Friday, September 29, 2006

Love, Hate and Firefox

My frustrations continue.

More times that I can remember this week I have been in the middle of trying to post some comments and then Firefox got "wiggy" again with the apostrophe key not working, but deciding to launch the Find feature. I would have to stop and backtrack, but find the arrow keys failed to work. Then I would end up having to stop typing contraction words (can't) and just type "cannot" instead. Ughh!

Or I would be trying to copy and past a URL link into a comment form and then the paste wouldn't work after working fine for the first two copy/paste events.

So I would go to my Start, Run and type clipbrd.exe and run the XP clipboard window and it would work fine again.


Work laptop, home laptop, home pc. Didn't matter. All have been hit.

So I just got so fed up.

I saved my bookmark.html file with my tons of bookmarks and uninstalled Firefox.

Then I dumped every Firefox/Mozilla related folder I could find. Even the ones hidden in the system folders under my user profile. Deleted. Gone. Nada.

Ridded my desktop and launchers of all the shortcuts.

I didn't have the patience to try to clean out the registry.

Then I went back and did a fresh and full install of Firefox 2.0 RC1.

The only extensions and themes I loaded were Sage (manually updated to install in the 2.0 Firefox build) and the Outlook 2003 Blue theme. That's it. Nada mas. I restored my bookmark file and I went to work.

And for a while it seemed fine. No problems. Everything working fine.

Until about the fourth link I added while composing some comments over at the TechBlog. Bammo. I tried to type a contraction and hit the apostrophe and got the Find feature again. Bummer. It's kinda hard to restart Firefox when you are in the middle of composing a comment. No saves buddy. Work around it or give it up.

So I uninstalled Sage. And the problem was gone, but eventually came back.

So I uninstalled the Outlook 2003 Blue theme since that was the only other thing "extra" and the problem seemed gone. So I added Sage back and didn't seem to have a problem.

But I just cannot yet accept that a Firefox theme would cause intermittent issues with the copy/paste feature and wigging out the apostrophe key periodically. Something, somewhere is a crazy bug. There just has to be.

So back at home I have uninstalled my favorite Outlook 2003 Blue theme and am using only the quirky but fun CloudGnome theme. I have only a very small handful of extensions running, all 2.0 compatible (except Sage) by default, and I am waiting for the bug to strike again.

I'm not going to give up on Firefox yet. Not by a longshot. But it is frustrating.

More Useful Firefox related finds this week:

Firefox customizations (Notes) - A deeply documented collection of Firefox notes by David McRitchie. Amazing. He has compiled his personal notes on customizing our favorite browser, problem solving, and dealing with extensions.'s Tips and Tricks page - Right from the source, these contain specialized "hacks" primarily of the user.js and userChrome.css files. Not sure all is v2.0 compatible.

mozillaZine's Problematic extensions page - Documenting known extensions that cause unwanted side effects in Firefox or leak in an unwanted way into other extensions. Good stuff to know. Are any of your extensions on this list?

mozillaZine's Standard diagnostic - Firefox - Want to troubleshoot Firefox issues like a pro? This is the page to know.

See you in the skies,


Anonymous said...

You know, I just read through this comment and this has been happening to me as well with whatever the latest release of FFox 1.5 is - apparently, with bug me not installed.

It's got to be some kind of issue in the FFox main codebase.

Anonymous said...

Yep, and it still happens in 2.0 right now as well. Glad to know I'm not ranting alone here!

I'm not a programmer, but based on the behavior (just happened again dropping in a post in your blog's comments) something in Firefox doesn't seem to be calling to the clipboard correctly in some circumstances.

As I mentioned, I tried to paste a link into the comments and got an old clipboard item. I looked at clipbrd.exe (running and open on my other monitor) and what I had just copied, didn't make it to clipboard. So I activated the clipboard window, then switched back to Firefox and copied again. Now it updated in clipboard and I could paste.


Ray said...

It's not a bug; it's a feature! Typing an apostrophe turns on autofind in Firefox. You can disable it by going to about:config, searching for accessibility.typeaheadfind.autostart, and setting it to false. (I had the same problem and Googled for a solution, and found the answer AND this blog! Nice blog!)

Ray Cornwall

Claus said...

Thanks Ray!

You are absolutely right about that apostrophe tip!

I tried mashing on it while clicked into the browser page and, sure-enough--there goes the Firefox find feature!

I made the setting change you suggested but it didn't work. What version of Firefox are you using? I did some quick research and it seems like there is a known bug reported with this element not working as expected (to disable it) in Firefox 2.0 betas...Guess which one I am using....

I have just started using the very latest Firefox 2.0 RC2 version and I'm not yet seeing near as many copy/paste headaches yet....maybe I've been lucky. Maybe it's fixed. Not sure....

Glad you stopped by and found my blog enjoyable.

And thanks for convincing me I'm not crazy about that apostrophe "feature"!

I think your tip may even warrant a new post here!


Ray said...

I now use Firefox 2.0, and just used the same fix. So it should work on this browser. Let me know if it doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Just made the change to "false".

Will see how this works! Thanks again for the tip!