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Firefox 3.5RC2 Performance In Windows Vs. Linux

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the tradeoffs-and-tradeoffs dept.

Mozilla 240

pizzutz writes "Andy Lawrence has posted a Javascript speed comparison for the recently released Firefox 3.5RC2 between Linux (Ubuntu 9.04) and Windows(XP SP3) using the SunSpider benchmark test. Firefox 3.5 will include the new Tracemonkey Javascript engine. The Windows build edges out Linux by just under 15%, though the Linux build is still twice as fast as the current 3.0.11 version which ships with Jaunty."

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makes sense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426933)

linux users are generally slow (as in midly retarded).

Re:makes sense (3, Funny)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427827)

... and anonymous users are dyslexic (tub onyl midly).

Proving yet again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426943)

that Windows is superior to Linux.

Re:Proving yet again (2, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427503)

Actually, it probably does say something about the superiority of the Windows compiler and potentially other Windows tools.

Re:Proving yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428695)

Sorry, only things proven so far is that you have no clue at all about the meaning of the word "prove", and that there apparently are mods that are just as clueless.

Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (3, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426951)

Ubuntu typically has everything but the kitchen sink running in the background; it's even worse than XP for frivolous defaults.

Get Slackware, or something else minimalistic, where you're likely to have a marginal amount of memory left after the operating system and residents are loaded in. ;)

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427029)

Firefox isn't slower because of ubuntu, it's slower because the microsoft's C compiler is better than gcc.

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (-1, Offtopic)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427215)

Wow...and yet this gets moderated Interesting, and my GP gets moderated Flamebait?

Slashdot's moderators truly do work in mysterious ways. ;)

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427423)

It's because it's an interesting post, while your previous one was flamebait.

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427459)

Surprising? Because your post *did* smell of something burning, while the MSVC claim has at least some merit - MSVC really got better. I guess it had to, it would be a shame if MS threw a couple of megabucks on it with no results at all.

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427661)

... it would be a shame if MS threw a couple of megabucks on it with no results at all.

Yes, because we all know that such it has never happened with MS...

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428107)

No one is claiming that it hasn't, either - that's why we have no Microsoft Visual Bob 2008. :)

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428945)

So how hard is this to test? Anyone want to run firefox win32 binaries on linux with WINE? Since the executable code will be faithfully executed by the CPU we can eliminate the compiler differences from the equation.

Somebody else do it. :) I'm busy.

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (0, Offtopic)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428247)

I'm convinced it's the same dumb ass, or a group of them. Even making a valid complaint about moderation receives punishment. Fuck em'

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428169)

I am SHOCKED and AMAZED that a compiler specifically implemented for x86 (with assistance from Intel) produces more efficient x86 machine code than a compiler that is based on a general purpose architecture with just a back-end code generator for x86. Next you'll be telling me that a Swiss army knife isn't as good for skinning animals as a Bowie knife and that an amphibious vehicle is neither as fast on land as a Ferrari nor as fast in the water as a cigarette boat!

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428989)

Visual C is not "compiler specifically implemented for x86". It supports (and supported in the past) lots of architectures -- x86, x64, Itanium, Alpha, MIPS (and MIPS16), PowerPC, ARM (and Thumb), Hitachi SuperH, Infineon TriCore, several other embedded CPUs as well.

Of course x86/x64 are main targets, but my guess it is so for GCC as well :-)

Re:Don't benchmark it on Ubuntu (3, Insightful)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428295)

You know all that stuff that's running in the background. Well, it's running in the background, which means that most of it should be swapped out and it shouldn't wake up very often to do stuff.

Get the facts! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426967)

Firefox sucks! [microsoft.com]

But why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426977)

Is there any explanation as to why there is the difference?

Re:But why? (5, Informative)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427255)

The Windows version is compiled with PGO (profile guided optimization) while Linux versions aren't.

Re:But why? (3, Interesting)

guyniraxn (1579409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428079)

What if we threw SwiftFox in to the comparison?

Re:But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428349)

I wonder how a patch against some JS-file could improve speed - see http://getswiftfox.com/source/swiftfox-3.5rc2.patch

Re:But why? (4, Interesting)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427407)

The problem is that GCC is pretty much the only compiler on Linux used these days and while the code is very nice C++ compilers on Windows produce a bit better code still.

But when I mention Watcom C++ or other aspiring open source compiler here, a compiler that could possibly interest Linux community and spawn some competition for GCC then I get modded down often by people citing GCC is good enough for everybody and everything.

