Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 23:57 UTC
Internet Explorer "At last year's PDC, held in November, Microsoft showed a graph showing scores of a variety of Web browsers in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, to show off the progress that the company was making with Internet Explorer 9. Another such graph was shown off at the recent MIX event. What was most interesting about the graph was not IE9's progress, but Opera's."
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Link is dud ..
by bugjacobs on Wed 24th Mar 2010 01:10 UTC
bugjacobs
Member since:
2009-01-03

Link is sqwooey ! :-) has a space on the end "%20"..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Link is dud ..
by flanque on Wed 24th Mar 2010 02:34 UTC in reply to "Link is dud .."
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Works for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Link is dud ..
by bugjacobs on Wed 24th Mar 2010 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Link is dud .."
bugjacobs Member since:
2009-01-03

Yeah it works now, must have been fixed ..

Reply Score: 1

If you put resources, you will get better
by ciplogic on Wed 24th Mar 2010 08:00 UTC
ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

The question is kinda misleading: of course if you develop more you get a better browser. Even is not in the today's browsers league, IE8 is a better browser than IE7 or (arguably) than Firefox 1.0
Is like competing IE with IE and IE wins.

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The question is kinda misleading: of course if you develop more you get a better browser. Even is not in the today's browsers league, IE8 is a better browser than IE7 or (arguably) than Firefox 1.0

I'm not so sure about that last part.
I loved Firebird as it was very very nippy despite still being a tabbed browser. And Firebird wasn't even v1 at that point.

Reply Score: 2

Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 08:36 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

The focus on synthetic javascript benchmarks really needs to be questioned. When web surfing the bottleneck is your bandwidth and even after that the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Diminishing returns
by wirespot on Wed 24th Mar 2010 08:46 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

When web surfing the bottleneck is your bandwidth


Is it really? We seem to get more and more bandwidth that I dunno what to do with. In Europe, at least, speeds of up to 20 Mbps seem to be common, and even the lowest are still a few Mbps.

and even after that the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.


Doesn't it? I develop a large community website and I find myself adding JavaScript all the time, for any number of purposes, from pretty graphical effects to AJAX. And this is just the most common stuff, I'm not even talking about a site that actually tries to do really fancy things.

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.


Have no worry, whenever more [computing] power is available, people usually quickly manage to max it out. ;)

Edited 2010-03-24 08:47 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Is it really? We seem to get more and more bandwidth that I dunno what to do with. In Europe, at least, speeds of up to 20 Mbps seem to be common, and even the lowest are still a few Mbps.

That's peak speed and it says nothing about the server sending you the file. Network latency is more of an issue than javascript processing time.


Doesn't it? I develop a large community website and I find myself adding JavaScript all the time, for any number of purposes, from pretty graphical effects to AJAX.

The typical website is mostly HTML, not Javascript. Even a lot of the AJAX heavy websites still generate a lot of HTML since most of the processing is done server side.


Have no worry, whenever more [computing] power is available, people usually quickly manage to max it out. ;)

It has nothing to do with computing power.

Once people can no longer tell the difference between super-fast and ultra-fast rendering the question needs to be asked if these benchmarks even matter. I think to often they are just used for cheap bragging rights.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:20 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The focus on synthetic javascript benchmarks really needs to be questioned. When web surfing the bottleneck is your bandwidth and even after that the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.


In the article linked here:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/02/mozilla-demos-impre...

there is a video of a demo run by Christopher Blizzard at SoCal Linux Expo which shows Javascript Motion Tracking.

You can watch the demo here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Hl0tLs7XA&feature=player_embedded

The motion tracking software is running, as Javascript, within Firefox, which is also playing the video.

Users certainly could tell the difference if anyone tried to do this type of thing running Javascript at IE speeds.

Javascript is also the means by which one animates SVG graphics to achieve (in a standards compliant way) the equivalent of effects like Flash (swf) or Silverlight animations. If IE9 keeps the same dog-slow javascript performance as IE8, then Flash or Silverlight plugins would still be necessary to achieve even partially acceptable animated graphics effects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SVG_animation
http://srufaculty.sru.edu/david.dailey/svg/SVGAnimations.htm

One definitely needs the very best javascript performance one can get in order to have a good experience when viewing the standards-compliant web.

