Firefox 18.0.2 will resolve crashes when on Facebook - gHacks Tech News

Firefox 18.0.2 will resolve crashes when on Facebook

Ever since Firefox 18.0.1 was released part of the web browser's user base experienced crashes on the world's most popular social networking site Facebook. The crashes, experienced not only by stable channel users of Firefox but also by beta, aurora and nightly users, have been identified by Mozilla to happen almost exclusively on Facebook. Some users of the browser reported Firefox freezing when they go to Facebook, while others reported that it would crash when they did so.

It took Mozilla some time to figure out what was going on. You can go through the original bug listing over at Bugzilla for more information. First signs of the bug appeared on December 30, 2012 when it jumped to the 32nd spot of the top browser crasher listing that Mozilla maintains.

At the end of January, the bug accounted for almost 18% of all crashes in Firefox 18.0.1 which is a very large number for a single crash.

The cause for the crashes on Facebook was discovered in cx->enumerators, a balanced stack of active iterator objects. David Anderson explains why Firefox crashed in the bug listing that fixed the issue.

In practice, it is really difficult to keep it correctly balanced, because the JS engine has so many different ways of leaving execution modes, and the try-note-iter mechanism itself is fairly delicate.

Since the enumerator list is unrooted, when it becomes unbalanced, its items can become garbage collected and later crash.

The bug fix has already landed in development versions of Firefox and Mozilla is preparing Firefox 18.0.2 which will be released later today if things go ahead as planned. Keep in mind that while Firefox 18.0.2 is already available for download on the Mozilla ftp server, it is not 100% certain that this will be the final release as last minute changes can happen at any time.

firefox 18.0.2

Still, if you are experiencing crashes on Facebook currently you may want them resolved as soon as possible. You can download the releases from this ftp server directory.

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Comments

  1. ank91 said on February 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    Reply

    thanks 4 the explaination.

  2. John D. said on February 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    why bother? FF19 is going to be out just about anyway now.

  3. Doc said on February 6, 2013 at 12:31 am
    Reply

    “jumped to the 32th spot” 32nd :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 6, 2013 at 12:52 am
      Reply

      Thanks, corrected.

  4. Richard Steven Hack said on February 6, 2013 at 2:27 am
    Reply

    “when it jumped to the 32nd spot of the top browser crasher listing that Mozilla maintains.”

    Anyone else find that disturbing that Mozilla releases a new version to correct a bug that is “only” number 32 on the critical browser crashing list?

    Seriously?

    Even more disturbing is this morass of excuses:

    “In practice, it is really difficult to keep it correctly balanced, because the JS engine has so many different ways of leaving execution modes, and the try-note-iter mechanism itself is fairly delicate.”

    Gee, software development is so HARD! Boo-frickin’-hoo!

    I read that statement as: “We really don’t have a design document…in fact, we really don’t know WHAT the hell we’re doing!”

  5. AC said on February 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    There are still two weeks before the release of Fx 19, so this bug is needed. I’ve just seen the I am now running 18.0.2, so the problem is solved.

    The only thing I care about is that someone is taking the time to fix these bugs. Good on Mozilla for doing so. The same bug fix will be fed into beta, aurora and nightly. Job done.

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