Thread crashing Firefox on Mac July 18, 2006 9:01 PM   Subscribe

I've tried clicking on this thread four or five times using firefox on mac. Every time it borks everything - it doesn't crash, but it becomes totally non-responsive (cannot change tabs, even). Is there something evil in there, or is this just one of those things?
posted by absalom to Bugs at 9:01 PM (14 comments total)

works fine for me.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:15 PM on July 18, 2006

Works fine for me too, Firefox on Mac, both logged in and not logged in. Which version of Firefox? If you're not logged in there's a Flash ad, so maybe that might have something to do with it? Whenever I've had a really bad problem with Firefox and a website, it's been because of Flash.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:22 PM on July 18, 2006

Works fine for me.
os10.4.7, firefox
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 PM on July 18, 2006

Works fine. Latest firefox, patched XP, Adblock + Filterset.G
posted by Ryvar at 9:35 PM on July 18, 2006

me too--firefox 1.5, os 10.3.9
posted by amberglow at 9:53 PM on July 18, 2006

Ok with on linux.
posted by words1 at 10:24 PM on July 18, 2006

No problems on my crappy laptop of indeterminate origin.
posted by mischief at 10:34 PM on July 18, 2006

How much memory do you have? How's the CPU?

Long Threads+5 yo PC Running FF on XP=Freezes & Occasional Crashes for me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:59 PM on July 18, 2006

Compare your settings (go to the url about:config) to these settings.

What's happening is that the four images in the thread aren't loading, or aren't loading quickly enough.

If your pipelining is off, Firefox is waiting on each picture before trying to get the next one. (But if you have dial-up, pipelining may be a bad idea.) If nglayout.initialpaint.delay is greater than zero, Firefox is postponing drawing the screen until it knows the size of the pictures. (But if it's zero, on a slow machine, total render time will be longer; I don't think that's what's happening to you here, but you should consider this when changing nglayout.initialpaint.delay.)

Two of the image tags in the thread specify the image dimensions, so Firefox can just leave a blank area and fill it in later. Two of the tags don't specify size, so Firefox has to actually download it to learn the image's dimensions.

The other possibility is that you have an extension (or greasemonkey script) that waits until the page is fully loaded before doing whatever it does. some extensions are written to wait, some aren't. Early versions of Redirect Remover, for example, would apprear to halt on pages (like Fark, or many Yahoo pages) that have lots of redirects. The latest versions of Firefox will show a dialog offering to abort scripts that take too long, so this probably isn't what's happening to you. (But as you don't specify what version of FF you're using, I mention this as well.)

It all comes down to the images (and to a lesser extent, whether the image tags give the dimensions); Firefox, because of settings or extensions is waiting on the image to load, or for a timeout after which Firefox would give up.
posted by orthogonality at 11:28 PM on July 18, 2006

My computer seems to be infected with some evil that takes over my cursor and as far as I can tell "clicks" to close a window (FireFox defeats this if more than one tab is open) then it activates the "Windows Start Menu" but mostly doesn't do anything there. Sometimes this "cursor virus" activates the "shut down" dialog and I tell it not to.

I think it may be trying to activate "Windows Explorer" and do something nasty. However I seem to have some previous virus that kills Explorer whenever I try to start it (which isn't too bad), so the net effect seems to be zero but annoying.

How did I get viri running only Firefox? My best guess is either through The weather channel which automatically is part of an AIM download, and seems to mainly be a shell over MS IE explorer which I know is unsafe to run.

The other source for infection is "Windows Media Player" for which I have installed all the patches but something may have slipped through.

I always update the "Windows detect malicious software" but I guess this crap is burried too deep.

For now, I think my only solution is to find the DELL "system installation disks" and pay them $100 to walk me through saving my stuff and reinstalling the system. This seems like a multi-day pain which is why I have been avoiding it.

Oh yeah, something wiped out all my XP restore points so I don't have that opeion.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:40 PM on July 18, 2006

It all comes down to the images

A problem like this could also be caused (in general, not necessarily in this case) by external JavaScript files. Since JS code can document.write() HTML code into the page, the browser can't finish rendering a part of the page containing a <script src="..."> tag until it can load (or fail to load) the source file.

When I view that thread in Firefox/Mac, it shows up OK but seems to take a long time to load the urchin.js script from Doesn't keep the page from displaying, though, and it finishes loading eventually.
posted by staggernation at 6:38 AM on July 19, 2006

You're not alone. That thread did the exact same thing to me with FireFox on my MacBook.
posted by zsazsa at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2006

staggernation writes "A problem like this could also be caused (in general, not necessarily in this case) by external JavaScript files."

Oh, good point. Since I have javascript turned off and blocked, I wouldn't see this.
posted by orthogonality at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2006

How did I get viri running only Firefox?
You don't seriously believe that Firefox will prevent you getting computer nasties, do you? Really?
posted by dg at 7:48 PM on July 19, 2006

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