[sc:software-category ]Currently I’m using three different desktop browsers, Opera as my main day-to-day browser, Firefox as a secondary browser (for sites that don’t work in Opera, or where I have multiple accounts) and IE as the fall back.
That means in general I have a dozen tabs open in Opera, 3 in Firefox and 1 in IE. Recently I was looking at the memory usage on my PC and realized that Firefox was using over a gig or RAM for 3 sits and decided to take a look at why.
First, to be fair, I’ll say that my main PC only gets rebooted once a month during the MS patching cycle, otherwise it is always on and all three browsers are also always running. This is of course not the standard use case scenario of most people, but for me it is ;).
Because of this, if there are memory leaks in the browser, memory usage will continuously go up the longer the browser is open. Likewise, any page that runs scripts that never really terminate (like Gmail and Hotmail) will also cause memory usage to continue to climb over time.
For me, this was a double whammy, I use Firefox for both Gmail and Hotmail. Those tabs are kept open for weeks at a time and they just never release memory correctly.
Even closing the tabs does not clean up the entire problem (in fact it only cleaned up a small part of it). Practically I have to shut down Firefox to reclaim the RAM. Both Opera and IE don’t have this issue (of needing a shutdown) though they both exhibit the ever increasing memory usage with Gmail and Hotmail, just closing the tabs cleans up the memory usage issue.
I’ve been a long time Firefox user, but between the continued decline in real world performance over the last few versions, IE coming on strong and coupled with the broken attempt to complete with Chrome’s versioning system, Firefox may finally be removed from my day to day usage.