Firefox 4 Beta 9 bodes well sucks

Firefox Four is nearing readiness for your use. There are a massive 661 bug fixes, a number people are very excited about, but you’ve got to ask: How do you get that many unfixed bugs to begin with??? One of the features I’m looking forward is tabs in the title bar. I’m tired of giving up vertical screen real estate to the title bar, a few tool bars, a menu bar, a tab bar, and then within the web site, a banner add, a fancy decorative banner I don’t need to see, etc. etc. When I look at my own blog on my lap top, I have to scroll down to see the title of the post! Tabs in the otherwise useless title bar will be nice start.

It is said by those who have tested it that Firefox 4 will start up very quickly and run very snappily.

Unless you use Linux. Check out this and links therein. Blaming the victim. There is nothing wrong with X in Linux. It’s the oldest most stable GUI’s in use. Linux desktop effects and bells and whistles are copied by other OS’s. This is Firefox not caring about Linux or the Open Source community. Time to switch browsers.

Comments

  1. #1 Michael Tedesco
    January 16, 2011

    I have been testing Firefox 4 since the beta began and I can say with confidence that you will be happy with the changes. In addition, the biggest problem it has had since going into beta was that it would crash frequently when running Adobe Flash.

    You may not realize how many sites use Flash but there are a ton. The primary pain for me was with Gmail and most video sharing sites like Youtube which would simply bomb out easily 50% of the time they were loaded. Since installing beta 9 the other day I have not seen any Flash crashes, crossing my fingers this one is gone.

  2. #3 Greg Laden
    January 16, 2011

    Not good. And the attitude expressed in this comment is unprofessional and there is a certain display of ignorance. They are blaming the victim for their ineptitude. I’m glad to see that they claim to redress their oversights. I wonder if that will come to fruition.

  3. #4 UPDATED
    January 16, 2011

    sadly

  4. #5 msironen
    January 17, 2011

    I find the logic of this complaint a bit puzzling. You don’t seem to be much up at arms about Linux missing out on games; this however is probably the biggest single reason why Linux lacks a robust 3d hardware environment. Now, when browser developers tap into the power that other platforms do have, it suddenly becomes their fault that Linux is riding the short bus on this issue and you want them to rectify the situation.

    Suppose they did just that and pulled some superb drivers out of their hat for both AMD and nVidia cards; that’d still leave a good amount (I’m guessing a majority) of Linux users who never bothered with proper graphics hardware to begin with (since they didn’t think they’d need it because such hardware solutions are traditionally required only for gaming).

    Blaming Mozilla devs for not supporting a platform that just isn’t there, is, if not exactly blaming the victim, something very close to it.

  5. #6 Greg Laden
    January 17, 2011

    msironen: First of all, I don’t care about games on Linux, or in general, so why should I be up (or down) in arms (or legs) about them. Second, a browser is not a game. So why is that even relevant? I’m also not complaining that Windows is not able to handle big science. That’s not relevant either. Am I missing your point?

  6. #7 msironen
    January 17, 2011

    Games (or rather the lack of them) are directly relevant to the state of graphics drivers on Linux. Without them, there’s no incentive for companies to throw resources in developing robust 3d accelerated drivers, even though nVidia seems to make an effort because of some CAD applications (though I think it’s in no small part oneupmanship towards AMD).

    I get it that you don’t care about games, but it’s odd that you get all indignant when something you do care about gets better treatment on other platforms because their users do (care about games and/or demand proper drivers).

    My main point: the sorry state of graphics drivers on Linux is not Mozilla developers’ fault and not something they ought to be fixing either.

  7. #8 uqbar
    January 17, 2011

    I think your complaint is misplaced in this case. From what I have read, the final release of FF4 will in fact support hardware acceleration in Linux to a limited extent (when a proprietary NVidia driver is in use). This is not a case of Mozilla not supporting Linux; in fact I am guessing that there will be a work-around such that users would be able to turn on hardware acceleration in all cases if they wished. However, it is not FF itself that is doing the acceleration – rather it is calling on the video driver to provide this function (as it should). If the hardware driver itself is unstable, then it is not up to Mozilla to fix that problem. Arguably (and I believe that this is the decision made by Mozilla), FF should not implement hardware acceleration when that would result in a bad experience.

    Hardware drivers in Linux have been steadily improving, so I believe this concern will ultimately be addressed. In the meanwhile, we can expect FF4 to work well under Linux even without hardware acceleration.

    P.S.

    As a side note, I have long used only NVidia cards in my Linux systems, because NVidia seems to do the best job of supporting Linux.

  8. #9 Greg Laden
    January 17, 2011

    uqbar, what you say make sense and it was well put. My main complaint may be with the snot-nosed attitude exhibited in the comment on the FF site. It was all about blame, not technology. What should have been a call to arms among driver developers and a statement about the whole “ignoring linux while using it for everything” problem among hardware manufacturers, was instead something that sounded like an anti-Linux rant from someone who’s not tried it yet.

    The proof will be in the pudding, in the end. Maybe I should install the beta now.

  9. #10 pierre
    January 17, 2011

    What other browsers would you recommend?

