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    This has been a pet peeve of mine for ages. I had exactly the same experience, in 2002 I used Opera for about 60 to 80 tabs on something like a pentium 100 with 128MB of ram, it worked wonderfully. Now I have 8GB+ of ram and Firefox and Chrome don’t work as well for the same number of tabs. Pages may have become more resource intensive, but that I have access to a lot more and faster ram, faster CPU with more cores and an SSD. I know the author and I are probably well into the minority with our number of tabs, but it still feels like browsers have taken a step backwards.

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      Chrome itself has even regressed. I remember the reason I switched to Chrome is it was both more stable and leaner than Firefox. The name “Chrome” was even a symbol of its leanness. And now I’ve switched back to Firefox because Chrome has both gotten unstable for me and is a resource hog. I wish software got hard at some point and people could just leave well enough alone once it’s gotten good.

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        To say nothing of what it does to your battery on laptops.

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          Same here. In the last 6 months I’ve found Google Docs becomes so slow with documents of 20+ pages as to be unusable, while Firefox editing the same doc doesn’t seem to break a sweat.

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          Agree 100%.

          In fact it’s more than just browsers, it’s software in general. There’s even a law for it: Wirth’s Law. Basically, software gets slower and more bloated at the same rate that hardware gets faster.

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            I’ve found software has actually been going in the opposite direction, driven by hardware trends. Consumers want cheaper and more battery friendly hardware, driven by the netbook and then expanded by smartphones and tablets. As a result, a lot of things have been faster on the software end - Windows 8.0 was quite a bit faster than XP on aging hardware, and Windows 10 continues this trend.

            Browsers are still awful though.

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              You mean Windows has been going in opposite direction. I’ve found most software to get more bloated or slow overtime unless it was leveraging SIMD, multicore, or GPU’s. Windows was unusual in that Microsoft invested a massive amount of effort into improving both security and efficiency.

              I remember that, when on Windows, I kept using old versions of some software like editors, paint programs or dev platforms where possible to buck that trend. One could literally see the trend overtime watching minimum and recommended system requirements.

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          I’m biased, but the article complaining about all browsers being slow and then never even considering Firefox was a little sad :P

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            Was sort of hoping for answers or solutions here :/

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              Here’s what works for me:

              • Noscript. Instead of curating a detailed whitelist, I just keep two Firefox profiles open and send stuff to the JS-enabled one when I need to. (I do whitelist a handful of sites like this one in my primary profile when I know they won’t abuse my trust.)
              • Set user_pref("dom.min_background_timeout_value", 99999); in user.js of my FF profiles; this prevents background tabs one from repeatedly running functions and sucking up time.

              I don’t do this for “application-y” web sites; (chat, calendar) but instead keep those in their own fullscreened chromium windows. Anyway, it keeps things zippy on my Core 2 Duo laptop, but it might not be right for everyone.

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                Have to try that timeout :)

                NoScript’s great, but the tradeoff is that when I want to see some pages, I have to guess which cdn is relevant and allow a bunch of cloudflares and argh.

                ISTR also reading that NoScript isn’t as fast as one would expect, that it’s mostly for security, but I can’t look for the link now and I’m fine with it :)

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                  NoScript is one of those tools that gives you what you put in. Low usability due to both its granularity and that scripts are black boxes. I find it works out well enough most of the time where the main site, something with “cdn” in name, and/or something intuitive lets me though tk content. Otherwise, I just skip sites that are too much trouble. Painful at first but missing them never hurt me.

                  Stuff that’s truly necessary and a pain can be used in a VM or computer dedicated for that.

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              I don’t know about Chrome, but modern Safari will actually pause unused tabs, or throw them out of memory, and won’t reload all your previously open tabs when restoring a session either.

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                but chrome does pause unused tabs. If your chrome doesn’t do it, you can use The Great Suspender plugin

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                    “ up to date running on 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04 with an up to date LTS kernel currently has 882 tabs in 20 windows.”

                    If 882 isn’t a typo, then what are you doing with that many tabs? Making sure your SGI UV doesn’t have any bad RAM in a fun way? Generating data for the concurrency QA team at Mozilla? Squeezing out those last memory leaks? Hosting a cloud service that runs “multi-tenant, JavaScript VM’s?”

                    I think I maxed out at a dozen or two when doing research. Especially running through and sucking papers out of ACM and IEEE. ;)

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                  But when your browser is fast, you just don’t tend to close tabs which you haven’t dealt with.

                  I do. My main browser is quite fast on my laptop even when I’m running a couple of JetBrains IDEs, a VirtualBox VM, and two or three other browsers for CSS testing. But I periodically clear out all of my open tabs as a way of freeing up mental space and switching tasks.

                  I’m pretty ruthless about it, too. That interesting article that I haven’t read yet? If it’s stayed open this long and hasn’t been read then it just isn’t interesting enough.

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                    Absolutely. I used to keep tabs open for things I wanted to read too. When I realized I had one article open for literally a year I gave up the practice.

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                    The same argument of workflows being slower than in the past applies to pretty much all facets of consumer software. It’s incredible how much waste there is in terms of new hardware needed to keep up with everything. A friend of mine once remarked, “I just want a computer where Word doesn’t freeze it up every time I hit save.”

                    It’s amazing what we as developers get away with in the name of programmer happiness.

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                      I’ve never really understood the desire to keep hundreds of tabs open.

                      I keep ~5-7 tabs open pretty much all the time. Any more than that, and I can’t access them with a single key chort which for me, renders them useless.

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                        I don’t notice this, because my browsing habits are different. I heavily use an RSS reader, and for stuff I come across in the course of browsing that I want to read later, I use pinboard. I also keep two windows open, one with work stuff and one with other.

                        It’s entirely likely that my habits developed in response to the dreadful state of web technologies; but the idea of hundreds of open tabs has never been appealing to me.

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                          I am talking about everything else. Safari may take a second or two just to open a new blank tab on a 2014 iMac. And with ten or fifteen open tabs it eventually becomes sluggish as hell

                          On a 2015 MBP, w/ 30 tabs open across 3 Safari windows currently, a new blank tab opens essentially instantly for me. It sounds more like the author’s system as a whole is swapping or the Safari process is CPU starved.