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Mozilla Releases Firefox 3 Beta 4 356

Posted by Zonk
from the tuesday-toys dept.
Somecallmechief writes "Firefox 3 Beta 4 is now available for download. This is the twelfth developer milestone focused on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3. Ongoing planning for Firefox 3 can be followed at the Firefox 3 Planning Center, as well as in mozilla.dev.planning and on irc.mozilla.org in #granparadiso."
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Mozilla Releases Firefox 3 Beta 4

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:46AM (#22715234)
    did they fix THE memory leak?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Klaidas (981300)
      I find it interesting how the parent post is modded "-1, Flamebait" at the moment. Sure, there is stuff to read about the leak, and plans to read about fixing that "leak", and he might have been a little too ignorant to read those. But come on, "flamebait"?
      If we could tag comments, this would pretty much be "hurtetdsomeonesfeelings"
      • by bunratty (545641) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:15AM (#22715612)
        You're right. Flamebait is unfair. It's actually funny, seeing as how believing that Firefox somehow has one awful and obvious memory leak that developers can't seem to find is ludicrous.
        • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:41AM (#22716112) Homepage Journal
          No, it is a stupid question that gets asked over and over again, and answered over and over again.

          There is no one major memory leak.

          1 - Most major complex apps have small leaks. It is damn near impossible to plug all of them, but Firefox has been plugging away at these very heavily for some time.
          2 - Many of the "leaks" that people see are caused by poorly-coded extensions. Turn off your extensions and notice the difference.
          3 - Firefox uses a bunch of memory after you've been browsing a while. THIS IS A STANDARD FEATURE, AND NOT A MEMORY LEAK. Firefox doesn't just a cache of files downloaded, it keeps in memory a cache of fully rendered pages. If you don't like this feature, then you can adjust it, or turn it off completely.
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by LMacG (118321)
            Your sense of humor called; it says it's having a wonderful time on holiday and is thinking of just never coming back.
          • by Bombula (670389) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:20AM (#22716898)
            I'm no programmer, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance, but I thought CPU usage mattered more than memory. Obviously useless, wasted memory is no good (presumably this is what 'leaks' are). But what about useful memory usage? I have 2GB of RAM in my system, and I've never seen more than half of it used when I pull up task manager. Firefox could hog 500MB for all I care - I wish it would, if it'd speed things up, perhaps by preloading links on a page for example. Maybe just the act of using RAM slows a machine down, but if so can someone explain why? So long as the CPU isn't maxed out, shouldn't apps being taking advantage of the fact that I've got a big ol' bucket of RAM in my box?
            • by bunratty (545641) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:28AM (#22717056)
              Actually, memory matters more for browsing. You have a bounded amount of memory, and if you use it all up, you're screwed. You always have more time (unless you're running a hard real-time system), so if a process takes all the CPU, other processes will simply run more slowly and you just have to wait longer. If you are in fact running a process that has a hard real-time component, you should set the processor priorities so a low-priority process such as browsing should not affect it.
            • The slowest component in your computer is most likely your hard drive. When you run out of memory (which is both fast and cheap) the computer swaps to pagefile, and that slows your computer down. If you're running out of memory, and relying on swap, then memory is an issue and you want to use less of it (or buy more of it). However, if you're not running out of memory, then yes, CPU usage is more important.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Firehed (942385)
                Well certainly, but you seem to have missed the part about unused memory. The parent poster said that there is tons going unused - he's obviously aware that it's faster than the hard drive, and is curious as to why page files are being used anyways intead. I certainly wonder the same thing - I have over two gigs of physical memory listed as available in my task manager, yet I still have a 1.25GB page file. My MBP at home is a bit better that way because at least when I was running 2GB it would dwindle do
          • by Adriax (746043)
            No extensions, latest version, fresh restart, and I've still seen firefox take 1.2gig ram in less than 5 minutes while browsing deviantart, my connection can't even get 50 meg of data downloaded in that much time, how can it justify 1.2gig of ram for it?
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Enderandrew (866215)
              Again, it isn't the disk space of the files you've downloaded. It caches fully rendered versions of pages in memory. If you wish to change this, check out the following about:config settings.

