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Firefox 4 Regains Speed Mojo With No. 2 Placing

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the greased-lizard-not-so-terrible dept.

Firefox 98

CWmike writes "With the release of Firefox 4 Beta 7 this week, Mozilla has returned to near the top spot in browser performance rankings. According to SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite tests run by Computerworld, the new browser is about three times faster than the current production version of Firefox in rendering JavaScript, and lags behind only Opera among the top five browser makers. Mozilla launched Firefox 4 Beta 7, a preview that includes all the features slated to make it into the final, polished version next year, on Wednesday. Beta 7 was the first to include Mozilla's new JavaScript JIT (Just In Time) compiler, dubbed 'JagerMonkey,' which shot the browser's performance into the No. 2 slot behind the alpha of Opera 11."

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98 comments

Ofcourse it's only at number two (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34204728)

because I was first!

Joking aside, these are shitty benchmarks. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34205724)

These browser benchmarks are significantly worse than the Computer Language Benchmarks Game [debian.org] "benchmarks".

Those programming language "benchmarks" are bad enough as it is, with many dynamic programming language advocates using them to incorrectly "prove" that their programming language of preference is somehow faster than some other language. Of course, that's only true when they write Ruby or Perl code that's so highly optimized and fine-tuned that you'd never see anything like it in any real application. In reality, languages like C, C++ and OCaml end up being the fastest for real-world applications.

At least the creators of the Computer Languages Benchmarks Game go out of their way to indicate that the benchmarks are flawed, and really shouldn't be treated as anything more than a game. We don't see that when dealing with browser or JavaScript implementation benchmarks, though. For whatever reason, too many people actually take them seriously. They incorrectly think that running some JavaScript microbenchmark equates to good performance for everyday browsing, when that clearly isn't the case.

I've been using Firefox 4 Beta 7, and it's very obviously slower than even older releases of browsers like Opera, Chrome, Safari and even IE. The benchmarks can say whatever they want, but reality differs significantly. Instead of aiming for bullshit benchmark scores, the Firefox developers should be making optimizations that'll actually improve the overall browser experience.

In 3, 2, 1 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34204744)

Cue the "Performance in browsers isn't just about Javascript!" comments.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205120)

Which will be stupid, since the second page of TA is all about hardware rendering, which works even (partly) on XP, unlike IE9, and on the MacOSX.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207182)

Cue the "Performance in browsers isn't just about Javascript!" comments.

Here's an example: I switched from Firefox to Chromium last year, but not because of Javascript performance. I did it because Firefox had a nasty habit of doing a bunch of housecleaning when it shut down (I don't know, but I assume it was doing huge updates on an internal SQL database or something like that.) That could cause it to lock up for many seconds after I hit the close button; sometimes the window manager would pop up a dialog asking me if I wanted to terminate the unresponsive app.

That behavior was infuriating, and Chromium always closes immediately. It was nice that Chromium has snappier page rendering, but it's not such a huge difference that it's totally compelling. If Firefox has addressed the shutdown issue in recent versions, I'd consider going back because the Chromium UI is so "stripped down" that they lack a few handy features that Firefox had.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207312)

I stopped using Firefox because it would use up large amounts of memory after only a couple of days and then start lagging every 30 seconds or so until I restarted it. That is related to page rendering performance since the lag directly affected it.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (2, Insightful)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207630)

But performance in browsers isn't just about Javascript!

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34210350)

I keep a personal compilation of benchmark results from Peacekeeper's browser benchmark. I do not like their averaging of tests but I do like their individual tests. Due to this I keep the numbers in a Google Docs spreadsheet where I can easily look at them.

Here are my results, [google.com] with Firefox 4b7 included. Beta 7 does not seem to be much faster than Beta 6, although in some tests it is a big leap from Firefox 3.6.8.

BTW, these are all ran on the same machine with no configuration changes and the same background processes running for all tests.

I'll see if i run SunSpider's benchmark later and add it to the versions I still have on my machine.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

ElderKorean (49299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34219930)

But performance in browsers isn't just about Javascript!

Whichever browser can run Farmville/Fronterville/Mafiawars (all facebook apps) the best will win over most people.

