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21 April 2010, 10:11

Firefox 3.6.4 beta isolates crashing plug-ins

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Firefox 3.6.4 beta lets plugins crash without bringing down the browser
The Mozilla developers have released the beta of Firefox 3.6.4, which now includes technology from the Mozilla Lorentz Project. Lorentz plans to bring full process isolation to Firefox, separating web pages and plug-ins from the main browser by running them in their own processes.

When a web page or plug-in crashes, with process isolation, the rest of the browser is unaffected by the failure, resulting in a more reliable browser. Firefox 3.6.4 takes the first step on the path of introducing some of that technology by running plug-ins such as Flash, Quicktime or Silverlight, in their own processes. Process isolation was first introduced by Google Chrome and has proved a boon to the browsers resilience.

The beta is available to download for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, although the release notes indicate that the plug-in isolation is only available on Windows and Linux. As this is the first beta, isolation could still be incorporated Mac OS X version for the final release. According to the release notes, several security issues have also been addressed, but no details are available.


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