What's more interesting tough is how some developers maybe forget that the Internet browser shares resources with other applications. To occupy a quarter of a system with 1GB seems the seek for a monopoly; too self-importance that in fact is a source of inconveniences. It's against the policy "for everybody" because it is "for everybody with a powerful computer" and without problems to consume energy in the brute force way. Do you have 8Gb of memory? Why not to develop an Internet browser that consumes it all in a few years! Too many resources for text and images principally. Then 256 Mb are 256.000.000 bytes and 2.048.000.000 bits. Real ones, with memory there are not lies as with speed.
A technical example to calculate memory is maybe a screen with HD resolution, it has 1280x720 pixels, and this means 921.600 dots for RGB values, so multiplying by three and eight bits for each color is 22.118.400 bits in an active screen if every single pixel has information. The user doesn't see more at a single time and never will, leaving buffering apart, and this is around 2.7Mb. With 256.000.000 bytes you could have near one hundred HD screens full of information in the RAM stick. If you think on it, these blocks of memory, visualizing them like HD screens, permit too many data in the area that the user doesn't see and at the same time the realm of who decides how to use memory.
The solution for these problems stays at hand, focusing more efforts for optimization instead of increasing options or going into expensive blocks. Rewriting the engine, precalculating values, avoiding abstraction layers, creating lite versions or let the users select levels of functionality in the own application without forcing all to be active. Optimizing in assembler doesn't fit with the "Boolean attitude" —of using 8 bits for two states instead of 256, but it's also a metaphor— but we remind that it's there. The efforts appear afterward in the form of karma for the application and its developers. When people think it's normal, and the solution is to buy another computer, discard the old (to the e-waste mountain), the problem continues with too many accomplices, as we usually say, and it creates an unfortunate reality to be reminded in historical terms, with names, dates and so on. Some would say a shame.