I have a modern-ish machine that runs Lord of the Ring Online quite well, but crawls when I looked up those apps.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207946)

Cue "we don't really care about performance", rather. I care about feature, compatibility, safety, stability... and not a jot about performance.

Re:In 3, 2, 1 ... (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209076)

People _say_ that, but when they vote with their feet (or mice, as the case may be) it turns out that they do care about it. Often subconsciously.

Is news.slashdot.org borken? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34204758)

I get 404s unless I change the url to slashdot.org/...

Re:Is news.slashdot.org borken? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206874)

While there’s supposedly no such thing as a stupid question, that definitely comes close.

http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ [downforeve...justme.com]

Re:Is news.slashdot.org borken? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207716)

While there’s supposedly no such thing as a stupid question, that definitely comes close.

Huh?

Re:Is news.slashdot.org borken? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207858)

If it doesn’t work, is it broken? Is Yo Mamma fat? Is water wet?

“This doesn’t work, is it broken” is pretty fucking retarded as far as questions come. The only really useful information to know would be, is it broken for everyone or just me. Hence the link.

Also, news.slashdot works just fine for me, so either it’s working again or it was just him all along.

"next year, on Wednesday." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34204792)

good to know

404'd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34204794)

The beta is too fast for /., it seems :>

...Wait a minute... (0, Troll)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34204898)

From TFA (yes, I know):

Computerworld ran the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite in Windows Vista Business three times for each browser, then averaged the scores.

Does anyone else see a problem here? It must have been hell to run the test - the cancel or allow dialogue box would have made it maddeningly annoying, for one thing...

Re:...Wait a minute... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206562)

I see a problem here. An unfunny cocksucker who can't even make updated, accurate jokes and instead tows the same old bullshit Slashfag line.

Re:...Wait a minute... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206588)

Why don't you all you faggots who only used Vista in pre-alpha just choke and render yourself incapacitated?

Re:...Wait a minute... (1)

kenboldt (1071456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207030)

perhaps a switch to decaf is in order.

Re:...Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207224)

Don't take me wrong, it doesn't actually anger me, but constantly spreading FUD about MS and then shitting Slashdot's collective pants when it happens to Linux is pretty fucking retarded.

Re:...Wait a minute... (1)

kenboldt (1071456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209998)

towing the line, and spouting FUD is not something I am a fan of either, in any direction, be it pointed at MS, Linux, or otherwise, however posting a comment filled with expletives and bigoted remarks is completely unnecessary. The fact that I am getting modded "troll" while the comment I replied to which contains the words "cocksucker" and "Slashfag" is being modded insightful is simply ridiculous.

Re:...Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231858)

It's just an accurate representation of how stupid people see those Vista jokes nowadays.

Realistic tests? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34204970)

Isn't there some test that's like a consistent snapshot of popular websites, with some automation to navigate around them like a normal person would? You know, a performance test that actually might matter?

Re:Realistic tests? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34205014)

No, there's not, because the outcome would inevitably be "every browser is fast (and you won't notice a difference) given enough RAM, CPU power etc". In reality, it's not things like Javascript microbenchmark performance that matter: browsers CAN be faster or slower, but whether you can get a few ms less on Sunspider is going to be lost in the noise. The real differences will stem from other factors.

As such, the whole thing is basically a giant red herring. I'm not sure why Mozilla is playing along here, either, although I guess they didn't manage to get the word out that these tests are a load of bollocks for real world browsing.

Re:Realistic tests? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34205698)

No, there's not, because the outcome would inevitably be "every browser is fast (and you won't notice a difference) given enough RAM, CPU power etc". In reality, it's not things like Javascript microbenchmark performance that matter: browsers CAN be faster or slower, but whether you can get a few ms less on Sunspider is going to be lost in the noise. The real differences will stem from other factors.

That's because you're looking at it wrong. JS performance isn't going to improve the current browsing experience, that is perfectly true. The part you are missing is that the JS performance matters for FUTURE browsing.

Why, you ask? One word: Flash. HTML5 exists purely to replicate most of Flash in native HTML. Flash is heavily scriptable and runs complex apps (see any heavily produced Flash game) with passable performance (most of the performance problems with Flash are due to the way the graphics stack was designed [it sucks]). If Canvas, Video and Audio tags are going to replace Flash, the JS needs to be comparable to Flash's ActionScript performance — preferably better to insentivize migration.

