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Firefox 4 Beta 12 Released; Fixes Over 650 Bugs 181

Posted by Roblimo
from the less-memory-leakage-makes-a-big-difference dept.
darthcamaro writes "At last! Firefox 4 Beta 12 is now available. There are over 650 bug fixes in this massive update including a fix for a memory leak that kept Firefox consuming RAM even without opening new tabs. The other big thing that many users have asked for is that FINALLY, when you hover over a link, the URL is displayed in the status bar, instead of the location bar."
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Firefox 4 Beta 12 Released; Fixes Over 650 Bugs

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations to the development team of the most widespread Open Source project out there. Some of the bugs fixed were frustrating to say the least and it's nice to see some forward momentum. Regardless of the plan for the Firefox release schedule this year, we're all better served by release early, release often like this.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They finally fixed that memory leak! I was consistently using over 2gb ram by the time I got around to closing my FF windows.

    • by thsths (31372)

      They fixed one memory leak. I wouldn't be so sure it is the only one, and certainly not the last one. But it is a step in the right direction.

    • by Phoghat (1288088)

      a fix for a memory leak that kept Firefox consuming RAM even without opening new tabs.

      Which is why I switched to Chrome browser (which I haven't been all that satisfied with either because of slow rendering on pages with heavy Java usage)

      So I'll download and try the beta and try Firefox again which had been my fave for more years than I care to count.

  • How can URLs be displayed in a non-existent status bar? Did they resurrect it? I didn't see anything about a "status bar" in the release notes...

    Right now I'm using the "Status-4-evah" add-on to get the status bar back - and that plugin already takes care of displaying the URL in the "status bar".

    • Re:Status bar? (Score:4, Informative)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 25, 2011 @08:29PM (#35319662)

      Replying to myself, since I just installed the update...

      Basically as of Beta 12 they're imitating Chrome. If you hover over a link, a little pop-up displaying the link's URL appears at the bottom of the window.

      • Yeah, that's all fine and dandy. Still, it's nice having status icons for NoScript and ABP in the right-hand side of the status bar. Any word on what happens to those? It far less of a waste of space than it would be to put them near top of the window.

        And I also like having the search box on the same line as the menu so it stretches across the whole window. That way you can read the full suggestions, whereas the suggestions get cutoff if they're on the same line as the address bar.

        This new release is gonna

        • Still, it's nice having status icons for NoScript and ABP in the right-hand side of the status bar. Any word on what happens to those? It far less of a waste of space than it would be to put them near top of the window.

          You can keep the Add-ons Bar down at the bottom, and put them there (that's the toolbar that "Status-4-Evah" used as a faux Status Bar.

          What I've done for the moment with those sorts of buttons (ABP and Tor in my case) is move them up to the right end of the tabs bar.

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      Like Chrome does. It just puts a little textbox showing the URL in the bottom.

      • Re:Status bar? (Score:4, Informative)

        by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 25, 2011 @08:33PM (#35319704)

        Like Chrome does. It just puts a little textbox showing the URL in the bottom.

        It's a much better solution than what they were doing - I'm glad they changed it.

    • by Eros (6631)

      How can URLs be displayed in a non-existent status bar? Did they resurrect it? I didn't see anything about a "status bar" in the release notes...

      Right now I'm using the "Status-4-evah" add-on to get the status bar back - and that plugin already takes care of displaying the URL in the "status bar".

      No, the status bar is still gone. Now it is like Chrome and IE9. You hover over the link and the URL is appears in the bottom left of the window.

      • by yuna49 (905461)

        Enabling the "Add-On Bar" in the View > Toolbars menu restores the traditional status bar it appears. At least I now have the icons for ForecastFox and NoScript at the bottom of the browser window again.

      • by pasamio (737659)

        They readded the status bar as the "add-on bar" in b11 or b10.

    • If you've seen how Chrome does it, Firefox does it the same way now.
    • by eexaa (1252378)

      I wonder why there's FINALLY in caps. I actually liked the feature, and after getting used to it I'd probably say it just seems more reasonable. (addresses just belong to the address bar right?).

      Hope they will have a switch to bring back the old behavior.

  • Haha. I just switched back to 3.x yesterday because of that insane leak. Guess I'm off to check the new shiny thing...
    • by afidel (530433)
      Try Chrome Beta 10 as well, now that adblock and flashblock can actually stop stuff instead of just hiding them it's awesome. Extremely fast, memory use appears to be the same as FF 3.6 for the same number of tabs yet when I close a tab the memory really gets released.
      • It used to be if you were logged in somewhere likeslashdot but you closed the browser, when you went back you were still logged in. Now it seems to be doing hourglass-stuff on close, and it is making me re-login. Is that the far side of fixing the "memory leak"?

  • I tried this on an alpha of Natty Narwhal. Everything happened so freakin' quick. From opening to loading the add-on tab (no longer a pop-up) to loading a page, everything happened so fast I might as well call it instantaneous. I'm really looking forward to using this when I upgrade to the non-alpha of Ubuntu 11.04.
  • The fonts are still blurry under windows 7, fix it Mozilla please!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tools, Options, Advanced, General, and uncheck "Use hardware acceleration when available."

