Firefox 4

This is a discussion on Firefox 4 within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Mario F. My two only beefs with FF are this: - Plugin engine rules are too strict. ...

  1. #16
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    My two only beefs with FF are this:

    - Plugin engine rules are too strict. Major upgrades (and many minor ones) tend to deprecate existing, and usually perfectly valid, plugins. The solution, in case there isn't a plugin available just yet, is to download the latest version of the plugin, open the xpi file in winrar and edit the maxVersion entry inside the install.rdf file to accommodate for the new FF version.
    While certainly an option, it's not always a good one.
    They are disabled for a reason: upgrades break things. It would be horrible if they had to do like Microsoft and keep backwards compatibility for 1000 years.
    I usually don't do that because extensions break. And they're called extensions, not plugins. Plugins are entirely different. Flash is a plugin.

    Memory leaks? Resource hogging? I can sympathize if we are talking about a low resource computer. Otherwise don't put them in the same sentence as skins and plugins. If you are so resource conscious, don't use them. Not only they use your oh-so-precious memory, but most memory leaks in FF can be traced right to them.
    Memory is usually not a problem, but the lagging and cpu hogging is a problem.
    At most, FF has used around 600 MB before I restarted it. If that was the only problem, I could leave it running until it used 2 GB, unless I was hurting for memory (it's amazing how easy it is to get to 4 GB commit).
    And, believe it or not, I have tried disabling all extensions and plugins and the issue still persists. Leaks. CPU hogging.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.
    For information on how to enable C++11 on your compiler, look here.
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  2. #17
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    And, believe it or not, I have tried disabling all extensions and plugins and the issue still persists. Leaks. CPU hogging.
    I dunno... like the others above, I assumed you were talking about memory, as well, since I've never really had any problems with Firefox hogging the CPU. In fact, I find it hard to believe that a browser really could hog the CPU considering what it's doing. If I didn't feel that you knew better, I'd probably suggest that your beef was actually with the plugins and extensions rather than the browser itself. Though I also wouldn't feel inclined to blame the browser if many of the sites you visit choose to use an extreme amount of AJAX and other things that might cause your browser to keep working too hard.
    Sent from my iPad®

  3. #18
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    600 MB[...]CPU hogging.
    I don't know what you are doing with FF. I have never, ever, seen anyone with a 600MB image size.

    But if that indeed is your reality, you have experienced this memory consumption and, even more confusing to me, CPU hogging -- and this is not a product of your fertile imagination -- then yes I agree; FF is not for you. I just don't know what is though.

    Use something else. Maybe Opera. Definitely not Chrome, because if you build a 600MB image size in FF, imagine what you will do in Chrome where every tab is a separate process!
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  4. #19
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Look around the web. The issue is not uncommon.
    But no other browser I know have the extensions and functionality of FF.
    Other than that, my only beef is that Mozilla stubbornly refuses to support H264 for the video tag.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.
    For information on how to enable C++11 on your compiler, look here.
    よく聞くがいい!私は天才だからね! ^_^

  5. #20
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I don't know what you are doing with FF. I have never, ever, seen anyone with a 600MB image size.
    I've reached that quite regularly... any significant amount of video streaming will cause that kind of load. ... but again, this is more Flash's (or whatever plugin might be handling the stream) issue than Firefox. Plus, running on a 64-bit OS...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Look around the web. The issue is not uncommon.
    And yet we're still here suggesting that the issues lay more in the plugins than that browser. Disable all of the plugins in Firefox and you'll find that you can't do very much on the web. A bare web browser can really only do so much and its really not the fault of said browser if its process takes an extreme amount of resources because of 3rd party dependencies. It's also worth it to mention that as far as memory and CPU management is concerned... nobody has really provided a better solution to Firefox. In fact, there has been just about as much knocking of Chrome in this thread as their has been for Firefox. So if there isn't anything better... I don't really know what the fuss is about. Modern web browsing demands a heavy amount of resources because that is what is being requested of them. Contact your webmasters and tell them to reduce what their webpages demand from your browser.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 07-07-2010 at 03:47 PM.
    Sent from my iPad®

  6. #21
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Yup, I was thinking FF only. Since Elysia was tying those 600 MB to memory leaks:

    At most, FF has used around 600 MB before I restarted it. If that was the only problem, I could leave it running until it used 2 GB, unless I was hurting for memory (it's amazing how easy it is to get to 4 GB commit).
    I find this quote... funny.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #22
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    If there is one thing that FF has that keeps me coming back, it's the FireBug extension. I develop websites and there are two tools that are just plain mandatory - a good text editor, and FireBug!

