AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Firefox 3.1 to see speed bump with TraceMonkey

updated 09:30 pm EDT, Mon August 25, 2008

TraceMonkey adds speed

Firefox developers have been working on a new project, labeled TraceMonkey, that is poised to push JavaScript speeds even faster, according to team member Mike Shaver. By including improved JavaScript engines, most browsers have seen significant performance gains. Speed of certain processes in Firefox jumped two or three fold just between v2.x and v3.x. The new project, although new, has shown increases of 20 percent over v2.x already.

Shaver explained the goal of the project "is to take JavaScript performance to another level, where instead of competing against other interpreters, we start to compete against native code." Commands such as "for loop" are running very close to speeds only attainable through unoptimized GCC. TraceMonkey has been added to the FF 3.1 development tree.

Some of the tested benchmarks included Sunspider (and its "ubench" test), image manipulation demo, and Sylvester 3D matrix multiplication, all comparing TraceMonkey to FF3. The results ranged from being around 80 percent faster for the first Sunspider test to an amazing 22 fold increase in speed for the ubench test.

Mike noted the room for even more improvement in each category by developing "better code generation, more efficient guards, improvements to some data structures, parallel compilation, use of specific processor features, new optimization passes, tracing more code patterns, and many more." Performance across the board will increase steadily through FireFox 3.1 and future releases.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    are all these stories...

    just to try to get some of the high ground back from Safari, which announced a similar speedup months ago?

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more than speed

    I prefer the UI of Firefox over any other browser, even without any speed increase. I am just too use to where all the menus and key shortcuts are.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: are all these stories

    Yes they are. Because you know the Firefox team is just so scared of Safari's 3% market share that they'll do anything to get back the limelight.

    It certainly couldn't be due to the fact they're improving their browser, one of the developers blogged about it, and someone decided to write an article on Electronista about it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: more than speed

    I use safari on the mac, but prefer firefox on windows. Not only is the interface at least standard, it has add-ins, which safari/win lacks.

    I can't surf without my blockers of annoying ads.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented