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Firefox 3 Performance Gets a Boost

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the powers-of-ten dept.

Mozilla 550

jason writes "Mozilla has been working hard at making Firefox 3 faster than its predecessor, and it looks like they might be succeeding. They've recently added some significant JavaScript performance improvements that beat out all of the competition, including Opera 9.5 Beta. And it comes out to be about ten times faster than Internet Explorer 7! Things are really starting to fall into place for Firefox 3 Beta 4 which should be available in the next week or two."

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Safari (4, Informative)

adam1234 (696497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581046)

Hopefully it can best Safari's Javascript performance. Firefox is pitifully slow compared to WebCore's javascript core.

Re:Safari (4, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581068)

Surf with NoScript and the JavaScript engine will be invoked much less than usual.

Re:Safari (5, Informative)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581086)

According to TFA, Safari is beat out by Firefox 3 beta 3 and 4, and Opera.

Re:Safari (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581162)

Did the check against the WebKit SVN HEAD, though? There have been significant improvements which aren't in Safari yet.

Re:Safari (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581578)

Until Safari 3.1 comes out and beats it back. The latest versions of WebKit have

By the way, these performance tests against Safari were performed against the beta Windows version.

Re:Safari (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581118)

RTFA (or just glance below):

1. Firefox 3 Nightly (PGO Optimized): 7263.8ms
2. Firefox 3 Nightly (02/25/2008 build): 8219.4ms
3. Opera 9.5.9807 Beta: 10824.0ms
4. Firefox 3 Beta 3: 16080.6ms
5. Safari 3.0.4 Beta: 18012.6ms
6. Firefox 2.0.0.12: 29376.4ms
7. Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms
The results are generated by using the Sunspider JS benchmark suite.

Re:Safari (-1, Flamebait)

clockwise_music (594832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581224)

I don't get it, it sounds like a typical developer boast to me:

Ben: "Hey look, I optimised this code and it runs 3000% faster!"

Bill: "Yeah great, was anyone complaining about the speed? How about that new feature that everyone wanted, how have you gone on that?"

Ben: "Uhhh.. but it's cleaner code!"

Big whoops. Talk about a non-article.

Re:Safari (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581344)

Relax; this isn't IE we're talking about.

Chances are, that "new feature" of which you speak is already in Firefox 3 or one of the many extensions. And if not, code it yourself. It's open source after all.

Re:Safari (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581564)

which extensions prevents firefox from being a memory hog?

Re:Safari (2, Funny)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581592)

'Opera'

Re:Safari (2, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581646)

  1. None used, and
  2. only one tab open.

It's been my experience that the extensions and multiple open tabs cause bloat, not Firefox itself.

Re:Safari (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581700)

In my experience, Firefox uses less memory than other browsers. How would one see Firefox being a memory hog?

Re:Safari (4, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581472)

I don't get it. They are doing exactly what I wanted about Firefox in 3.x.

While new features can be nice, I couldn't name a feasible feature that a significant number of people would want and it's not in core Firefox or in an extension already. What I want from Firefox now is to provide the existing features in a secure, stable, fast and memory conserving way, in this order. Heck, I've turned off most of the new features in Firefox 2.x and wished they'd fix some annoying bugs instead. In 3.x the developers did a lot of work to remedy a lot of those bugs and issues, so big big kudos for them!

Cleaner code matters - it results in less bugs and security vulnerabilities, easier to add features and most likely better code.

Re:Safari (5, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581490)

Yeah great, was anyone complaining about the speed?
Actually many people (myself included) were complaining about speed, and in some cases new "features" are just bloat. One feature that I would LOVE to see is to have isolation between tabs so that if one page in one tab causes a crash, the other tabs would be unaffected and the browser could continue. A multi-process model with better isolation could do this, and would also make more efficient use of multi-core systems (since FF is notoriously single-threaded, have a single thread per-tab instead of per-browser). FF does crash, and while sometimes a third party plugin is to blame, I really don't care about pointing fingers just in getting the browser more reliable.

Re:Safari (5, Informative)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581668)

They've been throwing around the idea of multithreading for Firefox 4, but right now its still in contention, I think, because it has to be done right. I recall reading some dev blogs that said they'd jump ship if the team decided to expose the threads to extension developers.

