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Chrome Vs. IE 8 771

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-em-up dept.
snydeq writes "Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 herald a new, resource-intensive era in Web browsing, one sure to shift our conception of acceptable minimum system requirements, InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy concludes in his head-to-head comparison of the recently announced multi-process, tabbed browsers. Whereas single-process browsers such as Firefox aim for lean, efficient browsing experiences, Chrome and IE 8 are all about delivering a robust platform for reliably running multiple Web apps in a tabbed format in answer to the Web's evolving needs. To do this, Chrome takes a 'purist' approach, launching multiple, discrete processes to isolate and protect each tab's contents. IE 8, on the other hand, goes hybrid, creating multiple instances of the iexplore.exe process without specifically assigning each tab to its own instance. 'Google's purist approach will ultimately prove more robust,' Kennedy argues, 'but at a cost in terms of resource consumption.' At what cost? Kennedy's comparison found Chrome 'out-bloated' IE 8, consuming an average of 267MB vs. IE 8's 211MB. This, and recent indications that IE 8 itself consumes more resources than XP, surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing."
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Chrome Vs. IE 8

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  • by oldhack (1037484) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:55PM (#24868299)
    Stick Chrome with iPhone and you can run them stories to fill up a whole week.
    • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:10PM (#24868471)

      should be easy for google to do coz all they have to do to get that going is adapt their OS X version to the version that the iPhone uses... oh wait....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Forget the iPhone.

      The amount of damage control and FUD coming out of the Firefox camp is enough to fill every news and discussion board on the Net.

      Mozilla has no one to blame but themselves for getting humiliated by Google and Chrome.

      How many people here on Slashdot have talked about exactly what Google did with their V8 JavaScript engine and the protected memory and threading for tabs?

      Only to be flamed by a Mozilla developer or fanboy?

      There are too many people who seem to emotionally attached to Firefox. I

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:49PM (#24868825)

        Forget the IPhone. The AMount of dAmage conTROL and FUD coming out of the Firefox camp is enough to fiLl every news and discussion board on the Net.

        There. You said it all there.

      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @11:03PM (#24869393)
        Mozilla has no one to blame but themselves for getting humiliated by Google and Chrome.

        Humiliated? Where did you pull that from?

        So Google have come up with a sort of functional (for some) browser. Great, that's nice, atrength in diversity, different strokes for different folks yada yada. But Firefox is a feature-rich, mature browser, lean in itself, but with lots of add-ons tailored to individuals with individual requirements.

        Chrome has only just been released, lacks features other than stability and apparently has a huge memory footprint.

        If I were a Firefox developer, I really don't think I would be humiliated.
      • by syousef (465911) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @12:20AM (#24869953) Journal

        I'd love to ditch Firefox. I hate the memory usage (and having to kill it 3 times a day). I hate the developer's attitude. (We're removing feature X or changing feature Y because it's the way of the future and to those who complain tough). I wouldn't be using 3.0 if it weren't for the hideunivisted and oldbar extensions. (Coolbar is an abomination and an annoyance all in one change).

        But I tried Chrome yesterday and it's got a long way to go. I was pleasantly surprised that it handled rendering complex web pages and worked with Microsoft proxies at work. However it is slow and crashes or freezes (or rather individual pages freeze). I'd also lose my extensions and ad blocking if I switched. No thanks. At least not yet. It's got a long way to go to be a viable replacement for me.

        • by qazsedcft (911254) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @02:42AM (#24870679)
          However it is slow and crashes or freezes (or rather individual pages freeze).

          Actually, you CAN crash the whole browser, not just individual pages. Try typing "about:%" in the address bar. The entire browser crashes before you even see the %.
        • by the_womble (580291) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @02:44AM (#24870689) Homepage Journal

          I hate the memory usage (and having to kill it 3 times a day).

          I have no problem, and I do not need to.

          I hate the developer's attitude. (We're removing feature X or changing feature Y because it's the way of the future and to those who complain tough).

          What do you want them to do? Never change anything?

          Coolbar is an abomination and an annoyance all in one change

          I think it is the most useful addition to browsers since Opera added tabs a decade ago. Chrome has something similar, but with the addition of Google Suggest.

