I don’t fully understand why people get so upset about the supposed “memory leaks” in Firefox. While I don’t disagree that an application as large as Firefox could have memory management issues, I severely question the reports out there that indicate that Firefox eats up hundreds of megabytes of memory without ever releasing it. I use Firefox every single day for many hours, and I have never run into such a problem. In fact, what most people are complaining about is actually a feature.
That aside, let’s assume that Firefox does indeed leak small amounts of memory here or there. What would it matter? Sure it might be sloppy programming practice. It’s certainly not fair to eat shared resources that you’ll never return. But under what circumstances might you be hindered from doing work on your computer because Firefox is “consuming” one or two hundred megabytes of RAM? What memory intensive operations are people constantly doing that causes them fume over this perceived problem? I can think of no single instance of computing that would both consume the entire system’s memory, and be common enough that everyone encounters it on a daily basis. Granted, gaming might be one exception, but not everyone does that.
So my question is this: why care? Who cares that Firefox might use up to 200 megabytes of memory? Memory is cheap. If you’re that concerned about the memory usage of your applications, you clearly don’t have enough in your system. Just 1 gigabyte is more than enough for today’s environment, and NewEgg has 1 GB modules for as little as $80. If you’re complaining, just go for the upgrade; you’ll be glad you did.