This is the entire reason why standards-compliant browsers pay such attention to dynamic javascript performance.

Does this soccer ball spin for you (can you even see the soccer ball)?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Soccer_ball_anim...

If it doesn't spin, or you can't see it, then you haven't got standards-compliant animated graphics.

Once people can no longer tell the difference between super-fast and ultra-fast rendering the question needs to be asked if these benchmarks even matter. I think to often they are just used for cheap bragging rights.


Nope. They are used for graphics animations, and rich interfaces, instead of proprietary rubbish like Flash or Silverlight.

Like this:

http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/DRAWINGS/clock2.svg

Edited 2010-03-24 09:33 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


The motion tracking software is running, as Javascript, within Firefox, which is also playing the video.

Users certainly could tell the difference if anyone tried to do this type of thing running Javascript at IE speeds.

That doesn't represent typical browsing but more importantly my point had nothing to do with IE or any specific browser. It's a question of diminishing returns much like an improvement to a 3D gaming engine that already displayed a consistent frame rate well beyond what the eye can perceive.


...then Flash or Silverlight plugins would still be necessary to achieve even partially acceptable animated graphics effects.

Those plug-ins will be around for at least another 5 years so don't expect a javascript revolution.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"
The motion tracking software is running, as Javascript, within Firefox, which is also playing the video.

Users certainly could tell the difference if anyone tried to do this type of thing running Javascript at IE speeds.

That doesn't represent typical browsing but more importantly my point had nothing to do with IE or any specific browser. It's a question of diminishing returns much like an improvement to a 3D gaming engine that already displayed a consistent frame rate well beyond what the eye can perceive.


...then Flash or Silverlight plugins would still be necessary to achieve even partially acceptable animated graphics effects.

Those plug-ins will be around for at least another 5 years so don't expect a javascript revolution.
"

Your point was totally and utterly shot to pieces, and you know it.

Good Javascript performance is essential for standards compliance. The faster, the better. Using IE for stuff like this would be miserable.

From the original ars article:
As improved as IE8 is—and it is a huge improvement—it's still lacking relative to the competition. Its scripting engine is slow, its support for things like SVG, Canvas, and HTML5 video is nonexistent, and it's inexplicably slow at basic operations like starting up and creating new tabs.


Exactly so.

Also:
But you know what? The public perception of IE is lousy


I know why this is so. It is because IE is lousy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Your point was totally and utterly shot to pieces, and you know it.

Good Javascript performance is essential for standards compliance. The faster, the better. Using IE for stuff like this would be miserable.


You really have an unhealthy emotional attachment to your HTML5/FOSS ideals. It hampers your ability to think critically.

You want all browsers to be super fast at processing Javascript so more web developers will use HTML5. That's nice, but that is in fact irrelevant to my original point.

We are entering a period of diminishing returns which means the degree in improvements are not as significant as they once were. That has nothing to do with IE or any specific browser.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Your point was totally and utterly shot to pieces, and you know it.

Good Javascript performance is essential for standards compliance. The faster, the better. Using IE for stuff like this would be miserable.


You really have an unhealthy emotional attachment to your HTML5/FOSS ideals. It hampers your ability to think critically.

You want all browsers to be super fast at processing Javascript so more web developers will use HTML5. That's nice, but that is in fact irrelevant to my original point.

We are entering a period of diminishing returns which means the degree in improvements are not as significant as they once were. That has nothing to do with IE or any specific browser.
"

Hardly. The race is on for best Javascript performance.

Chrome/Webkit is the leader, but Opera has lately put in a bid to overtake them. Mozilla is decidedly feeling the pinch, and they have announced a new approach called Jagermonkey.

http://blog.mozilla.com/dmandelin/2010/02/26/starting-jagermonkey/

The Jagermonkey approach is basically the "meritocracy" approach of open source, or in other words: if the other guy's stuff works better, then use it yourself.