Re:Realistic tests? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207746)

How about if you don't give a flying fuck about Flash anyway? Not (just) because it's an evil closed-source monstrosity, but because I don't want a video-internet at all?

Re:Realistic tests? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207470)

I don't know. Personally, I find that IE (6,7, and 8) on my XP machines to be terribly slow. Even simple things such as opening a new tab cause quite a bit of lag. I'm not sure how it keeps up in raw JS execution speed, but the experience as a whole is pretty slow. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera on the same machine are all sufficiently fast, except for Firefox's startup time. As are the more recent versions of IE on Vista/7 are also sufficient. I do understand what you are saying, that most browsers are good enough, but there are still some slow ones out there that give a bad experience. And even though Firefox 3 is fast enough, I have to say that using Chrome, just feels an extra level quicker, and I'll use it whenever I can.

Re:Realistic tests? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34215466)

I recall IE6 as being pretty speedy at the time, but not working right if you followed standards of course. These days anything is faster than IE on XP, though.

Re:Realistic tests? (2, Insightful)

InvisiBill (706958) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205666)

For standard website browsing, the biggest bottleneck is probably going to be the network connection. If you're talking about a handful of seconds to download a page, then a few milliseconds here and there on some Javascript isn't going to matter, like AC said. However, AJAXy webapps that make extensive use of Javascript may show a lot more difference if each Javascript function takes an extra 100ms to run. I think that's the point of these JS benchmarks - everything else is pretty much the same, so we're testing the one thing that could make a difference on script-intensive sites. Whether or not we actually have sites right now that are advanced enough to really show a difference, I can't say.

Re:Realistic tests? (1)

klui (457783) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212826)

reddit loads noticeably faster using b7, esp with threads with over 500 comments.

This was coming for a while... (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34204998)

If you look at the graph [arewefastyet.com] you see this was coming for a long while now, the x64 version will also be fastest in a short while (presumably second to Opera - I don't know their x64 speed - but on windows Firefox x64 would be #1).

This is a great achievement from the development team who consistently improved the performance from 'quite bad' to 'competetively fast', so kudos to the developers. Please don't stop now, it seems you can still stretch performance quite a bit...

Re:This was coming for a while... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205134)

Adding the JIT was obviously improve performance massively. Now the path for JS optimization is much more difficult.

Re:This was coming for a while... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206540)

Opera doesnt have a 64-bit binary.. at least for Windows.

Re:This was coming for a while... (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206618)

Hence my conclusion that on *Windows* Firefox x64 would be #1. ;)

Re:This was coming for a while... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209562)

Well, I imagine that most Javascript code ends up being pointer-heavy when compiled, and I'm not sure that the extra registers are going to offset the downsides of double-sized pointers.

Good job kids (0, Troll)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205240)

I refer to the editors when I say kids, as they are just as incompetent and should be treated as such.

They are reporting this over a day late after many people submitted it, while the story they chose linked to a shitty comptuerworld article. Not only that, they can't even manage there site properly with news.slashdot.org being broken for about an hour. Pathetic. Getting around it by replacing the URL with http://slashdotisincompetent.slashdot.org/story/10/11/12/037241/Firefox-4-Regains-Speed-Mojo-With-No-2-Placing [slashdot.org] works fine though

As far as the browser is concerned, it's fucking awesome. I was initially very annoyed at the lack of status bar, but I am getting used to it. Indeed, all the functionality is at the top of the browser which means I don't have to scan to the bottom of the screen anymore. The thing missing are download progress. The main bug is the lack of easy download progress without having to have DM open, although this is being worked on [mozilla.org].This won't stop people complaining because they are unable to adapt and realize the changes are better however.

Also, it's amazing just how much better their implementation of removing the status bar is then Chromes. Amazing.

The JavaScript improvement is magnificent. This is the first time I have ever been able to restore a session of about 10 slashdot pages each with over 500 comments all fully expanded, in less than 30 seconds. I guess this is because the JIT compiler cached the coder, and didn't have to interpret it for each page. As much as it seems like cheating, I can't disagree with the end result!

Good job Mozilla, continua leading the way and demonstrating just why you continue to hold the crown.

