Sunday, August 02, 2009

Frustrated with FireFox

Firefox is turning out to be the new headache in town.

On our site Remindo, FF 3.1 does not render pages fast, when all other browsers including IE, Safari and Chrome do so. The problem appears to be that because our site is fully HTTPs, it 1st loads the entire page and then outputs it! Instead of outputting the page in small chunks. Users thus are left staring at a blank screen for a few seconds before the page appears.

With new versions 3.5, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 this problem has been solved, and the page outputs in chunks, like it should, but a new even more serious problem has been introduced. It seems that
3.5, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 are using a new Javascript Engine, Tracemonkey, which causes the page to freeze and keystrokes miss if your page is running a HTTP bind operation. Our page runs an HTTP bind every 4 seconds because of the Instant Messaging feature. This creates great difficulty for the user in keying in anything.

Not just Remindo, every site is negatively affected by FF
3.5, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2, when you open a page and its downloading, while you can see it page, the page scroll locks, so one has to wait for the whole page to load before one can scroll though the page.

These are shocking usability issues, but Mozilla Corporation is bent on stonewalling the issue. They refuse to acknowledge these as bugs, and keep asking users to disable add ons. Well I have disabled all my addons and there is no improvement!

For a browser that has as much as 30% marketshare, this is pathetic! Mozilla Corporation in the hurry to outdo Chrome and other browsers seem to have slipped up on the basics!

Update: Techcruch also blogs the issue: Earlier in the week Techcruch reported that FF 3.5 was not playing well with Twitter and other sites. Many comments chipped in with similar woes