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Re: Why does Firefox use 47 MB of RAM?

__/ [Questioner] on Monday 26 December 2005 14:28 \__

> I just did a "ps aux" on my Linux system and realized that
> Firefox uses a massive 47 MB of RAM, and Thunderbird
> uses an amazing 45 MB. I don't have a "hot rod" P4 computer
> so perhaps this is all the more alarming to me, but
> something seems to have gone wrong, I think. These are
> programs that deal with piddling amounts of user data,
> yet there so big!
> I know that a good chunk of each is just shared
> libraries, or so I infer because it seems to say that
> the intrinsic usage is more like 25 MB each, but still...
> 25 megabytes is a lot of memory.
> Just what the heck is all that RAM being used for
> anyway?
> And how has it come to this, that software that
> deals with mere tens or hundreds of kilobytes of actual
> user data somehow requires tens of megabytes of memory
> to process it?
> And I know what some will say, oh, the Windoze
> and the Macintosh applications use the same
> amount of memory... Well that doesn't justify it
> in my view. Three examples of bad engineering
> (or no engineering at all, I should say) don't make
> it right.

I  checked this several days ago when you initially posted the message.  I
could  confirm  that  the same hog holds over here. It was  even  slightly
worse  if I recall correctly, though it depends on the state the  applica-
tion  is in. I hadn't realised the extent of the hog. I prefer Java due to
interoperability,  stability  and quick development cycles that  percolate
and  come  my way. Apart from Thunderbird and Firefox, I occasionally  run
OpenOffice  to  view files which get sent to me *sign*. I also use  RSSOwl
and recently installed JabRef.

As  somebody  else said in this thread, it is a matter of  convenience  --
both  for the user and the programmer -- at the expense of what has become
cheap  resources that are expandable. If you want efficient programs,  you
might  have to compromise and lose some functionality. The choice is yours
and is dependent on the hardware at hand. At  the moment I use 350  MB  of
RAM and 300 MB of swap. Many open programs in a 20,000 pixel-wide desktop.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "The only source is Open Source"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  5:55pm  up 21 days  1:06,  14 users,  load average: 0.79, 0.64, 0.62

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