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Mozilla's Firefox started out as the little browser that could and has since grown into a full-fledged market force in its own right. But behind Mozilla's pretty little Persona-sporting smile lies a terrible secret – a secret that's been there almost from the beginning. A secret that can sometimes cripple the otherwise spunky browser. You see, just like poor old confused Aunt Dorothy, Firefox has a memory leak. That's not news. What is news is the fact that Mozilla might finally be stepping up to the plate to fix the problem.
Firefox's memory leak has been one of the major knocks against the browser for years, but the release of Firefox 4 brought the issue to a head, ComputerWorld reports. Apparently, as bad as the leak was in past versions, it's even worse in the newest iteration of the browser, and the site quotes a Mozilla developer as calling a solution to the problem a "pretty pressing need."
To that end, Mozilla started the "MemShrink" program. The program entails weekly meetings to discuss Firefox's memory issues. Coming out of each meeting, Mozilla plans on doling out specific bug fixes problems to assigned personnel, giving one person or group the lead role as the troubleshooter for a particular issue.
That's all well and good, and we really hope it works, but don't expect the leaks to disappear overnight. This isn't the first time Mozilla engineers have targeted the problem (a really quick Google search shows memory leak complaints way back in 2006) and it's still with us – and getting worse. At this point, eliminating the bugs must be a massive undertaking.