This happened to me starting aroun 2011-07-20: many websites would not completely load in either Firefox 3.6.18 or 5.0 (I tried only these) on Ubuntu 10.10. This also happened with a complete fresh install of Firefox 5.0 on Ubuntu 11.04, after removing all configuration files. So it is clearly no Firefox config issue.
Symptoms. Mostly, the page header elements would load, including header imagery etc., but no actual article content. The status bar would show “waiting for platform.twitter.com” and the “page is loading indicator” (the little wheel in FF 5) will be constantly on. This does not happen on all pages with a tweet button, but on some. Checking the same pages with the konqueror browser shows that the pages load fine, after a while.
Diagnosis. I do not have a confirmed diagnosis of this, but I think that this server (platform.twitter.com) is simply overloaded at times. And Firefox seems to be implemented so that it will wait forever on content that gets integrated from external domains, stopping page rendering altogether. Combined, this is a bad thing (to say the least) because it takes half of the Internet down. Or nearly down, because there is something you can do.
Solution for Firefox. Use an ad blocker to block content from platform.twitter.com. How to do this for Firefox:
- Install the AdBlock Plus for Firefox extension.Restart Firefox afterwardsif it tells you to.
- Go to the “Tools → AdBlock Plus Preferences” menu entry in Firefox.
- In the AdBlock Plus preferences window, go to “Filters → Add Filter …” and type “||platform.twitter.com^” (without the quotation marks).
- You can close that preferences window now.
- Reload the problematic page. Issue solved. On all pages.
Solution for Chrome and Chromium.
First alternative is the equivalent to the Firefox solution, as per Jaycephus’ comment below:
- Install AdBlock Plus for Chrome. (It works the same with AdBlock for Chrome as per Jaycephus’ comment.)
- Open the menu (with the monkey wrench icon), then go to “Tools → Extensions”.
- Click “Options” for the AdBlock Plus entry in this extension list.
- Click tab “Add your own filters”.
- Enter “||platform.twitter.com” (without the quotation marks) into the text line and click “Add filter”. No caret character here as in the Firefox solution, as it is not accepted here (and even in the Firefox solution it’s unnecessary).
- Close the options tabs and reload the problematic page. The issue should be solved immediately.
Second alternative, as proposed by yura in the comments below, uses built-in features but might not work for some:
- In Chrome or Chromium, open the menu (with the monkey wrench icon), then go to “Settings → Under the Hood → Privacy → Content settings → Plug-ins → Manage exceptions …”.
- Add platform.twitter.com as hostname pattern and choose “Block” for behavior.
- You can close the settings tab.
- Reload the problematic page. The issue should be solved immediately.
This second alternative is normally meant to only block media plugins like Java and Flash from running on some sites. So if it works, I cannot imagine why it does.
Solution for Internet Explorer. No ready-made instructions yet – add them below if you know a solution. Basically, you have to find a configurable ad blocker for Internet Explorer, then install and instruct it to block all content from platform.twitter.com.