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By Andrey_Karpov_2009
Submitted: Oct 08 2013 / 02:22

Firefox has long had a reputation for using too much memory. The accuracy of that reputation has varied over the years but it has stuck with the browser. Every Firefox release in the past several years has been met by skeptical users with the question “Did they fix the memory leak yet?” We shipped Firefox 4 in March 2011 after a lengthy beta cycle and several missed ship dates–and it was met by the same questions. While Firefox 4 was a significant step forward for the web in areas such as open video, JavaScript performance, and accelerated graphics, it was unfortunately a significant step backwards in memory usage. The web browser space has become very competitive in recent years. With the rise of mobile devices, the release of Google Chrome, and Microsoft reinvesting in the web, Firefox has found itself having to contend with a number of excellent and well-funded competitors instead of just a moribund Internet Explorer. Google Chrome in particular has gone to great lengths to provide a fast and slim browsing experience. We began to learn the hard way that being a good browser was no longer good enough; we needed to be an excellent browser. As Mike Shaver, at the time VP of Engineering at Mozilla and a longtime Mozilla contributor, said, “this is the world we wanted, and this is the world we made.”
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