              browser.cache.memory.capacity
              browser.cache.memory.enable
              browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers
              config.trim_on_minimize
            • by bunratty (545641)
              That shouldn't be happening. Either that's a bug in Firefox, in which case you should give the exact steps to reproduce the problem so it can be fixed. Or it's a problem on your computer, in which case you should follow the advice in the Knowledge Base [mozillazine.org] to fix it.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Enderandrew (866215)
              As a comparison, I've had this Firefox session open for probably two days. I'm using a daily trunk build of the Firefox 3 Beta 4 branch. Firefox is using 90 megs of memory.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrbill1234 (715607)
            Fuck me. An application uses 200MB and we're happy about it too.

            I must be getting old.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by junglee_iitk (651040)

            There is no one major memory leak.

            It amazes me how Firefox fanboys will say this everytime!

            Yesterday I had two pages opened - two! One was Unicode reference page and other was some forum, when suddenly my 512 MB ram was full and by the time I opened a terminal and ran vmstat, already 300 MB of swap was used! I killed firefox and restarted, with "Restore Session" and it happened again. Then I restarted it without restoring and entered the two URLs again, but everything went fine. Thus, I couldn't report it a

  • Same bugs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ccguy (1116865) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:52AM (#22715312) Homepage
    There are at least two major bugs that have been there forever. I don't know if they annoy everyone, or affect everyone or just the people I talk to.

    1) The damn proxy prompt window. For god's sake, if there's already one open window asking for the proxy user/pass, don't open another 20 at the same time. This is quite easy to reproduce: From a firefox that needs proxy to get out, go to any bookmark folder and choose 'Open All in tabs'.

    2) For the life of me I can't figure out why sometimes the vertical scroll bar dissapear. It's not a specific page. Once the scroll bar is gone, it's gone forever, no matter what I load in that tab - if I open another tab it's all fine.

    Yes I've opened bug reports for this. And no, I'm not fixing it myself, I've got my own projects to take care of.

    Go ahead and mod me troll, I just needed to vent :-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ewrong (1053160)
      Don't want to be stating the obvious but is the issue number 2 related to the page not being taller than the screen? i.e. there is nothing to scroll to so the scroll bar is not needed. Not exactly a bug, just a debatably useful feature.

      I'd agree it would probably be better to leave it there greyed out like IE as occasionally I get clients wondering why the page just "shifted" a bit when they navigate to an identical templated page that's short enough to cause this.
      • Re:Same bugs? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ccguy (1116865) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:34AM (#22715988) Homepage

        Don't want to be stating the obvious but is the issue number 2 related to the page not being taller than the screen?
        Well that's a new way I've been called an idiot this week :-) At least you get +1 for originality...

        To answer the question no, that's not the problem. It happens to pages that obviously need the scroll bar, and the thing is, once a tab decides to remove its scroll bar, there is no way to make it come back (visiting another page in the same tab doesn't do it).

        For some time I thought it could relate to a plug-in or a combination of plug-ins but I'm experiencing it now using a vanilla firefox.

        It doesn't happen all the time, maybe once or twice a day.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrNaz (730548)
      The Mozilla team are number one on my list of open source projects that have the canned answers "it's not a bug, it's a feature!" and "don't like it, go fix it yourself".

      I hate that when you click "view source", it reloads the page. I loagged this and was told that storing the page's source was a waste of memory. Forget that no other browser behaves that way. Forget that it's about 10k in the 200mb of ram used. Forget that it can be cached to disk.

      I was also told that viewing the source made me a tiny minor
      • Source (Score:3, Informative)

        by mhamel (314503)
        I kind of agree with them. This is a waste of memory and time for the huge majority of people. We are talking about a project which is already under attack for it's bad memory usage. I understand why they don't want to go that road. It, to the least, show that their can be other points of view and that you do not need to be that aggressive with them.

