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Plugging Internet Explorer's Leaks

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the finger-in-the-dike dept.

Internet Explorer 480

jgwebber writes "If you're developing DHTML web apps, you probably already know first-hand that Internet Explorer has horrendous memory leak issues. You can't not run on IE, so you've got to find a way to plug those leaks. So I've created a tool to help you find them. So until Microsoft decides to fix its browser architecture (ha!), at least we can keep it from blowing huge amounts of memory."

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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712473)

Take that! HA!

-DT

How about firefox? (4, Interesting)

moz25 (262020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712478)

Is such an approach also useable for finding firefox leaks? As a user (not developer, alas) I'm noticing that it invariably gets sluggish after some period of time, even with few pages open.

Re:How about firefox? (4, Interesting)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712489)

I'm fairly certain there's a leak somewhere in teh FF javascript handler - I've noticed memory usage rocketing on some pages which use JS.

Re:How about firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712490)

Yes, I've noticed it too. Firefox starts consuming a huge amount of memory and becomes sluggish, especially (on second thoughts, only?) on Windows. However, I have heard that this is a known issue, and will be fixed in Firefox 1.1
The main reason, of course, is that Windows has a very poor garbage collector.

Quick and dirty fix (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712497)

1. Open a new tab. Type "about:config" without quotes into the address bar and hit enter/click Go.

2. Right-click anywhere, select New, then Integer. In the dialog prompt that appears, type:

browser.cache.memory.capacity

3. Click OK. Another dialog prompt will appear. This is where you decide how much memory to allocate to Firefox. This depends on how much RAM your computer has, but generally you don't want to allocate too little (under 8MB), but if you allocate too much, you might as well not do this. A good recommended setting is 16MB. If you want 16MB, enter this value into the dialog prompt:

16384

(Why 16384 instead of 16000? Because computers use base-12 counting. Thus 16 megabytes = 16384 bytes. Likewise, if you want to double that and allocate 32MB, you'd enter 32768.)

4. Click OK to close the dialog box, then close all instances of Firefox and restart. If your Firefox still uses the same amount of memory, give it a few minutes and it should slowly clear up. If that fails, try a system reboot.

Re:Quick and dirty fix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712516)

Hey, wow, thanks. Sometimes, slashdot is useful, after all. Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether or not your fix works, because I entirely stopped using Windows a month ago, and see no reason to go back to it.

Re:Quick and dirty fix (1, Funny)

BRonsk (759601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712526)

I entirely stopped using Windows a month ago

And your new OS do not have Firefox ?

Re:Quick and dirty fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712546)

Of course it does. I'm using Firefox right now. I wouldn't have switched to Linux if it didn't have all the software I frequently used while I was on Windows -- Firefox, Emacs, gcc... :-)
It's just that I've never had a problem with firefox on Linux.

Re:Quick and dirty fix (4, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712519)

Because computers use base-12 counting

Please, tell us more about the fascinating workings of computers you seem to know so much about.

Re:Quick and dirty fix (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712590)

OMG U R teh funnay.

Please tell me you're hooking up with Paris Hilton on her next reality TV show "The Stupid Life".

Re:Quick and dirty fix (1, Funny)

gerddie (173963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712613)

Probably that 12 is base 14?

Re:Quick and dirty fix (2, Funny)

iceborer (684929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712548)

(Why 16384 instead of 16000? Because computers use base-12 counting. Thus 16 megabytes = 16384 bytes...)

I think you made a simple typo in this sentence. It should read Thus 16 megabytes = 1283918464548864 bytes.

Re:Quick and dirty fix (1)

jakuis (816654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712600)

I'm so glad humans are using this base-60 system. I can easily find use for all these fingers!

Re:Quick and dirty fix (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712633)

Because computers use base-12 counting
Thus 16 megabytes = 16384 bytes

(ha!)

Mods: If this is informative, you are definitely insane.

Re:How about firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712511)

Windows doesn't have a garbage collector. It does have a VM, however.

Re:How about firefox? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712521)

Is such an approach also useable for finding firefox leaks?

Doubtful. This is targeted at a very specific memory leak that Internet Explorer is known to have.

As a user (not developer, alas) I'm noticing that it invariably gets sluggish after some period of time, even with few pages open.

Apparently Firefox 1.1 will fix a lot of these memory leaks. You can try out "Deer Park" if you want a preview of Firefox 1.1.