Re:Good job kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34208674)

Good job Mozilla, continua leading the way and demonstrating just why you continue to hold the crown.

FUD. Mozilla hasn't held any crown since the version 3 came out. Chrome has been destroying them consistently if nothing else.

Firefox has been a bloated piece of shit for awhile now, its arguably worse than IE.

Re:Good job kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34210468)

Anything is arguably worse than IE if you fail to test the version the entire article is about and only refer to older versions.

Re:Good job kids (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211250)

Firefox has a better extensions framework, better configurability, a better interface and better performance.

Re:Good job kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34215038)

Someone doesn't check their Task Manager and ADD UP all the Chrome processes that are actually more than Firefox. Look I agree that 3.6.x is being destroyed in terms of performance, but it's not hard to do that with the engineering resources that Google has, when Mozilla gives away a lot of information that could be their competitive advantage and when Google hired a bunch of Mozilla's engineers who were crucial to Firefox development working on Firefox in 2005/2006 who took some of the original research Mozilla was doing on process-per-domain and went of working for 2 years implementing it in Chrome.

http://dotnetperls.com/browser-memory
http://dotnetperls.com/chrome-memory

The quote you're referencing does not fall into the definition of FUD. It is absolutely not worse than IE. My machine is terrible, but Firefox 3.6.x is STILL not as bad as IE8.

Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (3, Interesting)

ttsiod (881575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205306)

Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer, try it on your own here [semantix.gr], or just look at the submitted benchark results [otenet.gr]:

On my aging PentiumD/2.8GHz:

  • 13 frames per second with Firefox 3.6
  • 18 frames per second with Chrome 7
  • 27 frames per second with Opera 10.6
  • 44 frames per second with Firefox 4.0beta

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34205566)

The fact late Firefox versions dominate the top score list, over a large margin of framerates, and taking in account that in both Sunspider and V8 bench TM+JM has comparable performance scores compared to V8 or Nitro would seem to indicate that the code in your own benchmark is specifically optimized for TM+JM.

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

ttsiod (881575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206512)

I am a newbie, Javascript-wise - so if this is true, it was purely coincidental :-)

It's just plain math and a "plotpixel" function... so I'd be happy to know what to change to make it run faster in other browsers - any suggestions?

(the good thing about Javascript - the code is open-source by nature)

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34209414)

It's certainly not very optimised. I get 31 FPS in Chromium 8 with your test, but I also get 31 FPS in this much more complex [github.com] example.

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205974)

What about the latest Chrome? 9.x

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

ttsiod (881575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206532)

Run Firefox4 and Chrome9 on your machine, and report back... :-)

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206798)

Chrome 9 is dev. The analagous test would be with Chrome 8 (beta). On my old-ass "IBM" thinkpad T60 (centrino duo w/ ATI gfx), I get 20fps on Chrome8, and 24fps on FF 3.6.12.

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208684)

I cracked your top 15 with 67.84fps with 64bit Firefox from 10/15 (it's the only one stable with Flash still) and a mobile i5-520M. Just FYI ;)

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209396)

That's probably due to hardware acceleration. But you really should test Opera 11 and Chrome 8.

Re:Verified with my SW-only Javascript 3D renderer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34212408)

I installed the newest version of opera I could find (11 alpha 1), and the newest version of firefox 4.0 (a nightly)
firefox was 4 ms faster.

That's the sort of difference you'd class as statistically insignificant!
So what I want to know is, who hires these bloody clowns

URL doesn't work (2, Interesting)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205406)

The link on the front page goes to http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/12/037241/Firefox-4-Regains-Speed-Mojo-With-No-2-Placing [slashdot.org] which doesn't work. The same URL without "news." works.

Re:URL doesn't work (2, Funny)

sgbett (739519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205590)

216.34.181.48 news.slashdot.org

in your hosts file also works

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34205844)

Why would you do that, when simply backspacing part of the url is so much simpler?

Re:URL doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206098)

Because you only have to do it once?

Re:URL doesn't work (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206262)

Because we're nerds, and we always look for the overly complicated solution to every problem.

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206914)

Naturally, because an ugly kludgy hack due to a temporary problem is always preferable to something simple and effective.

Along that line, is there a GreaseMonkey script to fix idle.slashdot.org? Backspacing over “idle.” is too easy.

