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Firefox 4 RC Vs. IE9 RC: the First Duel

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-will-be-many-more dept.

Firefox 176

An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 4 vs. IE9 is going to be an epic battle in a reigniting browser war in which Microsoft wants its IE to be seen as a capable browser again. Mozilla struggled to keep the pace with Chrome and IE9, but is about to release the first release candidate, which is expected to be the final version of Firefox 4 as well. This first review of JavaScript, Flash and HTML5 tests seems to indicate that both browsers are about even at the bottom line, while Firefox has the JavaScript edge and IE is ahead in HTML5 performance."

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176 comments

What?? (0)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407592)

"which is expected to be the final version of Firefox as well."

What the hell is with the summaries lately?

Re:What?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35407692)

"which is expected to be the final version of Firefox as well."

What the hell is with the summaries lately?

You didn't get the quarterly /. memo? We're Google Chrome fanboys and girls now -- Mozilla is right out.

Re:What?? (2)

Kylock (608369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407820)

That is possibly a reference to this. [slashdot.org]

Re:What?? (3, Informative)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407824)

Poster misunderstood the changing Firefox release strategy [pocket-lint.com]

The expectation is an increased number of Firefox releases after version 4, but the changes between any two releases may not be as dramatic as the current approach.

Re:What?? (2, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408400)

QUOTE: "Ever wondered why Firefox is only just approaching version 4 after more than 6 years, when Chrome is up to version 9 in just over 2 years?"

No because I don't give a fuck about things that don't matter.

The new policy is pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Chrome and Firefox will be up to version 40-something by the end of the decade. IMHO it's more logical to avoid such large numbers by using decimal points. Release 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 this year, not 5, 6, 7.

Looks like marketers have taken over. "Bigger numbers seller better! Let's release Firefox 15 as soon as possible!"

Re:What?? (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408782)

IMHO it's more logical to avoid such large numbers by using decimal points. Release 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 this year, not 5, 6, 7.

That's only a clear win if there's some notion of compatibility (either programmatic or user experience) that you're maintaining among the 4.x releases, and even then it may not be. E.g. I find the progression of Linux kernel versions to be increasingly ridiculous; I'd rather see "the current stable release is 37.2 and the current unstable release is 38-rc7" than "the current stable release is 2.6.37.2 and the current unstable is 2.6.38-rc7".

If you stick to the point releases when there's no discernible big jump in features or whatever in a new release, as is what Linux is doing and what Mozilla wants to do, you've just turned "Chrome and Firefox will be up to version 40-something" to "Chrome and Firefox will be up to version 4.40-something", because if there are no stand-out updates, when do you bump the major revision number?

Re:What?? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408894)

Looks like marketers have taken over. "Bigger numbers seller better! Let's release Firefox 15 as soon as possible!"

Ah, but the "big number" thing doesn't roll around, 9 sounds more than 11. The 6990 is a much faster and higher model than the 7230. Every time you get there, you like to reset your number scheme somehow, like for example OS X. Could they have continued with 11, 12, 13 etc? Yes, but it doesn't sound that good. Instead they just "froze" the version and technically haven't had a major version upgrade in 9 years. I'm sure you all realize that is bullshit though, that "10.6" is actually OS XVI. I wager that pretty soon both IE and Chrome will change version numbering, oddly enough Opera hasn't yet...

Re:What?? (-1, Redundant)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409188)

Internet Explorer Special Edition

Re:What?? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit346 (1968126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407828)

you haven't heard?

slashdot = stagnated

Re:What?? (3, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408312)

"which is expected to be the final version of Firefox as well."

What the hell is with the summaries lately?

Maybe it's been edited since you saw it, but right now it says "which is expected to be the final version of Firefox 4 as well." I agree that it's pretty poorly worded, but it should be obvious enough that it means that the release candidate will become the 4.0 release (i.e. they aren't planning another release candidate).

The RC Is Expected to Become the 4.0 Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408906)

For most companies, Release Candidate, means that this is a copy of the software we think is finished, we are running final checks on it and if there are not any show stopping bugs, this will become the final software release for this version.

So what is being referred to is that the Firefox 4.0 and Firefox 4.0 RC1 are expected to be the exact same code.

Unlike Microsoft who treats Release Candidates more like Beta releases that will be close to the final version, but are never intended to be the final verion.

