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A Linux blog to share any hints, tips, ebuilds, and insight I have picked up along the way. My interests mainly lie in security, photography, the web, and multimedia.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Webkit vs Gecko Javascript performance

If you haven't noticed I have a fascination with bleeding edge software. One of the pieces of software I have been following since its inception is the GTK port of Webkit. It is an excellent browser engine that is just as capable if not more so than other major competing engines. One of Webkit's strong points is javascript performance. The Squirrelfish javascript engine that was introduced a few months ago offers incredible performance.

To prove my point I tested the latest Webkit from subversion againt Xulrunner-1.9 using two different javascript tests. The first test is I used was Celtic Kane's Javascript speed test. I ran the test a couple dozen times on each browser. The Webkit based Midori browser scored an 89ms (lower is better) for its best case while the best I was able to acheive with Epiphany on Xulrunner was 255ms which makes it over 2.5 times slower. In fact Midori's worst time wasn't even close to Epiphany's best time. I took screenshots of the two best times I achieved. On the left are the results for Webkit/Midori while on the right are results for Gecko/Epiphany.


The second test I ran was Webkit's own Sunspider Javascript test. It is a much more complete javascript test and takes several minutes to complete. Again Webkit outshines Gecko in the Sunspider tests but the results are much closer. Webkit's javascript engine, Squirrelfish averages about 1.5 times faster than Gecko's engine. Webkit results are shown in the FROM column while Gecko results are in the TO column.



It seems this is all about to change. Firefox 3.1 is supposed to include a new and improved javascript engine called Tracemonkey that outshines Squirrelfish. It is not yet complete so it is hard to tell how much better it is actually going to be but preliminary tests show some amazing results. When I get a chance to test it I'll post another comparison.

With all the improvements going into both the Gecko engine and the Webkit engine it should make web browsing on either platfrom a much better experience. I do have to give the Mozilla foundation credit for Gecko. I was starting to prefer a Webkit based GNOME environment over embedded Gecko but Xulrunner-1.9/Firefox-3 was a very good release and the next release is only going to be better. Things are really heating up now in the browser wars again.

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write(msg)

A Linux blog to share any hints, tips, ebuilds, and insight I have picked up along the way. My interests mainly lie in security, photography, the web, and multimedia.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Webkit vs Gecko Javascript performance

If you haven't noticed I have a fascination with bleeding edge software. One of the pieces of software I have been following since its inception is the GTK port of Webkit. It is an excellent browser engine that is just as capable if not more so than other major competing engines. One of Webkit's strong points is javascript performance. The Squirrelfish javascript engine that was introduced a few months ago offers incredible performance.

To prove my point I tested the latest Webkit from subversion againt Xulrunner-1.9 using two different javascript tests. The first test is I used was Celtic Kane's Javascript speed test. I ran the test a couple dozen times on each browser. The Webkit based Midori browser scored an 89ms (lower is better) for its best case while the best I was able to acheive with Epiphany on Xulrunner was 255ms which makes it over 2.5 times slower. In fact Midori's worst time wasn't even close to Epiphany's best time. I took screenshots of the two best times I achieved. On the left are the results for Webkit/Midori while on the right are results for Gecko/Epiphany.


The second test I ran was Webkit's own Sunspider Javascript test. It is a much more complete javascript test and takes several minutes to complete. Again Webkit outshines Gecko in the Sunspider tests but the results are much closer. Webkit's javascript engine, Squirrelfish averages about 1.5 times faster than Gecko's engine. Webkit results are shown in the FROM column while Gecko results are in the TO column.



It seems this is all about to change. Firefox 3.1 is supposed to include a new and improved javascript engine called Tracemonkey that outshines Squirrelfish. It is not yet complete so it is hard to tell how much better it is actually going to be but preliminary tests show some amazing results. When I get a chance to test it I'll post another comparison.

With all the improvements going into both the Gecko engine and the Webkit engine it should make web browsing on either platfrom a much better experience. I do have to give the Mozilla foundation credit for Gecko. I was starting to prefer a Webkit based GNOME environment over embedded Gecko but Xulrunner-1.9/Firefox-3 was a very good release and the next release is only going to be better. Things are really heating up now in the browser wars again.

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