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Mozilla The Internet

Firefox Beta Scores 93 On Acid3 Test 282

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the scored-worse-on-meth2-test dept.
CodeShark writes "Mozilla released their latest Firefox 3.X beta today (3.5b4), and increased their score on the Acid 3 test to 93 [on my XP laptop], with tests 70, 71, and tests 75-79 being the final challenges. Curiously though, the current release of the top Acid3 performer — Safari — still not only rates higher (I got scores of 99 once and 100 most of the time) but is usually faster by a little (1.1 sec avg. vs. 1.4 over ten runs apiece) but only because the new Firefox beta was all over the map — frequently better by 25% (.85sec) or tanking badly with rendering times in the 2.5 — 3 second range, and both suffer performance hits on one test (#69)."
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Firefox Beta Scores 93 On Acid3 Test

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  • Meh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:28AM (#27771747)

    This should be news when FF3.5 gets to RC or final release status.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Klaus_1250 (987230)
      Agreed. Yesterdays 3.6a1pre scores 94/100 btw.
  • Why the variation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:30AM (#27771753)

    Presumably the test should take about the same time to run each time, right?

    Also, how can Safari's score change from 99 to 100 without any changes in the code? Is this a bug in Safari?

    • Garbage collection (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:01AM (#27772135) Homepage Journal

      Presumably the test should take about the same time to run each time, right?

      One of the 100 tests is JavaScript garbage collection. A garbage collector that uses tracing without reference counting isn't necessarily guaranteed to finish in a given amount of time.

    • by auzy (680819) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:09AM (#27772241)
      One of the tests is related to rendering speed (#69) not design faults. That's because it wants the test to be completed fast enough to achieve 30fps.

      Under system load, or browser load (such as extra stuff being done in the rendering thread whilst the test is running), a browser may not always pass this test. Whilst its an OK test, there will be no way to reliably pass it 100% of the time, and as CPU's become faster and more efficient, its likely browsers will pass eventually regardless of if they optimise their code or not.

      Its also one example of why the ACID tests are quite overrated.
      • I never understood why did they include speed in a browser test? OK, a browser should perform rendering as fast as possible, because the web is starting to demand it, and web developers are abusing scripting a lot, but it would mean that the best browsers would fail on a slower computer, and the worst would pass on a faster one. This is not objective.

        Not to mention that setting a threshold for speed is impossible. Who says how fast is fast? If the web developers have use decent and modest scripting, it will

        • If midori was a bleeding edge version, it's not surprising: it's a webkit-based browser, and webkit is what's scoring highest anyway.
        • "I never understood why did they include speed in a browser test?"

          To compare how fast different browsers render on the same machine.

          "it would mean that the best browsers would fail on a slower computer, and the worst would pass on a faster one. This is not objective"

          I do believe they meant you to compare browsers on the same machine.

          "If the web developers have use decent and modest scripting, it will go faster, if they created inefficient monsters, it is going to crawl"

          I do believe they meant
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I never understood why did they include speed in a browser test?

          Because if you can't do it quickly it isn't functional. It's just like specifying video has to play at a given, acceptable frame rate to pass a test that confirms something can play said video. Playing it jerkily in an unwatchable way is not good enough

          ...but it would mean that the best browsers would fail on a slower computer, and the worst would pass on a faster one. This is not objective.

          Which is why the ACID tests each specify reference hardware, like most respectable test suites do. That is objective. Just because you don't have or use that reference hardware and run the test more informally does not mean it is a flaw with the test instead

      • by moranar (632206)

        I don't follow your logic. They test whether, under load, the js engine responds quickly, and for you that's 'overrated'?

        Sure, in a year the hardware will allow us to deprecate the test, but right now (and at the time the test was developed) it does not.

        At the very least, the test says 'Don't assume you can always have 30 fps displayed', which is a useful -if perhaps obvious- notion.

      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:58AM (#27773007) Journal

        One of the tests is related to rendering speed (#69) not design faults. That's because it wants the test to be completed fast enough to achieve 30fps.

        That's blatantly false.

        The reason the browsers have so much trouble with #69 is that they have to stop and turn around.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PitaBred (632671)
        Think of it as encouraging extra stuff to NOT be done in a single rendering thread, then. It's almost impossible to NOT buy a multi-core machine any more. Why should browsers, one of the most commonly used applications, remain single-threaded?
  • Opera 10 as well (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:30AM (#27771755)

    Opera 10alpha is also a 100/100 on the acid 3 since dec 12, 2008

    http://www.opera.com/docs/history/

  • Previous tests (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rolgar (556636) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:31AM (#27771767)

    How does it rate on Acid 1 & 2, and have the other browsers worked on reaching 100% on the previous tests also, or did they give up on previous tests when the next one was released?