Beta 12 vs RC (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407620)

Unfortunately, Beta 12 introduced a crazy printing glitch on my local setup, so I hope by the RC they put enough stuff in order to make it go away again. I rolled back to Beta 11 and sent them a Feedback.

Re:Beta 12 vs RC (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408616)

People still print? ;)

Re:Beta 12 vs RC (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408832)

Only serious people.

Re:Beta 12 vs RC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409116)

...news to me.

Re:Beta 12 vs RC (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408798)

This was happening on Windows for users without hardware acceleration.

It's fixed in the RC, and has been fixed in the nightlies for a while now.

Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (5, Insightful)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407632)

After a while they just become samey and it's like arguing over which word processor is best - the one that loads 13% faster or the one that runs spellchecker 8% faster.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (2)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407840)

Actually, I'm not. The more the browser makers fight over each % in market share, the better off we all are. I'd rather have 4 or 5 browsers continuously fighting it out than the situation we had back in 2001.

I still shudder when I think of the browser dark ages.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408930)

I'm also glad to see that IE is competitive again. It's not that I want it to dominate every again but I am so sick and tired of feeling like emerging web technologies are held hostage by Microsoft's unwillingness (it's clearly not inability as IE9 is demonstrating) to build a browser that doesn't swallow testicles.

MS is still unwilling (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409726)

Don't forget the countless people on older Windows software that won't be supported. MS fanboys claim that this because IE9 needs the unique features of late Windows versions, despite Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari having the same features and can run on older OS'es some can even run on Linux.

What does that say about MS? Either they are not as capable as their competitors or not as willing.

Make no mistake. MS has NOT changed its attitude. It will simply do IE9 hoping it can dominate again, then ignore it. MS still hates the open web.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407860)

I agree they are only worth posting when there is a significant win one either side. Right now it looks like IE9 has a slight lead in some areas over Firefox. Which means nothing. Other then IE has gotten the Most Improved Award. Just as long as we have competing browsers that have a fair market share (EI, FireFox, Chrome and Safari) I am happy once either side gets a good win (Like IE 5-6 did) then that is where the trouble gets in where the winner separates from the standard and forces its own standards. And the others are trying to play catch up to support as many of the winners standards as well as trying to follow the prescribed ones. Thus creating problems again. Right now I think we are in a new golden age of browsers where it really doesn't matter which one you use anymore and you can choose a browser based on features and performance in particular areas vs. needing to render particular pages.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (2)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408822)

a new golden age of browsers

So circa 2004 when Firefox first emerged from the hollowed out husk of Netscape was the bronze age of browsers, then? Wake me up when we make it to the platinum age and Microsoft stops relying on security-through-obscurity and adds better support for Non-windows platforms...

In all seriousness, though, I'm glad Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla (and Opera) are all making improvements to the state-of-the-art.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408850)

Good post, and I agree. It now comes down to requested features. In my case, extensions are a great thing. AdBlock Pro, No Scipt, Tab Mix Plus, and Slimsearch are all great extensions that are a must have. Others may have differing views / needs.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (3, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408014)

It's a little like that. Right now most of the fighting is between Javascript and rendering speed. Javascript performance is definitely no longer a bottleneck, a lot of work has been done there by a lot of people and all of the current browsers are orders of magnitude faster than browsers 5 years ago. Rendering speed is still an issue though, it doesn't do any good if I can manipulate the entire DOM in milliseconds if it takes the browser several seconds to render what I did.

But don't worry, even if it's boring for you the end result is better browsers all around.

It's not about the browser (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408566)

It's about open standards. The reason we root for firefox is because Mozilla's goal is not to dominate the web, but to push open standards that can be used by everybody (including Microsoft).

Microsoft's goal, obviously, is purely to dominate. The only reason we see them adopting web standards now is because IE's market share has dropped like a rock over the past 5 years. They have no choice, and we can thank Firefox for that.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (1)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408576)

They are not the same. Extensions are the difference. Even if there are IE addons that replicate the functionality of flashblock/adblock/lastpass/xmarks, they don't perform as well.

Kind of feel the same about Chrome. Chrome has evil twins of all those extensions available, but when you install them, they're just not the same.

Plus in Linux, the latest stable build of chromium actually is PAINFULLY slow in GMail! Go figure. I haven't tested bleeding-edge.