Re:But why? (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427529)

also worth mentioning is llvm. gcc-llvm has an llvm backend doing code generation (which sometimes beats standard gcc, sometimes doesn't). There's also a non-gcc c/objective c/c++ compiler, clang, in development, though it may be a couple years before c++ support is complete.

Re:But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428019)

My own take on this is that there is a philosophical difference at the heart of the difference between GCC and VC++ with regards to optimization.

I think that MS' compiler has an attitude of "Ha, You turned on optimizations! Now I can do what ever I want to with your code!". Well, not the compiler as such, but you get the point.

GCC has more of an academic heritage, which might be influencing it even today, which is to say, it may have a greater respect for the structural equivalence between source and binary.

Or something along those lines.

Obviously I have no idea what the exact differences are, but I use both compilers frequently.

Re:But why? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428037)

Didn't gcc 4.0 strip out all the processor-specific optimizations? I don't think it has ever been put back in. Sure, optimizing for x86 and not other processors shows a certain bias, but I'll take x86 bias over poorly optimized code any day.

Re:But why? (1)

joib (70841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428541)


Didn't gcc 4.0 strip out all the processor-specific optimizations?

No.

Re:But why? (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428087)

in the 90s, the Watcom compiler produced some of the fastest code out there. I know it was open source and is still used but it would be interesting to see what it could do in cases like this. If it's as good as it used to be, showing a 15% improvement and eliminating any speed advantage MS compilers might have would be eye opening for many who might consider gcc the only compiler for GNU/Linux software.
 

LoB
 

Re:But why? (2, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428199)

Watcom isnt even top-3 anymore.

The king of C compilers is now ICC, with both MSVC and GCC way behind.

Re:But why? (2, Informative)

Prune (557140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428439)

One can always use the Intel compiler on Linux. The performance of compiled code is comparable to that the Intel compiler produces with its Windows version.

Re:But why? (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428977)

Isn't there also an Intel compiler available for Linux?

Re:But why? (1)

asa (33102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427521)

In addition to a compiling process called profile guided optimization, or PGO, it's also a safe bet that the Windows compiler just spits out better (faster and smaller) results than the Linux compiler.

Re:But why? (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427859)

Everything on Linux is weighed down by the X server. Desktop composition does little to help.

So what shall one use now? (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28426979)

When Firefox on Linux is getting the crap treatment from its developers, what shall one use now?

Re:So what shall one use now? (4, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427037)

This is nothing new. Running Windows FF in WINE is faster than using Linux native FF.

Re:So what shall one use now? (1, Flamebait)

illiter4te (1574849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427089)

Why not just use XP? -.- -- All Heil Microsoft!

Re:So what shall one use now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427121)

Twice the performance of 3.0 isn't good enough for you? Yeah, the developers obviously don't care...

Mod parent Troll.

Re:So what shall one use now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427309)

opera. it is teh superior browser.

Re:So what shall one use now? (4, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427569)

A very large chunk of Firefox's developers have Linux as their primary platform. Linux Firefox absolutely doesn't get crap treatment from Firefox developers. You're obviously not familiar with the comparative qualities of the compilers on different platforms or you would asking "why do the Linux compilers get beat so badly by the Windows compilers."

There! You have it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28426993)

This proves that, um, Windows,er, Linux is....um...what the fuck does this prove again?

And why the fuck should I care if there's a 15% difference in performance of Firefox between those two OSes? I use my particular OS for reason that have nothing to do with how well Firefox runs on it.

Re:There! You have it! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427147)

This proves that, um, Windows,er, Linux is....um...what the fuck does this prove again?

And why the fuck should I care if there's a 15% difference in performance of Firefox between those two OSes? I use my particular OS for reason that have nothing to do with how well Firefox runs on it.

That 15% could very well be measured in hours when the Slashtard coders get through with their Web 2.0 abominization of Slashdot.

Re:There! You have it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427487)

'Sfunny, the only Slashdot-ish site that does AJAX really well seems to be Daily Kos. They've had automatically updating threads with 1000+ posts for at least a year now. And it's fast. And the interface isn't horrendously ugly. Like Slashdot, the community has devolved into 90% annoying idiots, but that's a different problem.

Re:There! You have it! (2, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428285)

This proves that, um, Windows,er, Linux is....um...what the fuck does this prove again?

And why the fuck should I care if there's a 15% difference in performance of Firefox between those two OSes? I use my particular OS for reason that have nothing to do with how well Firefox runs on it.