        A web developer will probably not use "view source" very much anyway. Try firebug [mozilla.org]. That's the way to go if you really want to understand a page. You'll rarely n
        • Re:Source (Score:5, Insightful)

          by brunascle (994197) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:47AM (#22716252)
          I disagree, viewing source is very important, and if it's dynamically created content and it has to reload the page, the source you're viewing may not be the same source that created the page. It's essential for debugging (e.g. HTML typos). and for a POST request, reloading is absolutely unacceptable.
        • by MrNaz (730548)
          I have Firebug and Web Dev toolbar and a whole bunch of others. View source still gets used heaps, as the HTML real time validator uses it. View source is a core part of any web dev work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cerberusss (660701)
        Well, your bug is my feature. I'm glad that they don't keep that whole stuff page in memory. Some pages including styles can get up to half a megabyte. I could call you an idiot as well.
      • by tobiasly (524456)

        I hate that when you click "view source", it reloads the page. I loagged this and was told that storing the page's source was a waste of memory. Forget that no other browser behaves that way. Forget that it's about 10k in the 200mb of ram used. Forget that it can be cached to disk.

        I could have sworn that this used to happen to me but then when I tried to explicitly reproduce it I couldn't. I did a "tail -f" on my apache log and when I viewed source in Firefox it didn't register another hit, not even a 304. Changing the HTTP headers to turn caching on or off had no effect.

        Glad to know I wasn't going crazy in thinking it did this at one point but I can't reproduce it now. Maybe it's some combination of extensions that are causing the behavior? People are often quick to blame Firefo

        • by MrNaz (730548)
          Yes, this is FF default behavior. Try viewing the source of the resulting page after a login form. You'll get the "Reload page and resend POST data?" dialog box.
    • by doti (966971)
      This disappearing scroll never occurred to me, but the proxy prompt surely is annoying. And more yet as it seems to be easy to fix.

      Also, if it already stored the password, why don't it try to reconnect automatically instead?
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:58AM (#22715402) Homepage
    Under OSX it's a giant leap forward compared to Version 2.X. It runs nearly as fast as safari, crashes less and does not consume all ram like the older versions love to do.

    • I have noticed that, however, it still takes forever to load. Mind you, I've got a "Sawtooth" 500MHz PowerMac G4 (running Tiger), and it might not be as bad on a modern machine.
    • by barzok (26681)
      Beta 3 was much faster than Safari on my November-issue MacBook. And memory usage was better on top of that. I was impressed enough for Fx Beta 3 to replace Fx2 as my primary browser at work.
    • by spineboy (22918) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:39AM (#22716068) Journal
      Normally I'm somewhat against feature creep, but I think that the new features added are all very, very good. Most are security concerns, and some just make the dang thing easier, more eficient, and smoother to use (star button to add fav bookmark). The added features seem to not be of the bells and whistles type.

        The attention to reducing memory footprint, mem leaks, and speed are all very well received, and thoughtful. It seems to be a big push of this release to concentrate on that.

      This seems like a very nice release and improvement. - I particulary like the thunderbird anti-phishing tie in.
      • I'm living in Minefield (Firefox 3 nightlies) on Windows at present. The interface feels just like Firefox 2 except better. Lots of nice little touches and lots of work improving the plumbing.
    • Agreed. Firefox 3 on OS X is making quite a strong statement against Safari 3.

      Really the only issues I have left Firefox on the Mac left is no integrated PDF viewer and the fact that I really like Safari's find feature.

      But those are quite minor. Overall, Firefox 3 completely wrecks Safari.
  • Nice and speedy (Score:5, Informative)

    by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:59AM (#22715420)
    Been using this all morning and so far it's been nice and speedy for me. It's been much faster than the previous betas and there's definitely a significant improvement with most google aps (among others, but I use these all the time). Might not be many new features over Beta 3, but the speed increase and reduced memory footprint (it's still quite big, but better than previous versions - around 100Mb usage after about 6 hours of constant browsing) are very welcome. If this trend continues, the final release should be the best since 1.0.
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:01AM (#22715434)
    So where do we go to provide input on the batshit-insanely-ugly toolbar changes they've made, especially on XP/Vista? Those icons are some of the worst I've seen (including IE) and will do quite a bit of harm to Firefox's branding. Right now whenever you see Firefox in screenshots, ads, etc, you recognize it immediately based on the toolbar icons (minor changes from 1.5 to 2.0 aside). This toolbar... you'll wonder what unpaid intern in an ad graphics department cooked it up thinking it looked "kewl"...
    • I'm not a fan of the XP icons, and the jury's still out on the OSX theme, but I love the new Linux theme.