  10. #11 uqbar
    January 17, 2011

    Some interesting discussion here:

    “…hardware acceleration (OpenGL only) on Linux has been implemented, but due to bugs and issues, only one driver so far has been whitelisted (the proprietary NVIDIA driver).”

    http://www.osnews.com/comments/24264?view=threaded&sort=&threshold=0

    I plan to try out FF4 on a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 running in VirtualBox.

  11. #12 uqbar
    January 18, 2011

    One last comment:

    Hope is in sight – there is a good possibility the problem will be resolved by Firefox 4.1. In addition, there is a work-around for anyone who want to try this is FF4.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTAyMA

  12. #13 Boris
    January 21, 2011

    Greg, it’s interesting that you think my comment was about “blame”. It was just a plain statement of fact about the current state of hardware acceleration on Linux. True, it didn’t digress into a long discussion about what’s being done to change that state, largely because the person I was responding to wasn’t asking about the gory details of that. Putting a “call to arms” into a response like that, when someone asked a simple “why?” question doesn’t really make sense. Though the comment did include a note that help from driver developers in resolving these problems would be much appreciated.

    Or did you not get to read my entire comment in context? The context isn’t linked to from the Slashdot story, certainly, and the quoting is somewhat selective in all the coverage, as usual.

    No comments on the “blaming the victim” (who’s the victim? X driver developers?) bit, nor the “anti-Linux rant” bit (been using Linux for going on 15 years now).

  13. #14 Boris
    January 21, 2011

    One more note. People keep saying that “Mozilla doesn’t care about Linux”, no matter how much Mozilla bends over to work with various Linux themes, work around issues in Xorg, etc. See http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/archives/2007/10/linux_matters.html for an example of this from a few years ago, but things haven’t changed much.

    I wonder what it is about the Linux community that makes so many of its members so insecure and defensive, with a need to lash out at anyone perceived to be offering a slight or criticizing some technical aspect of the Things That Are Holy (of which there seem to be many). Then again, this sort of thing happens in other user communities too; maybe Linux users just tend to be more vocal.

  14. #15 Greg Laden
    January 21, 2011

    Boris, thanks very much for the clarification and the context. I think you are right, I was not putting your comment in its full context.

    I wonder what it is about the Linux community that makes so many of its members so insecure and defensive,

    What are you saying? Explain yourself!

    But seriously, I think we are insecure and defensive because a huge amount of the commentary that comes from beyond the community is both negative AND incorrect, and very often, seems intended to do damage to forward progress. It is very common that when I post something positive about Linux, suggesting that people try it, I get a half dozen people showing up to give a long list of things that went wrong for them. That would be fine if they were not FOS. (and by FOS I don’t mean free open source) When we hear people complain about how ever time they install something they hate the fact that they have to compile the binaries and all the dependencies are screwed up, we know we are hearing from someone who is either a) repeating something they heard; b) relating a 10 year old experience or c) simply trying to scare people away.

    My Linux posts are divided into two types. The ones where I encourage people to try Linux, and the ones where I’m either neutral about it or I explicit say “Linux is not for everyone”. When I do the latter, I don’t get the anti-Linux trolls. When I do the former, I do. This tells me that there is a category of web-troller who feels that it is their job to tell us Linux supporters to shut up, or even to make sure that we always say to stay away from Linux unless you are a geek.

    Then again, this sort of thing happens in other user communities too; maybe Linux users just tend to be more vocal.

    No, we’re just more correct.

  15. #16 Boris
    January 21, 2011

    > What are you saying? Explain yourself!

    A good example is comments like “There is nothing wrong with X in Linux.”

    X is great; I love X; it makes my life much simpler. But there are plenty of things wrong with both X-the-protocol (if you’re trying to do certain kinds of high-performance graphics for which it simply doesn’t offer sane APIs) and with the particular implementation in Xorg. If you’re particularly curious, I can give you a specific list of technical issues I’ve run into with X that aren’t a problem with other display systems. But fixing those issues means first admitting that the issues are even there!

    And when someone brings up a technical problem with some aspect of Linux, the most common reaction seems to be to deny that it’s there, heap personal abuse on the person who dared to suggest something might need improving, and proclamations that Linux is the best thing ever. None of which really helps _improve_ Linux. And whatever else you can say about it, Linux is not a shining jewel of utter perfection. Neither is any other piece of software.

  16. #17 Wyatt
    January 21, 2011

    And there is that sense of humor thing.

  17. #18 -
    January 21, 2011

    using 3.6, but if flash crashes ff4 beta, could disable flash, or use flash toggle.
    hasn’t youtube switched to html5 for vids?

  18. #19 brand0con
    February 9, 2011

    Use Chrome and be happy? You’re already an apps user and integration is tighter than in any other browser. In contrast to FF, Screen real estate is better preserved, syncing is made virtually seamless, password and personal information recall is more secure, the list goes on.

    If that’s not what you’re looking for, you know the lightweight options better than most: Opera and epiphany aren’t bad choices but lack the same dev backing. You know as well as anyone that Lynx is novel but not practical for today’s web.

    Firefox (or the OSS community) will have the Linux bugs worked out eventually, just not on the same time frame as the other OS’s. You’ve hung around Linux circles long enough to know this, Greg.

  19. #20 Chrome is Spyware
    April 7, 2011

    Chrome is spyware, Konquerer sucks, Opera is annoying to use so that leaves FF 3.x for Linux users.