That 15% could very well be measured in hours when the Slashtard coders get through with their Web 2.0 abominization of Slashdot.

People have been complaining or quite some time about poor performance on slashdot. What is it that shows this poor performance? I don't recall doing anything that isn't instantaneous here.

Re:There! You have it! (2, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428837)

The lag when posting a comment between hitting the "Preview" button and actually seeing the preview is downright painful.

My problem with Firefox is this (0, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427139)

Firefox on Windows looks great/awesome/beautiful....name it. But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse.

Folks, I am not trolling so have a look for yourselves and compare. There were efforts to "QT-size" it on Linux distros running KDE but that effort has no results I can see though there was something [arstechnica.com] done by Nokia.

In its current status, Firefox needs serious love on Linux. Even my 14 year old sis can see the ugliness that Firefox shows.

In addition to all the features, a nice looking application is always pleasing to work with. Ask Apple or even Windows folks. They will agree.

Or even then...How would a good looking Firefox harm Firefox?

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427311)

I don't disagree with you, but most people using it probably don't even notice. After all, the Gnome folks refuse to disable the totally useless and ugly menu mnemonics on every menu, despite having bug reports filed to that effect. Windows has done this since 2000, though they show up when you hit alt. (Firefox and every other crappy "I'll draw my own menus so I look cool" app usually don't follow along, mind you.)

Fonts and little things like what I mentioned are indicative of having too many engineers and not enough designers work on the UI. Too often it gets to a "well, this seems to work, ship it!" point, rather than being polished.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (0, Troll)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427317)

But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse

Part of that is Gnome but a lot of the ugliness is the native XUL theme used on Linux which goes out of its way to emulate Gnome's worst characteristics. You used to be able to download the XP on Vista [mozilla.org] theme for Linux but they've stupidly blocked Linux users from doing that anymore.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427319)

Firefox on Windows looks great/awesome/beautiful....name it. But on Linux, it is inherently ugly.

Thats because Linux itself is inherently ugly!

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (4, Interesting)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427419)

But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse.

Widgets and dialogs, ok, that's your aesthetic preference. But fonts? After a couple of years using Ubuntu I hate how Windows fonts look pixelated even with Cleartype on. Freetype is much better at its job than Cleartype. If only because of that, I prefer the looks of Firefox on linux than on Windows.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427537)

Fix your eyes!

  I'm a peer reviewed, 5 year at university 4 years at work designer and I say firefox on winows is *not* better looking that Firefox on Linux (gnome).

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427847)

It's ugly as fuck. Now take your argument from authority and shove it.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428059)

Fix your eyes!

  I'm a peer reviewed, 5 year at university 4 years at work designer and I say firefox on winows is *not* better looking that Firefox on Linux (gnome).

7 years of college, down the drain!

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (2, Funny)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427571)

>Ask Apple or even Windows folks.

You have seen Safari, haven't you?

It puts the 'f' in fugly.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (4, Informative)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427597)

Firefox on Windows looks great/awesome/beautiful....name it. But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse.

Folks, I am not trolling so have a look for yourselves and compare....

I'm running Windows XP and Ubuntu 9/04 side by side on similar laptops. Just to test, I looked at the main pages for Slashdot, Wikipedia (English), and Amazon, side-by-side.

My eyeball result of looking for differences between pages rendered with Firefox on Ubuntu 9.04 vs Windows XP:

  • Slashdot (slashdot.org): indistinguishable
  • Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page): indistinguishable
  • Amazon (www.amazon.com): Bold fonts in the "Shop All Departments" navigation menu appear too big on Ubuntu; they don't quite seem to fit properly.

Other than the issue for Amazon, the pages rendered look identical to me. The fonts for the menus look identical. I still disagree with the choice the mozilla team made to have the preferences/options menus with different titles in different locations for Linux versus Windows, but other than that, the UI seems consistent to me. The default GNOME theme for Firefox isn't as pretty as the new Firefox theme on Windows, but that's a minor aesthetic thing, and it's not ugly, it just isn't pretty.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428669)

My personal test:

Fonts for India languages (Hindi/Gujarati/Marathi) look much nicer in Gentoo/Ubuntu/Knoppix, than in Win2K/XP/Vista.

The sites in question use unicode, and are the resp. language versions of Wikipedia, Google News aggregator, Regional newspapers in resp. languages, etc.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (1)

asa (33102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427607)

"But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse." What do you mean "on Linux"? On Ubuntu? on Fedora? Some other distro? The OS is responsible for the fonts, not Firefox and the distros almost all make changes to the default look and feel of Firefox.