IE hasn't even got to the starting gate in this race (IE's javascript is non-standard as well as dog slow). Trying to use IE for any of this new web standards-compliant stuff would be an utterly miserable experience.

(BTW: Mozilla are also looking at GPU hardware acceleration, but this is really another story altogether)
http://www.taranfx.com/firefox-hardware-acceleration

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Diminishing returns
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 24th Mar 2010 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Diminishing returns"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

The 2D acceleration is Windows-only. Do you know if there are credible efforts to have the same thing on Linux? Wasn't Firefox using a HW-accelerated Cairo at one point?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The 2D acceleration is Windows-only. Do you know if there are credible efforts to have the same thing on Linux? Wasn't Firefox using a HW-accelerated Cairo at one point?


AFAIK, Firefox calls the system libraries (Cairo) to render. On Linux desktops, the system libraries are HW-accelerated.

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=839925&start=0&s...

Anything labelled FF 3.0 or newer should already take advantage of Cairo's hardware acceleration.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Diminishing returns
by boldingd on Thu 25th Mar 2010 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Diminishing returns"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

IE hasn't even got to the starting gate in this race (IE's javascript is non-standard as well as dog slow). Trying to use IE for any of this new web standards-compliant stuff would be an utterly miserable experience.


You're the one who's making this threat about "IE is failing!" jerkface's point was that, in general, you don't get an additional, user-perceived benefit for speeding up a JavaScript engine past the point that it provides real-time interactivity in most common applications. It's a valid point. Fancy, computationally-expensive demos (like software 3D rendering or whatever else) are nice for showing off how much faster Engine A is than Engine B, but in practice, a user won't be able to tell the difference between the two if they both run gmail at real-time speeds. He was not defending IE8's poor benchmarking: he was arguing that a dick-measuring contest for Fastest Script Engine is nothing but developer masturbation, with no tangible benefit to end-users.

And frankly, he's right. I'm gonna say something that's gonna get me down-modded and shot at, if any of you bother to read it: if your page is bumping up against the limits of current javascript engines, you're doing it wrong. Current engines offer far more than enough processing power for any sane and reasonable web-page design. If you want to start doing 3D rendering or run a game-playing AI -- or anything else that is, in general, "really, really computationally expensive" -- you need to find some sane way to run native code.

Browsers are not good general-purpose virtual machines. If the Wave of the Future is rich content running in virtual machines that chat over the net, then we need to create something new that's good at doing that. To expect FireFox or IE or whatever else to provide the-same-or-better performance for code execution as Java or C# is just ridiculous; that's a problem with what you're trying to do, not with the browser's design.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by flanque on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Soccer_ball_anim...

Using Firefox 3.6.2 and it shows but doesn't spin. I thought FF was standards compliant?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Soccer_ball_anim...

Using Firefox 3.6.2 and it shows but doesn't spin. I thought FF was standards compliant?


Firefox only scores in the nineties for acid3 tests. Webkit gets 100.

From the wikipedia page, about the soccer ball:
An example of SVG animation using SMIL.


Firefox doesn't do SMIL. Webkit does.

The soccer ball will spin in Chrome, re-konq, Arora, Opera, Safari, Midori and any other standards-compliant browser.

Not in Firefox, though.

On this page:
http://acid3.acidtests.org/

Firefox 3.6.2 on my system gets a score of only 92. SMIL is one of the 8 tests it fails.

Rekonq and Arora work, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Diminishing returns
by flanque on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Diminishing returns"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Darn it, I knew I should have gone with re-konq!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Darn it, I knew I should have gone with re-konq!


Cheer up, the clock thingy uses javascript:

http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/DRAWINGS/clock2.svg

This by far the more common means to animate SVG, and that works fine on Firefox 3.6.2.

Wikipedia:
Scripting: ECMAScript is a primary means of creating animations and interactive user interfaces within SVG.