  8. #23
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Memory leaks? Resource hogging? I can sympathize if we are talking about a low resource computer. Otherwise don't put them in the same sentence as skins and plugins. If you are so resource conscious, don't use them. Not only they use your oh-so-precious memory, but most memory leaks in FF can be traced right to them.
    I don't use plugins. If my computer is able to play recent 3D network games, I'd expect it to render a couple of 2D pages pronto. Is it me, or are web-browsers one of the most poorly designed pieces of software around? Take a lesson from (some of) the gaming industry. Although a lot of that is probably beyond their control (think MySpace, broken HTML, Javascript written by cats and dogs).
    Last edited by zacs7; 07-08-2010 at 03:37 AM.

  9. #24
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    I don't use plugins. If my computer is able to play recent 3D network games, I'd expect it to render a couple of 2D pages pronto. Is it me, or are web-browsers one of the most poorly designed pieces of software around?
    I think it's a mixture of several factors, all contributing to a general "bad" experience. The browser is right there in front of our noses and we, who really should know better, go on to blame it instantly. Let me make you a small list:

    1. Web Page source code: Which often doesn't take advantage of language features, neither it cares much for optimization. After all, web language interpreters are just like any other compiler/interpreter out there. They go by the same rules. And lets face it, web page programming is one area lacking discipline in a big way.

    2. Web page adverts and other active connections to external content: Which often is coded in the page in a way that forces the browser to only render the page content after the external data is received.

    3. Plugins: Especially a few special ones like NoScript, AdBlock, Firebug. All necessarily reduce performance by virtue of their background activity on a webpage before it is finally rendered. Some of these plugins in fact add an exponential degradation to performance in the face of problem 1 above.

    4. Connection: The tubes can be slow sometimes. A server may be having problems, packets may need to be fetched again, a router may have decided your request should be sent through the longest path, etc.

    5. Browsers: Yes. They do necessarily have a saying.

    ...

    What I find a little unnerving, is that I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know already. But more importantly, that you do know your browser (whichever it is, including IE7+) can render "a couple of 2D pages pronto". Any difference between these browsers is measured in fractions of a second. For most browsers in fractions of a second that aren't perceivable to the human mind.

    It's quite extraordinary this mindset that has some of us willing to deface a browser name over fractions of a second, even when we know in the back of our minds that, more often than not, it is not the browser engine fault.

    A browser is also a tool used in a event-driven way. You click links in the page, buttons in your browser, or type in an address to force a render of new content. Because of this, at the end of the day, a browser that is 30% slower rendering webpages is as fast as the fastest browser.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #25
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    3. Plugins: Especially a few special ones like NoScript, AdBlock, Firebug. All necessarily reduce performance by virtue of their background activity on a webpage before it is finally rendered. Some of these plugins in fact add an exponential degradation to performance in the face of problem 1 above.
    They are called extensions. Plugins is something very different. Namely they're flash, silverlight, adobe reader, etc.
    Another thing is that the rendering is done via the CPU instead of the GPU which also slows down the process.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.
    For information on how to enable C++11 on your compiler, look here.
    よく聞くがいい!私は天才だからね! ^_^

  11. #26
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I run a few different versions of FF, from 3.05 to 3.7, on the same computer, and using the exact same (mounted) $HOME/.mozilla which includes extensions and there are some little wines and moans about this, but no serious problems (mostly the reason I do this is they are part of separate bootable partitions -- if there were a problem, I guess I would have to sync the versions).

    Quote Originally Posted by micahharwell View Post
    If there is one thing that FF has that keeps me coming back, it's the FireBug extension. I develop websites and there are two tools that are just plain mandatory - a good text editor, and FireBug!
    Firebug is great -- it provides a real insight into how various protocols work within the browser itself.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  12. #27
    Disrupting the universe Mad_guy's Avatar
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    I for one welcome the decision in FF4 to move tabs to the top of the user interface, because from a user interface perspective, it simply makes sense to do so. They've also had various other improvements in the FF4 branch that I'm pretty pleased with (like out of process plugins, i.e. Flash and QuickTime.)

    I've been using FF4 (codename Mindfield) + Firefox Sync for the past month and a half or so (back before they merged the 4.0 branch, and it was still labeled 3.7) and it's been pretty rock solid for me. It seems in general faster and less memory intensive, although at the same time slightly less stable, but that's the price you pay for nice new features (I've been wanting to experiment with WebGL a lot.)

    If my computer is able to play recent 3D network games, I'd expect it to render a couple of 2D pages pronto.
    It's very likely that Gecko (the rendering engine) actually renders the page pretty much instantaneously as far as your eyes are concerned. There are other factors at play here than just 'render speed' for Gecko and whatnot - this is why a lot of Chrome's benchmarks (particularly the 'potato gun' benchmark) are in a small way deceptive, because they mention in the tests they are ONLY testing the time it takes to render the page, not actual load time. Not many people actually catch that though, so they see it as Chrome being way way faster in both load time and rendering speed.

