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Memory Leak?

Discussion of bugs in Mozilla Firefox
rabarrett
 
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2003, 10:14 pm

I get a really wierd problem related to video.

After I have firebird open for a couple of hours, it my screen starts having problems refreshing. I'll click on a new link and it will appear that nothing has happened until I scroll up and down. Then, it refreshes the moving part of the page with new text. Sometimes if I minimize and maximize, I just get the outer firebird frame with my desktop in the middle. Running the cursor over responsive parts of the browser window will make those parts appear, but others stay "hidden" and continue to look like the desktop or whatever was previously on the screen. This continues until eventually I have to restart windows or the program crashes on its own.

I'm working with win98se on an athalon gig processor. Matrox Millenium dual G400 video card (only using one monitor).

I did NOT have this problem with phoenix. I'm currently using the .6 firebird release (not a nightly).

I cannot reproduce this problem at will, but I can be confident if I websurf for more than 2 hours, it will happen (I've been rebooting 4-5 times a day because of it and I'm ready to stop using firebird and start using... IE soon---please help because I don't want to do that).

Does anyone know a fix for this problem?

daihard
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Post Posted July 3rd, 2003, 11:16 pm

I've been using Firebird 0.6 (2003-06-16) on XP SP1 for a while. I usually leave it open for more than five hours, but haven't noticed a particular memory leak issue with it.
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wheerdam

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Post Posted July 4th, 2003, 5:27 am

I've never experienced your problem. If I have many apps open and leave Firebird in the background for few hours, there will be only few seconds before I can start using Firebird again, but that doesn't reproduce your problem in question.

We should hear from more Win98 users.
I'm weird, damn

Zeron
 
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Post Posted July 4th, 2003, 5:36 am

It's not a memory leak, it's a system resources leak (learn about the difference on <a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=windows+9x+system+resources&btnG=Google+Search">Google</a>.) System resources are limited on Win9x OSes, WinNT OSes have unlimited system resources.

I'm using 2003-06-14 and it seems to handle system resources pretty well (though FAR from perfect) here on Windows 98. Anybody know what the last build of Firebird without a system resources leak is?

rabarrett
 
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Post Posted July 4th, 2003, 6:41 am

I should also point out that I seem to get the error much more often when I've had a lot of tabs open. I often open 5+ tabs at once (as many as 20+ at times). That seems to be the fastest way to bring on the problem.

David H
 
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Post Posted July 4th, 2003, 7:02 am

The April and May builds were very bad about this (on Win98SE), though I remember it's been happening ever since I started using the browser last December. The newer June builds are much better, but still have problems sometimes. Just yesterday it started happening to me and even after restarting the browser it kept coming back after only a few minutes (current build 6/26). I finally had to reboot to get it to stop.

My advice is to watch your resources and keep from opening too many tabs, keeping the browser open continuously for a long time, or have too many other applications running at the same time. If things get really bad then reboot. I sure hope they clear up this problem soon because it's quite annoying and seriously interferes with browsing when it happens.

daihard
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Post Posted July 4th, 2003, 9:00 am

Zeron wrote:It's not a memory leak, it's a system resources leak (learn about the difference on <a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=windows+9x+system+resources&btnG=Google+Search">Google</a>.) System resources are limited on Win9x OSes, WinNT OSes have unlimited system resources.

When an application allocates memory and doesn't free it, it causes a memory leak. If a system resource leak is different than that, I'd like to know what it is. I did a Google search as you suggested, but didn't hit any site that explains the difference between the two. :?:
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David H
 
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Post Posted July 7th, 2003, 11:02 am

daihard wrote:When an application allocates memory and doesn't free it, it causes a memory leak. If a system resource leak is different than that, I'd like to know what it is. I did a Google search as you suggested, but didn't hit any site that explains the difference between the two. :?:


DOS and Win9x have a special memory area unrelated to your normal RAM. This area has two main sections called User Resources (for programs) and GDI Resources (for graphics). Both of these sections are fixed at 64KB and there is no way to get around this limit (adding additional memory doesn't change anything here). Each program you run uses a small amount of these resources and as a result there's a practical limit to the number of programs you can run at once. Usually your system starts acting strange (program lockups, strange redraws, slow reaction times) when either one of the two drops to 10-15% of the total and you have to start closing programs to get some of it back. Many programs are very buggy in this area though and refuse to give up their resources even when closed, so often the only recourse is to reboot your system to get everything working again. Big graphics programs, GUI bells and whistles, excessive installed fonts, and old 16 bit programs are heavy users of resources.

Firebird seems to be doing some strange stuff regarding GDI resources that causes it to act up act up sometimes. I don't think it's a simple resource overload though, because I've seen it messing up even when my resources are still in the 30-50% range, but something's going on. Whatever it is, it's annoying. Usually a simple browser restart is enough but sometimes it isn't and I have to reboot to clear it up.

