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30 March 2011 @ 12:53 pm
Another verse, same as the first  
I'm pretty sure when i went home yesterday that Firefox wasn't using 3.5 gigs of private memory and 3.5 gigs of virtual memory =P

Of course this isn't new to Firefox 4, this is part of the same old thing that they keep trying and failing to fix with every release. Likewise closing extra tabs still doesn't release all the held memory.

I still like it better than Chrome though, i've just about figured out how to put everything in Firefox 4 back to looking like Firefox 3.6 (tabs on the bottom, status bar restored, etc.) Along with not letting my do that Chrome also tends to be slow and clunky if you leave it alone too long (as in will freeze my computer for five or ten seconds when i switch back to it.) So i'm still sticking with Firefox for most pages and just use Chrome any time i want to view flash videos (although for some reason it won't play official music videos on YouTube, even though i'm not using any script blockers) or forward a link to my phone.
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Steuardsteuard on March 30th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you've tried this, but just in case: could this be an issue with a buggy extension? That is, if you turn off all of your extensions, does the memory use still get huge the way you've described?
DonAithnendonaithnen on March 30th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)

It's possible, but even if so it's not really a useful answer.

My current extensions are: Adblock Plus, Greasemonkey, a couple versions of Java Console, Menu Editor, NoScript, Status-4-Evar, Switch to Tab no more, and Xmarks.

For Plugins i've got Foxit Reader, Google Update, Java, Microsoft Office 2003 (why do i have that?) Shockwave, Silverlight, and Winamp (again, why do i have that?)

I suppose i can try uninstalling/disabling the MS Office and Winamp plugins, but really the only ones likely to be causing a problem are the Java, Shockwave and Silverlight plugins. And there's gonna have to be a _lot_ more HTML5 stuff available before Firefox can afford to write off those plugins and anyone using them as "not our problem."

Unfortunately it's not an easy thing to test. The memory doesn't always explode over a set period of time. Sometime it will be fine for days before i decide to close it at about 1.5 GB private/virtual, other times it will blow up to 3 GB or more overnight.
Steuardsteuard on March 31st, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
Clearly you can't disable Flash, and probably not Java or Silverlight either (though I've never actually installed Silverlight; it doesn't seem that widely used). (I do usually disable other random plugins when I can, mostly to reduce my security perimeter.) But it might be worth experimenting with extensions to see if they're responsible. (I haven't paid close enough attention to my Firefox memory use to know how much of an issue it is for me. Do you know a good way to track the real, meaningful numbers on a Mac? I seem to recall that some of the most obvious "assigned memory" numbers reported by the OS aren't that important, since most of it's virtual and unused.)
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 31st, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
Finder->Applications->Utilities->Activity Monitor

It then shows the output of "top" in the window, and you can (if your fast with the mouse) click on an app to more easily see how much that app is using. Right now I show that Safari is using 2.4% of CPU, has 10 threads, and is using 624.2 MB of Real Memory. You can click on the blue [i] to inspect it and get more details, such as Safari is using 5.85 GB of virtual memory right now. I'm not really sure what the private memory and virtual private memory are for.

--Beth
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 31st, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
And for comparison, I quit Safari and restarted it. Navigating back year only has real memory size of 93 MB and VM at 4.79 GB. I have my settings set to never clear the history, so I can only assume that it is large.

--Beth