WebAssembly boosted memory caps from 2GB to 4GB in 2020. Why hasn't Figma?

Caveat, I’m not a native app engineer and this may be a dumb question but, I was doing some research and discovered that WebAssembly boosted memory limits from 2GB to 4GB in 2020 per Up to 4GB of memory in WebAssembly · V8

Given this, why are we still limited to 2GB of memory in Figma files? In the past, figma staff on these forums and elsewhere have pointed the finger squarely at webassembly memory limits. The fact that this change was rolled out ~1.5 years ago makes me wonder whether anyone at figma is actually investigating ways to improve the memory limits which have plagued many among us since the dawn of figma.

I don’t work at Figma and don’t know anything about the tech powering the platform, but I can venture some guesses based on my experience.

  1. Performance – If larger file sizes slow down performance, especially in multiplayer, then I could see that being a factor.

  2. Compatibility - If not all browsers/devices can support 4GB (e.g. iOS Safari and Chrome for iPad) then large files will break and/or won’t open. I already experience this on iPad with some large files (and yes, I’m aware that technically Figma doesn’t support web browsers on iPad).

  3. User Confusion - If you’re in multiplayer and editors have various browsers/devices that support different memory limits, it could cause weirdness.

In the end, it’s all about tradeoffs and what in the roadmap makes the most sense for the most users. Again, I don’t work at Figma, but I would bet that someone, somewhere in the org has or is testing these memory limits since the day they were announced publicly. WebAssembly is core to Figma’s development.

But from a holistic product view, Figma is unlikely to trade things like performance and multiplayer compatibility for larger files, especially if that would create all sorts of customer support issues if/when it breaks.

But I feel your pain too. I think memory management will always be a limitation that web apps in general will have to deal with. When you have so many different browsers/devices to support, topics like this become an immense technical challenge to navigate for a successful product like Figma.

If any of you still facing the out-of-memory cliche, search Figmac (I know, for mac) and give it a try. Don’t expect too much but in my opinion, it solves the memory issue so far. Happy Figma!

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