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Firefox 18 Beta Out With IonMonkey JavaScript Engine 182

An anonymous reader writes with a quick bite from The Next Web about the latest Firefox beta, this time featuring some under-the-hood improvements: "Mozilla on Monday announced the release of Firefox 18 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can download it now from The biggest addition in this update is significant JavaScript improvements, courtesy of Mozilla's new JavaScript JIT compiler called IonMonkey. The company promises the performance bump should be noticeable whenever Firefox is displaying Web apps, games, and other JavaScript-heavy pages."
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Firefox 18 Beta Out With IonMonkey JavaScript Engine

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  • Re:So far (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @01:13AM (#42102449) Journal

    None of these improvements feel any faster. Pages still load as quickly as they did a decade ago (provided your connection was fast). Why can't they make anything render faster?

    Have you used Firefox 3.6 recently? It sucks very badly which is why myself and Hairyfeet been promoting Chrome for 2 years. Run it on a VM and IE 9 is many multitudes a better browser. 10 years ago IE 6 broke all records in javascript performance. Run that today and slashdot and its default MSN homepage will crash within 20 seconds as the javascript interpretter can only run in 20 megs or ram and will crash.

    Old macs at my employer in the breakroom running Safari 1.x from 2006 is simply not even usable as takes 5 minutes to load.

  • by file_reaper ( 1290016 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @01:28AM (#42102557)
    I haven't kept track with the JIT's that have been in Firefox. I recall the days when TraceMonkey and JagerMonkey were added to boost performance. Could somebody recap or tell why Firefox is abandoning the older versions or redoing them? I'm truly curious as to what they learned, what worked and what didn't work. Are they finding new usage patterns that warrant a new JIT design? Thanks.
  • Its good to see the focus of this release being an attempt to increase javascript speed by leaps and bounds. Modern webpages often use JS that goes way beyond anything people did 10 years ago (Jquery for example) and the complexities of what people do with javascript noticably slow down most webpages considerably.

    When I first learned to program in BASIC, I used to think that people should try speeding up C and Assembly language -- Make EVERYTHING run faster... Then I learned C and x86 Assembly and I realized, you can't speed up assembly language -- It's a perfectly optimized language, there's nothing under the hood to tweak. You might select a better algorithm, or better use registers, but this isn't changing ASM. C can't really be hugely optimized either, it's pretty close to the metal, but there there are a few things one can do to increase performance in the space of its minimal abstractions; fewer with a mature compiler on mature hardware/platform...

    I always wondered what the deal was with JavaScript too, "Wow, it's getting faster, AGAIN?" Then I created my own languages and compilers and I learned: A sign of a horribly designed language is that the speed of its implementations can be repeatedly increased "by leaps and bounds"...

  • Re:So far (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @03:30AM (#42103053)

    Slashdot is a prime example of a site heavily using javascript.

    Ubuntu 10.04 LTS stuck to Firefox 3.6 for a long time. When loading a /. page, particularly one with many comments, it often gave me the "script is taking too long to complete" warning message. It would eventually complete, but took long. When Ubuntu finally replaced the browser with a newer Firefox, that problem was solved. It now renders reasonably fast.

    And considering I have ads disabled, it is really /. itself that's so demanding.

  • Its horrible performance on FB is one of the reasons my customers are using a Chromium variant right now. Does anybody know how it does as far as CPU loading? I have to support a lot of low power systems and since around FF V6 its been completely unusable, especially for watching SD video, but even opening new tabs can cause FF to slam the CPU to 100%.

    Anyway i don't mess with beta software anymore (enough bugs in the releases, thanks ever so) but if anybody has a low power AMD bobcat or Intel Atom I would like to know how this compares to Chrome.

  • by dririan ( 1131339 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @06:52PM (#42110523)
    Yes, apparently they did, but it's still quite recent (and only works on Windows 7). Naturally, it took them years to come out with it after 64-bit Windows came out (yes, I'm counting XP x86_64, it was a 64-bit desktop OS). Whether or not Adobe came out with it now, they're hardly the ONLY plug-in developer. The problem of plug-ins not being ported to 64-bit browsers on Windows is hardly just Adobe's. That being said, I'm not sure why you think Flash is the only plug-in Adobe makes.

    Yes, we get it, you're a person that works on everything, and so you know what you're talking about. That's nice. Some of us have been using Fx just fine (including myself), only we don't complain about it every time it comes up on Slashdot. You're not going to convince me to stop using Slashdot because you named a list of machines you work on and say that Firefox has been awful on every single one. If Fx stops working well on my machines, then I'll switch, but I'm not going to switch just because someone says Fx doesn't work for them.

    If you're talking about HTML5 video then fine, but if you're talking about Flash, why in the hell are you blaming the browser for that? Naturally, on the three computers I regularly use, I have exactly zero of the problems you mention, with both HTML5 and Flash videos. Anecdotes are completely pointless, because everyone can have different experiences. Yours aren't special because you can list a lot of computers.

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