Problems with Firefox

Here I list a few problems I encountered while using Firefox. Notice that few are actually significant problems, but are instead a few changes necessary to Firefox, in my opinion.
"Problems" of lesser significance can be found as my requests for features at the Firefox Features Requests page.
Why list these here, and not use the bug tracking features of the Firefox project? There are several reasons:
1.These are my reports, and I want that to be known.
2.Not surprisingly, the number of entries in that system is very great. The only way for me to emphasize my own reports is to link to this page, so that Open Source developers could then fix the problems.
3.I am very interested in seeing every single one of these problems solved. However, I do not have enough resources to do so myself. By listing the problems here, I will be able to keep track of the progress made on solving these problems.
4.I have several interesting ideas that might or might not be listed on this website. I am very interested in someone who has done work for either Firefox or any Open Source programming project to get in touch with me. The ideas I have require significant expertise and amount of coding, so I will be glad if I will someone who can work with me.

 

1) Several MySpace profiles crash Firefox

I am not surprised. I have no idea how teenagers can tolerate the too-flashy and too-crappy programming of MySpace templates. Those teenagers have yet to learn some conservatism. I listed this here not for Firefox to fix, but to illustrate that some things might just crash any browser.

2) Firefox Download Manager

Although better than IE downloads, Firefox Download Manager regularly manager to stop or drop downloads. It is stupid for Download Manager to display files you have downloaded (maybe for those who have no idea where it downloads?), but it is more stupid to display the ones you do not want to see, yet drop a download and not display the history or resume automatically.

This issue is a major nuisance and should be fixed as soon as possible.

3) Firefox Download Manager starts to flash and get into your way when you open a download

Since you have just clicked on a file to be downloaded, this very intrusive display of start if download is a big nuisance. Instead, show a small window near the menu that a download started, and its progress. I explain how to stop Download Manager from flashing here.

4) Firefox tries to display text files inside itself

This is a bad decision. It is bad because the file is not saved. It is worse when it opens a file format that it thinks is a text file based on its MIME that is not. Mathematica notebooks (.nb) are a major example. Mathematica notebooks are documents containing text, data, and graphics, that are for historic reasons saved as ASCII text files to be human-readable (I document a better solution here). Since Firefox does not have similar functionality for other file formats (audio and video files discounting plug-in functionality) and the fact that a linked text document should be downloaded and opened in another program justifies for this behavior to be removed.

Note: I see that the current version no longer displays .nb files in itself. This is how community works fixing mistakes made by the development team. I still wish to document that it should not display any text file in itself.

5) It seems that Firefox does not update itself when it should

I did not feel it to be necessary to check their website since it supposedly should update itself, only to hear others discuss the new release. While it regularly updates extensions, it did not upgrade itself to 2.0 after a week of sitting after the release.

6) When a major version of Firefox is released, you can bet that several of your favorite (and critical) extensions will stop functioning

This is a major nuisance. The new release should be shown to extension developers before it is shown to us, so extensions are either up to date when Firefox is upgraded, or excluded from the online listing entirely. As I will document below, such critical extensions as SessionSaver cannot be used with 2.0.

7) Firefox does crash

Sometimes. Actually rarely. That is not the problem. The problem is that I have this thing called a laptop that likes to give me a hardware freeze (absolutely everything stops responding and the screen freezes). The only solution is a ACPI restart. Unfortunately, SessionSaver used a more robust scheme than Firefox 2.0 Restore uses. I have never seen SessionSaver fail even in such unusual circumstances, but I HAVE seen Firefox Restore fail to recover a session even when it wasn't a hardware freeze that was the problem. It was good that such a useful feature as SessionSaver existed for Firefox (it had other functionality as well). It is worse that it still sits incompatible with 2.0. Maybe the author has though that Firefox Session Restore eliminated the need for SessionSaver, maybe he abandoned the developments. Both outcomes are no longer acceptable in programming. I have some data that officially cannot be used anymore (unless I install and older version of Firefox, which is very easy).

A note: my laptop has four more major problems. It must be replaced as soon as possible. I wish I had some money to "fix" THAT problem.

8) Each new release of Firefox moves options/preferences around

Like I discussed in #7, reckless reasoning is no longer acceptable for a program that makes people used to locations of preferences. This does not mean that all changes are bad, it only means that moving AROUND and REGROUPING has little sense. This is exactly how stores operate: they move around shelves, and you end up wandering around with empty eyes wondering what reasoning prompted them to move THAT item across the store. What exactly was their reason for me to start looking around where the "clear cache" button is when I perfectly knew my way around the old way? Again, it is not change that I say is bad, it is the lack of reason for change.

I also have a vague recollection that a few goodies were removed entirely. Although they can still be "found" at about:config, how many people know about about:config? And how hard is it to know what belongs where, what is important, and to what value should it be changed! (I list the reasons and call the need for a GUI about:config utility here)

9) A few dedicated individuals to do testing for the items listed in the Add-Ons depository would be appreciated

For example, for as long as I had to install, remove, and reinstall a utility to save webpages with title filename, Title Save does not work. Yet it is still listed. To the best of my efforts it DOES NOT WORK. Also, recently I had the experience of installed no less than a dozen of extensions. One of them, or either their combination, made it that the address input field was blinking, but not accepting input until clicked at. (A major nuisance, and I document this, and related discussions here)

10) I have no idea how the history in the address drop--down list works, neither in Firefox nor IE

Why is it that my most visited sites are nowhere to be found near the top of the list? Since I use the drop--down to specify and address I am either too lazy to type in, or do not remember, the used--frequency based listing here is a MUST! This, however, is not anywhere near bad when you consider IE. That same drop--down list in IE will list recent FILES, a thousand entries for the same website of all the pages you have visited, and ADDRESSES I HAVE NEVER TYPED IN OR USED!!!