Re:Safari (4, Interesting)

GenKreton (884088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581232)

These benchmarks are definitely lal done on a windows box, because if you compare the performance of JS in Firefox on Linux and Windows it is like night and day... I don't know why JS on Linux needs to be so much worse.

Re:Safari (0, Redundant)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581480)

Firefox on Linux is bad, period. I don't know why exactly.

Re:Safari (5, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581306)

How about testing with a WebKit nightly?

Why is this marked as troll? (5, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581630)

Why is the parent comment marked as troll? It was reported a few weeks ago that the next version of Safari, 3.1, would see major JavaScript performance gains due to the latest WebKit builds. This article uses the beta Windows 3.0 version to compare to.

Re:Safari (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581512)

The Webkit nightly builds are significantly faster. I don't have the same machine they've tested on obviously, but for comparison purposes here's the current release vs. the most recent nightly build on my Mac OS X 10.5.2 machine:

Safari 3.0.4: 10758.4ms +/- 0.5%
WebKi r30628: 3390.0ms +/- 0.3%

If the performance gain percentage is comparable on their test machine (big if, granted) the comparable time would be 5675.8 ms, 22% faster than the PGO Firefox build.

Re:Safari (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581130)

Hopefully it can best Safari's Javascript performance. Firefox is pitifully slow compared to WebCore's javascript core.

On Windows it does taking 8 seconds to Safari 3's 18.

Heck, here are all the numbers from TFA (Note these apply on Windows only, not OS X or Linux):

  • Firefox 3 Nightly (PGO Optimized): 7263.8ms
  • Firefox 3 Nightly (02/25/2008 build): 8219.4ms
  • Opera 9.5.9807 Beta: 10824.0ms
  • Firefox 3 Beta 3: 16080.6ms
  • Safari 3.0.4 Beta: 18012.6ms
  • Firefox 2.0.0.12: 29376.4ms
  • Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms

Re:Safari (1)

AresTheImpaler (570208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581242)

They should have run it against the latest webkit.. it's supposed to be pretty fast..

Re:Safari (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581554)

They should have run it against the latest webkit.. it's supposed to be pretty fast..

Okay, I ran it on OS X anyway. I'm too lazy to run it on Windows too :) Here are the results [slashdot.org] . The new version of Webkit/Safari does beat the nightly of Firefox, but it is close and they're both a lot better than any regular release.

Re:Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581734)

Firefox won't be beating Safari for long. Safari 3.0.4 scores around 9000ms on my Mac -- that drops to 2893 with the Safari 3.1 beta.

IE7 is just slow anyway (3, Informative)

jtroutman (121577) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581072)

One of the ways I usually demonstrate to people the advantage of Firefox 2 over IE7 is to show them the difference in time it takes to open multiple tabs. With Firefox, they open as fast as I can hit CTRL-T, but with IE it takes about a second for each one.

Re:IE7 is just slow anyway (4, Interesting)

ivarneli (4238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581404)

I tend to have the opposite experience. When I need to use it, IE7 is quite fast and responsive for me, and it will certainly open tabs as quickly as I can hit Ctrl-T. On the other hand, Firefox (on any computer I've used) occasionally has a bit of a delay when opening new tabs, especially if other pages are rendering in the background, you have a few complex sites (like gmail) open, or you have more than 3-4 tabs open.

There are a bunch of great reasons to use Firefox - adblock, keyword bookmarks, decent standards support, Firebug, etc. But in my experience (especially post-1.5), the responsiveness of the UI is not one of those reasons.

Re:IE7 is just slow anyway (2, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581580)

I just tried it now. On Firefox (2), I opened about 10 tabs, and they opened almost as fast as I could hit Ctrl-T. On IE7, the first 3 tabs opened immediately, after that there was a few seconds delay for every tab.

Re:IE7 is just slow anyway (4, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581704)

3* tabs should be enough for everybody.

*For older versions of IE, 3 equals 1.

Re:IE7 is just slow anyway (1)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581680)

I can't say I've ever needed to open a series of tabs, without the pause of typing in an address, or clicking on a shortcut. What am I doing wrong?

7x Faster on...? (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581076)

XP or Vista.

