What’s Wrong with People who Whine about Firefox

I found this on Slashdot. People there have been doing this kind of whining for a long time. The person is talking about memory leaks in Firefox.

Replication is easy, windows XP or higher, any firefox that is currently actively developed on and a recent flash plugin. Open about 100 tabs of various sites, taking care to make these a representation of the (type of) sites the average user visits and start browsing in them. I can guarantee you that you’ll have a bigger than 1.5GB browser that will crash in less than a few hours.

This is apparently proof that the previous poster, who claimed not to experience the memory leaks, is a liar. But wait a second… who in their right mind has “about 100 tabs” open at the same time? Who in their right mind would expect that “about 100 tabs” would take less than 1.5 GB of memory? Who in their right mind would expect that such a condition should be sustainable for more than “a few hours?”

All of the people on Slashdot, that’s who. These people are ridiculous. I rarely keep a browser window open for 30 minutes, never mind “a few hours.” And when I do keep one window open for “a few hours” or more, it certainly isn’t with “about 100 tabs of various sites,” but more like five tabs. And by the way, that’s about as many tabs as I ever used–five.

And don’t think I’m picking on this one post as though it’s unique. My personal favourite complaint, now long-lost of course, is that somebody can’t keep Firefox open for a week straight without it crashing. You don’t say. Go figure.

And apparently the Firefox developers are ignoring bug reports, specifically about memory leaks. But how is that possible? Over the past few releases, one of the big selling points has consistently been that the browser will use less memory.

This isn’t even to really get started on the rant about why people think it’s good for their software to use as little memory as possible. The phrases “uses a lot of memory” and “is memory inefficient” are often used on Slashdot, especially against Firefox, as though they mean the same thing. I would be glad to have my browser use 3 GB if it did so in a responsible way that made my browsing faster. The key is that it wouldn’t need that much memory to function, but that with that much memory it would be better. Sure, there are situations where “a lighter memory footprint” is desirable, but there are plenty of situations where I have five tabs open, Firefox is using 200 MB of memory, I have 3 GB free, and I think “what a waste.”

The original comment appears here.

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