    Rendering is really pretty much instantaneous these days, it's latency and loading all the page content (i.e. all the necessary javascript) that is the biggest problem. That's why you see fancy tools like Javascript compressors and google's Clojure compiler (which allows you to write javascript that will basically be downloaded 'in chunks' to the browser as the dynamic functionality is needed, to decrease initial page load; google does this in Gmail as it has over 150,000 - maybe 200,000 - lines of javascript, which would be quite a pain to load.)

    Is it me, or are web-browsers one of the most poorly designed pieces of software around?
    I'm not sure. The job of a web browser these days is most certainly not easy in any way. That isn't an excuse for bad design either, though. Another thing to keep in mind is that Mozilla is a company, and its roots are very old. They have millions of lines of code at Mozilla (just in terms of C++, they have another million of javascript or so,) and they must tread carefully, as any company would with such a large code base, when considering things like design and implementation of new features and fixing old problems. This isn't an excuse for bad design either, but keep it in mind especially when you refer to Firefox. It has much more history and legacy than, say, Chrome.

    my only beef is that Mozilla stubbornly refuses to support H264 for the video tag.
    Mozilla has principles to stick to. They're sticking to their guns on this one, because it is an embodiment of what mozilla stands for: web freedom. H264 does not respect this idea, because it is not free. At this point it seems VP8 is probably going to win out over Theora as the premier 'open' video codec, because while Google has patents, they have also vowed to not use them against users (which MPEG-LA has not.) People can argue about MPEG-LA having patents over VP8 all they want, but considering the time frame in which it was developed, it's also extremely like H264 infringes on some of On2's VP8 patents (or earlier versions of said codec.) If that's the case, MPEG-LA has nothing to gain and everything to lose by opening up litigation. Also google is pushing WebM really hard, as indicated by the fact I use youtube and view in HTML5 + WebM videos regularly (they plan on encoding all or as much of youtube as possible using WebM from what I understand.)

    I agree with and support their decision to not support H.264 for HTML5 video. I will not at the same time say other browsers are foolish for including support for it however, just that they have different goals and ideologies. Call it being a 'software freetard' or whatever you want, but it's an important issue and I'm very happy Mozilla is standing their ground on this one. FF4, Chrome and Opera already support WebM, and Microsoft has said that IE9 will support WebM as well (which is a major factor in the way of adoption for many web-level users and people like Youtube.) There are also already people making hardware-level video decoders for things like embedded devices. I think this is a good move forward.

    There are also various technical challenges in the way of simply adopting an OS-level codec for something like H264 (like what comes with windows,) namely in the sense it adds a huge amount of code and testing requirements to make sure they can ship FF just as stable as they have been in the past, as these shipped encoders can have their own bugs that Mozilla will then have to deal with. You can call that an excuse, but from my readings and hearing talk from people @ Mozilla, I don't think I want to debug or even *look* at code that uses and interfaces with on-board OS-level encoders for things like H264 video.
    Last edited by Mad_guy; 07-13-2010 at 04:05 PM.
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  13. #28
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    It's silly that Mozilla don't support the H264 codec. The reality is that most codec formats out there are in deep water. We simply don't know if--or when--they will sink. H264's future for at least 5 years is crystal clear. No patent issues. That is why, for example, Microsoft stands behind H264.
    WebM is a complete and utter idiocy if you ask me. Not only do I not like how it has inferior compressions and a limited set of supported formats, but it's also another minefield.
    There have been suggestions on MPEG-LA discussing whether to form a patent pool for it and Vorbis.
    H264 is free for another 5 years. The future of the other formats are not clear. So IMHO, Mozilla is shooting themselves in the foot.
    Myself, I hope VP8 and WebM go down the drain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.
    For information on how to enable C++11 on your compiler, look here.
    よく聞くがいい!私は天才だからね! ^_^

  14. #29
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    It's silly that Mozilla don't support the H264 codec.

    • Mozilla needs to pay patent licenses to incorporate H.264
    • Mozilla, according to the current terms of service, could be held liable in case users of the browser infringe on copyright.


    You know what is silly? Supporting H.264
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  15. #30
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    H264's future for at least 5 years is crystal clear. No patent issues.
    Bull........! I'm speaking as a content creator. You don't have to worry about a royalty fee ONLY if the content is delivered for free. If you wish to charge for content the "now" is 'crystal clear": pay the patent trolls or face potential legal problems.

    There have been suggestions on MPEG-LA discussing whether to form a patent pool for it and Vorbis.
    They are patent trolls. What do you expect? They'd patent "linear memory addressing" if they could!

    H264 is free for another 5 years.
    NO. IT. IS. NOT.

    Myself, I hope VP8 and WebM go down the drain.
    So instead of hoping that they improve, you hope they die? That's very clever of you.

    You know what is silly? Supporting H.264
    This.

    If you don't like what VP8 currently has to offer, get off your ass and help improve it.

    Soma

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