          Chrome actually seems to have lot of features that people complained as causing bloat about when Firefox added them: spell checking for example.

          I do not particularly want a browser that is primarily designed to run web apps. I want something that allows me to find, read, sort and store information on the web as easily as possible. The best so far is Firefox. What I really want is a cross between Forefox and Konqueror.

          I do like some Chrome features (process per tab, for example), but I want my FF extensions too.

    • Re:Chrome iPhone (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tubapro12 (896596) <ubelkatze2004 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:42PM (#24869245) Journal
      My first question is what web pages define their average? I just fired up vanilla versions of both IE8, Chrome, and Process Explorer and opened the same two tabs: the Facebook login page [facebook.com] and Wikipedia (English) [wikipedia.org].

      Process Explorer tells me IE8 is using 389652 KB of memory. Chrome is using 260668 KB of memory. Both have three processing running.

      What the heck, I'll try again. I fully restart both browsers and open up Slashdot [slashdot.org] and Newgrounds [newgrounds.com]. IE8 with three processes, 465348 KB; Chrome with four processes, 358128 KB.

      Now I upped the ante to 9 tabs, which for brevity, I won't list. IE8 with 6 processes was using 958524 KB and Chrome with 11 processes was using 783840 KB.

      Admittedly, this is a small test to find an average, but what do I need to do to see the difference TFS[ummary] speaks of?
      • Re:Chrome iPhone (Score:5, Informative)

        by Fweeky (41046) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @12:17AM (#24869939) Homepage

        IE8 with 6 processes was using 958524 KB and Chrome with 11 processes was using 783840 KB.

        Uhm, how are you counting that? There are 11 Chome.exe processes, and when you add their "Mem Usage" columns up you get 783840KB? Because, er, OS's which use paged memory VM's don't work like that; about the only way you can really work out how much memory they're all using is by comparing their VM mappings and seeing what bits are shared between them (and not also with other processes; e.g. standard Win32 dll's everyone uses) and which aren't.

        This is why Chrome has about:memory, with an *estimate* of how much memory Chrome is using; if I spawn 11 tabs and add up Mem Use, I get 263MB. about:memory, however, estimates it's using 166MB, and a good chunk of that may well be in memory mapped files and as easily disposable as filesystem cache.

  • "Thin" won't be "in" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:58PM (#24868331)

    >"surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing"

    Yep, an era that won't sit well for users of thin-clients, multiuser servers, older machines, and smaller mobile stuff. I think some of the ideas in Chrome are good, but I am not so sure I like the idea of ultra-fat browsers. I recently was complaining that Firefox was starting to get bloated (defeating the goal of FireFox, to be lean and mean). I don't mind different concepts, except the design of web sites will, no doubt, start demanding more and more "fatness" to work (kinda like trying to use the web without Flash).

    Now I will go crawl back under my 90's rock...

  • Not a bad thing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:00PM (#24868341)

    ...surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing.

    How is this a bad thing? Modern browsers are far more demanding than Mosaic, because they do more. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a more demanding browser if you need the increased requirements to add functionality... that's the point of advancing our hardware capabilities!

    Next thing you know, people will be complaining that it takes more muscle to run a 360 game than it took to run an Atari game. Jeez.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      I guess it's just that some people perceive anything more than basic functionality as waste.
    • by entrylevel (559061) <jaundoh@yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:18PM (#24868539)

      I agree. I find it suspect that people are suggesting that an application is using more resources than the operating system in which said application runs. Especially when that very application provides a framework for other applications to run.

      An "operating system" should, by its very nature, not "utilize" resources in and of itself, but simply partition and apportion them. Of course, I haven't R'd any FA's for a while. Perhaps they are talking about the myriad of services and built-in applications that are bundles with Windows.

      That said, I find it very disappointing (although understandable) that both of these new browsers have been released for the only operating system I do not use professionally. I look forward to one day trying both of these new browsers outside of a VM.

