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Custom build optimizes Firefox 3.1 for Intel

updated 03:40 pm EST, Thu February 5, 2009

Firefox 3.1 optimization

Mac owners searching for a faster version of Firefox may be able to turn to a custom-developed build, an independent coder claims. While the current official build of the web browser is v3.0.6, Mozilla is presently seeding a beta of v3.1, sometimes known as Shiretoko. The Mac beta is said to be unoptimized for Intel processors however, which has led to Chris Latko's creation of a custom version under open-source rules.

The Intel optimizations by themselves provide only a modest speed improvement, but the fastest build is said to be aided by the inclusion of TraceMonkey, which provides native code compilation in Mozilla's JavaScript engine. The performance of this second build is rated at approximately twice that of the official Shiretoko distribution, and only slightly slower than a recent version of WebKit, the technology on which Apple's Safari browser is based.

The Latko build is a free download, but may break some add-ons and cannot be run at the same time as an official build.




by MacNN Staff

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