Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Slickspeed, Dromaeo and Acid3 on Firefox 3, Opera 9.5 and Safari 3.1

So out of curiosity, I ran Acid3, Mootools' SlickSpeed, John Resig's Dromaeo benchmark tests with the shiny new "grade A+" browsers to see how the javascript engines fare. Ok, I cheated a bit. I used Flock 2 beta, since I'm not downloading Firefox 3 until tomorrow.

Acid 3 Results

All three browsers failed, but not that badly.

  1. Flock got 71/100 and stuttered twice on the smoothness of animation
  2. Opera got 83/100 and stuttered once on the smoothness of animation
  3. Safari got 75/100, stuttered twice on the smoothness of animation and displayed the red cat of death

Dromaeo results

You can see my dromaeo results for Flock, Opera and Safari, or run your own.

Overall Slickspeed speed

The slickspeed test is really meant to be benchmarking libraries, but since selector libraries are being used quite a bit nowadays, I figured it'd make a nice test. Here's the summary:

JQuery 1.2.61395224
MooTools 1.2b2863240
Ext 2.0.29584
Dojo 1.0.28440
YUI 2.5.1330184191

Slickspeed Errors

DOMAssistant threw exceptions in Opera (h1[id]:contains(Selectors), a[href][lang][class] and div[class] tests) and Safari (h1[id]:contains(Selectors))


Opera seems to be the fastest in the dromaeo benchmark, but the results for the other two browsers were fairly close.

In terms of Acid3, Opera, again, was significantly better than the competitors, especially on the smoothness of animation portion.

In the slickspeed test, both Opera and Safari had a lot of greens (i.e. "0 ms") - DOMAssistant in Safari actually took (an almost fishy) 0 ms for all tests. On the other hand, there were no errors thrown in Flock by any of the libraries, compared to 3 errors in Opera by DOMAssistant and 1 error in Safari (by the same library). It goes to show that Firebug really makes Firefox the number one priority for js library developers.

In terms of DOM selection speed, however, Safari fared better than the competitors. I guess the moral of the story is that being in the bleeding edge warrants good performance.


Firefox/Flock seems to be slowest despite being the last to be released, but on the other hand, it's also the least likely of the 3 to throw errors during a regular session of browsing.

Safari is very fast on DOM manipulation, but lags a bit behind on raw javascript power (which is what SquirrelFish is aiming to improve). Like Opera, it's less likely to be as thoroughly tested as Firefox.

Opera is fairly well rounded browser, offering good performance on both raw js and DOM, but, as an underdog, it's also the least likely to be thoroughly tested by developers. Hopefully, a future, more feature-packed Dragonfly will change that.

Last Thoughts

Which browser is better? Well, it's your pick, really. Personally, I'm using Opera for most of my browsing, but I find that Firefox chokes less on richer sites (e.g. veoh.com's search and video-clip skipping don't work in Opera).

What I want to see from now on is more commitment towards performance and standardization by the Mozilla guys, and more support for Opera and Safari by library authors and developers.

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