Your Linux Data Center Experts

I've been Firefox 1.5 for the last week, and noticed quite a few of you have downloaded it. In general I'm happy with Firefox 1.5, but it's not without it's problems. I'm sticking with 1.5, but let me tell you a few of the problems.

First, the good news: I don't think I've had it crash a single time on me in the last week.

However, that's probably because I have to restart it every day or two anyway. There seems to be a huge issue with leaking memory and X resources. So after about a day Firefox 1.5 is using up, between the Firefox and X processes, between 300MB and 500MB of memory. Most of this doesn't seem to get swapped, so it's getting touched regularly it would seem. After 2 days it's up to 500MB to 900MB, and both Firefox and my system start suffering.

This leaking is about 35% in the X process and 65% in Firefox. Kevin had originally suggested it might be a badly behaving plugin, but I've cut down the plug-ins I have quite a lot and Kevin is also seeing it the leaking as well.

On the plus side, this has stressed the SessionSaver plugin, and it has been working with nearly no problems. I am not worried about shutting down Firefox because it'll start back up almost right where I left off. It has lost a couple of tabs, but gets 90% of it right.

I've also started running the “Alexa Again” sidebar. Most web pages come up a thin strip in the middle of the screen anyway, damn it, so I might as well use a sidebar. Alexa makes suggestions on other pages that you might be interested in based on the URL you are on. It's pretty good at times of taking you to other somewhat related pages. Like when I was on the Coda file-system page it took me to 4 other distributed file-system pages that I was not aware of. Sadly, it does not allow you to right-click on those links to bring them up in a new tab, it will only overlay the current page you are on.

Fast back and fast forward in the history is extremely nice. I'm loving it. Of course, when it starts getting to 500MB or more of memory, the back/forward begins responding extremely slowly, so it's kind of a wash.

Kevin also pointed out how to disable the Backspace takes you back a page in history annoyance. That's great to have enabled. Apparently, a lot of people really like it, but I find that I hit backspace thinking I'm in a field or after accidentally clicking outside of the field, and now I'm one or several pages back in the history and my form submission is probably going to be blanked when I go forward in history.

So, I'm sticking with running 1.5, in general it's pretty stable other than the memory problem. Hopefully, the Firefox developers will make some progress on it over the next few releases.

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