Re:How about firefox? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712523)

I agree with you, I can not leave my computer with FireFox running for long time.

Just yesterday I left my notebook turned on with firefox opened.

After I returned 8 hours later I didnt payed attention and entered to some page with a flash game. Then I noticed my computer was very very slow, I pressed the ctrl-shft-esc to show the sysinternals proc. explorer and firefox was eating 99% of my CPU time and like 216 MB of memory (private bytes, the Virutal size was like in 300+MB).

So if that happens when Fx is doing 'nothing' something is wrong in it.

Re:How about firefox? (4, Interesting)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712540)

There were many, many leaks in Firefox, and many have been fixed for 1.1 (do a search on their Bugzilla for "memory leak"). Hopefully, the situation is now much-improved, but I suspect it will be the case that long periods of heavy-browsing will require you to to restart Firefox for quite a while yet. For this reason, I always recommend the Session Saver extension - makes closing and restarting Firefox less painful.

Memory fragmentation is a big issue for modern desktop systems as the heap used by programs written in C/C++ can't be compacted, and most memory allocation systems weren't necessarily designed to support programs that would be continually allocating and deallocating memory for days on end. Robert Love gave a (fairly detailed and technical) talk on it at while back, with some suggestions for combating it on the Linux desktop, which I recommend to anyone who is interested. It's about 126MB, Ogg format.

http://stream.fluendo.com/archive/6uadec/Robert_Lo ve_-_Optimizing_GNOME.ogg [fluendo.com]

NOOB... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712663)

This is very interesting, are memory leaks only a problem when running an application and the memory is returned when it closes, or is the memory gone and eventually you need to reboot?

Where does the memory leak to?

Re:NOOB... (2, Funny)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712678)

Well, the memory remains allocated to the application. The thing is, it's a programming bug. The application allocates a piece of memory but never releases it, not even when it's not needed anymore. In a managed environment like .NET or JVM, a garbage collector periodically checks whether a certain piece of code or memory is still active, and when it's not it gets "collected" (freed).

Re:NOOB... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712690)

On un*x the memory is returned when you close the app. Usually that is the case on NT based (XP is just NT 5.1) systems as well. In Windows 9x normal memory is often returned but USER/GDI (only 64k of each) memory that has been leaked is lost until the next reboot. In Windows 3.x once USER/GDI memory is used by an app it can never be freed even if the app is very well behaved and tries to free all memory on exiting.

Re:How about firefox? (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712669)

So how does a managed environment with garbage collection like .NET improve this situation? Memory leaks should really be a thing of the past. Right? RIGHT!?

Re:How about firefox? (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712562)

Has anyone tried linking the B-D-W GC [hp.com] into FireFox?

Re:How about firefox? (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712599)

Interesting as my firefox stays on 24/7 just like my thunderbird. It does not increase its memory usage either. Its on Linux though and is probably missing some of the famous plugins like macromedia and adobe pdf...

Re:How about firefox? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712605)

Memory leaks don't cause sluggishness. Sluggishness is caused JS, flash players, chrome etc. all running on the same thread. Getting something like adblock is a good way to increase performance. These problems might not be so noticeable in IE since you can have multiple IE processes running at once.

But Gecko does use something similar internally to IE called XPCOM. It's possible that some of the similar techniques that could track down memory issues in IE be adapted to work in Gecko. For example you can count when objects are addrefed and released for example. That's usually the most likely cause of such problems an object not being released so it lives forever, or two objects holding a reference each other.

The problem is that tracking refcounting problems is horrifically complicated. Gecko has smart pointers, weak references and refcounting macros to debug problems, but at the end of the day good programming is the best defence.

In the case of IE, I have no idea what it's written in but the chances are the code contains a lot of crap. It might use ATL or similar in someplaces and nothing at all in others. For all I know they're using raw interface pointers in places and forgetting to release them. Or two objects refcount each other so neither goes away. It's certainly possible when dealing with the DOM to run into these kind of problems since you have lots of relationships between objects. I imagine that it's a nightmare trying to figure out what to do when some JS holds onto a DOM element when the document that contains it has been replaced by something else.

Not use IE? (1, Insightful)

Jawju (614159) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712485)

You can't not run on IE...

Um...I'll think you find I can actually.

Re:Not use IE? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712496)

Um, he's not talking about using a different browser, he's talking about writing a website.