Edited 2010-03-24 10:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by smashIt on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Javascript is also the means by which one animates SVG graphics to achieve (in a standards compliant way) the equivalent of effects like Flash (swf) or Silverlight animations. If IE9 keeps the same dog-slow javascript performance as IE8, then Flash or Silverlight plugins would still be necessary to achieve even partially acceptable animated graphics effects.


if IEs bad js-performance is what stops webdesigners from using that crap than we should thank ms for it

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Javascript is also the means by which one animates SVG graphics to achieve (in a standards compliant way) the equivalent of effects like Flash (swf) or Silverlight animations. If IE9 keeps the same dog-slow javascript performance as IE8, then Flash or Silverlight plugins would still be necessary to achieve even partially acceptable animated graphics effects.


if IEs bad js-performance is what stops webdesigners from using that crap than we should thank ms for it
"

Wrong way around. The web-standards-compliant stuff is crap on IE because of IE's miserable performance.

The web-standards-compliant stuff is NOT crap anywhere else.

PS: Hold the press ... there IS a way that IE can be made not-miserable also:

http://code.google.com/chrome/chromeframe/

Cool, hey!

Google says: Enjoy!

Edited 2010-03-24 11:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Diminishing returns
by boldingd on Thu 25th Mar 2010 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Diminishing returns"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

It looks like you thought that, by "that crap", he was referring to web standards. I think he meant "IE". In other words, what he was saying was, "if bad JS performance stops people from using IE, then good!"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Diminishing returns
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:51 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SVG_animation

Scripting: ECMAScript is a primary means of creating animations and interactive user interfaces within SVG.


Not only graphics animations, but also interactive user interfaces.

One certainly doesn't want lack-luster/sluggish performance when using an interactive user interface.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Not only graphics animations, but also interactive user interfaces.

One certainly doesn't want lack-luster/sluggish performance when using an interactive user interface.


At some point those user interfaces feel equally fast even if one browser is actually rendering them slightly faster. That is the point I was making, but I can see you just tried to turn my point into your own HTML5 advocacy piece.

I think benchmarks should be related real world use, especially if they are being used to rate software. I think it is a joke when people make an issue of Opera or Chrome beating the other in a synthetic Javascript benchmark when for the heaviest AJAX websites it is doubtful that anyone can tell the difference.

It's called diminishing returns and I predict this will become even more apparent with the next generation of browsers. But I'm sure we'll have the same synthetic benchmarks and a "browser speed king" even if the differences are imperceptible.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Diminishing returns
by WereCatf on Wed 24th Mar 2010 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Diminishing returns"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

At some point those user interfaces feel equally fast even if one browser is actually rendering them slightly faster.

Just to take some part in this conversation I have to say that this statement, while true, only applies to rather simple interfaces and/or applications.

For example, a complex word-processing utility created in Javscript would need a fast JS interpreter in order to be useable, especially if you are working on a large document. The same would apply to JS games, photo manipulation services etc. Those things are becoming all the time more common and popular and I have no doubt that some day there will be whole application suites written in JS and those will be popular among people who don't quite grasp how to install applications on their OS or who use an OS which lacks such applications but has a browser with a fast JS interpreter.

Also, you have to remember that not everyone is sporting the latest and greatest machine: it makes sense to recycle computers, especially in developing countries. And on a less-than-epic computer the differences in JS speeds will become noticeable.

Now, combine such a computer with a heavy-weight JS application and what do you get? Yes, a need to have a fast JS interpreter.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Just to take some part in this conversation I have to say that this statement, while true, only applies to rather simple interfaces and/or applications.


Google Docs is as heavy as AJAX apps get and yet it works fine even in IE8. Does it work better in the other browsers? Well of course but the experience in IE8 isn't degraded significantly. People use it all the time in IE8 with a favorable opinion.

But the diminishing returns are more at the level where Opera and Chrome are currently at. There's no javascript heavy website where using Opera instead of Chrome will provide an experience that will reflect its higher benchmark score. We're talking about differences in the milliseconds.

Diminishing returns in javascript rendering shouldn't be a surprise since we've seen this before with HTML rendering. At some point it is all about the code, not the interpreter.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Diminishing returns
by boldingd on Thu 25th Mar 2010 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Diminishing returns"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Seconded: Google Docs was more than sufficiently responsive using FireFox 3.5 on RHEL4. The bottleneck there isn't JavaScript engine performance.