      • Re:Not a bad thing. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:31PM (#24868677)
        An OS contains more than just a kernel. Usually it contains many daemons working. For example, on my Xubuntu OS, I have 96 programs without counting any major ones (terminal windows, browsers, apache, etc.) All of these daemons are needed to provide a modern operating system experience.

        A kernel by nature should be tiny, but an OS should contain tons of functionality.
        • by entrylevel (559061) <jaundoh@yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:50PM (#24869295)

          I hear you, and do not disagree, but I think it is a bit up to interpretation.

          I consider the OS to be the kernel and base set of libraries. For example, the Linux kernel and most or all of the LSB make up the "OS" for me. By themselves, they aren't particularly useful, they just idly sit by and await instructions.

          I consider terminals, browsers, servers, and even essentials like GNU coreutils to simply be part of the distribution. In an open system, they are all optional and easily replaceable components. Likewise, in Windows, I consider IE, Media Player, and even Notepad and the base set of system services to part of the "Windows distribution," although in this situation they usually aren't as interchangeable as one might like.

          It's almost odd that the line becomes very blurred when you exist day to day in a Microsoft monoculture, yet in a heterogeneous environment such as Linux, the layers are really very distinct.

          Where it becomes really blurred (and interesting) is where applications such as the web browser itself serves no useful purpose without a network connection and content (or application code) to make it do something.

    • by Jekler (626699) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @12:15AM (#24869933)

      Advancement in technology means miniaturization, simplification. More advanced technologies require less power, not more. The modern desktop computer is thousands of times smaller than our first computers, millions of times faster, but you can run them on a battery, where as our first computers required their own power grid.

      The fact that new software requires more CPU cycles, more raw power, is a mark of the immaturity of software technology. As we advance, our applications should require less memory and less power as we trim out redundant features. The resources a technology consumes is not a sign of how powerful it is.

      Modern browsers do not demand more resources than Mosaic because of how powerful they are, they demand more resources because memory is inexpensive, and it's cheaper to eat up resources than it is to refine our methods.

      • Re:Not a bad thing. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:41AM (#24872203) Homepage Journal

        Modern browsers do not demand more resources than Mosaic because of how powerful they are, they demand more resources because memory is inexpensive, and it's cheaper to eat up resources than it is to refine our methods.

        Bullshit.

        Modern browsers have to support and render vastly more-complex pages than Mosaic did, and that's why they're so much bigger. CSS, Javascript, multiple flavors of HTML, XHTML, arbitrary XML+CSS, etc., plus more transport protocols, encryption, vastly more sophisticated history mechanisms, lots of security technology to attempt to protect the browser from malicious code, and the user from phishing sites, etc. The UIs are also much more complex, with customizable layouts, themes, etc.

        Even more than that, because browsers have to do so much, and because every year brings new demands, they are also constructed with very flexible designs. FF, for example, is basically a browser-ish application development framework with its own app-development language (XUL), plus a browser implementation on top of that. That's largely what makes FF plugins possible, but all of that flexibility has its own cost in terms of code size and complexity. It's worth it because it makes development much more efficient than if programmers were rewriting tight, hand-optimized assembler for each modification.

        While it's absolutely true that modern browsers (like almost any modern app) could be tightened up and de-bloated somewhat, even a perfect browser of 2008 would be orders of magnitude larger and more complex than Mosaic.

  • Microsoft was unfazed [today.com]. "Browsers donâ(TM)t need to be integrated with online apps," said marketing developer Ian Moulster. "Certainly not like the operating system ... Iâ(TM)ll just get back to you."

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:00PM (#24868345)

    It's hype. By the time you ad in all of the mind-numbing widgetry, the browser becomes the ultimate in madness. It proves the old adage that when you get a really nice hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Mod me whatever, but browsers need to go on a diet so that there can be cross-platform coherency and cohesiveness for apps, whether it's on a phone, a kiosk, a notebook, an HD TV DVR display, or whatever. I want the same page to display the same way on Konqueror, Safari, IEWhatever, Chrome (please, a marketing guy needs a spanking), Opera, or whatever. Stop for a while and get it right guys.

    • by B5_geek (638928) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:23PM (#24868605)

      THIS!

      Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

      A good question that I think needs to be asked is this: "What information are we trying to convey?"
      and "What is the best way to convey that message?"

      The sole purpose of the internet is to provide a medium(s) that convey data/information. It seems to me this concept got perverted and got us into the pickle that we currently see. I remember the days when it was HARD to find information on the net, well thanks to web 2.x data is getting hard to find again.

      I propose 2 new protocols for internet usage:

      Advertisement.Free.Transport.Protocol
      Rich.Commercial.Experience.Protocol

      Lets fix the signal to noise ratio we currently endure.

  • I don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xigxag (167441) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:03PM (#24868375)

    Can somebody explain to me why resource limits are still an issue in Windows? I usually keep 25-40 tabs open in FF, and after it gets over the 350MB range, the whole browser starts to act flaky. Why is 211MB, 267MB, 350MB or even 500MB a problem on today's platforms with 2 to 6GB RAM standard?

    • by Haoie (1277294) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:09PM (#24868457) Homepage

      Some of us are on older computers, thank you very much. We like slim, streamlined operations.

    • Bookmarks (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dan East (318230)

      "I usually keep 25-40 tabs open in FF"

      You need an introduction to my little friend, Mr. Bookmark.

  • by Kz (4332) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:09PM (#24868445) Homepage

    i'm trying it in the only windows machines i have at home: a 700Mhz P3 laptop with 256MB RAM and XP SP2. it's slightly faster than FF3, and a lot better than FF2 on this machine.

    maybe on bigger machines it will use lots of RAM, but on limited machines its really good

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      How many tabs were you using on those machines? It's probably more that it uses less RAM than firefox with a smaller number of tabs. I would expect that it would be worse than firefox on a low RAM system with larger numbers of tabs.

      Perhaps the best way to compare the two browsers would be to make a graph of memory consumption by number of tabs (assuming each tab contains comparable web pages).

      I noticed that Opera was much better memory-wise than firefox with low numbers of tabs, but with higher numbers it c

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:09PM (#24868451)

    As I understand it, multiple processes don't necessarily mean more bloat. If a set of processes are all running the same executables and libraries, then the code is all mapped into physical memory only once and shared between the processes.

    At least under Linux, using fork() and copy-on-write paging makes multiple processes highly efficient. Maybe it's a bit tougher to do under Windows (which lacks a fork call), but it seems to me that careful coding could get close to the same results.

  • by interiot (50685) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:12PM (#24868493) Homepage
    They measured the working set [blogspot.com], not the private working set. One of the big reasons why Chrome's "spawn a bunch of different processes, all running the same code" strategy isn't a big deal is because Windows shares memory between copies of code when it can.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drakethegreat (832715)
      Is this that surprising? I mean the whole tone of the article suggests they know nothing of how things work behind the scenes. Not to mention if you have 20 tabs open the OS can still page swap with VM. This whole article screams noobs to me.
  • by Cynic.AU (1205120) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:14PM (#24868511)

    Simply inserting an a href linking to "evil:%" crashes chrome. ALL of chrome. While this is acceptable in a beta product, I don't buy the graceful, tab-only crashes they're promising.

  • Standards (Score:4, Informative)

    by DougofTheAbaci (1036510) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:18PM (#24868541)
    Acid 3 Test, IE8: 14/100 Chrome: 78/100 Enough said. IE8 is another pathetic attempt at a good browser. As a web designer and developer I can tell you I look forward to mass acceptance of the final version of Chrome. Under no circumstances do I EVER expect to look forward to IE, any version.
  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:30PM (#24868663)

    Does anyone else think that benchmarking early builds is useless? Of course they're not particularly efficient yet - premature optimization and all that. Wake me when the final builds roll around.

    (Of course, that brings up another issue: What the rest of the world calls "Version 3.0", Google calls "Beta". And what the rest of the world calls "Beta", Microsoft calls "Version 3.0".)

