huge text displayed on certain web pages

Bug #254139 reported by darenw on 2008-08-02
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox-3.0

Viewing - or most other pages at that site - and increasing the text zoom with ctrl-+. The page may display normally for about 1/2 second to a second then suddenly the text is painted with huge glyphs - a thousand point? Normal appearance can usually be restored by backing off with the zooming followed by a reload.

Screen captures images: firefox-hugetextbug-abnormal.jpg and firefox-hugetextbug-normal.jpg at

This phenomenon has not happened on any other web site, and i've been surfing, er "researching" quite a lot with Firefox 3.0 on Ubuntu 8.04, installed since about two weeks ago. Many hundreds of sites, including fancy designer sites using ajax, flash, etc etc.

The site whose URL i give uses xhtml, which may be uncommon in some particular way to trigger this bug. Maybe there's a clue in the page source as seen by firefox.

**** PAGE SOURCE SNIPPET from Ralph Morrison site ***
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en">
  <head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
    <meta name="Generator" content="iWeb 2.0.3" />
    <meta name="iWeb-Build" content="local-build-20080430" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=800" />
*** END

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sat Aug 2 01:29:02 2008
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 8.04
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: firefox-3.0 3.0.1+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.04.3
PackageArchitecture: amd64
SourcePackage: firefox-3.0
Uname: Linux 2.6.24-19-generic x86_64

darenw (darenw) wrote :
darenw (darenw) wrote :

i want to mention this does not appear to be the same as an earlier bug in the list shown while i submitted this one - that user was merely getting text zoomed in a couple steps more than ideal, while i'm getting letters the size of planets, and within a second after seeing a mostly normal rendering.

Also, zooming out alone does not restore normal appearance. Positioning of letters is strange, like CSS or text metrics are all messed up until the page is reloaded.

Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. However, according to this report, you are not using the most recent version of Firefox 3.0 for your Ubuntu release. Please upgrade to the most recent version and let us know if you are still having this issue. Thanks in advance.

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
darenw (darenw) wrote :

Right now i'm using 3.0.10 and all is well with that particular site. No other websites have shown the problem. Unless others have something to say, I'd consider this closed. But, did the bug get fixed, or did it mysteriously go away?

Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

I'm not sure if it was fixed or just went away. Please let us know if you have any more problems.

Changed in firefox-3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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