Brain Flush

February 29, 2008

Firefox 3 Claims Huge Performance Boost in JavaScript Runtime

As posted recently on Cybernet News, a profile-guided optimization build of the upcoming version 3 of the Firefox Web browser has appeared which performs the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark in only one third of the time required by Firefox 2.0.0.12.

This sounds great at first, but if you take a closer look, you see that this benchmark for example does not take DOM operations into account. AJAX heavy websites however basically evolve around modifying a page’s DOM tree at runtime, which can quickly become the major bottle neck when requesting and re-rendering large amounts of data.

Instead of focusing on DOM operations, the benchmark runs exotic tests like 3D raytracing and cryptographic calculations which do not seem to be typical use cases for Web 2.0 content.

For my part, I remain skeptical, although I would of course welcome performance improvements in any part of Firefox in upcoming releases.

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