A day after Mozilla shipped Firefox 9, the company quickly released an update to fix a bug that was causing the browser to crash on Mac, Linux and Windows systems.
Mozilla issued Firefox 9.0.1 on Wednesday, making one user wondering if it was bogus because it appeared hard on the heels of version 9. “Seeing links for [Firefox 9.0.1], why is it being released? Or is it a hoax?” asked a user identified as “hclarkjr” on a Mozilla support forum. Other support discussion threads also included messages from users asking why the company had updated Firefox.
Although Mozilla did not specify in 9.0.1’s release notes why it needed to update the browser so quickly, developers said that the update was prompted by crash reports, primarily from Mac users, although the Linux and Windows versions were also affected.
To fix the problem—which caused crashes when users ran certain add-on toolbars, including one distributed by the Dallas Cowboys NFL team—Mozilla’s developers removed a patch that had been applied in version 9.
“We built Firefox 9.0.1 with bug 708572 backed out,” said Alex Keybl, an engineering project manager from Mozilla’s release team, on Bugzilla (the company’s change- and bug-tracking database) yesterday. “We’ve pushed Firefox 9.0.1 for all platforms. Although we think Windows is mostly unaffected, we still decided to move forward with Windows->9.0.1.”
Wednesday’s rush update was the second by Mozilla in the last 30 days: On Nov. 21, the company shipped Firefox 8.0.1 to deal with a high number of crashes on Mac OS X. The crashes were traced to an Apple update of Java earlier that month.
Users who upgraded to Firefox 9 before the 9.0.1 patch was applied can update their machine by choosing “About Firefox” from the Firefox menu (on a Mac) or “About Firefox” from the Help menu under the Firefox button (on a PC), then approving the new version’s installation after it downloads.