Spending time with Firefox is a lot like spending time with your lovable young nieces; usually, everything goes swell and you walk away feeling good, a content smile plastered across your face. But sometimes, they do something so overwhelmingly stupid that you can't help but shake your head and wonder about their future. You may not be able to convince your niece that shoving crap inside electrical sockets is a dumb idea, but Mozilla's tackling its horrifyingly bad memory issues head-on with the MemShrink initiative – and one developer's already reporting outstanding results.
"Firefox 7 uses less memory than Firefox 6 (and 5 and 4): often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less," Mozilla developer Nicholas Nethercote wrote on his blog. "In particular, Firefox 7′s memory usage will stay steady if you leave it running overnight, and it will free up more memory when you close many tabs."
That's great news for Firefox and the MemShrink project, which is less than two months old. Nethercote claims that the changes make the upcoming Firefox 7 both faster and less crash-prone. He (and a few others) have run the browser through all kinds of memory benchmark tests – check out the post for yourself if you're interested in the nitty-gritty hard details.