New Firefox 3.6 beta looks to stop crashes


New versions of Firefox will "close the door" on third-party applications such as add-ons and plugins causing performance and stability issues.

Starting with the release of Firefox 3.6 Beta 3, third-party apps will be prevented from dropping their code into the components' directory, where much of Firefox's code is stored.

Users couldn't see and manage add-ons or plugins installed in this way, or disable them if they were encountering difficulties.

In addition, when upgrading Firefox the components became incompatible, but couldn't be disabled as they didn't carry version information.

On Mozilla's security blog, Johnathan Nightingale said: "This can lead to all kinds of unfortunate behaviour: lost functionality, performance woes, and outright crashing often immediately on startup."

Nightingale said that it gave users greater control of the code that ran in the Firefox browser, and that the change should be 100 per cent positive, with fewer crashes or bugs.

Add-ons were an important feature of Firefox, because it was built around the idea of extensibility, said Nightingale.

"It's part of our soul," he said. "Users can install extensions that modify the way their browser looks, the way it works, or the things it's capable of doing.

"Our add-ons community is an amazing part of the Mozilla ecosystem, one we work hard to grow and improve."|