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Mozilla’s Firefox is a browser that uses way too much memory, no Firefox user can deny this. Despite the improvements that Firefox 4 or Firefox 5 brings, the browser still has an insatiable hunger for memory. Mozilla knows this and is gracious enough to accept its shortcomings and work on them.

The software company has finally decided that it is high time it fixed this annoying problem and is planning to put together a special team aimed to tackle the memory usage issue. The project, codenamed MemShrink, should help users reduce memory usage and change Firefox’s memory hog reputation.

The Memshrink Initiative by Mozilla:

“It’s pretty clear by now that this is a much bigger problem than any one person can likely tackle. So to help get more attention to this issue we’ll be starting up a MemShrink effort, where a group of people will get together to look at the big picture, triage bugs, investigate general approaches, and do some brainstorming.” Johnny Stenback, Mozilla Developer has recently informed.

The new team should better think fast and really make Firefox use less memory, otherwise some users might well switch camps and install other browsers. It is true; Mozilla’s code alone is not the only culprit. JavaScript’s recursive loops can drain memory and the resources of the central processing unit as well.

There are three aims of the MemShrink initiative:

  1. Speed: Reducing cache pressure, and less paging. The latter is crucial, as it can destroy performance.
  2. Stability: fewer OOMs (Out Of Memory errors), whether due to address space exhaustion or otherwise. This will result in fewer crashes.
  3. Perception: Fewer people will complain about Firefox being a memory hog.

Of course, it is users who have low RAM capabilities (of 1GB or less) who are worried about Mozilla’s memory usage. Even after a number of Memory leaks plugged by Firefox in version 4, it still consumes anywhere between 500 Mb – 1 Gb of RAM, depending upon how many tabs are open , number of extensions installed and how long has Firefox been running on the PC.

High Memory Consumption by Firefox

On the other hand, Firefox users whose computers bring superior RAM capabilities do not even pay attention to the fact that Firefox consumes so much RAM. They do not need to since their systems are powerful enough to support Mozilla’s browser without any problem.

Mozilla should however take into account the fact that the majority of Firefox users do not have 8 GB DDR3 RAM computers and should work on ways to drastically improve Firefox’s performance. Hopefully, the initiative will be much more effective than all other memory usage related improvements Mozilla has brought so far.

Until Mozilla releases the new Firefox version with better Memory Management feature, users should know there are some things they can do to reduce memory consumption. By using the latest plug-in version and uninstalling unnecessary plug-ins, using WindowsBlinds and deleting download history, users can indeed reduce memory use.