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Old 01-20-2005, 06:40 PM   #1
clausawits
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How does Firefox screw up KDE/Gnome?


Hello all, I may have a dectective/mystery story for you... the systems I'm talking about are both Fedora Core 2 systems with Firefox 1.0.. one of them is Gnome, the other is KDE. Everynow and then Firefox will go screwy when I click on a link, such that it will become unresponsive, and the screen won't refresh. Not only that, but the whole Windowing GUI becomes essentially unresponsive... if I click on anything in the task bar across the bottom, no immediate response, if I try to minimize Firefox, no immediate response.

But the system still somewhat responds to keyboard commands. I can alt-tab around and if I've got a shell open, I can type into that, and the shell is responsive. I can bring Gkrellm to the front and wave it around the screen leaving pretty tracks everywhere (I've got screenshots, but no host for them).

The funny thing is that Gkrellm and top report nothing unusual going on while everything in Gui-dom is out-to-lunch.. Nothing special to my eyes in Proc, CPU, Mem, disk, eth0, etc.

This has been going on for many versions of desktops and distros and many versions of Firefox, but I'm not really looking for a solution to the problem, just an understanding of _what's_going_on???

How is it possible for a browser to cause X windows/window managers to seize up like that? What is the actual mechanism responsible?

(as a final note, the seize-up usually lasts between 3 seconds and perhaps 90 seconds... then the page loads in Firefox, and all the mouse clicks I made on the task bar at the bottom of the screen execute in rapid succession)

confused and frustrated, but mainly confused..

any ideas?
 
Old 01-20-2005, 06:44 PM   #2
synaptical
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my first guess would be some weird sh!t in the web page. i've had my browser totally shut down a few times (all windows just "disappearing") when accidently clicking one of those macromedia ad things. what site/s caused the problem?
 
Old 01-20-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
leonscape
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This sounds like something in Firefox is grabbing the keyboard and mouse ( so GUI doesn't receive events from them and can't pass focus ) then something either times out, or is finally received by firefox, which is very bad of it.

I've had something similar to this when I've clicked to a link which was a large file and Firefox tries to open it in the browser, rather than downloading it. but usually I can flick to another desktop, and return to firefox later when it finally downloads the file ( You can't interupt it ).

Don't know what exactly though is causing firefox to lock up if it was only a site you where visiting ( I mainly use Konq anyway ).
 
Old 01-20-2005, 06:57 PM   #4
clausawits
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I haven't noticed a pattern, and sometimes once it starts, it will do it on every page after that until a reboot. Some definite examples are this site, mozillazine, slashdot. usually bringing up the thread or the story from the main listing...

For the sake of arguement, let's assume your idea is right-- how is it that Firefox choking on a webpage is able to hose up the works (gui-interaction wise) for all of KDE and/or Gnome's stuff? I'm pretty ignorant of the structure and quirks of these programs' interactions, so my naive thought would be that in the absence of a bug, a misbehaving program wouldn't be able to keep you from clicking on the taskbar/launcher/whatever.. Ok Firefox goes down (temporarily).. what in KDE/Gnome allows it to be taken down too? What failure mode in firefox exploits that?
 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:05 PM   #5
clausawits
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Quote:
Originally posted by leonscape
This sounds like something in Firefox is grabbing the keyboard and mouse ( so GUI doesn't receive events from them and can't pass focus ) then something either times out, or is finally received by firefox, which is very bad of it.
Hmm.. on one occasion, I had Gimp running in another window. Firefox locked up, and clicking on the square across the bottom that said "The Gimp" (to switch focus to that) did nothing. Alt-Tabbing worked without delay. I was able to use the mouse to interact with Gimp's GUI to take a screen shot of my screen. In preparation for the screen shot, I also alt-tabbed to Gkrellm and clicked on it and dragged it around the desktop to make a nifty gkrellm-tracks pattern everywhere. Even after this, Firefox was still goobered, and clicking on the taskbar/buttonbar/whatever it's called across the bottom did nothing.. (until Firefox returned to responsiveness..)

Is it possible for a program grabbing the mouse to result in such symptoms? I would think I wouldn't be able to drag Gkrellm around or click-navigate through Gimp if Firefox had kidnapped the mouse... but, again, I'm pretty ignorant of these things..

thanks for the responses!
 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:06 PM   #6
leonscape
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Edit: I wrote this before your response above....

I presume Firefox is grabbing the mouse and keyboard and maybe some other events, which means only it is getting notified of events from the keyboard and mouse by X. So its actually not doing anything to KDE/GNOME/etc.. its asking X just to tell it about these events, So KDE/GNOME is never informed. One of these Events maybe what finally releases it and is what Firefox is waiting for ( or Firefox eventually times out the event and carries on ).

Now its bad practice to do that, and since this hasn't happened to me ( Only firefox itself has frozen ) I can't say for certain this is whats happening. From the fact that it starts to get worse and starts to lock up even more that there maybe some logic problem thats entering a loop, but since CPU and Mem aren't disappering, I think it must be waiting on something.

I'd report this to the Firefox team, as I'm sure they'd want to know about it.

Edit:
So its not grabbing the mouse and keyboard entirely, just some of the events. but the majority of what I've said stands, and of course since this hasn't happened to me I can't be sure this is whats really happening its just a guess...

Last edited by leonscape; 01-20-2005 at 07:10 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:28 PM   #7
clausawits
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Quote:
Originally posted by leonscape
I'd report this to the Firefox team, as I'm sure they'd want to know about it.
"report" = bugzilla? or a forum? or a mailing list?

OT: If bugzilla, what is the etiquette? I've thought about reporting other things before, but I had trouble searching to see if someone had already submitted anything similar, so I chickened out. If I do a few searches on the forum and don't find anything, I feel fine posting, but I've never been able to find things with bugzilla, even when I know they've already been brought up..
 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:38 PM   #8
leonscape
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Perhaps the Technical Forum They have there?
 
Old 01-20-2005, 07:42 PM   #9
clausawits
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many thanks!
 
Old 01-21-2005, 01:47 AM   #10
bluesman2333
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That happened to me with Moz and E-Bay quite often on my old computer. I always assumed it was processing the page and took all the CPU cycles to do it. I had Moz ad block and flash block and cookie block like crazy and it didn't help much. It isn't bad with the new system.
 
Old 01-21-2005, 08:34 AM   #11
BajaNick
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That same thing happend all the time when I was using Opera, sometimes I would click a link and in the upper left corner of the monitor there would be a small window appear really quickly then disappear and everything would lock up for 5 to 10 seconds, it really sucked, so I ditched opera.
 
Old 01-21-2005, 01:52 PM   #12
clausawits
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d''oh.. that "technical forum" at firefox appears to not be the right forum for this stuff.. according to this description on their site..

"Technical Issues
Post technical questions, concerns or issues in this forum. The SFX Team will review them and if necessary, create a project issue for the item. Please post Firefox usage or installation issues in the mozillazine forums."

I think that forum is intended by its creators to be just technical issues for the "Spread Firefox" website..

I guess I'll see if anyone at mozillazine gives a crap... (not holding my breath)
 
  


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