Keywords: rant
After my last Firefox update I saw that Mozilla told me 3.6 was available, so I figured I'd download it.

Let me say off the bat that Firefox 3.5 is a steaming pile of crap. It's no IE of course; it could literally take a dump in my lap and still earn more respect from me than Explorer. And don't even get me started on Chrome. Why would anyone base a browser off of Safari's codebase anyway?

But still, Firefox 3.5 sucks. It doesn't do much to alleviate the memory problems that 3.0 still experienced, although later releases have improved it somewhat. It's still about as crashy--it doesn't crash often but it doesn't hold up brilliantly to sustained use. And the earlier releases of 3.5 were notoriously bad at recovering from crashes.

My biggest peeve, though, and I use the word "peeve" lightly because I want to beat the crap out of the idiot responsible for this, is that 3.5 tags all its downloads with Zone.Identifier information. Firefox 3.0 started doing this to mimic Explorer, and really it's pretty stupid, but you can change your group policy settings on the computer if you know what the heck to look for. I did, and the problem went away, until 3.5. In Firefox 3.5, Zone.Identifier info is added onto every download regardless of policy settings. The fix for this was never put into a 3.5 update, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom. But it's fixed in 3.6.

On top of those indignities, the author of the Qute theme I like decided to completely break with artistic integrity and create a new version that looked more like 3.5's ugly default skin. The old version was no longer compatible with 3.5. Fortunately someone stepped up with a nice clone theme. This doesn't change the fact that the original author is a moron.

Alas, Firefox 3.6 made the pain of upgrading to 3.5 seem like a nice memory.

Let's bring on the epic fail first: 3.6 is SLOOOOOOOOW. It's supposed to be faster at browsing pages, but when it's idling it uses probably at least 50% more CPU cycles than 3.5. I tend to keep a lot of windows open so I stress-test this stuff, but good gads this is ridiculous. How can it perform that badly? The real question you should ask is how it can get any worse.

Here's how: Whereas if I restart Firefox 3.5 it only takes a couple of minutes to finish loading all those pages, starting up 3.6 is like trying to compete at Daytona with a lawnmower. 3.6's speed off a cold boot is atrocious. Instead of taking only a couple of minutes to finish loading everything and be responsive again, it takes more like twenty.

Let me repeat that: Twenty-minute startup. At best. I'm not exaggerating. Gads I wish I was.

One possible culprit for this change is the new use of personas. I'd like to go on record saying I like personas. I think the concept is great, and they look really nice. Their implementation is idiotic.

Personas don't actually work with themes, it seems, which is kind of a big strike off the bat. I guess they used to when they were just done as a plugin, but now not so much. Stupid? Yes, very. I had to use the ugly default theme to use personas. But even dumber is that you can't install them like themes; if you want to switch back to a persona you like, the browser is actually contacting their site to re-download the images and everything. This may have something to do with licensing issues, but screw that. It's just plain unacceptable. Mousing over personas by the way to see how they would look is viciously slow.

If Firefox 3.6 has any truly good points (personas are at best a wash because the fail is extensive), they're swallowed under the absolutely crippling performance problems. My only hope is that, just as Firefox 3.5 has gradually polished up most of its rough edges except for that frelling download bug and has noticeably improved in performance over time, so too might 3.6 improve once it gets to, say, 3.6.4.

It had frickin' well better improve. Until then, I'm back on 3.5. At least the devil I know has learned a few table manners since July and it doesn't handle like a team of drunken elephants. Great frelling gads.
Give the 4.0 alpha a shot, it seems to fix a lot of the performance issues that 3.6 introduced (although I have yet to experience any of the issues you mentioned).
Having been burned by many a release build of Firefox, I'm downright terrified of an alpha. Ack.
Posts like this always leave me baffled because I've never experienced anything similar to the problems described in them. Firefox has been my default browser since it was first released and it's only crashed on me around six times, mostly from being left up after multiple nights of Wikipedia browsing. Other times it was from having way too many tabs open with embedded flash videos.

Startup takes about 15-20 seconds from a fresh reboot. Closing and reopening Firefox takes maybe 10-15 seconds. Opening Firefox with more than 20 tabs open can make it chug a little, but it depends heavily on which sites are loading. You also have to factor in my internet which is unreliable during quick bursts of activity after being idle for awhile.

If any program takes 20 minutes to load there is most likely a problem with your computer. That, or Darke Saber made it. What are your system specs?
Agreeing with SAX here. Firefox has never given me any grief. Loading is quick, closing is quick, crash recovery is just how I want it (unused, Firefox almost never crashes).
The only problem I ever experience with firefox is always some minor plugin problem (most notibly, divX) running differently and sometimes more buggy than explorer. Every now and then I'll get to something I can't download, so I'll have to switch to IE temporarily. I haven't had these problems lately though so they must be doing something right.
What Lummox didn't mention is that he has 300 tabs open.
"Why would anyone base a browser off of Safari's codebase anyway?"