Ten times faster than IE? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581078)

Ten times faster than IE in doing what? IE typically ends the race freezing up or crashing. Does that mean firefox is going to get to that point faster? I hope not.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581084)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse ass gets a gape [goatse.ch]

Firefox Performance (1, Interesting)

matts-reign (824586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581088)

The first thing that comes to mind when these massive improvements are being made is that the codebase is poor to begin with. However, all the other browsers seem just as bad. I realize html renders are very complex pieces of software, but why does it seem like they're all flakey? Is it HTMLs fault? Why do we even still use html? While proposed jokingly before, why not use something like PDF or flash for a fully graphical web? While it would make writing crawlers and accessibility harder, I think that is something that could be worked on, by providing an open standard for the files that can be parsed easier than html.

Re:Firefox Performance (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581238)

While proposed jokingly before, why not use something like PDF or flash for a fully graphical web?

Flash has more and more accessibility support, but PDF is the Page Description Format. It's meant for print output and says nothing about the meaning of the contents of the document, just how they are supposed to look on the screen and on the page.

I think that is something that could be worked on, by providing an open standard for the files that can be parsed easier than html.

The good thing about tag-based formats like HTML is that--provided someone's following the standard--they can be fairly easily parsed regardless of the output format. With XHTML, you can read stuff on your screen, the blind can use screen readers, and web developers can easily extract and transform elements from a given document things are good as they are.

Finally, why do you think PDF = lean and mean? Acrobat proves that a PDF reader can get hideously bloated.

Re:Firefox Performance (5, Informative)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581456)

but PDF is the Page Description Format.

I could have sworn that PDF was Portable Document Format. All your other points about it are correct though.

Re:Firefox Performance (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581654)

OS X proves that a PDF reader can be as fast as HTML. Faster in some cases -- no need to lay out and render large tables, complex CSS, etc.

Re:Firefox Performance (2, Informative)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581274)

note that this is a javascript test, not a html test, but the main problem is, you need to break the problem down into many components, including, but not limited to:

a) efficient networking
b) lexical analysis
d) parsing.
e) DOM tree construction (required because it's available to javascript)
f) javascript lexical analysis
g) javascript grammar parsing
h) javascript compilation to bytecode
j) javascript execution by vm (including subtasks: initialization, execution, security checks, etc)
k) rendering output

It's probably even more complex than above, but it's a long process to go from <html><body><p>hi!</p></body></html> to a page that has "hi!" on it. Longer if it needs to execute javascript safely as well.

Re:Firefox Performance (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581338)

by providing an open standard for the files that can be parsed easier than html.
What? you mean like XHTML [wikipedia.org] ?

It still doesn't run on my computer (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581108)

It still doesn't run on my computer and Firefox 2.latest_stable_release works fine. What's up with that? It just crashes immedietly upon opening.

Re:It still doesn't run on my computer (3, Informative)

ajayrockrock (110281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581208)

It still doesn't run on my computer and Firefox 2.latest_stable_release works fine. What's up with that? It just crashes immedietly upon opening.


Back up your Firefox Profile [mozilla.com] and start clean.

I tried Firefox 3 today (5, Informative)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581120)

To be honest, I hate it. WTF have they done with my handy URL bar? It used to be a place where I could type "slas" and get the slashdot URL come up. Even worse for "news", as it "handily suggests" all the pages in my history that have "slas" or "news" in my history.

Heads up for all those trying Firefox 3 is Oldbar [google.co.uk] . I suggest you get it if you don't like the new 'innovations' by Mozilla Corp.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (1)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581278)

I happen to find this feature invaluable, so much that I went further and installed the myurlbar_a extension, to mimic this awesome feature on firefox 2.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (1)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581324)

A++! Would install again!

I was hoping there was a way to turn off that new feature. I too found it annoying. Everything else about FF3 is rocking, though.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (5, Informative)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581352)

It learns as you use it. Type 'slas' and choose Slashdot from the list. After doing that once or twice, Slashdot should automatically float to the top each time after that.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581510)

That's still pretty annoying. I don't want to teach my browser (not to mention doing it for all profiles, users, machines, etc.). The old behavior was definitely better.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581728)

Sorry, copying the bad eyecandy from Microsoft doesn't classify as an improvement in my opinion.