And I'll say what I said above. I really don't think the browser should be turned into a virtual machine. If we want to start distributing rich applications over the web, we need to create a proper virtual machine to do that with, not expect was is, most fundamentally, a static document viewer to scale its scripting engine all the way up to "quick enough for non-trivial 3D rendering software".

Reply Score: 2

RE: Diminishing returns
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Mar 2010 13:30 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The focus on synthetic javascript benchmarks really needs to be questioned. When web surfing the bottleneck is your bandwidth and even after that the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.


It is the chicken and egg scenario of developers could use more javascript if they wanted to but at the same time given the number of crappy and slow performing browsers out there, they have to take that into account when designing their site. So what you have are websites that could load faster because of smarter ways of updating a given web page but instead are bound to using less javascript - gmail where the whole page doesn't need updating when a new email arrives as an example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Diminishing returns
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Diminishing returns"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


It is the chicken and egg scenario of developers could use more javascript if they wanted to but at the same time given the number of crappy and slow performing browsers out there, they have to take that into account when designing their site.


Being held back by IE6 especially has long been a problem for web developers but that still says nothing about how much of a return there is between the latest improvements in Chrome versus Firefox.

It's become like a framerate benchmark where the perceptible difference is no longer visible to the user. It would be like rating one video card over another because it can render a synthetic benchmark slightly faster, even though both are rendering past 100fps.

But then I suppose that the tech press is filled with browser fanboys (cough cough ZDNet) that will take any test as long as it shows their favored browser performing x% better. Who cares if the difference is imperceptible, it's x% better and that's a headline!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Diminishing returns
by arpan on Wed 24th Mar 2010 20:04 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

The web no longer works only on the desktop. These browsers are going to be used in Mobile devices and JS performance will make a noticeable difference in usability and battery performance.

I'm sure one main reason why Apple, Google & MS are focusing so much on JS performance is their mobile OS. It can't be a coincidence that MS has started concentrating on IE and plans to release it at the same time that they have made a massive change to their phone OS and plans to release it. If Windows Phone 7 is released with IE8, the web experience is not going to be very good in comparison to the iPhone & Android devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Diminishing returns
by cerbie on Wed 24th Mar 2010 23:35 UTC in reply to "Diminishing returns"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

The focus on synthetic javascript benchmarks really needs to be questioned.
That I can agree with.

When web surfing the bottleneck is your bandwidth
Generally not so much, with ABP and Noscript keeping out all those 3rd-party loaded files.

and even after that the typical website does not make heavy use of javascript.
Sadly, that is both true and false. In terms of features, it is true. However, it is rather false, as javascript often gets used to do things that HTML has been doing for many years, and performs overly-complicated tasks for very simple things, because it's just so awesome what you can do with jquery, once you are loading 50k worth of code...

There's also the question of whether or not users can even tell the difference past a certain threshold.
Jsmath can cause browsers to temporarily freeze on C2Ds, at the least. I'm also pretty sure the "proper" DOM mods (instead of innerHTML) are slow and CPU-hogging, except where they are done often enough to benefit from binary compiling and other optimization methods.

That said, the real bug is that javascript engines seem to, across browsers, be able to negatively affect the responsiveness of the web browser. if that were taken care of, the speed of javascript itself, while still important, would be secondary. It would especially be nice, since more typical computing power leads to more of it being used (I am of the opinion that software should be lean and responsive, to give users more freedom to squander resources without worry). IE 7 and 8 have been lagging very far behind practically all other browsers in that regard. It's a problem for any I've used, but IE8 makes me think I'm back on my Cyrix PR150+ from all the freezes while it loads all the JS, or has to do lots of DOM work...

Edited 2010-03-24 23:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

who cares
by wanker90210 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 08:54 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

The important thing is that they are on the train. I don't care if they have a first or second class ticket, the important thing is that they're going to the same destination.

In the old days, IE6 was an alcoholic, fornicating away in the mandatory red light district that seems to accompany every train station of rang. It had no intention to board any train.

