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Caulking The Ship

It's about time. Firefox is finally fixing all of its memory leaks:

No matter the reason or the timing, Mozilla claims progress on the memory front. In its release notes, the company trumpeted the fact that the just-released Beta 3 plugged more than 350 leaks, with over 50 stopped in the last eight weeks alone.

"We've made a lot of progress," said Schroepfer. "Our memory usage is significantly improved, and dramatically better than [Microsoft's] Internet Explorer 7."

But the work's not finished. "Most of the big memory issues are resolved, and we're seeing some pretty good numbers [on memory consumption], but some additional [work] is one reason why we felt we needed Beta 4."

That's been one of my biggest complaints about Firefox. At any given time, I may have forty or more tabs open, and the memory usage would get to the point where the machine was paging so much to disk that it would just be brought to its knees, and I'd have to kill Firefox to recover the memory.

But I also have to say that since I upgraded my RAM from one to two gigs (on a Windows 2000 machine) the problem has largely gone away. For anyone who's unaware (and particularly now that memory prices are plummeting), the cheapest thing you can do to improve your computer's performance (dramatically, in my case) is to give it lots of memory.

But I may go get the beta version of Firefox 3 anyway.


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Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:

TWO Gigabytes?

Geez I have more than that in my phone these days.


Bob Hawkins wrote:

"Our memory usage is significantly improved, and dramatically better than [Microsoft's] Internet Explorer 7."

Why does that remind me of a Monty Python routine?

Steve wrote:

I loaded the Beta 3 on my ancient Thinkpad 600, running Win 2K. It does seem faster than the Firefox or whatever the hell the last version was. I'm a little put out that the moved the "Home" button to the links bar. I had to delete one of my favorites. to keep the bar from running off the page. But other than that, so far, so good.

Thanks for the heads up Rand.

Pete Zaitcev wrote:

Location of the home button is customizable. Go to View->Toolbars->Customize... For example, I returned my home button back and moved Smart Bookmarks out of the way.

I am sitting on FF3 nightlies, and about a week ago Yahoo Mail started to work with it (although I think that Yahoo fixed their broken Javascript rather than Mozilla changed FF3, because in the same day Opera stopped working :-)).

Josh Reiter wrote:

I have Athlon 64 3800+ with 2 gigs of pc5300 memory that just beats Firefox's current leaks into submission.

My work computer had just 512meg on it for a while and I couldn't get by with more than 10 tabs at the same time.

I use a program called FreeRam XP Pro that helps me keep track of my available RAM so I know to clean out some unused tabs.

BTW, as far as staying ahead of updates that improve performance. Apparently, Windows XP Service Pack 3 is supposed to speed things up a good amount. One good reason to get onto XP and out of Win2k. If anything, I loved going to XP a long time ago because it boots up so much faster the Win2k.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on February 15, 2008 12:31 PM.

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