back to article Mozilla forces Firefox 7 on memory diet

Firefox 7 has been released with a promise from Mozilla its browser is less of a memory hog. The new version of Mozilla's browser will consume up to 50 per cent less of your system's memory than past editions with most users clawing back 20 and 30 per cent. Firefox 7 apparently achieves this thanks to a project started in June …

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Flame

Had to revert back to 6.02

I saw the update last night, and downloaded and installed it. I lost NoScript and Adblock+. That is a no go for me, so I re-installed 6.02 and then everything was back to normal.

I also saw here at work that 6.02 is considered up to date, and that there is no update pending.

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Sim
Meh

no script

The upgrade also silently deleted no-script for me. However I was warned that page speed and HTTPS everywhere were not compatible.

Also my Live Bookmarks now all report "Live Bookmark Feed failed to Load" but they do update when I ask them to reload manually.

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Silver badge
Pint

Needs a serious kick up the wotnot!

I recently gave Chrome a go and was so surprised how lightning fast Chrome is opposed to Firefox. I was trying to get some tickets just after they went on sale, so refresh was utmost importance. FF was coming in at 7-10 seconds on the page, Chrome was hammering home at 2-3 secs.

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Anonymous Coward

FF have lost the plot...

I'm with you there. I gave chrome a go when the update frequency nonsense first started. When ff FUBAR'd most of my addons and realising it would keep doing this in half-yearly increments, it was time to switch. Chrome, while not perfect is much more predictable than FF and just as fast.

I'm all for FLOSS but please don't make me jump through hoops (compatibility tweaks), just to get back to where I was.

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Silver badge

All the usual add-ons working in FF 7.0 except Convergence which was disabled by the updater.

Flash 11.0.1.129 works.

Running Ubuntu 10.10 64bit.

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Happy

This is just a preview — your post hasn’t been submitted yet.

Sigh. Every time an update is released, you can always read the same clueless comments. If you really think you know better, you can easily fix it yourself. The source code is open. I don't work for Mozilla, but there's some of my code inside (even though I'm mostly a bug triager). Obviously, only the improvements that are ready (and went thru a 12-week test cycle) are included, and there is more to come. There will always be.

@Martijn Otto: are you kidding ? Everyone asks to use less memory, and you want to use more? Note the memory savings have not been done by removing caches.

@Aquilus: never saw that, it only last a few seconds at the most. Check your add-ons.

@itzman: the new version is already improved a lot (note that you couldn't see the compartments before), but there indeed cases where compartments are immediately released. At least one of the vectors is AdBlock+, but there others too. In many cases, the compartment will be released a while later (reloading the website again), but it often depends on the exact JavaScript code that is used by the website).

@EddieD: AdBlock+ works fine

@The Fuzzy Wotnot: let me guess, you tested on Google website ? Look up what SPDY. means..

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Joke

Gah... arghhh ! anger!

You know, call me crazy ("your crazy"), but recently, I went back to 3.6 for dev work.

The back story here is that I've been a firefox user since it was firebird, some centuries ago now in net time. When 4 was released and showed itself as a rather unwieldy beast - more fatfox than firefox - I switched to the new kid on the block, chrome, as my primary 'surfing' browser.

However, I was so tied to my firefox extensions, most specifically developer extensions, I kept firefox as my dev browser.

I'd frequently find my work dev machine slowing to a crawl, only to find good old fatfox was having a little munch on my memory whilst I wasn't looking.

I disabled all but my most essential extensions. It failed to assist, fatfox just kept on munching away, turning my PC into a big fat slobby sweating panting mess. The fattest fat kid at school trying to run crosscountry whilst eating mars bars, so fat, he blocked the path of the skinny fast kids.

I finally decided to snag fatfox 7 today and have found that the fattest fat kid has got himself a bicycle. He's still a big old bloater, but he can move a little faster.

Oh, mozilla, where did it all go wrong?