Why would Chrome not use webkit? It seems to have proven itself to be great at rendering webpages and it's been open source since it's creation in 2002 when Apple forked it off of KDE's html base.

Don't get me wrong, I personally don't use Chrome, I use Firefox (way better plugins), but I'm failing to see your problem with webkit.

But, back on topic, I also have issues with Firefox starting up. It takes ungodly amounts of times to start up on my windows box but it starts right up on my linux install. From things I've read on the internet, most of this has to do with Firefox using all of the temporary internet files to create randomized numbers. I can't recall if this was a problem for 3.6 or 3.5 or both though. Firefox at my work has taken a lot longer to load since 3.5 and I noticed no difference (perhaps a slight improvement even) when I upgraded to 3.6.

That said, Firefox does seem to be getting quite bloated nowadays. I fear that at some point soon I'll end up switching to Chrome, despite it's inferior plugin system just because I'm tired of waiting for Firefox to load.

Edit: According to the Bug Tracker, the issue I was referring affected 3.5 and has been fixed.
I don't use tabs, Verm; I use windows. Modern browsers are getting increasingly bad at handled multi-windowed browsing, which is a shame because I loathe tabs.

Ant: My computer is now 5 years old, and is only a single core. It's a fast single core, and I've upgraded my memory since then, but it's utterly swamped by whatever 3.6 is doing during startup. I imagine based on Mozilla's own cluelessness about the issue that they haven't even tried to restore a session with this many windows on a computer that isn't state-of-the-art.

Stupot: Safari is known for plenty of problems and is widely considered inferior to most Gecko-based browsers. If nothing else, Google's choice to use a webkit base merely worsens already-existing problems for web designers trying to maintain compatibility.
Lummox JR wrote:
My computer is now 5 years old, and is only a single core. It's a fast single core, and I've upgraded my memory since then, but it's utterly swamped by whatever 3.6 is doing during startup.

Mine is about the same age. I'm using an AMD 64 Athlon 3200 with 1.5GB of RAM. It is by no means "state-of-the-art" but it gets the job done quite well.

Exactly how many windows are you trying to open at once? It really just sounds like you're overtaxing your system.
It's a lot of windows for sure. I'm a little bookmark-phobic because bookmarks tend to be forgotten. But the point is I should not be seeing a literal 1000% increase in cold start time. That's just unacceptable.
20 minutes? maybe you should uninstall bonzai buddy.

for me, starting up firefox fresh takes 3-6 seconds, otherwise it takes 1-2 seconds. (this is using 3.5)

chrome starts up in like a quarter of a second, but it breaks or crashes or incorrectly loads a page at every turn so i'm getting fed up with it
Zaole wrote:
20 minutes? maybe you should uninstall bonzai buddy.

Don't be a dick. I'm not an idiot.

There's a real performance issue. It may be related to only certain configurations, and in particular is obviously related to the fact that I do use a lot of browser windows, but the performance loss between 3.5 and 3.6 is massive. Whether 3.6 performs much better than its predecessor in a single-window, single-tab environment, I don't know nor much care about unless they can achieve at least comparable performance for all the other cases.
Lummox JR wrote:
I don't use tabs, Verm; I use windows. Modern browsers are getting increasingly bad at handled multi-windowed browsing, which is a shame because I loathe tabs.

Excuse me, 300 windows.
I have Firefox open, with just one tab and it's using more memory than the other 19 programs I have running put together. These include anti-virus, anti-spyware, BYOND, dreammaker, photoshop cs2, utorrent, then some background processes. Firefox is an insane resource guzzler for me.

With crashing, it happens at least once a day. Sometimes more often, it always ends up going right back to were I was, or displaying the, "Well this is embarrassing." page. It's still annoying though.
I dunno Lummox, I think you're just crazy. FF3.6 works tons faster than 3.5 for me, hasn't crashed a single time since I've installed it, and startup is on par with Chrome now (i.e., both are very fast). Though I haven't used any of my older desktops in a while, I'm curious now and will be installing FF3.6 on one of my P3's later today.

I think your computer just blows, or you have some malware, or you should just reinstall Windows. If you are seriously not exaggerating about FF taking 20 minutes, something is wrong. You may want to look into TinyXP to lessen the OS resource usage.
Lummox JR wrote:
Zaole wrote:
20 minutes? maybe you should uninstall bonzai buddy.

Don't be a dick. I'm not an idiot.

hey now, no need to be so profane. i was just making a friendly joke. i'm sorry if it upset you
Google Chrome 4 teh win!
I have 3.6 , and it only took around a few seconds to start up, and also I personally think the 3.6 speed is faster than it's previous version. Oh look i have personas :
give chrome some credit, java heavy applications run absolutely flawlessly on Chrome. Whenever I am just going online to use facebook chat, I use chrome. Firefox crashes and locks up.
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