ons in case it was one of them, so I've gone back to FF3 for now, but I'll give the next release a try if it's more stable.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "Microsoft’s upcoming release of Internet Explorer 8"

    I doubt many, if any, people informed enough to use FF are stupid enough to use IE8 simply because it is newer (or even for porn mode)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anon 13:46

    Install noscript and adblock plus. They make the internet at the very least 200% better.

  16. Orclev

    Seems fine to me

    I've been running the beta (currently 3.1b3pre) and haven't had any problems with it. Of course it might be because I also run Adblock plus and noscript so all the wonky JS and flash the ad companies put out to annoy the crap out of anyone with a brain (who aren't their target demographic anyway) aren't mucking up the javascript engine like they are for everyone else. Depending on how google does with implementing a extension system I might convert to chrome, but till I get the equivalent of adblock plus and noscript in chrome I'm going to have to forgo that option.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    My hope is that Mozilla will

    do the right thing and put the release out when it's ready.

    Other software corps should do that too. People might complain about a release not coming out when expected but wouldn't it be a lot better if the software, actually, worked as expected.

    Or do people not expect software to, actually, work?

    I still expect software to work; but, even though I'm old, I'm kind of naive.

  18. OmniCitadel

    wonder when....

    firefox is going to make all user set able variables are going to be resettable from the gui.

    until then turning down jobs where firefox is the standard unless i can convert to IE.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Disabling the not so awesome bar...

    Have they included a proper option to restore the location bar to FF2 functionality this time? Not interested in so-called extensions and about:config switches that don't do much.

  20. Rick Stockton

    various replies.... (LONG)

    Si, I was having big problems with FF3.0 well after 3.0b5 -- but most were related to sqlite database management on Linux, and updates to the Google-provided malware database. I'm really liking 3.1b3pre in it's current state. The following add-ons are *mostly* OK, although TabMixPLus (which I can't live without) is currently causing enormous slowdowns, once every 30 minutes or so, for about 10 seconds, within some of it's own javascript. It's not a TraceMonkey problem, it happens even when I disable the JIT. It's more likely falling into some new, CPU-intensive security checking code. OneMan is looking into it, and might have something soon. The others are all functional. Remember, this is LINUX:

    [b]Generated:[/b] Fri Jan 30 2009 12:10:20 GMT-0800 (PST)

    [b]User Agent:[/b] Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.1b3pre) Gecko/20090128 Shiretoko/3.1b3pre

    [b]Build ID:[/b] 20090128213741

    [b]Enabled Extensions:[/b] [52]

    - [url=]about:safebrowsing[/url] 1.0

    - [url=]Adblock Plus[/url] 1.0.1

    - [url=]Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper[/url] 1.0.5

    - [url=]AutoFormer[/url]

    - [url=]Classic Compact Options[/url] 1.1.3

    - [url=]CLEO[/url] 4.0

    - [url=]ColorfulTabs[/url] 3.4

    - [url=]Connect to address[/url] 1.1.9

    - [url=]Console²[/url] 0.3.10

    - [url=]Custom Download Manager[/url] 1.6c

    - [url=]Download Statusbar[/url]

    - [url=]ErrorZilla Plus[/url] 0.4.4

    - [url=]Extension Developer[/url]

    - [url=]FEBE[/url] 6.1beta

    - [url=]Find In Tabs[/url] 0.4

    - [url=]Firefox Showcase[/url] 0.9.5

    - [url=]FireGestures[/url] 1.1.6

    - [url=]Flashblock[/url]

    - [url=]Forecastfox[/url]

    - [url=]Form Saver[/url] 0.9.0

    - [url=]Greasemonkey[/url] 0.8.20080609.0

    - [url=]Html Validator[/url]

    - [url=]Java Quick Starter[/url] 1.0

    - [url=]JavaScript Debugger[/url]

    - [url=]JSView[/url] 2.0.5

    - [url=]Linkification[/url] 1.3.5

    - [url=]MR Tech Toolkit[/url]

    - [url=]New Tab Button[/url] 1.0.8

    - [url=]Nightly Tester Tools[/url] 2.0.2

    - [url=]NoScript[/url]

    - [url=]Nuke Anything Enhanced[/url] 0.68.2

    - [url=]Open Addons[/url] 1.1.3

    - [url=]Page Zoom Buttons[/url] 1.1.1

    - [url=]PatchForLibrary[/url] 5.2pre

    - [url=]Platypus[/url] 0.81

    - [url=]QuickJava[/url]

    - [url=]Remove It Permanently[/url]