Reply Score: 2

Not just Opera, all the other browsers
by wirespot on Wed 24th Mar 2010 08:55 UTC
wirespot
Member since:
2006-06-21

The point of the article is that all the other browsers are moving very fast and Microsoft has still not caught up with their development speed.

Granted, a new version once every two years is better than the complete freeze IE6 was in at some point for almost a decade. But it's still no good if the competition is churning out major updates every 6 months and minor updates all the time.

The problem here is that Microsoft's release schedule seems to be tied to their operating systems. As is the nature of an OS, major releases are done more seldom (although one could argue that for example Ubuntu manages on a 6 month schedule as well...) Anyway, Microsoft is centered on Windows; once a version is out they focus just on security and bug fixes, but less on new major features. This is simply not good enough for the browser.

That's why the Ars editor suggests that Microsoft should decouple IE development from the OS.

Reply Score: 4

MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Firefox 3.6 in numerous test in Microsoft's test suite. Firefox outright fails multiple of the tests (showing that a higher ACID3 score isn't necessarily meaningful*), and renders SVG much mor slowly than IE9. And IE9 blows away Chrome in rendering speed (as does Firefox).
And IE9 blows away Chrome in HTLM5 video rendering, both in speed and proper handling of opacity.
See: http://www.osnews.com/thread?414018

That doesn't necessarily mean IE9 is "better" than the current releases of Firefox and Chrome, but there are things besides javascript speed, as long as the benchmarks of the various browsers are comparable in that area.

* I recall that Opera (a beta, I believe) was the first browser to get an ACID3 score of 100. But a bug was found in the ACID3 test itself, and so it was fixed and re-released, and lo and behold, Opera didn't score 100 anymore. And it was because Opera was coded against the ACID3 test itself rather than coding against the specs (and therefore just happenning to get a good ACID3 score). Which I thought was pretty funny.

Edited 2010-03-24 10:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Firefox 3.6 in numerous test in Microsoft's test suite. Firefox outright fails multiple of the tests (showing that a higher ACID3 score isn't necessarily meaningful*), and renders SVG much mor slowly than IE9. And IE9 blows away Chrome in rendering speed (as does Firefox).
And IE9 blows away Chrome in HTLM5 video rendering, both in speed and proper handling of opacity.
See: http://www.osnews.com/thread?414018

That doesn't necessarily mean IE9 is "better" than the current releases of Firefox and Chrome, but there are things besides javascript speed, as long as the benchmarks of the various browsers are comparable in that area.

* I recall that Opera (a beta, I believe) was the first browser to get an ACID3 score of 100. But a bug was found in the ACID3 test itself, and so it was fixed and re-released, and lo and behold, Opera didn't score 100 anymore. And it was because Opera was coded against the ACID3 test itself rather than coding against the specs (and therefore just happenning to get a good ACID3 score). Which I thought was pretty funny.


The original acid3 test was wrong, not the spec. The test was fixed, and very shortly afterward, so was Opera. Not a biggy.

IE is lousy at standards compliance, dog slow on javascript, insecure, glacially slow to receive feature updates, and incapable of any kind of rich interface or video without a proprietary, non-standard plugin. Of the commonly used browsers, IE is the poorest by a long, long way.

If you are talking about future-ware, then you need to compare IE9 with Firefox 3.7 or 4.0 or later.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10378604-264.html

http://blog.mozilla.com/dmandelin/2010/02/26/starting-jagermonkey/
http://lifehacker.com/5489106/firefoxs-next-javascript-engine-will-...

http://mozillalinks.org/wp/2009/05/future-firefox-will-be-multiproc...

Edited 2010-03-24 10:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Did you even read the article on Ars? Yes, IE9 is better than current browsers in many ways, but that DOESN'T MATTER since IE9 has not shipped yet. By the time IE9 will be out (Ars guesses 2011 or even 2012) all the other major browsers will have implemented all the features IE9 will have, and more. IE9 will be behind.

That's pretty much how it works for IE. They ship a browser that is as good or slightly better than the competition but gets beaten pretty fast and then lag behind until the next version comes out (which is approximately 3 years).

