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Mozilla The Internet

FireFox 3.1 Leaves IE in the Dust 435

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-just-want-fewer-beachballs dept.
Anonymous writes "Granted, FireFox 3.1 is just a beta and IE 8 is also in beta, but it looks like Microsoft has some ground to make up when it comes to browser performance. Given that Mozilla appears to be on a much faster cycle than Microsoft with this stuff, it's also possible that it could increase the gap even more before IE 8 is GA, no?"
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FireFox 3.1 Leaves IE in the Dust

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  • And yet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:01AM (#25440995)
    both are slower than Opera.
    • Re:And yet (Score:5, Funny)

      by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:15AM (#25441229) Homepage Journal

      Their speeds all suck next to lynx!
    • Re:And yet (Score:5, Informative)

      by LSD-OBS (183415) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:53AM (#25441841)

      Well, javascript-wise, maybe not. I've spent the last week doing some extensive testing on pure javascript performance (not DOM-tree manipulation, etc) using a little raytracer [googlepages.com] I hacked up overnight.

      Opera is noticably above average, in this respect. More importantly, however, you might note that the Firefoxes are absolutely, hideously bad at memory management. When rendering a big scene here, Safari will do it in a fraction of the time using 60mb of RAM, whereas Firefox 3.1beta's memory usage spirals out of control and into swap space. And the JIT compiler is way broken still :)

      Anyway, here are some figures (only meaningful when comparing different browsers on the same box):

      IE 7.0.5730.13 -- 10.1 seconds
      Firefox 2.0.0.17 -- 9.9 seconds
      Safari (win32) 3.1.1 -- 5.9 seconds
      Opera 9.60 -- 3.6 seconds
      Firefox 3.1b2pre (no JIT) -- 2.8 seconds
      Safari (win32) 2008-10-15 -- 1.0 seconds
      Google Chrome 0.2.149.30 -- 0.8 seconds
      Firefox 3.1b2pre (JIT) -- anywhere between 0.6-35.0 seconds

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Opera: An inconvenient browser

      Hey, if the truth is going to be modded flamebait, might as well make it flamebait. amirite?

    • Re:And yet (Score:5, Informative)

      by beelsebob (529313) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:07PM (#25442071)

      Actually, you're wrong -- Firefox 3.1 comprehensively outperforms Opera in pretty much all tests now.

      On the other hand, what does blow the FF 3.1 beta out of the water, are the latest WebKit betas. Here's the stats on my machine:

      Sunspider (faster times are better)
      FF3.0.3 - 2697.2ms
      FF3.1 - 2442.8ms
      WebKit - 702.6ms

      V8 Benchmark (more runs are better)
      FF3.0.3 - 199 runs
      FF3.1 - 241 runs
      WebKit - 2087 runs

      ACID 3
      FF3.0.3 - 71 and significant laggyness
      FF3.1 - 89 and significant laggyness
      WebKit - 100 and passes timing tests

      • Re:And yet (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ianezz (31449) on Monday October 20, 2008 @04:41PM (#25445935) Homepage

        As pointed out by others, you forgot to turn on Tracemonkey on FF3.1, so you are getting just marginally better results.

        My numbers for SunSpider (on a fairly old machine):

        FF 3.03 (actually Iceweasel): 17481.8ms +/- 9.1%

        FF 3.1 (with TraceMonkey on): 2627.8ms +/- 6.9%

        To enable Tracemonkey in FF3.1 beta you have to set javascript.options.jit.content to true.

  • Simple Really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:02AM (#25441013) Journal

    This destroys Microsoft's claim that their intimate knowledge of the OS that runs IE will increase performance.

    This proves that Microsoft's intimate knowledge of their OS actually inhibits performance of IE and therefore all other Microsoft products.

    Microsoft is a victim of their own feature-rich corporate culture. They are a victim of their customers non-uniform demands.

