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CPU Leak

I just had to quit Firefox for the umpteenth time because it was taking up 25% of my CPU and 1.5 GB of virtual memory. It makes my lap hot and burns down my battery and activates my fan and slows down my click response time. I have no idea if it was Gmail or Google Reader or one of the other JS-heavy apps and frankly, I’m sick of guessing.

Let’s face it: the browser is an operating system. It’s time it started acting like one.

Here’s what I want my next browser to do:

  • Put every tab’s JS in its own thread or process space
  • Pause that process when I switch tabs (i.e. I don’t want Gmail to check for incoming mail or chats unless it’s in a visible tab)
  • Show me a list of the CPU and memory usage of each JS slice like “top” or the Windows process monitor and allow me to kill them without restarting my browser
  • Same goes for Flash but even moreso: I want every seizure-inducing, focus-stealing, ringtone-blaring flash app to be individually killable and blockable
  • Show me the content of the page now even if some stupid ad or web bug or analytics script on a different server is slow to load

And for Santa’s sake when I tell you to quit don’t swap in every little JS object and free it individually. Throw the whole heap away and quit, damn your eyes!

OK? OK.

Comments
  1. Mike Cavaliere says:

    AMEN. Especially to the threading, I’m sick of Netvibes and Gmail (both great apps) causing firefox to hang and having to restart.

  2. Daryl says:

    I think I disagree with “Pause that process when I switch tabs.” Perhaps more accurately, I’ll agree with this if I have the option of disabling the pause for specific domains.

  3. About a month ago, I made a separate profile in firefox that includes all the plugin I use for development (firebug, etc.) and it has made a huge difference. My main firefox profile I use for daily browsing has almost no plugins and I can keep it open for weeks without it taking too much cpu and RAM.

    But you have some interesting ideas. Let’s hope firefox 3 really improves the memory issues.

  4. Brendan says:

    I’d really dislike if the processes in the unfocused tabs were paused. The only reason I go to the Gmail or Google Reader tabs is that they update the title, and I can see that there’s actually something there for me to read. I hate checking things manually.

    I feel the “memory/CPU hog” pain, too. Try out the Beta release for Firefox 3 (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html) — it seems to run a little cooler, and seems to have far fewer memory leaks. The downside is, of course, that almost no add-ons work with it (Adblock Plus does, however, so it’s usable).

  5. Levi Cook says:

    And then there was chrome :)

    http://www.google.com/chrome

    Hopefully it’s as good as it looks.

  6. Alex Chaffee says:

    Word!

    Scott McCloud [in the house](http://blogoscoped.com/google-chrome/4):

    ![Multi-Process Browser](http://blogoscoped.com/google-chrome/4.png)

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