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Notes From The Field: Firefox, Mandriva

Firefox 3 "Black" Images

Planete Beranger is reporting that Firefox 3 renders images as black on certain sites. I've run into the same problem on my system, and I can reliably repeat the problem. The conditions are:
  1. Mandriva 2008.1 Powerpack
  2. Firefox 3 downloaded from the Mozilla site and running locally out of my home directory
  3. Running a load-intensive task while web surfing with Firefox 3.
The load-intensive task in this instance was pulling down the entire KDE 3 source tree using subversion in one shell window while performing a build in another shell. My system has broadband (cable) connectivity. It was at this point that I was looking at Wired, Accuweather, and Flickr. On all sites, moving from page to page resulted in images either showing up entirely blank (black) or only partially rendered with a tall black bar across the lower portion of the image. These image defects disappear when the system is lightly loaded (i.e. only the browser is running).

I'm also seeing definite performance issues on certain sites that are heavily Javascript dependent regardless of system loading. Such sites use overlays and/or floating sidebar menus. The effect on these sites is very slow scrolling, rollovers that take several seconds to appear and then disappear, and drop-down menus that again take several seconds to appear. In other words the vaunted Javascript engine performance speedup doesn't seem to work for these sites. I didn't keep a list (it was very, very late). I'll go back over my browser history and see if I can find them again and then repeat the experiment.

Mandriva

Two updates came down the wires for Mandriva last night and this morning. The first is for Firefox 2.0.0.15. Planete Beranger reported that Mandriva 2008.1 did not have the security updates one week after the initial updates had been released. They have now been pushed out and they are in the repository.

The second update is for OpenOffice 2.4.1. For those reviewers who felt that the earlier 2.4.0 point release was a mark against Mandriva, they can now rest easy knowing that OpenOffice 2.4.1 is finally a solid part of Mandriva 2008.1. And my thanks to the Mandriva developers and managers who took a measured and responsible approach to pushing out a quality update.

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