    The issue is similar to the ones that have always plagued Java; you have to load massive libraries to do miniscule tasks and that causes noticeable overhead, when they were sadly intended to save time! Firefox is simply more minimal, and it is through their actively sought after security footprint that they deliver better performance by default.

    Firefox loads what you need to surf and also lets you modify the experience -- you are in control.

    Add with that experience, superior plugins like NoScript, and you also save bandwidth because Flash files don't load by default and scripts don't tie up resources unless you approve them to do so. NoScript was designed for security, but with the added benefit that you get faster performance with it.

    Even when you look at Google Chrome, which is also a valid attempt at increasing performance (they flaunt security as a pillar of their design, but their cheerleading is unwarranted), the fact that you can't control scripts that are allowed to run, limits the user and make the user bound to the control of the webmaster, who typically controlled by a business or corporation that is only in it for the money and will infringe on rights of users without any form of conscience or compassion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      This destroys Microsoft's claim that their intimate knowledge of the OS that runs IE will increase performance.

      Oh? When did they ever claim that?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "The issue is similar to the ones that have always plagued Java; you have to load massive libraries to do miniscule tasks and that causes noticeable overhead, when they were sadly intended to save time!" - by mfh (56) on Monday October 20, @11:02AM (#25441013)

      When you load a library, & call out its API functions to leverage in another executable (usually an .exe)?

      You don't LOAD THE WHOLE THING @ ONCE into the calling app's memory space - YOU ONLY LOAD THE FUNCTION PORTION YOU NEED, period.

      (API function call loads from .DLL's are NOT an "all or nothing load" into a calling apps' memory space (in-process calls))

      ----

      "Firefox is simply more minimal, and it is through their actively sought after security footprint that they deliver better performance by default" - by mfh (56) on Monday October 20, @11:02AM (#25441013)

      AND, FF doesn't do, or is by itself incapable of, doing much of what IE can in Intranet environs for businesses' internal apps (especially those th

      • To be fair, I'm pretty sure in *nix this is not the case, calling a function in a library requires the entire library to be loaded into memory. Of course I can't think of a good reason to load a library into an app's memory space, isn't it loaded into shared memory and mapped in to each process that needs it? (AFAIK mapping is almost free compared to loading a library). Libraries do have global variables, so just loading the function likely wouldn't work, you need at least the shared variables, and those va
        • by Fruit (31966)
          Most unices use mmap() to load executables and libraries. Pages from such libraries are mapped on demand.
        • by ROBOKATZ (211768)
          Windows memory maps executable images, including DLLs.
        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          I'm not sure about this as its a relatively obscure part of OS/app interaction, but I thought only the parts needed to be paged in were loaded when the shared library was loaded - the right parts are known at compile time as the linker does its thing.

          For dynamically loaded libraries, the OS doesn't 'load' the dll, it maps the dll into the app's address space, (you might like to check out rebasing to see what happens when the dll's conflicts with address range already used). Once mapped, only the parts that

      • by Progman3K (515744)

        [...]especially those that use ActiveX controls [...]

        Wait, are you really claiming ActiveX is an advantage?

    • Re:Simple Really (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Godji (957148) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:28AM (#25441433) Homepage
      All your points are valid except the first one:

      This destroys Microsoft's claim that their intimate knowledge of the OS that runs IE will increase performance.

      To be precise (by pulling numbers out of my ass), if IE had 50% of Firefox's performance to begin with, and embedding into the OS gave it a 50% advantage, it'd still only have 75% of Firefox's performance. But MS's claim could in theory still be true.

      Of course, given their all-around incompetence it's probably not true.

      As for Google Chrome, it makes perfect sense to bind the user to the webmaster's control. After all, for many important things like e-mail, calendaring, and many more, that webmaster is probably Google. (After all, how many yahoo.com or live.com users would install a Google browser?) And Google loves it when you can't block their cookies or stop them from doing whatever they want to spy on you.