Re:Anyone else slightly bored of the browser wars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409018)

Once I got over the "it's not the same" feeling about Chrome, I found it to be the far superior browser in just about every respect. I still use Firefox on my personal desktop because my awesome bar history database lets me look up all sorts of things with a few keystrokes, and to avoid giving all my data to one company. But on every laptop and work machine I can, I use Chrome.

I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (5, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407678)

Or even compatibility reasons. And I'm definitely not an MS hater. I use it because of the well implemented and widely used plugin system. IE has something similar but it's just not as well done and doesn't have as rich an ecosystem. So I don't really care about a 10% difference here, or an 8.5% difference there that I will never notice anyway.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407718)

so true with Firefox, i get a huge bump in performance with things like flashblock, no script, and ghostery.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (2)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409012)

However, latest IE is pretty much the only browser capable of smoothly displaying Slashdot...

It's like some cruel practical joke from MS.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409498)

Or from slashdot... It's a lot easier to tune a website to work better with a certain browser than to tune a browser to work better with a certain website.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (5, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408222)

I also use it mainly because I use a mix of Windows, Mac, and linux systems in both my day job and at home. I like having one common browser with plug-ins that work well on each platform.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (3, Interesting)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408436)

I completely agree completely I need my plugins.

However, I've actually moved all my friend from Firefox to Chrome because they refuse to use any plugins

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408608)

You completely agree completely? Suck much cock?

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408910)

You completely agree completely? Suck much cock much?

Fuck! If you want to troll, at least don't miss obvious opportunities.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408476)

Since I tried pentadactyl, [mozilla.org] firefox has become the only browser I can stand to use. The interface is worth the performance issues.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (1)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409678)

Hadn't seen this before but been a long time vimperator user. From the addon page it looks like some of the developers fell out with the creator of vimperator and forked it.

Re:I don't use Firefox for performance reasons... (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409490)

Agreed. At this point, I'm willing to accept rendering quirks to have the plugins I rely on.

Nothing has helped more than NoScript & AdBlock to skip the HTTP requests for junk at sites I visit often. When I try enabling them, there is a noticeable lag in page completion. Chrome and IE do not block those requests, but can skip the render, last time I checked.

I'm almost happier that IE holds a share of the browser market, it lets web publishers still think their ads are working for them. If everyone used client-side script to tailor their channel, we'd probably see a lot more work to consolidate the domain sources for content (and other tricks), making it harder to exclude them.

Meanwhile, many FF users seem to enjoy a clutter-free web and streamlined pipe. This is way more important to me than ensuring a flash block has a great frame rate.

Quick, run the Fishtank Test (3, Informative)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407698)

The last time somebody tested these browsers using Microsoft's Fishtank [microsoft.com] , Firefox 4 Beta won. I wonder who wins the Fishtank test this time.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408084)

Is this test bullshit or is it bullshit? Chrome is running 1 fish at 40 fps and sucks harder than a Thai hooker on 1000 fish.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408246)

The fish tank test is basically a test of "do you have HW acceleration?". Chrome releases don't actually have it turned on by default yet.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (3, Informative)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408256)

Huh? Chrome runs 1000 fish at 60fps for me... Maybe you have GPU acceleration turned off?

about:flags to enable it.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (1)

kjdrtgxf (1821390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408764)

And I had to reboot Windows 7 to have it apply, restarting the browser made for no impact. Now 50 fish at 60fps where as before 1 fish was at 40 fps.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408402)

I'm down to 2 FPS with 1,000 fish, FF 3.6.15 and a 1280x819 window size.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408700)

Right this second, likely IE. There was a last-minute security fix that introduced some undesirable lag into drawImage in Firefox and makes the fishtank a bit slower. Making it faster again isn't going to make Firefox 4, but will make Firefox 5 in a few months.

Re:Quick, run the Fishtank Test (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409754)

With 1000 fish: Firefox 4b12 gets ~18 FPS; IE9 9.0.8080.16413 gets about 1.

How it is (3, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407708)

IE is ahead in security(say what you like but vulns are at parity, and IE has support for sandboxing and WIC which FF lacks) and resource usage.

FF wins for flexibility, configurability and extensibility, the things that matter to most people on this site.

