Saturday, May 02, 2009

Firefox textbox cursor issue

I recently ran across this issue with Firefox (3.0.9).

The problem was with the cursor positioning as I type in any textbox in any website in Firefox. The cursor does not always move as we type, but sometimes moves to the next position (like normally). See how the text gets garbled as I was typing 'download firefox' in a Google search box in Firefox.

This started happening all of a sudden and I had no idea what was the problem. I was initially casual, thinking it was a bug in Firefox and restarted Firefox (with Save and Quit option). When firefox restarted and restored all the tabs, the problem was not gone. I got a bit worried then. I was worried if this was a side-effect of a phishing attack. I checked with other browsers and things were fine; I was at least happy that my computer was not compromised; if at all it was, it was only Firefox. I enabled network watch in Firebug, and tried watching for all outgoing URLs specially from pages where I enter passwords (of course, by giving wrong passwords) but no sign of any malfunction. I also have greasemonkey enabled, so I was worried if any greasemoney script got installed without my knowledge; but no, there were no other scripts other than the ones I have for my own use. Now it was starting to get beyond me; and that's when I remembered I did not "really" shutdown firefox, but only hibernated (save and quit). My only hope was that, there could be some webpage which triggered a bug (possibly in adobe flash player or jvm?) which gets reproduced every time I restore the same set of tabs, thus leaving the restart having no effect on the issue. So I did a clean shutdown of firefox (quit without save) and started fresh; Voila! it's gone now. It never happened again; as of this moment I assume it is just a bug and my data was not compromised! :)


  1. Hmm, maybe running individual tabs as independent processes (like Chrome and IE8?) is the way to go.

  2. True, we seem to have reached a point wherein a little more overhead on CPU and memory is immaterial, given the benefits -- sand-boxing is the way to go!