The learn-as-you-go menu behaviour which they copied from Windows didn't work well in Windows either. The main problem is that it causes inconsistent behaviour. Repeating something doesn't necessarily give you the same menu items. It's good for newbies who read every single line before choosing one of them, but it's very bad for people who memorize what they do so they can repeat it quickly without even looking.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581390)

Actually that functionality exists in the Mozilla Suite as well as the built in Google translate. I dislike that fact that they have removed some of these features. For the record; there isn't an extension that was as functional as the "Translate" function that was built in the old Mozilla Suite (and SeaMonkey).

Here are your links for your request in Firefox w/out the use of an extension:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Location_Bar_search [mozillazine.org]
http://www.squarefree.com/2004/09/09/googles-browse-by-name-in-firefox/ [squarefree.com]

Regards,
Anonymous Coward.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581606)

Funny, I have been using it for a couple months now (nightlies) and I absolutely love the awesomebar. Just typing "s" gets me slashdot. the various environments I work with can be gotten with "l" (localhost), "d" (the development server), "bug" "sprint" "-1h" "me" (our bug tracker), "qa" (our qa environment), etc.

Best of all, if I visit any site and then want to get back to that site again sometime, all I need to remember is something in the title or url of the page I was at.

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (5, Informative)

caspy7 (117545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581622)

You've only tried it for one day and you hate it?
I think I understand.
You see, the new location bar learns. Though this silly new 'innovation' does indeed search through the URLs *and* titles of bookmarks and history, it also learns what you select the most. Give it a few more days and slashdot should come to the top of the list.
I experienced the same thing in the beginning.

When I bookmark page now I try to throw on a couple common sense tags that way when I type the tag in the location bar in the future, those bookmarks come out on top.

If you're *really* dead set on the shortest route:
1) Click Bookmarks -> Show All Bookmarks
2) Find the slashdot bookmark and select it
4) Click "More" under properties
5) Make the keyword /.
6) Close the window

Now type /. in the location bar and vwala!

Re:I tried Firefox 3 today (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581702)

vwala!

LMAO. You are a worthless, pathetic piece of shit.

Firefox bloat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581136)

Firefox 2 is a really memory pig. I hope 3 fixes this.

> Things are really starting to fall into place ... which should be available in the next week or two.

They better fall into place quickly.

Safari is getting up there (4, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581146)

The Safari team recently introduced some native javascript functions [webkit.org] , which showed very impressive speed. It looks like the next release Safari will be up there as well (if not even faster still).

I'm off to download the latest Firefox to see how the two compare (on both Windows and OS X platforms).

Re:Safari is getting up there (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581618)

I'm off to download the latest Firefox to see how the two compare...

I just ran the numbers on OS X and posted them [slashdot.org] , if you're interested.

JavaScript, huh. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581150)

So does this mean that NoScript users such as myself have already been browsing at this speed, if not faster?

Re:JavaScript, huh. (4, Insightful)

jesser (77961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581346)

The benchmark used in this article is a JavaScript benchmark, but PGO was enabled for most components of Firefox, not just the JavaScript engine. And even if only the JavaScript engine improved in speed, you'd see a speed boost despite having JavaScript disabled in web pages, since parts of Firefox itself are implemented in JavaScript.

Re:JavaScript, huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581468)

So does this mean that NoScript users such as myself have already been browsing at this speed, if not faster?
No, that's not what this means. It means that you have chosen to limit what you can do online and so your browser does not execute any Javascript. It still takes the same amount of time to render the HTML, that's not what has changed, your browser just doesn't do all of the extra stuff that it would if you were running Javascript. Enabling Javascript does not slow down HTML rendering, it just adds more functionality (which might take additional time, but not to render HTML). You're not "browsing faster" because you aren't running Javascript, you're just.. not running Javascript. That's it.

Beta 3 already fast (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581152)

I've been very happy with the performance of Firefox 3 beta 3 already, and added JavaScript performance is certainly nice. This will mean I'll try to use my VIA EPIA as desktop again, it's 1.2 GHz processor slowed down the internet experience just enough to make it the lesser option.

Now to restore flash again, it's still dysfunctional, and it is starting to get on my nerves. Sites that require flash are annoying, but not annoying enough that I never want to visit them again. Oh well, we'll have to wait for the official version I guess.

