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Mozilla Programming The Internet IT Technology

Firefox 3.0 Makes Leap Forward 401

Kurtz'sKompund writes "Mozilla has announced that Firefox 3.0 has passed a major milestone! The Places feature has been added to the alpha client slated for release next week. Places is a complete re-work of the bookmarking and history browser functions. It was at one point slated for Firefox 2.0, but will instead see release in Mozilla's next major version. '"We enabled the Places implementation of bookmarks on the trunk," said the Places team in a post to the Mozilla developer center blog. "Although there is still much to be done, this is an important milestone for us." Firefox 3.0 alpha 5 is scheduled to launch June 1. Because Places uses the open-source SQLite database engine to store and retrieve bookmarks and history entries, it's incompatible with earlier Firefox editions' bookmarks. Alpha users must convert their existing entries, Mozilla developers said."
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Firefox 3.0 Makes Leap Forward

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  • When? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:48AM (#19270849)
    When the hell will the devs address the staggering memory leaks?
  • Thank God! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OwenMarshall ( 779270 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:52AM (#19270939) Journal
    The Mork file format was one of the most braindead database systems ever. Coding to access it is ridiculously difficult.

    Mork is dead... thank the gods.
  • Leap? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:53AM (#19270947) Homepage Journal
    It's hard to leap when you're that big[1]. A few small steps, sure, but to qualify for a leap, I'd say one would have to replace HTTP or TCP/IP. And whether the direction is forward is also open for debate. If the browser takes up several times as much memory as the OS, I personally think it's time to find the axe and use it. Others may disagree -- which is why it's good there's more than one browser.

    [1]: Obligatory "Look at the size of that thing!" quote.

  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:07PM (#19271215) Journal

    All posts resembling the pattern “why don't they fix this problem instead!?” are off the mark, irrelevant, and just plain whiny. Just because some new feature is being added does not mean your pet peeve is going completely ignored. There is more than one person working on this thing, and as remarkable as it may seem, many software development tasks can be done in parallel! Imagine that: doing more than one thing at once on a project!

  • by harry666t ( 1062422 ) <harry666t@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:14PM (#19271315)
    Where are the times when it was a quick and lightweight browser I loved? Today... Konqueror > FF.
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:15PM (#19271343) Journal

    Adding new features is not automatically a bad thing. It does not intrinsically slow down a program or make it cumbersome. Of course, these are two possible side-effects, but are not always certain. With good practices and architecture, new features are a boon, not a bust. Also, think of all the things the computer on your desktop does right now. Would you rather it have the functionality of a machine from a few decades ago because people complained that expanding its usefulness was counter-productive? Let products evolve, let engineers innovate, and let the process for coping with the consequences work.

    I cannot believe some of the mundane topics Slashbots will harp on these days. Get over it and try adding some useful dialogue to the stories instead of bitching about things you do not understand or understand only as a result of experience with one particular vendor in Redmond.

  • by EnsilZah ( 575600 ) <EnsilZah AT Gmail DOT com> on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:21PM (#19271413)
    I felt the same before i tried tabs for a while, "I can't see anything wrong with just opening a new window for each new link i want to open separately".
    I wouldn't judge it before i try it for a while.
  • by Blahbooboo3 ( 874492 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:21PM (#19271415)
    So instead of having a nice simple bookmarks.html file it is all in some places.sqlite file. A few questions/observations.

    1) If this is correct, disappointing that the devs called the bookmarks file places.sqlite instead of bookmarks.sqlite so people know where the bookmarks are if you want to move them. Am I correct?

    2) Is this new file now no longer human readable the way bookmarks.html?

    3) Someone please tell me how this makes my life better as a normal Firefox user? Sure sounds like change for change sake to me...
  • by nsebban ( 513339 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:53PM (#19271925) Homepage
    Firefox users want a browser that displays webpages. A browser that is fast. A browser that doesn't hog the whole computer's resources. A browser that never leak hundreds of megabytes after an hour of usage.

    Adding a whole new bookmarks system is nice, but does the user-base need it ? Or at least does it need it more than it needs a stable and fast browser ? I honnestly don't think so, and I'm sad seeing Firefox going farther and farther from it's initial goals as an Open Source project :(
  • by drew ( 2081 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:07PM (#19272163) Homepage
    Just because you don't see the problem doesn't mean that it doesn't exist for anyone else. I regularly see Firefox go above 250 MB of memory, and nothing short of closing it entirely will get that memory back. And despite what you claim, it's not the cache, because according to the documentation for the "browser.cache.memory.capacity" config key, Firefox is only using 18 MB for its cache. According to what you say, I should never see Firefox go over about 75MB, but it's very rare for it to be using less than that unless I've restarted it within the past hour or two.

    I don't complain about the problem because honestly, I don't mind closing Firefox out every other day or so to free up the memory, but I do complain about people who deny it's a problem because it doesn't happen to them.
  • I use del.icio.us and the Firefox plug-in for it, and all my bookmarks are stored in a database that I can access from any computer.

    That's all well and good, but what do you do on the day that del.icio.us inevitable goes offline, perhaps forever? OK, maybe it won't, but do you really want to trust all your data to a remote service that basically operates at their own whim?

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:19PM (#19273417) Homepage Journal

    It's just as stupid as the argument people make when the government shuts down a piracy ring, and everyone chimes in with "I sure am glad they're going after the real bad guys instead of murderers and rapists."

