Much like the late, great Marlon Brando, when Firefox appeared on the scene it was dashing, lithe and hugely exciting. In recent years, however, it has similarly become overweight, unreliable and its star has started to fade. Step one: reliability.
Dealing with perhaps the browser's most pressing issue, today Mozilla has launched Firefox 3.6.4 which bring the much anticipated/needed tab crash protection we've long seen in Google Chrome and more recently in Safari 5. The result is when a plugin crashes or freezes only the particular tab in use will be affected and refreshing it will get things moving again.
This tab protection covers Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Mac OS X users are out of luck since Mozilla says it would require an overly extensive rewrite of its code to add this support. Instead OS X that benefit with the launch of Firefox 4.
"Mozilla recognizes that third-party plugins provide important functionality in many of today’s websites," said the company in an official blog post. "At the same time, plugins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out of date plugins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles."
On top of tab crash protection, 3.6.4 also brings the usual rash of bug fixes and security patches. All of which means hopefully Mozilla can now focus on Firefox problem #2: getting its bloated carcass whipped into shape again...
Link: Firefox 3.6.4