  • by ko9 (946154) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:38PM (#24868747)
    The article mentioned in the summary states that IE8 (beta) consumes more resources than XP, not Vista. That's quite a difference I think..
  • Not Accurate (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:50PM (#24868837)

    The description of the process model isn't that accurate. In both IE8 and Chrome the renderer process is shared across multiple tab groups. If you manually create a new tab that tab will have a new rendering process associated with it. If you click on a link and it opens in a new tab it will share the rendering process of the parent page. Chrome will show you this in the Task Manager as a single process which show a list of tabs.

    The implementation of the rendering processes between IE8 and Chrome are strikingly similar, so much so that I am suspicious that Google borrowed some ideas from the public betas of IE8 which had this functionality since March. Both use the same behavior for sharing rendering processes as mentioned above. Both spawn the same image as the rendering process as the hosting browser process (iexplore.exe and chrome.exe), using command line arguments to pass channel information. Both use the Job API in Win32 to assign the rendering processes to security restricted jobs. Both use an IPC mechanism built on UDP messaging to localhost for the rendering processes to communicate back to the parent process, where plenty of other IPC options exist, and considering a lot of the Chrome code is Win32-specific they could have used platform-specific IPC for performance purposes without sullying the project.

    Where Chrome differs is that unlike IE8 plugins are also loaded in isolated processes. It's a neat idea in theory but I think it will be problematic in practice. The browser shares one plugin process for all uses of that plugin, which I've already seen cause bottlenecks in resources on my machine trying to view several sites with Flash content. The plugin processes also have a lot of hard coded logic to deal with the nuances of the different plugins and how they behave. For example, there is hard coded logic to deal with the UI expectations of Flash where the content is rendered in the renderer process instead of in the plugin process, whereas with QuickTime the content is rendered in the plugin process and overlaid in the rendering process. In IE8 if a plugin crashes hard the tabs that contain the failing plugin would crash, but other pages would remain open potentially displaying other content using the same plugin. In Chrome if the plugin crashes hard it does so for every page displaying content with that plugin, although all of the tabs would remain loaded showing a placeholder where the content would be.

  • Enough! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rui del-Negro (531098) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:09PM (#24869003) Homepage

    Enough with the stupid "memory consumption" pseudo-benchmarks. It doesn't "consume" your memory, it uses it. If I have 2 or 4 or 8 GB sitting there, why would I want my software to not use it? What do I possibly gain by having a program that uses only 100 MB when it could be using 1 GB to keep more rendered pages in memory (and speed up the display when I hit "back" a couple of times), for example?

    If the browser refuses to run with less than, X MB available (ex., less than 30 MB), that can be a problem. But if it simply uses memory that would otherwise just be sitting there, how is that a relevant (or negative) thing?

    I keep remembering that article where someone from the Mozilla foundation said very proudly that Firefox used less memory than Opera (on Windows), making it "superior". But when you look at situations where memory really matters, you find that you can run Opera on pretty much any cellphone but you can't run Firefox. There's a difference between using less memory and needing less memory.

    On a PC, I'll trade 100 MB for a 10% speed increase (in page drawing, tab switching, etc.) any day. One of the reasons I like Opera is that (since years ago) it keeps rendered copies of the previous pages in memory, plus a ful index of your e-mail, so you have instant page flips, instant mail searches, etc..

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:32PM (#24869167) Homepage Journal
    Chrome is just an attempt to implement a solid layer between the native OS and the future "OS" Google will provide: Google Gears. In a couple of years, most of our everyday applications will run inside our browser, most likely using Gears.

    At least that's the bleak future for people who don't mind putting layer upon layer of bloated APIs, reimplemented OS tasks (scheduler inside the browser...) and interpreted code on their system in order to run stuff noticeably slower than 15 years ago. Sooner or later, an emulated (in software!) Windows 95 machine with WordPerfect will outperform the mainstream JS/browser based abominations that also keep your data "safe" with corporations keen on turning them into profit...

    Call me old, old-fashioned, whatever. The "Web"'s purpose is still to feed *me* information and not to cheat me into feeding megacorps with my private information and whose "evolving needs" you are talking about.

