If there's one thing I hate, it's plugin problems. That's plug-ins as in browser plugins, or one of the few reasons why I switched from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome for my default browser. In Chrome, a crashing plugin only affects itself; the rest of the browser is spared the messy issues (and random shutdown) that arise from problems on a page. The worst that can happen is that the actual tab your own shuts down: the rest of your browsing experience should remain unaffected by a plugin catastrophe.
Well, Firefox is borrowing a page from Google's book of process isolation, for that's the exact technique that Mozilla has built into the Lorentz version of its popular browser. The various tabs you open in Firefox Lorentz remain isolated from each other's wicked ways, in that crashing plugins will only affect the page or tab they're on--prompting a gray fade-out of your screen and an automatic reload, if you so choose. The rest of your multi-tab browser will stay exactly the same as it was pre-crash.
As it stands, Lorentz is only working with Flash, Quicktime, and Silverlight plugins right now. This is a beta version of Lorentz, however, so don't rule the browser's incompatibilities out just yet. On a personal note, I'm super-excited to play around some more with Lorentz, as I've found that errant or miscoded Flash applications tend to crash a majority of my browsing sessions--not anymore!
Lorentz is expected to roll into the 3.6 client release of Firefox general... but that shouldn't stop you from getting your hands on an early version of this awesome--and copycat--feature.
Download Lorentz here !
Each week, Maximum PC picks a new free or shareware download as its favorite of... the week. Have a nifty application that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.