Why do web browsers like Firefox and Chrome take up gigabytes of ram?

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I use Ubuntu and when I check the usage of these applications in the System application, they seem to take up most of the memory for a simple task like web browsing.

Best Answer:

Tech: The simple answer is this: inefficient and lazy coding. In the days when every single byte of storage mattered coding had to be lean and efficient. But many programmers today have grown up with gigabytes to play with where a hundred megabytes here or there don't really seem to matter so for common tasks they'll just pull out a standard bit of code from their toolbox and add it to the mix. An efficient programmer would look at large chunks of duplicated code, chunks of unused obsolete code, and other sections which are a mess of update patches atop one another and chop them all out. That may take more time than commercial development timescale pressures seem to allow, but it all costs on the backend when there's a huge morass of code that it makes bugs inevitable and far more difficult to identify and fix.

When I started out, it was possible to code a very smooth running, fast and playable version of Galaxians with music and colours using less than 500 bytes and a single piezo speaker

Other answer:

Tech:
because why not? RAM is there to be used up.
these browsers as such will use that RAM to provide the best performance possible.
by having a lot of their information loaded up in RAM rather than the hard drive, these browsers can offer the fastest performance possible.
having to wait for the program data to be fetched from the hard drive to be passed into RAM for it to later be used by the CPU can introduce a lot of delays. meanwhile, if the program is made to keep all of that program data in RAM, it can eliminate a lot of delays.
the nice thing is that over time, computers have been getting more and more RAM. so this practice is fairly acceptable.

I bought an expensive gaming computer with a lot of RAM. I would hate for programs to be slower than they could potentially be just because they didnt want to use some of the RAM i paid for.

John D:
All of the above. An automotive engineer said that we have evolved the industry to the point where 75mpg cars are fairly within reach – and then there are electric cars. The industry takes that technology and makes 850 horsepower Cadillacs, and people buy them. This is what humans do.
Nis:
Because its a large applications
Aerialnine:
The overhead…..the junk…..the useless…..think back …windows 95 / IE / 56k modem…..the browser had to take up little if nothing to run……..
The bigger and faster the computers got…..the bigger and faster the internet got……the more useless junk can be added…….

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