[LINK] FF 3. hits 14M downloads but security flaw discovered

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Sat Jun 21 17:00:41 AEST 2008

I've been using FF3 since 3.0b1 when Tab Mix Plus came out for it.  I  
found Firefox 2 unusable.  I like to keep a lot of history and FF2  
would hang my system for 20 seconds whenever I accidentally hit the  
menu with history in it.

On 2008/Jun/21, at 4:49 AM, Rick Welykochy wrote:

> <http://www.crn.com/software/208800006>
>   Firefox 3 At 14 Million Downloads


> -------------------------------------

> My observations on FF 3.0:
> The new rendering engine is faster but buggy. For example, the pages
> over at westpac.com.au do not render correctly with FF 3. Bits and  
> pieces
> of the page now overlap each other and are harder to read than in FF  
> 2.
> The online banking login keyboard now renders in an ugly typewriter  
> font
> with a background colour and highlighting the make the individual keys
> much harder to read.

Yeah some sites I have found have the main column filling the browser  
window at 100%.  Very annoying.  I guess sites will eventually fix  
these, pressure of market share. ;-)  Of course I use noscript and  
this sometimes makes sites look pretty crappy.  Since most people just  
use javascript to make rollover buttons and fancy menus you'd think  
they'd just push that upstream into html and let people make  
javascript free pages.

> The history dropdown is now very verbose and it is much harder to find
> a visited link. Each entry in the dropdown is several lines long and
> contains fonts in multiple sizes and emphasis. In FF 2, the dropdown
> list was a traditional single entry per line format. On the plus side,
> the search for an item in the download history is much improved and
> far more accurate. If you type in "abc" FF will find *any* URL with
> "abc" *anywhere in the link, something FF 2 did poorly.

Poorly is an understatement.  Hanging for 20 seconds and then barely  
functional.  The new one is based on an sqlite database and is fast  
and flexible.  I expect there will be interesting extensions to help  
soon.  I'm sure the tags will be interesting when I figure out how to  
use them.

> The download manager page (Clover-J or CTL-J) now automatically  
> deletes
> links whose download has completed. This can be disconcerting and lead
> to unnecessarily retrying a download you have already completed.

It must be something you've done here.  I used to have to delete lines  
in the download window in FF2 because if there got to be too many the  
download window would get very slow and unresponsive.  Now I can leave  
all the links there and go back to old ones if I want.  I have a list  
that goes back to July last year.  If I haven't moved the file I can  
go back and resume the download.  Not sure if I'd ever want to do that.

> The discovery of YABO (yet another buffer overdflow) in FF 3 leaves
> me breathless. There are tools in C++ (the programming language
> used) to prevent this, i.e. the string class in STL as well assertion
> checks. I would rather the browser raises an exception and notifies  
> the
> user if a problem arises rather than appear to be operating cleanly  
> when
> it is in fact not doing so. I've been writing code that does this for
> decades. It ain't rocket surgery!

Can only agree here.  On the other hand proprietary browsers may well  
have this happen but we'd never know, would we?

> Overall I am happy with FF 3 but what disturbs me is the concentration
> on style over substance. There is so much eye candy added that  
> methinks
> the developers have opted for market grab over stability and  
> usability.

You know people complain about OS software that it has rough edges and  
no overall oversight.  Now when this software clearly has oversight  
and they've worked on the user experience, you complain that it's eye  
candy.  When it's a piece of software I use every day I appreciate it  
looking reasonably good and responding reasonably well.


Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
                           -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961

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