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I'm currently using Firefox 10.0, but I've had this problem as long as I've been using the broswer - so most of 3 and the later versions of 2.

When I am browsing the web, firefox will exhibit this behavior:

  • I am on some page, for example the Hacker News front page.
  • I click a link to an article. The gray spinning wheel/throbber icon at the top of the page starts animating, indicating that the page is being loaded/retrieved/whatever.

Gray Spinner

  • I see a second link I want to read. I move my cursor towards it...
  • The gray spinning wheel turns green, and the title of the next page appears in the tab. However, the Hacker News front page is still visible, and it still looks like I can interact with it - the cursor changes to a pointer finger when I hover over links, etc.

Green Spinner

  • I middle click on the second link, with the intention of opening it in a new tab. However, nothing happens.
  • The Hacker News front page disappears, replaced by the first article. The spinning wheel also disappears.

Depending on the page, the "green spinner" phase can last tens of seconds, and at a glance the current page appears functional, but I can't open any new tabs.

There was one particular version of Firefox 3 from a few months back that did allow new tab opening in the "green spinner" phase. However, after about a week, the browser auto-updated itself and my desired behavior disappeared.

Is there a way to re-enable this "allow tabs to be opened during the green spinner phase" behavior?

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