CPU Leak

January 2, 2008 Alex Chaffee

I just had to quit Firefox for the umpteenth time because it was taking up 25% of my CPU and 1.5 GB of virtual memory. It makes my lap hot and burns down my battery and activates my fan and slows down my click response time. I have no idea if it was Gmail or Google Reader or one of the other JS-heavy apps and frankly, I’m sick of guessing.

Let’s face it: the browser is an operating system. It’s time it started acting like one.

Here’s what I want my next browser to do:

  • Put every tab’s JS in its own thread or process space
  • Pause that process when I switch tabs (i.e. I don’t want Gmail to check for incoming mail or chats unless it’s in a visible tab)
  • Show me a list of the CPU and memory usage of each JS slice like “top” or the Windows process monitor and allow me to kill them without restarting my browser
  • Same goes for Flash but even moreso: I want every seizure-inducing, focus-stealing, ringtone-blaring flash app to be individually killable and blockable
  • Show me the content of the page now even if some stupid ad or web bug or analytics script on a different server is slow to load

And for Santa’s sake when I tell you to quit don’t swap in every little JS object and free it individually. Throw the whole heap away and quit, damn your eyes!

OK? OK.

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