crash recovery in browsers

It doesn’t happen too much anymore, but in the earlier days of browsers they would crash far too often, and I consequently lost what I was working on. I remember several occasions when I was writing a long e-mail and the browser crashed and I had to write it all over again. Another time I was writing a blog entry and was looking at another site to do some research when the site caused the browser to crash, leaving me with nothing but a blank screen and lost time.

Word Processors solved this problem ages ago, and I’m surprised web browsers haven’t followed suit. The solution is to periodically cache any user-entered data. That way, if the browser crashes, the data from the last backup is restored and instead of losing the entire thing, you only lose what you typed since the last backup. Firefox would need to start restoring tabs (or maybe the feature could be added to the Session Saver extension) but Opera already saves sessions, so all that’s left there is to repopulate the fields. There are probably some complexities that I’m not thinking of that the developers would have to overcome, but I for one think it would be a very useful feature.


 (Post a comment) | Comments RSS feed
  1. I have learned the hard way that anytime I go to post on my blog or leave a comment anywhere, it is best to do a little block and ctrl-C action.

    Comment by Renee on February 15, 2005 @ 2:46 pm
  2. That is one feature that I just love about Opera. Somehow, it just about *always* seems to happen to me when I’m writing something in a form of some kind :-/

    Though recently, the loss of data more so happens to me in Opera when I try to create a new tab via mouse gesture. I’d drag mouse down sometimes but actually, it ends up that I drag down and to right to close the tab. But using Opera beta, I noticed that the crashes reduced significantly.

    Comment by Teja on February 15, 2005 @ 6:39 pm
  3. You wouldn’t want the browser to cache passworded fields of course, but other than that, I think it’s a great idea. Maybe you should submit your idea to the firefox open source project.

    Comment by chad on February 16, 2005 @ 8:34 am
  4. Chad: That’s a good idea. I’ve submitted my request as an additional comment on an enhancement request that was already there.

    Comment by dan on February 16, 2005 @ 9:51 am
  5. I just discovered, thanks to vmware screwing up video/input on my box, that Epiphany (Gnome’s gecko-based browser) will restore your session after a crash. Probably doesn’t capture fields, though.

    Comment by Levi on February 16, 2005 @ 11:26 am

Comments are closed