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Firefox 3 Beta 1 takes me on one wild ride

Always a patsy for the New and Shiny, today I decided to believe what I read about Firefox 3 in the press. I downloaded the tarball, unpacked it, and ran Firefox 3 Beta 1 on my Ubuntu 7.10 system. Loads of fun!

One of Firefox 3's touted 'features' is its supposed cutback of memory usage. I use Firefox on every OS I touch, and over the course of many days it can consume quite a bit of memory, especially if you have loads of tabs open like I do. Well, after shutting down Firefox 2 and starting Firefox 3, I noticed that its memory footprint was around 60 MB, and this was after loading with all my open tabs. Then, in a blink of an eye, Firefox 3 Beta started consuming memory like a Santa Ana fanned wildfire consumes a California forest. As you'll note above Gnome's System Monitor is clocking the increase of physical and virtual memory at a rapid clip, with physical memory being pegged pretty quickly. It wound up consuming over 900MB of physical memory.

I'd also like to point out that during this period of out-of-control memory growth that desktop responsiveness went to hell in a hand basket. This is the first time in a long time that any Linux desktop has ever done that on this rig. Desktop responsiveness has been rough with Ubuntu 7.10 under load, such as ripping DVDs and certain video playback. Other loads, such as running a full make on ACE/TAO 5.6, don't effect responsiveness at all.

And of course, after finally getting control of the desktop and killing a runaway Firefox 3, resource usage crashed back down.

For the curious none of my plugins transferred. I did have nine previously opened tabs plus Google Mail. Here's a list of the links in the order they were open (minus my Google Mail account).
  1. Ubuntu Unleashed
  2. Dvorak Unveils New OS
  3. Yahoo! Finance: Why Multitasking Wastes Time And Money
  4. The Code Project: If Only We'd Used ANTS Profiler Earlier...
  5. Mauricio Freitas: AMD Spider platform video
  6. NetworkWorld: Vista worries lead IT pros to consider Linux, Mac alternatives
  7. NetworkWorld: Disappearing Gmail messages baffle users
  8. NetworkWorld: AT&T calls teleworkers back to cubicle life
  9. CNN: Ex-White House aide: Bush, Cheney involved in misleading media
I had started Firefox 3 in Gnome Terminal. Here's a list of the messages from start to finish.
wbeebe@europa:~/Beta/firefox$ ./firefox

(gecko:6641): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: invalid (NULL) pointer instance

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_signal_handlers_disconnect_matched: assertion `G_TYPE_CHECK_INSTANCE (instance)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_ref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_get_data: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_get_data: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_get_data: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: /build/buildd/glib2.0-2.14.1/gobject/gsignal.c:2180: invalid unclassed object pointer for value type `GdkScreen'

(gecko:6641): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_get_data: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: /build/buildd/glib2.0-2.14.1/gobject/gsignal.c:2180: invalid unclassed object pointer for value type `GdkScreen'

(gecko:6641): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed

(gecko:6641): Pango-WARNING **: failed to create cairo scaled font, expect ugly output. the offending font is 'DejaVu Sans 0'

(gecko:6641): Pango-WARNING **: failed to create cairo scaled font, expect ugly output. the offending font is 'DejaVu Sans 0'

(gecko:6641): Pango-WARNING **: shaping failure, expect ugly output. shape-engine='BasicEngineFc', font='DejaVu Sans 0', text='English Hello'

(gecko:6641): Pango-WARNING **: pango_font_get_glyph_extents called with null font argument, expect ugly output
Killed
Well, back to plain old Firefox 2 for me. I've had enough excitement for one day.

Update

Well, the 'emergency' has passed. Read about it here.

Comments

  1. Bill,

    thanks for the feedback. We at Mozilla are investigating this issue. We already have some ideas. You'll find more details here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=404645

    We're not sure yet if the issue you experience is exactly what is listed in this bug report, but they surely look very similar.


    --Tristan Nitot, Mozilla.

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice wallpaper, can you tell me where you got it? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The wallpaper used in the screen captures is called "Mac Style Vista Colors" by sohxc. It can be found on deviant art:

    http://sohxc.deviantart.com/art/Mac-Style-Vista-Colors-59563920

    ReplyDelete

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