Now most of the time you want as many people as possible to be able to view your site and as IE (unfortunately, but that's just the way it is) still has the biggest market share by far, writing websites that don't work with IE isn't really an option.

Re:Not use IE? (1)

Jawju (614159) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712587)

When writing a website, it does not have to be written for IE if the website is part of an intranet and none of the users use IE. You are right for the rest, but not for my case, hence my original comment stands.

Re:Not use IE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712608)

Why not simply write standards-based code and forget all the special IE specific bullshit? Standards are there for a reason and it's sad that people put up with and in fact code for non-compliance. IE is one of the worst offenders, yet amost every page I go to is coded specifically with IE in mind and often has IE specific code. Right now, MS has no reason to change anything because the average person rarely encounters problems on a website. Coding for IE contributes to the problem, not solves it.

Re:Not use IE? (1)

PDAllen (709106) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712697)

Would you care to take a guess at how many web apps get written for non-IE intranets, as compared to how many get written for everything else?

You might as well say that cars don't need handbrakes because you and your mates never ever drive anywhere that's not flat.

Re:Not use IE? (0)

b100dian (771163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712680)

I understand that the grandfather was pointing the negation of negation (you can't not run == you can not not run == you can run).

Re:Not use IE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712498)

What the author of this page means is that you cannot write pages which do not run on Internet Explorer, because it is without a doubt the most widespread browser out there (about 90% of the share apparently).

By "you," the author meant you the web designer, not you the visitor.

Re:Not use IE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712502)

yes... leaked

Not Microsoft's Fault (4, Funny)

robojamie (883110) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712486)

The true source of IE memory leaks?

Korean outsourcing

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0, Offtopic)

Trollstoi (888703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712544)

Just referencing one of the previous articles doesn't make this funny.

got mod points? (0, Offtopic)

weighn (578357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712554)

Just referencing one of the previous articles doesn't make this funny.

does it make this [slashdot.org] funny?
"funny" may not get you karma, but it can bring grins to dozens.

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712557)

In Soviet Slashdot, only old Korean artices reference YOU!

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0, Offtopic)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712570)

You must be new here

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0, Offtopic)

baadger (764884) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712551)

In Korea only memory leaks from IE

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (0, Offtopic)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712598)

In Old Soviet Korea only IE Leaks Mem... mmm forget it

Re:Not Microsoft's Fault (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712628)

Wow, a Soviet Russia joke that actually works and makes sense, if you're familiar with that era:

In Soviet Russia, memory leaks you!

so (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712488)

So I was reading the story. So I felt some sort of pattern.

Re:so (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712559)

So then you stuck your thumb up your ass? So then you wondered what would happen if you stuck your thumb up a crocodile's butt?

So then you got a pilot for a new TV show - "Anonymous Coward: Crocodile Proctologist"?

Pesty Internet Explorer Memory leak ... (2, Informative)

weighn (578357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712495)

here's something that helped [twinhelix.com] me with this recently:

Why should I care ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712501)

why should i care and spend my precious time about the memory usage of my damn webpage for IE users ?

just let them feel how bloated and buggy it is, so they switch to mozilla/firefox

Um..I'll have a shot (3, Interesting)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712529)

because it's your job?

I don't know why you geeks have such a downer on Microsoft for writing buggy software. If it didn't, do you have any idea about how many of you would be out of a job? The capitalisation that flows from Microsofts inability to write good operating systems is immeasurable. If it worked first time - would there be any engineers?

It's sort of analogous to cruise liners. Used to be, because ships weren't terribly well made, a clipper had a huge crew of dirty, scurvey suffering swabbers. Nowadays, you have one captain and a big computer. Currently, IT graduates, computer consultants and systems administraters are that huge crew of disease ridden reprobates, serving on the creaking, rotten, old fashioned Microsoft vessel. And all you want is to be out of a job?

Where's the logic in that??

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712547)

because it's your job?

It's not his job to hide the mistakes of the world's biggest software company.

If he's writing a website (as opposed to a web applciation), then if he doesn't fix the leaks for that poor, beleaguered little Microsoft, all that will happen is that a surfer will accumulate more and more debris as they continue to surf. Eventually, they'll grind to a halt on some other website. Why is that his problem and not Microsoft's? If they wanted to fix the memory leak, they've had four years to do it.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712649)

It's not his job to hide the mistakes of the world's biggest software company.