Re:Beta 3 already fast (1)

bkaul (1235970) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581542)

I'm using FF3b3 and Flash is fully functional here, as are other plugins... You might want to try reinstalling/upgrading to the latest version of Flash Player on your system.

Addons, on the other hand, could use some updating. Fortunately, Adblock Plus works, but few others that I use do, yet.

Memory Leak? (0, Offtopic)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581158)

Are they going to address the memory leak in Firefox 2.0? If you don't know what I'm talking about, open Firefox and then leave it open for a few days...then come back and check the memory consumption in the Task Manager. One browser window shouldn't take up 161MB of your RAM.

Firefox 3 also supports new Java plug-in (4, Informative)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581160)

From the Mozilla blog:

Firefox 3 is going to include support for the new Java SE 6 runtime environment.

This is a new implementation of the Java Plug-In that features increased reliability, ability to specify large heap sizes, ability to select a specific JRE version to execute a particular applet, and support for signed applets on Windows Vista.

The New Plug-in is designed to work with: - Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Windows XP and Windows Vista - Firefox 3 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Solaris and Linux

Personally, I've been wanting to use the Firefox 3 beta for some time, primarily because of the performance and speed boosts over Firefox 2, but my favourite add-ons still aren't compatible.

Note: The new Plug-in does not work with Firefox 2, and no support is planned for this browser with the New Plug-in.

http://gemal.dk/blog/2008/02/24/firefox_3_gets_a_new_java_plugin/?from=rss-category/ [gemal.dk]

Memory leak? (-1, Redundant)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581180)

Have they fixed the memory leak issues yet? Nothing will ever make me switch from Opera, but I am curious about firefox since it's the one i tend to recomend (apparently Opera is too different for people)

Re:Memory leak? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581248)

Yes, they have been working hard on fixing memory leaks for years. On the other hand, Firefox will likely always have some memory leaks, as all browsers certainly do. I don't know of any massive leaks that will cause users to have to restart Firefox 3 regularly due to memory issues. If anyone can list a set of steps to reproduce such a problem, or cause Firefox 3 to use significantly more memory than other browsers, please do so, and the problem can be reported and fixed.

Re:Memory leak? (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581400)

What would be really nice would be a way within Firefox to mute particular tabs or particular flash objects. I have no idea why this hasn't been implemented yet, but until everyone who uses flash starts coding in mute buttons it would be very handy.

Re:Memory leak? (3, Funny)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581322)

It wasn't so much a memory leak issue as it was memory fragmentation.

Re:Memory leak? (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581438)

No, recently the developers have found that few leaks are left, so that to reduce memory usage further they had to change their focus to reducing fragmentation. Originally, the problem was leaks, it's just that once the worst ones were fixed fragmentation became responsible for a larger fraction of the memory usage. This a continuation of people trying to find one single cause of high memory use. As I and others have been saying for years, there is no one cause. There is no "the memory leak" or "the memory issue", just as there is no "the crash problem" or "the security problem".

Native implementation was mentioned back in 03/07 (1)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581188)

here [ejohn.org]

About time (0)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581200)

Bunnies http://bunnies.dawnofthegeeks.com/index.php?a=main&s=media& [dawnofthegeeks.com] has been my pet project for awhile now and I've been using Safari on Windows to be able to edit large maps. It uses a lot of javascript/ajax to create a point and click interface to create maps. On IE7 it takes several seconds between clicking on a cell and the tile being placed. FireFox is a bit faster. Safari I think is the fastest. FF Beta 2 is pretty quick.

JavaScript is being used so much around the web now that it needs to be a focus for browser makers. It doesn't matter how fast you get the content to your user, if you use a lot of JS your site could appear to be slow and non-responsive.

Re:About time (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581520)

JavaScript is being used so much around the web now that it needs to be a focus for browser makers. It doesn't matter how fast you get the content to your user, if you use a lot of JS your site could appear to be slow and non-responsive.

A better option would be to stop using so much damn javascript. If you need code run, run it on your server TYVM. I don't trust you enough to run your code on my machine, and if I have to, I'll just find another site.