Harm of looking good: opportunity cost (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427671)

Or even then...How would a good looking Firefox harm Firefox?

If the time spent making firefox look good could be spent on other things, the harm of a good-looking firefox is that said other things are missing; they could be performance, stability, bug fixes, new features.

Now, I said "if". I'm not certain the condition is satisfied: if I'm working on performance-optimizing some application I run a lot, I'm not going to work on making it look pretty if I think it looks just fine. I figure people who like the performance just fine isn't going to move away from working on the pretty either. (As long as they're volunteer developers).

The size of the opportunity cost also depends on how big the return on investment is, in looks and performance, comparatively. If one mythical man-month can make firefox look 200% better or be 50% more performant, well... 200 > 50. Though I'm not sure how you quantify pretty ;-) user approval rating, maybe?

So in short: how would a good looking firefox harm firefox? I have no clue! ;) But I know that the answer "none" is something you arrive at only after some consideration.

Re:Harm of looking good: opportunity cost (1)

valinor89 (1564455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427913)

Thet would make sense if FF was a comercial product with limited resources (money) but beeig opensource anyone can make contributions. What is someone has no idea of what to do to optimize FF but still can improve it's looks? There would be no harm at all.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (4, Informative)

TodLiebeck (633704) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427781)

Firefox on Windows looks great/awesome/beautiful....name it. But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse.

In Ubuntu 9.04 here, and I personally think the stock DejaVu fonts on Linux look quite nice. Actually prefer the traditional toolbar on Linux with Tango icons (tango.freedesktop.org) rather than the "enlarged back button" version found on Windows and OSX.

The only problem I see is the topic of this thread, i.e., performance. It's slow enough to feel slow, and the fact that most Linux distros run so well on old hardware makes the problem worse.

The bigger problem for the "Linux browsing experience" still seems to be Flash. Visiting a Flash-heavy site (like the horrible items produced by any given automaker) is a painful experience...it's bad enough that I'll typically crack open the MacBook. I find Flash sites consume an order of magnitude more CPU running natively in a Linux browser than they do running in a Windows XP VirtualBox instance hosted by the same Linux OS.

AdBlockPlus and FlashBlock are the only things that enable me to continue to use this computer for web browsing. It's somewhat of a sad state of affairs, given that it's more than quick enough to run multiple VirtualBox instances, Eclipse instances, and a GIMP instance with dozens of files open at the same time. But give it one web page with a few Flash advertisements, and you'll think you're on a Pentium 60.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428005)

The bigger problem for the "Linux browsing experience" still seems to be Flash.

So what is the problem Flash, or Linux?

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428909)

In the case he described it is either Flash's Linux version or Linux. Either way the result he finds is that Flash on Linux is terrible and runs slower than Flash-on-Windows-in-a-VM which is pretty bad. Probably it is Flash doing a poor job of using OpenGL on Linux or something like that - or having a translation layer to do it that eats CPU.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427793)

Firefox on Windows looks great/awesome/beautiful....name it. But on Linux, it is inherently ugly. The beast looks ancient and the fonts and dialogs make matters worse.

Not really. It fits in with the rest of Gnome fairly well, and if you throw on the Linux equivalent of "Cleartype" the fonts are actually quite nice. Installing the "mscorefonts" that most distros have these days makes Firefox rendering between the two practically indistinguishable, aside from, again, that Clear/Freetype rendering beauty.

Re:My problem with Firefox is this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428175)

skin your ff and you wont tell the difference between the windows and linux version. And calling it ugly just shows that you don't bother taking a minute or two to find a theme that doesn't give you an eye sore. *very windows like*

Here, I'll even help you out. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:2/cat:all?sort=popular
Some of the themes can blow your "beautiful" windows theme out of the H2O.

Nawlinwiki has a small cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427157)

Imagine you willy being smacked until it bleeds.

Speaking of Bloat (1, Troll)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427225)

How well does it perform on Vista?

Re:Speaking of Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427345)

What would that matter. If it turns out to be 15% slower on Vista everyone will just say:

1) Linux must be as crappy as Vista!
2) Vista is just as advanced as Linux!

Re:Speaking of Bloat (1)

otaker (1582421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427385)

How well does it perform on Vista?

Firefox does even better on Vista then on Linux machines...