Yes it is. For better or worse, 90% of his users will be using IE. If it grinds to a halt, the user will blame the website - and rightly so, because it's possible (as the article explains) to write websites that work properly under IE, despite it's flaws.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712572)

I don't know why you geeks have such a downer on Microsoft for writing buggy software. If it didn't, do you have any idea about how many of you would be out of a job?

If Internet Explorer conformed to the CSS 2, HTML 4.01, PNG 1.0, DOM 2 and HTTP 1.1 specifications, I could build websites and web applications in half the time it currently takes me.

Think about it. Web developers are working all day long. Wasting a few hours a week simply because the world's biggest software company didn't bother fixing a few bugs and keeping up to date isn't acceptable. Over the course of a career that sort of thing amounts to WEEKS of your life that you simply won't get back.

I don't know about you, but I can think of plenty of things I'd rather do with weeks of my life than fix Microsoft's bugs for them.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (1)

shywolf9982 (887636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712577)

Spose you have a point on that. And, I might add, this also allows me to blame Microsoft for even my own faults. If something I write doesn't work on windows, my boss starts bitching against Microsoft instead of asking me if I'm sure I did anything wrong. I know, this encourages developers to write even more shitty programs, that doesn't work and requires other people to work on it, making the end user (which, thanks to Microsoft uber-simplified interfaces, is usually clueless) have to pay for a lot of work that wasn't really needed. I 3 uncle Bill

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712606)

"I don't know why you geeks have such a downer on Microsoft for writing buggy software. If it didn't, do you have any idea about how many of you would be out of a job?"

Since this article deals with web developers... are you implying that without Microsofts buggy software, there wouldn't be an internet? There would be no browsers?

If MS wrote quality bug-free software, there would be no internet... I see.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712621)

Ooh, I'm sure the dirty, scurvey suffering swabbers cursed their jobs too. Even if it pays the rent, you do not necessarily enjoy that sort of work.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712636)

Euhm... You got some more of these bullsh*t analogies? As an engineer you have the choice NOT to work on MS-based projects. You can't save a sinking ship anyway...

Working with MS-products is about patching 99% of the time. Working with other products is about creating enhancements.

I choose to enhance ;)

Regards, Vince

Ships != platforms (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712671)

Once you've built your ship, that's it. No-one's going to try constructing a small mansion on top of it, regardless of its stability.

Bug-free operating systems and browsers, however, make it much easier and enjoyable to build fantastic castles in the air^Winternet. That's the part of the web designer's job that is actually enjoyable.

We'll always need more software. Having a stable platform just means the work gets interesting and innovative faster.

Re:Um..I'll have a shot (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712684)

inefficiency doesn't create wealth.

wealth creates free time.

wealth creates fun. ...and you would have some other job, but you would be richer.

Has anyone used firefox? (5, Insightful)

MaGGuN (630724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712507)

Everytime I try to download ten things firefox goes up to 300 megs of memory usage and 99% cpu usage. And I took the screenshots to prove it.

Frankly, I think you can find problems and features you hate in most programs of a certain size, what matters is that you find the tool for the job that you consider the best match for your needs.

Re:Has anyone used firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712525)

This [slashdot.org] should help you.

Re:Has anyone used firefox? (1)

BRonsk (759601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712533)

Your problem is in the plugin architecture, Not firefox. I found out that every time I see FF using up 99% CPU, I just needed to close the page with the huge PDF or the huge flash loaded to fix it. Hardly FF's fault... Of course, this would never happen with IE: It is not tabbed and hence becomes unmanageable after a 5-8 concurrent windows opened at the same time.

First, is it a problem? (2, Informative)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712550)

As I understand it, Firefox makes aggressive use of unused resources. If you're not having any slowdowns, then take a deep breath and realize that it's just doing what it's supposed to do.

If you do have accompanying slowdowns, then you have a specific, rare problem. See the other replies you've gotten so far for suggestions.

Re:First, is it a problem? (1)

MaGGuN (630724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712583)

You mean that when firefox stalls completely, is unresponsive after 5 minutes of waiting and consumes 99% cpu time during the whole sèance, "it's just doing what it's supposed to"? I think not. I have to kill it to fix it, hardly a design feature. It's not a single occurance thing, it is a problem I have had over several ff editions. And I can provoke it whenever I want.