Please, all I need are the top--level addresses of websites I visit very often. Do not give me xyz.com/abb and xyz.com/abf as two selections, because no one expect computers remembers server files names! Just give me xyz.com. I can find my way around from there. And please do not maintain big--brotherish "history". If someone is too lazy to bookmark a site (and besides there is this address drop--down list of the addresses you have visited), please do not maintain a history like you are watching me.

If you are still not convinced, if it is not popularity, or ALPHABET -- based, then what the heck is the kind of its ordering???

11) Misc bugs:

  • clicking on tab again to give it focus and then navigate with arrow keys or mouse does not work anymore (problem with a single extension, don't remember name)
  • close left tabs gives number of all tabs, not ones on left
  • Firefox library open all in new tabs
  • download status bar
  • title save extension does not work (another one does)
  • does not recognize BMP format
  • fucking stupidity fox did not warn me about v2 AND v3
  • Firefox save session bug: if more than window is open, the button does not appear.
  • Firefox stupidity page layout in print preview change affects all future printouts; make to change viewed page only
  • Firefox bothers and blocks me with every tiny idiotic update
  • Firefox replaces open tabs if open all in tabs from bookmarks is selected
  • Firefox stupidities: when accidentally clicked save all tabs, there is no abort button. pressing cancel still can present with as many dialogs as tabs with existing bookmarks there are, a possibly long process
  • Firefox does not block popups that are launched with a reload of a main page when user clicks something
  • Firefox tab separation bug one open tab counts as two and presents the dialog
  • Firefox extension download toolbar bug: when download toolbar is displaying a downloading file, and Firefox is closed, the Download Manager appears to finish downloading file. however, when Firefox is restarted, the downloaded file is displayed as finished in the toolbar, and clear button has to be pressed as it will not clear by itself

 

Firefox Bookmarks Manager

  • A horizontal scrolling bar is needed. Especially when user resizing the columns would have text beyond the right window border.
  • When searching inside bookmarks, and results are displayed, it is impossible to find in what folder a result is. Not even by selecting Properties. There is also no column with this information
  • There are several stupidities relating to adding and organizing data in Bookmark Manager. Namely, then need for refresh after adding a folder, conflicting columns, and the duplication of arranging entries by name (right-click context menu) and by clicking on columns. I suspect that many of these problems are in fact Windows problems or just legacies. A good solution will eliminate the ambiguity between these three problems.
  • There is the problem of bookmarking of local files opened by Firefox. Should Firefox bookmark local files at all, or warn when doing so? Not surprisingly, when I was going thru my bookmarks, not a single of such bookmarks pointed to existing files. I also need to find out whether the usual bookmarks link validity checkers can check for existence of such local files.
  • Deleting a folder in Bookmark Manager makes the selection in the bookmarks manager to move downwards, but contents of then-selected folder in the right window are not displayed/updated, so it might give an idea that the new selection does not contain any items, or possibly cause user deletion of that "empty" folder. (not including the fact that the need to click elsewhere and then click back on the entry you want is unnecessary nuisance)
  • If a list of bookmarks contains a local file reference that is no longer valid, and several bookmarks are selected and told to open in new tabs, only one error tab will be opened. Firefox will stop at that first invalid local reference and will not display any other selected items.
  • Firefox maintains several backups of Bookmarks in the profile folder, but the average user is not aware of this. A serious crash has cleared all of my bookmarks several times and I did not get any notice that they could be restored. I have also on more than one occasion completely prepared the system for the usual Windoza reinstall only to forget the need to backup the bookmarks (since they sit in a relatively obscure location).
    When creating a new folder, it should be automatically placed where it would be if the user subsequently did not have to list the entries by name (or click on columns). This is too-Windoza like and might even be an artifact of Windoza or whatever GUI tool they use for Bookmark Manager.
  • When drag and drop moving entries in Bookmark Manager, right click should cancel the drag, and not drop the item under the cursor.
  • HTML import: will show a dialog for every single existing bookmark. Need a "say no to all" option.
  • session saver breaks w popups or other open windows

 

Problems with add-ons:

Fast dial:

  • Not the best name. People have a hard time finding this addon. Even after they knew it existed. Can't say the same who has not seen it before.
  • Removing an item from the Fast Dial page also removes it from the Fast Dial bookmarks folder. People might want to keep it to enable it later, or move to another part of bookmarks.

 

 

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I have a few more problems with Firefox, but I am afraid they are a bit more technical. More than that, they both would need a longer explanation. Even more than that, I hope you never find out about them if I manage to get someone's help to write my own extension to fix them. An example: while bookmarks in Firefox are much better in behavior and functionality than Favorites in IE, a few problems, like when you have a few thousand of them, come up. Like I said, you better never find out about the problem. If you still would like to know, or you are one of those who might help me technically, read about it in the call for action page.


˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅

 

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Page last modified 20-Aug-12 22:39:42 EDT
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