It's a good thing that Mozilla fixed all those Firefox memory leaks!



  • While playing a videogame I noticed my system was a lot more sluggish than usual, so I exited and fired up Task Manager to be greeted by this "awesome" sight:

    Watefox 24.0, ~30 tabs open. As a comparison, Waterfox 18.0 routinely handled hundreds of tabs while never exceeding 4GB, at which point it would crash.

    Granted, this is Waterfox (a 64-bit fork of Firefox) so maybe it's not Mozilla's fault. But any way you look at it, using that much memory on a system with 12GB total is a WTF of epic proportions.



  •  ...don't open 30+ tabs then?

     

    Anyway, I'm running Firefox 24 (64-bit) on Linux, and it never seems to use any more than 400MB or so of my 4GB.

     

    Also, why do you even need 12GB? I can barely fill 1.5, and that's with a game running.



  • Seriously, something is wrong with that browser. I regularly browse with 80-100 tabs and rarely go above 1.5gb (when I do it's due to a rogue javascript).



  • @OfficeMigrant said:

    Seriously, something is wrong with that browser. I regularly browse with 80-100 tabs and rarely go above 1.5gb (when I do it's due to a rogue javascript).

    Just out of curiosity, did you ever read/play a "Choose your own adventure book"? I suspect that if you did you ended up with fingers and bookmarks all over the place.



  • Don't see why. I routinely have 300-400 tabs with all the usefuls stuff, 100 seem downright conservative. On topic, Firefox 20.0 and 656 MB used.



  •  I usually have about 3 open.

     

    I think that TRWTF is using some random fork of Firefox when the normal version works just fine. Putting water on a fire tends to make it not work very well...



  • Out of genuine curiosity, is it faster/easier to find what you want among 400 tabs instead of organized bookmarks?



  • So, you assume that all that memory is leaked. And you don't actually bother checking if the memory is used intentionally or not.



  • @cheapie said:

    I think that TRWTF is using some random fork of Firefox
    This @cheapie said:
    when the normal version works just fine
    For certain values of "fine". @The_Assimilator said:
    Waterfox (a 64-bit fork of Firefox) so maybe it's not Mozilla's fault
    Raymond Chen had a story on his blog once about porting 32 bit Windows XP to 64 bit. Without changing any code, just recomipling to 64 bit, they ran into problems with the Pinball game. In the 64 bit version of the game the collision detection no longer worked properly causing the ball to sometimes pass through the paddles or out the bottom of the pinball machine. I suspect something similar may have happened to Waterfox -- just recompiling to 64 bit may have explosed some bug that doesn't show up in 32 bit.



  • @Smitty said:

    Out of genuine curiosity, is it faster/easier to find what you want among 400 tabs instead of organized bookmarks?
    I often wonder the same thing. Everyone has their own way of doing things but more than 20-30 tabs has always seemed crazy to me.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Smitty said:

    Out of genuine curiosity, is it faster/easier to find what you want among 400 tabs instead of organized bookmarks?
    I often wonder the same thing. Everyone has their own way of doing things but more than 20-30 tabs has always seemed crazy to me.

    Tabs hoarders are the worst. Runner-ups: startup folder hoarders, desktop hoarders (especially on O/S that allow multiple folders), taskbar pins hoarders (especially on O/S that allow multiple taskbars), bookmarks hoarders, C:\Temp hoarders, fat chicks.



  • At my previous employer they have this CMS that, in Firefox, can leak worse than Edward Snowden (I'll be here all night, try the veal).

    This was about a year ago, so maybe somebody fixed things, although I doubt it. Specifically, we traced the problem to the combination CMS/Firefox/Firebug. It was a pretty serious leak, after a morning of having the CMS and Firebug open it was on about 2GB of RAM. Oh and I only have about 3-4 tabs open at any given time, man some of you guys are much more awesome at using a web browser than I am.

    On a quiet day I once spent a couple of hours googling to see if anyone knew what might be the problem. I found an issue in Firefox that had to do with streaming media. Apparently (and I'm paraphrasing my limited understanding of the bug here) if, under certain circumstances, certain media streams were started in Firefox they could not stop anymore, and memory kept being allocated every certain time interval. It was apparently really hard to fix, because there did not seem to be much work going on in that bug. I'm sure they had their top men on it though.

