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Firefox 9 released, JS improved 20-30% by type inf

MrSeb (471333) writes | more than 2 years ago

Firefox 4

MrSeb writes "Firefox 9 is now available — but unlike its previous rapid release forebears where not a lot changed, a huge feature has landed with the new version: the JavaScript engine now has type inference enabled. This simple switch has resulted in a 20-30% JS execution speed increase, putting JaegerMonkey back in line with Chrome's V8 engine, and even pulling ahead in some cases. If you switched away from Firefox to IE or Chrome for improved JS performance, now is probably the time to give Firefox another shot."
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4 comments

In before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427920)

In before

  • * Firefox broke all my addons... every. last. one. (and they never got fixed, ever.)
  • * Firefox leaked more memory than my system had with just two tabs!!! two tabs man!! TWO!!!!
  • * Firefox sucked since 3.x
  • * God kills a kitten every time FF increases its version... proof that rapid release is wrong for FF (but right for any other project that wants to do it like Chrome which I left Firefox for.... it's like a time travel paradox... just go with it)
  • * Firefox developers have gone completely mad!!

Close the discussion it's all been said.... move on.

looks good thus far (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428016)

I installed the latest beta, and all 17 of my extensions worked just fine. Memory seems on a par thus far with 8.0.1 (which means, way better than Chrome, especially now with lazy tab loading). Seems a little bit zippier, but I haven't thrown any heavy js at it. I think the more HTML5 and CSS3 improvements they make, the better, though yeah, the updated js performance is the big feature for this drop.

JS is not the reason ... (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428864)

I switched to Chrome awhile back and JavaScript performance was pretty much none of the reason why I did it. And it certainly isn't going to get me to go back. Chrome is, overall, simply a better user experience. The only thing I currently dislike in Chrome is bookmark management ... and it is "ok" enough to not be too worried about.

Making version numbers more relevant (1)

revealingheart (1213834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429766)

(There's a strong chance that I won't be able to post this when the story appears on /. due to Christmas preparations. If you agree with the post, please could you post it when it appears, thank you.)

The Firefox team have taken criticism for their decision to inflate version numbers to make them effectively irrelevant (one of their goals is to match Chrome in this regard; though, Chrome's version number is still fequently mentioned). They haven't done this to spite users; rather, it indicates a change in their work flow; asking for a change back to old versioning is a distraction in their regards.

But change takes time, and in my opinion, they've underestimated how much resistance users and news sites would have (former because a major version change with few new features is contradictory, without silent installs and with incompatible extensions; latter because if not after every version, then they don't know when to post updates about releases). The impression is that Firefox has developed a responsive release system; but has hurt users in the course of doing so.

Next year, Firefox will be releasing version 12. On that version, there's the option of transitioning to a date-based system, with major versions following the year, and minor versions being incremented every 6 weeks. After version 11, the 1st release with this format would be 12.1; the 2nd release, 12.2; and so on. Here's how it looks like in practice:

* 10.0 January 31, 2012
* 11.0 March 13, 2012
* 12.1 April 24, 2012
* 12.2 June 5, 2012
* 12.3 July 17, 2012
* 12.4 August 28, 2012
* 12.5 October 9, 2012
* 12.6 November 20, 2012
* 13.1 January 1, 2013

Switching to a date-based system has the advantage that users will know what the current version is without having to report it, as the year corresponds to the version. Firefox in 2012 would be referred to as version 12. Reporters would focus on new and upcoming features in Firefox primarily, so that stories have a talking point and posters' comments are pertinent, primarily focused on features and improvements.

An example of an open source group who uses a similar format is Ubuntu (who base the version on the year, and the minor version on a 6 month schedule). Versions matter with this format; but there's still a sense of progression. We know what the version will be in 5 years time - even if we don't know what the features will be. Now try to imagine what Firefox's version would be with the new system, compared with the old one. Consider that this is an issue that isn't going away; would involve a minor change; and would benefit users and reporters, and improve the quality of comments (on Firefox itself).

If they do want to focus more on development than on numbers, they would benefit by switching to a date system. I hope that the Firefox developers reads this, as the value of changing merits the effort involved.

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