Firefox 3.5 and the Beach Ball

I’m using Firefox 3.5 on Leopard, and noticing several slowdowns.

When we say Firefox 3.5 is fast, we mean it sometimes slows down. And by “sometimes slows down”, we mean the spinning beach ball of death.

Here are two cases where I see problems.

First, I see a severe slowdown in the Amazon.com search field. The slowdown occurs when I type a few characters and then hit the “:” key. For instance, try searching for “Bitter:Sweet”. Who knows if this is an Amazon or a Firefox problem. I just know it is slow.

The second slowdown was far worse. It occurred as I was creating my previous blog post. Ironically, I wanted to include a link to the HTML 5 specification. So in my first tab I had my blog open, and in the second tab I had the HTML 5 specification open.

I found the section on HTML video, selected the URL, and copied to the clipboard. When I returned to my blog page, Firefox completely locked up and I saw the spinning beach ball of death. I had to kill the process to regain control.

I repeated the above steps, and once again it completely locked up.

I finally managed to create that post, but only without the HTML 5 spec page open. So just now, while typing the previous paragraph, I again opened this URL.

And once again, Firefox became completely unresponsive, showing the beach ball for about 15-30 seconds.

It is mildly amusing that the one page that consistently brings Firefox 3.5 to its knees is the HTML 5 specification page.

One Problem with HTML Video

The HTML 5 video element is a move in the right direction, but it currently doesn’t work in Google Reader. Here is how a YouTube video looks in Reader:

This is on a Mac, using Firefox 3.5. Here is a blog containing the new HTML 5 video tag:

When I go to that blog, it works…just not in Reader.