    The Firebug guy (well, a Firebug guy anyway) kind of suspected it was that Firefox bug, which is how I found the bug. Of course, that's an easy thing to say, and I believe in first seeing if the problem isn't on your own end, before blaming it on the other guy. The thing was, that the Firebug guy has the same philisophy but could not reproduce the leak, and had been asking for a decent test case for ages, except nobody could provide him with one. So if the problem was in Firebug, the Firebug guy could do nothing about it.

    Hooray for OSS!

    Anyway, the problem could be a single web site/extension combo. But good luck finding out which one if you have 30 tabs open.



  • @OfficeMigrant said:

    Seriously, something is wrong with that browser. I regularly browse with 80-100 tabs and rarely go above 1.5gb (when I do it's due to a rogue javascript).

    @TheLazyHase said:

    Don't see why. I routinely have 300-400 tabs with all the usefuls stuff, 100 seem downright conservative. On topic, Firefox 20.0 and 656 MB used.
     

    Well I routinely have 2000 tabs open at once, and flasher gifs then yours. 



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    While playing a videogame I noticed my system was a lot more sluggish than usual, so I exited and fired up Task Manager to be greeted by this "awesome" sight:

    Watefox 24.0, ~30 tabs open. As a comparison, Waterfox 18.0 routinely handled hundreds of tabs while never exceeding 4GB, at which point it would crash.

    Granted, this is Waterfox (a 64-bit fork of Firefox) so maybe it's not Mozilla's fault. But any way you look at it, using that much memory on a system with 12GB total is a WTF of epic proportions.

    For the sake of satisfying my perverse curiosity, what does about:memory look like when that happens?


  • @El_Heffe said:

    @cheapie said:

    I think that TRWTF is using some random fork of Firefox
    This @cheapie said:
    when the normal version works just fine
    For certain values of "fine". @The_Assimilator said:
    Waterfox (a 64-bit fork of Firefox) so maybe it's not Mozilla's fault
    Raymond Chen had a story on his blog once about porting 32 bit Windows XP to 64 bit. Without changing any code, just recomipling to 64 bit, they ran into problems with the Pinball game. In the 64 bit version of the game the collision detection no longer worked properly causing the ball to sometimes pass through the paddles or out the bottom of the pinball machine. I suspect something similar may have happened to Waterfox -- just recompiling to 64 bit may have explosed some bug that doesn't show up in 32 bit.

     

     

    The problem is that the idea of waterfox isn't bad: I run top-notch hardware, so why should the software I have running all the time not be optimized for my CPU (SSE, AVX and so on, which Waterfox supports, while Firefox is still compiling i586 binaries). Also I am currently at around 2GB stable running a browser section with a few hundered tabs (of course not all of them loaded into memory, but still) - if the javacript per tab doubles I might be scraping the 3 and a handful GB 32-bit would allow me to use.

     The problem is that Waterfox is and has been downright broken a lot of times in the past, so I hardly feel like playing around with it.

     



  • @toon said:

    Anyway, the problem could be a single web site/extension combo. But good luck finding out which one if you have 30 tabs open.

    I think a methodical binary chop would work a lot better than luck in this situation.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Smitty said:

    Out of genuine curiosity, is it faster/easier to find what you want among 400 tabs instead of organized bookmarks?
    I often wonder the same thing. Everyone has their own way of doing things but more than 20-30 tabs has always seemed crazy to me.




    When those 400 pages are something you need this week but probably never again, it makes perfect sense to have them in tabs. My previous job involved reading a lot of various documentation due to quick "help this guy figure this thing out" tasks. Treestyle tabs is great.




    I guess a sensible history manager could be equally good. One that could show the path you have wandered and bring you back to the point you were reading.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @fire2k said:

    The problem is that the idea of waterfox isn't bad: I run top-notch hardware, so why should the software I have running all the time not be optimized for my CPU (SSE, AVX and so on, which Waterfox supports, while Firefox is still compiling i586 binaries).