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:33AM (#27771795) Journal

    I find the new versions of firefox are far less stable when it comes to AJAX sites. It appears to be getting better, but I just want th crashes to stop.

    • by tepples (727027)

      I find the new versions of firefox are far less stable when it comes to AJAX sites.

      Do AJAX sites still crash Firefox 3.0.x when you create a new profile with no add-ons? If not, you might want to try helping the Firefox team by finding which add-on causes crashes.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What do you mean firefox is crashing? It is perfectly sta

    • "I find the new versions of firefox are far less stable when it comes to AJAX sites. It appears to be getting better, but I just want th crashes to stop

      What sites exactly?
    • by zzxc (635106)
      It's not normal for either Firefox 3.0.x or 3.5 beta to crash on ajax sites. If you are getting crashes, look up your crash reports [mozilla.com] and search for your crash signature on Bugzilla [mozilla.org].

      Plugin crashes (eg. flash) are among the most common, but corrupt files and spyware on Windows machines have also been known to cause them. If you are getting a specific crash that can be reproduced, either file a bug or comment on an existing bug with details.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:35AM (#27771823)

    First of all, I'm not trolling.

    Secondly, Firefox is my favourite browser, and I use it as my default both at work on my Windows workstation and at home on my Mac.

    Having said that, with two corporate giants with deep pockets, and their respective browsers making solid improvements with every version, I'm wondering if it's just a matter of time before Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome become better than Firefox, which is essentially a community effort. That's not to say anything bad about the excellent work that Mozilla's programmers have done with Firefox, but they're doing so by drawing on fewer resources than those two large corporations.

    Granted, Microsoft also has a lot of resources to draw from, but they also let IE stagnate because they thought they had a browser monopoly.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by maxume (22995)

      Firefox is "essentially a community effort" with tens of millions of dollars of income.

      I'm not sure that being able to pay dozens of developers is enough to keep up, but it probably helps.

      • by cabjf (710106)
        Funny, because both Chrome and Safari use WebKit, which is also "essentially a community effort" (branch from KHTML and KJS) with the backing of companies with billions of dollars of income and more than likely a few dozens of paid developers from each thrown in.
        • by maxume (22995)

          Are you talking about Apple and Google? I think you probably are, because they were both mentioned in the comment I replied to and part of the reason that I said "I'm not sure that being able to pay dozens of developers is enough to keep up, but it probably helps."

          I wasn't saying rah rah Firefox rah, I was pointing out that "essentially a community effort" is a ridiculous characterization of Mozilla, which is actually a well funded (from their operations, not community donations) not-for-profit.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:16AM (#27772353)

      I'm wondering if it's just a matter of time before Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome become better than Firefox

      I use Firefox as my default browser too. I used to love it, now I tolerate it. Were adblock and flashblock available for Safari or Chrome (and I believe this is in development for Chrome), and were Chrome available as a Mac version, I would stop using Firefox overnight. Truth is as a basic browser these two are better already, as is IE.

      Firefox is dangling by a hair on my machines. It is entirely their own fault. They have ignored fundamental problems with the browser since version 1.0, and spent far too much time developing "features" that should have been add-ons. It's never really worked well on a Mac either. There seems to be a lot of Netscape influence in Mozilla, this is exactly how Netscape failed

      If Firefox 4.0 isn't multi-threaded and significantly stripped down, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye. This is a terrible shame. I want to continue to support it, however the Mozilla team is shooting itself in the foot far too much.

      • by vitaflo (20507) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:55AM (#27772955) Homepage

        Were adblock and flashblock available for Safari or Chrome (and I believe this is in development for Chrome), and were Chrome available as a Mac version, I would stop using Firefox overnight.

        Adblock has been available for Safari for years now. You can get it here:

        http://safariadblock.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

        A Flash block addon for Safari is also available:

        http://hetima.com/safari/stand-e.html [hetima.com]

        While Safari doesn't have the same ease of plug-in support as Firefox, there's enough for most people who want to make the switch.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pohl (872)

          While Safari doesn't have the same ease of plug-in support as Firefox...

          It sounds like you're actually thinking of the Firefox "extension" or "add-on" API. Both Safari and Firefox support plugins [apple.com]. Extensions and plugins are not the same thing. This seems to be a common mistake.

      • by Blimey85 (609949)
        The memory usage is pretty insane and I find myself having to restart it quite a bit lately. I miss the days when Firefox was lean and mean. I guess I could dump the latest version and reinstall an older one... which was the best? 1.5.x? I don't even remember anymore. I know 2 added some stuff that was cool but I don't recall if it was where the bloat really started or not.
    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Huh?

      WebKit: Open source project with large dollop of corporate funding.
      Gecko: Open source project with large dollop of corporate funding.

      What's the difference?

