NYTimes.com articles freezes Firefox

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bluebomberman, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #1
    I have a strange problem. For the past 5 days or so, Firefox freezes often when I read articles on The New York Times website. I would be reading an article, and everything would seem fine, but then sometimes, when I scroll up or down with the keyboard or mouse, the mouse cursor changes into a spinning rainbow wheel and doesn't stop even after several minutes. I have to force quit.

    I once had a G5-optimized Firefox browser that I removed because of suspected compatibility issues; perhaps I did a poor job of removing the modified Firefox program? Or maybe it's something else?

    Anyway, I'd like to figure out what the problem is. I'm getting zero love from the Firebox support boards, and having to go back to Safari to read the NYTimes is pretty annoying.

    Thanks,
    bluebomberman
     
  2. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    #2
    Can you post a link to the article (or tell us the name of the article?) so we can see if there's heavy Flash usage, a Java ad, or anything else out of the ordinary going on? Also, you should use the AdBlock extension because some of the NYTimes ads can drag things down.
     
  3. TrenchMouth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    #3
    i was just about to make a thread on this topic. firefox locks up on me when any site has too much flash material on it. it will run fine for the first few seconds and then it will stop and i will get the beach ball. whats weird is that if i press the left mouse button the flash animation will catch up to where it is supposed to be and will keep playing so long as i have the button pressed but will not allow me to do anything else.

    it happened to me just 5 min ago on delicious-monster.com

    i am using firefox 1.0, running 10.3.7 on a 500Mhz iBook with 640MB and using the latest version of flash (7,0,24,0)

    i can run some flash stuff ok, but it appears that this happens when it reaches a certain limit. not sure why. this is a pretty real problem, it is because of this that i am using safari right now.
     
  4. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #4
    I've been using Firefox since beta and I have never had it lock-up. I go to about 100 websites a week and most are flash. It would help if you gave us the link.
     
  5. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #5
    I got Firefox to lock up while reading this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/nyregion/09barbers.html

    This lockup was typical. I started to read the article, I scrolled down, read some more, I scrolled down some more, read some more, and right when I scrolled down to read the paragraph that begins with "Joe Cunningham, a subway historian...", the beach ball came up.

    Again, this only happens when I'm reading articles on the site, and it doesn't happen all the time. (It took me 20 articles to replicate the freeze). And I can't replicate it anywhere else on the web.

    bluebomberman
     
  6. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    #6
    The HTML and various calls contained therein look pretty normal and I got no hangs or odd behavior. I've had Firefox get very funky on me if multiple instances of Java were used, and it will get slow if more than a couple instances of Flash are displayed. The commonality is that my issues started from ads. Try AdBlock - my guess is that you were served an ad on that page and it made your browser unhappy.
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    That seems to be a problem with NYTimes and Mozilla also, the methods they use for their popup ads and screen hijack schemes kill Mozilla -- and from it sounds like Firefox also.

    Something about NYTimes not interacting well with the pop-up blocker.
     
  8. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    #8
    I also have TabBrowser Prefs installed and am using a nightly build from late December (after Christmas). Could that be a reason why I'm not experiencing the same issues?

    BTW, the nightly builds have middle-clicking links enabled - if anyone's interested. The downside is that extensions are trickier to install.
     
  9. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #9
    mcarvin,

    From what I can tell, Adblock seems to be the answer. I roughly see the same amount of ads, maybe a little less, but there appears to be a lot of underlying code that is blocked.

    Still, I can't seem to get Firefox to hang again. If it does, I'll post again.

    Thanks,
    bluebomberman
     
  10. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #10
    Uh, Adblock just nerfed ESPN.com. Every time I click on an article link, it asks me to save the file because it's a binary file.

    At this rate, I'm just going to have to stick with Safari...

    EDIT: Just froze Firefox on this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/nyregion/09missile.html

    Safari's running real slow on that page, too. But it doesn't happen right away; the slowdown/freeze seems to happen if I linger on the page (as in take the time to read the article).

    My guess is that there's some bad code in the Flash ad, which in the case of the Safari slowdown is the Equinox ad about measuring the age of your body. I think I've seen that ad at least once when the page froze in Firefox.

    The one thing I'm sure of, at least, is that my computer should be fast enough to handle Flash animations.

    bluebomberman
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    FWIW, I have the 20041110 build of G4-optimized Firefox, and have TBE and AdBlock, and I don't get a hang on that page either. Also I go to NYT quite frequently (used to be daily, more recently about three times a week) and have never gotten a lockup.....

    My AdBlock is v.5 d2 nightly 39, and my TBE is 1.12.2004122601. Those are the only extensions I'm using. Right now I'm using the FF default theme, also.

    If you re-install FF, maybe you could try deleting the preference files in ~/Library/Application Support/firefox ? It could be that you have some borked preference that you yourself accidentally changed, or that was changed for you by some extension at some point or another....
     
  12. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #12
    Okay, I removed standard Firefox and replaced it with the G5-optimized build. I also nuked my preferences folder.

    I went back to the first article I linked to in this thread; page scrolling got really choppy a few seconds after the Equinox ad started to run, but although it would pause for a moment as if it was going to hang, it didn't.

    Clearly, something with one of the ads is upsetting my browsers. I think there's two possibilities as for why it started hanging Firefox starting 5 days ago: either it got upset that I had specific cookies blocked (and I had a gazillion of them blocked automatically in preferences), or it conflicted with an extension I got about five days ago, View Cookies 1.2.

    I kept the window open, and it made everything run slow (typing in this window, Expose), but closing that NYTimes article made my computer run silky smooth again.

    Yeesh. I'm a recent switcher, so I guess I folled myself into thinking that these things don't happen with Macs. I guess nothing's perfect. ;)
     
  13. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    #13
    That's odd. For me, Firefox doesn't like to display some sites' PDFs in the browser using Schubert's plugin. Regardless, viewing ESPN in Firefox while AdBlock is enabled is a chore. Try turning off the pref for Object tags in the AdBlock prefs panel (Tools > Adblock > Preferences).

    As far as tuning your AdBlock filter list, I usually look over a page then click the AdBlock item in the bottom status bar. The items in that list are listed in order by loading sequence. If something didn't get filtered properly, you can wildcard the domain (*.valueclick.*) or portions of the URL (using */clickSWF.* as a filter will block common 3rd party and internally-served Flash ads).

    A couple of days with AdBlock and tuning it's default filter, and you'll see a dramatic decrease in ads and way faster load times. Why it's not installed by default, I don't know. :rolleyes:
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    EDIT: Oops, this came out nonsensically, so I'm going to try again.

    So this same thing doesn't happen with Safari, right? If it weren't for that, I'd say it sounds more and more like there's either a flash object or an applet involved in this somehow, and the problem may have something to do with the respective plugin....It might not hurt to try re-installing Macromedia and Java.

    This kind of thing does happen on Macs, but it's relatively rare. Obviously, since none of us have experienced it... :( OTOH the chances get larger and larger the more software you use that wasn't designed from the ground up for MacOS, and as wonderful as FireFox is, I don't think you can exactly blame the Mac for an FF problem.... Especially if Safari works.

    Nonetheless, one thing would definitely be to try adblock. If it is a flash ad that is doing this, then you probably don't want to see it anyway! :p
     

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