      • by mfh (56) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:33AM (#25441497) Journal

        As for Google Chrome, it makes perfect sense to bind the user to the webmaster's control. After all, for many important things like e-mail, calendaring, and many more, that webmaster is probably Google. (After all, how many yahoo.com or live.com users would install a Google browser?) And Google loves it when you can't block their cookies or stop them from doing whatever they want to spy on you.

        This can't be true because Google said they would do no evil. Unless OH SH-

    • Re:Simple Really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ifrag (984323) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:43AM (#25441659)

      Firefox is simply more minimal.

      Hmm, I must have been teleported to some alternate reality where IE actually has more features than Firefox. The way I see it, even the barebones FF install has more than standard IE. One glance at about:config would confirm that.

    • Re:Simple Really (Score:5, Interesting)

      by plague3106 (71849) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:47AM (#25441739)

      This destroys Microsoft's claim that their intimate knowledge of the OS that runs IE will increase performance.

      Really? Where was this claimed?

      This proves that Microsoft's intimate knowledge of their OS actually inhibits performance of IE and therefore all other Microsoft products.

      That's quite the leap there. Where's your evidence to bridge those thoughts?

      The issue is similar to the ones that have always plagued Java; you have to load massive libraries to do miniscule tasks and that causes noticeable overhead, when they were sadly intended to save time! Firefox is simply more minimal, and it is through their actively sought after security footprint that they deliver better performance by default.

      I don't think anyone said using libraries increased performance. What it does do is allow you to build an application faster, because you don't need to re-invent the wheel. You're also acting like speed is the only important factor here. I've been using IE8 beta more because of the built in developer tools, and being able to switch between IE8 standards mode and IE7 mode... which means I don't have to check FF's rendering as much. Besides, IE8 is so fast, that it hardly seems worth if it FF is faster.. either will be great for browsing, because both are now really really fast. It's not like the ridiculously slow IE7.

      Add with that experience, superior plugins like NoScript, and you also save bandwidth because Flash files don't load by default and scripts don't tie up resources unless you approve them to do so. NoScript was designed for security, but with the added benefit that you get faster performance with it.

      Performance is not the end-all be-all of browsing. I'm sure someone so included could whip up an add-in like NoScript in IE as well.

      Even when you look at Google Chrome, which is also a valid attempt at increasing performance (they flaunt security as a pillar of their design, but their cheerleading is unwarranted), the fact that you can't control scripts that are allowed to run, limits the user and make the user bound to the control of the webmaster, who typically controlled by a business or corporation that is only in it for the money and will infringe on rights of users without any form of conscience or compassion.

      I'm not sure most users care as much as you about controling scripts. For example, I'm looking forward to see what features FF comes up with, because I think there are other new features in IE8 that look pretty compelling, like WebSlices and Extenders.

    • Re:Simple Really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zumbs (1241138) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:10PM (#25442109) Homepage

      Even when you look at Google Chrome, [snip] the fact that you can't control scripts that are allowed to run, limits the user and make the user bound to the control of the webmaster, who typically controlled by a business or corporation that is only in it for the money and will infringe on rights of users without any form of conscience or compassion.

      Is it surprising that a company that makes it's money from advertising would want to make it difficult for users to block adverts? I think not.

  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:03AM (#25441017) Homepage
    It's perhaps a bit confusing to mention IE8 in the subject as it was not compared to FF3.1 - IE7 was. I.e. a more apples-to-apples test might have been production FF3.0 versus IE7 or better yet, beta FF3.1 versus IE8.

    Having said that, the speed improvements are very impressive, in what ChannelWeb says and other reports. And yea, FF3.1 is setting a darn high bar for IE8 - bring it on FF!
  • Tired of Perma-Beta (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrdoogee (1179081) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:04AM (#25441037)
    Is it just an excuse to get you a free pass on bugs?
  • Java != Javascript (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:04AM (#25441039) Homepage Journal

    When is the press going to realize that Java != Javascript? (Or Java !== Javascript, even!) Comparing "Java" performance between browsers is meaningless. (And isn't what SunSpider does anyway.) Comparing JavaScript performance has a very real impact on the users.