What the internet desperately needs is an application transfer protocol completely distinct from HTML. Then we could support the few applications that need to be run client side (yes, like mapping) and get all this damn code out of my hypertext.

is the speed RAM based ? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581230)

because RAM (us|suck)age in FF2.0 almost makes me want a Firefox Lite which means we havent really progressed with Browsers since Mozilla Suite/Netscape days FF (phoenix) was supposed to be a Lite version of Moz lets hope we don't need a lite version of FF3, be nice to keep those old computers working especially in poorer countries where nobody really has access/cash for a core duo with gigs of ram

Builds for Windows and Linux available (4, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581234)

in this thread [mozillazine.org]

CPU optimized? (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581236)

Silly question perhaps, but is optimized to use SSE, SSE2, SSE3, or any other instruction sets?

Re:CPU optimized? (3, Informative)

Pearlswine (1121125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581486)

Short answer, maybe [mozilla.org] Long answer: If FF3 isn't using a processor specific optimization, you can always Download your own build [mozillazine.org] , I like pigfoot's (scroll down) [pigfoot.org] build for windows.

Re:CPU optimized? (1)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581546)

I don't know about other components, but ImageLib has been optimized for SSE2 [mozilla.org] . Loading pages with images will be much faster (and you have to love the support for color profiles).

Re:CPU optimized? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581644)

To a degree, it wouldn't matter much. Most of what is present in the SSE sets (Streaming SIMD [Single Instruction Multiple Data] Extensions) is for handling lots of data. Most of the complex, time consuming work in things like web browsers is branch-heavy integer code doing unique operations on each piece of data. SSE are very helpful for graphics work, audio work, or any other application that does the same operation on lots of data (for example, as part of taking a DFT [wikipedia.org] or DCT [wikipedia.org] . They don't really help with string parsing.

That said, they do offer more registers, and better ways of copying data around in memory, and compilers are easily clever enough to apply those to help with traditionally 'integer' code. But the performance difference I would expect would be much less that in media handling applications. (Of course, things like the jpeg renderer in FF certainly count as media handling.)

Then again, I haven't actually run comparative benchmarks... That's just my understanding of what sorts of things those extensions help with.

Re:CPU optimized? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581720)

I somehow doubt that any SSE iteration ise much use, considering they're SIMD instruction sets. We're probably still a long way away from JavaScript using such large amounts of data that vectorizing it properly to use SSE would yield useful performance results.

How about Safari 3.1 (2, Insightful)

tknn (675865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581252)

Safari 3.1 is supposed to be really fast as well. How do they stack up?

Try it (1)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581476)

Ok parent shouldn't have been modded offtopic, as the linked article does compare different browsers, but anyway...

The benchmark is linked from here [webkit.org] , nightly builds of Safari are available here [webkit.org] , and a build of Firefox with this enabled is available here [mozillazine.org] .

Re:How about Safari 3.1 (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581696)

Safari 3.1 is supposed to be really fast as well. How do they stack up?

The nightly build of Webkit beats the nightly build of Firefox, when run on OS X (3.5 seconds versus 4.3 seconds). I posted the numbers [slashdot.org] , if you're interested.

Browser speeds (0)

tom_75 (1013457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581310)

I tested every browser mentioned in the article at some point. Kestrel is still my first choice. I fired them up on a lowly 1 GHz Duron with 128 MB of RAM and Win XP Pro (I know, I know...) and lo and behold... They were all crawling, except for Opera 9.50 beta, which was running as smooth as it did on some high end boxes. Sure, there were the occasional hiccups, but it was running swell while most of the others were swapping data.

I'm not trying to convert anyone here or start any napalm bombing runs, but I think overall Opera's the better browser. I'd much rather have tons of pretested built-in functionality than wait for some users to cough up some tardy addons that most of the time don't work for me. To each his own, I guess.

Webkit (-1, Flamebait)

muchmusic (45065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581366)

I downloaded the most recent nightly build of webkit and ran sunspider to benchmark it, then compared to the ff3 versions mention in the original article. I found webkit to be 65% faster. It looks like Firefox is going to continue to have tough competition.

Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (4, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581374)

Microsoft's biggest mistake was thinking people wouldn't write complicated apps in Javascript. They supported it, in their usual half broken style, but it created the only widely deployed cross-platform system for running code that Microsoft has ever implemented. Now, with Firefox 3 running so fast javascript might become THE platform. It's hilarious because Javascript started out as such a kludgy platform and now it is becoming a serious contender if only because it's the only cross-platform thing Microsoft ever supported.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (5, Insightful)

chelsel (1140907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581516)

I have nightmare's about JavaScript being the one language to rule them all... please, let's have no such talk.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581572)

Well with GWT and all... javascript is the new assembly language :).

cool but (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581384)

it'd be nice if they got they damn bookmarks to work

How about the frickin' memory? (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581386)

Speed is great, speed is fine. I like speed. But how doing something about the fact that Firefox was that 550 megabytes of memory with only about 10 windows / tabs open? And I don't want to hear any nonsense about caching. Sorry, but I have NOT downloaded 550 megabytes of data today, and even if I had, I don't want it ALL cached.

This has to be the #1 complaint about Firefox -- that it's such a memory pig. Is the design so brain damaged that it just can't be fixed? Or do the developers just not care?

Yeah, my computer has a lot of memory, but I'd like to devote that to VMWare, Photoshop, video editing, etc. Not a browser!

Re:How about the frickin' memory? (4, Insightful)

ServerIrv (840609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581736)

Mark this as off-topic if you like. I'm responding partially to the parent comment, but mostly to its score and reason.

This is a discussion board. How can you mark someone's comment as redundant? Is this an attempt to invalidate their statement? Don't blame them when it's actually a limitation of the forum system. There is no simple way to increment an "I agree" or "I have the same problem" counter, there has to be a new comment for each person who agrees. There is no way of adding weight to a comment except by increasing child nodes, or adding as many individual argument nodes that are similar. Yes, there is already one branch in this thread that talks about the memory issues, but relax not everyone perfectly gets all their statements in exactly the right location in the discussion tree. Judge it simply on what it says, not the comments location.

For what it's worth, I agree. I also have problems with memory bloating with FF. I don't really care if they are memory leaks, or memory fragments, it's still a problem that I would like to see fixed. Unfortunately I cannot fix the problem, so I will patiently wait for the next great release of FF. I have no solution, but this is my informal bug report.

Increase in speed on JavaScript will be great. There are many times when my FF instance gets temporarily grayed out when it loads a page with lots of JavaScript. This is the window manager thinking that FF is locked up and not responding.

OSX? (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581410)

I wonder when they're going to fix the "looks-like-ass-on-a-mac" issue

Re:OSX? (1, Informative)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581602)

They've had that fixed in the Betas for quite a while. Native widgets, even. Why don't you try out the latest beta [mozilla.com] ?

Re:OSX? (5, Insightful)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581684)

I have. Still ass. doesn't go lighter when it's backgrounded, stays the same dark grey as if it were foregrounded.

Open-Source seems good for getting a job 90% finished and completely ignoring the 10% polish required to make it an app of the same quality as closed-source

Re:OSX? (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581608)

Yes, as its being made with themes to better integrate with the OS its installed on - Linux gets Tango by default, Windows gets some weird ass Vista inspired theme, and Mac gets an Aqua style... so yes, if you like Aqua...

Re:OSX? (2, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581674)

I disagree that it looks bad on os x (using it right now), but it has already been addressed. If you have ff3b3, you can download the os x theme.

Hopefully Firefox 3.0 will stop... (1)

Windcatcher (566458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581432)

...caching the width of the space character across font variants so SmoothText [msfn.org] will render text properly.

Re:Hopefully Firefox 3.0 will stop... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581518)

Fonts in Firefox look much clearer to me than in IE7, what exactly is the purpose of SmoothText?

FF Fantasies (1)

terbo (307578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581446)

Hey man, first off, let me say, Mr Mozilla, that I love your
software; the last time there was a big upgrade and I couldn't
afford the cost of the bandwidth, I sold one of my children.

Yea, so anyway, before I switched to Firefox I used Opera;
and even though I fully believe in a majority of standard
software being open source, opera compelled me with one
major feature: The Ability To Zoom The Entire Page to Size.

The other day I was accidentially using Internet Exploder,
and the internet exploded, but thats another story, after
the patch orgy I noticed that it had similar functionality!
I was blown away; it worked well, but then I remembered
that Opera was the only browser with full resume support for
downloaded files.

So all I'm saying is that I write code like you guys, only in
english, and its write once execute once or twice, and I have
no responsibilities, but I tell anyone I contact about you,
and wish you well, and wish your interface was less blocky
and more new-agey! maybe half way!

