Today’s Nightly 34 build includes the work I did for bug 286355: a profile unlocker for our Windows users. This should be very helpful to those users whose workflow is interrupted by a Firefox instance that cannot start because a previous Firefox instance has not finished shutting down.
Firefox 34 users running Windows Vista or newer will now be presented with this dialog box:
Clicking “Close Firefox” will terminate that previous instance and proceed with starting your new Firefox instance.
Unfortunately this feature is not available to Windows XP users. To support this feature on Windows XP we would need to call undocumented API functions. I prefer to avoid calling undocumented APIs when writing production software due to the potential stability and compatibility issues that can arise from doing so.
While this feature adds some convenience to an otherwise annoying issue, please be assured that the Desktop Performance Team will continue to investigate and fix the root causes of long shutdowns so that a profile unlocker hopefully becomes unnecessary.