      Now fonts will be rendered using the Windows font rendering system and not whatever horrible piece of shit Firefox 4 uses for hardware acceleration.

      Of course, you'll no longer be able to play those 1337 HTML 5 games, such as ...um..., but I think that's a small price to pay for being able to actually READ TEXT IN A FUCKING WEB BROWSER.

      I mean, kick-ass 1337 SUPER 3D GRAPHICS, or legible text. It's a hard choice.

    • You do realize that slashdot is not the bug tracker for Firefox, right?
    • by Skuto (171945)

      Not only under Windows 7 (Vista here). And yes, it's really weird that they ship the browser with default settings that make webpages look like shit!

  • We're now "at last!"-ing one of several beta releases? Can we at least save that for the final release? Please?

    • This is expected to be the last beta.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      I'll be "at last!"-ing when they hit 4.5. If there's one thing the Mozilla org sucks at, it's .0 releases. Thunderbird is still a clusterfuck. Mozilla 3.6 actually isn't too terrible, but everything up to it was pokey.

      I frankly still don't understand what's so damned hard about building a browser, but I haven't tried to do that since HTML 3 was all the rage, so I'm not exactly in a position to point fingers.

      • by thsths (31372)

        > If there's one thing the Mozilla org sucks at, it's .0 releases.

        That's true. Firefox 1.0 was only good because it was finally there. 2.0 was a mitigated disaster. 3.0 wasn't half bad, to be honest. 4.0 is certainly long awaited, but I am sure it will underwhelm as usual.

    • I've been under the impression that memory leak problems were getting better the last few betas, but FF still does the "burn the whole CPU core" trick, and Beta11 has been crashing a couple of times a day on me. So, yeah, "at last"....

      • I just updated, and ran my usual browser reliability test on it - with my normal 10 or so windows and 100-200 tabs open, go to Fark.com, open the first 50-100 news articles in tabs, wait for it to stabilize, then read them. It burned a bit of CPU briefly, then froze hard - burned 1.5GB of RAM and I couldn't get it to respond to anything at all. Unlike in the past, the CPU was basically idle, but Firefox was frozen much harder than usual.

  • by neo00 (1667377) on Friday February 25, 2011 @08:32PM (#35319696)

    the URL is displayed in the status bar, instead of the location bar."

    The URL is actually displayed at the bottom of the page in a "pseudo-status-bar" overlaying the page contents. And guess what happens if the background of the page at that area is dark or matching the URL font color.!
    Do I see phishing attacks coming soon?

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      its still better than the in-the-address-bar approach, as that wasn't long enough to show the full url. At least with the "status-tooltip" they can fiddle with borders, highlights, shadows and suchlike until they get something that looks smart.

      • by ianezz (31449)

        its still better than the in-the-address-bar approach

        Uhm, but now a malicious page can probably display a fake destination just by using CSS and Javascript (just make up a pop-up at the bottom left corner of the window).

    • by arielCo (995647)
      Make sure the tooltip-thingy is shown on top of ev-verything. Like, the equivalent of z-index:MAXINT . Anyway, most Joe Users I've met don't even look at the status bar when they click, so the issue is already here.
    • by mrmeval (662166)

      They're doing fartistic things with it. I tried 4 for a few minutes, it looks and acts like IE8 but slower. I could not see anyway to reskin or adjust it to act like firefox 3 so I scraped that pablum off my system.

    • Um, the text is inside a box, not floating on its own. Changing the background color of the page won't have any effect.

      It'd be interesting to try to tack something to the left of the floating box. With the right alignment and styling it could be a cause for concern.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyway to get the hovered link's URL to appear in the URL bar instead of the bottom of the screen?
    Like in the previous versions of Firefox Beta 4?
    I'd rather keep such information clustered with related information, like the current URL address.

  • So, if b12 has no set release date aside from "when there are no more hard blockers", why release it with 9 or 10 hard blockers remaining, with the promise of a b13 down the road? The entire point of not having a release date was so you could actually finish the thing. Perhaps I am ignorant in the ways of software releasing, but this release doesn't seem to have much of a purpose.
    • In some ways this is more like the Minefield alpha channel, except they are calling them betas. I'm curious to see what 650 bug fixes solve!

      Now that they are close, they can start to do harder tests having gotten the churn down.

      • I'm curious to see what 650 bug fixes solve!

        Bug 355071 - Flash stops keyboard input in other FF windows (TSM doc problem)
        originally submitted: 2006-10-01

        • by yuhong (1378501)

          From the bug itself:

          Masayuki Nakano (Mozilla Japan) 2011-02-01 22:21:58 PST
          Steven, why is this still open?

          Steven Michaud 2011-02-02 08:59:21 PST
          I probably just forgot to close it ... so I'll do that now.

    • They might have just kept a user.

