Over the past few days, the Chrome browser page with Questions is crashing.

It has crashed while typing answers twice and several other times when just viewing and updating the questions listing.

Did something change in the past three days that could be affecting this as I have not seen this behavior before and it is very annoying when trying to write answers?

Has anyone else seen this or is this a bug?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it has been happening to me too recently. I'm using version 29.0.1547.57 m. For a while it was fine, but I've switched back to composing my answers in notepad for the time being. $\endgroup$ – Antonio Vargas Aug 29 '13 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ I have been totally seeing this. I have had to cut short or simply eliminate answers because it has gotten so bad. $\endgroup$ – Ron Gordon Aug 29 '13 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, me too. It's not too bad if I'm writing up a new answer (since the site will save a copy for me once it reloads), but it really sucks if I'm making an edit (there isn't an autosave feature for editing). $\endgroup$ – Adriano Aug 30 '13 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ Same with me, but if I click the reload button on the center of Chrome's page, I get back to where I left of. If I refresh, I lose everything. Edit: why is it that good software always comes to a point where it just starts getting worse and worse? $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Aug 30 '13 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ The same happens to me when I am typing a question. However my losses are not as bad as GitGud as I only lose the last few words. I suspect it is Javascript causing trouble with chrome as stackexchange uses it alot. Also some other interesting behavior it has is when I have multiple tabs open with stackexchange sites of any sort they ALL crash at the same time. It happens if I am in chat as well (cough javascript cough). Even if one of the se tabs is at a homepage it will still crash. $\endgroup$ – Ali Caglayan Sep 1 '13 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ I have the same problem as @GitGud and also see the problem you are seeing. If I have 3 or 4 MSE tabs open, they all tend to go south at once, although sometimes only one does. I am not sure if these postings even get addressed as maybe they think it is some Chrome or JS problem. Wait until HTML 5 really gets going, then we might be seeing a lot more of these strangeness! $\endgroup$ – Amzoti Sep 1 '13 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Started happening recently also to me (working withouth problems since January 2013). $\endgroup$ – leonbloy Sep 19 '13 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ It is still happening to me and is affecting my desire to even post! Very annoying and sometimes refresh is wiping out everything I typed! $\endgroup$ – Amzoti Sep 19 '13 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ I am unable to reproduce this in the latest Chrome. Can people confirm if this is still an issue? $\endgroup$ – Oded Sep 24 '13 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded yes, I had it happen while editing this answer of mine today, twice. $\endgroup$ – Antonio Vargas Sep 25 '13 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Oded: I updated my Chrome Browser and had it happen while reviewing posts and editing a post. SO, appears to be happening with the latest browser (I also use Windows XP and Windows 7 and it happens on both). Regards $\endgroup$ – Amzoti Sep 25 '13 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ I really need to reduce this to something that I can reproduce - does this happen whatever you are editing (ie. text/latex/markdown), or only specific edits? ping @AntonioVargas $\endgroup$ – Oded Sep 26 '13 at 7:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Oded Of course the bug has nothing to do with wikipedia. I only provided for the possibility that you did not have the opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities memorized. $\endgroup$ – Antonio Vargas Sep 26 '13 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I have been able to reproduce following the steps by @AntonioVargas - however, this isn't giving me any details of the crash. Seeing as I can't reproduce in other browsers seems to point at a bug in Chrome. $\endgroup$ – Oded Sep 26 '13 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Oded Martin found the script that I mentioned in my last comment. Here's the meta thread. $\endgroup$ – Antonio Vargas Sep 26 '13 at 16:00

I have been able to diminish the number of crashes by using Robjohn's "rendering off" tab. That seems to fix it a little, since it seems Chrome crashes when compiling and re-compiling the code over and over when we type. It seems every new character entered forces a recompilation of the code that as been already been written.


It seems that the crash can reliably be reproduced using the following method (supposing you have the ability to go into edit mode on an answer of mine).

  1. Close Chrome completely.

  2. Open a new Chrome window and go to this answer: https://math.stackexchange.com/a/498905/5531

  3. Open up another window next to it and go to this Wikipedia page, where you will find the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities#Chapter_I_-_The_Period

  4. Click the "edit" link on my answer, scroll to the bottom of its raw text, and start typing the paragraph from the book into the answer.

Both times I have tried this it has crashed before the end of the paragraph. You may need to type slightly more, for example by starting the paragraph over.

This should work with any answer with enough MathJax equations and any new text of sufficient length.

I recall that someone wrote a script which would re-render only the paragraph you were currently editing in the preview pane rather than re-rendering the whole answer each time a character was added or deleted. Eventually something updated which caused it to stop working. I can't seem to find it now. Does anyone have the link?


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