So, it is of no interest how IE9 is comparing to Chrome 4 or Firefox 3.6. You need to consider Firefox 4.x or something and it will probably beat the shit out of IE9.

All in all, I agree with the article. The "platform" argument is bullshit AFAIC. A new version of a browser should not break stuff that worked in the old one (have stuff that worked in Firefox 2 stopped working in Firefox 3?). It's just the old Microsoft way of looking at corporate intranets and their dependencies on a certain version of their browser. It should NOT be encouraged.

But that's Microsoft for you. On one hand they love standards but on the other they allow and even adapt to and encourages corporations developing for a specific version of IE.

I believe the IE developers are the ones that love standards, the nasty stuff is probably from higher up.

Edited 2010-03-24 10:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Well they improved a lot
by ariarinen on Wed 24th Mar 2010 11:02 UTC
ariarinen
Member since:
2009-02-07

Well they improved a lot, since IE6 so they can probably build a better browser but it will be hard to keep up with Chrome and Opera.

Reply Score: 1

Wrong question.
by axilmar on Wed 24th Mar 2010 11:56 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

The real question is: "Does Microsoft want to build a 100% standards-compliant browser?".

The answer is simple: no. A 100% standards-compliant browser would hurt their attempts at monopolizing the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong question.
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 24th Mar 2010 12:06 UTC in reply to "Wrong question."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

A 100% standards-compliant browser would hurt their attempts at monopolizing the market.


What market? The lucrative browser market?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wrong question.
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong question."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"A 100% standards-compliant browser would hurt their attempts at monopolizing the market.


What market? The lucrative browser market?
"

Possibly the must-have-windows-to-enjoy-the-web see-if-we-can-lock-them-all-in market.

The local Australian Rules footy team which I follow has fallen for this rubbish:

http://www.afc.com.au/

I get an "Install Microsoft Silverlight" button in the video windows.

Shudder!

Fortunately, there are a multitude of other sites (other than the official club site) that I can visit in order to follow this team's progress. Most of those follow web standards, and are of better quality anyway.

PS: This is off-topic, but anyway ... here is a sampler of why this sport is a great spectator sport:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN5zpWzuWRg

Edited 2010-03-24 12:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wrong question.
by Laurence on Wed 24th Mar 2010 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong question."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"A 100% standards-compliant browser would hurt their attempts at monopolizing the market.
What market? The lucrative browser market? "


Arguably speaking, the OS market.

If everything continues to move over to "the cloud" (and MS have been talking about building subscription based online replacements for their desktop tools for at least a decade now) then Windows will become irrelevant if everything is cross-platform and standards compliment.

So if you can some how argue that the web works "better" on Windows than on ChromeOS, FF on Linux or Safari on OS X (etc) then Windows is still seen as the flagship OS for application availability.

This is why they keep pushing their own technologies like Silverlight. Sure Silverlight is cross platform (now), but if it becomes the primary method for pushing media-rich and/or interactive web services, then I'd bet Silverlight support on non-Microsoft platforms will quickly fall behind Silverlight development on Microsoft's own operating systems. Thus people will be enticed further towards Microsoft's own products.


Microsoft have always been very very good at knowing when to give away products and when to sell them. And they know full well that if you want to make money online, the best way is to give your browser away for free.

Heck, Google do exactly the same with Chrome, Android and ChromeOS. Drive consumers to your products by giving away other products for free (even Supermarkets use a similar technique here in the UK: they have huge deals on alcohol - often selling them at a loss - so customers pop in for a create of beer and pop out with a weeks worth of shopping).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Wrong question.
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong question."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This is why they keep pushing their own technologies like Silverlight. Sure Silverlight is cross platform (now)


Your post was for the most part spot on, but for this bit.

Silverlight is not cross-platform. There are all kinds of caveats on Silverlight and .NET that amount to "you may not do that part on non-Windows platforms". ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows forms, for example. There are many platforms (ARM for example) that are not supported.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wrong question.
by Laurence on Wed 24th Mar 2010 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong question."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Can Silverlight play on multiple platforms then?