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207890)

Alt+F4 speeds it up considerably, unless it crashes your browser. If you crash, try it again until it works.

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208074)

That doesn’t work at all on this webpage [tinyurl.com], though.

(Don’t use IE. No, it’s not goatse.)

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209090)

That would have been moderately cool if it had worked.

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209198)

It works on Firefox.

Re:URL doesn't work (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209238)

With a few caveats, I suppose I should add.

The page has to have focus. If the cursor is in the address bar, all hotkeys work as advertised.

Also, for some weird reason, while alt-F4 and ctrl-W don’t do anything, ctrl-F4 still works (it closes the tab, not the window).

Clone, what's the fastest browser here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213294)

OPERA! The bug-free & bulletproof fastest webbrowser program under the sun...

(That's right... yet again, & Opera webbrowser's still ruling the roost for speed, even in javascript processing as it does in other HTML work on the internet, & no known bugs as of this date that are unpatched also, evidenced here http://secunia.com/advisories/product/26745/ [secunia.com] Unpatched 0% (0 of 11 Secunia advisories) - can you stand it?)

As you can see, I also don't try to bushwhack people as it seems you are doing, what w/ your "tinyURL" b.s. (no, I don't trust you, especially you).

APK

P.S.=> *Ahem* (from the summary above for this article, a pertinent excerpt/quote, for your reference (lol, of course)):

"With the release of Firefox 4 Beta 7 this week, Mozilla has returned to near the top spot in browser performance rankings. According to SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite tests run by Computerworld, the new browser is about three times faster than the current production version of Firefox in rendering JavaScript, and lags behind only Opera among the top five browser makers."

Ah, yes, yet again (as-per-usual, see subject-line, & "read 'em & weep") - now here comes the funny part out of clone, you can almost bank on it -> His upcoming attempts here for "Spin-Control", lmao... apk

Re:Clone, what's the fastest browser here? (0)

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Re:URL doesn't work (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207642)

I very much agree with this statement. However in this specific case editing /etc/hosts barely qualifies as overly complicated!

OpenType is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34205944)

Among other changes to Firefox 4 in Beta 7 were [] support for the OpenType font format.

Bullshit. From the release notes:

Improved web typography using OpenType with support for ligatures, kerning and font variants

Firefox has had OpenType support for ages, encapsulated in WOFF or not. What they added now is support for some styling attributes. Quite nice [mozilla.org] but strange CSS syntax:-moz-font-feature-settings: "dlig=1,ss01=1"; why the quotes?

First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34206304)

Damn!

I should have used Opera 11 Alpha instead of Firefox 4 Beta 7.

I love such stories (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206500)

I love stories who run like this: "Not-released-software A is faster than Not-released-software B". Great news! Carry on!

Re:I love such stories (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206764)

Someone who posted a comment to a previous Slashdot story about JS performance explained it to me like this: By the time you've finished developing whatever web application you're working on, the browsers mentioned in the article will have been released (barring DNF style incompetence). Deployment on end user machines is another matter, especially across major version changes.

Test it yourself and see (1)

samfisher5986 (1927786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206514)

Grab an average computer, browse with Firefox, then browse with Opera or Chrome. You'll quickly see that these benchmarks mean nothing unless you are visiting a VERY javascript heavy website.

Firefox 4 beta 7 uses twice memory as 3.6.12 (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34206768)

Plus the Aros interface of the menu/tab bars really makes the fonts unreadable

Re:Firefox 4 beta 7 uses twice memory as 3.6.12 (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34209784)

+2 on the memory thing. I'm experiencing it on both Win7 and OS X with all addons disabled. I'm starting to consider other browsers, most likely Opera.

Javascript speed is nice and all... (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207386)

But when it comes to Firefox, I'd rather have a plugin that would allow the use of the operating system codecs (if available) to play HTML5 video encoded in h264. That, along with the built-in support for Ogg Theora and WebM, would allow us not to care about codecs from a user perspective.

why do i care about speed when (1, Insightful)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207408)

the organizer/editor for bookmarks is so bad (eg, where is the export a folder of book marks to email function, where is the scan for rendundant book marks button, where is..)
when nevercooky is not in the default install
when the new addon webpage looks like a commercial for useless crap, instead of a guide to all of hte addons
when pdf handling still sucks in the default,and is, in my hands, number one cause of crashes
the browser lets other people see stuff like what type of browser I am running, and doesn't try to obscure this
new versions break old addons . . .