    • by mcvos (645701) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:19AM (#25441301)

      When is the press going to realize that Java != Javascript? (Or Java !== Javascript, even!) Comparing "Java" performance between browsers is meaningless. (And isn't what SunSpider does anyway.) Comparing JavaScript performance has a very real impact on the users.

      I was surprised about that too. Mozilla was working on a faster javascript engine, and suddenly it's their Java performance (which comes from the JVM, right?) that blows IE out of the water.

      Looks like the summary is as bad as the article it tries to summarise.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      No kidding. Who even HAS the Java plug-in installed anymore? It'd be hard to come up with another set of benchmarks that looks, at the outset, to be meaningful and in fact is utterly worthless. More quality journalism from Slashdot.

    • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:36PM (#25442477) Homepage

      When is the press going to realize that Java != Javascript? (Or Java !== Javascript, even!)

      Heh heh heh. Believe it or not, when I first interviewed for a Senior Editor position at Web Techniques magazine, back around 2000, I had never been any kind of Junior Editor before. I just assumed I could do the job. In the course of several interviews, the editorial staff asked me a number of questions about Web technologies, including one from the editor-in-chief: "What's the relationship between Java and JavaScript?"

      I got really nervous for a second. I wasn't sure what to say. My interviewer raised an eyebrow. Finally I stammered out, "Well... I'm not sure I really know how to answer that. The truth is there really isn't much of a relationship." I then talked about Sun's release of Java 1.0, and how Netscape had been working on a language called LiveScript that they planned to include in their browser, and that they changed the name to JavaScript as a favor to Sun. But, I emphasized, the languages were really not very closely related, and I felt a little awkward comparing them without maybe a more specific question. My interviewer jotted down a couple of notes and suggested we move on to another topic.

      I later found out that a big part of the reason they hired me, despite my lack of publishing experience at the time, was because of all the candidates they interviewed -- some with years of experience in the trade press -- not one but me had a satisfactory answer to the Java/JavaScript question. Most said something along the lines of "JavaScript is a stripped-down version of Java for Web browsers."

      So in answer to your question -- when will the press get a clue -- I'm not sure. But I can testify from firsthand experience that they're working on it! ;-)

  • by onion2k (203094) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:04AM (#25441049) Homepage

    Is "GA" a common abbreviation? I assume it's a contraction of "generally available", but I did think of, and discount, a few other possibilities first given it's used in conjunction with IE8;

    God Awful (too obvious)
    Grizzly Adams (not sure where the bad 80s drama comes into things)
    Ground to Air (IE could be a Weapon Of Markup Destruction..)
    Goatse Arse (Ass if you're American)
    Gabon (.ga is the country code for there..)
    Standards Non-compliant (using Microsoft Alphabet)

  • by Darundal (891860) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:05AM (#25441063) Journal
    How many people are going to try a browser because "it is faster?" It is great for the people who already use Firefox, but the majority of new Firefox users had the kid who knows computers down the street install it for them. Those using IE are probably going to continue to use IE until someone manages to get across to them how bad an idea it is, or until whatever apps they are using at work which only work in IE are replaced.
    • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:15AM (#25441223)

      I don't know about that. I switched to, and am still using, Chrome since it seems much faster. For many people, all they use their computer for is the web browser, so a faster browser could be significant.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:55AM (#25441873)

      There are people who will use 1 browser because it is "the internet".
      there are people who will use 1 browser because it is God's only browser and there is only one.
      There are people who will use 1 browser because they cant be bothered to change.

      And then there are people who will want to latest, fastest, feature-rich, talked-about browser. And if FF gets "superfast" stickers all over it in the popular press and blogs, people will want to use it. Nobody really wants to be stuck with yesterday's slow old slowness, not in the Internet Age. We've all been conditioned to always go for the upgrade, give us any reason and very many of us will.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cajun Hell (725246)

      How many people are going to try a browser because "it is faster?"