      • Gecko has more baggage than Madonna.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Huh? WebKit: Open source project with large dollop of corporate funding. Gecko: Open source project with large dollop of corporate funding. What's the difference?

        Gecko's corporate funding is almost entirely from Google and the code comes from the Mozilla foundation and random community members.

        Webkit's funding comes from Google, Apple, Nokia, Novell, and several others. Code comes from the same.

        The basic difference is Gecko is pretty much funded by Google and used in Firefox. Webkit is funded by many companies and used in a wide variety of projects. This means more code shared and less work for each contributor... thus, theoretically, more time to work on new featu

    • Well, to me, all this rendering "better" stuff does not matter anymore. Because I can't live without my extensions.

      Any browser that does not offer me *all* my extensions, is not worth those milliseconds of speed improvement, and is doomed to not getting used here, And this includes being able to easily port my self-made ones.

      I'm also not trolling, as I really *really* like proper browser implementations. (I was a web application developer [think "AJAX big time, before the term was coined"] for 5 years.)
      I al

    • by bruthasj (175228)
      Google is supporting Firefox as well.
  • I hate when web developers use meta-redirect tags to make it impossible to use the back button to get to the previous page because it just sends you forward again. Sometimes you can hit back fast enough to race the redirect, but that's just silly -- I shouldn't have to fight against my software. At the very minimum, put a 3 second wait on it (with a link for the impatient) or, better yet, set a cookie so that if I revisit on the way back within a short period of time it won't redirect.

    Another solution occur

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      In the advanced options, under the general tab, you can have Firefox warn you about automatic redirects with an information bar instead of just going. Yeah, it's a bit of a workaround to the problem, but you may find it useful.
    • Agreed. People who insist on this incredibly obnoxious behaviour should be beaten to within an inch of their lives.

  • Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gordo_1 (256312) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:54AM (#27772059)

    As I appear into my crystal ball, I see that Firefox 3.5 is released and still achieves 93/100. Wow, I'm a psychic!

    Ffx 3.1/3.5 has been sitting at 93/100 for over 6 months, and the devs have stated *numerous* times that achieving 100/100 on Acid3 is NOT a priority for the 3.5 release, largely because implementing SVG fonts (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=119490/ [mozilla.org]) for the purpose of passing those last few Acid3 tests is a much lower priority than other things they're working on (like javascript JIT). Why your summary of the 3.5b4 release focuses on something that literally hasn't changed in several beta releases is beyond me.

    So, can we please move on now or are you going to switch to Safari because of that newfangled Youtube interface that implements SVG fonts? Oh sorry, I was looking into my crystal ball again and saw the web circa 2025.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You know, it's kind of ironic that IE helped to ruin the web by supporting fancy new features over compliance and what is Firefox doing? Making Javascript faster instead of working on SVG fonts, a feature that we desperately need to get rid of stupid hacks like sIFR (which is still better than dynamically generated image headlines, whose text is not selectable.)

      • "what is Firefox doing? Making Javascript faster instead of working on SVG fonts"

        It says here on this Mozilla SVG Project [mozilla.org] site that Firefox can render SVG fonts since version 1.5
        --
        trawl.bugzilla.troll.slashdot
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @09:59AM (#27772119) Homepage
    than just firefox...i tried it in Lynx and i cant get it to pass at all...
  • by tsalmark (1265778) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @10:02AM (#27772153) Homepage
    It's harder to concentrate with that particular feed back loop.
  • It struck me:

    If your rendering is only correct if it matches pixel-for-pixel the benchmark rendering, does this mean that console browsers[1] can't be standards compliant? I'm no web developer; what's the exact significance of the Acid test? Surely you can offer the same ecmascript feature as everyone else, and ignore the css and have something that works?

    [1] such as lynx, elinks, w3m-mode

    • Console browser can be standard compliant (HTML, perhaps ECMAScript). Just not CSS compliant. Acid3 test HTML, ECMASCript and CSS as the standards.
    • by Ragzouken (943900)
      They can't comply with the standards of graphical web browsers, no.
  • By default it changes the shutdown to clear all cookies. b3 I had clear history only, after the upgrade to b4 it wiped all the cookies out so I needed to log back in to everything. Very annoying, looking at the bug report for it I see some of the devs actually think this is fine to change those settings from b3 to b4 with no warning to users.
    • They are beta. They are not for general consumption. If you have actually taken care to read the changelogs you will have see it.
    • "By default it changes the shutdown to clear all cookies"

      No it doesn't, I just logged into Slashdot, visited Youtube and set default location, then shutdown and restarted. I'm still logged into Slashdot and Youtube no longer prompts for 'Suggested Country Filter'.
  • I've just tested 3.5b4 on RHEL 5 and I get 91/100
  • The development branch of Firefox was on 93 half a year ago.

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