    - [url=]Right-Click-Link[/url] 1.1.3

    - [url=]RSS Validator[/url] 3.0.0

    - [url=]Screen grab![/url] 0.95

    - [url=]Source Viewer Tab[/url] 0.3.2008120201

    - [url=]Stop-or-Reload Button[/url] 0.2.2

    - [url=]Tab Mix Plus[/url]

    - [url=]Text Complete[/url]

    - [url=]Tinderstatus[/url] 0.3

    - [url=]Toolbar Buttons[/url]

    - [url=]Total Validator[/url] 5.4.0

    - [url=]User Agent Switcher[/url] 0.6.11

    - [url=]View Dependencies[/url]

    - [url=]View Frames[/url] 1.0

    - [url=]Web Developer[/url] 1.1.6

    - [url=]YesScript[/url] 1.4

    [b]Installed Themes:[/b] [2]

    - [url=]Abaca classic[/url] 1.2.1

    - [b][url=]Classic Compact[/url] 3.0.9[/b]

    - [url=]Default[/url]

    [b]Installed Plugins:[/b] (9)

    - Adobe Reader 8.0

    - Default Plugin

    - DivX® Web Player

    - Java(TM) Plug-in 1.6.0_10-b33

    - QuickTime Plug-in 7.2.0

    - Shockwave Flash

    - Totem Web Browser Plugin 2.24.1

    - VLC Multimedia Plugin (compatible Totem 2.24.1)

    - Windows Media Player Plug-in 10 (compatible; Totem)

    Lianfair's right on the money about hotmail-- one fix has been done, but there still seems to be a problem with compose. I don't know, because I have absolutely, totally no interest in using hotmail. ever.

    A couple of comments talk about "can't edit the config file", or "my config is hidden in a database": prefs.js is pretty much unchanged, you CAN edit it with vi, but if you edit it while FF is running then all your changes will be overwritten when Firefox exits. Use Help-->About-->about:config to make changes while Firefox is running. "content-prefs.sqlite" contains only preferences dealing with specific web pages (such as "zoom level"). If you've got a specific configuration item in mind, please post back-- I'll try and tell you how to get at it.

    Now, for anyone who is thinking about trying out FF3.1 -- the first thing you do is zip up your *ENTIRE* FF3.0 profile tree, so that you can go back in case something breaks. The second thing you do is backup your bookmarks to a JSON-type backup file.

    If you run into a problem page, try this: Go into your "About:Config" as above. in the "filter" line, type "jit". this will leave only two prefs showing: = false

    javascript.options.jit.content = true

    right-click on the "content" pref, and Toggle it to "false". You have just turned off Tracemonkey Just-In-Time, and your page might reload correctly. (Don't switch the chrome to "true", unless you really WANT to hunt for bugs inside extension code, and inside Firefox itself.... let the Firefox Devs squash the bugs which happen while viewing external pages first.) If the page then works, you have found a TM bug instance-- post your page over on and one of us "volunteer tester" people probably take a look and see if it's a match for one of the already-known bugs, or (gasp!) a new one.

    Two last things: That very exotic, wide-ranging "patch to library" Extension is wonderful, provides fixes for a variety of "Places" nastiness which came about with FF3.1. But it's a "test" extension, you'll need to create an ID on in order to get it.

    Finally, stretching out the comment by AC @17:28: Be sure to also "pile on" the Adblock plus "element hiding helper", a great GUI for selecting and creating Adblocks right on the screen (the element you've defined blinks within a bright red rectangle.

    I have another "absolutely indispensable" nomination for you all: FireGestures. Gotta have it!

    If you want to try my entire stack of extensions, you can get them all in about 4 steps-- then delete the ones you DON'T want afterwards. But be absolutely sure, after you install my "Firefox 3+ "Powerpack", to search for updated versions immediately after the restart which activates them. And then restart again. Here, at the top of the page:

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Yet when Windows is late, the fanboys foam about it

    I thought FireBadger 3.1 was supposed to be out last autumn? Is this going to be The Corporation's equivalent of Vista - very late, offering little that's new or original and bloated & buggy?

    You can sense a tipping point comming when, to the dismay of the fanboys, the ordinary people who've made FirePheasant a success for the now-wealthy CEO and other executives of The Corporation get fed up with it being so slow and using all their RAM and go back to IE.

    I can't help but remember how Netscape was widely regarded as the superior browser when it was up against IE, but MS were wise enough to know that winning the game isn't about who can produce the fastest and safest browser. Hell, if it wasn't for the hugely expensive capitalist New York marketing agency it'd still have the market share of the Mozilla Suite.

    Do you remember when it was about a foundation bettering humanity and not about a corporation making tens of millions and paying its executives hundreds of thousands plus options? What ever happened to all that hippy shit?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    No kidding getting TraceMonkey to work is hard...

