Posts tagged Firefox 3

Mozilla boosts JavaScript performance


Mozilla this week is touting technology to boost performance of its JavaScript engine and Web applications.

Called TraceMonkey, the technology adds native code compilation to the engine, which itself is called SpiderMonkey, said Mike Shaver, Mozilla vice president of engineering, in a blog post on Friday. The software builds on code and ideas shared with the Tamarin Tracing project, Shaver said.

TraceMonkey was placed in the Firefox 3.1 development tree this week. It is slated to be featured in Firefox 3.1, which is due to be available the end of this year.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce the launch of TraceMonkey, an evolution of Firefox’s SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine for Firefox 3.1 that uses a new kind of Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler to boost JavaScript performance by an order of magnitude or more,” said Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO and the founder of JavaScript, in a blog post.

“TraceMonkey advances us toward the Mozilla 2 future where even more Firefox code is written in JavaScript. Firefox gets faster and safer as this process unfolds,” Eich said.

The project still is early in development, though.

“The goal of the TraceMonkey project — which is still in its early stages — is to take JavaScript performance to another level, where instead of competing against other interpreters, we start to compete against native code,” said Shaver.

“We have bugs to fix, and an enormous number of optimizations still to choose from, but we’re charging full speed ahead on the work we need to do for this to be a part of Firefox 3.1,” Shaver said. “Depending on the benchmarks you choose, you might see massive speed-up, minor speed-up, or maybe even some slowdown — those latter cases are definitely bugs and reporting them through bugzilla will be a big help.”

TraceMonkey supports x86, x86-64, and ARM. “This means we are ready for mobile and desktop target platforms out of the box,” Eich said.

“As the performance keeps going up, people will write and transport code that was ‘too slow’ to run in the browser as JavaScript. This means the Web can accommodate workloads that right now require a proprietary plugin,” said Eich.

He added he expects other browsers to follow Mozilla’s lead and take JavaScript performance through current interpreter speed barriers, using JIT native code compilation.

Firefox 3.0 out now for download!!


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The latest version delivers easier navigation for everyone, including those who are visually or motor-impaired. Firefox is the first browser to support DHTML accessibility, which, when enabled by Web authors, allows rich Web applications to be read aloud. Users may navigate with keystrokes rather than mouse clicks, reducing the tabbing required to navigate documents such as spreadsheets. Firefox is also the first browser to meet US federal government requirements that software be easily accessible to users with physical impairments.

Download : FileHippo

Mozilla Says Firefox 3 Ready for Prime Time


A new version of Mozilla’s popular Firefox Web browser is ready for download with improved security and memory use as the tiny company takes a stab at Microsoft Corp’s dominant Internet Explorer.

The program’s creators told Reuters on Thursday that the privately-held company’s trial version of Firefox 3 browser is ready for the masses to use after months of development.

Until now, the company has discouraged average Internet users from moving on from Firefox 2, which was launched in October 2006.

“In many ways it (Firefox 3) is much more stable than anything else out there,” Mozilla Corp Vice President of Engineering Mike Schroepfer said in an interview.

Key rivals to Firefox are market leader Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple Inc’s Safari browser.

Engineers at Mozilla are still putting the finishing touches on the software and hope to release the final version of Firefox 3 by the end of June, Schroepfer said.

Mozilla is in a battle with Microsoft, which unveiled an experimental version of its Internet Explorer 8 in Las Vegas earlier this month and is looking to expand its presence on the Web through its bid to acquire Yahoo Inc.

Additions boost security and allow users to run Web sites when they are not connected to the Internet. Mozilla also says Firefox 3 uses less computer memory than Firefox 2.

Until now Mozilla has discouraged the typical computer user from exploring these new features. But its developers said on Thursday that the situation has changed and that they will be revising their Web site.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Web site still stated: “We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 beta 4 milestone release. It is intended for testing purposes only.”

But they said that as they concluded their fourth round of tweaking their software, they determined it was ready for prime time.

A fifth round of changes, due to begin within the next few weeks, will involve “tuning the visual look and feel of the program” and further improving its stability,” Schroepfer said.

Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 Download Now!


On the heels of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, released by Microsoft the past week following the keynote address at MIX08, Mozilla has made available the fourth beta of Firefox 3.0. Just like IE8 Beta 1, Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 has a strong focus on developers, with Mozilla stressing the fact that the build is designed for testing purposes only, and not for general use. But just think of Beta 4 as yet another step on the Firefox 3.0 beta saga. An epic that has reached its 12th chapter after four Beta and 8 Alpha development milestones. At this point in time, Mozilla is already hard at work planning its next step, namely Firefox 3.0 Beta 5.

“New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include improvements to the user interface: better search support in the Download Manager, ability to zoom entire page or just the text, continuing look and feel improvements on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux. Richer personalization through: location bar that uses an algorithm based on site visit recency and frequency (called ‘frecency’) to provide better matches against your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, as well as an adaptive learning algorithm which tunes itself to your browsing habits. Improved platform features such as: support for HTML5’s window.postMessage and window.messageEvent, JavaScript 1.8 improvements, and offline data storage for web applications,” stated Mike Beltzner, Mozilla user experience lead.

According to Beltzner, Mozilla has also tweaked the performance of the browser. Users should experience what Mozilla referred to as a drastic cutdown on the amount of memory used in prolonged sessions. Beltzner also pointed to modifications in the JavaScript engine, synonymous with increased speed when it comes down to web applications. Looking ahead, Mozilla plans the code freeze for Firefox 3.0 Beta 5 on March 18, and in this context, with a traditional baking time of approximately one week, the next Beta for the open source browser could drop by the end of the month.

Firefox 3.0 Beta 4 can be downloaded from HERE.

Firefox 3 is the fastest !


Now that Firefox 3 is approaching the home stretch it is important that Mozilla starts to throw in performance improvements to really make the browser purr. A Profile-Guided Optimization (PGO) build of Firefox 3 has been created which greatly improved the performance of JavaScript in the browser. While PGO itself hasn’t yet landed in the nightly builds there have been some significant improvements to the JavaScript engine.

I’m sure what most of you care the most about are the facts, and so I’ve compiled the results of the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark test for each of the different browsers. All of the tests below were performed on the same Windows machine, and the Firefox 3 nightly builds definitely came out on top. Here are the results sorted from best to worst (each one is hyperlinked to the full stats):

  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 29376.4ms
  7. Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms

It’s important to know that every time you run the SunSpider Benchmark it conducts each test five times, and the result is the average of the five tests. So it is a rather thorough test, and definitely shows off the speed improvements that Firefox 3 is going to be bringing to the table.

What does this all mean for you? Depending on what browser you typically use you may not notice a huge speed difference, but the change will be the most noticeable on sites that use JavaScript heavily. With the Web 2.0 era upon us all JavaScript speed enhancements are welcomed with open arms.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 is expected to be released in the next few weeks, and you can expect to see these (and many more) improvements shining through!

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