    [...]

    The problem is that Waterfox is and has been downright broken a lot of times in the past, so I hardly feel like playing around with it.
    If all they're doing is compiling the sources under 64bit, then I've no idea how they're ballsing it up. I've been running nightly under 64bit for months now with no problems (beyond the occasional bug that was at the head of the tree.) I pull and compile once/twice a week:

    [pjh@pjh ~]$ file firefox/firefox
    firefox/firefox: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 
    (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.33, 
    BuildID[sha1]=de75ed4e7d11f2eab7fdef035c930d67b0649d64, stripped
    [pjh@pjh ~]$ 
    


    (Yes, I realise compiling locally isn't for everyone, but I'm pointing out it shouldn't be too difficult for Waterfox to get it right...)

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @jpa said:

    Treestyle tabs is great.
    Quickie Q. for those that regularly have 20+ tabs open at a time - is Tree Style Tab the only addon you use?



  • @PJH said:

    @fire2k said:

     

    The problem is that the idea of waterfox isn't bad: I run top-notch hardware, so why should the software I have running all the time not be optimized for my CPU (SSE, AVX and so on, which Waterfox supports, while Firefox is still compiling i586 binaries).


    [...]

    The problem is that Waterfox is and has been downright broken a lot of times in the past, so I hardly feel like playing around with it.

    If all they're doing is compiling the sources under 64bit, then I've no idea how they're ballsing it up. I've been running nightly under 64bit for months now with no problems (beyond the occasional bug that was at the head of the tree.) I pull and compile once/twice a week:
     

     I don't need a Project where all they do is compile to 64-bit. The performance implications of i586 vs. X64 aren't enough to make me recompile my browser every two weeks. This isn't 1995 anymore, and I'm not running Gentoo.

     From the Project homepage:

    • Compiled in Intel's C++ Compiler
    • Intel's Math Library
    • Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
    • Advanced Vector Extensions
    • Jemalloc
    • Profile-Guided Optimisation
    • /O3 Switch

    Now that hardly is everything my CPU supports (AVX2 and SSE4.X), but a good start towards not wasting power by using binaries designed to run on a freakin' Pentium 3. Now if they could stop fuckin' up I'd be a happy user, however I can see how -O3 and Intel C++ could potentially fuck up code.

     

     



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    Granted, this is Waterfox (a 64-bit fork of Firefox) so maybe it's not Mozilla's fault. But any way you look at it, using that much memory on a system with 12GB total is a WTF of epic proportions.
    It's not really a "fork".  I'll bet there are no actual code differences between Waterfox and
    Firefox other than altering a couple of text strings to change the
    name.  And they're using a different compiler (Intel instead of Microsoft) with a bunch of "optimizations" that they probably don't really understand.

    What about the offical 64 bit build from Mozilla? Have you tried that to see if there is any difference?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    What about the offical 64 bit build from Mozilla? Have you tried that to see if there is any difference?

     

    There is no such thing. They only support nightlies.

     Linked

     



  • @fire2k said:

    @PJH said:

    @fire2k said:

     

    The problem is that the idea of waterfox isn't bad: I run top-notch hardware, so why should the software I have running all the time not be optimized for my CPU (SSE, AVX and so on, which Waterfox supports, while Firefox is still compiling i586 binaries).


    [...]

    The problem is that Waterfox is and has been downright broken a lot of times in the past, so I hardly feel like playing around with it.

    If all they're doing is compiling the sources under 64bit, then I've no idea how they're ballsing it up. I've been running nightly under 64bit for months now with no problems (beyond the occasional bug that was at the head of the tree.) I pull and compile once/twice a week:
     

     I don't need a Project where all they do is compile to 64-bit. The performance implications of i586 vs. X64 aren't enough to make me recompile my browser every two weeks. This isn't 1995 anymore, and I'm not running Gentoo.