Re:why do i care about speed when (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34207740)

the organizer/editor for bookmarks is so bad (eg, where is the export a folder of book marks to email function, where is the scan for rendundant book marks button, where is..)

Find or write an extension that does it better.

when nevercooky is not in the default install

No. Fuck off. You want it, fine. You download it and you install it.

when the new addon webpage looks like a commercial for useless crap, instead of a guide to all of hte addons

Your comment looks like a commercial for useless crap, such as your blog.

when pdf handling still sucks in the default,and is, in my hands, number one cause of crashes

Yes, by default it allows Adobe Reader to slow down your machine and crash. But it can be fixed: just go into the Applications options and tell it to just save them instead.

the browser lets other people see stuff like what type of browser I am running, and doesn't try to obscure this

You can change that. But why would you want to? Then websites can’t give you pages that are designed to look good in Firefox.

new versions break old addons . . .

You can change that too.

You’re an ass. Go choke on a peanut.

I've Been looking Forward to This (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34207704)

I hope this performance improvement really shows in the release version of the program, and I hope it runs fairly lightweight on system resources. I've been using Firefox since my high school days and I really loved it up until a year ago or so. About the time Chrome came out, Firefox was eating up so many of my system resources (so what if I use six year old hardware, it's adequate!) that it was making it hard to get things done on my computer and have Firefox running simultaneously. I switched to Chrome for it's speed and small footprint but, honestly, internet with scripts enabled and crappy half-assed ad-blocking software is just too annoying. I'd love to return to Firefox soon. So here is crossing my fingers and hoping that the browser will run on an old Athlon 3200 processor with a single gig of pre-DDR2 memory.

Re:I've Been looking Forward to This (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208558)

The problem is, the performance improvement to the Javascript engine does not equate to running light on the system resource usage. My guess is you aren't going to see all that much of a difference there. (However, as an avid Chrome user, I haven't actually verified my claims with Firefox.)

Re:I've Been looking Forward to This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214954)

I'm in the same boat. I use portableapps.com's Firefox beta 7 (well I've been using nightlies but it's better to stick with betas because otherwise running any beta/alpha software where it's constantly updated makes your OS worse).

Chrome uses more memory but its process-per-domain model gives it some performance benefits (like multi-threading gives performance benefits but this is a "level" up). The problem with Firefox 3.6.x is really that it performs like a single-threaded application because of some issue with blocking the UI or something like that, I can't remember, but the link below explains that stuff and how they have done original research and this release implements this.
http://andreasgal.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/compartments/

http://portableapps.com/news/2010-11-11_-_firefox_portable_4.0_beta_7

How about a UI benchmark? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34208080)

Sure JS speed is nice, but the reason I switched to Chrome was simple, the UI is actually responsive.

Launching new windows/tabs in FireFox is noticeably slow, whereas Chrome is almost instant. Rearranging tabs, slow on FireFox, snappy on Chrome.

Try loading a large page in FireFox, while its being rendered the entire UI locks up tight. When I do Google searches I tend to open 10-20 tabs at once with the results I find interesting, then go back and look at them all. Again with FireFox this is a slow operation with the UI locking up everytime a new tab opens, whereas with Chrome it feels natural with no slowdown at all.

Re:How about a UI benchmark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34212254)

After admitting you switched to Chrome in the past tense, you refer to Firefox in the present tense as if you actually still use it, and since everything you mentioned has improved vastly in the version the entire article is actually about (just unfortunate the article only focuses on javascript), it's evident that you didn't even test it.

Startup times disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34208264)

I don't really understand all this competition over Javascript performance. I think its at a good point and they should work on something else. I tested Firefox 4 beta 7, the startup time for the browser itself is minimally faster than Firefox 3 (which I use regularly) on my system. Where Chrome starts up as fast as "My Documents".

Who cares? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34208840)

You know what? If a page takes 200 milliseconds longer to run because JS performance isn't quite as fast who cares?