      Every FF4 beta before this simply didn't work on Mac OS X either with my desktop or my MacBook Pro. Up until about b8, it would suck 100% CPU usage (both cores) and do absolutely nothing in exchange, and I'd have to go to the command line and issue a SIGKILL to get my machine back. With b9-b11, it worked in theory, but all window and UI updates weren't actually "drawn" on the screen, needing a refresh in order to appear. In practical terms, any change to window contents was

      • Now it appears to update/refresh fine as you work, but then suddenly stops at some random point an hour or two into your use session and you're back to I-have-to-drag-Firefox-1mm-to-the-right-or-left-each-time-I-want-an-update territory.

        Would be nice if they could get basic functionality like drawing on the screen down once and for all.

    • <quote>So, if b12 has no set release date aside from "when there are no more hard blockers", why release it with 9 or 10 hard blockers remaining, with the promise of a b13 down the road? The entire point of not having a release date was so you could actually finish the thing.

      Perhaps I am ignorant in the ways of software releasing, but this release doesn't seem to have much of a purpose.</quote>

      You must be new here then. I first heard it said sometime back in cpm days, what, 30 years ago, that
    • by BZ (40346)

      b12 was released when all the hard blockers that needed beta exposure (as in, could result in web compat issues and such) were fixed.

      The remaining hard blockers are ones where the fix is expected to be very safe and extremely unlikely to cause compat or user-facing problems. So it's OK to go directly to RC after fixing them, instead of having yet more beta testing.

  • Firefox has always had the most frustrating UI for their info pages. They'll send you to pages and pages of info, but there's never a standard sidebar to actually download the available versions. The page this article links to has a link to the mobile beta of 4, which is exactly not the platform I'm browsing from. Fail.

    • Yeah, there should be a big button, right on the release announcement page, labeled "Download" for the OS/Architecture of the browser you're currently running. But the download's not that far off. For those to tired or lazy to look, the link to the download page is right under the link for "Release Notes" [mozilla.com]. (This might be a case of deliberate obfuscation, since this is a beta that you don't want to mistake for a supported official release.)

      I kind of like BTW the sci-fi theme of the page background, where yo

    • http://firefox.com/ [firefox.com] , and then look for "Try the new Firefox 4 Beta! Free download" under the big green download link.

      Yeah, it's not the standard software website UI, but I'd not call it "the most frustrating".

      • by echucker (570962)
        Except if you are running AdBlock Plus, and don't trust mozilla.com, there is no big green link. It's a smaller text link underneath the normal download links for the standard releases.
    • It is a beta. If you have trouble finding and downloading it, then maybe you should not use it :-)

      -- posted from FireFox Beta 12
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If you want to know where to download it, perhaps you should give us more information. I personally wanted to run dailies on Ubuntu so I googled "firefox ppa" and the first link was "https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-mozilla-daily/+archive/ppa" which is precisely what I wanted. Add it and install firefox-4.0 and you get a minefield icon. Clicky clicky. But maybe you were using some inferior OS :) Note that the daily is on b13 right now...

  • It still corrupts my desktop background and the Taskbar on my Windows7 laptop.

    I have to change the size of the Taskbar to make my computer not look retarded after using FF.

    • by t0y (700664)

      Update your graphics card drivers or disable hardware acceleration. They could use a bug report with information you get from when you type about:support in the location bar, though. If it's as bad as you say that card/driver combo should be blacklisted

  • Maybe it's just me but at some point in the last year FF3 started leaking tons of memory in long lived windows with a lot of activity. Has this issue been taken care of as well?

    • My guess is that NoScript causes this, I am having huge issus with it (presumably) getting FF to grow to 1.5GB RAM and beyond ...
    • > Maybe it's just me but at some point in the last year FF3 started leaking tons of memory ...

      I've been using FF since 1.0.4. The dam thing has _always_ leaked memory (you can easily trigger this when using multiple tabs containing videos.)

      I leave the browser open for _weeks_ at a time. Once it hits the 1 GB ~ 1.5 GB usage, I kill it, re-open it, and memory is back down to 200 MB ~ 400 MB. IMHO their garbage collector is broken. If I've just closed a tab, the chances of me wanting to re-open it, are high

      • I can't tell you if FF4 will fix your bug or not, but I *can* tell you that GC has been receiving a *lot* of attention from Moz, and there are more improvements planned not long after the ff4 release.

        That said, the GC itself is not broken: the collector does release all unused resources (unlike the one in IE6 which can get fooled by circular references). However, this does not mean that memory is not incorrectly entrained, causing the growth you're seeing.

        I've been using the betas for a few months and haven

  • when you hover over a link, the URL is displayed in the status bar, instead of the location bar

    No, it is displayed at the bottom of the window. There is no status bar anymore.

  • Do any of the bugfixes address the gaping memory leak problem that's been with the program for years now? I often see addons being blamed for leaking memory, but I've used Firefox on a number of different systems with and without addons and it's been a consistent problem throughout.
  • I see a lot of complaining posts, but let's be real here:

    If it wasn't for firefox we'd all be stuck on some crappy upgrade to IE 4. Not only that, it's free, open source, has an awesome plug in structure (I can't live without Adblock).

    Firefox is STILL the best browser out and I use it every day. I would never settle for Chrome or another closed source option.

    STFU already. YAY MOZILLA!

  • I am applauding their efforts, and hope they continue to make this amazing product even more so.

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