     From the Project homepage:

    • Compiled in Intel's C++ Compiler
    • Intel's Math Library
    • Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
    • Advanced Vector Extensions
    • Jemalloc
    • Profile-Guided Optimisation
    • /O3 Switch

    Now that hardly is everything my CPU supports (AVX2 and SSE4.X), but a good start towards not wasting power by using binaries designed to run on a freakin' Pentium 3. Now if they could stop fuckin' up I'd be a happy user, however I can see how -O3 and Intel C++ could potentially fuck up code.

     

     

     

     

    I just compile it with GCC's -march=native option (and -O3), and I get everything that my CPU supports, and it seems to run fine. I haven't bothered with stuff like PGO though, It doesn't matter that much to me if a page loads in 11 seconds instead of 10. Even after I switched to building from mozilla-central instead of whatever's stable, it still runs fine, and I get to be on Firefox 28 while everybody else has 25. Most of the bugs I encounter are little things like favicons not showing up.

     



  • @PJH said:

    If all they're doing is compiling the sources under 64bit, then I've no idea how they're ballsing it up.
    Maybe they aren't. The code could be 64-bit unclean in some way that only shows up depending on the precise details of the compiler, optimisations etc.



  • @fire2k said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    What about the offical 64 bit build from Mozilla? Have you tried that to see if there is any difference?

     

    There is no such thing. They only support nightlies.

     Linked

     

    I was referring to the nightlies. They are compiled by Mozilla, not some random person, so I consider them to be "official".

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    I was referring to the nightlies. They are compiled by Mozilla, not some random person, so I consider them to be "official".

    If I had to choose between something created by a random person and something created by Mozilla, I'd probably take my chances with the random person. It's nothing personal against Mozilla, I hate them as a group not individually.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @fire2k said:

    aren't enough to make me recompile my browser every two weeks
    Mozilla aren't releasing that frequently, are they?



  • @PJH said:

    @jpa said:
    Treestyle tabs is great.
    Quickie Q. for those that regularly have 20+ tabs open at a time - is Tree Style Tab the only addon you use?

    I rely on TabGroups Manager, which replaces the tree with a second tab bar containing groups. This fits my workflow; I have one group for database stuff, one for the production system, one for the dev system, one for a debug shell and so on. For my use case that's easier to use than a tree structure.

    Tab Mix Plus is also nice; it allows you to customize tab behavior and gives you an alternative session manager in case the default one has a bug. (Losing 100+ tabs because the session manager didn't save its state properly is not fun.)

    Tile Tabs allows you to display two (or more) tabs side-by-side, such as when you need to copy and paste a form's worth of of data between pages. That doesn't happen often for me but when it does I'm happy I don't have to manually switch all the time, especially when the tabs are in different groups.

    As for the number of tabs open, I have about 35 tabs I actually use. Most aren't actually loaded until I click on them but they are there in case I need them.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @j6cubic said:

    @PJH said:
    @jpa said:
    Treestyle tabs is great.
    Quickie Q. for those that regularly have 20+ tabs open at a time - is Tree Style Tab the only addon you use?

    I rely on TabGroups Manager, which replaces the tree with a second tab bar containing groups. This fits my workflow; I have one group for database stuff, one for the production system, one for the dev system, one for a debug shell and so on. For my use case that's easier to use than a tree structure.

    Tab Mix Plus is also nice; it allows you to customize tab behavior and gives you an alternative session manager in case the default one has a bug. (Losing 100+ tabs because the session manager didn't save its state properly is not fun.)

    Tile Tabs allows you to display two (or more) tabs side-by-side, such as when you need to copy and paste a form's worth of of data between pages. That doesn't happen often for me but when it does I'm happy I don't have to manually switch all the time, especially when the tabs are in different groups.

    >
    Ta for that. Had a quick look and not sure any of the three suit my particular needs though. Think I'll stick with Tree Style Tab + tab groups. Cheers anyway.


  • @j6cubic said:

    Tile Tabs allows you to display two (or more) tabs side-by-side, such as when you need to copy and paste a form's worth of of data between pages. That doesn't happen often for me but when it does I'm happy I don't have to manually switch all the time, especially when the tabs are in different groups.

    I just detach a tab into its own window when I need to do something like this.

