Mozilla 1.1 Beta Released
Monday July 22nd, 2002
#107 It is partially true
Friday July 26th, 2002 10:43 AM
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I run Mozilla on Windows XP/2000 on a 300 MHz Pentium II with 128 MiB of RAM. In both cases, it is painfully slow as soon as more than one page is displayed. That is because of the memory bloat Mozilla suffers from. It is also due to the poor multithreading. When multiple pages are displayed, scripts tend to all run at the same time without priority management, causing disasters in terms of usability. Mozilla often consumes more than 50 MiB of VM Size.
Right now according to the task manager Mozilla consumes 31,376 kiB of VM Size. Internet Explorer + Windows Explorer (so that I do not ignore the IE "integration" into Windows. By the way explorer.exe also displays the start menu, the desktop icons, etc.) do consume 23,548 kiB. IE alone is 11,684 kiB. Both display this page alone and nothing more.
Even only with a mail window open it can eat RAM at an incredible pace. Newsgroup messge checking and display is very slow. Outlook Express is at least two or three times faster. At least it does not hang up does nothing (no I am not talking about swapping) and then after 20 s. displaying what it has to display.
The truth is that if you think about it in a rational way, it is evident that the features that Mozilla has can perfectly be done reasonably quickly on a 300 MHz CPU. Mozilla is not a network 3D game with surround sound and artificial intelligence. It is a dumb HTML display program. It should work quickly. The fact that today new CPUs are insanely quick for the software they have to run does not change anything. Anyway if the trend continues Intel and AMD are quickly headed for bankruptcy unless new software actually uses the computing power of their chips and does something useful with it.
The only thing I know is that IE does give me a more pleasant experience in terms of speed most of the time. Do not tell me that Mozilla is just much more sophisticated than IE; it is not true. Also the integration issue is moot. When Mozilla and only Mozilla is open on my machine, Windows XP can and does swap all unnecessary integration features and all the rest away from the physical memory. It basically gives all the user space physical memory to Mozilla. Even then Mozilla is slow.
This is not a critique of Mozilla features. It just emphasizes that other programs that basically do the same thing as Mozilla are leaner, much leaner. Or at least they manage their bloat better so that I do not suffer from it.