Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Firefox Bug...or Feature?

David Letterman has a fun skit he runs periodically called "Will it Float?"

The Mozilla developers seem to have a game of their own; "Bug or Feature?"

Remember when the Firefox developers came out and proclaimed the Firefox "memory leak" issue a "feature". Lame--even if they made a good case.

So lately, I've been complaining about the following Firefox "Bug/Feature" on all my XP systems (Pro/Home), (desktops/laptops). To recap:

Whatever the Firefox issue is (encountered on both my and 2.0b2 builds) , it renders the cut/paste keyboard-shortcuts, arrow keys, and home/end keys temporarily useless--as in dead and unresponsive, and the cut/paste shell options disappear or are grayed out in the menus as well. It's not my keyboards as the problem is the same on both my USB and PS2 connected boards and happens on my laptops and desktops here at home and at work. Drivers are fine. Sometimes, the spacebar goes dead in form-fields when commenting. Other times, it become maddening when I try to add an "apostrophe" symbol but that activates the "find on page" feature of Firefox. When I close out Firefox the keys behave again. Sometimes it is fine and Other times not. It's a real pain trying to copy/paste or navigate around in comment fields on the web and those keys just not work. It crops up sometimes even using "clean" portable Firefox builds.

My only workaround, up to then, was to open a notepad session, paste into there, then return to Firefox. Often the problem will have disappeared.

During my Browzar post composing, copying link references between LiveWriter and Firefox was so frustrating, I just gave up and used IE7 instead. I was that desperate!

For a brief moment I thought it was a problem with an extension, but I've decided that isn't the case.

Additional web surfing has located the following ideas (and that everyone is frustrated with this!)

1) Malware - a local infection of the "advertment" spyware. Pull some registry keys and delete a pushow*.dll file. Refer to NeoSmart Files' post: "FireFox Copy & Paste Bug: Fixed!!" (not quite yet, though)

2) Firefox Feature - It is a security element designed to prevent haxors from stealing secure information from certain coded web-pages. (Umm. Yes. But why would that kill my arrow keys and other keyboarding commands?)

3) Just use the AllowClipboard Helper extension - (Umm. Nice for dealing with #2 above, but not my issue!)

4) Press shift+Insert keys to "paste" instead of Ctrl-V. - Nice, but what if my Insert key has stopped working?

5) It's that dreaded java issue again. (Maybe you got something there, Tom.)

6) It's definitely not just me. The Mozillazine forums have a good thread about this issue.

7) Some users like me are using the "notepad method" to work around it.

8) Others suggest running Microsoft XP's ClipBook Viewer (c:\windows\system32\clipbrd.exe) open while in Firefox if you are doing heavy cut/pasting.

9) A Google Search using the terms "firefox copy paste problems" nets a return of about 1,970,000 hits. (Hmmm. Houston, I think we have a problem.)

10) Firefox developers have quite a few reports in "Bugzilla" database. But seem to be having issues identifying if this is a problem or not.

As for me, I'm reinstalling the extensions I thought were the issues (which they clearly weren't) and trying to see how it works by keeping the "ClipBook Viewer" open (minimized) while copy/pasting.

So now, I ask you....

Firefox copy - paste - keyboard scramble: Bug or Feature?


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