Things like speed and standards compliance are becoming irrelevant, as all 4 modern browsers are more than good enough. It's things like interface and how you can extend and configure the browser. In this Chrome is last, then IE, the Opera with Firefox coming in first, which is why it will be in the lead for a while.

Sunspider and IE9 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35407714)

Just remember this: http://digitizor.com/2010/11/17/internet-explorer-9-caught-cheating-in-sunspider-benchmark/
Oh and that Sunspider is redundant test for modern browsers.

Re:Sunspider and IE9 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408108)

Sunspider is a redundant test -- as are Kraken, V8, and the rest of them. Synthetic benchmarks are inherently flawed and we should all pay far less attention to them, but they happen to be easy to convey and chart (much like flawed compliance "tests" like Acid3 and html5test).

That said, there was almost certainly no cheating. That was a valid optimization. What was identified was a boundary condition in the JIT, which took two syntactically identical statements, which were not lexically identical, and showed that only one was optimized out. People who don't have any idea how to make an optimizing compiler decided that the only way this could happen was cheating, leaving out mistakes or intentional heuristics.

The problem with that theory is that it would be more difficult to develop a cheating optimizing compiler with the characteristics it had, for that situation, than to actually come up with an optimization, so it's outright absurd. The guy who discovered the discrepancy never called it cheating.

The RC scores the same in those tests now. I bet it was something simple like doing a quick one-line dead code elimination pass before the full dead code elimination heuristics decided whether to bother trying.

One final test... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35407748)

For 100 points, does your browser run on the huge installed base of WindowsXP?

Dang, we'll be limited to IE8 features until at least 2013...

Re:One final test... (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409630)

April 8, 2014. That's when extended support for XP ends. Of course that's just when IE6 will finally be unsupported. IE7 and IE8 would still have years of support to go

Re:One final test... (2)

dotwhynot (938895) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409666)

For 100 points, does your browser run on the huge installed base of WindowsXP?

Dang, we'll be limited to IE8 features until at least 2013...

Windows XP is very much like IE6 -- both are decade old systems that should have been left behind a long time ago. If not for lack of features so for lack of modern security.

Looks like bad benchmarking (2)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407768)

The Flash text benchmark is highly suspicious. IE9 posts by far the worst score for that benchmark on one machine, then beats FF on the same test on another machine. Without any description of testing methodology, I can only assume the benchmarking procedure is totally broken (e.g. maybe they only ran each one once) and so the results are best taken with a pinch of salt, even if they're not entirely useless.

HTML5 Support: Firefox 4 = 86%, IE9 = 59% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35407796)

Firefox 4 has 86% of HTML5 features while IE9 only has 59% of HTML5 features.

Chrome 9, which is released already, not beta support 87% of HTML5 features.

Source: http://www.caniuse.com/
(Go to bottom of page for the summary caniuse.com should've put at top of their page)

Re:HTML5 Support: Firefox 4 = 86%, IE9 = 59% (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408902)

They count e.g. support for specific video codecs (H.264, WebM or Theora) or WOFF fonts as "HTML5 features", which they aren't. Neither are MathML nor WebGL.

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!!! (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409744)

I thought that IE 9, with its much-improved standards compliance, was also going to support MathML. After seeing your post I did a quick search and found that it turns out that IE 9 doesn't even allow good MathML support with the proprietary (but free) MathPlayer plugin. Since this is one of the few features I have a reason to care about, I'm quite disappointed.

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!!! (second try) (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409834)

Whoops, left out a delimiting quotation mark, should have previewed. Trying again:

I thought that IE 9, with its much-improved standards compliance, was also going to support MathML. After seeing your post I did a quick search and found that it turns out [dessci.com] that IE 9 doesn't even allow HTML5+MathML support with the proprietary (but free) MathPlayer plugin. Since this is one of the few features I have a reason to care about, I'm quite disappointed.

chrome wins (-1)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407816)

end of story

Re:chrome wins (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407944)

Actually, I recently switched from Chrome back to Firefox around 4b9, and Firefox performs _MUCH_ better, especially (for some strange reason) with Flash content. Running Flash on Chrome used to make my entire system slow to a crawl.

Re:chrome wins (0)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408036)

I've got both chrome and firefox on my 'buntu, and I can't be bothered to use FF, it's so slow I get the killall firefox reflex everytime I attempt to use FF.

