Firefox 3 hogging 90% CPU, can anything be done about this?

Hugh Caley hughc at
Tue Apr 14 18:23:18 UTC 2009

I'm not sure I agree with all of the arguments about "oh closed source, 
don't use it".  The fact is that Firefox allows the use of proprietary 
plugins, for better or worse.  It doesn't prevent me from using things 
that don't agree with it's own license (thankfully; I'd rather have this 
crappy Flash integration than none).  Open-source alternatives are fine, 
but try to find a new machine that doesn't use an ATi or Nvidia graphics 
card.  And I can't imagine the time it would take to come up with a 
complete drop in replacement for Flash.

Proprietary is here; we need to deal with it.  Now, my own point is that 
a single Linux user has about zip power to influence Adobe.  I think 
Redhat and to a lesser extent the Mozilla organization has a lot more.  
There should be direct talks between these commercial operations about 
problems like these, and if there have been, it'd be nice to know.

Also, Firefox allows a single bad plugin to make the brower unusable.  
Maybe it shouldn't do that?  Seems to me there's a legitimate argument 
to be made there.

I don't think the "that's proprietary, deal with it" arguments are helpful.


> Message: 7
> Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 17:20:39 -0700
> From: Craig White <craigwhite at>
> Subject: Re: Firefox 3 hogging 90% CPU, can anything be done about
> 	this?
> To: "Community assistance, encouragement,	and advice for using
> 	Fedora." <fedora-list at>
> Message-ID: <1239668439.13027.648.camel at>
> Content-Type: text/plain
> On Mon, 2009-04-13 at 16:26 -0700, Hugh Caley wrote:
>> > I do definitely get the problem on sites such as youtube; however, I 
>> > also get the problem on sites that don't have any obvious flash content, 
>> > and frankly, I'm not sure which ones at this point.  Flashblock doesn't 
>> > seem to catch all of them.  Still trying to find out.
>> > 
>> > I think it would be a good thing if Fedora and Mozilla/Firefox talked 
>> > with Adobe about fixing this.
> ----
> just so you understand that Adobe ships Flash (and of course Adobe
> Reader and everything else) in what we tend to refer to as a binary blob
> and thus only they retain the source code. While some of the Adobe
> software might be free in terms of no cost, they aren't free as in open
> source and so the only set of eyeballs that ever looks at the program
> code is theirs.
> The distinction is a very important one. Adobe has sole responsibility
> for compatibility as they can download the source code for Mozilla
> Firefox and fully understand how to implement their software in Firefox.
> The responsibility completely lies with Adobe and if you are unhappy,
> you should be complaining to Adobe, not the list. The list might help
> you with some workarounds but that's going to be as far as it goes.
> The ultimate solution would be to use the open source variants (perhaps
> gnash) because then you could participate in the software development.
> No one from Fedora or Mozilla software development is going to waste
> their time on Adobe proprietary software that they can't even see the
> source code to possibly make a knowledgeable suggestion.
> Craig
> -- This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by 
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Hugh Caley, Linux Administrator
Aldon Computer Group
6001 Shellmound St. Suite 600
Emeryville, CA 94608

(510) 285-8542 | hughc at

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