Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Browser Update: Firefox 3b5 and Opera Mini 4.1 beta

Category: Firefox, Mobile, Opera

<p>We have a couple of browser updates. First, we have Firefox 3 beta 5 which has improved integration with the host system, a better places organizer, and a bump:

Speed improvements to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimizations have resulted in continued improvements in performance. Compared to Firefox 2, web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office run twice as fast in Firefox 3 Beta 5, and the popular SunSpider test from Apple shows improvements over previous releases.

Opera also released a new browser with their Opera Mini 4.1 beta. The improvements talk about “faster” a lot: performance, finding things faster, and URL completion magic. This latest mobile browser also supports JSR-75:

JSR-75 is a specification for Java applications such as Opera Mini to access device internal storage and functionality within the phone. Some of Opera Mini features like “Save Pages” and “Download/Upload Files” vary on how much JSR-75 that is supported by the phone.

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Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:57 am
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For Opera Mini 4.1, the “faster” refers to the speed of their server-side.

Comment by RichB — April 3, 2008

I downloaded the firefox 3b5 but most of the addons I use still aren’t supported in it. But for the little while I used it – it seemed to be a lot like 3b4 – which is significantly faster on my systems than firefox 2.

Comment by MattEllsworth — April 3, 2008

It’s faster because it is breaking the rules. See http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=565

Comment by srivaths — April 3, 2008

srivaths: that http connection limit change is not why JS benchmarks or even gmail run faster in b5. Firefox 3 beta does, however, match IE8 beta in the change to the main parameter.

“The rules” (RFC 2616, quoting: “A single-user client SHOULD NOT maintain more than 2 connections with any server or proxy” — note SHOULD not MUST) were written a while ago, they no longer apply to many cases, and they are being revised — for better or worse by browser vendors making moves and matching one another.

I say this is for the better, pending evidence from beta 5 to the contrary, for which we are on the lookout. We’re also looking into what IE8 does on slow links. Anyway, this is not relevant to the perf wins mentioned above, but I wanted to make it clear we are not doing it casually.

/be

Comment by BrendanEich — April 3, 2008

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