Firefox Lorentz beta sandboxes Flash

Mozilla has released the first beta of Firefox 3.6 Lorentz, which is designed to prevent browser crashes by running Flash and other plugins as separate processes.

Firefox Lorentz beta sandboxes Flash

The feature is a staple of Chrome, and Mozilla has lifted code from the open-source Chromium project. However, whereas Chrome sandboxes individual tabs, Firefox will eventually isolate all plugins running on a page.

Currently Lorentz only supports Flash, Quicktime and Silverlight, however more can be added manually. When one of these plugins crashes, Firefox loads a page explaining what’s happened and submits a crash report to Mozilla.

Broken plugins won’t be relaunched until you reload the page, with the company claiming this approach causes less hassle than reloading them automatically.

The final version of Lorentz will appear as a minor update to Firefox 3.6, dubbed Firefox 3.6.4 in May.

Lorentz represents a new way of working for Mozilla, which previously saved significant updates for major releases such as the upcoming Firefox 4.0. However, the foundation is now focusing on releasing features whenever they’re ready.

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