    Having hundreds of tabs just seems unhealthy. When I start getting too many, I'll start closing them. It's usually easier to find my way back to it when I need it by searching or re-navigating or whatever than looking through a zillion tabs. Do you guys with all the tabs hoard anything else?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @fire2k said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    What about the offical 64 bit build from Mozilla? Have you tried that to see if there is any difference?

     

    There is no such thing. They only support nightlies.

     Linked

     

    I was referring to the nightlies. They are compiled by Mozilla, not some random person, so I consider them to be "official".

     

     

     

    "Hey, my browser is unstable" "Have you tried random untested alpha versions made by a company famous for breaking software"

     Maybe if Mozilla stopped trying to reinvent Apple TV, C++ AND Android at the same time, they would manage to test both a 32-bit and a 64-bit release.

     



  • @boomzilla said:

    @j6cubic said:
    Tile Tabs allows you to display two (or more) tabs side-by-side, such as when you need to copy and paste a form's worth of of data between pages. That doesn't happen often for me but when it does I'm happy I don't have to manually switch all the time, especially when the tabs are in different groups.

    I just detach a tab into its own window when I need to do something like this.

    Having hundreds of tabs just seems unhealthy. When I start getting too many, I'll start closing them. It's usually easier to find my way back to it when I need it by searching or re-navigating or whatever than looking through a zillion tabs. Do you guys with all the tabs hoard anything else?

     

     I don't like using the word "hoarding" for tabs. Messie or Hoarder refers to a serious medical condition related to being unable to part with random junk that shouldn't be the butt of the joke for a series of TV-jokes. Imagine a TV-show making fun of Meth-junkies - only because the Meth-junkies look worse hardly makes them more worthy of media protection.

    Me having 100+ Tabs open is mostly a result of trying not to go through the process of link -> bookmark -> reopen when needed. At the start of the day I open all my feeds and newspapers into tabs, and occasionally work through these. Some days interesting tabs stay open unread, somedays I get to go through the backlog. I'm sure you have a book laying around just waiting to be read. I would say this is the same.

     



  • @PJH said:

    @fire2k said:
    aren't enough to make me recompile my browser every two weeks
    Mozilla aren't releasing that frequently, are they?
     

    If you go through with actually installing all the patches you are looking at one point-release per circle. Firefox releases a new stable roughly every month. That actually translates to a recompilation per approx. 3 weeks or a recompilation average of 2 weeks if you stay on the beta like I do (mostly to soften the blow whenever they fuck up default behaviour again)



  • @fire2k said:

    I don't like using the word "hoarding" for tabs. Messie or Hoarder refers to a serious medical condition related to being unable to part with random junk that shouldn't be the butt of the joke for a series of TV-jokes. Imagine a TV-show making fun of Meth-junkies - only because the Meth-junkies look worse hardly makes them more worthy of media protection.

    It's too bad that you feel that way, but I think it's a good description of my impression of such a situation. I can't imagine being able to find an article of whatever in among the hoarders hoard, just like I can't imagine being able to find that one tab among hundreds, and neither one appears to be able to just let go of an article. I'm not making fun of tab or other sorts of hoarders, just expressing my incredulity.



  • @boomzilla said:

    It's too bad that you feel that way,

     

    I accept your non-apology!

    @boomzilla said:

     

    but I think it's a good description of my impression of such a situation. I can't imagine being able to find an article of whatever in among the hoarders hoard, just like I can't imagine being able to find that one tab among hundreds, and neither one appears to be able to just let go of an article. I'm not making fun of tab or other sorts of hoarders, just expressing my incredulity.

     

    It's a hundred tabs. Most of them have the article content of 2-3 pages, some of them are music to check out on rainy day, some are books to buy on the next mass-order at amazon. They are hardly worse than the note collection my dad carries around, or the paper wastes on a policeman's desk. Attention is finite. Someday I'll listen to this Russinovich-podcast about how to debug system dumps. Or maybe I won't. Being unable to let go would imply a connection that isn't there in the first place. I just like interesting stuff, and a browser full of finely filtered interesting stuff makes for having something to look forward to. Some people have a netflix-queue, some people have a youtube-watchlist, I have browser tabs.