      Mostly because it adopts my GTK+ theme and icons, and mostly blends in with everything else on my system (though IMHO Addons should be under Edit).
    • by Slimcea (832228) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:09AM (#22716662)
      For more discussion on the new UI themes and changes, there's a thread [mozillazine.org] going on at mozillaZine about it.

      The icons will grow on you after a while, and they're still making refinements and changes to the icons and backgrounds. Personally, I think the Back/Forward buttons are pretty decent, it's the rest (Reload/Stop/New tab/window) that looks a little too simple and out of place. Can't say I really agree with using different themes across different Windows versions too, this has to be the first application I know that tries that.
    • by metamatic (202216)
      I filed a bug report about FF3 putting the back menu on the forward button [mozilla.org]. Join in the fun!
  • by Utoxin (26011) <utoxin@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:04AM (#22715468) Homepage Journal
    I've been using the nightly builds for a couple weeks now, and they're flagged as beta 5... I figured beta 4 had been out for a while already.

    For what it's worth: I'm very impressed with what I'm seeing of Firefox 3 so far. It's faster, uses less memory, and I really like the new address bar features, and the bookmarking. (It has tagging built into the bookmarks now.)
    • by Legion303 (97901)
      The newest nightlies are marked "3.0b5pre," which I assume means pre-release. b4 was doing that for awhile, so presumably once it got to "release" stage they dropped the "pre."
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jac89 (979421)
        Once the code freeze was initiated for beta 4 the nightly builds changed to 3.05pre.
    • by Kokuyo (549451)
      Which address bar feature are we talking about? Because if you're talking about this avalanche of text that really doesn't interest me but does a terrific job of getting in the way of actually finding the URL I'm looking for then I'll have to say I, for one, am not impressed.

      Is there a way to turn that off?
  • Anti Virus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:05AM (#22715480) Homepage
    From the release notes:

    Anti-virus integration: Firefox will inform anti-virus software when downloading executables.

    Why is this Firefox's job? Isn't that the point of Anti Virus?
    • by pdragon04 (801577) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:20AM (#22715698)
      It's called "being considerate" and "playing nice with others". I know... novel concepts around these parts.
    • Re:Anti Virus (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cska Sofia (705257) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:24AM (#22715760)
      it's more efficient for firefox to raise some kind of event than for an AV program to pick up this information on its own by polling.
      • Well, right, but is efficiency the goal or is security?

        If you have to rely on another app to inform you that it's doing something, that's pretty easy to circumvent if you don't want the scrutiny, and puts a burden on application developers to worry about informing the security app what it's doing.

        That's like calling a building secure because visitors must voluntarily report to the security office and check in, as opposed to having guards stationed at the doors checking everybody as they pass through.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Cska Sofia (705257)
          with notification, the AV program can scan the file before it is made available to the user. without notification there is a potential delay between creation and discovery in which time the user could have opened the file.
          • Which is to say that notification provides better security, BUT if you're RELYING on notification, then you've potentially still got a problem.

            I would think that the better way to do it would be to scan the file when it is being written; failing that, before the first read event. The I/O subsystem ought to be passing these events to the security application; it shouldn't be up to each and every application running on the system to voluntarily participate in notifications.
      • by xant (99438) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:40PM (#22718336) Homepage
        This is good, but can't we put the responsibility on the system where it *really* belongs? Viruses, not Firefox, should inform the AV system when malicious code is about to executed.
  • First question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mistersooreams (811324) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:05AM (#22715502) Homepage
    When will there be a properly-supported 64 bit version? Assuming 64 bit is the future, delaying it will only increase the difficulty of adding 64-bit compatability later. I know there are third-party builds but they're not updated regularly and their reliability is questionable.
    • Compile it yourself. It is easy to do. And because it's open-source, it's ~possible~ to do.
    • Re:First question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thelasko (1196535) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:55AM (#22717622) Journal
      To settle the Firefox 64-bit question. I use Ubuntu 64-bit and am a contributer to the 64-bit forums. Firefox can be compiled for 64-bit. However, Flash and Java are only available in 32-bit. Adobe in particular is very stubborn about releasing versions of it's software for architectures other than x86. 64-bit Firefox will work with fine even with 32-bit Flash and Java using a plugin that was released with Ubuntu 7.10.