Re:First, is it a problem? (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712618)

"You mean that when firefox stalls completely, is unresponsive after 5 minutes of waiting and consumes 99% cpu time during the whole sèance, "it's just doing what it's supposed to"? I think not. I have to kill it to fix it, hardly a design feature. It's not a single occurance thing, it is a problem I have had over several ff editions. And I can provoke it whenever I want.

I have never encountered this problem with Firefox and I have occasions where I have several (10 to 20) concurrent downloads running. What are you doing to provoke this behaviour, and have you reported it to the Firefox design team?

Re:First, is it a problem? (1)

Bigman (12384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712657)

I was saving some PD J'pegs by the time-honoured right-click-save-as from an FTP site in Firefox the other day; every 30 or so pix the disk started to thrash and the system ground to standstill. This was on XP (I was at work) but I've noticed similar stuff with the Linux version at home. I assumed it was FF cleaning up the image cache but it still ain't right. It doesn't happen often enough to bother me so I'd not thought about reporting it.
I've never had lockups/slowdowns on actual downloads, but then I'm on dialup at home so I never try more than a couple at a time!

Re:First, is it a problem? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712698)

It will if you try to open a 14 meg XML file. Firefox tries to parse the entire document before doing anything.

Re:First, is it a problem? (0)

MaGGuN (630724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712716)

and have you reported it to the Firefox design team?

You got me there. I will try to find space to confirm it and remove doubt, then report it.

Re:First, is it a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712717)

Never had this problem and I've worked with 8 machines with FF from highend to 8 year old machines.

All work fine. You must have some set up that is causing the issue. Report it to FF dev if you haven't already done so.

Re:Has anyone used firefox? (2, Interesting)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712626)

Haven't noticed the memory issue, but i can confirm the cpu usage being 99%. In my case it was caused by an embedded Flash movie on the site. As soon as i closed that (or even rightclicked within the flash movie and choose 'stop' or whatever) things went back to normal.

To be specific... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712509)

The type of garbage collection Internet Explorer uses screws up when you use ActiveX objects (e.g. XMLHttpRequest) or the DOM. More information is available from the comp.lang.javascript FAQ notes [jibbering.com] .

Personally, unless I'm writing a web application, I say screw the users that use that substandard browser. Their browser will eat up more and more memory until they crash on some other website. This would have been fixed four years ago if Microsoft hadn't killed Internet Explorer development once they cornered the market.

Re:To be specific... (1)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712640)

Umm, just out of interest - but who do you write applications for? I understand the frustration at Microsoft, but it's a bit harsh to take it out on your users or customers, isn't it? I know there's the argument that MS won't patch these things until enough average users complain, but I don't think that's really the case. They know there are issues, but obviously haven't fixed everything yet for one reason or another. A few more people complaining because IE stuffs up after running your application won't make much difference. And beyond that, they'll probably blame your application first anyway.

The cure for the plague (1)

whatsup_will (779381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712512)

due to this tool being out on the net, we will have more I.E. based memory leaks so that all I.E. computers stop running. Rejoice, the Internet will be free of this plague that we call Explorer.

best plug for it (2, Informative)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712514)

would be sealing it in a cement box and chaining the lid shut. I cannot believe that after all the
vulnerabilities, bad experiences, and poignant advice, people still continue to use it.
The alternatives aint perfect but they are a hell of a lot better.

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x with all vendor patches installed and all vendor workarounds applied, is currently affected by one or more Secunia advisories rated Highly critical" ...

"Currently, 20 out of 81 Secunia advisories, is marked as "Unpatched" in the Secunia database."

http://secunia.com/product/11/ [secunia.com]

Re:best plug for it (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712578)

without a doubt the absolute only two reasons people use IE are:

1) because its already installed on most machines
2) because everyone else uses it

which by coincidence are the same reasons most dictatorships stay afloat..

Making sites not run on IE (2, Funny)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712517)

Actually, it's very easy to make a site not run on IE; as the following example shows.

<?
if (preg_match("/MSIE/i", $_SERVER["HTTP_USER_AGENT"])) {
header("Location: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/");
exit();
};
?>
<html>
<head>
<title>This site will not display in Internet Explorer</title>
.
.
.
</head>
<body>
.
.
.
</body>
</html>

Re:Making sites not run on IE (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712536)

If it's that easy, then how come that code will block Firefox users too under many circumstances? Not to mention Opera users will get blocked by default.