      Remember when browsers were considered I/O-bound apps, anyway? A 386 is fast enough to run a browser, and we should be complaining about our 28.8Kbps modems being the limiting factor. But nooo.... here we are talking about the speed of an internet client app. What a strange world we live in.

  • Poor Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by allcar (1111567) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:05AM (#25441067)
    As far as I can see, this is a comparison of Firefox 3.1 with IE7, not IE8 as the summary seems to imply. I am as happy as the next man that FF3.1 is faster, but as a benchmarking exercise, this is pretty limited. How about a comparison including IE8, Opera, Chrome and Safari?
  • Does the AwfulBar in 3.1 still force you to match against EITHER everything (meta tags, page titles, history) or only what you type?

    If so, not interested.

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      some of us happen to like the new Awesomebar.
      • And some of us dislike it with a passion - but evidently the Firefox devs are not willing to accommodate us....
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And some of us installed "Old Location Bar" add-in within 20 minutes of installing FF3 because, as somebody so eloquently put it, "If I'd wanted to check my bookmarks, I would have *opened* my bookmarks".

    • by Gr8Apes (679165)

      Use bookmarks with keywords and enjoy FF goodness.

  • this is not news (Score:5, Informative)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:07AM (#25441103)

    If you've even remotely been keeping up with FireFox, WebKit and IE progress, it's no surprise that IE8 fares poorly. It fared poorly the day it was released, which was about two months ago. Why are we getting this story now?

    As a side note, IE8 does fix the pathologically bad performance IE6/IE7 exhibited on certain SunSpider benchmarks. That alone should improve its overall SunSpider score by an order of magnitude. Its javascript engine will still be 2-3X slower than FireFox and Safari, but it will at least be in the same "ball park".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bonch (38532)

      The article doesn't compare Firefox to IE8. It uses IE7.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd DOT bandrowsky AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:10AM (#25441123) Homepage Journal

    For the life of me, I can't understand why Microsoft continues to abandon its strength.

    It feels like the .NET koolaid is coming even to the IE team. Microsoft's .NET push now borders on maniacal, standardizing on .NET and in places where it should not be standardized. Performance matters, particularly when processors aren't getting any faster, just more parallel. Microsoft's has left C++ to languish, has all but abandoned C, and as such has no real performance tool in their own arsenal.

    At the same time, the OSS community is actually slogging through and solving some of the difficult problems of making large projects in C++ that perform - getting better experience with the STL, when to use and when not to use, changing compilers to respond, developing automated testing methodologies to overcome what the compilers can't detect, and so on.

    There should be no reason for the Windows desktop to be stagnant for fast applications, but Microsoft has basically abandoned it and is pushing developers to do the same. All the new display stuff in Windows requires .NET.. one wonders, how long will it be before Linux has similar systems but are presented as a simple C library that any system can use, regardless of whether it is a managed platform or not.

    • by Anonymous Conrad (600139) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:15AM (#25441227)

      It feels like the .NET koolaid is coming even to the IE team. Microsoft's .NET push now borders on maniacal, standardizing on .NET and in places where it should not be standardized. Performance matters, particularly when processors aren't getting any faster, just more parallel. Microsoft's has left C++ to languish, has all but abandoned C, and as such has no real performance tool in their own arsenal.

      But IE isn't built on .NET is it? And there are improvements in MSVC in VS2008 for both C and C++ and they've had OpenMP and a much improved STL for two versions now.

      For my interest, when have major OSS projects "changed compilers" to respond? I can't think of any examples.

      • by Godji (957148)
        You apparently don't follow the history of GCC:
        - 3.4 introduced huge ABI-breaking changes, and was not as standard-compliant as they felt it should have been
        - 4.0 was their "screw it, let's throw a lot away and get it right" release, which sucked a little despite being more compliant and having some great new tech
        - 4.1 was amazing, benefitting from 4.0's new technology and fixing (most of) the bugs
        - 4.2 was not such a big deal compared to 4.1, as far as I know
        - 4.3 again was fairly great, bringing grea
    • go lookup linq etc.., there's a lot that Microsoft are doing in .net to make it a lot more parallel.

      also you can write managed c++ code with little performance drop (though I don't know how much of the .net framework the people writing the test were using).