Re:chrome wins (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408484)

Slow when? doing what? FF is plenty fast on my 10.04 x86 box and my 10.10 x64 box doing general browsing and with Flash sites.

Re:chrome wins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408066)

Flash lags terribly on my firefox install (3.6.13 on OSX with a c2d and 4gb). Works just fine with chrome.

I tried Firefox 4 but too many plugins didn't work. I tried overriding version check, but some still didn't work.

Re:chrome wins (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408714)

I've been switching back to Firefox for my primary since I can't seem to run Chrome on my other monitor in Win7 while also running a "fullscreen windowed" game at the same time without the whole machine completely locking up.

Re:chrome wins (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408022)

When chrome allows for even basic customization, then it might be in the race.

Re:chrome wins (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408234)

Chrome, Firefox, Opera, whatever. IE loses.

Re:chrome wins (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408470)

Only if you don't use any Firefox plugins.

Re:chrome wins (1)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409324)

I don't use any FF plugins, obviously :)

About the only one I really needed was firebug, and that comes builtin for chrome, and stuff like adblock etc. there's plenty going around for chrome, even the web-developer toolbar has been ported (not that I need that much).

IE9 Firefox (2)

GnomieHomie (1931380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407914)

Microsoft always cares about being number 1 in everything. Sometimes they stick their noses where it doesn't belong. They can't accept to lose in something. Yet if they really cared they would put more thought into their products before they released them and focus more on fixes rather than trying to constantly come out with a product to trump someone else.

IE and WebGL (4, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407930)

I don't know how IE has an HTML5 advantage since they have to do a WebGL conversion to DirectX which causes all renders to take 3X as long. You can hear it talked about in this demo from Fractallab(http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/07/tom-subblue-reddard.html#comments) an online fractal generator built in HTML5 using WebGL.

Re:IE and WebGL (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408938)

IE9 doesn't support WebGL at all. But then WebGL is not part of HTML5 spec.

Re:IE and WebGL (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409602)

Well you got me on a technicality; it's supported through the canvas tag (part of the HTML5 spec) and WebGL is an open standard with it's own spec and is supported by all browsers... except IE. Making it the lone hold out and a throwback. This is SVG and CSS all over again. Where other browsers advance, IE stands back and waits and as a result, gets lapped by progress.

So those who use HTML5 and want 3D applications will just all be converting to Chrome, Safari or Firefox as a result. No harm done.

I don't think it matters (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407946)

The people that actually care about this have either made the switch already or have stuck with IE through it all, for whatever reason. Most of the end users I deal with that are on IE either don't have a clear concept of what a browser even is, or basically state they hate change and they've always used IE because "it's good enough" (likely because of all the IE workarounds we web developers have been forced to employ).

Don't get me wrong - from a web development standpoint I'm ecstatic Microsoft is trying hard to improve IE's standards support and functionality. But I just don't believe IE 9's performance is going to make a significant impact on people's perceptions of it.

Ugh. (0)

goontz (1441623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35407988)

Yet another Firefox vs. IE article. (note that either browser in this statement can be switched out with yet another competitor)

IE9 only support 59% of HTML5 features. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408058)

Percent of HTML5 features:

Chrome 9 (released): 87%
Chrome 10 (coming soon): 89%
Firefox 4 (coming soon): 86%
Safari 5 (released): 76%
Opera 11 (released): 72%
IE9 (coming soon): 59%

Source: www.caniuse.com

 

Re:IE9 only support 59% of HTML5 features. (3, Insightful)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408418)

Since you posted twice I know you're trolling, but I'll bite for anyone that doesn't know better. HTML 5 is in a draft state, much of it's functionality is still in flux with some parts being more stable than others. At this point we can't fault a vendor for not wanting to be stuck with an implementation that's broken later because they implemented an earlier draft.

Re:IE9 only support 59% of HTML5 features. (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409772)

How about IE9's relatively shit CSS3 support?

Any concerns of broken implementation could be alleviated with the -ms- prefix.

Granted it is much better than IE8 and below, but for stuff like text-shadow, there's really no excuse not to have it at this point

Having played with both, plus Chrome and Opera (2)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408298)

My conclusion is "FINALLY".

