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Saranac, MI
reply to Davesnothere

Re: Firefox 'New Tab' Feature Exposes Users' Secured Info

said by Davesnothere:

Is FF still as much of a memory hog as in the past ?

That has been my main reason for using it less and less.

A lot of work has gone into improving Firefox's memory usage in the past few versions. Check out the MemShrink project. Firefox is on par with or better than other current browsers in most cases. Since they're all different programs written differently, exact memory usage will depend on exactly how you're using the browser. With X number of tabs open, Chrome may be better than Firefox. With Y number of tabs open, Firefox may be better than Chrome. When this plugin or that plugin is in use, this browser or that browser may be better. The best test is really to try them yourself with the stuff you're doing and see which works best for you.

If you've been using Firefox for a while and had massive memory leaks there's a good chance you were simply told, "It's probably an addon's fault." The improvements made to Firefox's diagnostic information reports have been able to prove this.

Some of the zombie compartments were due to defects in Firefox itself, and these were generally fixed fairly quickly. However, it soon became clear that the majority of them are due to add-ons. It's quite easy to unintentionally create zombie compartments in add-ons. In the worst case, add-ons could leak the compartment of every single site visited.

This led to some lively discussion about how best to handle these leaks, because they are defects in third-party code that is largely out of Mozilla's control, and yet they make Firefox look bad.
Earlier versions of McAfee's addon actually leaked so bad that they've been blacklisted - it's not just random bad coders that had some really bad memory leaks in their addons.

On top of that you have the problem that many people confuse memory usage with memory leaks. There are many values that can be tweaked to change how much memory Firefox uses for certain features. Some may default to high values that use a lot of RAM to give the best performance. While you don't want your browser sucking all your memory away from system stuff, unused RAM is wasted RAM. Trying to make Firefox (or any other program) needlessly frugal with RAM could result in slowing it down unnecessarily. As always, it's a tradeoff, and changing some settings could certainly result in improvements on individual systems.

And with Firefox being open source, you're always free to change it to your own liking if they seriously muck it up. That's assuming it's not a configurable option and there's no addon to handle it.


Randallstown, MD
Good points, all.