A Brief Word to the Folks Who Make Firefox

“Firefox is dead to me,” my sweetie told me this morning. She’s had plenty of bad things to say about it in the past, but yesterday the frustration of her computer completely freezing up more than once put her over the edge. “I thought of calling you to vent,” she said, “but I figured you didn’t need that while you were at work.”

Had she called, she would have heard me complaining about Firefox as well. The latest release broke one of my sites at work, in a really stupid way. You see, one of the Web tools I work on has a time chart. I keep all the times in the system using the Unix epoch timestamp, which is simply the number of seconds since 1970. It’s a big number, but not unreasonably so, easily managed by any modern computer (and most of the old ones as well). It’s simple and it’s a standard.

Somewhere in the last few releases, Firefox broke my chart. It worked fine in Firefox 7, but not at all in Firefox 13. After some head-scratching, I discovered that the latest Firefox’s SVG code can’t handle numbers that big. Seriously, WTF? I added code to arbitrarily reduce the numbers and things started working again, only now my code is slower and more complex.

Though, to be fair, the only reason I have to support Firefox at all is because Safari sucks at printing tables.

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