Please, go on a diet, shed some pounds, bring us back that super fit marathon runner of old, that Phoenix that rose from the ashes of netscape.

In the interim, I'll keep getting angry at you, I need you firefox, I can't kick the habit... just like the fattest fat kid with his stash of mars bars...

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Thumb Up

Marvelously put.

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Anonymous Coward

I suppose...

That all the requests for a smaller, faster browser just got delayed in the e-post for the past several years.

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Bronze badge

Big problem with checking memory usage.

Most people look at what Windows (and I assume Linux) reports as the memory usage for FF and complain that it hasn't shrunk. Please do not forget that this number includes both the browser AND THE PAGE DATA.

A properly written browser (and FF may or may not be one, I am not a browser expert) would have a small *browser* memory footprint (which can't really change all that much over time/use) and a large-but-flexible *data* memory footprint (able to be shrunk at a moment's notice if required).

Unfortunately, most memory-reporting tools do not (cannot?) differentiate between the two and simply report on the total usage.

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Anonymous Coward

They'll stop the memory leaks

around the same time Duke Nukem Forev... oh fuck.

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Issue discovered with Firefox add-on upgrades

People who lost one of their add-ons after upgrading, please read http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2011/09/28/issue-discovered-with-firefox-add-on-upgrades/ for some info and a workaround.

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Just updated one machine to FF7 - the installer silently dropped Adblock+, NoScript and Flagfox. Two other machines are reporting that FF 6.02 and 5.0 (!) are up to date.

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Boffin

Dropped add-ons: it's a known Firefox bug

Check out https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=680802

Apparently when there is a pending update to the add-on which has not been installed when the version of Firefox changes, Firefox drops the add-on entirely.

So it affects primarily add-ons which are frequently updated.

[Source: via Noscript user forum]

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FAIL

QA is for losers

Wow so once again firefox testing before release is half ass. And they wonder why everyone hopped on the chrome train.

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FAIL

Hoooo.....

What the hell are these guys doing? Shipping a major version with crippling extension bugs....

At least they've finally gotten serious about the pile of piss hanging up your whole OS for five-ten seconds running garbage collection, and this new deallocator gives back more resources too. Still a hog but not quite as hungry.

Any other grade-school basics in the works? Like summoning the menu with the keyboard while in fullscreen? Fixing the awful Downloads manager?

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Still memory hungry as ever

FF 7 is still routinely chewing up well over half a gig of memory on my work PC, with not a huge amount of stuff open (in number mainly tabs of El Reg stories).

The only real reason I'm sticking with it is Adblock which every time I see a non-adblocked site I realise I can't live without. At this stage though I'm tempted to try Chrome with their version

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Facepalm

Upgrades and Addons...

What they do...

Install the updates and then tell you that they are checking your add-ons for compatibility, but woops, sorry!

A Better idea...

Check your environment first. This doesn't seem to have occurred to them.

Ubuntu upgrade keeps offering me a FF uppdate. I'm not accepting it for a while yet. I've already been through the downgrade-and-lock-version with Thunderbird --- because the upgrade was not compatible with Lightening, and I am that singe person in the world that uses it! They can't even update their *own* add-in projects for a version change.

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Anonymous Coward

To the numpties ...

... who think that they saved memory by less caching please read this:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Performance/MemShrink

It was about tackling efficiency problems. (About time).

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frikkin FF 7

I was happy when I first read FF7 would use less mem. I've got a slow netbook with a gig of RAM, FF was typically eating most of my ram.

Now that I have FF7, as soon as I have a couple tabs open (like 4 or so), the bloody thing starts to use up most of my CPU cycles for long periods of time. Irritating as hell. First I suspected bad JS on specific pages to be the cause, but after seeing it consistently no matter where I browse, I'm thinking it must be the brower itself.

And I'm not sure it really does use much less ram. It does at the moment, because I don't dare open more tabs. Aaaargh.

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