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Why I don't like multiprocess browsers

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Ok, what does that title mean? I am talking about what Google Chrome and recent versions of Internet Explorer do, namely they treat each tab as a separate process from the OS point of view. Instead of launching one big process that contains all the tabs we currently have open in our browser, they launch a new process for each tab. This has the great advantage that crashing a tab does not mean crashing the entire browser. And that is in my opinion a good thing, but not a definite advantage in usability.

Now, how often does a webpage cause the browser to crash? Fairly often, but not that often. And how often do I need to open a new tab? Very often. The thing is, with overloaded or not so fast PCs (Win 7 could contribute here...) it takes some time to launch a new process. This does not mean minutes and even not seconds, but that fraction of a second (ok, saying one second is not a stretch) that makes you forget what you were going to do with your new tab (google something most likely).

Last but not least, closing a browser with 10 tabs open (that's often an underestimation) means shutting down 10 application, from the OS point of view. That will not take minutes, but several seconds is a good estimate, even on fast machines. Firefox with "show previous session" option enabled loads and "unloads" ten tabs in a matter of seconds (not many) especially when it's run on something else than Windows (e.g. Linux...)


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