So Firefox 14 final-when version number matters Firefox 14.0.1 has been released, and now Firefox 15 is now on beta channel and 16 and 17 on aurora and nightly channels, focus now shifts to Firefox 15 which Mozilla engineer Nicholas Nethercote claims that will be more faster with many add-ons installed, thanks to Mozilla for fixing Memory leaks of popular add-ons such as Adblock plus, Firebug, VideodownloadHelper and Greasemonkey and these are top 4 add-ons in AMO, on the other hand third-party add-ons like McAfee SiteAdvisor and Yahoo toolbar also have memory leaks and they also have been fixed by respective developers. Hence Firefox 15 will consume less memory and will be more stable

Users with multiple leaky add-ons have high memory consumption and has signs of following

  • Long freezes, caused by garbage collection and cycle collection.
  • General sluggishness during basic operations, like scrolling and switching tabs.
  • Occasional drastic slowdowns — particularly on machines with small amounts of RAM such as netbooks — due to the paging of data to and from the hard disk.
  • Out-of-memory crashes or aborts, particularly on Windows and ARM machines.

Firefox 15

Its true that most users criticize Mozilla for Firefox’s high memory usage and user doesn’t know the add-on leaks as one of the causes and blame Firefox for not offering any tools that let users  understand which add-ons are causing problems, fair!.

Mozilla doesn’t have memory profiling tools or infrastructure before 2011  to detect leaky add-ons which has changed last year.

The infrastructure with which we detect zombie compartments was implemented in two parts:  the segmentation of the JavaScript heap into compartments (which happened in Firefox 4, released in March 2011), and the addition of per-compartment memory reporting in Firefox’s about:memory page (which was added in Firefox 7, released in September 2011).

Mozilla tracked the add-ons that are leaking memory and helped develops in fixing them and they’ve tightened AMO review guidelines to downgrade status of add-on if add-on found to cause zombie compartments. Mozilla engineer Kyle Huey prepared patch for  add-on leaks which doesn’t broke code in Firefox and has been implemented in Firefox 15.

Mozilla’s Nicolas Nethercote ran memory benchmarks test on Windows 7 system by opening 150 tabs in Firefox 14 with memory leaking add-on McAfee SiteAdvisor 3.4.1 and ran same add-on with 150 tabs open this time in Firefox 15 and  from the graph below it is evident that Firefox 14 doesn’t released memory consumed by 150 tabs even when they’re  closed where Firefox 15 prevented the leak.

comparison graph with memory consumption between Firefox 14 and 15

Users used nightly and aurora version of Firefox 15 also submitted positive feedback bout performance of Firefox 15. You can download Beta of Firefox 15 from here.

Have you found any significant performance improvement in Firefox 15? let me know in comments . [Via]