Firefox is a really great browser and everything, but when I’m going to a website that I know might jack up my browser (such as using Oracle’s java web forms), I have to use Internet Explorer.
It’s not because IE is more stable. From my experience, IE is less stable, but when IE crashes – depending on how you use it – only one window is lost.
If you start a new instance of Internet Explorer from the quicklaunch or Start Menu, a shiny new process is created with no ties to any other windows. If it crashes, your other windows remain untouched.
Now, you only get this benefit when you launch a completely new browser. If you open a new window from the file Menu in IE, or open a new tab, or right-click -> open link in new window… you do not get the same protection. These are created as threads. When one thread crashes, any other windows / tabs created from the original IE window will be destroyed as well.
But at least Internet Explorer provides the ability to have separate browser processes. Firefox does not. It was rumored that they would enable this in Firefox 3, but they didn’t. In fact, if Firefox, if a browser process hangs and cannot be terminated, you have to restart the whole freaking computer.
The Firefox developers (and fanboys) ignored the many requests for running in separate processes, and even went so far as to tell the requesters off.
Well darn. There is no free software, decent web browser that you can trust to keep your gmail safe when some facebook app crashes.
Enter Google Chrome.
Web comic explaining tech behind Google Chrome
Seems the engineers at Google understand – web browsers crash (novel concept, right…). When one page crashes, it should not crash all of them. So, Google designed a new web browser that, among other things, isolates all browser tasks into separate processes.
I don’t necessarily want to have to switch to this new browser, although I am certainly going to give it a try. Eventually, I hope that Mozilla will take the hint, and fix Firefox.