      BTW I still think that system or high performance code should be written in something like C++ but for everything else .net is ok.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      But TBH, C# with .net is way nicer than C++ without. I can't stand the latter.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      For the life of me, I can't understand why Microsoft continues to abandon its strength.

      It feels like the .NET koolaid is coming even to the IE team. Microsoft's .NET push now borders on maniacal, standardizing on .NET and in places where it should not be standardized.

      Possibly true, but this article is talking about IE7 (and the Slashdot summary misleadingly references IE8), neither of which are build in .NET. So I don't see the relevance.

      Performance matters, particularly when processors aren't getting any f

  • Fair tests? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Conrad (600139) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:12AM (#25441153)

    I don't see that the things they mention are fair or informative tests. Yes, there's some browser infrastructure involved but other components are doing most of the work:

    • papervision3d.org is entirely down to the Flash plugin
    • a 3D Java render is entirely down to the Java plugin
    • sunspider - OK, fair enough, we've known about speed problems with string concatenation in IE since sunspider appeared
    • ACID - yes, this isn't a priority for this release for IE so this isn't news either

    Maybe Firefox 3.1 is much faster than IE 8 but this article doesn't tell me anything new.

    • by Godji (957148)
      In a nutshell, you already know that half of their tests are conceptually wrong and the other hald conclusively show that IE sucks. What is that new thing you were expecting to read?
  • What Microsoft will do is push updates through Windows Update to speed up the IE8 JavaScript engine, upgrade users to another minor release, etc, whatever needs to be done. It allows them to get to market faster. Microsoft's got the push-update down to a fine art so they don't have to have a better product at release date. I'm loving Chrome right now.
  • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:15AM (#25441211)

    It's not like IE has not been a slow dog in javascript performance and standards adoption. Yeah, IE 7/8 are supposed to be an improvement, but since IE is years behind and their development cycles seem to be as slow as their javascript engine (probably due to compatibility) it's not like IE 8 or 9 is going to catchup with the rest of the browsers easily.

    BTW, those benchmarks in TFA were probably run with the new tracemonkey javascript engine disabled (it need to be enabled manually in about:config). And my firefox nightly version passes 93/100 on the acid 3 test.

  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:17AM (#25441259) Journal
    I don't know about the rest of the world, but Firefox 3.0.3 sucks on my three XP machines. Version 3.0.2 worked just fine. I let Firefox upgrade itself to 3.0.3 and it immediately started crashing. It crashed so much that I actually had to use IE to download a copy of 3.0.2 to downgrade Firefox on those machines. And Firefox 3.0.3 crashes on my Ubuntu machine far far more often that earlier versions ever did (although I'm still using 3.0.3 on Ubuntu).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Godji (957148)
      I had the exact same problem on Gentoo. Turned out the combination of the just-released Flash 10 and the latest Flashblock was driving Firefox insane. I disabled Flashblock and it's fine now. Give it a try. Flash 10 is much faster^H^H^H^H^H^H less slow than Flash 9, so Flashblock isn't quite as necessary anymore.
  • Control+Tab (Score:3, Informative)

    by Comtraya (1306593) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:21AM (#25441327)
    Last time I checked, Ctrl+Tab switched tabs in Firefox 2, it's just a new flashy display in 3.1
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:27AM (#25441415)

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc351024.aspx [microsoft.com]

    If they had simply added to this list: CSS 3 columns, multiple backgrounds, and
    border-radius, I think I'd be pretty satisfied with it. *sigh*

    Well, that's also not taking into account the abysmal js performance
    it's going to have compared to FF3.1, Safari/Chrome & Opera.

