Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wanted: Mac OS X browser without memory bloat

I'm sick and tired of the spinning rainbow beach ball on Powerbook because it's swapping due to my web browser turning into a memory pig. Here's what Safari got up today for me (ps output, edited for column length):

0.0 17.2 841404 135104

That's a 821MB vmsize and I've often seen it over a 1GB. And while the resident size appears to be small, the working set is not evidenced by the constant beach ball from paging.

I use lots of tabs and this causes huge memory bloat on Safari and it's not just space for the tabs because Safari gets bigger as I use it even if I hold the number of tabs constant. Firefox does the same damn thing. There was a Slashdot thread about the Firefox behavior a while back. It gets better in Firefox with browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers config change detailed in the thread comments but it really just bloats slower.

Browser developers, I don't want ANY memory caching of ANYTHING in the history. I pay $45/month to my cable company for a 6Mbps connection. So if I need to go back to something in the history (which I rarely do because if I wanted to go back to something I probably left it in a tab), get from disk cache or the origin server.

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