Re:Speaking of Bloat (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428485)

This is a strange question. "Ok, so it's slow on mainstream Linux distros. I bet its slow on Vista, too!" I don't think it IS as slow on Vista, but I fail to see how that question does anything but try to say "Vista is just as bad as Linux."

Which, considering the fact that most geeks are more of the opinion that "Vista is a garbage can in comparison to the Taj Mahal/Buckingham Palace/[Insert Expensive Cool Place] that we call Linux," seems to be rather fruitless. Unless, of course, you're willing to admit that Linux isn't necessarily better in everything than Windows. :) Which is fine with me, who uses both quite extensively.

I'm not sure about this (1)

mail2345 (1201389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427313)

But I think the speed difference was due to the Windows binary having profiling based optimizations, vs the Linux bin.

Re:I'm not sure about this (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427475)

That and Ubuntu does its own recompile...they make changes. It's not Mozilla's build.

Re:I'm not sure about this (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427811)

That and Ubuntu does its own recompile...they make changes. It's not Mozilla's build.

I doubt that Ubuntu has an official 3.5 RC package built, as of yet. The benchmark article, even suggests, they are still shipping Firefox 3.0.11 with Ubuntu 9.04. No matter how bleeding edge Ubuntu may seem, it is very unlikely that Canonical would ship a Beta version or Release Candidate of Firefox.

Re:I'm not sure about this (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428645)

Hmm, Adept says: Firefox Version 3.5~b4~hg20090330r24021+nobinonly-Oubuntu1 Package is maintained by Ubuntu Mozilla Team

I run it and it works.

maybe linux carries some of this blame (4, Insightful)

asa (33102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427471)

Putting the blame all on Firefox when there's no doubt a certain amount of performance penalty that comes with a Linux's less good compiler is just lame. How about telling the linux tool makers to build tools that output faster and smaller code instead of demanding that app developers solve those problems? Finally, what "linux" build was this? Did it use profile guided optimization and other performance features of Mozilla's official Windows build system? If not, you're comparing apples to oranges.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (1, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427677)

Indeed, GCC just isn't as good at producing fast code as Microsoft or Intels compilers. This is probably the price you pay for having a fairly portable compiler such as GCC.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (5, Informative)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428343)

This is a myth.
I have barely ever noticed a performance increase when comparing code compiled with equivalent options on GCC, ICC and MSVC.

Quite the contrary, GCC is faster more often than you'd think.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428405)

This is probably the price you pay for having a fairly portable compiler such as GCC.

Fairly? Fairly? Is there any other C/C++ compiler in the world that compiles for so many target platforms? Even half as many?

GCC has made leaps and bounds in the past few years on the 4.x series. But yeah, it's not nearly as good as Intel C++, which has the benefit of being able to focus on a relative handful of related x86/x86-64 architectures, and is made by the company that makes the CPUs.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428443)

And for not surrendering your first-born in order to have as many copies of it as you like.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (1)

user317 (656027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427961)

Putting the blame all on Firefox when there's no doubt a certain amount of performance penalty that comes with a Linux's less good compiler is just lame. How about telling the linux tool makers to build tools that output faster and smaller code instead of demanding that app developers solve those problems? Finally, what "linux" build was this? Did it use profile guided optimization and other performance features of Mozilla's official Windows build system? If not, you're comparing apples to oranges.

its an exponentially harder problem to do performance analysis at the compiler level then at the application level. Plus firefox + wine runs over 10% faster then firefox on linux, so very likely its not the tools. My guess its just because there are more windows hackers working on firefox since its a more important platform (to mozilla) then linux, so more optimizations are done.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428075)

Usually they profile the windows versions, and don't profile the linux ones.

Why? No clue.

Re:maybe linux carries some of this blame (2, Informative)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428963)

See bug 418866 [mozilla.org] for some guidance.

It's not only Javascript (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427559)

that matters when it comes to browser speed. I am running 3.5 beta on Ubuntu right now, with TraceMonkey turned on, and it really does well in terms of javascript performance.

But this doesn't change almost anything. GUI is still horribly sloooow. I have to reboot Firefox every few hours to keep it running somehow.

When I'm listening to online radio in one tab, and try to upload large file in other tab, my music is gone, Compiz marks firefox in grey as "not responding" and 2 of my 2GHz cores get 100% CPU usage for 10 mins. This is horrible.

The situation with Linux flash isn't any better. I really wish I could live without it, but as a web developer I cannot yet.

Watched documentary about beginning of Mozilla, a guy was given a job, maybe still on Netscape then, and he wanted "to make Mozilla run faster on Linux". Yeah, right. How many years have passed? 5? 10? crap.

