Extension Memory Leak Testing

March 21st, 2008 by cbook


If you have not already seen this, Stuart has made a awesome Post about the Firefox 3 Memory Usage.

A big part of my tasks on the Mozilla QA Team is currently to test Firefox 3 Beta Builds and especially Add-ons for memory leaks. During my Tests over the last months we fixed a lot of Memory Leaks. A lot of Developers have done a great job and we still continue to improve Firefox. So far i can say the Performance of the Firefox Beta Builds is very awesome !

I’d like to specifically thank: Jonas Sicking, Ben Turner, David Baron, Peter Van der Beken, Jesse Ruderman, Mark Finkle, Bob Clary and everyone else who helped me to start working on memory leak testing.

There are so many wonderful and great Add-ons out there for Firefox and i work on maintaining  the great performance of Firefox 3 also with a lot of Extensions installed.So my Focus is on memory leak testing for extensions and also performance testing of extensions.

We have a lot of tools that can be used for Memory Leak Testing. Currently  i do all this leak testing manually and I do using Debug Builds and Leak Gauge.

Leak Gauge is developed by David Baron and is very easy to use. You don’t need to install any additional Software to run it. For anyone interested in Leak Testing and especially for AMO-Editors and Extension Developers, I have created a How-To Documentation for Leak Gauge, which covers to file a memory leak bug and also with steps i follow in my Memory Leak Testing. Check it out at http://wiki.mozilla.org/QA:Home_Page:Firefox_3.0_TestPlan:Leaks:LeakTesting-How-To

We have also more plans for the future like a Best Practice Documentation on how to avoid memory leaks in Extensions . I am also thinking and working on ways to automate the Add-on Performance Testing….so stay tuned 🙂

If you have questions/comments/suggestions, feel free to email me or to ping me on irc !

– Tomcat

2 Responses to “Extension Memory Leak Testing”

  1. Jigar Shah Says:

    I think this is must because lots of people use firefox because of its extensions (like me:)). And they blame firefox is slow and memory hog. Please publish your report because sometimes extension author is busy so he cannot fix them. But user can decide what to install and what not.

  2. polonus Says:

    What is your opinion on spending time on extension bugs found through the error console in Minefield?
    I filed one as https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=449081

    There they comment as it cannot be reproduced with another profile, the time spent on it is a waste of time and useless, I think for depending trunk bugs it could be helpful for the resolvers to come up with a better patch, the internal structure of the browser stays more or less the same. Like to hear your view on this?