    Know what the difference is? When they spend money on fighting copyright violations, we spend money in order to support big media (ask yourself the last time the FBI got involved in the violation of the copyrights of an individual without money) whereas when we spend money on fighting violent crime, we spend money in order to make life safer for everyone including the people running big media and thus profiting from it.

    Firefox development doesn't cost me anything. That's the difference.

  • by ricotest ( 807136 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:34PM (#19273677)
    Congratulations, I've never seen the word 'asshole' captured into a single post so succinctly!
  • Re:When? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @02:47PM (#19273915)
    It's quite informative that the Mozilla site displays the results of a micro benchmark to show their competitors in a bad light after their history of memory issues. Its a worthless comparrison and anyone with profiling experience can tell you how easy it is to produce skewed micro benchmarks. At this stage everyone is aware there have been memory issues with Firefox and one silly micro benchmark does nothing to change this.
  • Re:Thank you! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:01PM (#19274129)
    So just never update your copy of Firefox. Or make your own fork and backport security fixes if you want. Though I guess that, too, is too much improvement for you.
    No-one should ever have a good idea, because implementing it might cause some discomfort for you. Do you have any idea how much you sound like a little whiny kid with ecsessive entitlement syndrome?

    As far as the GAIM bit goes, that's just general GNOME shit of removing possibly confusing features (where possibly confusing means possibly capable of confusing your senile grandma whose dementia has gotten to the point she doesn't remember the previous minute most of the time).
  • Re:When? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:07PM (#19274207)

    Its a worthless comparrison and anyone with profiling experience can tell you how easy it is to produce skewed micro benchmarks.
    Then it should be even easier to produce a benchmark showing a "memory issue" with Firefox. Why not create one and we can all see what this thing is once and for all? If no one else is willing to write a benchmark, then we'll just have to settle for the one that exists, won't we?
  • by BagOBones ( 574735 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:25PM (#19274435)
    "know of three or four projects clinging to SQLite despite various problems it causes, some of which are deemed features."

    I would like to hear what projects these are. I have been considering SQLite for a project and would like to know any possible problems.
  • Re:So how long... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:53PM (#19274853)
    Although version numbers do not reflect quality or advancement, I would have answered "yes" in response to your question. Also, Windows 2000 was indeed, 21 times better than 95.
  • Re:So how long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bobo mahoney ( 1098593 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:38PM (#19275481) Homepage
    It is definatley why IE pretty much skipped version 1 and 2 because Netscape was on version 3.
  • Re:When? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by don_bear_wilkinson ( 934537 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:44PM (#19275559)
    No, that remark is just plain stupid. Stupid as in 'being lacking in information, knowledge or the ability to understand facts'.

    But, you probably meant to say "Using a database for bookmarks would require me to learn something trivial about a different (and more functional) way of storing information so that I can continue to play with my toys the (arcane) way I am used to". Or something like that. :)

    Seriously, I hear you. I've sometimes been glad that the Bookmarks were in text files. I could do 'stuff' to them. But, it sounds like there are still going to be ways to get to the information. Maybe slightly more involved than popping open vi or notepad, but very doable. And a small price to pay for functionality, performance, features, etc.

    Try to not be a luddite, eh? :)
  • Re:When? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:50PM (#19275615) Homepage Journal
    My histories tend to not be more than about ten pages or so per tab, and I frequently close out tabs as I finish with them, even if they were only used for one story. What I will do often on a site is Ctrl-click on multiple stories on a page and then read them in sequence, closing out each story as I finish with it. It's my belief that closing that page should result in all memory associated with that tab being freed, but when testing that by watching memory use as I close the tabs, there is little or no change in the overall memory usage, and that strikes me as something that should be addressed.

    There may be a fix (I think I know what you mean with the in-memory caching), but I'm not going to do that because when in forums, I will often jump back several pages, and I don't need or want them reloading just going back or forward. Besides, if I have to look up a method to do it, then it's not something that I'm likely to want to be sending my parents through, and that's an important point, especially since they have much older, slower systems than do I.
  • Re:When? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rainman_bc ( 735332 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @08:58PM (#19278501)

    Regardless of how "light" this is, it really sounds like feature creep to me.

    Regardless of how you feel, sqlite ( or BDB) will be faster than trying to parse text files or xml files for the amount of config settings in Firefox.

    It's a good idea.
  • Re:When? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @12:05PM (#19283159) Homepage Journal
    When did I call it a memory leak? The only time that I mentioned a leak in this thread was when I was referring to another poster's mention of a leak in NoScript (which someone else said had been fixed).

    I referred here to the way that Firefox handles memory, which may include leaks but also may include unnecessarily holding onto memory long after it's practically needed. There's little reason to hold onto the last ten tabs closed per window, plus their entire contents. Even if that's seen as a necessary feature, at that point it's best not to hold onto cached information, and it should simply be a list of links, which even with expanded information shouldn't hold cost more than a megabyte. Disabling holding onto that memory should not require an extension or an about:config change; I should be able to find it in the Options dialog box, which AFAICT does not have any such options.

    I have no problem with a browser holding onto memory in the currently open tabs. That's behavior I expect in all browsers to a certain extent.

Truth is free, but information costs.