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Monday, October 27, 2008

Minefield: Experimental lightning fast Mozilla browser

Mozilla Firefox may be a great browser with countless plugins for anything imaginable but has arguably very poor performance when it comes to javascript and speed in general. It is not comparable with Safari or other webkit browsers. Firefox 3 was slightly faster, but nothing spectacular. Google recently released Chrome. Chrome is aimed to provide great performance when working on javascript-heavy pages. Anyone who has tried can testify on it being slightly faster than Firefox but it is by no means as expandable or stable. I mean ok it is in Beta but it is not even working correctly with Google's own services. In addition Chrome is only available for Windows and does not yet provide support for OSX or Linux.

Recently Mozilla foundation announced a new experimental browser called minefield. At this moment it is not even in beta, but more of an alpha release. No matter though as, it is reportedly stable (more than what I can say for Chrome) and it is bleeding,lightning fast. Ars Technica performed some tests and cocnluded that it is even faster than Google's v8 Javascript engine. Minefield is a hybrid of firefox with the new tracemonkey javascript engine under the hood. You can download the latest nightly build from here.

Any javascript site I have used feels like a breeze. Try opening a heavy portal or Google Documents to see the difference. Being on constant development it gets better eveyday. 2 days ago it would refuse to load any document from Google but today's build loads everything just fine. Give it a try to see what the future holds for Firefox.

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