I hope this makes it clearer. (I'm no computer expert, BTW, but I've struggled with resource problems before and this is what I learned researching them.)

shadytrees
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Post Posted July 7th, 2003, 11:10 am

http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=204374

It's related to GDI leaks. One of the workarounds was to specify "browser.cache.memory.capacity" to equal to "4096" in the about:config. I don't know if this solves it but I use Win98 and I do experience it.

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know how non-Windows9x versions solve this?

cyber-ops
 
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Post Posted July 8th, 2003, 10:20 pm

my problem is that firebird keeps growing and growing until i minimize it. if i let it go for a while it gets up to 30mb - but then i minimize it and it goes down to almost nothing. but as soon as i restore it and start surfing it starts growing again.

is this normal behavior? it's been this way ever since phoenix. currenly using 20030608 (which is a relatively old nightly). does the new nightlies do better? anyone else notice this?

David H
 
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Post Posted July 8th, 2003, 11:10 pm

hao2lian wrote:http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=204374

It's related to GDI leaks. One of the workarounds was to specify "browser.cache.memory.capacity" to equal to "4096" in the about:config. I don't know if this solves it but I use Win98 and I do experience it.


I tried this workaround last night, but I still got the effect. In fact, it seemed worse than usual. I'm on Win98se and Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.5a) Gecko/20030626 Mozilla Firebird/0.6

rabarrett
 
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Post Posted July 9th, 2003, 8:26 am

I would really like to use firebird, because I consider it much better than IE and other browsers in many ways. However, one of the things I most like about it is the ease with which it opens multiple tabs in the background. Unfortunately, this appears to be precisely what causes the memory problem and makes me reboot before I can continue using it. So I do a search, open 10-20 tabs, start looking at my search results and then I lose the pages I wanted to examine more closely when I'm forced to reboot.

I would like to try a workaround (like that listed below), but I have no idea how to specify browser memory capacity in phoenix despite looking over all the preferences closely.

If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.

Also, is there any plan to fix this problem? At least knowing that someone or some group is working on it would give me some hope. However, at present, I'm thinking about just using IE again because there doesn't appear to be anyone working to solve this problem.

hao2lian wrote:http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=204374

It's related to GDI leaks. One of the workarounds was to specify "browser.cache.memory.capacity" to equal to "4096" in the about:config. I don't know if this solves it but I use Win98 and I do experience it.

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know how non-Windows9x versions solve this?

David H
 
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Post Posted July 9th, 2003, 10:10 pm

rabarrett wrote:I would like to try a workaround (like that listed below), but I have no idea how to specify browser memory capacity in phoenix despite looking over all the preferences closely.

If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.


To access advanced preferences type about:config into your address bar and hit enter. This brings up a page of background settings that are not part of the regular preference panel. For this one, find the setting labelled browser.cache.memory.capacity, right click on it to edit, and change the number to 4096. But, as I said, I tried it and it didn't seem to have any effect on my system.

You can also install the preferential extension to get access to about:config preferences in a slightly different format.

Also, is there any plan to fix this problem? At least knowing that someone or some group is working on it would give me some hope. However, at present, I'm thinking about just using IE again because there doesn't appear to be anyone working to solve this problem.


There's an open bug for this, linked above, and if you read it you'll see that people are actively working on this problem. It seems to be a difficult one to solve though. They're having trouble trying to track down just where and why things are going wrong. So have patience and keep using FB for most browsing. You can still fall back on another browser when you really have problems.

snilloc79
 
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Post Posted July 10th, 2003, 2:27 pm

Win98se, 20030706 Mozilla Firebird/0.6

I didn't notice this problem until I added RAM to the machine. I had been using a May28 build. I downloaded July 6 to see if the prob had been fixed, but alas, no.

After a while, the UI buttons (back, forward, home, close tab) fail to refresh properly and disappear. The scroll bar gets distorted as well. It doesn't impact the actual browsing, as such, and I have plenty of chance to close the program before it blows up. Windows says system resources are low (~2%). Closing FB takes that up to ~50%.

rth
 
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Post Posted July 13th, 2003, 10:08 am

How to make Firebird exhibit the bug:

http://board.iexbeta.com/ibf10/index.ph ... opic=26480

Note, that's a page with a bunch of high resolution JPGs of scantily clad women. As mentioned above, bug 204374 seems to be the one. I disabled all caching, restarted Firebird, and went to that page and *poof* all quirky. Closing the page lets me use Firebird, but it's only a matter of time before it's wonky again.

Edit:
Open the link in a new tab, switch to it and watch it load, then go back to another tab.

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