  • A middle ground? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:35PM (#24869175)

    I am a bit surprised that Google, a company full of smart people who can do a lot with a little, would out-bloat even IE. Perhaps because this is the original version, resource usage hasn't been brought into check yet. I remember it being somewhat this way with the original Mozilla (before Firefox existed) and, as some might recall, Firefox, too, has reduced its resource usage.

    There is a middle ground where the web can be a very rich platform without requiring a supercomputer the size of Deep Thought to run it.

  • by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdot&jimrandomh,org> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @11:15PM (#24869497) Homepage

    The article claims that Chrome used more memory than IE8, but says nothing about how the testing is done. That probably means the author opened the a bunch of tabs, totaled up the memory used by each of Chrome's processes, and compared it to the memory used by IE8. The problem is, this double counts a lot of memory. Executable code and some data structures are shared, so if there are ten tabs open, then these get counted ten times, but only stored once.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @11:16PM (#24869515) Homepage

    Multiple intercommunicating processes are generally a good thing. And almost all modern operating systems can share read-only code regions between processes, which is safe.

    However, once you put "just in time" compilers in, the sharing goes away. This is classically a Java problem; each Java instance has yet another copy of all the Java libraries in use. If Google Gears ends up importing as much cruft as Java does, it will have the same bloat problems.

    Still, browsers have become memory hogs, even when rendering pages that aren't doing anything exciting. Firefox can balloon to 300MB after viewing a modest number of relatively vanilla pages. Even with "browser.cache.memory.enable" set to False.

  • by WidgetGuy (1233314) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @01:37AM (#24870359)
    Read the EULA. It's HUGE. (I recommend using something like EULAlyzer rather than reading the whole thing.)

    It sure looks like Google Chrome is designed first and foremost to be an advertising delivery system. There is so much legal CYA in that thing, you know they're up to something they figure they're going to have to defend in court at some point.

    If you think the fact that Google Search stores your search strings is a potential invasion of your privacy (I do), then you will be amazed at what it looks like they plan to get from their "browser." This is the first install in over a year I actually aborted after analyzing the EULA.
  • Resources (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey! (33014) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:54AM (#24871819) Homepage Journal

    are there to be used.

    I'm old enough to remember this kind of argument about assembler vs. compiled languages. Hand coded assembler will always be smaller, and for any given algorithm it will very likely be faster. When viewed as assembler it will always be more elegant.

    From time to time one comes across an assembly language application (although it's a lot rarer these days) that is a tour de force, doing the essential tasks of its compiled competitors in a fraction of the space and often noticeably more snappily. But they aren't notable for the breadth of features they offer.

    And that's what bloat is about. Bloat isn't about using resources; it's about devoting resources to ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time but which you don't have the time or ability to undo. Sometimes the feature doesn't exist yet, or abandoned, but still leaves its mark. The reason that large assembler programs tend to be lean isn't so much that humans produce tighter code than compilers, although they can. It's because people who code in assembler think very, very had about any feature before adding it. You'd get much the same results if people coded in a language like Brainfuck.

    Any application benefits from skepticism about features, whatever it is coded in.

    Now, if you think about what Google is trying to do with Chrome, launching a separate process for each tab makes sense; it is a legitimate use of resources. Each tab is, presumably, hosting a different application. You don't want them running in the same address space, anymore than you want traditional applications running in unprotected memory by cooperative multitasking. Yes, it takes more resources to do this, but I've heard much the same complaint about virtual memory and process preemption.

    You don't want some random site's malware to get to close to the online banking application running in a different tab, so you've got to take steps. If you're coding was perfect, those steps probably would work pretty well, but running the online apps in different processes is a legitimate use of resources. You can try to protect pages from each other, manage resources such as processor time between them, but eventually you're coming very close to making the browser an operating system in itself.

    In fact, for the purposes of Chrome, the browser is an operating system, or at least a layer in the whole operating system that hosts applications. By taking advantage of the underlying operating system's facilities, the browser doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it comes at a cost.

    There isn't a universally right or wrong answer to how to architect something like this. When considered as a hypertext viewer, this kind of architecture is wasteful and bloated. When considered as facility to participate in multiple distributed processing applications, this kind of architecture isn't bloated. It consumes more resources, but to achieve an important goal.

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