Firefox 7 reduces memory footprint

Ryan Paul

Mozilla has released a new version of the open source Firefox Web browser. The update brings a much slimmer memory footprint courtesy of Mozilla’s MemShrink project. The new release also includes some improvements to hardware-accelerated rendering on Windows, support for the W3C navigation timing specification, and an opt-in system for collecting performance data.

Firefox has historically been a very memory-intensive browser, but Mozilla has pursued several successful campaigns over the years to keep the RAM gluttony in check. One of the most noteworthy memory reduction crusades in Firefox’s history took place during the 3.0 development cycle. The impressive result was that Firefox 3.0 scored better than any other mainstream browser at the time in memory-consumption benchmarks. Mozilla has recently renewed its focus on memory reduction with an aggressive optimization project called MemShrink.

According to some statistics published in the Mozilla Hacks blog, the MemShrink effort and other improvements have led to a 20 to 50 percent reduction in overall memory consumption under certain conditions…

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