    At least they got most of CSS 2.1 in there. We can treat it as the
    retarded sibling, rather than the quadriplegic sibling that has to be
    turned a couple of times a day so it doesn't get bed sores.

    I think IE8 will be a great competitor to Firefox.

    Firefox v1.5.

  • Um (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:39AM (#25441605)

    IE 8 is a major revision.
    FF 3.1 is a minor revision.

    Just about any version of Opera is faster than them both.

    Learn to compare things.

    • Re:Um (Score:5, Informative)

      by bunratty (545641) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:56AM (#25441881)
      Opera used to be faster, but not any longer now that Mozilla, Apple, and Google have been improving performance so much. If you look at the links in the previous post, you can see that Opera beat Firefox in only one speed test. Yes, Opera is faster than IE, but that's only because IE is so slow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:43AM (#25441651)

    Where's the SilverLight test, huh? I bet IE wins that one..

  • I mean, OK, it's nice to have the name and URL both in the dropdown from the location bar, but do they have to use so much space doing it?

    Camino had that months earlier, without burning nearly as much real estate on it.

  • by nmg196 (184961) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:46AM (#25441715)

    The summary mentions IE8 more than once, but the article is comparing Firefox 3.1 to IE 7 (yes SEVEN - you know, the OLD one!)

    The Javascript engine in IE8 is much faster than the one in IE7, so it's a pretty unfair test in the first place and should never have been posted in the first place.

    Many posters above already seem to be confused about the IE7/8 thing.

  • Still no support for border-radius or box-shadow, even in "-vendorPrefix-box-shadow" form since it's still a draft?

    Same goes for Opera, BTW.

  • SunSpider [webkit.org] is a Java benchmark? (Hint: Java != Javascript.) CA (the acronym referring to certificate authorities as a generic term) is a link to a quote for (the unrelated) CA, Inc.?

    Ah well... hopefully Firefox 3.1 is as fast as they say.

  • until they fix the goddamn egregious bugs they allowed in.

    First there was the right-click bug where Firefox would on every X right clicks simply select on its own a menu option to run. Somebody tell me how the hell you release a browser with ANY QA testing with that kind of bug still in it!

    Last time I tried it on openSUSE it seemed the right click bug might be fixed but then the browser crashed within MINUTES of using it on my usual sites.

    Now they want me to trust them with a complete change of JavaScript e

  • by adonoman (624929) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:11PM (#25442113)

    It's having the entire browser freeze up because some plugin (I'm looking at you acrobat reader) is downloading and rendering. Why can't this be done on another thread and let me continue reading in another tab?

  • by bradbury (33372) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yrubdarB.treboR)> on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:51PM (#25442709) Homepage

    It is my understanding that the primary advantages of FF 3.1 are speedups to Javascript and adoption of new HTML tags.

    For me (and for much of the web browsing community, such as my cousin, aunt & father, e.g. the 50-84 y.o community) these are USELESS.

    1) I am slowly converting my family entirely over to using Firefox with NoScript -- because *anyone* who allows random internet sites to run software on their machine is *nuts* [1].

    2) A significant majority of "common" sites will not be using enhanced HTML tags because they have to continue to work with the installed browser base.

    This is another example of Mozilla developers getting side-tracked with respect to what is important to *them* rather than what might be important to the community [2].

    1. The *real* advantage of Firefox is the selected enabling of Javascript for a few "trusted" relatively non-commercial sites (e.g. gmail, ones bank, ones broker) using NoScript. I will assume the display of pages from such sites is relatively unimpacted by Javascript speedups (since they tend to be network bandwidth or user input consrained). [Though it is worth noting that the gmail javascript appears to be becoming a bit of a pig.]

    2. It is worth noting that my cousin, my aunt and my father continue to survive on the internet quite well using dial-up connections (in large part because they live in regions where DSL (or fiber) is unavailable and Cable is too expensive). I presume that G3 service will fall into the $$$ category even when reasonably priced modems that can connect their computers to the net become available.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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