IE till lags Firefox and Chrome in some of the larger "real world" benchmarks, but compared with prior iterations of IE, the improvements to V9 are nothing short of stunning. Similarly Firefox 4 Beta 12 cooks over 3.6.15 -- but even 3.6.15 has improved dramatically over prior 3.6 versions. The big stunner for me is how close all of the browsers are becoming in performance, while taking slightly different directions in browser tabs, menus, etc. -- but that most of the "nasty trick tests" I know for XHTML and CSS through what we sorta call "2.1" don't fail in any of the new browsers. (I've been stuck in VB land for the last year, so I can't claim enough knowledge to test either HTML5 or the CSS 3.X stuff at this point).

Anyway, what that means for me as a professional coder is that now I can concentrate on cross-PLATFORM applications, instead of cross-BROWSER. Which is nothing short of the best news I've had this year in terms of IT work.

Performance is one thing... (3, Insightful)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408390)

...but as a developer I just hope IE 9 conforms to standards. Firefox will. Javascript/CSS is all happy and fun until you need to account for IE's quirks.

Re:Performance is one thing... (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408972)

It does conform, though to not as many standards as Firefox.

IMO, the important part is that it actually conforms to those standards it claims it does - unlike the previous versions, where you had to use various hacks to do "conditional interpretation" of HTML & CSS because the same feature would be interpreted differently by IE compared to other browsers. With this release, there is a decent subset of HTML5 that you know you can code against, and have it render/work correctly in IE and everywhere else.

Re:Performance is one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409306)

SVG and printing are all happy and fun... until you need to account for Firefox's quirks. Seriously, there are bits of the SVG and CSS specs that haven't been implemented for nearly a decade and look like they never will be. I only noticed because I tried to use them. I'd be delighted with less of a focus on the new shiny and more of a focus on getting existing specs finished. Which reminds me, is Firefox's XML viewer still confused by namespaces?

How will this be a market share battle? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408414)

Last time I checked, IE9 won't work on Windows XP... which is still the OS with the most market share. Many users like myself won't be abandoning XP any time soon, unless it is for a Mac or our Linux partitions. Since modern PC games suck and they contain more malware than gameplay), gaming is no reason for me to "upgrade the OS". I do not buy mainstream PC games any more.

So, can someone tell me why I should go with IE9 over Firefox, especially when I don't even have that choice unless I shell out for an OS upgrade?

Re:How will this be a market share battle? (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408908)

Is it suddenly slashdots job to sell you on IE and Win7?

Re:How will this be a market share battle? (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409610)

So, can someone tell me why I should go with IE9 over Firefox, especially when I don't even have that choice unless I shell out for an OS upgrade?

They won't tell you that because they can't, at least not with a straight face.

TFA concludes that while FF has better javascriopt performance and IE has better hardware acceleration, they are essentially equal for the average user.

Therefore, choose the one from the developer who accommodates you the best and offers you the most flexibility and consistency regardless of OS choice. In most cases, I suspect that will be Firefox.

DPI-Awareness still missing. (3, Interesting)

jjsm (895856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408442)

I am using the Firefox 4 RC 1 and my native screen resolution is 1920x1080 (DPI adjusted to 150%). Firefox still ignores my DPI setting (Windows 7 OS). Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari are already aware of DPI settings. Why not Firefox?

Re:DPI-Awareness still missing. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409206)

Probably because there is no definition of "DPI aware."

Probably what you want is for firefox to scale only its UI elements.. and it can... it just doesnt do it based on an OS setting that doesnt have a clearly defined meaning (ie, should the displayed document also be scaled, or just the applications UI elements? Maybe text in the document, but not margins?) .. remember that your DPI setting in all probability doesnt actually describe your monitors physical DPI.

My guess is that as you read this, that you dont even know your monitors physical DPI and have just used that setting to make the largest set of "DPI aware" programs that you use "look better" at the distance you use your computer from, while making some of them look worse with that same setting. Thats the crux of the "DPI aware" problem, and why many UI programmers say "fuck that, I'm going to let users do it independently of a global OS setting whose name itself is a fucking lie."

"An epic battle" (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408546)

Good grief, give the drama a rest, will ya. It is only going to be an epic battle in the minds of those who count up page hits as a measure of self-importance.

Uh.... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408660)

So you pit the two browsers currently losing market share against each other? Granted IE far more than Firefox, but the standard to beat right now is Chrome. Look at the graph [statcounter.com] . There's only browser going up is Chrome. Maybe IE9 and FF4 can stop their customers bleeding away, but they have a long road to get on the offensive - particularly IE.