None of these browser speed wars addresses the problem that when I watch Hulu on machines that aren't top-of-the-line state-of-the-art, the video is jumpy often to the point of unwatchability.

My pipe is fat enough and the computers I'm using can do fullscreen video just fine. It's Flash, especially on Linux, that kills performance. Most video sites still use Flash, as do a lot of those fun little games, etc., and the only only alternative to Flash in most cases is to go without the site or functionality. Flash is what makes web browsing slow. Every other performance issue is like line noise in comparison.

I respect Adobe 100x more than them (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34215272)

You know what? If a page takes 200 milliseconds longer to run because JS performance isn't quite as fast who cares?

None of these browser speed wars addresses the problem that when I watch Hulu on machines that aren't top-of-the-line state-of-the-art, the video is jumpy often to the point of unwatchability.

My pipe is fat enough and the computers I'm using can do fullscreen video just fine. It's Flash, especially on Linux, that kills performance. Most video sites still use Flash, as do a lot of those fun little games, etc., and the only only alternative to Flash in most cases is to go without the site or functionality. Flash is what makes web browsing slow. Every other performance issue is like line noise in comparison.

Old times, when some company abandons/will abandon your computer/OS or you can't decide whether to join the herd (windows) or run linux/BSD, you always had Firefox at your mind. You would think it would have Firefox support and would run it one way or another.
Now, they dropped PowerPC binaries (because their cool looking addressbar not working) and speak about dropping anything below SSE3. Publicly that is...
Code is being infested by completely unportable x86 specific ASM to join cool kids with JS asm acceleration.
If they weren't afraid of Win32 users, they would drop X86 32bit in no time because 64bit runs 20% faster!" and they will have great fan feedback from idiots who have no clue about anything other than 64bit is faster.
Does Adobe support PowerPC? Yes they do. They have to do massive trickery on OS X (not hacks) but they do. Your Flash is probably slow because it doesn't do GPU decoding. If you use Linux, Adobe has a weird excuse. If you use OS X, they have a very good/justified excuse as Apple refused to add a central GPU decoding framework open to others (not private) until OS X 10.6.3. Running 10.5.8 on a production machine you can't update? Bad luck.

How about usability (1)

rhomp2002 (1182917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213902)

I have had faster browsing times with Opera as well. My problem with Opera is that is not as usable as FF or Chrome. My biggest bugaboo with Opera is in trying to copy and paste from the window to my email so that I can send info to a friend. I do a lot of that and I cannot do it with Opera. It just will not copy and paste outside the browser itself. It works well from screen to screen within the browser but it just does not work from browser to message or anywhere else outside the browser itself. That makes it practically useless to me. Chrome and FF both do this very well. So long as I have relatively good speed and can copy and paste I am good to go, otherwise forget it. Used to have a problem with a lot of websites would not display correctly on Opera, especially if they were designed for IE but Opera seems to have solved that one in the latest release. This came up with real estate sites mostly that would not display the selection screen. Now if they just solve the copy and paste then I will bring it up as a potential for default browser.

Evolution of JavaScript Implementation Speed (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214622)

This story makes me curious: how has JavaScript implementation speed improved over time? I see a lot of benchmarks comparing recent versions of browsers, but does anyone have a comparison against, say, Firefox 1.0? Also, how do current JavaScript implementations stack up against current implementations of other languages, such as C, Lua, or Python?

At cost of? (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34215234)

In other news, OS X PowerPC was dropped and there is also a crazy talk about dropping anything=SSE3. They really lost the design philosophy of Firefox or anything Mozilla. What happened to portability especially when nobody likes their mobile offerings? How many times they must learn to think outside X86 PC?
Firefox in speed race with a company who controls/knows about every single device they shipped (Apple) and another who can spend couple of billions of dollars in no time without even noticing it (Google).
As a person who knows and always respected Mozilla mission, I feel obliged to post this although I know what kind of karma suicide it is.
I really wonder what kind of management took over Mozilla. I remember old days these guys spending hours to make it run/compile on OS/2, dead desktop OS, not completely documented and stabilized one like OS X 10.5.8 PPC.
What about Atom CPUs Mozilla guys? Drop that too as it will make you score less in couple of benchmarks? I heard netbooks are outfashioned, perhaps you should drop them next to keep yourselves cool (!)

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