NS Communicator PR5, JavaScript Help CRASH! CRASH! CRASH!

W. Reilly Cooley (wcooley@navi.net)
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 00:12:08 -0700 (PDT)

I've been trying to use the latest PR5 of Netscape Communicator and met with
a disheartening failure. Using the included "Help" system, which requires
JavaScript enabled caused nasty things to happen. Errors flashed by having
to do with malloc on the xterm where I started it. Load avg went sky-high.
Phyical memory and swap completely exhausted. System would respond to
nothing: CTRL-ALT-DEL, CTRL-ALT-Fx (it did once--but memory was too short
even to do a 'ps' to get the pid so's I could kill the wild process),
CTRL-ALT-BKSPC. The grinding of my hard disk--the incessant swapping
about--continued unrelentingly for over twenty minutes (I know 20 min b/c
strangely enough, xclock and xload, unlike every other process, continued to
work almost normally), until I hit the "reset" button.

My conjecture is that NS attempted to malloc(), thought the return value
indicated that it failed and tried again, and again, and again... (And
then there's copy-on-write.)

It comes as no surprise to me that Netscape should be malfunctional.
What surprises me is that Linux was unable to recover. What should it
have done in such a circumstance? What should _I_ have done in such a

Pls. no responses like "don't use Netscape"


W. Reilly Cooley
                NakedApe Consulting & Navi.Net representative
1509 NE 10th Ave., #104                    Portland, OR 97232
503 287-2165                                 wcooley@navi.net
www.navi.net/~wcooley                  www.navi.net/~nakedape