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Noah Vail
Son made my Avatar
Premium
join:2004-12-10
Lorton, VA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Bright House

[FireFox] Mozilla targeting Memory Leaks in FFx Add-Ons

For me, promises of Firefox memory management have always been vaporware - like flying cars, cold fusion and political reform.

I'm running a Nightly x64 that seems to occupy 50mb of memory, for every 5mb of page data.

I realize bookmarks and add-ons bring their own memory burdens, but it seems those burdens are multiplied by every tab I have open.

Mozilla says they've been addressing (pun) the memory issues in their browser.
As I watch FFx use 1.2g of memory to maintain 3 tabs, I wonder how true that is.

Apparently, my add-ons are to blame.
Or so indicates Mozilla, who has cobbled together a new patch that targets the memory leaks that originate from add-ons.
said by PCW :

"Leaky add-ons are a big problem," began the blog post on Monday from Mozilla developer Nicholas Nethercote.

A promising new patch, in fact, has shown great potential in addressing what Nethercote calls "chrome-to-content" leaks.

"In theory it would prevent almost all add-ons' zombie compartments, which constitute the majority of leaks from add-ons," Nethercote explained. "And in practice, it appears to be working splendidly."

In fact, tests of the new patch so far have found a reduction in memory consumption of as much as 400 percent, Nethercote said.

The result--regardless of hardware capabilities--can be much faster browser speeds, he added.

"Even on high-end machines with lots of RAM, leaks can greatly hurt browser performance," Nethercote explained.

Of course, it's a rare patch that fixes any problem in one fell swoop without any side-effects, and this latest one is no exception.

Turns out, glitches occur in add-ons built with older versions of the add-on SDK, Nethercote reported.

"Firefox 15 is scheduled for release on August 28th," he concluded. "We need as many affected add-ons to be rebuilt with the latest SDK before that date to minimize potential problems."

The MemShrink blog post is here.

My memory problems in FFx15 are no better than they were with FFx3.
It's hard for me to believe a fix is on the way.
--
The Dark Tower's Skynet evolves from 4chan.

Bobby_Peru
Premium
join:2003-06-16

3 edits
Aloha Noah Vail See Profile. While I too would love Fx (and TBird recently) to somehow offer better memory management (MM) (perhaps in lieu of my own seeming to be heading downwards.....), my current primary browser profile (Fx 11.0) has 47 enabled extensions (some of which, I believe are large), one installed theme, and plugins, with 90 tabs open, including some that have video/flash content, and some which are set to auto-refresh regularly. In addition, TabMixPlus is set to remember the last 20 closed Tabs, and Session Manager has a few Sessions of varying Tab numbers lurking about. Then there are the Silverlight viewings, and that I tend to run the whole thing "24/7" (this might just be the first time have I typed, or said that annoying phrase. Sorry.).

Adding this profile's usage, as indicated in WTM, to the plug-in containers, totals just under 1Gig.

I have no idea how Fx's MM is supposed to work, or actually does work, but I do know that I certainly ask a lot of it!

Your indicated memory usage seems very high for only 5 tabs, at least when compared to mine.

I will read the links you posted, if I remember to, that is...

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Noah Vail
I have my doubts that anything will fix Fx being a memory hog. To me, the main problem is that it does NOT release memory when minimized to the taskbar. Opera uses about the same amount of memory with the same number of tabs open (40-50 or more) but Opera releases almost all the memory when minimized. Fx releases almost NONE and actually frequently "grows" memory while minimized.

1.2 g of memory for three tabs though is an awful lot! Fx 4 and 10 Enterprise don't usually get that high even with 40 tabs open. But compared to Opera with the same number of tabs open, Fx is using double or more the RAM and does NOT release it on minimize like Opera does almost immediately. Fx never releases it even over 12 or more hours of being minimized.

I would suspect one of your tabs of being the problem. Ocassionally, I have seen Fx start up, and I would choose resume previous session, and sometimes that was just a handful of tabs yet Fx would be using as much memory once it loaded those few tabs as it would with 40 tabs loaded. If I took the time to close each tab and restart after each tab I closed then I could find the culprit usually.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Grail Knight

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join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
kudos:6
Reviews:
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Perhaps you should adjust the setting to allow Fx to release memory on minimize (if you have not done so already).

Google Fx memory settings and you should find what I am talking about.
--
"We're your friends. We're not like the others, man, really."

drhoward_t

join:2012-05-08
Saint Louis, MO
reply to Noah Vail
Anyone who thinks Firefox memory has not been significantly reduced since FF4 has a bad install, problems with their own system or add-ons causing the problem. Add-ons are most likely the problem.

Memory use reductions since FF4 are well documented all over the internet; In technical magazines and even acknowledged by the Google Chrome team.

Memory usage in the current FF is easily 50% of what it was in FF3.
quote:
It's hard for me to believe a fix is on the way.
It's sad to think one needs to look to Mozilla to fix problems caused by third parties.

EdmundGerber

join:2010-01-04
kudos:1
reply to Grail Knight
said by Grail Knight:

Perhaps you should adjust the setting to allow Fx to release memory on minimize (if you have not done so already).

Google Fx memory settings and you should find what I am talking about.

Why is that not on by default anymore (was it ever?).

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to drhoward_t
I don't agree. Chrome is an even worse offender than Fx or SeaMonkey. Chrome with half the tabs open that are open in Fx uses GIGANTIC amounts of RAM. But with Chrome it is probably because of silly sandboxing of each tab which I hated so much that I stopped using it partly for that reason. Plus, Chrome is a bare bones browser yet it eats RAM in huge quantities.

SeaMonkey doesn't allow most extensions yet it uses as much RAM as Fx and does not release it on minimization. Only Opera has fixed its problems with hogging RAM as it used to do it too and it used not to release it on minimization but that was fixed about a year or more ago.

Mozilla has been promising a fix for the high RAM usage forever. It has been a fixture in Fx for a very long time and I simply don't believe Mozilla when they say it is fixed as they have said this so many times in the past and it never was fixed so why should I believe it is now? I have Fx 4 on my host machine and Fx 10 ESR on a virtual machine. There is ZERO improvement in RAM utilization or ability to release most of it when minimized and that is from ver 4 all the way to ver 10 ESR. With each new version, Mozilla has claimed a fix for memory hogging and it has never proven true.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

drhoward_t

join:2012-05-08
Saint Louis, MO

1 recommendation

said by Mele20:

Chrome is a bare bones browser yet it eats RAM in huge quantities.


Chrome is no longer bare bones at all though FF is far more configurable and programmable.
quote:
Mozilla has claimed a fix for memory hogging and it has never proven true.

Your statements always defy every technical report issued by Mozilla and anything any technical magazine says about it, from LifeHacker to ArsTechnica and CNET to Tom's Hardware to Maximum PC and on and on. Not to mention the countless bloggers who deal with this closer than I do anymore.


Grail Knight

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Valhalla
kudos:6
Reviews:
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reply to EdmundGerber
If you read what that particular setting does it is actually better to let Fx retain memory vs. releasing it. It does depend on other factors tho such as number of tabs open, addons in use, etc...
--
"We're your friends. We're not like the others, man, really."