Firefox 3 Gets Faster

Feb 28, 2008

A special nightly build of Firefox 3.0 has been released that greatly improves JavaScript performance. The build was run against the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, and the results are really surprising. From the article:

  1. Firefox 3 Nightly (PGO Optimized): 7263.8ms
  2. Firefox 3 Nightly (02/25/2008 build): 8219.4ms
  3. Opera 9.5.9807 Beta: 10824.0ms
  4. Firefox 3 Beta 3: 16080.6ms
  5. Safari 3.0.4 Beta: 18012.6ms
  6. Firefox 29376.4ms
  7. Internet Explorer 7: 72375.0ms

This optimized build is nearly 4 times faster than the current release of Firefox, and 10 times faster than IE 7; pretty cool!

I have yet to switch to Firefox 3, mostly because lots of my favorite extensions don't yet work (including the ones I've written). There are a handful of changes that have to be made in order for extensions to work in the new environment, some of which aren't exactly trivial. As we get closer to an actual release, I'll do my best to update my extensions.



5:10 AM on Feb 28, 2008
Hey Jonah, I have an idea for an extension, I was wondering if you could help architect it a bit so that I could have a little guidance in developing my first extension. I think it'd be nice if there were an extension that used Pygments ( to color the contents of files that firefox chooses to show. like if viewing a python, js, or any other file within firefox (like if you clicked on a link). it'd be neat if i could start it as a toggle in the status bar (like ie tab) and then over time maybe do some automagic to have it try to figure out when to turn on. I know you're pretty busy, so if you don't have time, that's cool. I don't either, but every once in a while i make a little time for some personal projects, and i think this is interesting. Thanks for keeping us up on Minefield.


4:21 PM on Feb 29, 2008
I installed Firefox 3 Beta 3 on my work laptop a few weeks ago. I wrote two search bars for internal use at my company last year (based on your helpful Google Toolbar tutorial, btw), so I wanted to see if they worked fine in FF3. After going through the hassle of security requirements I didn't find any problems. But the security stuff was a pain: I obviously couldn't put internal tools on the Mozilla site, and I don't have an https server to use, so I had to go through the non-intuitive 'signing' process. I'm liking FF3 a lot, but like you I won't switch until all my favorite extensions are supported. One of the most helpful changes I've noticed is that auto-complete in the address bar doesn't just work by url, it works by title too. So typing "monkey" will list any url containing that string, or whose title contained that string (i.e. this site).


6:04 PM on Feb 29, 2008
I have seen a lot of news about the new autocomplete stuff in the URL bar. In fact, I believe the URL bar now shows more information on each site (at least two lines of information per site). I tried beta 1 way back when, but I haven't updated since then. I really dislike the McCoy tool to sign extensions (it screws up the update RDF file). I've been toying around with getting the required stuff to do https, but there's a fair amount involved (i.e. getting a static IP address from my web host, getting a certificate, etc), all of which costs money. Having a secure connection would be great for security's sake, however. So I'm still not decided on what I want to do.

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