      So, in summary don't blame Mozilla for Adobe's stubbornness. You can sign the petition to Adobe here, [petitiononline.com] although it is unlikely to make a difference. The problem appears to be across Adobe's entire product line and on every operating system.
    • by fmangeant (952571) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:58AM (#22717664)
      I totally agree : on my 32 bit PC, Firefox uses only 2 Gb RAM !

      With a 64 bit version of Firefox, it could use a lot more.

  • by pulse2600 (625694) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:07AM (#22715524)
    What's the story on the wmode flash transparency issue? Last I heard Adobe was waiting for Mozilla to put some sort of code into the Linux version of their browser in order for the wmode fix in Adoobe Flash to work properly. Or maybe it's the other way around now? Anybody have a clue? How can I show somebody Linux/Firefox as an alternative to Windows/IE when this problem drastically affects the functionality of many websites out there?
  • by InDi0 (691823)
    ...with resizing fonts and logo pictures, which happened automatically the second time I gave the gmail window focus. Now the correct zoom level is retained.
  • New Address Bar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:17AM (#22715652)
    Ok, I can live with the speed increases, the nice new native look and feel, the decreased memory usage - but someone please tell me how to turn off that damn funky new address bar - its driving me mad (and slowing down new tab creation)!

    Some docs say to tweak the 'browser.urlbar.richResults' setting, which I have done and it has had zero effect (FF3 Beta 3). Any ideas?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rhabarber (1020311)
      Try the magic oldbar extension.
  • Is it faster and smaller? Does it run better and not crash? Is it a RAM whoring slut? Is it going to break all of my extensions to protect me from myself?

    I work in security and I'm actually a little sick of everyone trying to incorporate more security features into every product under the sun. Hey, maybe a little bit of education and awareness is worth 10 million lines of antiphishing code.
  • by mike_diack (254876) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:17AM (#22716840)
    I was very impressed with FF 3 beta 3, but beta 4 seems much much faster even than beta 3. Firefox 3 looks like it'll be really great.

    The only downside is as usual, a lot of extension authors need to bump their version checks again - a lot of my extensions that were working with FF 3 beta 3 don't work with beta 4 (due to the version check)

    Mike
  • by CritterNYC (190163) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:57AM (#22717650) Homepage
    You can try out 3 Beta 4 without disrupting your Firefox 2 install on Windows by using Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 3 Beta 4 [portableapps.com]. It's designed for portable devices (USB flash drives, iPods, portable hard drives), but you can also just run it from your desktop.
  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @01:06PM (#22718760) Homepage Journal
    I'm also running FF3 beta 4, and I can say: IT IS FAST. It is probably the fastest browser I have used, ever. I don't necessarily like all the changes, and agree the new icons are a little homely, but the speed is undeniable, and those other quibbles are largely cosmetic.

    For those of you on Windows who don't want to hose your registry with multiple Firefox installs, I highly recommend the portable version. In fact, for 20 different reasons I recommend the portable version of not only Firefox, but all your Windows apps:

    http://portableapps.com/news/2008-03-11_-_firefox_portable_3_beta_4 [portableapps.com]

    It's not a real package management system, but it beats the hell out of installing and reinstalling tons of crap in Windows. I think in many ways it also beats most Linux package managers I've dealt with.

    I also want to submit a complaint about a lack of x64 apps in general. There is still no Skype for 64 bit Linux, for example, and that's just plain bad form.

    Keep rocking Mozilla! Keep rocking FOSS! Keep rocking portableapps.com!

    rhY

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