For a start, if you are going to send different content based upon the User-Agent header, you need to send a Vary header to indicate you are doing so.

Short tags are non-portable too, so even your PHP knowledge is crappy.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712687)

He also uses a regex when a simple string match [php.net] will do. PHP is already programming for dummies, OP should consider giving up; there's not much more to say really.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712541)

And why did you write that post ?
What is the relevance ??

Re:Making sites not run on IE (2, Insightful)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712558)

Don't be an @$$. Remember how annoying it was when people said that sites only displayed right in IE 5.5 or "better"? Yeah, you do. Did that get you to use IE? No, it didn't, unless it was your bank or something. So guess what? 90% of people won't go to your non-IE site. Period.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712579)

Remember? Pffft, my bank recently redesigned it's online banking service to make it bigger, faster, newer, better, and god knows what else.

So now I get a nice banner across the top of the screen saying "Your browser is not supported. We only support IE 5.5 & later" or something similarly insulting. Of course, the site itself works perfectly fine, except that the extra code they inject for that "incompatible" banner screws up some sections. Yank the code, it displays fine.

Personally, I'd be happier if 90% of the IE users out there didn't hit my site, so my server's email addresses and other information doesn't get stuffed into their cache for their myriad of worms, spyware, etc. to sift through and find.

IE users = lowest common denominator. They literally distort the bell curve downward.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712677)

Just what the hell is it with this whole "online banking" thing? There are exactly two reasons why I ever visit my bank: to draw money out through the hole-in-the-wall machine, and to pay money in through the hole-in-the-wall machine. I know from my payslip how much I get paid each month; and, since the only way any money can come out of my account is if I either sign a cheque or use the HITW, then I also know how much I have left. I'm not really earning enough interest to bother with; but the few pence they pay me appear on my monthly statement, which is usually to be found somewhere in my recyclables box.

Unless and until there is some software that lets me print my own pound notes on my own printer, and upload photographs of cheques and cash from my own digital camera to my bank account, I really see no use for online banking.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (2, Insightful)

m4dm4n (888871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712604)

If the web designer is willing to go to the effort of excluding +-90% of browsers, the site probably isn't worth viewing anyway.

even better (1)

szo (7842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712573)

if you make links that contain '\'-s. IE will convert them to '/'-s and the webserver will convert the links to 404.

Szo

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712575)

Uh, don't you need to set the status code too? Or does PHP do that for you? How does it know if you want 301 or 302?

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712594)

PHP defaults to 302. See http://php.net/header [php.net] .

The second special case is the "Location:" header. Not only does it send this header back to the browser, but it also returns a REDIRECT (302) status code to the browser unless some 3xx status code has already been set.

Re:Making sites not run on IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712670)

Why waste CPU on the regexp for an IE user when you could use strpos() instead?

Don't Bother (4, Insightful)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712561)

If you work around a problem, it hides from the user that the problem exists. The demand to have it fixed, therefore, dissipates and developers accept the onus to repeat work-arounds everytime they deploy something. Ultimately, the browser fails to improve, and the costs of errors are passed from the vendor (Microsoft) who never fixes the problem to the public (developers that waste time with work-arounds).

Anyway, if you write things specifically for IE -- then you've already got a more serious problem that you have to address first. There's no excuse for what you already know to be dismal practice.

Re:Don't Bother (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712611)

So ... what you're suggesting is that people write webpages for IE, that don't crash is as such, but cause it to leak even more than usual, causing more and more people to be pissed off by it's horrible design?

Why people is always... (0)

ratta (760424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712565)

looking for complicated solutions to simple problems? Use Firefox and you are done, without having to look for IE memory leaks. I know of peole that prefers having to solve very complicated problems with crashy win32 apps, then writing a couple of simple commands on the Linux prompt :-)

finger-in-the-dike? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712569)

Yes, I'd like to have my finger in the dyke!

Will Internet Explorer 7 fix the existing leaks? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712612)

I wonder if the upcoming IE7 will even fix these existing memory leaks.

Re:Will Internet Explorer 7 fix the existing leaks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712651)

This should be modded "funny" :)

Re:Will Internet Explorer 7 fix the existing leaks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712676)

What /. needs is a "Rhetorical" mod.

