Categories: General

Progress in Our Quest to Defeat Browser Crashes

That’s right, your browser just crashed — never a convenient experience, and always frustrating, whether you’re aimlessly surfing the web or hastily attempting to file your eleventh-hour tax returns. A sudden stall can mean the difference between success and failure.

We feel your pain — we loathe crashes as much as you do! Last year, we decided to make a concerted effort channel this crash-induced wrath, and we began working earnestly on an effort that we call Project Uptime, which has a simple goal: to make Firefox better by reducing, and ideally eliminating, crashes. Since initiating Project Uptime, we’ve managed to cut Firefox’s crash rate by about 30%.

browser crashes less

To decode this a little, “uptime” simply means that Firefox is working as it should; the opposite of uptime is (you guessed it!) downtime, which is when the browser stops doing what you want it to and quits or closes unexpectedly. There are a variety of issues that could cause your browser to crash; in our quest for zero downtime, we have to be able to understand what type of crash we’re dealing with, as well as the cause of the event.

This is why crash reports are so critical. In order to fix the flaws that lead to crashes, each incident needs to be recorded and sent to the team in charge of fixing the flaws. This is why when you encounter a crash, the crash reporter dialog box pops up, prompting you to send us a report so our team can address the issue, and prevent it from happening again.

To gauge our progress in the battle against crashes, we’ve identified a series of objectives and desired results that will help our team diagnose and measure crashes in a systematic way, so we can identify issues early on. We’re all in on this anti-crash effort, and a third fewer crashes is a promising start. We’ll continue to pursue and fix bugs in an effort to stomp them out completely.