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12/20/2005
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Firefox 1.5 Stability Problems? Readers And Mozilla Respond

Firefox users wrote to us detailing their problems with the browser, and we asked Mozilla for some answers.

Some Examples From Readers
Here's what some of our readers wrote about their problems with Firefox 1.5:

I have to agree with everything you said about Firefox 1.5 in your latest newsletter, as I am having the exact same problems you described:

  • The browser frequently freezes for a few minutes, most often when opening a link from another program. It also spikes in CPU usage during these freezes.

  • Several sites always cause Firefox to just hang, needing to be killed in Task Manager. I've had to stop visiting a couple of these sites, it was so frequent.

  • The rendering seems to have gotten a little worse, not better, in version 1.5.

  • PDFs have never been that reliable in Firefox, even with the latest version of Adobe Reader, but at least in 1.0.x they worked most of the time. I find it rarely works in the newest version.
All of this is on a completely clean profile as well on a clean install, so it cannot be blamed on a faulty upgrade or extensions.

All in all, I'm giving out your advice to people that they hold off until a future revision, such as 1.5.0.1, fixes these issues.

Thanks for your story. Before I read it I had only seen good reviews and wondered if it was just me experiencing all of these issues. -- Shane McAliece


In This Article

Reports Of Problems

Some Examples From Readers

Memory, CPU, And Stability Woes

Mozilla's Response

Can Bfcache Be The Problem?

Pushing The Memory Envelope

Whose Fault?

I'm having problems with Web pages loading incompletely and improperly. It's a crapshoot as to when I'll experience these problems. Sometimes the pages load fine, other times not. What's troubling is that sometimes it looks like I'm losing my Internet connection when the pages won't load at all (and I get the Firefox equivalent of a 404 message). When that happens, I can't even retrieve my e-mail --Outlook times out. Then a minute later, everything will be fine. -- Betty Nakamoto

Firefox 1.5 has caused me to use IE6 for many more Web sites. With Firefox, many pages just don't open and I don't have the time to figure out why. Some pages are extremely slow to load. --Ted Gates

I'm getting 'Page not found' or 'Site not available' [sic] messages at least 15-20 times more frequently than ever before -- which is especially vexing since I am often simply going from page to page on the exact same site at the time! -- Scott Thompson

It doesn't render many pages correctly, particularly on The Motley Fool, where I use it the most. Some links don't show; text is not formatted properly (runs off the screen). Once IE comes out with tabbed browsing I may drop it. -- Paul Knudsen

Interestingly, the page-compatibility issues aren't consistent. Of the many Web pages that readers reported having problems displaying in Firefox 1.5, we haven't been able to reproduce a single one. They all work for us. At the same time, we have also had trouble with specific pages that won't load properly or at all. The problem may have nothing at all to do with Web-page rendering, and more to do with some intermittent overall aspect of program reliability, such as caching issues.

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