Well keep up the good work (1)

ishrat (235467) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712615)

Please keep up the good work and maybe Microsoft will buy you. Or do we need to revert back to using netscape?

Does it matter? (1)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712625)

They are after all web apps. They run on a client browser. Browser instances come and go. Client computers get rebooted. We don't really make web sites that will slurp up all the resources on the client, but if there is a small leak, I'm not too worried. (Not saying it's a good thing though).

I guess as long a your development platform (whatever it is you use, we use .NET) doesn't leak, your app stays nice speedy and responsive. Especially with web apps, client uptime is important, but not that important.

ECELLENT Work (1)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712631)

I am working on a farly large asynchronous web app and , well memory leaks are the norm, I am by session end , usaually an hour, consuming some 125 meg for the IE instance.

I will be using this on a regular basis. COOL Stuff at first glance, very cool....

My old dad .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712655)

... has some memory leaks too - would this tool help him ?

Not true (0)

phongleland (875504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712672)

I develop web service applications for a pretty big printer/mailing facility in Los Angeles, and the web site requires all users to use Firefox (even on Mac). This company service hundreds of other companies, so there are thousands of users. Never once did anyone complain about having to use Firefox. I say web developer should just ignore the IE market share. Out of principal, I'll never again check to see if anything I do works on IE. Screw IE

RTFA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712682)

If any of you would RTFA, you'd find that the tool doesn't address leaks in Internet Explorer: It identifies web page code that cause leaks because the developer coded poorly. It doesn't matter what browser you use, people can still write web pages that will cause it to leak memory...

What I badly, badly want... (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712688)

I so wish that Mozilla ActiveX control were really ready to be drop-in replacement for MSIE ActiveX. So far it has issues that prevent this from happening (for once, tab key does not work in forms out of the box, or printing issues). I know that there are (probably) workarounds for those somewhere around but I'm just not all too ready to seek for those. Also - ActiveX for embedding Opera would be nice.

Reasoning: I find that most of the apps I've been working on can benefit greatly from being done mostly in Web-style interface (you know what I'm talking about). But still they need something that you won't get right from the browser (like scanner interface or similar stuff). Having hybrid web/classic(*) applications turns out to be the sweet spot - it is easy to do, it is easy to maintain, it works mostly great (*"classic" can be Delphi, VC, or some Python/what-not toolkit, or maybe even WinForms).

Re:What I badly, badly want... (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12712701)

There seems to be an AX plugin for mozilla. Maybe it will help.

But I'll never use it. AX opens all kinds of possibilities you don't want, like spyware and backdoors.

Re:What I badly, badly want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712705)

Well why not use something cross platform then - like Java or even Flash.

Worst IE hammering and flamebait article ever (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12712693)

It seems to me people are now attacking IE now from 3 major angles:

  • Memory and resource usage
  • Rendering and adhering to web standards
  • Security

IMHO, It's laughable to mock IE for memory leaks when Firefox is X (where X > 1) times worse at sucking up and retaining memory.

People have relentlessly said the reason IE is faster to load than IE on Win32 is because it is "embedded into the OS" and somehow brushed off this advantage in favour of it's debateable disadvantage in terms of security. What's next? Will slashdotters crying out something along the lines of "WOW! IE, an embedded part of the Windows, has memory leaks! What does that say for the Operating System? You better use Linux!"?

IE may be guilty of having a buggy implementation of web standards such as CSS2.1 but during the browser wars wasn't it IE producing functionality that hadn't even been drafted by the W3C yet?

Isn't that "Internet Explorer's architecture made this app fairly easy to build." as testament to the browser?

This tool is interesing and useful for developers and I thank jgwebber for writing it as I'm sure it'll be useful even to lowly personal developers like me.
On the other hand i'm a bit baffled as to why this article wasn't simply written as "Hey IE has memory leaks, checkout this new tool [blogspot.com] by jgwebber and see for youself. Let's discuss how sucky Internet Explorer is and cover up all the flaws in competitor browsers".

It would have had the same effect as CowboyNeal's unnecessary "(ha!)"'s and claims of IE's "horrendous memory leak issues" without a link giving some evidence for these claims for those of us without first-hand DHTML development experience.

I truly wasn't aware of any serious IE memory leaks..i'm going to, go off and Google for information now using the cumbersome Firefox. Any links would be much appreciated since CowboyNeal didn't bother.
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