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Archive for the 'Firefox' Category

Firefox Tuning

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

My work computer only has 512 megs of memory, so Firefox’s memory usage has been a bit of a problem for me here. I found some tuning information today that I’m hoping will help.

What I’ve done (in about:config):

  • Set browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewer to 0 (on my system it was max_total_viewers instead, I set both to 0). This seems to tell Firefox not to keep a bunch of back/forward pages cached for each tab.
  • Set browser.cache.memory.capacity to 4096. This sets the amount of RAM Firefox can use for cache. By default, it’s allocated dynamically, but I think that led to the memory usage growing over time.

At home, I’ve also done some performance tuning involving pipelining. This entry on the element14 blog talks about bout the max_total_viewer and pipelining tweaks. It also claims that the Firefox memory leak bug is a myth and that the max_total_viewer setting stops it. I haven’t taken enough time to examine the effects of these changes, but I doubt that. I definitely think there are memory leaks in Firefox.

I also found an incredibly detailed thread about tweaking Firefox. Some of the information there may be outdated, but it’s the most in depth discussion of the topic I’ve seen.

Finally, extensions are often the source of a lot of memory leaks in Firefox. Here’s a list of extensions that are known to be problematic.

Firefox Live Bookmarks, Refresh Interval

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I’ve only recently started using Firefox’s Live Bookmarks. If you don’t know what this is, look for an orange icon with white curved lines on the right side of your address bar. If you click on that icon, you will be prompted to add a Live Bookmark for the current page — which really means subscribing to its RSS feed. Once you do that, you can click on the Live Bookmark and it’ll show you the newest posts on that site.

If you’re like me, you probably find the default one hour refresh interval for Live Bookmarks seems like forever. I got tired of right clicking and going to “Reload Live Bookmark” to look for new posts — it defeats the purpose of the Live Bookmark in the first place. There’s no menu item to change this setting, but you can do it by going to about:config and adding an Integer value called browser.bookmarks.livemark_refresh_seconds — then set the refresh interval, in seconds. Don’t set the interval too small, out of respect for whomever owns the feed and their server load and bandwidth concerns.

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