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Mozilla Updates to Firefox 18.0.2 For Facebook 'Tickle'

firefoxFrom the 'JavaScript is Fun' files:

Mozilla is now out with Firefox 18.0.2, the second incremental update for Firefox 18 in the last two weeks. Firefox 18 was first released at the beginning of January and was followed a few weeks later with the 18.0.1update fixing 7 bugs.

Apparently those 7 fixes were not enough.

The official Firefox 18.0.2 release notesidentify the updates to Firefox 18.0.2 as simply, 'Fix JavaScript related stability issues." Digging a little deeper reveals what some of those issues are.

One of them is identified in bugzilla as, crash in SuppressDeletedPropertyHelper (#806820). The TL;dr version is that this is a flaw that was primarily affecting Firefox behavior on Facebook.com URLs

"We're going to be on the lookout for actionable leads (there were none during the beta cycle), and I'll reach out to peeps at FB about the possibility of a recent FB change tickling IonMonkey," Mozilla developer, Alex Keybl wrote in a bugzilla comment.

The stability flaws are also fixed via bug #831626Switch cx->enumerators from a stack to a weak list.

"cx->enumerators is a balanced stack of active iterator objects. In practice, it is really difficult to keep it correctly balanced, because the JS engine has so many different ways of leaving execution modes, and the try-note-iter mechanism itself is fairly delicate," Mozilla developer David Anderson wrote. "Since the enumerator list is unrooted, when it becomes unbalanced, its items can become garbage collected and later crash. This is likely behind topcrash bug 806820."

So...

What does this whole 18.0.1 and 18.0.2 update train tell me?

Well for one, even though Mozilla is on a rapid release cycle of new major releases of every 6 weeks, Mozilla is still very active in making sure that each and every stable release is in fact, stable. When issues come up that hit the top crasher list, Mozilla digs deep until the issue is found. As a user, that's all you can really ask for.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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