Anyway. choice is good; especially when its an alternative
between the rock and the hard place. Or an update and (another) kid.

-- moved to: feature-requests

thanks to FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581464)

"The reason we are integrating our own allocator is that we've found jemalloc to be better than all the default allocators of our three main platforms (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux). Not only is it faster (and it shows in Javascript tests!) but it causes less fragmentation, so you should see a significant memory reduction after using Firefox for a lengthy period of time." http://ventnorsblog.blogspot.com/2008/02/beta-3.html [blogspot.com]

CPU hogging bug fixed? (0, Redundant)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581470)

Sounds impressive. I understand they have fixed many memory handling bugs, too. But for me the big problem with Firefox is not slowness with JavaScript.

For me the big problem is the CPU hogging bug. The CPU hogging is much less of a problem with the most recent released version of Firefox, 2.0.0.12, but right now, on the computer I am using to type this, with 17 windows and 88 tabs open, Process Explorer shows Firefox to be spiking up to 75% of the CPU, with no activity.

Those of us who spend a lot of the day doing research, and can't resolve one issue before we must consider another, often have a LOT of tabs open.

I think the CPU hogging bug is very interesting, but I'm not in a position to try to fix it myself. What is interesting is that it seems to be a bug in Firefox that interacts with a bug or shortcoming in Windows XP SP2. So, someone taking the time to fix it may become semi-famous for understanding a severe OS limitation or bug.

What is interesting is that the CPU hogging bug is shared between Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. Often opening a lot of tabs in Firefox, and keeping them open for days, causes Thunderbird or Seamonkey to begin to hog the CPU, even though those programs are not being used heavily.

The history of memory and resource management in Firefox is that it has been VERY buggy. The Firefox development pages have claimed that they have fixed "hundreds" of bugs. Firefox is no longer unstable, in my experience, but instabilities in the past caused the rapid acceptance of Firefox to slow. People who tried Firefox sometimes went back to Internet Explorer when Firefox crashed, or there were other problems. So, poor Firefox memory and resource management have been a big factor in Firefox popularity, according to numerous news reports at the time.

Re:CPU hogging bug fixed? (2)

Idefix97 (725474) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581596)

I have found that even in FF2 memory usage has remarkably improved, and it really doesn't crash my browser anymore (I am running W2K on a 6 1/2 year old T21 w/ 512mb RAM) like it did before.
One thing I noted that it now asks to stop stupid scripts from loading (like on yahoo sites - I do use noscript, but have to allow its use for yahoo mail).

OS X Results - Spoiler Safari Wins (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581498)

Well someone had to, so I ran the numbers for OS X. All of the below were on OS X 10.5.2 running on a MacBook:

  • Safari 3.0.4 - 11112.0ms
  • Safari with Nightly Webkit r30628 - 3525.8ms
  • Firefox Nightly3.0beta4pre - 4330.2ms
  • Opera 9.26.3727 - failed (but all those that ran were slower than Safari 3.0.4 so it is the slowest overall for what worked.)

I guess if you're a Safari or Firefox person you can look forward to some really fast Javascript performance either way.

Is this a legitimate benchmark for a browser? (3, Interesting)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581570)

I've seen the SunSpider benchmark come up before, and it is a great benchmark for JavaScript as a language, but it may be inappropriate for a browser.

This test mostly avoids microbenchmarks, and tries to focus on the kinds of actual problems developers solve with JavaScript today, and the problems they may want to tackle in the future as the language gets faster. This includes tests to generate a tagcloud from JSON input, a 3D raytracer, cryptography tests, code decompression, and many more examples. There are a few microbenchmarkish things, but they mostly represent real performance problems that developers have encountered.
Raytracing? Crypto? These aren't things I'd consider running in a browser and certainly not with JavaScript. Just because JaveScript and a modern browser on a mid-range machine CAN do these things doesn't mean it should.

JSON, code decompression, and traversing XML are things that a browser does with JavaScript, some more often than others. Even in those cases, I wouldn't be surprised if browsers had parsers that 'helped' the common browser JavaScript tasks with faster native-library interfaces instead of purely native JavaScript interpretation.

stalling (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22581706)

and does a single tcp socket's stalling not cause the whole damn thing to seize up?
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