I've avoided the technology (for the reasons stated in my previous post) so I will admit I'm a touch ignorant in regards to it's multi-platform capabilities, but I was under the impression Microsoft released a Linux and OS X Silverlight player?

Or are you stating that Silverlight is a bit like OOXML - in theory it can run on any platform but in practice there's references to Microsoft-only technology that limited the products functionality on non-MS products.

Edited 2010-03-24 15:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wrong question.
by anda_skoa on Wed 24th Mar 2010 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wrong question."
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Can Silverlight play on multiple platforms then?

Depends on one's definition of "play" and "multiple platforms"

I've avoided the technology (for the reasons stated in my previous post) so I will admit I'm a touch ignorant in regards to it's multi-platform capabilities, but I was under the impression Microsoft released a Linux and OS X Silverlight player?

No, only for Windows and OS X, the the latter one is more limited, e.g. "PlayReady" (streaming of media from paranoid producers) is only available on Windows desktops.

Or are you stating that Silverlight is a bit like OOXML - in theory it can run on any platform but in practice there's references to Microsoft-only technology that limited the products functionality on non-MS products.


Exactly, though that should not come as a surprise.

There are free software implementations of some portions of Silverlight though, which can naturally be used on a much wider range of platforms.
But of course also more limited than the already limited OS X offering.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wrong question.
by Laurence on Wed 24th Mar 2010 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wrong question."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Ahhh.
Thanks for clarification.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wrong question.
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong question."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Silverlight is not cross-platform.


It is cross-platform. It works across multiple platforms.

Maybe it isn't cross-platform enough for you, but that is a separate issue.

Silverlight is great competitor to Flash as seen by Bing maps.
http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/

You also have to remember that Silverlight is not just about what it can do, it's also about the framework. It allows .net developers to quickly adapt to web development. You can't expect those developers to switch to some HTML5 javascript implementation for the sake of your own ideals. The same goes for developers who are experts in Flex.

You should probably also save your advocacy energy for when HTML5 is ready to compete with Flash and Silverlight. It simply isn't ready yet.

Until then you can amuse yourself with these Flash games:
http://www.addictinggames.com/index.html

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wrong question.
by cerbie on Wed 24th Mar 2010 23:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong question."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

No. The Lucrative DIlbertesque market of businesses who might be able to target anything if they didn't have to choose between IE and non-IE, in which case Windows shops go with IE, and thus have more reason to stay with Windows, get deeper into MS software use, and so on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong question.
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Mar 2010 14:10 UTC in reply to "Wrong question."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The real question is: "Does Microsoft want to build a 100% standards-compliant browser?".

The answer is simple: no. A 100% standards-compliant browser would hurt their attempts at monopolizing the market.


The response question is: Is there a single browser that implements every standard 100% to the letter?

The answer is simple: not a single one.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wrong question.
by Laurence on Wed 24th Mar 2010 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong question."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The response question is: Is there a single browser that implements every standard 100% to the letter?

The answer is simple: not a single one.


Just because it's implausible to create a 100% "to the letter" standards compliant browser, it doesn't mean developers should give up and support their own "standards".

In this case striving for perfection is more important than actually reaching perfection. (ie MS should try to support the standards as closely as they can rather than make excuses as to why it's not worth their time).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wrong question.
by nt_jerkface on Wed 24th Mar 2010 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong question."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

(ie MS should try to support the standards as closely as they can rather than make excuses as to why it's not worth their time).


Are you talking about draft or finalized standards?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wrong question.
by Laurence on Wed 24th Mar 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong question."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"(ie MS should try to support the standards as closely as they can rather than make excuses as to why it's not worth their time).


Are you talking about draft or finalized standards?
"

IE under-performs on both. That's the problem.

Edited 2010-03-24 21:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wrong question.
by nt_jerkface on Thu 25th Mar 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wrong question."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

IE8 follows 4.01 strict and IE9 will follow elements of HTML5 which is still in draft. If they or any browser tried to follow everything in HTML5 100% it would result in having to break compatibility because some specifications will change before it is finalized.

Reply Score: 2