Dear FireFox…

I’m an old friend. I’ve been using FireFox as my primary browser for a long time. I even cope with the continued print discontinuities–the blog pages that I can’t print out from FireFox but have to go to IE for.

But there’s a problem. It’s a nuisance, but part of browser improvement should be to remove nuisances.

Namely, you seem to believe that I don’t ever actually intend to shut down FireFox unless I’m shutting down my computer.

See, I’m given to clicking on this red X up in the upper right corner of the browser window, when I don’t feel any need to be on the internet. (I know, I know: That’s heresy: “Don’t feel any need to be on the internet”)

And every so often–more frequently of late, you complain about that. You bring up a box saying that you’re sorry that FireFox terminated unexpectedly, and wonder whether I’d like to send a failure report.

It didn’t terminate unexpectedly. It terminated because I told it to.

Several times, I added a message to that effect and invited a response, and sent in the “failure” report.

Number of responses received: Zero.

Fixes made to the program so that it lets me shut it down through a generally-accepted method (or is the red X now a bad thing to use): Zero.

Big deal? Not really–but it slows me down just a little, as there’s this pointless dialog box, and if I’m shutting down the computer in an orderly manner, it’s an extra step.

You know, I hear IE8 will close what’s left of the gap between FireFox and IE; IE7 closed a fair amount of it…


A slightly irritated long-time user who’s talked up FireFox to others…but not lately.

7 Responses to “Dear FireFox…”

  1. Lazygal says:

    I don’t like that “feature” either, nor do I like the new way the Wonder/Magic/URL bar looks and works. I’ve not upgraded to 3.0 on my home laptop because it took me a week to upgrade/retrofit at work. While I really hate the thought of IE, I may just have to switch…

  2. bowerbird says:


    i’d say that means the program did not terminate
    in the proper manner, but rather (in fact) crashed.

    probably not in a way that had any consequences,
    since you were quitting anyway, but nonetheless…


  3. walt says:

    I don’t think so. Once, maybe. Dozens of times, no. Although I suppose you could say that Firefox crashed, in that it brought up a wholly pointless dialog box…but that means Firefox is unable to consistently shut down properly, when all you’re asking it to do is shut down–no multiple tabs to be saved, no files being loaded…

    And, based on Lazygal’s comment, it appears I’m not the only one…

  4. Peter Murray says:

    For what it’s worth, I occasionally run into a problem with my CPU spikes to 100% when quitting Firefox. It goes on for about five minutes, and then finally exits. For me, Firefox usually runs for days on end and since it is my primary browser, it gets a lot of activity. It is probably updating a cache or something in my case…

    One thing to know about crash reports is that, according to the Mozilla knowledge base, they aren’t acted on unless (extracted from the bottom of the Firefox Crashes page):

    [you] post on the Firefox Support forum what steps cause Firefox to crash and your … Breakpad report ID. Those who read it may be able to look up your crash on the Talkback website and find an existing bug report or file a new one for you.
    Also, if the crash you experience is common, it may be marked as a “topcrasher”, making it more likely to be fixed in the next release.

    You can see the list of crash reports you’ve submitted by putting “about:crashes” in the address bar.

  5. walt says:

    Firefox is my primary browser (I bring up IE about once a week to print off first pages of blog posts that don’t print properly in Firefox, and once a month to check one financial site that doesn’t work in Firefox)–but I’m one of those who’s not online all the time and who turns off my computer altogether if I’m not using it. I’ve never seen Firefox take more than a second or two to shut down, properly or “crashwise.”

    On the other hand, there is a Vista curiosity…it always starts up pretty rapidly (I’m guessing 45-60 seconds for startup to complete), and usually shuts down in 30 seconds or less–but once in a while, even though the UI shuts down right away, it takes 2-3 minutes for the notebook’s power light to go off. That’s probably either cache updating or indexing…

  6. bowerbird says:

    > but that means Firefox is unable
    > to consistently shut down properly,

    that’s exactly what i’m saying, yes.

    what you are seeing is a crash, and
    _not_ a quit that intends that dialog.

    > when all you’re asking it to do is
    > shut down–no multiple tabs to be saved,
    > no files being loaded…

    bugs can exist in a variety of forms,
    including ones that act _consistently_,
    even in places where a lay observer
    might think “nothing is being done”…

    those get found — and fixed — quickly.


  7. walt says:

    bowerbird: I get that…

    I will say that this particular bug/issue/whatever has been around for quite a while.

    Hmm. Much as I’m loath to get too involved with one corporation, even if it is a hometown outfit, I do hear there’s a new browser in town…