Mozilla to Get a Grip on Memory Leak Issues in Firefox 7

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News Posted: Thu, Aug 11 2011 1:03 PM
If you've ever yelled at your PC, "Holy system resources, Batman! Firefox is chewing through all my memory!," then you may have bigger issues than browser memory leaks (don't worry, we have issues too...). But you're also not alone. Firefox's frustrating tendency to continually grab more memory until you're forced to shut it down and restart has plagued the browser for several generations. Some never see it, many do, and it isn't always because of third-party extensions. Ready for some good news? Mozilla is touting Firefox 7 as being much more lean than Firefox 6.

"Firefox 7 uses less memory than Firefox 6 (and 5 and 4): often 20 percent to 30 percent less, and sometimes as much as 50 percent less," Mozilla's Nicholas Nethercote stated in a blog post. "In particular, Firefox 7's memory usage will stay steady if you leave it running overnight, and it will free up more memory when you close many tabs."

This isn't at all relevant to Firefox 7, we just thought it was punny.

The end result, according to Nethercote, is you can expect Firefox to run faster and leaner, and it will be less likely to crash even when you have a bunch of websites open at once or leave it running for extended periods. Should we believe it?

That's up to you, but it's nice to see Mozilla being so open about Firefox's memory leak issue. Rather than make excuses, Nethercote acknowledges that "Firefox has a reputation for being a memory hog," noting that it was particularly bad in Firefox 2. And while things improved in Firefox 3/3.5/3.6, Nethercote admits "Firefox 4 regressed again" in part because of all the new features that were shoveled in, as well as "over-aggressive tuning of heuristics relating to JavaScript garbage collection and image decoding."

Seeing Mozilla own up Firefox's past faults is an encouraging sign and leaves us hopeful that Firefox 7 will live up to the hype.
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I have never had memory issues with Firefox personally but I close my browser often. Adobe Flash on the other hand ouch!

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acarzt replied on Thu, Aug 11 2011 2:14 PM

I use IE and I don't have any of these problems :-)

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I dont know about Firefocx's memeroy leaking. I dont have any problem with that. I currenty use FireFox 5.0.1 on my PC. Am looking forward for better version Fire Fox in future

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DHampton replied on Thu, Aug 11 2011 3:15 PM

Meh its a problem especially when silverlight had a couple. would crash I would refresh page and whole time firefox would be running away with ram. I believe my record was just under 4gigs in between firefox and its plugins.

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Aug 11 2011 3:23 PM

FireFox does get piggy at times indeed.

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realneil replied on Thu, Aug 11 2011 8:57 PM

It works well for me,....I'll use the new version though.

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I love FF, and yes I am one of the ones who screams at the monitor when it crashes. I admit I love to have a gadzillion tabs up because I am multitasking through the social networking, my blogs, and anything else I find interesting in the interim. I don't know if I believe it is not going to crash. I am hopeful it doesn't crash, but I am not putting too much in it.

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I use to use FF all the time, big in the recent builds I found it to become a hog and slow. Been on chrom ever since its debue and its running well for me

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rrplay replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 12:07 PM

Using the new FF 6 here and sometimes use the Nightfly [Aurora] build both are a bit more snappier than previous FF5.

Came across this for some interessting reading and if you have the memory avail and a bit of time this could be a bit of fun

Firefox easily outperforms Chrome with many tabs open

Read more at Gregor Wagner’s blog

Might be just the thing to check the script esp if you have more than 4GB of ram and the time because Chrome is going to need it !



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