  • @fire2k said:

    It's a hundred tabs. Most of them have the article content of 2-3 pages, some of them are music to check out on rainy day, some are books to buy on the next mass-order at amazon. They are hardly worse than the note collection my dad carries around, or the paper wastes on a policeman's desk. Attention is finite. Someday I'll listen to this Russinovich-podcast about how to debug system dumps. Or maybe I won't. Being unable to let go would imply a connection that isn't there in the first place. I just like interesting stuff, and a browser full of finely filtered interesting stuff makes for having something to look forward to. Some people have a netflix-queue, some people have a youtube-watchlist, I have browser tabs.

     

     

    Aren't there a whole bunch of "Read Later list" thingies for that? I use the bookmarks toolbar for that, and I use about:newtab as a bookmarking system (I have my 9 most visited sites there, and it's set as my home page).

     



  • @fire2k said:

    I don't like using the word "hoarding" for tabs.


    [...]

    Me having 100+ Tabs open is mostly a result of trying not to go through the process of link -> bookmark -> reopen when needed. At the start of the day I open all my feeds and newspapers into tabs, and occasionally work through these. Some days interesting tabs stay open unread, somedays I get to go through the backlog. I'm sure you have a book laying around just waiting to be read. I would say this is the same.

    Having ONE book laying around just waiting to be read is normal. Having ONE HUNDRED books laying around waiting to be read is not.

    I'm wondering: if you can't be bothered to use bookmarks, do you also not make your bed because anyways you will sleep in it again? or do you not wash your clothes because they will get dirty again? Life must be terribly tedious for you.



  • @Ronald said:

    Having ONE book laying around just waiting to be read is normal. Having ONE HUNDRED books laying around waiting to be read is not.
    It's very common to have a hundred or more books sitting around. It's called a bookcase. Or a library. But you don't have a hundred books stacked randomly on your dining room table. That's the equivalent of having a hundred tabs open in a browser.



  • @Ronald said:

    @fire2k said:

    I don't like using the word "hoarding" for tabs.


    [...]

    Me having 100+ Tabs open is mostly a result of trying not to go through the process of link -> bookmark -> reopen when needed. At the start of the day I open all my feeds and newspapers into tabs, and occasionally work through these. Some days interesting tabs stay open unread, somedays I get to go through the backlog. I'm sure you have a book laying around just waiting to be read. I would say this is the same.

    Having ONE book laying around just waiting to be read is normal. Having ONE HUNDRED books laying around waiting to be read is not.

    I'm wondering: if you can't be bothered to use bookmarks, do you also not make your bed because anyways you will sleep in it again? or do you not wash your clothes because they will get dirty again? Life must be terribly tedious for you.

     

     "You don't do dull tasks, life must be very dull for you". Ah, logic strikes again. But the reason your analogy is crap is because my browser isn't my dinner table nor a thousand books. It's the equivalent of a notebook with 300 pages - the difference of time it would take to read my current browser and hundred books is the difference between reading Murakami one time and reading Joyce fifty times. One can easily be accomplished within a week, the other would take a decade.

    The reason I don't do bookmarks is because browser tabs aren't a physical space. The difference between an open tab and a bookmark are enterely manmade and a concept of visualization for people too in love with analogies from the real world. You computer saves both persistently when you close your browser. Firefox even saves them as the same data type, and so does my backup software. Both only reload once I click on them. 

     



  • @fire2k said:

    The reason I don't do bookmarks is because browser tabs aren't a physical space. The difference between an open tab and a bookmark are enterely manmade and a concept of visualization for people too in love with analogies from the real world. You computer saves both persistently when you close your browser. Firefox even saves them as the same data type, and so does my backup software. Both only reload once I click on them. 

     

     

     

    See, I don't save the tabs when I close my browser, making them different from bookmarks.

     



  • @cheapie said:

    It doesn't matter that much to me if a page loads in 11 seconds instead of 10.

    You may want to switch ISPs. My ISP can load pages 100 times faster than that!


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