Re:Uh.... (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409296)

No, they pit the two browsers currently comprising 75% of the market - because when one publishes a report on performance one doesn't include fanboi rants about trends. Chrome will indeed get included on many comparisons, but TFA made clear that they are just comparing two emerging versions of largest segments.

One key missing point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408800)

Lets compare IE 9 vs Firefox on a Mac, or on Linux or on Windows XP

Oh thats right there is no IE 9 for Windows XP, Mac or Linux so Firefox wins.

Firefox 4 leaks like a sieve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408814)

Firefox 4 leaks memory like a sieve. I wonder how long til they fix every leak...

Firefox is also MORE insecure compared to IE9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35408858)

They still don't support a low integrity sandbox. Something that Chrome and IE have had for YEARS.

I just don't get it. (0)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409092)

Why are people starting to take IE seriously?

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409180)

All browsers are awesome now.

This sort of stuff mattered when IE6 was the dominant browser... but now we have a healthy ecosystem. I don't care who is in the lead, as long as there isn't a browser taking up 60%+ market share.

IE9 is awesome. Great job MS.

FF4 is awesome. Great job Mozilla.

Chrome is awesome. Great job Google.

Opera is awesome. Great job Opera devs.

IE9 Fails to install and run (0)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409274)

I tried installing IE9, but it refuses to install and run. Firefox4 installs and runs with no problem.

I using kernel 2.6.36.2, so that can't be the problem.

That means it's Firefox for me. And IE9 looked so cool. 8(

Re:IE9 Fails to install and run (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409580)

You do realize that IE is not supposed to run on Linux? (Which I assume you are using, given the inclusion of the kernel number in your post)

Forgive me if your post is meant as sarcasm-I've been dealing with a lot of dumb people lately.

Odd conclusion (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409332)

Firefox 4 could possibly stop the market share bleeding, but it does not have the unique feature set and appeal to win users back from Chrome

Strange conclusion, when they didn't compare the browser to Chrome in the article, but IE 9. I'm not showing a preference for either of these browsers involved - I just thought it was late in the article to start talking of a completely different web browser...

Executive Sumary (2)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409524)

Paraphrased somewhat with an additional comment.

Both browsers are fast JavaScript browsers and the differences are unlikely to be noticed in average browsing today.

Firefox 4 and IE9 are substantially upgraded browsers when compared to their predecessors and show few weaknesses in any benchmark.

It is obvious that Firefox has a great JavaScript engine.

IE9s hardware acceleration engine is the one to beat.

Firefox's only real competition is Chrome for the standpont of what the author calls and unexplained "unique feature set" which IE9 appears to lack altogether.

So it's a draw on performance. No evaluation was done from the very important security standpoint. The most striking difference not commented upon but highlighted by the results is the poor performance of the Intel graphics chipset in both browsers.

From the Department of the Bleedin' Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35409536)

but is about to release the first release candidate, which is expected to be the final version of Firefox 4 as well.

Yes, that's what they say about all release candidates. Oh wait, they don't, because that's literally what "release candidate" means and it would be repetitively tautological.

I predict no surprises (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35409892)

Firefox will continue to be standards compliant and MSIE will continue to be a standard complaint.

Microsoft has too much invested in its old tech and backward compatibility. Furthermore, it still has too much to gain from "everyone else's browsers seem broken while MSIE works just fine" which is still a pervasive perception among users.

(This has a chance to change, though, as MSIE9 will be clearly unavailable to WinXP users, web sites will begin updating to support MSIE9 leaving MSIE8 users less supported and they just might try out an "alternative" such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.)

In the end, it is not in Microsoft's interests to write a standards compliant browser and so they won't. They will "make efforts" but they will not fix the problems that make all other browsers seem broken by comparison. I see nothing that can or will motivate them at this time.

Still, I want to see a 100/100 score on the Acid test. Yes, I know it means less than I think it does, and the main reason why is Firefox's lack of support for SVG fonts, but I still want that 100/100 score. (But I would also like to see the Acid test site update itself to randomly selecting "test questions" so that Microsoft can't simply write their browser to appear to score higher when it actually doesn't in practical usage.)

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