Re:It's not only Javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28427967)

Sounds like a Compiz issue. Try turning it off before running Firefox again and then see how long it stays up for.

Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (2, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427819)

I keep hearing people saying that it's all GCC's fault, but I have seen no real proof of that. Nor why a profit making company such as Mozilla can't throw devs at GCC to fix the underlying problem.

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (5, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28427985)

Why can't they just use Intel's compiler?

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (1, Flamebait)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428171)

I also wondered this! For one thing, it would make Stallman's head explode, but we might as well get the sad and inevitable event behind us and all use the best compiler we can get for all Linux projects.

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (3, Interesting)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428435)

Its my understanding that a bunch of the firefox core is written in C++. ICC uses a different name mangling scheme that GCC, so you can't link C++ code compiled with ICC with code compiled by GCC.

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (2, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428089)

Compilers aren't a simple problem that you can 'throw devs at'.

Maybe the Intel compiler could be used, but it breaks on anything non-trivial.

Or we can suck up the 15% performance degradation, especially if it is due to profiled optimisations on Windows, and just be happy that it is twice as fast in terms of Javascript, that might make Slashdot usable on a netbook again. It's certainly going to be faster than IE8 on Windows, and that is what most Windows users will be using in the end.

I only hope that Canonical make it available for 8.10, because we can't all upgrade to 9.04 because some companies (looks at VIA) take 6 months to get their drivers updated.

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428411)

Maybe the Intel compiler could be used, but it breaks on anything non-trivial.

No it doesn't.
Also, Mozilla uses a subset of C++ that only contains trivial features. (not that it would be a problem, ICC uses the most standard conforming C++ frontend there is)

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (1)

Peepsalot (654517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428119)

Is there a reason that Mozilla should spend considerable resources making the Linux version of their product faster than the Windows version of their product? I don't really see how it's their problem.

Does gcc "do" Windows? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428237)

Can gcc compile Firefox for Windows, so that we can more confidently apportion blame?

Re:Does gcc "do" Windows? (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428859)

Can gcc compile Firefox for Windows, so that we can more confidently apportion blame?

Yes.

Re:Where's the proof that GCC is solely to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428261)

Proof.. This is /. we don't need any stinking proof. It couldn't be the fact that prelinking doesn't work for dlopened libraries. Something that should have been fixed in ohh 2005 when the guy from novel brought it up and supplied the code. It also could not be a issue with video drivers being less optimized and full of hacks dreamed up by Troglodites.

Safari 4 faster... with GCC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428207)

I got 1968 ms using Safari 4.0.1 on an old Mac Mini (Mac OS X 10.5.7, Core1Duo 1.66 GHz)... faster than Firefox with a Core2Duo 2.0 GHz Linux/Windows machine.

3.0.7 not great, 3.0.11 not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428425)

I hope Mozilla 3.5 does better than the article indicates.
Using F10, and upgrading from 3.0.7 to 3.0.11 is worse.
Now my box only refreshes the browser screen when I move the frickin mouse!!
Talk about wrist action !!

And the top menu's and tabs still take their good ol' time
being re-displayed. On a 2.8ghz box.

Intel compiler (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428477)

Then release binaries made with the Intel compiler. It's a better optimizer than MSVC (and gcc) whether on Windows or Linux.

Re:Intel compiler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28428869)

I was thinking about why that question hadn't been asked before.

real world vs testbench (1, Offtopic)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428527)

Everything in these kind of tests usually makes MS and Intel compilers stand out vs gcc. On the desktop, the Wintel platform is shit slow all the time. I care for the latter. no 27 different systray update services for different crapware, the crapware, antivirus, etc running - just the apps and system services I have actually opted for,

What about other common cross platform software ? (3, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428597)

Are there around some tests about other open source software that could help us understand the problem ? We can find some on open office : http://www.oooninja.com/2009/03/multiplatform-benchmark-30.html [oooninja.com] Or Tomcat : http://mediakey.dk/~cc/tomcat-performance-linux-faster-than-windows/ [mediakey.dk] But that does not seem to gie a clear understanding of what's happening.

On Linux 57% slower (1)

r45d15 (1543669) | more than 5 years ago | (#28428849)

I just did my benchmarks, dual booting, Ubuntu 9.04 x64 and Windows XP x32: XP: 1586.6ms Ubuntu: 2739.2ms Specs: Intel Pentium D 3.4Ghz, 4GB RAM.
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