    JavaScript is the biggest piece of shit language that ever escaped from the university lab! Trying to compile it is going against the entire design of the language. That being said, we all have to use the fucking language, so at least this is a step in the right direction.

    A better step would be ECMA Script 2.0. And by that I mean the *real* 2.0 that would have fixed this crap, not the bastardized 2.0 that looks like what we will eventually have to deal with. Untyped language proponents: GO TO HELL!

  23. Anonymous Coward


    Great advertising for IE. As most of the users I support can't work out how to bookmark, this'll really freak them out when I suggest an upgrade to FF ;-)

  24. Greg


    At least they're fixing the bugs before release. MS would simply shove the browser out, call anything quirky a feature, and patch it all with IE8 SP1 in the autumn.

  25. Skyraker


    Stockton you cock.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Firefox == losing the plot

    They need to sort the stinking pile that Firefox has become out and pretty pronto. How on earth has Firefox managed to be excellent in version 2 to a complete albatross in version 3? Are they so STUPID to make Firefox so bloated with all the absolutely useless crap like built in virus scanning? The reason they are where they are now is because of a lean and fast browser. The uTorrent download manager is something like 300k. Azereus used to rock and now look at it - some stinking albatross called Vuze. Firefox you are rubbish sort it out.

  27. P. Lee

    re: settings in a database

    Unless it is network-accessible (to allow the same config across different hosts) this seems like a bad idea - little advantage for the cost of leaving text-file simplicity.

  28. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Thumb Up

    > You cannot go back after updating to 3.0

    You can use a different account. A lot of work I admit for the sake of using a browser when other options include very good alternatives such as Opera and K-Melleon.

    However I have been so annoyed at the recent versions of Firefox leaving the imprint of drop down menu boxes on my screen long after I opened aothe graphic or browser. The only way to cure it is to close Firefox.

    So thanks for the heads up Reginel, I have just had to open a different user account but I already had Firefox on it. I'll check the version and put a stop on any updates it might impose. Despite its faults I still love it for the spell-check alone.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3.0.5 is working fine

    The current 3.0.5 is working nice and stable and has everything I need. The Mozilla devs should just take their time to polish 3.1, there's no need to rush as I can just keep using the previous version.

    (Does that sound too sane for a Reg comment?)

  30. Neil Stansbury

    @Brent Gardner

    JavaScript is a phenomenal language, and I personally use wherever I get the opportunity - your comments just show you obviously have neither the talent nor intelligence to understand it's power.

    I suggest you stick with Java dude - it's was designed for for people just like you.

  31. Mark

    @Rick Stockton

    LOL, or you could just install Opera, and have half that (the useful half) available, out the box, without the security, reliability and performance concerns of FF Extensions...

    old(ish) V9, Opera is now on 9.6 and 10 in beta...

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Beta Testers ?

    For all the negative comments.... this is a beta. That's the nature of the beast. Unless you want to actively participate with reporting bugs/testing you should only be using released software not beta. I also assume that you have logged your gripes with mozilla as that's what you are supposed to do with a beta release.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox 3...

    is so superior to Firefox 2, I am amazed to read that people think it's a regression. I love the stuff being in sqlite, and it renders so much faster. In addition, the memory footprint is much smaller.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Firefox 3...

    Yes, FF 3.0 has some nice features like zooming pictures and SVG. You don't notice the problems immediately, especially not if you do a fresh install or migrate from a different browser. Updating from 2.0 to 3.0 took some 10 minutes to convert the databases. If you then keep a history of, say, 90 days and you visit a lot of different pages, it slows down considerably. It takes quite a long time to start up and to find the URLs you typed (compared to 2.0) and to log in and out of mail services (I guess it's mostly related to inappropriate [like brute force instead of hashing, etc.] algorithms written in JavaScript on FF 3.0).

  35. A J Stiles

    @ Brent Gardner

    The lack of typing in JavaScript is not the problem. The problem is the use of one operator to mean two very different things, viz. the "+" sign for numeric addition and string concatenation.

    This was fine in BASIC, because BASIC distinguishes numeric variables from string variables -- any attempt to add a string and a number without making proper use of STR$ and VAL invariably results in a type mismatch error.

    PHP takes the opposite approach: numbers and strings are the same type, and distinct operators are used for distinct operations. The + sign *only* means addition: it converts whatever it sees to a number first, then adds. String concatenation uses a different operator: the dot. This is also the fraction delimiter, of course; but you're sufficiently unlikely ever to want to concatenate numeric constants that having to type an extra space either side of the dot is a small price to pay.

    JavaScript goes and ballses it all up by using "+" both to add numbers and concatenate strings, despite these not actually being considered distinct types; so unless you're very careful, you can start finding out that 1 + 1 == 11.

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